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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Stronger Than Yesterday

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    A training log -- I've been keeping a paper log in a composition notebook, but I have crummy and big handwriting, so I'll start using this place to record my comments and observations, and then maybe I can show neat columns of weights lifted in my notebook, like the examples in SS-BBT3.

    Me:
    Female, 59 y/o and seeing the end of my sixth decade approaching rapidly. I had a sedentary profession, following 7 years of university study, also largely sedentary. History of debilitating sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy), but shoulders, knees, hips and other joints are still working nicely and pain-free. Height 5'6", weight and bodyfat % none-of-your-business, but you can assume too much. I'm doing the SS program while also restricting calories, logging them on myfitnesspal -- with 1800 cals per day, 115g pro, 180g carb, 70g fat as targets. (I lost 30 lbs, slowly, with same calorie target in 2015 and have kept that weight off.) I've done long-slow cardio for nearly 40 years (jogging at first, up to half-marathon distance in my 30s, until bunions developed from that), and between ages 30 and 44 I was also a backpacker (cardio/endurance activity). After my first lumbar MRI I was advised never to run or lift anything heavier than 20 lbs again, which advice I've followed for about 15 years. I had a dog at that time, so I still walked at least an hour a day, and have continued that until now. On the SS program, I still hike about an hour on non-lifting days, which I consider part of "active rest" since I was well used to doing it before I began strength training.

    Goals:
    Backpacking this summer in the mountains of California.
    Improve markers of metabolic syndrome (blood lipids, blood pressure, waist size).
    Squat at least 100; Deadlift at least 125; press at least 50; Bench at least 75.

    Why I'm doing SS:
    I went on a hiking trip to CA last summer, for which the group hired a mule packer to carry our tents, etc, into the mountains so we could hike with just day packs. On our longest hike during those several days, I fell twice while coming down the mountain. I did not trip over anything; the cause of the falls was strictly leg fatigue. So I realized I needed to do something more to get stronger. I turned to the internet for info, and found a lot of confusing stuff, until finally one day I was watching exercise videos on YouTube when one of Rip's "On the Platform" pieces came up -- and a thumbnail image of the cover of SS-BBT3 was there. I ordered the book from Amazon immediately, on December 1st, 2017, and worked at the slow lifts, starting by doing the squat movement for several reps with nothing but body weight, which was enough to give me DOMS in the adductors the day after my first squats. I found technique bars of 20 lbs and under at my local gym and worked at SS for about 3 weeks in December, and then I got pneumonia. So this log covers only the period after recovery from that illness. For about 3 weeks I couldn't do much of anything physical, so I used the time to study the book and to watch a crap-ton of SS videos. Then in January I started again.

    Sometimes I've had to modify the exercises due to equipment limitations at the commercial gym and the YMCA I've been using. Their technique bars are made with diameters that don't fit regular plates, so you have to improvise. Also, at the beginning I included bent-over, single-arm dumbbell rows for a while, in addition to doing both the press and bench press at every workout. I was using such light weights that the workouts did not stress me much, and I wanted something to do between sets. So if someone wants to see what happens to me after I cut out the rows and start just "doing the program as written," feel free to skip on down to February 8, 2018, which is when the weights got heavy enough to make me feel beat up, and I dropped the extra exercise. I still deadlift every time I lift, but have dropped doing sets across on the work sets of that exercise, too. (I think that still counts as doing the program, since Sully's book says masters females can tolerate more deadlifting than the men, and moreover, I'm not doing power cleans.)

    My abbreviations: SQ=squat; PR=press; BN=bench; DL=deadlift; LAT=lat pulldowns; BW=bodyweight; DB=dumbbell; KB=kettlebell

    Th 1-18-18
    SQ 20x5x3 (warmup was BWx6)
    PR 20x5x3
    RDL 20x5x3
    DB Bench 20x5x3
    Row 10 lb each hand, 3x10

    Su 1-21-18
    SQ BWx6
    20x5x1
    30x5x2
    20x5x1 (a back-off set, because I was overly fatigued to do 3 sets at 30 lbs)
    PR 20x5x3
    BN 20x5x3; DB Bench 30x5x1
    RDL 30x5x3
    Row 15 lb ea hand, 3x10

    Tu 1-23-18
    SQ BWx5
    18x5x2 (changed from YouFit to YMCA; different equipment)
    30x5x1
    PR 20x5x3
    BN 20x5x1
    30x5x3
    DL 30x5x1 (using plastic "step" platforms and 4' bar with fixed plates)
    DB RDL 30x5x1, 35x5x1
    Row 15 lb ea. hand, 3x8

    Th 1-25-18
    SQ BWx5
    15.4x5 (small bar and plates from Studio 1)
    20x5
    30x5x3
    PR 15.4x8
    28.6x5x3 (I messed up converting KG to lbs and lifted more than I'd planned! DOMS in triceps the next few days.)
    BN 25x5x3
    DL 35x5x3 (using kettlebell, hereinafter KB)
    Row 17.5 lb each hand, 3x10

    Sat 1-27-18
    SQ BWx15
    22x5x2
    35.2x5x3 (Too much good morning-type action - HIP Drive!)
    PR 26.4x5x3 (Breathe after bar is back to your collarbone.)
    BN 30x5x2
    35x5x1 (DB)
    DL 40x5x3 (KB) (still feels pretty easy)
    Row 17.5 lb each, 2x10 (No 3d set b/c feeling beat up)
    On Squat and Press, I've found the weight where form starts to suffer.

    Tu 1-30-18
    SQ BWx15
    22x5x2
    26.4x3x2
    35.2x5x3
    PR 26.4x5x3
    BN 35x5x3 (DB)
    DL 35x5 (KB)
    45x5x3 (Rack pull empty bar, standing on stacked plates so bar is 9" above my soles)
    Row 15 ea hand for 1x10, 17.5 ea. hand for 2x10

    Th 2-01-18
    SQ BWx10
    20x5
    30x5
    40x5x3
    DL 45x5x3 (Rack pull standing on stacked plates with bar 9" above my soles - did exercise out of order due to traffic at the rack)
    PR 30x5x3
    BN 40x5x3 (Hard grind; bar wobbling L to R a lot)
    Row 17.5 ea hand, 3x10

    Sat 2-03-18 -- coaching session with Robert Santana -- I did not have a chance to write down all warmup sets.
    SQ BWxmany
    15x5
    26x5
    45x5x3
    PR 32x5x1 (plus warmups w/ less weight that I did not write down)
    DL 105x5x1 (plus warmups w/ much less weight that I did not write down)
    BN 45x5x3
    Row 17 lb ea hand, 15 reps
    I didn't ask Robert how he knew that I'd be able to pull 105 from the floor, when I didn't know it myself. From comments of other coaches in the videos I'm guessing it had something to do with bar speed on my deadlifts at lighter weights. Anyway, he's the reason for the 60-lb jump on DL from what I'd pulled the previous workout. On the next workout I took a bit of weight off the bar so I could do sets across and practice form.

    Tu 2-06-18
    SQ BWx10
    20x5x1
    30x5x1
    45x5x3
    PR 32x5x3 (30-lb short bar + microplates and zip ties)
    BN 45x5x3 (still a struggle)
    DL 40x5 (KB)
    65x5 (from the floor -- the Y has 10-lb 17-in plates)
    95x5x3
    LAT 65x6 assisted pullups w/ neutral grip, then 65x6 with chin grip, then 65x2 w/ neutral grip

    Three weeks/ Nine workouts done. Next post will summarize workouts from 2-08-18 to 2-16-18, which are closer to "doing the program as written," because I cut out the rows and began to alternate PR and BN instead of doing both at every workout.
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-14-2018 at 01:48 PM. Reason: just adding boldface here and there

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Default Stronger Than Yesterday

    Th 2-08-18
    SQ
    20x5
    30x5, 3
    40x3
    50x5x3
    BN
    20x5
    30x5
    40x3
    47.5x5x3
    DL
    45x5x2 (Rack pull, 9" height)
    65x5
    85x5
    100x5x3
    LAT 65x8x2 Chinup assist, neutral grip
    60x8 lat pulldowns, supine grip (R thumb tendonitis causing sharp pain ~3" above wrist bone w/ supine grip exercises)

    SQ notes -- MIDFOOT Balance! Point your chest at the floor, keep same back angle until knees have mostly extended.
    DL notes -- once your stance is set, it's grip/shins/breathe/extend/quads.


    Sat 2-10-18
    SQ
    20x5x2
    30x5, 3
    40x5
    55x5x3
    (Eyes on scratch in finish of the rack's bottom rail.)
    PR
    10x5x2 (using DBs)
    20x5x2
    30x5
    34.5x5x3
    (Elbows in front of the bar; tilt index fingers toward each other to get grip right.)
    DL
    45x5x2 (using KB)
    65x3, 5, 3 (lots of re-sets between reps at this weight; work on form and getting away from bruising the shins)
    85x5
    100x5
    Grip/shins/breathe/extend/quads
    LAT 70x8x1 (chin assist machine neutral grip), then 60x10
    70x5, 60x5 (lat pulldown machine)
    10-lb jumps are too much for me on these machines -- find 5-lb weight to bring along to gym B4 next workout.


    Mon 2-12-18
    SQ
    20x8x2
    30x5
    40x5
    50x3
    60x5x3
    (1st set @60 lbs, a couple reps were ass-to-grass, too low)
    BN
    20x10
    30x10
    45x5x2
    50x5x3
    (FORGOT that one should NEVER collar the weights on bench press. Tried a 6th rep on 2d work set, because one earlier rep had been sloppy, but failed the 6th rep and had to fight the bar off my chest! The silver lining - it happened while there was just 50 lbs, and I won't forget that soon.)
    DL
    45x5x1 (using KB)
    65 - 3 singles, then sets of 3, 5, 3 -- slow, working on form
    85x5
    100x5x2
    LAT 65x10x2 pulldowns
    65x10 neutral grip chin assists (HARD)


    Wed 2-14-18
    SQ
    20x8x2
    30x5
    40x5
    50x5
    60x5x3
    65x5x3
    PR
    20x5x1
    30x5x2
    37.4x5x3
    DL
    45x5 (using KB)
    65 3 singles, then sets of 5 and 3
    85x5x1
    105x5x1
    LAT 65x10x3 pulldowns, 1st and 3d sets w/ chins grip, 2d set w/ pullups grip, but could not get bar to chest on last few reps of pullups grip set.

    Remember to use L hand for spring collars on bar -- save your R thumb tendon! (Better collars ordered from Rogue.) Bad erector spinae pain L side last evening, but OK during workout today.


    Fri 2-16-18
    SQ
    30x5x2
    40x5x2
    50x5x1
    60x3x1 (slow-ish bar)
    70x5x3 (1st set, sloppy last rep w/ weight on toes -- lost confidence after rep 3. Talked myself back up for sets 2 and 3. The bar will feel heavy on your back when you un-rack it, but remember that your hips & legs can take it.)
    BN
    30x11
    45x5
    52.5x5x3
    (I moved the spring collars away from the bench press station while resting between squat sets, to make sure I wouldn't put them on the bar out of habit.)
    DL
    65x3, 5
    75x5
    85x5
    95x5
    105x5
    LAT 70x10x3 -- lat pulldowns; no more chin assist machine in the plans.
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-12-2018 at 05:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    I kept a sleep log for the past week, to get a better picture of my recovery resources. The numbers are appx hours of sleep, the plus signs represent gaps when I was awake in the middle of the night. This pattern is typical for me, at this time of my life. (I don't know anyone my age or older who get 7-8 hours a night.)
    Fri 2 + 4.5
    Sat 2 + 2
    Sun 2 + 4.5
    Mon 4.5 + ?? (very little)
    Tue 5
    Wed 2.5 + 2 + 2 (to get 6.5 hours I had to be in bed for 9)
    Thurs 6.5

  4. #4
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    As a fellow hiker, I feel your pain and concern!

    I shall follow your log and be a great cheerleader for you!

    It is definitely all about being stronger than yesterday.

  5. #5
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    Gallup, New Mexico
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    Deadlifts are looking good! You'll hit your goal in no time.

    Your sleep patterns look pretty similar to my wife's. She's lifting too. I wonder if weight training will help with that?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by codger View Post
    Deadlifts are looking good! You'll hit your goal in no time.

    Your sleep patterns look pretty similar to my wife's. She's lifting too. I wonder if weight training will help with that?
    Yeah, it's helping already --The Tues night and Thurs night 5- and 6.5-hour stints of sleep would not have happened before lifting. What's confusing to me is that they happened after "rest" days and not lifting days. But I'll take better sleep, whenever!
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 02-17-2018 at 03:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Stronger Than Yesterday

    Monday 02-19-18 - Presidents' Day
    SQ
    30x5x2
    45x5
    60x3
    75x5x3 (tough but do-able - a bit of good morning action on a couple of reps -- gotta watch that back angle so the bar does not get out in front of mid-foot.)
    PR
    20x5
    30x5x2
    45x5x1
    40x5x2
    VERY SLOW at 45 lbs -- I bit off more than I could chew, but did finish the 5 reps. Previous press work sets were 37.4 lbs -- I screwed up when I wrote the plan for this workout, because it's obvious I should have written 40 rather than 45. So I did 2 sets of 5 @40lbs as "backoff sets." Probably DOMS tomorrow!
    DL
    65x3x5
    90x5
    110x5
    Deadlifts still moving along nicely.
    LAT 70x10x3
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-12-2018 at 05:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    2- 4- 6- 8- who do we appreciate? Amyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! (See, tol'ja I'm a great cheerleader!)

    Nice lifting. Keep going, don't miss a workout and be shocked at your results.

  9. #9
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    Wow, Oldster, You were not kidding about becoming a cheering section on my log. Thank you for caring.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    Wed 2-21-18
    Squat and deadlift were extra-tough, Wednesday. I may have reached the point in LP where I can't keep adding 5 lbs per workout to those two lifts. Or maybe it was just not my day, and the next workout will go better. But, I'm disturbed that this morning (Thurs) I keep having pain in my left knee, toward the inside of the knee, even at rest. (It actually started while I was still lying in bed, listening to the radio, but there was no pain yesterday, during the workout itself or the evening following.) It comes as a brief pulse of pain and then stops, but it keeps happening. Hm . . . Maybe I'll do the same weights on Friday and wait to add more weight to the bar until Monday, when I've had a 2-day rest.

    SQ
    30x5x2
    45x5x2
    65x3x1
    80x2x1, 80x5x2, 80x3x1
    On the 1st set @80lbs, on the 3d rep I let my torso drop forward too far, and the bar rolled toward my neck (Scary). But I recovered well enough to stand back up and rack the bar OK. That's why the 1st work set was only 2 reps. (I didn't count that ugly 3d rep.) The 2d work set went better, though a couple reps were a bit wobbly. I cranked the upper back as tight as I could get, and concentrated more on back angle, to control the bar. (I don't think I have that "shelf of muscle" formed by the deltoids, on which Rip says one is supposed to rest the bar. Maybe the press will develop the deltoids?) The 3d work set of SQ was a bit ragged due to fatigue. I did a 4th work set, 3 reps, to make up for the 1st one being short.
    BN
    45x5x3
    50x5x1
    55x5x3
    This lift went pretty well. I did not have the triceps DOMS I had expected, from lifting too heavy on my 1st work set of press on Monday. So will forge ahead 2 or 2.5 lbs on Friday, on press. Next time I bench, I'll work harder on upper back arch and using the lats to support the arch.
    DL
    65x3x5
    95x5x2
    115x5
    LAT
    65x8x1 with supine grip, 65x8x1 with neutral grip, on the assisted chinup machine, done before I could get to the platform for deadlifts.
    70x10x2 with supine grip, on lat pulldown machine, done after deadlifts.
    R wrist still hurts when using supine grip with a straight bar and wide-ish grip. I can control it better on the lat pulldown machine, which has a handle that permits a narrower grip than the assisted chins machine. I applied ice to the thumb joint and wrist after I got home from the gym. This morning I started taking Tylenol ER, 650mg, every 8 hours. (I'd been using ibuprofen sporadically before, but now I'm getting more organized about inflammation control.)
    Last edited by Amy-in-PHX; 03-12-2018 at 05:38 PM.

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