Starting Strength #19A

Weight: 218.5

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

Need to make sure weight is on the midfoot. I was leaning forward a little on the earlier reps. Mental cue is to “sit back” and get “knees out” set early. Also need to make sure I don’t do such a slow and controlled eccentric descent, but also not bomb out to the bottom. Things to remember: “knees out”, “sit back”, “chin down”, “chest up”, “bounce”

Bench:   2x5xBar / 3×75 / 2×105 / 2×135 / 5×150 – 4×150 / 5×135

Arms fatigued out pretty hard on the second set. Switched to back-off set for the 3rd set. Again my right arm felt like it was pressing harder than my left. Need to self-correct this and make sure I focus on it during the warmups. Following bench sessions will now incorporate back-off sets.

Deadlift:  2×5×135 / 3×200 / 2×260 / 5×310

Switched back to hook grip. I did alternating grip the previous session, but it didn’t work out too well. The deadlift felt stronger today. Three plates next session!

Starting Strength #17A

Weight: 216

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

Bench:   2x5xBar / 5×70 / 3×100 / 2×130 / 3x5x145

Deadlift:  2×5×135 / 3×195 / 2×255 / 5×300 / 2x5x235


Starting Strength #15A

It’s been…12 days since my last session. The laziness and hesitance to hit the gym was definitely wearing on me. Finally got my butt into the gym. It turned out to be a pretty great session!

Weight: 215.2

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×100 / 3×150 / 2×200 / 2x5x250 / 5×225

First set was already tough on this. Rested for about 7 minutes after. Second set was a grinder. And per the coach’s suggestion, I did a back off set of 10% off the top weight so 250 – 25 = 225 lbs. For all the following squat in each session I’m going to be doing 1 set of the top weight then 2 back off sets of 10% subtracted off the top weight.

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

These felt pretty good. It felt like I had good control of the bar. Coach indicated that I shouldn’t be bouncing the bar off the chest and instead just lightly touching it. He also noticed that I’m getting into the habit of pushing the bar away from chest (towards my feet) when I’m pressing the bar up. Cue to remember is to press the bar up towards the top of my head.

Deadlift:  2×5×135 / 3×185 / 2×245 / 5×290

Surprisingly pretty easy today. Coach indicated to make sure I don’t bounce the bar off the shins on the way up and keep the bar against them as I go up. Hook grip didn’t hurt much. I feel like it’s 50/50 with the hook grip.

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*.

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 – Week 1 – Day1A

Monday, January 18th, 2016 – 28 deg F, little windy, clear skies

Jump Rope
Agile 8
Squats:  3x5x45 + 3×60 + 2×80 + 5×115 + 2x5x105
Bench:  3x5x45 + 3×65 + 2×85 + 3x5x95
Deadlifts: 2x5x65 + 2×95 + 5×115

Starting from scratch.

Jump ropes to get the blood flowing and warm the body up.  I quickly found myself sucking in pretty big gulps of air with just ten to fifteen consecutive jumps.
After the that, I went on to do my agile 8 stretches.  Surprisingly, the stretches didn’t wear me out that much.  Just thinking now, though, I just realized I forgot to do one of the stretches (fire hydrants).

Squats weren’t bad.  The weight had a light heaviness to it, but nothing that got me nervous.  I was able to break a sweat.  Grip width started wider then progressively went narrower as my shoulder got some more stretch.
Bench reps were somewhat difficult.  I’m encountering the same old issue of my right side working harder than my left side.  Managed to crank out all the reps.
Deadlifts were pretty easy, nice and light.