Eziukas' road to success Eziukas' road to success

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Thread: Eziukas' road to success

  1. #1

    Default Eziukas' road to success

    • starting strength seminar december 2021
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    Figured I'd start keeping my log over here.

    Background: I had hated any kind of sports for the bigger part of my life. (I'm 28 now.) As a child, I was weak, very inflexible and extremely uncoordinated (I couldn't bounce the ball off the ground for more than couple reps until I was 11 or so). I preferred books and computer games instead. I had developed scoliosis (somewhere between 10-30 degrees), but thankfully my parents found a good doctor who managed to straighten me almost completely - invisible now. Slight kyphosis remains though.

    I started doing some physical activity as a teenager: when I was 14-18 I played a lot basketball despite my poor coordination and conditioning. Later while at college I was "too busy" studying/partying/working to do any physical activity again.

    Finally when I was 24 I decided that this sedentary lifestyle will do me no good in the long run, also that I was slowly but surely transitioning from skinny to fat-skinny (I was 154lbs/70kgs at 6'2"/187 cm then), and that this has to change. I started running (jogging?). I worked my way up to 4 times a week x 8km in 40 mins runs, I was not following any program, just every time trying to run faster than the last time. My weight went up to 163lbs/74kgs, and I lost the spare tire that was beginning to grow around my waist.

    I started feeling that running is not enough, so I went to my uni's gym (was in grad school then) and asked a PT to make me a program "to train for strength, not for size". He was a very nice guy, nodded in understanding, and made me a list of exercises that involved "core" on a swiss ball, and various machines, 3x10 sets. The only free weight exercise there was the dumbbell lunge. But, perhaps more importantly, he taught me how to keep training logs.

    I followed this program, the weight on the machines I could move and my own weight started going up. Meanwhile I started searching the internet on better ways to train, and each time I was convinced something was better, I went to the PT to tell him that I want to do this instead of that. This way I replaced chest machine with the bench press (not full ROM, mind you, and the most I benched was 127lbs/57.5kg 10RM). I even started doing deadlifts although it took me a long time to stop rounding my back, and I never pulled more than 132lbs/60kg 10RM). I did this for two years, and in the end the only machine exercise in the program was the leg press, everything else was dumbbell press/rows/lunges, pull-ups, and those "core" exercises on the ball.

    At the same time and also when I was traveling with no access to the gym I started doing the programs on the internet "from zero to thousand somethings in zero or less weeks": pushups, pullups, situps, bodyweight squats. I managed to go up to 45 pushups, 8 pullups, 110 crunches and 201 bw squats. My weight went up to 187lbs/85kg. Also I was cycling for my main mode of transportation.

    Last summer I have moved, did not find myself a new gym and continued the bw exercises together with running. But I felt that I was getting weaker (and losing weight too). I went online to find a "real" strength program, and not surprisingly I found Mehdi's Stronglifts 5x5. I read it, I liked it, found myself a new gym, and around Christmas went there with a brand new empty log and squatted empty barbell for the first time. I was weighing 82kg/181lbs at the time.

    First three months were a breeze (that program starts with an empty bar). One month later, I got myself proper shoes instead of running shoes. (ha!)

    Three months later however trouble started creeping in, at the same time I reached 1xBW squat (193lbs/87.5kg): my left elbow started hurting badly after squats, taking 30% away from my bench, press and barbell row too. Deadlift was fine. I deloaded my squat to 88lbs/60kg and started working my way back up again. I reached my BW again, and, lo and behold, the pain was back. At the same time I pulled my left trap and took a week off.

    Then I realized that I cannot learn the proper form from one Mehdi's blog post and ordered the SS book (not much help in the gym neither: there train a few bodybuilders (PTs included) who half-squat high-bar, and many many wannabe bodybuilders who curl. I was deadlifting 243lbs/110kilos at the time and that was the heaviest I have seen there.)

    The book arrived in the middle of May, I read it, and immediately I realized that I was resting the barbell on my wrists. My shoulders made it very hard to straighten out them, I deloaded again and used the wider grip to keep them straight. Also I replaced 5x5 -> 3x5, dropped the rows, started learning the power clean.

    The elbow pain did not go away completely. It requires me thinking very consciously about keeping my upper back squeezed and elbows pushed hard up and back, and this is hard to do when the weight is a new PR in the linear progression. If I relax a little bit, for example, a half second too early before racking, bam, here goes my elbow.

    Right now my elbow hurts, I am 90kgs/198 lbs, and my lifts as of last workout, all 5RM: squat 82,5kg/182lbs (PR 100kg/220lbs before I pulled a trap), bench 62,5kg/138lbs (PR 70kg/154lbs before the elbow trouble), press 45kg/99lbs (PR 50kgs/110lbs), deadlift 110kg/243lbs (PR 120kg/265lbs), power clean 40kg/88lbs, so far I have done them only once, before that it took me many empty bar hang cleans to learn it.

  2. #2

    Angry 2011-07-27

    Today's workout. In short: ELBOW. FUCK. Gotta do something about it.

    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x1 bodyweight squats holding the bottom position, 3x8 straight back good mornings with empty bar (started doing these after reading in the book that they are a very good hamstring stretch)

    Squats:
    2x5 empty bar
    60kg 2x5
    80kg 1x5
    82.5kg 1x2
    85kg ... was planning to do 3x5, but on the first set 3rd rep I get this funny feeling in my left elbow. I look up at the mirror (normally I try to avoid this) and what do I see... A FUCKING ASYMMETRY. The left wrist is completely straight, the right one is flexed over the bar, the right elbow is higher up and back and closer to the body than the left one. I cannot fix this in the middle of the set so I rack. The left elbow starts to flare up, I deload to work on form.
    60kg. Get under the bar and try to get into correct position looking in the mirror. Turns out to be impossible, WTF, my arms do not listen to me.
    Empty bar. Get under the bar and do a few walk-outs trying to get the correct form. Not so well. WTF? At this point I am very pissed.

    Press
    empty bar 2x5
    30kg 1x5
    40kg 1x3
    47,5kg 3,2,1 - the elbow makes the rack position painful, ruins the press. Maybe it was a bad judgment to press at all this time.

    Deadlift
    60kg 2x5
    100kg 1x5
    110kg 1x2
    115kg 1x5 - goes as planned, the only lift that is unaffected by elbow troubles.

    So, this sucks. The next time I squat I am going to start with an empty bar, will work on my form even if it means I can only squat 30kg. Fuck.

  3. #3

    Default 2011-07-29

    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x8 squats to stands, 3x8 empty barbell straight back good mornings.

    Squats:
    4x5 empty barbell, very careful about arm position. Went fine, the elbow was OK.
    1x5 30kg OK
    1x5 30kg unracked, the form was not perfect, felt something in the elbow, racked.
    1x5 empty barbell for back off, could manage to keep arms symmetric, stopped there.

    Presses: (two workouts in a row, to change from Stronglifts to SS novice program)
    2x5 empty barbell
    1x5 30kg
    1x3 40kg
    3x5 47,5kg. Felt rather easy, the joy of less-painful elbow.

    Power cleans:
    1x2 empty barbell hang clean - sharp pain in the elbow right before racking, stopped right there.

    In the end the elbow feels better than the last time. The next time I am going to do the same: lots of empty barbell squats, slow weight increases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Sounds like you might have some elbow tendinitis. Putting some of the bar's weight on my hands while squatting has done that to me before. Fix the form problem, take some fish oil, take some vitamin c (suggested by Travis Russell and works well!), massage the arm, and keep lifting.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert987 View Post
    Sounds like you might have some elbow tendinitis. Putting some of the bar's weight on my hands while squatting has done that to me before. Fix the form problem, take some fish oil, take some vitamin c (suggested by Travis Russell and works well!), massage the arm, and keep lifting.
    Thank you, I've been taking fish oil since all this started, and last three days I've taking 1000mg vitamin C pills too.

  6. #6

    Default 2011-08-01

    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x8 squats to stands, 3x10 empty bar straight back good mornings.

    Squats:
    empty bar 5x5
    30kg 1x5
    40kg 1x5
    50kg 1x5
    60kg 1x5. The elbow felt mostly fine, some dull pressings sensation started at the 60kg, but nothing like the pain before.

    Benches:
    empty bar 2x5
    50kg 1x3
    60kg 1x2
    65kg 3x5

    Deadlifts:
    60kg 2x5
    100kg 1x3
    110kg 1x2
    120kg 1x5 alternating grip - repeated my 5RM PR and it felt quite easy too. Looking forward to a new PR next time!

  7. #7

    Default 2011-08-03

    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x8 squats to stands, 3x10 empty bar straight back good mornings.

    Squats:
    empty bar 3x5
    30kg 1x5
    40kg 1x5
    60kg 2x5 (did a second set, had some arm form issues in the first one)
    80kg 2x5. The elbow was flaring up on the second set, so stopped. In any case I'm almost back to my work weights and the elbow is mostly OK.

    Presses:
    empty bar 2x5
    30kg 1x3
    40kg 1x2
    50kg 2x3, 1x2. The goal was 3x5, I just couldn't lock it out.

    Power Cleans:
    empty bar hang cleans 2x5
    30kg hang cleans x3, PCs x3
    40kg 1x5
    45kg 5x3. On one rep I failed to rack the weight, caught it on my elbows, with immediate sharp pain in the bad one. Luckily it went away and didn't return. I'm not sure I'm doing PCs correctly with the work weight, it feels as if I catch the weight slightly too low and then curl it to the rack position.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up 2011-08-05

    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x8 squats to stands, 3x10 empty bar straight back good mornings.

    Squats:
    empty bar 2x5
    40kg 1x5
    60kg 1x5
    70kg 1x5
    80kg 3x5. Some dull pressing feeling in the elbow, but no pain. The work weight is low-ish, but I'm back to linear progression from here.

    Benches:
    empty bar 2x5
    50kg 1x3
    60kg 1x2
    67.5kg 3x5. No elbow worries, probably for the first time in the last two months.

    Deadlifts:
    60kg 2x5
    100kg 1x3
    110kg 1x2
    125kg 1x5 New PR, and I feel that I can do 5kg increase the next time. That is, if I recover properly, as the weekend is going to be challenging in available food and sleep.

    All in all, I am happy about today's session.

  9. #9

    Default 2011-08-08

    Weight: 91.5kg with shoes, t-shirt and shorts. My milk and steak (not at the same time) consumption habits are paying off.

    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x8 squats to stands, 3x10 empty bar straight back good mornings.

    Squats:
    empty bar 2x5
    40kg 1x5
    60kg 1x5
    70kg 1x3
    80kg 1x2
    85kg 3x5. Paid a lot of attention to the arm form, elbow felt better than ever, only some minor tingling.

    Presses:
    empty bar 2x5
    40kg 1x3
    45kg 1x2
    50kg 3,4,3. Again, couldn't lock out. What's funny is that the first reps felt very easy, almost explosive.

    Power Cleans:
    empty bar hang cleans 2x5
    40kg 1x5
    45kg 5x3. Last two sets with hook grip (should have been the whole workout, but forgot to read the note in the log, fail). The elbow let me know about the reps with less than perfect form, but nothing serious.

  10. #10

    Default 2011-08-10

    starting strength coach development program
    Warmup: 5 min cardio, 3x10 shoulder dislocations, 3x8 squats to stands, 3x10 empty bar straight back good mornings.

    Squat:
    empty bar 2x5
    60kg 1x3
    80kg 1x2
    90kg 3x5.

    Bench:
    empty bar 2x5
    50kg 1x3
    60kg 1x2
    70kg 3,4,4. Disappointing, last bench workout was quite easy, so I had hoped to get 3x5 this time.

    Deadlift:
    60kg 2x5
    100kg 1x3
    115kg 1x5
    130kg 1x3. It felt like trying to pull a mountain (I don't mean to say that 130kg is a respectable weight or anything here). On the fourth rep the bar just didn't leave the floor.

    All in all, not bad. I hope to get 70kg bench 3x5 and 130kg deadlift 1x5 next time.

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