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 #28B

Weight: 224.9

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×100 / 3×155 / 2×205 / 5×260 / 2x5x235

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×55 / 2×70 / 3x5x85

Lying Tricep Extensions: 12×45 / 12×45 / 8×45

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.

Starting Strength #26B

Started with the “Advanced Novice” phase of the linear progression. Basically, this phase further breaks down the week in the following manner.

Regular progression on squat with two sets of back-off
Bench / Press
Chinups  – goal here being to get to 10 reps with bodyweight; use bands to progressively work your way up to bodyweight chinups
(Alternated With)
Rows – 2×8-12

Wednesday aka “Light Day”
Work up to three sets of five of 80% of Monday’s work set, no back offs
Press / Bench
Regular progression on deadlift
Conditioning for 15-20 minutes

Regular progression on squat based off Monday’s work weight
Bench / Press
Lying Tricep Extension – 2×8-12

Weight: 220.0

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×100 / 3×150 / 2×200 / 5×255 / 2x5x230

So, I think I’ve finally been able to lock down the right depth on the squat. Coach has been telling me that I need to go deeper. With gaining weight, I definitely think my leverages have changed to the point where my previous depth is no longer below parallel. The feeling that I have to get depth is basically the same feeling I have when going ass to grass. However, when I went this route, I was consistently hitting the left or right safety pins. Made sure to drop the safety pins one slot down. Also started doing back-off sets here.

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×55 / 2×70 / 3x5x85

Recovered here and completed all the reps for each set. Felt much stronger in this lift compared to the last session. Still going to go up in 2.5lb increments here.

Chinups (green + purple bands): 6/4/4

Starting Strength #24B

Weight: 216.5

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×100 / 3×150 / 2×200 / 3x5x250

Pretty grindy. This weight was the weight I used when I first started back-off sets.  Same cues that I need to work on. Sit back more. Going to try to widen stance a hair to see if I can improve the sitting back. I feel like with a narrow stance I’m ending up on my toes more than before. Also, coach pointed out that I need to make sure the safety pins are at the right marking.

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×65 / 2×70 / 3-5-5×85

I stupidly quit on the first set. I have a habit of doing pretty terribly on the first set on presses. Going to try again at 85lbs for the next pressing session.

Deadlift:  2×5×135 / 3×185 / 2×240 / 5×285

Deadlifts weren’t terrible, but they’re sucking the life out of me. Had to rest a few more seconds than usual for the last rep. Next session should be fun.

Starting Strength #23A

First session of 2020. I’m happy I was able to get myself into the gym. It’s been two weeks since my last session. I’m about five sessions away from coming back to my pre-holiday weights. SO! New year, new goals. I’m going for the following PRs this year:

Squat: 315lbs (+40)
Bench: 195lbs (+45)
Press: 135 (+40)
Deadlift: 385 (+70)

Weight: 218.6

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×95 / 3×145 / 2×195 / 3x5x245

Last reps of each set were grinders. Keep feeling like I’m using a lot of quads, especially my right quads. On the last set, coach indicated that my chest was collapsing and I need to make sure I keep my chest up. Stance also needs to stay a bit narrow and make sure I sit back. I’ve been thinking about these cues and I’m a bit skeptical on the advice. I have very long legs and a narrow stance does not lend well to allowing me to sit back.

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×65 / 3×90 / 2×115 / 5-5-4×135

These felt better compared to the last bench session. I made sure to tighten my back on each rep. I did miss the last rep of the last set. I have to make it a point to make sure I’m looking at the ceiling and targeting the spot on the ceiling where I need to bring the bar back to. Coach pointed out that the bar is moving away towards my belly which was enough to gas me out.

Deadlift:  2×5×125 / 3×180 / 2×235 / 5×280

These were pretty easy. Hook grip wasn’t painful.