Starting Strength #14B

Haven’t had good sleep last couple of days (my fault). I’ve been staying up too late. Body didn’t feel fully recovered compared to Monday night session. I was sweating like a madman.

Weight: 213.1

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×95 / 3×145 / 2×195 / 3x5x245 (275.7 1RM)

Warmup sets were pretty easy, weight moved fast, even the two-rep 80% training max. Work set is getting to a point where my brain starts to make think I won’t be able to finish my sets. I sucking lots of air on the last work set. Paused between fourth and fifth reps.  I told the coach I felt like I was using a lot of my quads, but assured me that it looked ok. He indicated that typically more of the quads are used when the lifter is on their toes.

Press:   2x5xBar / 3×60 / 2×70 / 3x5x87.5 (98.5 1RM)

Presses felt strong. Last work set was hard. Coach indicated that I was push pressing (bending the knees) to get the bar up. These definitely felt better than before. In the past, I would feel a pinched nerve as I pressed upwards.  The difference this time around is that I make sure to keep my forearm perpendicular to the bar instead of tucked inwards into my lats. This also prevented my shoulders from becoming more fatigued.

Deadlift:  2×5×95 / 3×155 / 2×195 / 5×285 (320.7 1RM)

I was able to get a good hook grip on the deadlift this time. It only hurt bad on the last rep of the workset. Coach indicated that I need to initiate the lift with a leg press first instead of lifting my chest first. The bar was moving away from the body.


Starting Strength #13A

So it’s been a whole week since I injured my back. Strangely, it recovered fairly quickly. By the next day, I was mobile and able to get up and walk around. Setup an appointment with a doctor. I told my coach I was seeing a doctor and seemed a bit disappointed. I get where he’s coming from. I tweaked my back a couple years ago doing silly plyometric exercises and the doctor I saw back then told me to stop squatting. Suffice it to say, I’m probably going to get the same answer this time around. I’m more interested in seeing if I’ve actually herniated a disc which is a more serious injury. Given that I’ve recovered so quickly and don’t have any pain anymore, I’m thinking I probably don’t have a herniated disc. But…we’ll see.

Weight: 213.13

Squats:  3x5xBar / 5×95 / 3×140 / 2×190 / 3x5x240

First 2 sets weren’t too bad. I rested 6 minutes after the 1st set then 7 minutes after the second. Last set, last two reps were grinders. Bar still moved pretty quickly once I got past the sticking point.

Bench:   3x5xBar / 3×65 / 2×95 / 3x5x135

These felt strong today. It’s strange the second set always seems harder than the top set. Bar moved pretty fast for all three sets. Can’t complain.

Deadlift:  2×5×125 / 3×185 / 2×235 / 5×280

Top set felt pretty damn heavy today. I need to pay more attention to detail on properly setting the hook grip. Felt like I messed up the grip today and I definitely paid the price in pain. Coach said they looked good though so *shrug*.

Starting Strength #12B

Today was interesting.

Somehow I tweaked something in my lower back (right side) the night before unpacking my luggage from the weekend trip. I didn’t think much of it. Come the workout and my lower back feels like it’s very inflamed. Squatting just the bar without the belt felt very uncomfortable. It felt like there was a ton of pressure where I had tweaked my back. I couldn’t lift my right leg at all.

I consulted the coach and recommended I squat with the belt. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical it would help, but miraculously it made about 80% of the pain go away. I was able to work through the pain for all the lifts.

BUT, once I came home, I pretty much couldn’t walk or sit without feeling very uncomfortable. I lay down for the rest of the night after dinner. I’m hoping that it’s not a herniated disc and I don’t need surgery to remedy it.

Weight: 215.89

Squats:  3x5xBar / 3×90 / 3×140 / 2×185 / 3x5x235

It’s been a week since my last workout. These felt relatively quick, especially the earlier sets. These felt easier compared to the last workout. I was feeling pretty burnt out at the end of the previous workout. The week long rest was definitely much needed.

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×60 / 2×75 / 3-4-3×90

Stalled hard on these. Left arm felt like it was lagging behind the right. Coach indicated that I need to press the bar over my head and not away from the face. The moment arm is probably what was causing me to gas out since I didn’t get my head underneath the bar fast enough. Coach recommended I back off to 87.5 lbs and to go up in 2.5 lb increments.

Deadlift:  5×135 / 3×150 / 2×190 / 5×275

Deadlifts felt relatively easy. Used hook grip for all the sets. It is getting easier to use the hook grip; less pain overall. Coach indicated that my last rep of the top set, I was leaning forward a little. Cue to keep in mind is to stay off the toes and push legs through the floor.

Back to the Iron! Starting Strength #11A

It’s been more than 3 years since my last post on this blog. Quite a lot has happened since I started this blog back in 2011 when I was just fresh out of college and even more in just the last 5 years of my life.  I’ve been consistently lifting at a Starting Strength gym for a month now. It was a relief to find this gym and the coaches who actually know what they’re talking about with regards to proper lifting technique. I can’t promise to myself that I’m never going to stop lifting just like I promised to myself so many years ago. I know better. However, I do think I know myself a little better now and I think I’ve gotten better at seeing those first signs when I’d rather take an extra “rest” day than go to the gym and lift. It’s always a matter of identifying the problem at hand first.

With that said, I’m hoping that it will be different this time around, life and all.

Weight: 214.3

Squats:  3x5xBar / 5×90 / 3×135 / 2×180 / 3x5x230

Last 2 top sets were very grindy.  Took ample rest (6 and 7 minutes respectively) before each of these to ensure I complete each set. Main cues I took note of was to drive my knees out immediately and then sit. My coach indicated during my first sets that my knees were still sliding forward as I squatted down instead of setting them from the beginning and then sitting back. I think my tendency as the weight gets heavier is to bend at the hips first then the knees. Corrected this on the last 2 sets by thinking to shove my knees way out immediately at the beginning of the rep.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×65 / 3×90 / 2×115 / 3x5x130

First top set was relatively fast. The second top set slowed down a bit on the last rep. I probably needed to rest a bit more.  Other than that, these felt good. The main cues I took away from this was to make sure my elbows were underneath the bar.

Deadlift:  5×135 / 3×185 / 2×225 / 5×270

Starting today, I decided to start using hook grip for all sets. My coach told me that your thumb gets more used to the hook grip the more you do it.  Two sessions ago, it felt like my thumb was going to rip off.  It’s gotten better since then.  I think it gets more painful the more you lose your grip of the bar.  The main cue I’m thinking of during the setup is to squeeze the bar and keep the grip tight throughout the entire lift. The second set of cues I make sure to keep in mind during the lift is “sit back” and “push feet through the floor”.  The top set was a grinder, but still managed to get through it with no residual back pain.

SS – Day11A

Monday, February 29th, 2016 – 59 deg F, partly cloudy

Jump Rope
Agile 8
Squats:  2×5@45 + 5@70 + 3@105 + 2@140 + 3×5@180

Squats were solid.  Felt really fatigued last Friday when I was squatting the 175, so I was mentally preparing for today.  2 day rest does wonders for the body.

Benches were full so did 4 sets of db bench press with 35s.  No deadlift.