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

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

I really wish I had taken a second thought about abandoning this blog for a self-made one.  I find that the inertia of life always manages to get the best of even the most disciplined people on  Earth.  Why?  Well, because we’re all human.

For me, if my memory is serving me well…  I decided to jump ship from this blog roughly 358 days ago because I wanted to create my own.  I certainly learned quite a bit building my own through GitHub Pages.  And looking at the blog, it looks like I was doing a pretty good job.

Until I stopped posting on the blog that is.

I believe that I stopped because I felt that I was not getting a ROI from the blog anymore.  My primary motivation was to create a blog.  I did that.  Ok…now what?


New year.  Time of reflection and appreciation.  New determinations.  And most of all, back to the grind.


New Blog Home

I have recently decided to switch off of the WordPress CMS blogging system in favor of building my own static website to have more control over the presentation and features of the blog.

WordPress has certainly been a wonderful medium in enabling me to express my thoughts, ideas and experiences regarding my ongoing path of self-understanding over the last three and a half years.

My goal towards migrating this blog over to my own website is primarily for the benefit of having more control over the presentation of my blog and learning how to present my blog.

My new blog home is located at



5×3 Bench Strength Training

Finally got myself back into the gym again.  It’s been a solid 3+ weeks since I last lifted.  Decided to drop the 5/3/1 and go on a strength training program devoted to increasing my bench.  Pretty much another variation of 5×5 or even 5/3/1.  Program is periodized for 6-week long minimum.  Volume decreases over duration of program and resistance increases.  Program is as follows and can also be found at the following link:

5×3 Bench Press Program: Increase Your Strength This Workout

Weeks 1-2 –  Rep Work. You will try to perform 5 sets x 8 reps on the bench press, increasing intensity (weight) during the second week.

  • Week 1 – 60% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 8 reps per set.
  • Week 2 – 65% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 8 reps per set.

Weeks 3-4 – Transition period. You will move to a 5×5 with heavier weights.

  • Week 3 – 70% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 5 reps per set.
  • Week 4 – 75% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 5 reps per set.

Weeks 5 to completion – You will begin the 5×3 portion of this program, and begin “auto-regulation.”

  • Week 5 – 80% of your one rep max. 5 sets of 3 reps.

The preview of each week looks something like the following:

Heavy Bench Press Day
Exercise Sets Reps
 Bench Press  5  * As Noted
 Dumbbell Bench Press  3  10
 Barbell Rows  3  6-10
 Chin Ups  3  AMAP
 Seated Dumbbell Press  3  10
 Skullcrushers  3  10
 Dumbbell Curls  3  10
Lower, Squat Focus
Exercise Sets Reps
 Squats  5  5
 Stiff Leg Deadlift  3  8-10
 Goblet Squats  3  10
 Leg Curls  3  10
 Seated Calf Raise  3  15
 Ab Wheel Rollouts  3  10
 Cable Crunches  3  15-20
Moderate Bench Press Day
Exercise Sets Reps
 Close Grip Bench Press  5  5
 Incline Bench Press  3  8
 Dumbbell Rows  3  10
 Pull Ups  3  AMAP
 Military Press  3  10
 Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension  3  10
 Barbell Curls  3  10
Lower, Deadlift Focus
Exercise Sets Reps
 Deadlifts  5  3
 Squats  3  10
 Leg Press  3  15-20
 Leg Curls  3  10
 Standing Calf Raise  3  15
 Plank  3  60 Seconds
 Weighted Decline Sit Ups  3  15-20

New Ground…Olympic Lifting

I’ve been dabbling with olympic lifts, primarily snatching.  Right now I’m doing multiple sets of 2 rep from mid-thigh hang to high-hang and then the 3rd rep I snatch the bar overhead from mid-thigh.  All still with empty bar.  Today I loaded the bar with 2.5s.  I’m going to have to find a training regimen.  Also probably need to get some decent olympic lifting shoes for the raised heel.

I’m still here!

I’ve been fairly busy the last two weeks, but I am still alive and kicking!  Need to regroup and assess what long term goals will be more broadly.  I’ve been primarily focusing on improving strength since I’ve started weightlifting in college.  And while this is certainly a great thing, I do also feel that it is limiting.  Thinking on a broader sense, I’m slowly gravitating towards a more general idea of my developing overall health instead of just honing in on one thing.  This realization was really something of an epiphany during this last week when I consulted a coach and got a 1-on-1 lesson on olympic lifting and more specifically the snatch.  My flexibility was really lacking in the low back and my shoulders were very rigid and tight.  In addition, lately I’ve been noticing my shortness of breath when simply going up just 2 flights of stairs to get into my apartment.

Strength, alone, at this point, is not enough to sustain and improve my overall health.  I’m going to shift towards overall health and incorporate more heavily, conditioning / cardiovascular strength and even more so, flexibility and mobility.

This is the new era of change!

Snow Day

Weight:  186.4

Not particularly ecstatic about it, but gyms were closed due to the nasty weather out.  Working from home.  Made sure to stay active as much as I can.  Did sets of 10 rep pushups through out the day.  Doing these cold did not feel wonderful.

Day 0: Greenlight

Today is the day.

Doctor’s given the green light for getting back to lifting the iron and swimming, BUT no pull-ups, or any overhead pressing movements or anything involving reaching behind me overhead.

Monday will be Day 1.  Here we go!

The Day

Close, but no cigar.

I’ve had 21 physical therapy sessions, 3 a week, so I’ve been in PT for approximately 7 weeks.  I still have a little bit to go.  My overhead shoulder flexion is at about 93% of full 180 degrees.  External rotation not quite a bit there as well.  My strength is at about 85%.

In summary, the doctor’s prescribed another month of pretty aggressive stretching.