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Thread: Theodor's NLP (starting logging from week 6)

  1. #1
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    Tallinn, Estonia
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    Default Theodor's NLP (starting logging from week 6)

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    Greetings from slushy Estonia!

    The forum seems like a great resource for learning, wish I had stumbled upon it sooner.

    A few words about myself.

    Name: Theodor
    Age: 28
    Height: 1.79m (5ft 10 1/2)
    Initial weight: 67kg (147 lbs) - been living with the story that as an ectomorph I'm just not able to increase body weight or muscle mass (although in reality previously I have not been stubborn enough to keep eating 4000-5000+ calories each day)

    I have been active all of my life, however, mostly focusing on cardio as I was playing football (soccer for Americans) and doing long-distance running or bicycling.
    I am also not unfamiliar to barbells and strength training, but it has never been my sole focus. First time I read Starting Strength about 5 years ago and applied it in the gym, but back then I was picking and choosing a lot and "did not do the program" in many ways (programming and nutrition were especially random and probably fatigue from doing other types of training). However, I do remember being able to perform 90kg+ (~200 lbs) squat series and 110kg+(~240 lbs) deadlifts in the past, so not starting from complete zero.

    ___

    This time I started on October 7, and I'm now on week 6 of NLP. The first weeks of training were not exactly by the book either (as I was in the middle of re-reading it), but now I feel like I have all the knowledge to do it correctly.

    Squat (3x5): 40kg (88 lbs) ->90kg (198lbs) - The starting number seems quite low, I had trouble with lactic acid when starting on week 1. I have been doing 2.5kg increases every single time since 65kg. Started wearing a belt at 87.5kg and this has given a huge boost. Right now feeling that at least the next few increases should be easily manageable.

    Deadlift (1x5): 60kg (132 lbs) ->105kg (231 - Did it every other training, not every time in the beginning, which perhaps was a mistake. Still doing 5kg jumps in weight each time.

    Bench press (3x5): 50kg (110 lbs)->64kg (141 lbs) - I probably made too big weight jumps in the beginning (5kg per week), but plateaud a bit. Now went back a little and focusing on smaller increases.

    Power clean (5x3): 40kg (88 lbs) ->50.5kg (111 lbs) - I had never done power cleans, but started alternating with deadlift on week 3. Doing quite small increases to focus on proper technique.

    Overhead press (3x5): 30kg (66 lbs) ->39kg (86 lbs) - Worked on the technique on week 4, initally used some help from legs...

    ___

    Current weight: 70.9kg (156 lbs) or +3.9kg (+9 pounds) from the beginning. Although I have gained some weight, which has been nice, I have now realized that I need to be dead serious about nutrition in order to keep the progress going. My 3x5 squats are already over 1.25x bodyweight, which I read should be like a 6 month training benchmark for novices... What do you think of these benchmarks? Is there any other good source? How Much Ya Bench? Strength Benchmarks for Men | The Art of Manliness

    Will keep updating this log after each training and definitely will submit form checks, as well.

    Thank you,
    Theodor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2023
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    Those bench marks do not mean anything. Your progress is five pounds on the bar each time, and the process (of both training and nutrition) is the same until that changes.

    Benchmarks based on bodyweight are relatively useless for someone in your position, because in all likelihood you can't gain a great deal of strength at this bodyweight.

    Good on you for recognizing you need to be serious about nutrition. You are underweight for the purposes of this program. Start thinking of yourself as a 200 pound man, since that's where you need to get to. For starters, at least.

  3. #3
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    Roger that. No need to get distracted by benchmarks and need to double down on increasing weight.

  4. #4
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    Week 6.3 (Friday)

    Squat: 92.5 kg (204 lbs): 3x5
    Press: 40 kg (88 lbs): 3x5
    Deadlift: 110.5 kg (244 lbs): 1x5

    Squat form videos (from 3 different angles):
    Squats: 92.5 kg - set 1 - YouTube
    Squats: 92.5 kg - set 2 - YouTube
    Squats: 92.5 kg - set 3 - YouTube

    Deadlift form video:
    Deadlift 110.5 kg form check - YouTube

    I am actually quite shocked at how bad my back angle is for the deadlifts and don't know whether it was like this with smaller weights. Need to film the warm up sets the next time, as well. As alternate grip can cause asymmetric development, do you folks think is it okay to change the grip vice-versa throughout the set, like I did?


    *I decided at the gym I'm going to film my lifts, so didn't have the time to check through all the guidelines for making the videos. Will improve the videos for next time.

  5. #5
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    Week 7.1 (Monday)

    Squat: 95kg (209lbs) 3x5
    Bench: 65kg (143lbs) 3x5 - I had some issues previous times completing the full 5 reps during the last 2 work sets. I now made sure to rest the full 5 minutes and it wasn't an issue this time.
    Power clean: 53kg (117lbs): 5x3
    Chin-ups: 6, 7, 6

    Weight has continued to go up, now at 73kg (161lbs) compared to initial 67kg (148lbs).
    Last edited by theodor; 11-20-2023 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Forgot about the chins

  6. #6
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    Good progress. Make sure that you don't forget the tips on how to know when you have reached your novice limit and what to do about it,

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by carson View Post
    Good progress. Make sure that you don't forget the tips on how to know when you have reached your novice limit and what to do about it,
    Thanks, hopefully I can contiue on the novice pace for at least a few more weeks.

    Today's training:

    Squat: 97.5kg (215 lbs)
    filmed work set 1 and 3
    Squats: 97.5 kg - set 1 - YouTube
    Squats: 95.5 kg - set 3 - YouTube

    Excited about going for 100kg the next time!

    Deadlift: 115kg (254 lbs)
    Deadlift: 115 kg - YouTube

    I think I corrected my lower back arch a bit. I forgot to put on the belt, so managed only 3 reps as seen on the video, but completed the other 2 after putting it on. In general I think I would need to proceed with 2.5kg jumps as I was pretty much at my limit.

    Press: 41.5kg (91 lbs)
    Last edited by theodor; 11-22-2023 at 05:50 AM.

  8. #8
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    Week 7.3 (Friday)

    Squat: 100.5kg (222 lbs) 3 sets of 5
    Squats: 100.5 kg - set 1 - YouTube
    Squats: 100.5 kg - set 2 - YouTube
    Squats: 100.5 kg - set 3 - YouTube

    Bench press: 66kg (146 lbs) 3 sets of 5

    Power clean: 55kg (121 lbs) 5 sets of 3

    Chin-ups (bodyweight): 8,8,8

    ___

    So that was the first time I felt completely unsure if I would be able to finish all the reps and series of squats. I did it (!), but I'm not sure whether to be completely happy or not. Felt that form was compromised (depth perhaps not enough and knees wavering). What do you guys think, if you watch the clips? Should I still continue adding 5 pounds? If no comments, I will just proceed, haha. For some reason I'm not able to post on the technique forum.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
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    Hey, Theodor!

    I've been lurking for a little while and thought I'd stop by and say hi

    Great to see you being consistent in the gym and trying to gain weight. I know the pain of weight gain all too well...

    Your form isn't terrible but it could be better.

    Squat: All of your squats are high. Depth means that the bottom of your hip crease is BELOW the top of your knee. You need to back up a bit in weight and make sure all of your squats are to depth, 85kg is probably fine. Make sure you widen your stance a few centimeters on each side and shove your knees out HARD. This will make depth easier to reach. Also get some proper lifting shoes. I like adidas powerlifts for most people, but any cheap lifting shoe with a raised heel will do.

    The best squat angle for future reference is a rear 45 degree at roughly hip height.

    Deadlift: All of your deadlifts are set up in front of midfoot. Midfoot refers to the position on the middle of YOUR WHOLE FOOT, from heel to toe. NOT the forefoot which is from the shin to toe, which is what you can see while standing. The middle of your foot is roughly 2cm in front of your shin when your shin is vertical.

    If you're in Europe I highly suggest you visit SSC Steve Ross in Brussels, I have worked with him personally and he is really really good. The cost of travel and a coaching session will save you months of trying to figure out your lifts on your own.

    Make sure you post your other lifts too!

    Good luck in training and keep up the good work!

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Hi Adrian! Thanks for this very elaborate response. Appreciate all the tips! Worked on squat and deadlift techniques today and will post the videos later.

    I can not afford the travel at this point (wedding coming up ��), but I think I will try some form of online coaching during the next few weeks.

    I have these shoes right now and don't feel the need to upgrade as they have quite solid soles and raised heels. So basically fits all the needs for a lifting shoe, or no? https://ee.sportsdirect.com/lonsdale...lcode=11056902

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