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Thread: Ready to get strong

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Ready to get strong

    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    I'm a grad student that hasn't touched a barbell since HS baseball. Back then it was all about explosiveness, now I'm ready to test my body's ability to get as strong as it can get. I bought the book, a truckload of rice, chicken, eggs and milk, and a year-long membership to a local strongman gym. Tired of being weak, tired of having aches and pains when I'm only 21, and tired of only being known as an egghead.

    I'm ready to be strong.

    I'll follow a Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday schedule, because it works for me.

    Started last Tuesday - I followed the SS method of finding weight to start at, and here's what I came up with:

    Squat 135
    Bench 115
    Press 65
    DL 185

    BW 194 (Height 5'11)


    Squat 170
    Bench 125 (Sunday)
    Press 70
    DL 220

    BW 197

    My semester (4 month) goals are 135-225-315-405 & BW 220

    Are these reasonable expectations? Or will it take above average results?

    Thanks for the input, and I'm excited to be a part of this community.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020


    Week 2 update:

    This book and program have been the best investment of my young life. My body weight is now 202 lbs and I've lost 2 inches off of my waist. I sound like a freaking infomercial but I don't care. The first hit was strong and now I'm addicted to the iron.

    My working sets today were:

    Squat 185
    Press 75
    Deadlift 245

    Each workout is more weight but seems easier every time. Did I potentially start too low? It likely doesn't matter, I'll still improve every day until I can't anymore.

    Feeling good. Feeling real good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018


    Hey, I'm glad to see you taking this journey.

    You threw some questions into your first couple posts. I'll give my answers.

    Your questions, in reverse order:

    1) Did you potentially start too low? -- Hard to say, but you said you used the SS method (by which I presume you mean you ascended sets of 5 until bar-speed slowdown, then repeated that weight for sets across), so likely not. But if you did: That's a better problem to have than starting too high.

    2) Is 1/2/3/4 plates and 220 bodyweight too lofty a goal for a semester worth of diligent work? -- Well ... that's always a touchy question. I'm working with a young man (age 30) right now who asks that question a lot, and it's an impossible question to answer. All you can do is run the program and see where you get. I finished my LP at 180/290/370/411, but I had some lifting history from the Army. Some have finished with 200/300/400/500, but those are genetic freaks. You may be a genetic freak waiting to be revealed. 1/2/3/4 plates for a 6-foot 200-lb man *who lifts* isn't above average; it's probably average-ish. But: 1/2/3/4 plates on a Novice LP? Too many variables. If you don't hit it on LP, you'll almost certainly hit it once you get into intermediate programming.

    Can I suggest a better question to ask, instead? Try something like:

    Q: Can I be Consistent, Compliant, and Committed to every workout for 16 weeks (roughly a semester)?

    Do that and you'll go far.

    Parting shot: If your LP phase lasts all semester, *that* will be above-average. My LP was 14 weeks. From (dim and fading) memory, I think 7-16 weeks covers one standard deviation left and right of mean. Start reading Practical Programming (the sequel to SS if you didn't know) soon, maybe even now, so that when your LP starts to go asymptotic you're already prepared. And read up on the LP-extending tricks Michael Wolf has published in this forum, so that you already know them before you need them.

    Happy lifting! Welcome to the brotherhood of iron.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020


    Hey Geoff, thanks for the reply.

    1) That's what I was thinking too. If I started too low I'll eventually catch up, I'm just having a hard time being patient. It's easy to get excited and want to add more weight, but I'm controlling myself so far.

    2) You're right, that is a much better question, and one that can only be answered with time. I'd like to say that I'll absolutely follow the program to a T, but talk is cheap.

    3) I'll definitely go ahead and buy PP, I'm hooked on this stuff now.

    An aside - The more I read and study, the more I realize that this is a ridiculously simple program: Sleep well, eat lots of good food & lift progressively heavier weights. That's it. That's all it takes. It's an exciting journey and I'm pumped to see how far LP will take me. I'll keep this board updated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020


    Approaching 1 month update:


    Squat 215
    Bench 150
    OP 95
    Deadlift 275

    Body weight 202

    Still feeling great, lifts arenít really getting any harder yet. Hardest part is eating enough. Getting really tired of hamburger helper, is there a thread for recipes on here? Lol.

    Oh, and 275 deadlift is a PR, so thatís pretty exciting since I pulled it 1x5 no problem.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2020


    Update 2/25/20

    Failed on fifth rep of second set of squats today @250... I think the main culprit is poor form, since I'm still gaining weight (206 lbs today) and sleeping well. It's been a grind every set for the past week. After watching my videos and reading the book, I found that I've been placing the bar in the wrong place, just above the spine of the scapula instead of underneath it.

    I switched the bar to where it's supposed to be during my last workout, and it really strained my shoulders but the squat itself felt much better. I was able to bend over more and "bounce" out of the hole.

    And then I failed today... I think a 10% reset down to 225 will allow me to dial in my form as I ramp back up to higher weights.

    Everything else is still pretty easy. Today's weights 3x5:

    Squat 250 (failed)
    Bench 165
    Deadlift 295
    OP (Sunday) 105

    Still enjoying every day I get to be in the gym. Starting to consider this part of my identity, and it feels good.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2019


    Hey Cale, Welcome! You have joined a great community of likeminded lifters.
    Geoff had some great pearls for you above. I also want to chime in about your the patience factor. It was very difficult for me to not jump ahead and add to much weight at the beginning also, I started 95, 185, 185, 185. Some of these were very low for me some were where i needed to be to start. I found that stepping back with lighter weight for several weeks helped me really hone my technique (still not there but working hard). I also liked it to get used the the rhythm of the program. I am 47 and stronger than I have ever been, this is very much a marathon at my age and I would encourage you to thing that way also. I have my ridiculous goals, 400 squat, 400 Bench, 500 Dead. I have my realistic goals, 365 Squat, 365 Bench, 465 Dead that I am confident I will achieve in a year or less. I know i have some wonky numbers compared others but that is what this is all about, working on my weaknesses and putting the pedal to the medal on strengths, why not?

    Practical Programming is a great read. Check out Barbell Logic podcast, specifically there latest "Master Class" series. I have listened to them all at least 4 times. I am sure you don't have that much time but you will be amazed at how it will help you think your way through stalls and such.

    I have my 71 year old mom on this program and she loves it. I have my D3 Hockey nephew working his upper body and healing his lower body on this program and he is killing it.

    In your first blog you mentioned being too young soar this young, how is that going? I know for me at literally week 4, my chronic back pain was cut in half. Like I said I am 47, pain is going to be part of my life for here on out, probably. But I feel better than I have for about 10 years. My mom, said she has only used icy hot once since were started this program and she was using it EVERY DAY, that's life changing.

    Good work, keep it up, keep us posted, we're watching and celebrating your progress


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Walled Lake, Michigan


    Good to see young men on board. I didn't start until I was 66. Your goals for LP are my eventual goals. Of course mine will take about 8 years while yours should get done in 16 weeks. Go get 'em. Youth is always served in these matters if you keep at it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020


    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks for the replies fellas, it means a lot to know that there are other average joes out there just trying to get as strong as theyíre able.

    Travis - As far as the stiffness and soreness goes, I totally agree, my body feels better than it has in a long time. (I was too young to feel that damn old) Iíve had some nagging injuries from HS that are all the sudden becoming non-factors. I used to wake up every morning stiff and aching, now I hop out of bed with more energy and less pain than I thought was possible.

    I hear ya about it being a marathon, but itís tough some days. I look at my log book and excel spreadsheets and dream about the progress I can make if I push it a little harder. Dumb, I know, but itís fun to see a 405 deadlift only 8 weeks out lol. But every day I improve, and every day I become more appreciative of another chance to get in the gym.

    Its not a ďworkout cycleĒ itís a lifestyle.

    I have actually been making my way through the barbell logic podcasts on longer drives to research centers and conferences. Theyíre full of great insight! And Matt and Scott seem really genuine and make me laugh.

    Carson - Iím glad I found this lifestyle so early on. Itís changing the way I think about the world. If you can be strong, why would you choose to not be? As much as itís improved my day-to-day, I can only imagine it has transformed your life tremendously. Itís nice to have folks out there to remind me that this isnít a fad. It can be beneficial at all ages. Again, if you can be strong, why would you not be?



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