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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default John's NLP

    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    34 year old male
    6' 0"

    Beginning on 12/16/2019

    BW: 182 lb
    Squat: 175 lb
    Deadlift: 185 lb
    Press: 85 lb
    Bench: 155 lb

    As of 3/13/2020

    BW: 195.2 lb
    Squat: 275 lb
    Deadlift: 275 lb
    Press: 117.5 lb
    Bench: 205 lb

    My starting weight for squat was too high. As I progressed early on, I had bad form creep. It wasn't until I got to about 255# that it really concerned me. My knees were sliding forward a lot at the bottom, which became very apparent when I started filming my sets. So, at the end of January, I dropped back to 205#. I dropped back 50# partly to ensure I'd fix my technique, but also partly because I figured my squat shouldn't be so close to my deadlift. I worked my way back to 275# this past Friday, but I tweaked my back pretty bad after the final rep. I'll need to drop the weight again next workout.

    Deadlift is by far the most problematic for me. Early on, I was taking too aggressive leaps in weight between workouts, and my grip was beginning to fail. Resetting fixed that. I got up to 275 before I needed to reset again, this time simply because I couldn't do all my reps. Eventually, I hit 305 for one rep, but I tweaked my back hard trying to pull a second rep. So, that's my third reset for DL. My technique has never been dialed in. I typically fail to get my lower back set in proper extension, and I also tend to keep my hips too high and turn the lift into a stiff leg deadlift. When reviewing the video of my last set for 5 at 275, it looked very "stiff leg" to me.

    For Press, I got up to 127.5# before I stalled. I just haven't been able to do all of my reps at 127.5, though it's probably because of technique. It's hard for me to shift my weight to my toes then explode back under the bar. Somehow, I end up overextending my hip (if that's even the right phrase); I tweak something in my right hip flexor, and it hurts to walk for a while when that happens.

    Bench is the only thing I haven't had problems with yet, though I haven't done bench consistently. There are times I'm in a gym that doesn't have a bench.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2020


    NLP Data Log

    34 y/o male, 6' 0"

    All weights in pounds unless otherwise specified.

    SQ = Low Bar Back Squat
    DL = Deadlift
    P = Overhead Press
    BP = Bench Press
    BW = Bodyweight

    1x5 = One set of five reps
    1-2-3-4 = 1 set of 1 rep, 1 set of 2 reps, 1 of 3, and 1 of 4

    12/16 SQ: 175 (3x5) P: 85 (3x5) DL: 185 (1x5)
    12/18 SQ: 185 (3x5) BP: 155 (3x5) DL: 195 (1x5)
    12/20 SQ: 195 (3x5) P: 95 (3x5) DL: 225 (1x5)

    12/23 SQ: 205 (3x5) BP: 165 (3x5) DL: 235 (1x5)
    12/25 [no workout; travel day]
    12/27 SQ: 210 (3x5) P: 100 (3x5) DL: 240 (2 reps)

    12/29 SQ: 215 (3x5) BP: 170 (3x5) DL: 235 (2 reps)
    12/31 SQ: 185, P: 95, DL: 185 [spent today relearning the lifts, for some reason]
    01/03 SQ: 185 (3x5) P: 95 (3x5) DL: 215 (1x5)

    01/06 SQ: 195 (3x5) P: 100 (3x5) DL: 220 (1x5) Chins: BW (3x5)
    01/08 SQ: 205 (3x5) P: 100 (3x5) DL: 230 (1x5) Chins: BW (7-7-6)
    01/10 SQ: 215 (3x5) P: 105 (3x5) DL: 240 (1x5)

    01/13 SQ: 225 (3x5) BP: 170 (3x5) DL: 250 (1x5)
    01/15 SQ: 230 (3x5) P: 110 (3x5) DL: 255 (1x5)
    01/17 SQ: 235 (3x5) BP: 175 (3x5) DL: 265 (1x5) Chins: BW (9-6-6)

    01/20 SQ: 240 (3x5) P: 115 (3x5) PC: 115 (learning) Chins: BW (10-6-4)
    01/22 SQ: 245 (3x5) BP: 180 (3x5) DL: 275 (3 reps)
    01/24 SQ: 250 (3x5) P: 115 (3x5) DL: 275 (4 reps) Chins: BW (9-6-4)

    01/27 SQ: 255 (3x5) BP: 185 (3x5) DL: 275 (3 reps)
    01/29 SQ: 205 (3x5) P: 117.5 (3x5) DL: 255 (1x5) Chins: BW (9-7-6)
    01/30 Deadlift Practice, 255 (3x5)
    01/31 SQ: 210 (3x5) BP: 190 (3x5) DL: 265 (1x5)

    02/03 SQ: 215 (3x5) P: 120 (3x5) PC: 115 (4x3)
    02/05 SQ: 220 (3x5) BP: 195 (3x5) DL: 275 (1x5) Chins: BW (8-6-7)
    02/08 SQ: 225 (3x5) P: 125 (5-4-3) PC: 125 (5x3) Chins: BW (11-8-6)

    02/10 SQ: 230 (3x5) P: 120 (5-5-4-1) DL: 285 (2-1)
    02/12 [no workout; travel]
    02/14 SQ: 230 (3x5) P: 125 (4-4-4-3) DL: 275 (1x5) Chins: BW (9-7-6)

    02/17 SQ: 235 (3x5) P: 125 (3x5) DL: 285 (1x5) Chins: BW (12-8-6)
    02/19 SQ: 240 (3x5) BP: 195 (3x5) PC: 135 (5x3)
    02/21 SQ: 245 (3x5) P: 127.5 (5-4-4-2) DL: 295 (1x5) Chins: BW (11-8-6)

    02/24 SQ: 250 (3x5) BP: 200 (3x5) DL: 305 (1 rep - back tweak) Chins: BW (11-8-6)
    02/26 SQ: 255 (3x5) P: 127.5 (5-5-4-1) PC: 145 (5x3)
    02/28 [no workout; travel]

    03/02 [no workout; travel]
    03/04 SQ: 255 (3x5) P: 127.5 (5-4-4-2) DL: 255 (1x5) Chins: BW (10-6-4)
    03/06 SQ: 260 (3x5) BP: 200 (3x5) DL 265 (1x5) Chins: BW (10-7-5)

    03/09 SQ: 265 (3x5) P: 115 (3x5) Chins: 12.5kg (learning)
    03/11 SQ: 270 (3x5) BP: 205 (3x5) DL: 275 (1x5) Chins: BW (11-9-6)
    03/13 SQ: 275 (3x5 - back tweak) P: 117.5 (3x5) Chins: 12.5kg (3x5)

    Move to new gym on 03/17
    03/17 SQ: 115kg (3x5) P: 55kg (3x5) DL: 127kg (3-1-1)
    Back to old gym on 03/19
    03/19 SQ: 200 (3x5) P: 122.5 (3x5) DL: 255 (1x5) Chins: BW (14-9-8)

    Weigh Ins
    12/16 182#
    01/24 187#
    02/21 191#
    03/06 193#
    03/13 195#
    03/20 195#
    03/27 198.6#
    04/03 195#
    04/10 195.2#
    Last edited by John Brothers; 04-09-2020 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Ongoing Data Updates

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019


    You're progressing and figuring things out. Quickly looking at this I think you stuck with 10lb increases on the deadlift for too long. I would have dropped the increases to 5 lbs and held off the chins for awhile. Your squat and deadlift are now equal which isn't ideal. Santana has an article addressing this if I remember right.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020


    Have you submitted a form check video for deads? The coaches could help a lot. I'm not a coach, or even close, but without seeing it, you have symptoms of jerking the bar off the ground. Are you doing that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2020


    I'm not sure I could have avoided my squat catching up to my deadlift. It would have helped if I'd started with a more conservative weight on squat, but even then, I'd have made much more rapid progress on squat than deadlift. DL has always been problematic for me, due to a combination of poor form and frequent back tweaks.

    Of all the things I do wrong in DL, I don't think jerking the bar off the floor is one of them. I haven't posted a form check video yet, but I should be able to after my workout today.

    It wouldn't have occurred to me to drop to 5# increments so early on, namely because my DL weights look so light relative to other males' NLPs I've seen....

    My whole experience is probably a good case study in why having a coach is good idea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default 3/17/2020

    Moved to a new gym. All plates are now in kg. The bars are also unbent, which is an improvement over my normal gym. Should be nice, until they close due to COVID.

    Squat: 115kg (3 sets of 5)
    Press: 55kg (3 sets of 5)
    Deadlift: 127kg (3-1-1)

    Not sure I'm learning forward enough in squat. I was beginning to feel gassed by the third set of press. I was very gassed going into deadlift; it devolved into a triple, then two singles. After the first three reps, I had to stand up without the bar and breathe for a few seconds before each of my last two reps. I don't think I'm eating enough carbs.

    Unsure what to do with weights. Will probably start having my second workout of the week on squats be a light day. I can move to 2kg increments on deadlift, but I feel like I'm going to hit a wall pretty quickly. I'm also still in the awkward position of my squat and deadlift being close to the same, but I don't know what to do about that either.

    Form videos will follow shortly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default 03/19

    Was able to squeeze one more workout in, but looks like every gym I could possibly access has closed due to COVID. I'll have no barbell access for the remainder of March, at least.

    Sets today:
    Squat 200# (3x5) - Was going to make my mid-week workout a backoff day for Squat. Today was meant to give me more recovery time and to fix form issues.
    Press 122.5# (3x5) - I'm still experiencing issues with my hip bounce.
    Deadlift 255# (1x5) - Dropped back to fix form issues and ensure I could string all 5 reps together. Got my reps, but lower back extension is still concerning me.
    Chin-Ups at BW (14-9-8)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2020


    I have an update, but not a very important one. I mostly just want to post for gits and shiggles.

    Barbell training has stopped. There are no barbells to be had in the city right now.

    As a side note: I did a pull up test. I wagered my coworkers that the NLP would produce sufficient strength gains to increase my pull-ups (palms out) without having to do a dedicated pull-up program; specifically, I needed to get a 30% improvement by 1 April. They even let me do chin-ups as part of my NLP, arguing that chin-ups only work your chest and not your lats. My coworkers are engineers and computer scientists by training, for what that's worth. Bless their hearts.

    Initial test, January 21, bodyweight about 186lb, got 13 pull-ups (I was shocked I got this many)
    Final test, March 23, bodyweight about 195lb, got 17 pull-ups (30% improvement)

    My pull-ups wouldn't pass USMC standards. There was too much leg movement, and nobody was there to call me out. But, I wasn't kipping, and I got my chin over the bar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2019


    Yes! Pull up progress is probably my favorite. Good job.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2020


    starting strength coach development program
    After a two month lay off, gyms have reopened. I've spent the first week ramping back up. New gym uses kilograms.

    Squat: 3x5 @ 70 kg
    Press: 3x5 @ 40 kg
    DL: 1x5 @ 90 kg

    Squat: 3x5 @ 97.5 kg
    Bench: 3x5 @ 74.5 kg
    DL: 1x5 @ 106.5 kg

    Squat: 3x5 @ 107.5 kg
    Press: 3x5 @ 45 kg
    DL: 1x5 @ 115 kg

    Prior to the layoff, I'd run into some complications:

    • I tweaked my back completing my 3x5 Squats at 275 lb, leaving me hunched over and unable to stand up for a day.
    • I tweaked my back on the second rep of a set of Deadlift at 305 lb.
    • Three times in a row, I failed to complete 3x5 Press at 127.5 lb, not due to injury. I just couldn't get the bar overhead for all my reps.
    Last edited by John Brothers; 05-25-2020 at 06:36 AM.

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