Finally Finishing Linear Progression: An Overdue SS Training Log Finally Finishing Linear Progression: An Overdue SS Training Log

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Thread: Finally Finishing Linear Progression: An Overdue SS Training Log

  1. #1
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    Default Finally Finishing Linear Progression: An Overdue SS Training Log

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    While I've always logged my progress personally, this is the first time I'll be making a shared log. Workouts are getting to the point where every session is a real struggle, and since none of my friends are really lifters it will be nice to have some outlet to share how hard today's squat session was or how exciting it was to (finally) complete a 2 plate squat.

    For some history, I started lifting in June 2009, with a program the trainer at the university gym gave me. Lots of machine work and stuff, it didn't take me long to realize it was essentially useless. In August 2009 I started Stronglifts 5x5 with just the bar on every exercise (except the deadlift which I started at 90lbs). Weighed 165lbs, 6'1. Took a 31 waist in jeans, but don't know my actual measurement. Body fat was somewhere around 11%.

    By the end of October 2009, by squat was 165lbs, my bench 120lbs, my overhead press 90lbs, and my deadlift (which I kept resetting as I could never get form right) a whopping 95lbs. While not terrible results overall (ignoring the deadlift) considering how ridiculously weak I began (squatting just the bar felt really hard), I decided to switch to a split routine, which got my squats up to 195lbs and my bench to 145lbs, and had no deadlifts by December 2009.

    By this time I was 190lbs at 6'1, body fat I thought was 15% but was probably a little higher. So I decided it was time to lose weight. Sadly, I did so in the most retarded way possible: low weight, high rep work with lots of HIIT. All those small gains I worked so hard for essentially vanished. My squats were now 135x3x10. My bench was not done with 40lb dumbbells for 3x10 and failing. I was doing multiple triceps extensions and curls and presses and machine work, all with negligible weight. By February 2010, I was 167lbs. Maybe 10% body fat instead of 11%. 9 months at the gym and I went from 165lbs ~11% bf to 167lbs ~10% bf. It's okay to be jealous.

    So I decided to this time start a Heavy Medium Light beginners body building workout I found on the bodybuilding.com forums. Lots of people seemed to have success with it, but I stalled out at around 115x3x12 on the bench press. Other lifts didn't outright stall, but overall I was clearly not really progressing.

    So by July 2010, I decide to smarten up and do Starting Strength. I find the Practical Programming version on the Wiki and begin with the numbers:

    Squat: 95lbs
    Bench Press: 95lbs
    Press: 65lbs
    Deadlifts: 50kg
    Chin Ups: 7/5/4
    Pull ups: 5/4/3

    Weight 175lbs, body fat ~13%.

    I kept with up until September 13th when I got to around 185lbs, ~15% body fat. My numbers were:

    Squat: 195lbs
    Bench Press: 175lbs
    Press: 115lbs
    Deadlifts: 85kg
    Chin Ups: 7/5/4
    Pull ups: 7/5/4

    I cut weight for 5 weeks with a moderate deficit, with 2 weeks at maintenance before and after. By November 8th I was 171lbs, ~10% bf. My numbers were:

    Squat: 205lbs
    Bench Press: 175lbs
    Press: 117.5lbs
    Deadlifts: 100kg
    Chin Ups: 10/6/6
    Pull ups: 9/5/3

    So I managed to maintain my strength and finally I was at a low body fat and high enough lifts that I could, for the first real time since stopping Stronglifts back in October 2009, I can make linear progress, setting PRs almost every workout. However I did feel very burnt out after the cut, so I decided I may as well start the program “fresh” and deload everything so that I hit my 5RM at around the 4th to 6th week of the program. As of today, December 1st 2010, my lifts are:

    Squat: 230lbs
    Bench Press: 175lbs
    Press: 117.5lbs
    Deadlifts: 104kg
    Chin Ups: 11/8/9
    Pull ups: 10/7/7
    Chip Ups (Weighted): 7.5lbsx7/6/5
    Pull ups (Weighted): 5lbsx7/5/5

    Body weight: 174lbs.


    Yes, this has been a pathetically long time coming, but I intend to finally finish off my linear progression, eating enough to gain 1lb/week, and finishing my linear progression in the next 20 or so weeks. I guess this is where I will set some goals. Since my long time goals of a 2 plate squat and a body weight bench press have been met, I guess I should set my sights higher.

    Squat
    Immediate: 1.5*bw, ~270lbs
    Eventually: 3 plate, 315lbs

    Bench Press
    Eventually: 2 plate, 225lbs

    Press
    Immediate: 1 plate, 135lbs
    Eventually: 1*bw, ~180lbs (this may be a long time away I know)

    Deadlift
    Immediate: 1.5*bw, ~270lbs
    Eventually: 3 plate, 315lbs

    Here we go!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsistence View Post
    eating enough to gain 1lb/week
    In all seriousness, a big dump is about 2lbs. And when you start eating properly, you will be dropping some big ones.

    You cannot eat enough to put on 1lb a week and be eating enough to do LP. Embrace the weight gain as part of the training, and worry about getting the bodyfat down later. This might be difficult to get used to, but you have to think of training as a lifelong persuit, rather than what happens to your body composition over the next few months.

    You need to be shooting to eat enough to gain at least 3-5lbs per week.

    Good luck with your training.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGibbons View Post
    In all seriousness, a big dump is about 2lbs. And when you start eating properly, you will be dropping some big ones.

    You cannot eat enough to put on 1lb a week and be eating enough to do LP. Embrace the weight gain as part of the training, and worry about getting the bodyfat down later. This might be difficult to get used to, but you have to think of training as a lifelong persuit, rather than what happens to your body composition over the next few months.

    You need to be shooting to eat enough to gain at least 3-5lbs per week.

    Good luck with your training.
    I am aware I would probably get some disagreement on this. Some like Lyle McDonald think that 0.5lbs/week of muscle is about the max a new trainee can expect, and weight gain beyond that will generally lead to more fat and not more muscle. My limited personal experiences agree with this, but I am aware Rip and others around here disagree. If there is an actual study or something showing otherwise I'm all ears, but if not then debating it is probably a waist of time.

    Thanks for the advice and reading my log though!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsistence View Post
    I am aware I would probably get some disagreement on this. Some like Lyle McDonald think that 0.5lbs/week of muscle is about the max a new trainee can expect, and weight gain beyond that will generally lead to more fat and not more muscle. My limited personal experiences agree with this, but I am aware Rip and others around here disagree. If there is an actual study or something showing otherwise I'm all ears, but if not then debating it is probably a waist of time.

    Thanks for the advice and reading my log though!
    The studies on this are not very good or useful; they typically don't have proper training, good population selection or adequate diet. And I don't know how you feel about anecdotal evidence, but I got a chance to do the program for real during my pre-deployment leave period which was about 3 weeks - 1 month of solid training, eating and resting. My body weight went from 175 - 198 in a very short span and my lifts shot up like heroine addicts on payday. I started with < 8% bodyfat and gained some fat, but most of the weight was muscle because my pants fit fine around the waist, but my thighs were tight and my shirts were tight around the shoulders. I was starting to look like a man (I'm 5' 8"), and I loved it. The only difference was that I couldn't see as much definition in my abs anymore, which didn't bother me considering the weights I was moving. I think Chris was just trying to let you know that fat gain is ok; it accelerates the muscle gain because it indicates an anabolic environment. Provided you are training hard enough and eating (mostly) clean, the fat gain will not get out of control. If you really want to get everything you can out of "the program," then embrace big eating.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric K View Post
    The studies on this are not very good or useful; they typically don't have proper training, good population selection or adequate diet. And I don't know how you feel about anecdotal evidence, but I got a chance to do the program for real during my pre-deployment leave period which was about 3 weeks - 1 month of solid training, eating and resting. My body weight went from 175 - 198 in a very short span and my lifts shot up like heroine addicts on payday. I started with < 8% bodyfat and gained some fat, but most of the weight was muscle because my pants fit fine around the waist, but my thighs were tight and my shirts were tight around the shoulders. I was starting to look like a man (I'm 5' 8"), and I loved it. The only difference was that I couldn't see as much definition in my abs anymore, which didn't bother me considering the weights I was moving. I think Chris was just trying to let you know that fat gain is ok; it accelerates the muscle gain because it indicates an anabolic environment. Provided you are training hard enough and eating (mostly) clean, the fat gain will not get out of control. If you really want to get everything you can out of "the program," then embrace big eating.
    Don't worry, I understand that is the mentality here. I just don't really think either "clean" eating (unless you just mean, eating lots of protein, be it from chicken breast or a big mac) matters much and that after 11b/week of muscle any additional gain will just cause more fat to be gained with no increase in muscle. Read this if you are interested:

    http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/mus...mass-gain.html

    But again, I have had a similar discussion on here before and am aware there is disagreement. This topic is what caused Lyle to throw a temper tantrum and leave here in the first place. I didn't start my log to start a fight on this topic, so we may have to agree to disagree. Thanks again for reading my log.

  6. #6
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    Ok, I understand; disagreement is cool, but I think we're just saying that it is a big part of the program. And just for clarity by (mostly) clean eating, I meant a lot of meat and vegetables; great "calorie fillers" are things like nuts, nut butters, guacamole, olive oil, coconut oil, butter and cheese that really help to give you that surplus. The "(mostly)" part is implying that ice cream, nachos and bacon cheese fries occassionally really help to add a lot of calories, too. Basically 4-5,000 calories with strictly meat and vegetables can be a little daunting at times.

    I've heard a lot about the whole Lyle McDonald thing; I know who he is, and I've seen his site as well as some of his writings but I think he was gone before I starting frequenting this site, or he just left before I got serious about it and I never noticed. I've heard good things about him, and I'm sure he's great at getting people lean but I would question his expertise on strength training nutrition.

    Either way, like I said, disagreement is cool and I hope it works out for you. I'll keep stopping by if I'm welcome.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric K View Post
    Ok, I understand; disagreement is cool, but I think we're just saying that it is a big part of the program. And just for clarity by (mostly) clean eating, I meant a lot of meat and vegetables; great "calorie fillers" are things like nuts, nut butters, guacamole, olive oil, coconut oil, butter and cheese that really help to give you that surplus. The "(mostly)" part is implying that ice cream, nachos and bacon cheese fries occassionally really help to add a lot of calories, too. Basically 4-5,000 calories with strictly meat and vegetables can be a little daunting at times.

    I've heard a lot about the whole Lyle McDonald thing; I know who he is, and I've seen his site as well as some of his writings but I think he was gone before I starting frequenting this site, or he just left before I got serious about it and I never noticed. I've heard good things about him, and I'm sure he's great at getting people lean but I would question his expertise on strength training nutrition.

    Either way, like I said, disagreement is cool and I hope it works out for you. I'll keep stopping by if I'm welcome.
    Of course you're welcome to drop by. I am aware I may be eating a bit too little to be "doing the program". Thanks .

  8. #8
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    Well, I started my log just in time to share with everyone my failures!

    Squats: 235lbsx5/5/4
    Overhead Press: 120lbsx3/4/3

    I've also noticed my rest period for squats has climbed from 7 minutes into the 8-10 minute range. I get up to do it at 7 minutes. Then I get some chalk. Then I stare at the bar. Then I cry a little inside. Then I cry a little outside. Then I finally get under the damn bar.

    I am a little worried that I may have hit my ceiling for linear progression on the press. I'll try working in 1.25lb increments instead of 2.5lbs after this, but I'm skeptical it will work. It also seems like it won't be too long until I have to deload my squat and add in a recovery day.


    Deadlift 110kgx5

    This was a real bitch to move up as well, but it went. I feel like my squats are oddly high next to my deadlifts.

    If todays deadlifts were really tough, how much do you think I should increase them by for next week? I was hoping to do 5kg a session (since I only deadlift once a week). But if things were this tough today, do you think I should be a little more conservative?

  9. #9
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    I would, man. It's better to keep progressing then to stall prematurely. Deads are rough up at those weights, so jumping too fast always wastes my back for squats the next time around...

    As for your squats being heavy, the strength standards table Rip made has about a 1.6 ratio between deadlift:squat, you're is just over 1.0. So I guess that could be considered heavy, but if that's where you are, the table's just a reference. For me, my bench is way too close to my squat, but that's because I've done a lot more bench in my life than real squatting; I figure that just means I'll have to go to intermediate training for my bench all that much sooner.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric K View Post
    I would, man. It's better to keep progressing then to stall prematurely. Deads are rough up at those weights, so jumping too fast always wastes my back for squats the next time around...

    As for your squats being heavy, the strength standards table Rip made has about a 1.6 ratio between deadlift:squat, you're is just over 1.0. So I guess that could be considered heavy, but if that's where you are, the table's just a reference. For me, my bench is way too close to my squat, but that's because I've done a lot more bench in my life than real squatting; I figure that just means I'll have to go to intermediate training for my bench all that much sooner.
    Thanks. Maybe I'll try a 3kg increase or so for next Wednesday. I also am thinking that, since I went to failure on my squats, it probably negatively effects my deadlift due to using most of the same muscles. Maybe once I add in the light squat day on Wednesdays it will help me max out on the deadlift more.

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