SeanThornton gets back in fighting shape! SeanThornton gets back in fighting shape! - Page 2

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Thread: SeanThornton gets back in fighting shape!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015


    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    Hey guys, guess who's back!

    After a good 1st month of LP last June, the wheels totally fell off the bus (out-of-town company, got sick, vacation, overtime, kids events, etc), and then, to top it off, my basement workout area got taken over for a while I was able to do a decent amount of running in July and August, and a little more in October and November, but no lifting in that time frame. Anyway, I was able to get my workout area back in early December when we dug out the Christmas decorations, and I've been back lifting since then Just finally getting around to posting to my log, and sorry about the long absence.

    I haven't done any specific cardio since resuming the lifting, with two exceptions: A mile or two indoors in late December, and ~5 minutes on an exercise bike every morning since the beginning of November. I've found that these few minutes really loosen me up for the day, and I have a lot fewer "aches and pains" through the day. But it's not long enough or fast enough to really count as "cardio". Also, starting this month (Feb. '16), I've added a couple sets of empty bar squats to the morning routine. It started as a way to re-inforce good form, and then stuck as another good way to loosen up for the day.

    Where I left off in June:
    BW: ~184
    SQ - 175#, but last workout was 150#, because I had some definite form issues, and reps @ 175 were very ugly
    BP - 115#
    OHP - 80#, but very ugly last 1 or 2 reps of each set
    DL - 200#

    Also, 52 now, instead of 51

    So, on to the lifting:

    Note on warmups: Bought some microplates last summer, hadn't used them yet. Decided that warmups would be EXACT divisions of 4 from 1st warmup to workset, so that's why all of the decimal places. By mid-January, that got old

    12/02/15 - BW: 190.4
    Weights for this session were just picked out of thin air, backed off quite a bit from where I left off in June.
    SQ - 45x5x2, 70x5, 90x3, 115x2, 140x5x3 (tough)
    BP - 45x5x2, 57.5x5, 70x3, 82.5x2, 95x5x3 (fairly easy)
    DL - 65x5x2, 86.25x5, 107.5x3, 128.75x2, 150x5 (fairly easy)

    12/04/15 - BW: 190.6
    SQ - 45x5x2, 70x5, 95x3, 120x2, 145x5x3 (tough)
    OHP - 15x5x2, 25x5, 35x3, 45x2, 55x5x3 (not too bad)
    DL - 65x5x2, 87.5x5, 110x3, 132.5x2, 155x5 (not too bad)

    12/07/15 - BW: 191.6
    SQ - 45x5x2, 71.25x5, 97.5x3, 123.75x2, 150x5x3 (tough)
    BP - 45x5x2, 58.75x5, 72.5x3, 86.25x2, 100x5x3 (not too bad)
    DL - 65x5x2, 88.75x5, 112.5x3, 135.75x2, 160x5 (getting tough)

    12/10/15 - BW: 190.8
    SQ - 45x5x2, 72.5x5, 100x3, 127.5x2, 155x5x2, 135x5 (almost missed last rep of set 2, just didn't feel right, so backed off. Do 150# next time)
    OHP - 15x5x2, 26.25x5, 37.5x3, 48.75x2, 60x5x3 (not too bad)
    DL - 65x5x2, 88.75x5, 112.5x3, 136.25x2, 160x5 (not too bad. Honestly don't remember why I did 160# here, should have been 165#, just screwed up)

    So, reviewing my squats, the issue that was causing me to be very tentative this workout, and back in June, was that I kept feeling like I was losing control of the bar. By the end of each set, the bar is being held by the heel of my hand, like the grip is slipping.
    Thinking back to learning the press in June, I had realized I have long forearms, compared to my humerus. But I had never adjusted my squat setup accordingly. So next workout, I took a much wider grip on the bar.

    12/12/15 - BW: 191.7
    SQ - 45x5x2, 68.75x5, 92.5x3, 116.25x2, 140x5, 145x5, 150x5 (messed up the warmup set weights, was aiming for 150# for worksets, but wound up getting to 140#, so I just did that, and then 5# more each successive set. Wider grip helped a TON, sets were not too tough)
    BP - 45x5x2, 60x5, 75x3, 90x2, 105x5x3 (starting to get tough)
    DL - 65x5x2, 90x5, 115x3, 140x2, 165x5 (starting to get tough)

    12/15/15 - BW: 192.8
    SQ - 45x5x2, 71.25x5, 97.25x3, 124.75x2, 150x5x3 (tough, but good form, this felt much better with the wider grip)
    OHP - 15x5x2, 27.5x5, 40x3, 52.5x2, 65x5x3 (getting tough)
    DL - 65x5x2, 91.25x5, 117.5x3, 143.75x2, 170x5 (getting tough)

    12/23/15 - BW: 193.0
    No lifting for 8 days, just too busy with holiday stuff
    SQ - 45x5x2, 72.5x5, 100x3, 127.5x2, 155x5x3 (tough but good)
    BP - 45x5x2, 61.25x5, 77.5x3, 93.75x2, 110x5x3 (not too bad)
    DL - 65x5x2, 92.5x5, 120x3, 147.5x2, 175x5 (starting to be tough)

    12/29/15 - BW: 192.2
    No lifting for 6 days, holidays, etc.
    SQ - 45x5x2, 73.75x5, 102.5x3, 131.25x2, 160x5x3 (tough, but not too bad)
    OHP - 15x5, 35x5, 43.75x5, 52.5x3, 61.25x2, 70x5x3 (not too bad. Decided that 15# for 1st warmup was ridiculous, so went to 35#)
    DL - 65x5x2, 93.75x5, 122.5x3, 151.25x2, 180x5 (getting tough. Move to 75# for initial warmups next time)

    01/01/16 - BW: 193.6
    Happy new year!!
    SQ - 45x5x2, 75x5, 105x3, 135x2, 165x5x3 (tough, but not too bad)
    BP - 45x5x2, 62.5x5, 80x3, 97.5x2, 115x5x3 (not too bad)(PR tie)
    DL - 75x5x2, 102.5x5, 130x3, 157.5x2, 185x5 (getting tough)
    This workout, I moved to 6 minute rests, from 5. This increased to 7 minutes the next workout, and 8 minutes the workout after that (1/13).
    Note that after this workout (next day, not right away), I had a bit of knee pain from the squats, getting progressively worse as the weight went up. This was the other issue from last summer (the grip width being the first).

    01/03/16 - BW: 194.9
    SQ - 45x5x2, 76.25x5, 107.25x3, 138.75x2, 170x5 (tough, and knee pain lasted several days)
    OHP - 35x5x2, 45x5, 55x3, 65x2, 75x5x3 (getting tough)
    DL - 75x5x2, 103.75x5, 132.5x3, 161.25x2, 190x5 (getting tough)
    Knee pain lasted several day, which was the biggest factor in me not working out again for 10 days!

    01/13/16 - BW: 192.9
    SQ - 45x5x2, 80x5, 115x3, 145x2, 175x5x3 (PR tie)(all 5th reps and last 4th rep were very ugly, knee pain even worse this time)
    BP - 45x5x2. 65x5, 85x3, 105x2, 120x5x3 (PR!)(tough)
    DL - 75x5x2, 105x5, 135x3, 165x2, 195x5 (kinda tough)

    01/27/16 - BW: 193.5
    OK, the knee pain had lasted quite a while, so I backed off to 165# on the squats, and even that didn't help too much...
    Backed other lifts off as well, since it was 2 weeks since the last workout.
    SQ - 45x5x2, 75x5, 105x3, 135x2, 165x4, 150x5x2 (165 too heavy, 150 sets were "OK")
    OHP - 35x5x2, 45x5, 55x3, 65x2, 70x5x3 (not too bad)
    DL - 75x5x2, 105x5, 135x3, 160x2, 185x5 (kinda tough)

    Thoughts after this workout.... I knew I needed to figure out something with my squat form, I was having more trouble than I ought to.
    Also decided to go three days between workouts for squat and deadlift (needed the recovery), but every two days for the alternating press/bench, since those didn't take as much recovery.

    Then, talk about fortuitous timing. I intended to really dig into squat form the next day, and that's when the "TUBOW" video went up on SS. Reviewing that, I knew that was my issue (knees were sliding way too far forward, back too vertical, so I was doing squats with way more knees, and way less hips than I should have been, leading to knee pain). This is when I started doing the morning empty bar squats, to re-inforce better form.

    01/29/16 - BW: 194.1
    BP - 45x5x2, 65x5, 85x3, 105x2, 120x5x3 (PR tie)(slightly tough)

    01/30/16 - BW: 195.1
    SQ - 45x5x3, 75x5, 105x3, 130x2, 155x5x3 (slightly tough, but felt WAY better with the knees not sliding forward)
    DL - 75x5x2, 105x5, 135x3, 165x2, 190x5 (slightly tough)

    01/31/16 - BW: 195.1
    OHP - 35x5x2, 45x5, 55x3, 65x2, 75x5x3 (not too bad)

    02/02/16 - BW: 194.6
    SQ - 45x5x3, 75x5, 105x3, 135x2, 160x5x3 (a little tough, no knee pain afterwards)
    BP - 45x5x2, 65x5, 85x3, 105x2, 125x5x3 (PR)(a little tough)
    DL - 75x5x2, 105x5, 135x3, 165x2, 195x5 (tough)

    02/04/16 - BW: 193.4
    OHP - 35x5x2, 50x5, 60x3, 70x2, 80x5x3 (PR tie)(not too bad, compared to last June, because form is much better)

    02/06/16 - BW: 196.1
    SQ - 45x5x3, 75x5, 105x3, 135x2, 165x5x3 (tough, but no knee pain afterwards)
    BP - 45x5x2, 70x5, 90x3, 110x2, 130x5x3 (PR)(tough)
    DL - 75x5x2, 110x5, 140x3, 170x2, 200x5 (PR tie)(tough)

    02/08/16 - BW: 197.3
    OHP - 35x5x2, 50x5, 65x3, 75x2, 85x5x3 (PR)(not too bad, til the last two reps of the last set)

    02/09/15 - BW: 195.9
    SQ - 45x5x3, 80x5, 110x3, 140x2, 170x5x3 (not too bad, which is amazing, compared to before)
    DL - 75x5x2, 110x5, 145x3, 175x2, 200x5 (PR tie)(a little tough)

    02/10/16 - BW: 195.8
    BP - 45x5x2, 70x5, 95x3, 115x2, 135x5x3 (PR)(tough)

    02/12/16 - BW: 196.9
    SQ - 45x5x2, 80x5, 115x3, 145x2, 175x5x3 (PR tie)(tough but not too bad, no knee pain afterwards)
    OHP - 45x5x2, 60x5, 70x3, 80x2, 90x5x3 (PR)(barely completed all three sets, though 3rd set was the best)(keep same weight next time)
    DL - 95x5x2, 125x5, 155x3, 185x2, 210x5 (PR)(tough, grip is getting harder to maintain. Moved initial warmup to 95#)

    02/14/16 - BW: 197.3
    BP - 45x5x2, 70x5, 95x3, 120x2, 140x5x3 (PR)(5th reps all hard, last set was ugly. Perhaps keep weight same next workout)

    02/17/16 - BW: 195.2
    Missed a couple days with migraines and a cold. Back to it tonight.
    SQ - 45x5x2, 80x5, 115x3, 150x2, 180x5x3 (PR, finally!)(tough, but all reps were good)(no knee pain the next day)
    OHP - 45x5x2, 60x5, 70x3, 80x2, 90x4, 85x5x2 (90# was not happening tonight, but 85# was fine. Try 87.5# next time)
    PC - 35x3x5 (PR, LOL!)(just learning the lift, 1st time. Weight was easy, but my form is still probably terrible)

    So, that's everything caught to the present. Hope to be making regular updates going forward


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2015


    Glad to see you're back at it, Bob, and thanks for the note on my log. The cohort of people over 50 who started SS in June 2015 must stick together! Keep up the good work.

    Oh, and I was just reading the synopsis of The Quiet Man on Wikipedia, and agree that Sean Thornton sounds like a great character. And one I can identify with because I'm also quiet, of the Irish diaspora, and so strong I'm willing to be thought weak (well, actually not that last part!). That movie is now on my must-see list.

    Last edited by Jimmer; 02-20-2016 at 12:27 PM. Reason: Typo

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015


    Thanks, Jimmer. When you see the movie, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

    Well, had my next workout today. Should have done bench yesterday, and then squat/DL today, per my new schedule. But Friday was too packed with stuff to do, and by 10:15 last night, decided I was just too tired to lift. So I combined all three lifts today.

    2/20/16 - BW: 194.5
    SQ - 45x5x2, 80x5, 115x3, 150x2, 185x5x3 (PR)(tough, but all reps were solid. Move to 190# next time. Getting close to BW!)
    BP - 45x5x2, 70x5, 95x3 (did 5, LOL), 120x2, 140x5x3 (PR tie)(same # as last time. Still very tough, but good reps, and much more stable controlling the bar. Go up 2.5# next time)
    DL - 95x5x2, 125x5, 155x3, 185x2, 215x5 (PR)(pretty tough, but all good reps. Go up 5# next time. Moved first warmups to 95# from 75#, since 75# basically feels like nothing now

    Tomorrow I don't lift, but I am going to a clinic for Special Olympics weightlifting coaches, and my son is going so he can be certified to do squats at the meets. They don't require certification for athletes for BP and DL.
    We're starting up a team at his school, and looks like I'm the coach

    Last edited by SeanThornton; 02-21-2016 at 08:41 AM. Reason: typos, etc

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Walled Lake, Michigan


    You have taken on a fascinating avocation. Good for you!

    I suspect that Squat and DL on the same day would make a person tired regardless of the time of day.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015


    Thanks, Carson, I'm looking forward to teaching the kids a little about lifting, but mainly just making sure they have fun, and get a sense of accomplishment from it.

    The Friday skipped WO was just bench, so not usually THAT tiring, but it was late, and I'd spent 2.5 hours sitting on wooden bleachers at a high school basketball game, so I was pretty stiff. I figured combining the bench with squat and DL the next day made more sense. And since I'm able to do Saturday workouts in the morning, I have more energy anyway!


  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2015


    2/23/16 - BW: 196.4

    NOTE: Used a belt tonight for the first time (found an old one I forgot I had, from about 25 years ago, used for when I helped people move, which was a lot back then). It's 3" in the front, 4" in the back. I LOVED having the belt on for the lifts (especially the OHP). I HATED the tapered belt, and will be getting a 3" belt sometime soon.

    SQ - 45x5x2, 85x5, 120x5 (shoulda been 3), 155x3 (shoulda been 2), 190x5x3 (PR)(tough, but reps were all solid. Next WO will be 195#, which is just about BW!)
    OHP - 45x5x2, 57.5x5, 67.5x3, 77.5x2, 87.5x5x3 (tough, but using a belt helped a lot.)
    PC - 35x3x2, 45x3x5 (PR, LOL!)(form still likely sux, but the weight is still very light. Go to 55# next time. Used 2 minute rests between sets).

    Thinking of signing up for the DL/PC workshop in Chicago in April. I'm beyond sure I can use the help with the PC, and for DL, the weight is getting heavy enough that I want to make sure my form is spot-on.

    For PCs, what do people do for rest periods? The same as you do for 5x3 worksets (I've been resting 8 min between sets of 5). If it's the same, then PC workouts will definitely last a lot longer than DL workouts!!

    Also, need to pay more attention to reps in the warmup sets. Looks like this was volume day for my squats


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Hi Bob, nice progress and it's good to see that you are lifting regularly.

    I am 53 myself, lifting about 12 years and coach beginners and intermediates in a small powerlifting club here in Iceland.

    Do not use long rest periods for PCs. The quick lifts are much less physically taxing than the slow lifts and require less rest. In Olympic lifting contests, competitors only get 2m between attempts if they are lollowing themselves and if they are forced to wait longer because many lifters are attempting similar weights, they typically do extra lifts in between attempts in the warmup area.

    When I clean or snatch I usually rest only as long as it takes to set up the bar again and take a few deep breaths. So my Oly sessions go pretty quickly (I mostly use them as warmup before squats or deads).

    Yes, the squat warmups look a little excessive to my taste. That said, everyone is different when it comes to warmups. I like very little but I know good lifters who like to do tons. You have to find your own rhythm a bit.

    As for the OHP, I like people to go to 4x4 or 5x3 early on that lift. It's hard to progress on staight 5s for very long. Microloading works too.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2015


    Thanks for the feedback, hbriem!

    I'm glad to hear that rests for PCs are supposed to be short. I like the fact that this new weightlifting habit I've taken up doesn't take a lot of my time to implement. And with the shorter rests between sets, it will be good for conditioning, too

    For the squats, I was joking that I did more reps than I intended (just lost focus, and kept going). I usually plan on following the standard SS warmup progression: barx5x2, set1x5, set2x3, set3x2, then worksetx5x3.

    I am going to try your OHP advice on my next workout (will go with 4x4 for now). In the recent sets where I've failed (or come pretty close to it), it's been the last rep that's been the big problem. Guess I just don't have the gas to make 5 hard reps for the press. And this last WO was using microloading (went up 2.5# instead of 5#).

    Thanks again!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2015


    2/25/16 - BW: 194.4

    BP - 45x5x2, 72.5x5, 97.5x3, 122.5x2, 142.5x5x3 (PR)(tough. last rep was slow, but form was good throughout. Up another 2.5# next time)

    Tomorrow, it's squats and deadlift. At the Special Olympics coaching clinic I went to on Sunday, they stressed that they wanted to have the athletes use alternating grip for the deadlift, so I'm switching my son's workouts to alternating.

    Thinking of switching to it myself, though I've still been OK with the standard grip. Is there any reason to not go to alternating if I don't need to yet?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2015


    starting strength coach development program
    2/27/16 - BW: 195.6

    Since I missed the squat & deadlift WO on Friday, combined it with OHP on Saturday.

    SQ - 45x5x2, 85x5, 125x3, 160x2, 195x5x3 (PR! BW squat!)(tough, but no issues, just crushed it!)
    OHP - 45x5x2, 60x5, 70x3, 80x2, 90x4x4 (PR tie)(glad I switched to 4x4 at hbriem's recommendation. Did all 4 sets at 4 reps, but 5th rep would have been questionable in all but the 1st set. Stick with 4x4 for now)
    DL - 95x5x2, 130x5, 160x3, 190x2, 220x5 (PR, very tough sets, but bar speed was OK)

    Meant to try alternating grip on the DLs, but totally forgot. Maybe next time.

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