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

Easy.

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 #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 #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.

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.

Starting Strength #21A

First session back from about a month break. Lifts weren’t too difficult. Fatigued on the bench press. Otherwise, the lifts felt strong. I will most likely start back off sets again on the squats once I reach 250 lbs. We’ll see how I feel then.

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×95 / 3×140 / 2×185 / 3x5x235

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

Deadlift:  2×5×120 / 3×175 / 2×225 / 5×270

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!