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  1. #151
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Chicago Burbs, IL
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    • starting strength seminar june 2022
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    I've bought straps but I suspect you can get a good result with just nylon strap (without the loop) or sewing the loop yourself.
    Sometimes it is just more satisfying to do it yourself. Good luck and nice Deads!

  2. #152
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    Nov 2014
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    New Jersey
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    I tried normal straps for a while but I could never get them to work, I'm not coordinated enough to wrap and spin the bar and all that, so I got a pair of the figure-8 type ones and absolutely love them. The bar is glued to my arms.

  3. #153
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Great news, Tiny!

    re: grip - prior to straps, if I was in a situation where I'm worried about my grip for my limit set, I switched my progression earlier in the warmup so that I didn't experience that peeling out of the fingers that might introduce doubt, i.e., double overhand -> hook -> mixed would happen 1-2 warmup weights earlier than if I was confident going into the work set.

    re: straps - I found 10m of safety-rated raw strap for cheaper than the commercially available pre-made straps and it has worked great for me. That length had the added bonus of being able to make another set if the first didn't fit right—I thought I had cut them short for the first few times I used them, but realized it was just a matter of letting the material relax a bit while I learned how to use them—and the remainder is stored in my backcountry pack to be available as rescue strapping (1,800+ kg tensile strength), ideally to never be used.

    Keep at it!

  4. #154
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Gatineau, QC
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    Thanks for the tips, gentlemen. I am definitely not really an arts and crafts person, haha. It just seems that most straps are intended for people with larger hands.

    I have a bunch of straps. The standard ones I have are all looped and I see this is not recommended. Moreover, I find them too wide (1.5"), which creates a lot of bulk to hold on to. So I would like to try 1" instead, like in this video.

    I have figure-8 straps too but I suspect they are too big for me as well. Or maybe I have not quite figured out how to use them properly. I will give them another try. I could also make a smaller version with the materials I have ordered. I bought enough stuff to experiment with different widths, lengths, fabrics, and styles.

    This is a very small-scale gym improvement project... Next one is to build a 10"-wide wooden top for the Rogue bench. And finally, I would like to insulate the garage so we can use during the winter for deadlifts, Olympic lifts and for my husband's pressing. He has to press with a bunch of 10-lb plates when working out in the basement, otherwise he hits the beams of the ceiling. Meanwhile I get to press inside of the rack. There are perks to being short!

  5. #155
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    I have a bunch of straps. The standard ones I have are all looped and I see this is not recommended. Moreover, I find them too wide (1.5"), which creates a lot of bulk to hold on to. So I would like to try 1" instead, like in this video.
    I suspect that I have larger hands than yours and I use 1" straps, built just like Phil explained in the video. They have been great!

    And my wife and I have similar issues re: rack height, although our garage ceiling is JUST high enough that I can press indoors, just not in the rack. She has a giggle at that.

  6. #156
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    Jan 2021
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    Gatineau, QC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    I suspect that I have larger hands than yours and I use 1" straps, built just like Phil explained in the video. They have been great!
    This just cheered me about about that little project! I even considered trying lamp wick

    Even with the 10-lb plates, my husband has to carefully align his press between the beams when he works out in the basement. I feel for him but got to admit that it is funny to watch.

  7. #157
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    Jan 2021
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    Gatineau, QC
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    Today's workout could serve as a case study against clich├ęs like RPE, "listen to your body", "trust your feelings", etc.

    Not sure what was going on. I woke up with a headache and stiff neck (probably related), most likely because I slept for too long. My weight has been going down a little, which is odd given the Red Army's current siege on my Southern front; normally, it tends to make me a bit heavier. Even with the headache and stiffness gone, everything still felt off, with my heart rate and mind racing all day for no reason whatsoever. But 1500 hours came and I went downstairs to train, though I was clearly not in the mood for it.

    Intensity press - 5, 5, 4, 4 at 86 lbs (PR)

    The warm up felt like shit. When I did my last single at 75 lbs, lifting 86 lbs for the work sets seemed completely out of the question. Throughout this pressing session, I was unfocused, unstable under the bar, my groove and timing were way off, and my bar path was all over the place. So while I am a bit disappointed that I could not complete 3 sets of 5, I am very pleased with what I have accomplished today.

    Volume squat - 5 X 5 at 185 lbs

    I did not know whether I would do 3 or 5 sets since this was my first attempt at 185 lbs for sets of 5. Though I had to stretch my rest periods to bring my heart rate down, completing this session was fairly easy. I did a better job at controlling my depth (instead of going too low). I also tried a new cue to control the knee caving I often experience on my way up. I came across this cue by accident a few days ago. This Jonathon Sullivan's video showed up in my YouTube feed and I somehow ended up reading this particular comment: "One of the things that I have found that is missed and has made a massive difference for me is what I call the foot/push/twist. I didn't quite get the "shove your knees out" thing until I started to try to push the ground apart with my feet with a slight rotation." I found this cue incredibly effective today, and I am looking forward to trying it again under a heavier load during my next squatting session.


    So against all indicators, today was a great training day!

  8. #158
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    Jun 2019
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    Great work! I fell on you on the not feeling it (although for different reasons), which is where I was today, although I didn't have the success that you did. I have decades of ignoring how I feel going into a workout in other activities, as the feelings could be a lie, just as it is under the bar.

    Yep, that cue on getting and keeping the knees out is huge!

    Keep at it!

  9. #159
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    Jan 2021
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    Gatineau, QC
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    So here is yesterday's workout, since I didn't get to come here last night. We were having my best friend over for a wine and cheese. I had promised I'd also make beef tartare and that takes me a while. The Most Important Thing about making tartare is getting the texture right. Chunky bits ruin everything.

    Yes, everything was delicious. Except for the fact that my friend had to set an alarm to get home before the curfew. Livin' la vida 'rona.


    Intensity bench - 5 sets of 3 at 125 lbs (PR)

    Again, a tough one where most reps seemed like a close call on every set. I had done heavy pressing the day before, so I am still considering adding a rest day when the time comes. I think I also need to adjust my volume day (more on this below).


    Chin ups - 7, 6, 5, 4, 4

    Two extra reps since last time, but my fingers really do not appreciate.


    Aches and pains

    1) About the new cue - On Thursday night, I noticed that my knees were a bit sore. Not "injured" sore, but "disturbed" sore, like when I start wearing a new set of aggressive orthotics. Nothing to worry about, just interesting. It must mean that the cue did affect how my knees moved during those 25 squats (hopefully for better). We shall see whether this happens on intensity day as well. I will make sure to record from the front to see what is happening under a max load).

    2) Yesterday, I noticed that my lower back was fatigued and a bit sore from those 25 squats and 18 presses. I added a few sets of light back extensions after the chin ups to loosen this up a bit. I can still feel it today, but it is not bothering me as much.


    Kit

    I have received some materials and think I will go with 20"-long, 1"-wide straps made of cotton. I find it bites more to the bar than nylon. Thick cotton webbing was somewhat to find, so I bought a yoga strap and cut it to make 2 straps. I just need to find someone with a sewing machine to seal the ends to keep them from fraying.


    Volume press and bench

    I suspect the weight I use on volume days might be a tad too light. I seem to get through those sessions with too much ease. I might add 1 extra lb or 2 next time to get closer to that 90% mark and see what happens.


    Scheduling

    Mid December, we were told at the office that we would be working from home until further notice. I am still on leave until Monday but I doubt I will be back at my office desk anytime soon. This means I will have more flexibility with how I schedule my training sessions. I am thinking about stretching my 4-day split to an 8-day cycle so as to train on a one-on, one-off basis. We shall see how the next week goes before I revisit this idea.


    Spreading the gospel

    I have been trying to convince my best friend to hop on the SS train. Over the past few years, she has gotten overweight, fat and weak. For the record, those are her words, so I am not being a bitch here. On top of that, she has had many injuries (disc herniation and surgery, ACL tears on both knees, and some shoulder injury as well) which all serve as excuses to remain in her current condition. Most are probably related to her long-standing lack of strength, since she always gets injured doing easy stuff.

    So I have been pitching SS to her since she expressed an interest about "getting back in shape" last spring. Her main objection is that she is afraid lifting "heavy" weights could aggravate her past injuries. I obviously called BS since I have made it very clear that I could start her off with a 15-lb aluminum barbell and go all "petit train va loin" with her. If micro-loading were a kingdom, I'd be queen.

    Anyhow, this had been a bit of a sterile debate until now. Then her words changed from "yes, but (insert excuses here)" to "how would my program look like?" Here's hope.

    What is interesting here is what appears to be driving this change of heart. Last week, I mentioned my weight and she was surprised to find out that I had gained 10 lbs since starting the program. She said I looked "denser" but not "larger" (her words). She was floored when I said I had to go a size up top (XS to S) and bottom (26" to 27" or size 0 to 2). The only thing that has not changed is my bra size thanks to my inability to grow lats.

    She then talked about some guy whose book she read and went on about his "stay hard" motto. So I showed her a clip of yesterday's SS podcast; Rip's t-shirt was very timely! We shall see how this unfolds...

  10. #160
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    285

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    She then talked about some guy whose book she read and went on about his "stay hard" motto. So I showed her a clip of yesterday's SS podcast; Rip's t-shirt was very timely! We shall see how this unfolds...
    I haven't read his book but that has got to be David Goggins. Ya know, I guess I'm weird but guys like him and Jocko Willink don't do a thing for me. That whole "Hoo-rah, give a million percent all the time, I'll sleep when I'm dead, you gotta make yourself miserable to make yourself tough" style of motivation is not my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, they're some bad ass dudes and good for their success, I'm just not into it personally.

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