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 #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.

5/3/1 – C2W1 – Deadlift

Deadlift:  5×105 + 5×130 + 3×160 + 5×170 + 5×195 + 7×225 (270.04 1RM)
BBB Squat 60%:  5×105 + 5×135 + 5x10x160
Crunch Machine:  3x10x30

BBB Squats were pretty brutal.  Good thing I belted up on these.  I had to rest a good 3-4 minutes between sets.  After the deadlifts, I was already pretty low in the tank, but I was pretty dead set on finishing out all 5 sets no matter what.  This concludes the first week of the second cycle.

5/3/1 – C2W1 – Squat

Squat:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×155 + 5×170 + 5×195 + 5×225
BBB Deadlift 60%:  8/5/6/6/6 x 160

Absolutely brutal.  Legs were shot from no squatting for 2 weeks.  Lesson to learn- don’t skip out on rest week just because it’s called a rest week.  Deadlifts were insane.  I was barely able to get through the 5 sets.  I’ll have to belt up on these, no question about it.  The second month of the 3-month challenge meant that I had to increase weight on the BBB to 60% of 1RM.  My diet was not up to par the last week.  I haven’t been able to consistently cook for myself- schedule’s out of whack.  I didn’t have time to go through my full warm-up- I had less than an hour before gym close time.

Week19 – Day55B – Spring Time

Weight: ??

The scale is 5 feet away from me and I forgot to weigh myself again, doh!  Weather is absolutely gorgeous outside.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×175 + 2×205 + 1×235 + 5×265

Top set was tough.  Rested for 5 seconds after 4th rep and emptied the tank on the last rep.  I think I made it down to at least parallel.  The weight on the upper back made it very difficult to keep the torso upright.

Press:  5x5x65

These were difficult.  I bounced reps from the bottom of the lift to take advantage of some bounce out of the hole.

Deadlift:  5×135 + 3×175 + 2×205 + 1×235 + 5×270

Alternating grip, pretty difficult.  Rolling the bar down over my knee cap is killing them.  Will need to read up on this.

Dips:  10/9/5.5/5/5
Wide-Grip Pull-ups:  2/2/2/2/2

Treadmill Intervals
1min warmup 3.0spd
30 sec 5.0 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 5.5 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 6.0 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 6.5 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 7.0 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 6.5 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 6.0 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 5.5 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest
30 sec 5.0 spd + 30 sec 3.0 rest

Week3 – Day8B

Squats:  3x5xBar + 3×65 + 5x5x75
Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x10x10
Deadlift:  5×95 + 5×125

Standing BB Curls:  10×30
Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  
Tricep Pushdown:  20×25 + 20×30

Tired.  I’m not sure if it’s the lack of sleep or the workout, but I am pretty drowsy typing this right meow.  Didn’t get home until 11:00pm last night and was up until 1:00am for a 6:00am wake-up.  Procrastinating to wash dirty dishes and cooking something up real quick for a very late dinner kept me up.  But, gotta keep chuggin’ along.

Squats were interesting today.  I was trying to pay particular attention to my left knee.  Even when doing the static squat stretches, I felt like my left knee wasn’t where it was supposed to be when I was in the hole.  Typical of people new to squatting is, once the weight gets heavy, their knees will buckle inwards because the body is trying to compensate by falling back on the quads.  I don’t think I have this issue, although I do think that my knee is not in line with my foot when I’m in the hole.  I’ve noticed this subtlety before when I was focused on form, but never really took any action on it.  A previous consultation from an orthopedic doctor evaluated my left knee as potentially having a partial meniscus tear.  My left knee has felt, for lack of a better word…strange for some time now and the tear may or may not be attributing to that feeling.  It’s not a painful sensation, but rather a feeling of instability.  I don’t consciously think about it, but I do feel that even something simple like walking sometimes doesn’t feel normal.  Anyhow, picture taking is in order!  Must find out what’s going on.  End rant on squats.

Shoulder shocker sets were preeeeetty brutal.  I don’t know why they were so difficult today.  The first time I did the shoulder shocker routine, it was a breeze!  Deadlifts were pretty easy.  Weight is going up fast.  I forgot how aggressive SL is on the deadlift weight progression, but 10 lbs increase every workout is definitely adding up fast.  I’ll be pulling with 45 plates next B day session, woot!

Finished off the session with some curling and tricep push downs.  I’ve heard both arguments of straight bar vs. EZ bar curling for optimal bicep isolation.  And so to cover all grounds, I did 1 set straight bar and 1 set EZ bar, no brainer there!  The 40lb preacher curls were grinders, but still finished them off.  By way of triceps isolation, I did two high (20) rep tricep pushdown sets, the first with 25lbs the second with 30lbs.   The second set was killer.  I need to find something else I could do in addition to the triceps pushdown.   Dips are the first thing that come to mind, but I’m not doing them until I’m confident with my shoulder so that’s off the table.  In the past, I’ve also done overhead triceps extensions which did wonders for targeting the triceps, but anything overhead is a no no, so that’s also off the table.  So, a little research is in store for shoulder friendly exercises to isolate the triceps.

Week 23 – 5/3/1 – Day 82

Cycle #6
Week 2 Day 2

Warm-up:  foam roll, leg swings, box jumps

I haven’t done the agile 8 in a while- I’ve only been foam rolling consistently.  I used the highest box there and it was pretty easy.  Did 3 sets of 5 reps.  My phone jumped out of my pocket twice.

Squat:  5×115, 3×135, 1×165 + 3×190, 3×215, 4×240

Decided to jump back to cycle 1 weights to get myself together.  Got good depth on all the reps.  Legs were feeling very jello-like by the end of the 215 set; they were tight and had that pumped feeling.  I had difficulties getting up from a chair that night.

BBB Squat:  5x10x135

Pretty easy first 2 sets.  Next 3 sets progressively became more taxing.  I was using my back to get the bar up in the latter reps- not in a bad good morning way, but my shoulder would go up before my hips would go up.  Partial good morning into a semi push press to exaggerate, but definitely nothing like that.

BB Accessories: 

35/25/19/18 – Situps:  Slowly developing some muscle endurance in the abs.

Week 11 – 5/3/1 – Day 40

Cycle #3

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×140, 3×17 + 5×210, 3×240, 3×270

Lifts felt good.  The triple was definitely a struggle.  Didn’t keep the bar close on the first set.  The business socks are helping a bit.  I might look into investing in some thicker ones to protect my shins better.  I’d rather not have to think about my shins when I’m pulling.

Boring But Big 70%

Squat: 5×135, 3×155 + 10/7/6/4/5 x 195

I wanted to get 10 reps on the first set.  My endurance has definitely improved compared to  my previous BBB squat assistance sessions.  I was pretty gassed by the fourth set.  I rested plenty for the fifth and comfortably cranked 5 out.

Ab Wheel:  10/6/5/4

Squats left me pretty dead at this point.  Core was definitely spent, I couldn’t keep my torso rigid and felt like I was straining my back on the roll out..

Week 7 – 5/3/1 – Day 25

Cycle #2

Agile 8 + DeFranco’s  Felt the foam roll on the upper back and lats today.  Upper back and lats started getting sore a bit before noon today and foam rolling got to some tender spots, especially the lats.  Thinking retrospectively, I think I’m going to stick with the chin-ups instead of doing the lat pull downs.  I’m getting more bang for the rep with chin-ups than with lat pull downs.

Deadlift:  5×115, 3×140, 3×175 + 5×210, 3×240, 1×270

These felt very strong today, pulled with exceptional ease.  I took a note from Wendler’s book and assumed a stance as if I was jumping to set up.  My stance was noticeably wider than what I previously lifted with.  Used regular grip on the 5 and 3 repper sets.  Alternating grip on the last set.

Boring But Big 60%

Squat: 5×135 + 5x10x165

As I write this, I’m still lightly disoriented from the exhaustion suffered after finishing these.  One thing I changed was to do quick triple or quadruple reps in quick succession with one breath.  I found that resetting and going from a dead stop really hindered my ability to recover and sustain enough energy on subsequent reps.  Of course, with that in mind, I made sure not to “divebomb” the reps.  I got one frustrated grunt out on the 9th rep on the 4th set because my body started shutting down at the start of the 8th rep- its never failed to get my body jolted from going to sleep on me.

Ab Wheel:  10/8/6

These didn’t strain my back as much as before.  One thing I changed with the way I descended on the roll out was, to roll out and keep my arms perpendicular to the roller until my body was in a push up position on my knees.  From this position I then roll my arms out until my body is close to parallel on the ground.  Then, when going back, I simply reverse this.  I partitioned the lift this way because before I would bring my ass back before rolling my arms back to get myself into pushup position.  This was putting unnecessary strain on my back and taking out upper ab involvement.