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


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 #32B

Weight: 223

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×85 / 3×127.5 / 2×170 / 3x5x215

My quads were on fire today. Extremely sore from Monday’s session. First set was pretty darn painful. The pain got better and subsided as I went through the work set.

Press:   3x5xBar / 5×55 / 3×67.5 / 2×80 / 3x5x92.5

Presses felt very strong today. I made a note to keep the bar as close to my face as possible. What’s been working is to think about pressing the bar towards the back of my head instead of straight up. Naturally, when the weight gets heavier, the tendency is for me to start pressing the bar away from me which results in an unnecessary moment arm thereby making me expend more energy that I need to. I caught one rep where this happened and consciously made sure to correct this on the next rep.

Deadlift: 5×135 / 3×185 / 2×255 / 5×300

The top set was brutal. I already knew it was going to be hard considering the difficulty of my last warm-up set (2×255). The week long break definitely did not help with this.

Prowler Push: 6×70

Decided to do some conditioning to end the night. I had the coach instruct me on what I needed to do. The goal was to hit 6-8 reps with 1 minute reset between sets. It definitely got me breathing hard by the end of the last rep. Surprisingly, I was able to push more than I expected.

Starting Strength #30B

Weight: 223.3

Squats:  2x5xBar / 5×80 / 3×125 / 2×165 / 3x5x210

Nice and light day. I think I was getting what Coach was advising on when he said to drive knees out fast. My mental cue to achieve this is to get my knees out super wide and over my feet. I think before my knees were just going forward instead of out to the sides. With a wide feet angle, I need to make sure my knees are tracking in the direction of my feet.

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×60 / 2×75 / 3x5x90

For some reason, the first set is always the hardest for me here. I’m wondering if it’s a matter of my CNS not being acclimated to the lift yet so the muscles that need to fire aren’t firing. I hold the bar up high basically right underneath my chin. The second and third sets were easier. I think the biggest factor which sets the tone of the lift for me is definitely the initial rack of the bar. In the past, if I don’t rack the bar properly and don’t have tight lats, it feels like the bar is extremely heavy.

Deadlift: 2x5x120 / 3×180 / 2×255 / 5×300

The work set actually felt easier than last Wednesday’s. Didn’t feel like it was a grinder on the last set. I noticed that if I cue myself to keep my chest up and back braced almost in a lordotic arch, I feel less strain in my lower 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 #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.

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