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  1. #331
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    • starting strength seminar october 2022
    • starting strength seminar december 2022
    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    Thanks, Bill! Glad to have you back!
    -ish.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post

    That said, I think I need to reassess the loads I use for my 5 X 5 sessions now that they are being performed after another upper-body lift. I came across a relatively old video from Andy where he speaks about volume days. He says that the main goal of volume days is the volume, and not the weight. I then read his article about 5 ways to do 5 X 5. So I think I'm going to try descending sets next time. This change is pretty low risk since I am already on a downward trend with the bench and the press. But the deadlift is doing well and that matters more to me right now.
    Thanks for the link to the video. I hadn't run across that. And the reminder to re-read the 5x5 article. I've had a reminder in my inbox to reread that since the end of January as I started piecing together how I'm going to train this summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    This week I reached out to Andy about the programs he sells on his website. I basically gave him my background, my priorities and my training preferences, and asked which program he would recommend. I replied very quickly, which I found quite impressive. He suggested his Baker Barbell 5 X 5. I bought the program (so cheap!) and started looking at it as part of my reflection on a way forward.
    Does the program give specific examples (including weights)? I'll probably buy Strength & Mass After 40 regardless, but that's an important piece that I'm scratching my head on right now. The books go into detail, but not quite enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post
    Well, I can now expect to start another job within a month or so, to replace someone who needs to be removed from her officer commanding position. I hear there is drama involved, and have no idea how demanding this job will be. If it's anything like my previous officer commanding job, my training will take a hit. I need to be prepared to reassess how I train. So the reflection I've been doing happens to be quite timely, though I was not expecting this upcoming change at all.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was sitting on a deck, beers in hand, with several of friends over in Washington DC last weekend talking about this. They all work in the Puzzle Palace (aka Pentagon). One has figured out a way to keep "moving" within the area to reset his clock every time, so he hasn't had to move the family in six years, even if that means he'll never be promoted again. Another just got there from overseas last summer and was settling the family in for retirement when he got official word that he was being moved again. Not even nine months on station when he got that official word, although we were hearing unofficially for a month or so before that, and his wife had just started a new job two days earlier in the Palace when that official word dropped. So they're off again.

    When they asked if I missed it, I laughed. Not a damn bit. I just miss being able to spend time on decks drinking beers with them more often.

    Good luck with the move, whether it just be office space on the same installation, or to another.

  2. #332
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Gatineau, QC
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    Hello Bill!

    Thankfully, I am not moving again. The new job is actually closer from where I live, which is one advantage I see so far. No bridge to cross, no traffic.

    Andy's program is very detailed. For the main lifts, weights are given in 1RM percentages. He writes:

    "The biggest mistake trainees have made on this plan is starting with an estimated 1-rep max that was far in excess of what they can actually do. Knowing at least a very close ball park to your current 1-rep max is essential. If you have no idea what you can do for a single rep on the main lifts, it’s a good idea to test the lifts prior to beginning this program (or any % based program). You don’t have to treat the testing day like you are trying to set new world records. Just a good solid heavy single on the big lifts is fine."

    Given that I'm training singles on the press and down to doubles on the bench and deadlift, I think that by the time I change my programming, I should have a pretty good idea of what my 1RMs would be on those lifts. The squat is trickier, and I'm not sure I'm willing to test it. Ending a squat on the pins is just too soul-crushing; I'd rather not do it on purpose. So I'll probably make a conservative estimate and see what happens.

    There is (optional) accessory work as well, but the weights are not always indicated. There's a bit of trial and error involved here since doing that stuff would be new for folks like me.

  3. #333
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    Well, that is good news, especially not having to cross a bridge. That's always my rule, although I've broken it here. Luckily my commute is during off hours, so it's usually not a problem.

    Thanks for the insight into Andy's program. I went back and looked at it and realized that the Strength & Mass over 40 is more focused on hypertrophy, which is not my goal. I have enough info that I need to move forward over the summer. Thanks again!

  4. #334
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    Jan 2021
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    Gatineau, QC
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    Before my last two workouts, including today's, I wondered whether I should take an extra day off. I didn't due to scheduling considerations, but I should have listened to my gut feeling.


    This afternoon, I started with volume squats, but during the 3rd set, I felt a very sharp pain in my right knee during the 1st rep. It kept lingering during my rest period, so I had to abort this squatting session.


    I then tried to hit my press singles, knowing that I had yet to recover from Saturday's excruciating session: sore pecs, noodle arms, tight back. After three unsuccessful attempts, I gave up. Not in the cards today.

    I used to recover very easily from the bench and the press, but that was when I was performing them on separate days, and at lighter loads. Those lifts seem to take a bigger toll on me with this upper/lower split. I will have to monitor this more closely, and will incorporate descending sets to my volume sessions on both lifts.


    I moved on to the snatch-grip deadlift, but didn't know whether I could perform them with that knee pain still present. The very first warm-up rep irritated it again, so I decided to not push it.


    So I guess this is half a rest day. Hopefully I'll be in better dispositions for my next training session on Wednesday. I suspect I might be a bit under-recovered; my appetite has also been low for a few days.

  5. #335
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    Jan 2021
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    Uneventful day here in the Belle province.

    Intensity bench
    140 X 2, 1, 1, 1

    I think I am just going to move on to singles. Attempting those failed 2nd reps is harder than getting the first one dine. All good though; I got 5 reps in, and I think I can add a few more lbs to this lift if I shoot for singles.

    Volume press
    86 X 5
    83 X 5
    80 X 5
    77 X 5
    74 X 5

    I tried Andy's descending sets and, when benching and pressing on the same day, this approach sure feels more productive that failing most of my sets of 5 across. Time will tell whether this is effective, but it sure felt good. I will implement this on my volume bench session as well.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy about today's session. My expectations were very low. The last days have been stressful due to the drama surrounding my posting, and I haven't gotten a whole lot of sleep since Friday, with my appetite being low ever since. I literally forgot to eat lunch yesterday. I might push my next workout to Saturday to get some extra recovery before I attempt that 2 X BW deadlift, assuming my knee doesn't act out again.

  6. #336
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    Normally I would have done today's session yesterday, but it seemed wiser to wait until the weekend. In preparation for the new job, I have to take several online courses and have spent an inordinate amount of time glued to my computer chair over the last few days. Since my knee acted out on Monday, squatting heavy after clicking on slides for 8 hours straight appeared ill-advised.

    Intensity squat
    222.5 X 3, 3 (PR)

    Since this was my first attempt at this weight, I was shooting for 3 doubles but ended up being able to get my 2 triples. Here's my second set.

    Deadlift
    250 X 1, 0, 0 (PR)

    The good news is that I deadlifted 2 X BW. The bad news is that I was only able to do it once. Here's proof.

    I am only mildly disappointed. With the odd week I've had, I am very surprised I got this squat PR, and don't think the conditions were set for a glorious deadlift day in addition to that. We'll see what my aspiring SCC has to say, but I wouldn't mind just reattempting next week to rule out the "bad deadlift day" factor.

  7. #337
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    I warmed up with a light low-bar squat instead of using front squats. Silly me figured that crushing my shoulders with a heavy barbell before pressing may not be an optimal warm up, and that it could be a contributing factor to my progress slowing down. Well that hypothesis was wrong. My progress is slowing down but front squatting before I press has nothing to do with it. I guess I am just reaching the point where one has to fight for every ounce of progress.

    Intensity press
    96 X 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 (PR)

    I had to activate CONPLAN 15 reps once again, but those sessions are getting very long! New rule will be 15 reps or 10 sets, whichever comes first. This is starting to feel a bit like what I am experiencing on my intensity bench days: first rep is performed somewhat confidently, but the second rep kills the set.

    Volume bench
    128 X 5
    124 X 5
    120 X 5
    116 X 5
    112 X 5

    The First set and the second set were very close calls, particularly the 5th rep of set 1: I'm pretty sure my butt came off the bench during this one!

    I tried those descending sets again and they are much more manageable when pressing and benching back to back. That said, my first two sets were limit, the third one seemed just right, and the last two were a bit too easy. I might try to lower the weight of that top set a bit, and keep my 5 sets a bit closer Next week I'm tempted to experiment with 125, 122.5, 120, 117.5 and 115, which would achieve the same tonnage (3,000lbs!) while hopefully allowing me to complete more consistent sets using this methods. We shall see!

    Aspiring SSC has spoken: I will reattempt that 250 deadlift on Sunday to rule out the bad deadlift day hypothesis.

  8. #338
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    Jan 2021
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    Last week, this session was a complete disaster. I had to cut my volume squat session short due to sharp knee pain, my press singles were completely uncooperative, and the knee pain also prevented me from doing the snatch-grip deadlift.

    But not today!

    Volume squat
    202.5 X 5, 5, 5, 5

    I received the knee sleeves (SBD, 7mm) I had ordered this afternoon, and a volume session seemed like a good opportunity to try this for the first time. I have mixed feelings about this experience.

    Pros:
    - The warmth. So warm. This could be such a game changer in the winter.
    - Great feedback. I have been getting a few shallow reps lately. With those, I seem to go a bit deeper without even trying.
    - No knee discomfort to report.

    Cons:
    - I have to wear shorts and prefer capris (less jiggly cellulite on display).
    - Isn't it cheating (though I got medium size sleeves for a 13" knees, which seems quite conservative)?
    - One more thing to set up.

    That said, I made it to a 222.5 squat without sleeves, so if those give me a bit of an edge, is it really that big of a deal? I have zeerooo intention of competing and, at age 40, being kind to my knees seems more important than being a purist about this.

    Press singles
    100 X 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

    It's official. I think I am the first female SS trainee to ever hit her first Starting Strength Club number on the press. To be fair I had some prior exposure to the barbell press, so I didn't start as low as most women have to. Back in the days (circa 2010) it took me forever to get to a 45lbs press, but ever since, I have never regressed below that point.

    Snatch-grip deadlift
    175 X 5, 5, 5

    I took a 5-lb jump to make up for last week's missed session. All good. Going back to 2.5 jumps next time.

  9. #339
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny&mighty View Post

    Press singles
    100 X 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

    It's official. I think I am the first female SS trainee to ever hit her first Starting Strength Club number on the press. To be fair I had some prior exposure to the barbell press, so I didn't start as low as most women have to. Back in the days (circa 2010) it took me forever to get to a 45lbs press, but ever since, I have never regressed below that point.
    And again — Brava!

  10. #340
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    New Jersey
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    starting strength coach development program
    wow, I don't check in for a couple weeks and all I see are you kicking ass and taking names. nicely done!

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