Less weak than last week Less weak than last week

starting strength gym
Page 1 of 25 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 243

Thread: Less weak than last week

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default Less weak than last week

    • starting strength seminar december 2021
    • starting strength seminar february 2022
    • starting strength seminar april 2022
    (NB: Introductory format plagiarized (no, plagiarized) shamelessly from readytheharpoon's stellar Starting Strength training log.)

    Me. A 44-year old desk worker who avoided gyms largely due to the circular logic of having skinny arms.

    My physical starting stats.
    - 5'9" tall
    - 177# starting weight

    Why do I train.
    - Hate being weak.
    - Want to be physically capable for as long as possible.
    - Strength always appealed to me more than cardio.

    My training history.
    - LOL
    - Did about 6 weeks of Starting Strength in 2016 before a few months of work/personal travel nuked my habit. I just never went back.

    The pandemic.
    Once gyms re-opened and I was working from home, I saw my best opportunity to restart. The gym I had joined in 2016 was only a mile from home, which was perfect. It's a seriously awesome place, with 4 power racks, 4 deadlift stations, dedicated bench stations (a couple incline/decline a few flat) and only one thing resembling a Smith machine. Courteous crowd that self-polices. Chalk encouraged, and no issues dropping a weight if needed. No place for yoga classes or anything like that (well, a garage they can open up in nice weather). Most people tidy up after themselves.

    Commence my Novice Linear Progression.

    Went in on November 30, 2020 and immediately proceeded to make my first two mistakes.
    S(quat) - 105
    P(ress) - 46*
    D(eadlift) - 199(!!!)
    * - I was using a junior bar that I thought was 33#. It was 26#. At the time, I thought I had pressed 53#. This would bite me a few weeks later, but all numbers in this log will reflect the real weight, not my mistaken values.
    (!!!) - When I deadlifted, I didn't realize the pretty colored plates with numbers and no units were in kilograms. I assumed they were in pounds. I thought I was doing 115 and struggling with grip, so I stopped. I knew I should end up around 155 or so to start, so I was disappointed. Turned out I was really pulling 199# and was quite sore for several days. Glad I quit when I did or I might have hurt myself.

    Commence my Novice Linear Progression, Part 2.

    After recovering from my folly, I went back on December 5.
    S - 115
    P - 51
    D - 165
    B - 75 (on December 7)

    The bench was done with a full size bar, so that value was legitimate. I went to bumper plates on the deadlift because they were in pounds so I wouldn't have to convert. I'm using the SS app as a help, so unit conversions are a pain. My paper log is my official log, though.

    Yes, those press numbers are atrocious. A part of that is due to a deformed elbow (congenital dislocation of the radial head) which is missing about 30 degrees of extension (i.e., cannot straighten out by about 30 degrees). Grew up with a fear of hurting it with weights, but eventually decided it's worth the risk if I'm careful and keep a close watch on it. I can always titrate the progression if it becomes a fear, particularly for the deadlift. So far it hasn't.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default Backfilling the training log, with comments.

    I'm about 8 weeks in as of the original post, so I need to get the old logs entered. The short story is that things are going almost exactly to plan, with only two misses - one on the press, and one on the power clean due to technique. More on those later.

    All weights are according to the program (5x3 for squat, press, bench; 5x1 for deadlift, etc.) unless marked otherwise. All weights are successes unless marked otherwise.

    Date Weight Squat Press Bench Deadlift Comment
    5 December 2020 177 115 51 165
    7 December 2020 178 125 75 175
    9 December 2020 181 135 56 185
    11 December 2020 181 145 80 195
    14 December 2020 181 155 61 205

    The next workout I introduced the power clean, so this is a good place to break it up. Nothing really remarkable to comment on here - the usual form corrections and jumps in weight. Somewhere around here I started backing off on my diet a bit. I had been doing 1/2 gallon of milk a day and about 4000-4500 calories, but dropped it to about 3500 calories a day with about a quarter gallon of milk. I was already fluffy and the weight gain was adding to it, so I was about 25% or so body fat and figured I could ease up.

    (Edited to clean up the table formatting.)
    Last edited by Hooper; 01-28-2021 at 07:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default More backfilling

    Introduced the Power Clean at this point. I probably should have kept the deadlift for one more "B" rotation since squats were still going up by 10#, but I knew I'd struggle with the PCs and wanted to get started. This backfill will go to the end of December. PC was for weightx3x5 and will just be notated as the weight if the sets were accomplished.

    I had also started chins on December 11th, but they're not remarkable enough to bother mentioning. I can do a few, but lots of eccentrics and lat pull work to get them going.

    Date Weight Squat Press Bench Deadlift Power Clean Comments
    16 December 2020 182 165 90 65 Practiced form on PCs with 10# bumpers until tired. Also, (1)
    18 December 2020 184 175 66 215 The red cerakote bar is very slippery to me. Never pulling it again.
    21 December 2020 185 180 100 70 Switch to 5# jumps on squat. Still form work on PC.
    23 December 2020 185 185 71 225 Switched to hook grip for deads.
    26 December 2020 187 190 105 75
    28 December 2020 187 195 82.5 3,1,- 235 Switched press to full size bar. (2)
    30 December 2020 187 200 107.5 80 Switching to 2.5# jumps on both Press and Bench.

    December ended with 0 missed days, 10# bodyweight gain (a fair amount was fluff), and missing only on the stupid press thing.

    (1) - Somewhere around here I adjusted the way I went under the bar for squats. If I rest my arm weight on my hands when going under, I end up with chronic soreness in my left elbow, near the ulnar nerve. If I just barely touch the hands on the bar for placement and then tighten things up after getting under, I don't have that problem.

    (2) - Here's where I found out the junior bar weighed less than I though. I switched to the 45# bar, which added 7# to the press that I wasn't aware of. That ... did not go well. I ended up weighing the bar the next trip out and completely re-entering my press logs. It also meant I basically started the press with the empty bar. So frustrating.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default Still more...

    First person in the gym on January 1st. Yay?

    Date Weight Squat Press Bench Deadlift Power Clean Comments
    1 January 2021 190 205 72.5 245 Really struggled with hook grip.
    4 January 2021 189 210 110 85 New workset PR for bench. Nice to start beating 2016's aborted attempt.
    6 January 2021 190 215 75 255 New workset PRs for squat, press, and dead. Still struggling with hook grip.
    8 January 2021 191 220 112.5 90
    11 January 2021 192 225 77.5 265 Still problems with hook. But first-ever two plate squats!
    13 January 2021 194 230 115 95 Workset PR for cleans. That's the last one from 2016!
    16 January 2021 194 235 80 275 Finally I had a solid hook grip on deadlifts. Lifted on Saturday due to Friday work commitment.

    These two weeks were the era of the crappy hook grip. It took me a long time to get it secure due to stubby finger syndrome. Paul Horn's video was immensely helpful. The last workout did leave me with the start of blisters below the pinkies but it was the first time I genuinely had my thumb locked in under my fingers.

    Arms, chest, and shoulders do look better, which tells you how skinny I was up there when an 80# press makes an aesthetic improvement. (I'm still skinny, but at least I can see where the muscles are supposed to go.)

    Bodyweight is progressing well. I'm fluffier than I should be (probably 25%ish or so) but I'm sticking to getting the muscle strength and mass first, then worrying about the gut later.

    Some creeping tendon soreness in the left elbow, which would later turn out to be from a lack of tightness in the upper back and chest. Fortunately it would never rise to the level of problematic, so I was able to continue on all my lifts.

    In 2016, my power cleans stalled at 90# (I had barely completed this when I dropped off). This time I was much better about getting over the bar rather than behind it. Got to 95# with no real trouble, though some arm pull tendencies would catch up to me very soon.

    I'm also now in new weight territories for all of the lifts. Onward and upward.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default Finally caught up

    I'm now 8 weeks in and easily stronger than I've ever been in my life, which is faint praise but at least it's true.

    Date Weight Squat Press Bench Deadlift Power Clean Comments
    18 January 2021 192 240 117.5 100 Last squat workout without a belt.
    20 January 2021 194 245 82.5 285 Tore a blister on deadlift. Not getting the bar low enough near the pinky.
    22 January 2021 195 250 120 105 3,3,3,2,2 Noted lack of thoracic tightness on squat. For cleans, see (1).
    25 January 2021 194 255 85 295 (2)
    27 January 2021 197 260 122.5 105 Nailed the cleans this time. Much better arms. Also (3).
    29 January 2021 199 265 87.5 305 (4)

    (1) Failure on PCs for two reasons. The lesser is that I rushed a bit and was fatigued. The real reason was an arm pull that finally caught up to me. I was also gripping too narrow but didn't notice it at the time. This was the first failure not involving an idiotic misreading of the weight on the bar.

    (2) Better thoracic support on squats. Lower back and left elbow felt much better. Also, the hook grip was great on the deadlift. Secure for all 5 reps and did not aggravate the skin near the pinkies. Best hook grip to date and such a relief.

    (3) Based on the awesome information in Nick Delgadillo's SS article and Youtube video, I decided to experiment with adding a workset rep of overhead press after the bench press sets. Deloaded the bar after the bench, reset the rack and safety rails, and went from empty bar quickly to the last press weight for one set of 5. Might be a bit of a panic on my part but I really, really don't want my press getting stuck anytime soon. Besides, the practice can't hurt, right? We'll see how this goes.

    (4) Press went up nicely, so Wednesday's experiment didn't hurt anything. Squat still going quite well, but that last deadlift was somewhere between hard and sheer-force-of-will territory. I was still feeling the squats in my legs at the time and will give consideration to the light squat day shown in PPST:3 in the example successful novice log. It would time out for the Wednesday workout next week, which would be perfect to give it a shot. I really want that third wheel next week, even if it's just an arbitrary 'big round number' effect. I think I also need to up the protein from 180-200g/day to 225g+/day. It's tempting to tease the calories back a smidge, but I fear lack of progress more than presence of fluff at this point.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default NLP Week 9

    First, a quick summary of the progress on the first 8 weeks. I meant to add this last time but forgot.

    Squat 105 --> 265 (155# improvement)
    Press 46 --> 87.5 (41.5)
    Bench 75 --> 122.5 (47.5)
    Deadlift 155 --> 305 (150)
    Power Clean 65 --> 105 (40)

    Zero missed workouts so far. :-)

    A couple gaffes slowed down the press and PC a touch, but otherwise I can't complain. I may have been a bit conservative on the jumps on the press and bench. Ok, now on to today:

    1 February 2021:
    Weight - 198
    Squat - 270 (1)
    Bench - 130 (2)
    Power Clean - 110 (3)

    (1) - Lower back felt much better after squats. A brief sensation of tightness for about a minute but not nearly as intense as before and it never came back. I feel I did better on not carrying the bar in my hands too so I'm hoping my elbow continues to heal up.

    (2) - Yes, I did jump 7.5 lbs on the bench press from last Friday. Oops. I was feeling good so I meant to jump 5# instead of 2.5#, but stupidly grabbed the 2.5# plates rather than the microplates. I realized during a between-set rest period so just went with it since the bar was moving. Friday will be a gametime decision as to whether I jump 5# or just 2.5#.

    (3) - On the 4th set, I flubbed the first rep because I think I got hasty and didn't have it quite over midfoot. It went forward on me. I did three good ones in a row, though, and nailed the 5th set, so I counted it. I really felt the PC in my shoulders afterwards though so I wonder if being weak on the presses is a cue that I may struggle on PCs a bit.

    Not a bad day overall. I'm going to introduce the light squat set on Wednesday. They're taking enough out of me that I'd like to see if the light day helps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default NLP Week 9

    3 February 2021:
    Weight - 200
    Squat - 225 (light day)
    Press - 90 (1)
    Deadlift - 315 (2)

    (1) - Press felt great. The soreness in my left elbow still messes with my first few workset reps, but it seems to go away by the time the first set is done. If Monday feels good I may just go for 95 rather than 92.5.

    (2) - /sigh. I got the 5 reps, but will have to repeat this on Monday. The first two went up great! I readjusted my hook grip between reps 2 and 3, and then felt the bar slide on my right thumb on rep 3. I had gripped too high up the thumb and it did what gravity told it to do, along with quite a bit of pain in the skin. Paused to shake it out and make sure I didn't tear the skin (I didn't but might end up with a small blister). Got back to the bar and finished strong, but that pause was just way too long for it to count.

    On the upside, my deadlift wasn't leg-limited like last Friday's 305 was. (Locking out the knees was where I struggled to finish the last rep on Friday.) The light squat day definitely helped, and I'm right back to being grip-limited.

    Soooo... calling it a miss. I know I would have had it if I hadn't screwed up my grip, but the rules are the rules and that pause was just too long. So frustrating.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default NLP Week 9

    First genuinely bad gym day. That stunk.

    TL;DR - squats went well, bench was a surprising struggle, power cleans were a nope, progress on chins. Diet and sleep have been fine, so no excuses other than I stunk today.

    5 February 2021
    Weight - 201
    Squat - 275
    Bench - 132.5
    Power Clean - **fart noise** (attempted 115)

    Felt pretty good on squats today. At least there's that.

    The bench was an odd duck. Instead of benching inside the rack as usual, I decided to try the dedicated bench since it has better hooks. (The rack uses monstrous sandwich hooks that are a pain to unrack/rack around.) Found out that the bench was wider (12" maybe? I don't know.) I actually had a hard time getting the bar to my chest because my arms were hitting the bench. It felt like I had to relax my arms a bit to get the bar down. When I did touch the chest, I was prone to losing my back placement. Never again will I use that bench. I got it done, though.

    Power cleans were a train wreck. I knew I was in trouble when the warmups were a struggle. Got to weight and was all over the place. If Wednesday's warmups are like that again, I'll go back down to 105 and work on form some more.

    I don't mention chins much because they're not interesting, but I'm following Niki Sims's regimen to get them up. Did 3 and 3 on the 2 AMRAP sets, then the eccentrics.

    Got home and my left elbow is really sore. I've had tendonitis that has been improving, but this is in between the radius and humerus. I'm not sure where it happened. Felt fine after squats, which is the usual suspect. I'm guessing maybe the bench since that was so messy. Did that affect the cleans? I don't know, but if my elbow was sore I might have been arm pulling to protect the joint. It'd explain a lot. I was very careful to start the cleans with straight arms so I don't think I was snapping it straight on the pull.

    Edit: I think I'll do the light squats again on Monday and get some tape on my form on both Monday and Wednesday. The squats may have felt fine but that doesn't mean I didn't have an issue that led to the elbow soreness. At any rate I need to find the source pretty soon before I really cause harm.
    Last edited by Hooper; 02-05-2021 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Added thoughts on sore elbow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default NLP Week 10

    TL;DR - light squats again to figure out elbow soreness, success on press and deadlifts

    8 February 2021
    Weight - 200
    Squat - 225 (light day)
    Press - 92.5
    Deadlift - 315

    (BTW, most of the prose I write is me organizing my thoughts. I don't expect anybody else to be particularly interested in it.)

    Did a lot of reading up on causes of elbow tendonitis and soreness from squats. Today I went a bit slower, even with the lighter day, to really assess what I was doing. A wider grip alleviated it, but the bar rolled around more and once felt like it was trying to separate my shoulder. My lumbar soreness/tightness also came back, indicating I was losing upper back tightness which was likely an artifact of the wide grip attempts. I also tried going in narrower and surprisingly seemed to go okay. The bar held in place better, at least, and maybe that meant I didn't need to hold it with my hands as much. I'll see how the elbow feels in the morning.

    Perhaps the bigger fix was to (a) keep my wrists straighter to the point that the bar was basically crossing form below my thumb to below my pinky, and (b) really keep my elbows up and the weight of my forearms off the bar. It's too early to tell yet if that made a difference but I'm cautiously optimistic. Oddly, the very best thing for my elbow is deadlifting, which makes all the pain go away for an hour or so.

    Press went well. The elbow didn't feel any more sore than if I had done the press first. I felt like I was placing the bar 'in the groove' more consistently, and it was going up a bit easier than expected.

    Deadlift was tougher than expected (not that I expected easy!), given that I had kinda done 315 last week. I think the lower back tightness from the squat made it harder than it needed to be. That said, my hook grip was much more secure this time. I didn't have to reset the grip until after the fourth pull, and even then it held nicely. Had a bit of sewing machine leg at the last pull so we'll see if that means anything for Friday. I may keep the light squats on deadlift day until I'm sure the elbow is healed.

    Onward and upward.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    273

    Default NLP Week 10

    starting strength coach development program
    TL;DR - elbow much better on squats, earned my first wheel on the bench, cleans are trash

    10 February 2021
    Weight - 200
    Squat - 280
    Bench - 135
    Power Clean - 95

    Holding my hands in a bit closer seemed to work today. Oddly, it feels like it's worse to the elbow as I get under, which is why I was a bit farther out before. However, I think the big fix was in my posture at the top of the squat. I think I've been too vertical at the top, which allows the bar to roll back a bit into my hands. My weight was solidly midfoot so I was probably leaning forward a bit and arching my back to keep the balance point in an attempt to 'lock out' the squat (or whatever you'd call it). I focused on keeping just enough forward lean to keep the bar in place but no more. The elbow is still a bit tender to some movements but far better than it's been in a long time, even for squatting more than ever before.

    Ten weeks to go from 75 to 135 on the bench. Not bad, if I dare say so. :-) I actually did this before squats today to ensure my elbow was up to it as I didn't want to miss the sacred plate today, arbitrary as it may be. I did some volume work on the overhead press between the squat and clean just to let the lower body rest a bit.

    Power Clean. Argh. I was supposed to do 115 today, but I got to 105 on warmups and everything just went sideways on me. I de-loaded to 95 where I could break things down and see what I'm doing wrong. I'll have to get some video feed on it, but one possible problem may be keeping the bar too firmly on my shins/thighs on the way up. When I let the bar float juuuust a touch it would fly up much faster and higher. I may have the explosiveness of a drunk sloth, but I had done 110 solidly last week so that's not the thing that's causing my issues.

    And for chinups, I did 2 AMRAP sets of 4 and 4, then 3-second eccentrics for 4 sets of 3.

Page 1 of 25 12311 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •