Starting Strength #12B

Today was interesting.

Somehow I tweaked something in my lower back (right side) the night before unpacking my luggage from the weekend trip. I didn’t think much of it. Come the workout and my lower back feels like it’s very inflamed. Squatting just the bar without the belt felt very uncomfortable. It felt like there was a ton of pressure where I had tweaked my back. I couldn’t lift my right leg at all.

I consulted the coach and recommended I squat with the belt. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical it would help, but miraculously it made about 80% of the pain go away. I was able to work through the pain for all the lifts.

BUT, once I came home, I pretty much couldn’t walk or sit without feeling very uncomfortable. I lay down for the rest of the night after dinner. I’m hoping that it’s not a herniated disc and I don’t need surgery to remedy it.

Weight: 215.89

Squats:  3x5xBar / 3×90 / 3×140 / 2×185 / 3x5x235

It’s been a week since my last workout. These felt relatively quick, especially the earlier sets. These felt easier compared to the last workout. I was feeling pretty burnt out at the end of the previous workout. The week long rest was definitely much needed.

Press:   3x5xBar / 3×60 / 2×75 / 3-4-3×90

Stalled hard on these. Left arm felt like it was lagging behind the right. Coach indicated that I need to press the bar over my head and not away from the face. The moment arm is probably what was causing me to gas out since I didn’t get my head underneath the bar fast enough. Coach recommended I back off to 87.5 lbs and to go up in 2.5 lb increments.

Deadlift:  5×135 / 3×150 / 2×190 / 5×275

Deadlifts felt relatively easy. Used hook grip for all the sets. It is getting easier to use the hook grip; less pain overall. Coach indicated that my last rep of the top set, I was leaning forward a little. Cue to keep in mind is to stay off the toes and push legs through the floor.

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 2 – Day5A

Monday, February 1st, 2016 – 57 deg F, cloudy

Jump Rope
Agile 8
Squats:  3x5x45 + 3×50 + 2×75 + 3x5x125
Deadlifts: 2x5x65 + 5×95 + 3×115 + 5×135
Incline DB Press: 10@25 + 10@30 + 10@35
Seated DB Overhead Triceps Press:  10@35 + 10@40 + 10@45

Welcome February!  What in the world happened to Wednesday and Friday last week?  I’m only in the second week trying to get back into the rhythm of things and already I’m suffering from I-have-a-bs-excuse-not-to-go-to-the-gym syndrome.  Anyway…I’m back into it starting today.  Benches were being used so I resorted to doing some db presses, incline and overhead extensions.

Squats and deadlifts were a little bit more taxing than usual today.  I’m still going up in increments of 10lbs session to session.  I think I’m going to definitely feel the heaviness of the quick ramp up in weights very very soon.  And soon as in probably within the next week or week and a half.

 

SS – Week 1 – Day3A

Friday, January 22nd, 2016 – 29 deg F, cloudy

Jump Rope
Agile 8
Squats:  3x5x45 + 3×50 + 2×75 + 3x5x125
Bench:  2x5x45 + 5×50 + 3×70 + 2×90 + 3x5x100
Deadlifts: 2x5x50 + 3×75 + 2×105 + 5×125

Squats were solid.  Started with wide grip and progressively narrowed grip.  Made sure bar was sufficiently low and ensured bar didn’t creep up coming out of the hole.  Took 1 second pause at the top and sucked in air before each rep.

Bench wasn’t too bad.  Felt medium heaviness.

Deadlifts were easy.  Nice and light still.  Focused on form.

 

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.