A 40s look at NLP A 40s look at NLP

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Thread: A 40s look at NLP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default A 40s look at NLP

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    I figured since I have spent all this time tracking my workouts I might as well document it somewhere.

    I have known for most of my life I needed my back to be strong so that it would not hurt an ache all of the time. From 8 to 15 years of age I was a large halfpipe skateboarder. The repetitive falling from sometimes 10+ feet helped me get diagnosed with spondylolysis when I was 17. The first episode from nowhere, I was stuck bent over at a 90-degree angle and had to see a doctor. They told me nothing could be done except keep your core strong or surgery. I did some working out in my late teens and early 20s but nothing structured.

    By back has been in flux from then on. Bearable pain but pain none the less. At one point I was not able to sleep more than 6 hours before the pain woke me up.
    I’m not sure where I learned about squats… I was almost 40 and had a gym next to my work, so I would go there after work. I started doing exercises that I had learned in my 20s and somehow added squats. I had about 6 weeks of pain and then it ended, my back stopped hurting. I would say it was 95% better, and the benefits lasted.

    Fast forward to May of 2016 and life had happened. Moving, new job, and family. I worked out on and off with some regularity. I don’t think I had squatted at all since the first round. My back slowly had gotten worse but nothing I could not deal with. The benefits of the first round of squats lasted more than a year before the aches started.

    My first tracked workout was May 14th of 2016 – There are warm-up sets as well, but below would represent the work sets. I knew very little about SS at this point except what exercises to do. I had not bought the book, just read a bit from the internet. Just enough to know the jist, but still tweaking it how I wanted.

    DL – 205x10x2
    Sq – 145x10x2
    Press – 65x10x2
    Bench – 115x7x1

    Starting Strength book purchased. May 7th 2017

    My workout log shows that on July 31st 2017 I started (NLP) The Program.

    July 31st 2017
    Squat – 165x5x3
    DL – 250x5x1
    Bench – 185x5x3
    Aug 2 – Press – 95x5x3

    Aug 3rd 2017
    Squat – 170x5x3
    Press – 95x5x3
    Row – 100x5x4 (I must have still not understood The Program)

    The workout history is pretty good from July 31st 2017 through May 1st 2018. I didn’t go through and count missed days, I’m sure there were a few missed workouts. I had been going to a small gym with only one squat rack this whole period. The workouts got longer and longer, mostly because I got to know the regulars there and it was turning into an after-work hangout as well. I always got my work done though. Finally, the gym was getting busy enough that it was hard to get into the squat rack. I needed it for both squats and the press. One day I did not get to do squats because it was taken for too long. I was not going to let this happen again, so I bought a squat rack and crammed it in my garage. I have never been back, and I have never been happier.

    My final numbers ending the first round of NLP
    April 29th 2018
    Press – 120x5x3
    Row – 135x5x3
    May 1st 2018
    Squat – 240x5x3
    DL – 320x5x1
    Bench – 192.5x5x3

    I stopped working out because I got hurt being stupid. I got on a skateboard to mess around with some younger kids and hurt myself. I hurt my right knee… nothing I haven’t done before. Snowboarding has hurt my pretty bad. I have dislocated it twice snowboarding and now once on a skateboard. It took a year to heal the first time and has been easier the second two times since. I basically quit working out over it from May 2018 through the end of the year. I did some self-rehab but did not get back into the grove.

    Fast forward to December 31st 2018, I was ready to do a second round of NLP. Now armed with more information than before, I was ready to go until I fail. Oh ya… I still am not eating enough protein or carbs at this point and have been wanting to get stronger and stay slim (6’ 200+ lb.) I am messing around with the Keto and intermittent fasting. I had not read the “Three Questions” article. I will explain more about this later.

    Below are my beginning and ending numbers. When I say ending, it is because yesterday was the first time I have legitimately missed a lift. I have known I was getting close. It was the Press that went first.

    Dec 30th 2018 – 105x5x3
    Apr 16th 2019 – 155x5x3
    Apr 20th 2019 – 157.5x4,5,4x3 / MISSED
    Jan 8th 2019 – 150x5x3
    Apr 18th 2019 – 215x5x3
    Dec 30 2018 – 185x5x3
    Apr 18th 2019 – 365x5x1
    Dec 30th 2018 – 185x5x3
    Apr 18th 2019 – 290x5x3
    Jan 8th 2018 – 135x5x3
    Mar 3rd 2019 – 170x5x3
    As of March 2019 have switched to Power Cleans
    Power Clean
    March 13th 2019 – 85x3x5
    April 18th 2019 – 132.5x3x5
    March 8th through Mar 22nd. These are not really worth talking about. Im using a -50# band an am slowly going up. Im happy with these because at least I can see progress.

    The second round of NLP has been interesting. I have fought through some interesting pain. For one my shoulders do not stretch well to go into the low bar position. The pain I have gone through to keep squatting has been crazy. I have a whole pre ritual to get my shoulders ready to squat. I have had days that nothing hurts and days where everything hurts. As of today, I am on the beat up side, not the muscles but the joints and tendons. I barely made it though the press yesterday my left elbow was aching so bad. It was making me sick. My shoulders ache intermittently but I can always deal with it.

    I feel like I have known that my hips were going to be an issue, but I really wanted to hit 300# on the squat before I dealt with it. Yesterday was the day of reckoning. My trochantors are sore and have been getting progressively worse. I just figured out what it was and am working on with a lacrosse ball. It seems to be working, so far. But this ended my squatting early. So 290# will have to be my 5 rm max for now. I don’t consider this a fail just a setback.

    I am now working on my food intake. I signed up with Robert Santana a few weeks ago because I knew that was my issue. Sleep, check. Rest, check. Food, what the hell am I doing? My gains in the last few weeks must be due to eating like a pig. 3000 calories is insane to me, Ill bet I haven’t eaten 2000 (novice effect) a day since I started in 2016. And then we can talk Keto as well as intermittent fasting. I now get out of bed hungry. I have total numbers I am working for each day. I guess you could say me eating is now training.

    What this system has meant to me is that I have been able to go to work, raise a family and fight from becoming the old fat weak guy. I can now walk out to my home guy and workout in an acceptable amount of time and not feel like it is taking all of my time. In my 40s time is immensely valuable. I am also blessed to have two younger boys (9, 11) and keeping up with them is a must.

    This is where I thank Rip for what he has built and all of the Starting Strength people that change lives for the better. Ill do it with two fingers of whisky.

    Ill tell you what… I’m getting harder to kill each week.

    Matthew Spicka
    Last edited by Matthew Spicka; 05-18-2019 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    Thanks for sharing Matt. I'm happy for your success so far. This is solid inspiration / reinforcement for me because my numbers and situation are familiar (minus I haven't been injured as much).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    Quote Originally Posted by bikesandcars View Post
    Thanks for sharing Matt. I'm happy for your success so far. This is solid inspiration / reinforcement for me because my numbers and situation are familiar (minus I haven't been injured as much).
    Hey bikesandcars... just noticed your post. Still at it? I just started a second round of the NLP. I took some time off and am ready to go again.

    A few things I have noticed... weight going back up with no problems. Didnt lose much strength, my knee joints seem to be better able to handle power cleans, and my right hip is not hurting at all. My hip was hurting around 270#. We'll see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017



    Still at it... still tracking every workout. Still getting hurt from time to time. But my lifts are still going up.

    Squat PR - 345#
    DL PR - 465#
    Press PR - 175#
    Bench PR - 225x5 (Just coming out of shoulder issues and benching with a vengeance.)
    Power Clean - 165# - same as bench

    This will be my 4th NLP. Everytime I get hurt, I reset. The reset time is getting shorter and shorter. More PR's to follow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    Right on, Matt!!

    Like you, I've reset my NLP a few times since my first one in 2017, mainly because each winter my focus is on snowboarding. In previous winters, I didn't lift at all, but this past winter, thanks to a new rack and weights in the garage and some advice from SSC's, I made sure to get at least one intensity session for each lift per week. That really helped minimize the reset. So much so that even when I restart restart my proper NLP either next week or the one following, I'll likely have to go straight into HLM for my deads. I'm not mad.

    Keep at it!


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