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Thread: Abby tries LP

  1. #1
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    Default Abby tries LP

    • starting strength seminar december 2021
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    Abby is the older sister of one of the men I'm coaching in my battalion. We interact online; I program her workouts and provide feedback on the video she sends me. She's wicked strong already, and it's been a pleasure coaching her. When I met her online, she hadn't lifted with any consistency in quite some time; I gather several months. But she's got some focused training in powerlifting, from 2018 until approximately present day.

    Abby works as an Emergency Room nurse in New Jersey, and her hours are not entirely predictable, she's got on-call periods, and sometimes a 12-hour shift has additional add-ons that turn her day into an 18-hour nightmare. She's married, no kids. Her husband is a municipal cop, which leads to additional unexpected wake-ups when he is in a situation that causes the hospital to be called. Additionally, Abby's mother-in-law lives with her, and is in need of daily care. Abby's life is full, and it's a week-to-week "who knows" regarding when she'll get to the gym. I think she's got potential to beat some New Jersey powerlifting records for her age and weight class.

    Age: 32
    Sex: Female
    Height: 65 inches
    Weight: 185

    Best lifts prior to working with me:

    Squat: 285x2, 225x7
    Bench: 160x1, 125 "for sets"
    Press: 85x5x5 (never pressed over 85 lbs but did some 5x5 work)
    Deadlift: 315x1, 275x1

    Rather than count "Week X Day Y," due to the unpredictable nature of Abby's schedule, I'm just going to count sessions.

    Session 1 (Assessment): Late May, 2021

    Squat: 185x5
    Press: 85x5
    Bench: 115x5
    Deadlift: 235x5

    Session 2, 20210603

    Squat: 175x5x3
    Press: 45x8x3
    Bench: 95x5x3
    Deadlift: 215x5x2

    Session 3, 20210604

    Squat: 185x5x3
    Press: 55x5x3
    Bench: 105x5x3
    Deadlift: 225x5x2

    Session 4, 20210615


    (11 day layoff before this one)

    Squat: 185x3x3
    Press: 65x5x2
    Bench: 125x3x3
    Deadlift: 235x3x2

    Session 5, 20210617

    Squat: 195x5x3
    Press: 65x8x3
    Bench: 115x5x3
    Deadlift: 235x5x2

    Session 6, 20210627


    (10-day layoff before this one)

    Squat: 205x5x2
    Press: 70x8x3
    Bench 120x5x3
    Deadlift 315x1, 275x3, 225x10


    The deadlifts happened earlier in the day, at a friend's gym, with a special deadlift bar. She matched her best single and best triple, and did some showing off with a crazy set of 10. I advised her this isn't the best way to maintain long-term gains, but still, it feels good to prove to yourself you're "still as strong as you used to be."

    Session 7, 20210701

    Squat: 210x5x4
    Press: 75x5x3
    Bench: 122.5x5x3
    Deadlift: 259x5x2


    Some extra squat volume here.

    Session 8, 20210706

    Squat: 210x5x3 (Mis-load: Should have been 215)
    Press: 77.5x5x3
    Bench: 125x5x3
    Deadlift: 255x3x3

    Session 9, 20210708

    Squat: 217.5x5x3 (Making up for the mis-load)
    Press: 80x5x3
    Bench: 130x5x3
    Deadlift: 265x3x3

    Session 10, 20210711

    Squat: 225x5x3
    Press: 85x5, 75x5x2
    Bench: 135x5, 120x5x2
    Deadlift: 270x3x3

    Session 11, 20210716

    Squat: 230x5x3 (5 PR!)
    Press: 87.5x2 (2PR!), 75x5x2
    Bench: 137.5x5 (5PR!), 120x5x2
    Deadlift: 275x3, 205x5x2


    The press was supposed to have a top set of 5, but she badly off-slotted it and lost the rep. I didn't get her video until hours later so I didn't know; if I did I'd have advised her to rest and reattempt 87.5 for reps.

    But here's a quick look at what's happened so far:

    In a month and a half of not-so-consistent training, Abby has: 1) Made a lifetime Squat PR for 5 reps. 2) Put more weight overhead than she has ever pressed, and did it for 2 reps. 3) Made a lifetime Bench PR for 5 reps. AND 4) Tied her lifetime PR on deadlift for 3 reps.

    She's primed right now to break into some real kick-ass territory; for a few weeks she'll be hitting new PRs on every lift, every session.

  2. #2
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    Her numbers are quite strong. Young ladies can do some marvelous things. At some point you may want to have a SS coach check her work online. Just a thought.

  3. #3
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    Maybe down the line ... She's had significant training before she got to me, though, and her form on the lifts is already really clean, with the possible exception of some knee-slide in the squat.

  4. #4
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    Session 12

    Squat: 235x2x2


    Migraine and stomach ills today; I tried to have her hit one more sets-across PR but it just wasn't happening. To be safe, I'm going to scale back to top-triple/backoff sets and have her walk up her triples some.

    Press: 87.5x5 (5PR!), 75x5x2

    Bench: 140x5 (5PR!), 125x5x2

    Deadlift: 280x3 (3PR!), 205x5x2


    With the exception of squat, everything looked pretty excellent.

  5. #5
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    Session 13

    Squat: 235x3, 210x5x2

    Press: 90x5 (5PR!), 75x5x2

    Bench: 142.5x3 (3PR!), 127.5x5x2

    Deadlift: 285x3 (3PR!), 210x3x3


    Abby has been under the weather for a few days; she's feeling better now. Some rest did the trick. Driving forward again now.

  6. #6
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    Session 14

    Squat: 240x3 (3PR!), 215x5x2

    Press: 92.5x3 (3PR!) 77.5x5x2

    Bench: 145x3 (3PR!), 127.5x5x2

    Deadlift: 290x2x2, 215x3x2

  7. #7
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    Session 15 (Executed 20210801)


    Aimed for some reduced volume overall this session since it came less than 48 hours after last run. Top sets and minimal backoffs. Went well. I think next session is set for 20210806, and I plan to fully murder her that day.

    Squat: 245x3 (3PR!), 215x5

    Press: 95x5 (5PR!)

    Bench: 147.5x2 (2PR!), 127.5x3x2

    Deadlift: 295x2, 3; 215x3x2


    Press for 95lbs is most she's ever put overhead, and she hit it for 5. Great stuff. Deadlift was supposed to be a top set of 3, but she had a personal issue in the middle of the top set. So she took care of herself, rested, and came back to crush a PR triple which puts her e1RM (Wendler formula) at 10lbs over her best actual 1RM. We're gonna blow the top off of this deadlift.

  8. #8
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    Session 16 (20210806)

    Squat: 250x4 (4PR!), 220x5x2

    Press: 100x2 (2PR!), 80x3x3

    Bench: 150x2 (2PR!), 130x3x3

    Deadlift: 300x1, 220x3x2


    Everything was crushed out of the park except deadlift.

  9. #9
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    You don't often see women who are not competitive lifters using these kinds of weights. Very impressive.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Dalan: Yes, she's killing it. I think she has a shot at some New Jersey state records in USPA if she keeps up like this.

    Session 17 (20210811)

    Squat: 235x4, 215x5x2


    This was an oops. Abby CRUSHED a set of 4 and then racked it. But it was supposed to be a set of 5.

    Press: 85x5x3 (Sets Across PR)

    Bench: 132.5x5x3 (Sets Across PR)

    Deadlift: 255x5x2
    Last edited by Geoff Bischoff; 08-15-2021 at 11:53 AM.

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