Starting Strength #36A

Managed to tweak my lower back during the deadlift session. This is the first time I’ve tweaked my back from doing the deadlift. Afterwards, I walked around a bit and decided to do light sets of 5-7 reps of the deadlift.  Going to try to keep it moving the next day doing air deadlifts and air squats.

Weight: 222

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×90 / 3×135 / 2×180 / 3x5x225


Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×97.5 / 2×122.5 / 5×150 / 2x5x135

Relatively easier than last week.

Deadlift: 2x5x120 / 3×182.5 / 2×257.5 / 2×305

Tweaked the left side of my lower back.

Starting Strength #35A

Weight: 223.9

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×90 / 3×135 / 2×180 / 3x5x225

These felt very easy. Rested about 4 minutes between sets.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×97.5 / 2×122.5 / 5×150 / 2x5x135

Getting heavy. Muscle imbalance rearing its ugly head again.

Deadlift: 2x5x120 / 3×182.5 / 2×257.5 / 5×305

These felt way easier than last week. Thumbs hurt like hell though. Focused on doing a leg press through the floor.

Starting Strength #33A

Weight: 224.1

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×110 / 3×165 / 2×220 / 5×275 / 2x5x247.5

Body felt worn out. The top set felt pretty brutal.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×95 / 2×120 / 5×147.5 / 2x5x132.5

First day of back-off sets for the bench press. Feels much better doing the back-offs. They were pretty light

Lying Tricep Extensions: 12×30 / 10×30

Not sure if I’m using the same EZ curl bar as the previous time I did these. Will need to ask the coach again what the weight differences are between all the EZ curl bars.

Starting Strength #32B

Weight: 223

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×85 / 3×127.5 / 2×170 / 3x5x215

My quads were on fire today. Extremely sore from Monday’s session. First set was pretty darn painful. The pain got better and subsided as I went through the work set.

Press:   3x5xBar / 5×55 / 3×67.5 / 2×80 / 3x5x92.5

Presses felt very strong today. I made a note to keep the bar as close to my face as possible. What’s been working is to think about pressing the bar towards the back of my head instead of straight up. Naturally, when the weight gets heavier, the tendency is for me to start pressing the bar away from me which results in an unnecessary moment arm thereby making me expend more energy that I need to. I caught one rep where this happened and consciously made sure to correct this on the next rep.

Deadlift: 5×135 / 3×185 / 2×255 / 5×300

The top set was brutal. I already knew it was going to be hard considering the difficulty of my last warm-up set (2×255). The week long break definitely did not help with this.

Prowler Push: 6×70

Decided to do some conditioning to end the night. I had the coach instruct me on what I needed to do. The goal was to hit 6-8 reps with 1 minute reset between sets. It definitely got me breathing hard by the end of the last rep. Surprisingly, I was able to push more than I expected.

Starting Strength #31A

It’s been a minute. Took a week and a half break. Felt very fresh coming into tonight’s workout. Stalled on the bench though which was a bummer. I did much better compared to the previous bench session. Last bench I stalled on the second set. I only missed the last rep of the last set tonight. Coach suggested I do back-off sets combined with lower the weight increase to 2.5 lbs moving on. Typically the protocol is to switch to 2.5 lb increments until you start stalling and then proceed to do back-off sets as well, but I’ll eventually get to that point anyway so I’ll be starting back-offs on session #33.

Weight: 223.3

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×105 / 3×160 / 2×215 / 5×270 / 2x5x245

Felt very fresh. I lifted the weights right off the pins with a lot of ease. Coach indicated I  had good depth on the reps.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×95 / 2×120 / 2x5x145 + 4×145

I actually felt pretty strong on the work sets. I was doing a longer pause on my chest and then pressing up. Still have a tendency to press the bar away from my face. My cue was to try and drive through my feet into my upper back and keep my shoulder blades retracted as much as possible. Last set, I felt my right triceps/chest working harder than my left again. Coach encouraged that the tricep extensions should help with correcting the imbalance.

Chin-ups: 6 / 6 / 4

Slight improvement from the previous chin-up session. I was able to get two more reps on the second set. Accidentally broke one of the bands after the second set. Woops!

Starting Strength #30B

Weight: 223.3

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×80 / 3×125 / 2×165 / 3x5x210

Nice and light day. I think I was getting what Coach was advising on when he said to drive knees out fast. My mental cue to achieve this is to get my knees out super wide and over my feet. I think before my knees were just going forward instead of out to the sides. With a wide feet angle, I need to make sure my knees are tracking in the direction of my feet.

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×60 / 2×75 / 3x5x90

For some reason, the first set is always the hardest for me here. I’m wondering if it’s a matter of my CNS not being acclimated to the lift yet so the muscles that need to fire aren’t firing. I hold the bar up high basically right underneath my chin. The second and third sets were easier. I think the biggest factor which sets the tone of the lift for me is definitely the initial rack of the bar. In the past, if I don’t rack the bar properly and don’t have tight lats, it feels like the bar is extremely heavy.

Deadlift: 2x5x120 / 3×180 / 2×255 / 5×300

The work set actually felt easier than last Wednesday’s. Didn’t feel like it was a grinder on the last set. I noticed that if I cue myself to keep my chest up and back braced almost in a lordotic arch, I feel less strain in my lower back.

Starting Strength #29A

Weight: 224.9

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×105 / 3×155 / 2×210 / 5×265 / 2x5x240

Top set felt heavy today. Still trying to figure out my depth. I feel like I’m not hitting the spot I need to hit consistently. This usually results in me either going too low which causes me to expend more energy than needed. Or not low enough.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×100 / 2×130 / 5-3×145 / 5×130

Stalled pretty hard on the second set. First set was a grinder. Coach recommended I back off on the last set. Going to try for 145 again on Friday. Coach indicated that I need to mentally think about squeezing my shoulder blades together and keeping them together before each rep.

Lever Rows: 3x12x80

These are new. Got a big pump from doing these. Coach indicated that I should not be feeling my forearms being engorged and pulling the lever with my forearms and instead focus on making sure I’m pulling from my back.

Starting Strength #27A

Weight: 221.1

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×80 / 3×120 / 2×160 / 3x5x205

Light day today. Coach said I need to get my knees out faster and set them. I think this is a symptom of my leaning over a bit too much. Going to try and affix my gaze a little forward instead of straight below me. Other than those points, these felt great.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×95 / 2×125 / 3x5x140

Last set was grindy, feeling the same muscle imbalance again where I’m pushing my right chest out. Cue to remember is to bring the bar back towards the rack.

Deadlift:  2×5×135 / 3×175 / 2×250 / 5×295

These were super gnarly. Not sure why it felt so heavy today. Last rep was a total grind.