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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    77

    Default Zeppelin Rambles On

    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
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    Stats:

    Age: 37
    Sex: Male
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: 175lbs

    Background:

    I never really contemplated physical fitness until I was in my early 20's. By this time, my metabolism was being outpaced by pizza, Mexican food, beer, and margaritas. I had brief stints with Men's Fitness workouts and Body for Life. Nearing 30, I fell prey to the P90X hype and did a phase of that. I lost weight but Tony Horton was not going to be recruiting me for the next informercial. I was tired as hell and tired of hearing those same jokes over and over.

    In my early 30's, I went Paleo for health reasons -- looking to mitigate mystery joint pain -- and happened to lose quite a bit of weight. I ate this way for roughly three years and during the process, of course, I became familiar with Crossfit. I briefly joined a box, but I couldn't stand the "fraternity/social" vibe and the cheezy encouragement of one another. I just wanted everyone to leave me alone and let me do the WOD. Ultimately, I ended up quitting and building a home gym in my garage where I did mainsite for six months. This wore me down. I got a little stronger and my cardio tolerance went up, but mostly I just finished every workout feeling dead. The most I ever deadlifted was 225 and the most I ever squatted was 165. Those were probably singles and my form was likely atrocious.

    After quite a while off, I had a friend at work introduce me to Mike Matthew's Bigger Leaner Stronger. Accompanying this book is a one-year weightlifting program which I just completed last week. While it's based around the four core lifts and doing three sets of 4-6 reps -- sounds familiar -- it also incorporates a lot of accessory work and has a huge focus on calories/macros. I learned a lot of discipline on this program and saw some good results. I'm currently in the best shape I've ever been in my life.

    Currently, my working sets are:

    Press: 105
    Bench: 170
    Squat: 200
    Deadlift: 255 (I've done 275, but my form sucked and I tweaked my back)

    These numbers represent on average about a 50% increase in strength over the course of the 1-year program. I'm pleased with that progress, but I'm not blown away by it, especially with the reading I've done in SS and regarding the novice effect. My ability to capitalize on this phenomenon was constrained dramatically by the fact that during the first six months of the program, I was eating between 1700-1900 cals/day.

    On the other hand, the benefits of the program were two-fold: i) I did not miss a single workout the entire year and learned that I have a lot of discipline, and ii) I gained the habit of tracking what I eat and learning how it affects my weight and composition. I started the program around 178lbs and 21% body fat. At my leanest, I was down to 158lbs and 7.7% body fat. And, while it was fun to have abs for the first time (which I've since lost), I want to get stronger.

    The Plan:

    So, BLS has a sequel (Beyond BLS), but he clearly states that it's for an intermediate lifter and gave some weights you should be able to lift prior. I am nowhere near those levels. As a result, I started looking around for something to do next. My buddy Alex wanted me to try Dan John's Mass Made Simple, but after buying it and looking at it I've decided that is for another day. I've known about SS for quite some time but had the notion that since I just lifted weights for year that perhaps I was no longer the target audience (obviously a misguided notion). Then, I stumbled across Wendler's 5/3/1 and the spreadsheetability and recipe-like nature of it really appealed to me. I was resolved to do it until I read a thread on here where people claimed it was also more of an intermediate program and perhaps even shouldn't be done until after Texas Method. At the same time, my buddy Thomas is in my ear about how he does SS and his lifts are all ahead of mine (except bench). We're built similarly, so it was a persuasive point; especially since he's only been lifting for 4-6 months compared to my 12.

    So, here I am. I'm working my way through Starting Strength and Practical Programming. I've bought the app and have read all its content and watched all the videos. I'll start this Monday, April 25th, 2016.

    While I enjoy writing, I'm not sure how many people really follow these logs or if it's more of a self-serving diary. With the idea that hopefully some people will follow along and give advice, I'll try to keep my posts to the point and easy to read.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Refinery State
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    2,307

    Default

    Hi Z,

    first of all, welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll get plenty of feedback from the folks who hang out here. With the book & posting here you are off to a great start.

    1) you are too light. 175 at 6'2" is SKINNY. If you want to be strong, at that height, your weight should begin with a 2, eventually. Eat. Read Jordan Feigenbaum's "To be a beast". Re. Paleo: you need some carbs esp. on workout days ...

    2) I'd give the plain novice LP a shot. Find your starting weights, try to increase weights every workout etc.. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Once you have exhausted that you should think about advanced novice, HLM etc. Once those are exhausted, TM, 5/3/1, KUA etc could be right. As you are not 20 anymore, TM might be too much - it was for me at age 42 - or you might be able to handle it. I'm on a version of Wendler's 5/3/1 now and that's manageable.

    3) Did I mention you should eat?

    4) Very important: make sure your form is good. You can post technique form checks here (technique forum), or even better find a coach, a real SSC. Texas has a few good ones!

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peez View Post
    Hi Z,

    first of all, welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll get plenty of feedback from the folks who hang out here. With the book & posting here you are off to a great start.

    1) you are too light. 175 at 6'2" is SKINNY. If you want to be strong, at that height, your weight should begin with a 2, eventually. Eat. Read Jordan Feigenbaum's "To be a beast". Re. Paleo: you need some carbs esp. on workout days ...

    2) I'd give the plain novice LP a shot. Find your starting weights, try to increase weights every workout etc.. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Once you have exhausted that you should think about advanced novice, HLM etc. Once those are exhausted, TM, 5/3/1, KUA etc could be right. As you are not 20 anymore, TM might be too much - it was for me at age 42 - or you might be able to handle it. I'm on a version of Wendler's 5/3/1 now and that's manageable.

    3) Did I mention you should eat?

    4) Very important: make sure your form is good. You can post technique form checks here (technique forum), or even better find a coach, a real SSC. Texas has a few good ones!

    Good luck!
    Thanks, peez.

    FWIW, I don't eat Paleo any longer and get plenty of carbs these days. I'm working my way through "To Be a Beast." From what I've skimmed, it looks like he actually makes some calorie/macro recommendations similar to what I've been doing, although maybe about 10-20% more calories.

    I'm definitely going to give plain novice a shot. I'm somewhat at a loss of where to start since I already know I can do the above weights 3x5, but it's a fight. I'm tempted to back off my current weights 10-20lbs and really hone my form and give myself a few weeks to get back to those numbers with a lot more calories in my system. I think I'll just start with the empty bar and follow the protocol, but I have a pretty good idea where I'll land already.

    I think my form is pretty decent. I need to work on the little hip drive on the press. I need to work on pushing my knees out and making sure my feet are at 30 degrees on the squat. I think my deadlift is pretty solid form, although I guess I've never actually seen what my back looks like. I should probably stop wearing my 4" belt, it appears, too. I'll try to take some vids if I build up the courage to have everyone see the lifts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,684

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    What Peez said. To do SSLP correctly, you need to be eating a surplus of calories. Probably looking for weight gains of .5-1lbs per week. Other aspects of recovery are extremely important as well. Maximize your sleep and practice good sleep hygiene. One example, I wear earplugs while sleeping because of ambient noise levels. Minimize stress levels. Good form is extremely important, but don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Expect a little form breakdown at limit weights. Post form checks. (It's free!). Put in the hard work and you will get good results.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Str8shutr View Post
    What Peez said. To do SSLP correctly, you need to be eating a surplus of calories. Probably looking for weight gains of .5-1lbs per week. Other aspects of recovery are extremely important as well. Maximize your sleep and practice good sleep hygiene. One example, I wear earplugs while sleeping because of ambient noise levels. Minimize stress levels. Good form is extremely important, but don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Expect a little form breakdown at limit weights. Post form checks. (It's free!). Put in the hard work and you will get good results.
    Thanks, Str8. I'll try to log my weight and cals, too, to see if they track properly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Manhattan, NYC
    Posts
    789

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    Welcome to the forum :-) People follow the logs, but even if they don't I find it strangely helpful to keep myself accountable by posting my workouts on here. It's also encouraging to spy on other people's progress and see stronger people to keep myself from getting complacent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Walled Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    5,976

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    I'll add my welcome. Stick with Novice LP until you exhaust it. You are very skinny. Don't be surprised if you follow the program that you wind up 200-220. Post some vids and find a certified SS coach. Heck, Texas is the headquarters of SS so you should have little trouble finding one within a reasonable drive distance.

    Keep at it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    191

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    Welcome. I hope you find the books helpful; the program is the only thing that has ever worked for me despite a couple of decades of on and off screwing around in the gym (the detailed instructions on how to do the lifts really help). No doubt you'll find yourself getting even stronger in a hurry.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    77

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarthaF View Post
    Welcome to the forum :-) People follow the logs, but even if they don't I find it strangely helpful to keep myself accountable by posting my workouts on here. It's also encouraging to spy on other people's progress and see stronger people to keep myself from getting complacent.
    Thanks, Martha. It has been encouraging to see some of the progressions in other logs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Texas
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by carson View Post
    I'll add my welcome. Stick with Novice LP until you exhaust it. You are very skinny. Don't be surprised if you follow the program that you wind up 200-220. Post some vids and find a certified SS coach. Heck, Texas is the headquarters of SS so you should have little trouble finding one within a reasonable drive distance.

    Keep at it.
    Appreciate the note. I'm currently a bit skeptical about how long I'll be able to LP, because I have a hard time mentally accepting I can move some of the weight required. It's also hard to envision myself gaining 30#. It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

    I'm not far from Kingwood. I might have to swing over there to meet Andy at some point. I think he's a fellow Aggie.

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