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.

5/3/1 – C3W1 – Squat

Squat:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×1160 + 5×175 + 5×200 + 7×230 (276.04 1RM)
BBB Deadlift 70%:  5×105 + 5×135 + 3×160 + 10×190 + 9×190 + 8×190 + 7×190 + 0x190

Treadmill:  2min. 3.0 speed + 4 min. 5.0 speed

Very grueling session.  Happy with the squats, I was able to crank out more than I was aiming for (6).  Stalled out hard on the BBB assistance deadlifts.  Fatigue got the best of me.

Week20 – Day58A – Blimey

Weight:  182.8

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×140 + 3×185 + 2×230 + 5×275 (1)

I’ll say I stalled on these.  Better to admit to bad form than pet the ego.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75 + 3×95 + 2×115 + 5/5/2 x 145 (1)


Stalled again.  Right chest and arm still dominating on the press.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x3x175

First and second reps of the sets were good.

Dips:  15/7

Will start adding weights once I can get to 20 reps using bodyweight

Week20 – Day56A – A Midsummer Night’s Lifting

Weight:  182.8

Got to the gym pretty late, started lifting around 10pm.  Gym was pretty scarce, but still some people lingering.  Didn’t have music, unfortunately.  Traps and upper back were still sore from the last session’s OHPs.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×205 + 1×235 + 4×270 (1)

Silent squatting.  Stalled.  Think I was using a bit much back, aka doing good mornings out of the hole.  Did 10 reps of external rotations with elbow by the side on my right arm to get my right shoulder looser.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75 + 3×95 + 2×115 + 3x5x140

Need to really fix this, but I’m using my right chest more than my left.  Will need to read up on this.  Having no coach to look at technique makes correcting form difficult.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x3x170

Jerking on the 2nd and 3rd reps.. First rep is relatively strict.

Dips:  7/7
Pull ups:  3/2/2/2
Tricep Pushdowns:  20×40 + 7×50

Week18 – Day52A – Hill Sprints

Weight:  ??

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×195 + 2×225 + 3×255 (2)

Stalled again at 255 on the Squats.  I immediately fell into grinding out the second and following third reps.  Not sure what happened, but I felt a lot of forward lean.  Stance may have been a bit too wide.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75 + 3×95 + 2×115 + 5/4/4/3×135 (2)

Form felt very inconsistent.  Tried shrugging the left shoulder more in an attempt to bring the load in line and not load my right arm and chest.  I should certainly have rested and proceeded to do the 5th set, but gave up on it.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x3x165 (1)

The rows also didn’t feel strong.  There was a lot of jerking movement to get the bar up- my torso was rising substantially.

Dips:  12/7/4/5 (28)
Pull ups:  2/2/2/2 (8)

Hill sprints 1xwalk 40 yards + 3xsprint 40 yards

Did some hill sprints right across the street from my apartment building.  The last sprint really took the air out of my lungs, some lightheadedness followed.  Definitely happy I got around to doing these.  The hill is pretty steep and is approximately 36 yards.

Week18 – Day51B – Back!

Weight: ??

It’s been about…a week and a half since being in the gym.  Getting acclimated to the new place and breaking my routine has cost me some gym time.  I should be back into the swing of things moving forward.  The time away from the gym was certainly refreshing.  It happened at a good time since I was planning on taking a light week to rest myself relatively soon anyway.  I dropped down 5lbs on the Squat from my last work weight, increased on the OHP- it’s still light- and stayed at 265 on the Deadlift.  I wanted to do some hill sprints right next to my building, but I was running short on time to get to work, so I skipped it.  

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×175 + 2×195 + 1×225 + 2×255 (1)

Went for 255 on the top set, but managed a measly 2 reps.  It felt as though there was significant forward lean on the Squat.  Didn’t feel up to rep’ing anymore than the two.

Press:  5x5x55

Pretty easy still.  Wobbly.

Deadlift:  5×135 + 3×175 + 2×205 + 1×235 + 3×265 (1)

Grinding the shins pretty roughly on these.  I seem to be banging my left knee cap on the way down.

Dips:  10/6/5/4/5
Wide-Grip Pull-ups:  2/2/2/2/2

Pull-ups were a bit better, I went for 2 reps on each set.  The second was always not full ROM.  The dips weren’t bad, right chest was working a bit harder again.

Week18 – Day50A – Move Out

Weight:  188.2 lbs

Finally moving into the new apartment.  Living the independent life.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×175 + 2×205 + 1×225 + 5×260

Managed to crank out 5 reps going deep into the squat.  Rested between 4th and 5th reps on the top set for about 7 seconds, taking big gulps of air in.

Bench:  3x5xBar + 5×75 + 3×95 + 2×115 + 1×135 + 5×150 + 5/5/5/5/4 x 135 (1)

Sort of all over the place with bench.  I forgot that I had to deload for today so I performed a single set of 150.  Still managed to stall on the last set, hah!  Going for 135 again next time around and will be focusing on form.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x3x160

Decided to drop down reps from 5 down to 3.  My form and technique is pretty much garbage after the first few reps so I’d like to capitalize on these first few reps rather than delude myself into thinking I can do 5 when I can actually only do 3 reps with good form.

Dips:  10/6/4/6/4 (30)
Pull ups:  3/2/1/1/1/1 (10)

Rests between the sets are important, I’ve found.  Pull-ups were lagging behind the dips, I had finished my 30 reps of dips and still had to do 3 reps on the pull ups.  These two exercises are performed in alternating fashion.

Intervals:  5 min. + rest @ 3.0spd + sprints @ 6.0-6.5 spd

Calves are no longer suffering severe DOMs after running.  My running strides feel much more comfortable and confident.

Week17 – Day49B – OHP

Weight: 187.4lbs

Made the move to start doing over head presses today.  It was certainly very easy, but still worked the upper back on the contraction at the top of the lift.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×175 + 2×205 + 1×225 + 5×255

I was pretty intent on getting 5 reps on the top set.  No more stalling!  I primed myself to get the 5 reps and focused on getting there no matter what.  Whether or not my body responded to this priming or I’m actually just stronger or a bit of both, I’m not entirely sure.  In my mind, getting ready for the lift mentally is as much a factor as the actual movement itself.

Press:  5x5xBar

Did empty bar over head presses today.  Wobbly for sure.  Didn’t feel any bothersome pain at the top of the lift.

Deadlift:  5×135 + 3×175 + 2×205 + 1×235 + 5×265 (1)

Not sure how I feel about when I did these.  Used alternating grip.  Left hand pronated, right hand supinated.  I don’t think form was there.  Forgot to use mental cues to rip the bar off the ground and push my feet through the ground.  I’m going to mark this as a stall and do the same weight next time to see if I can pull with better form.

Dips:  8/5/5/3/4/2/3 (30)
Wide-Grip Pull-ups:  2/2/2/1/1/2 (10)

Went for 30 total reps on the dips and 10 total reps for the wide grip pull-ups.  Dips were a bit better.  Still using my right chest a bit more than my left.

Intervals 0.5:0.5 @ 3.0spd / 5.6-5.9 for ~6.00 minutes

Went for a run on the treadmill to do some intervals.

Week17 – Day48A – BBQ Stuffed

Weight:  187.6 lbs

Went out for a lunch to a BBQ joint with development team at work to celebrate our major software release.  Had a platter of pulled pork with a side of bbq beans and cornbread.  Super stuffed!

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×150 + 3×175 + 1×195 + 3×225

Decided not to go for my real target workweight.  Was short on time.  Will make an attempt at 5×255 come Monday.

Bench:  3x5x10 + 5×75 + 5×95 + 2×115 + 1×135 + 5/4/3/3/3 x 150 (3)

Stalled on the bench again.  This is the third time.  I will deload 10% for the next bench workout which means I will do 5×5 at 135 lbs.

Rows:  5×135 + 3×135 + 2×135 + 3x5x160 (1)

Not sure if I want to keep increasing the weights on this as I saw myself lifting my torso quite a bit.  I’m moving closer towards doing an upright barbell row rather than a strict bent-over barbell row.  I’ll consider this as a stall.  Stalling should not only consider failure to achieve a desired number of reps achieved, but also failure to maintain proper technique and form.

Pull-ups:  2×2 + 6×1
Dips:  3/2/2

Pull-ups weren’t bad.  Decided to get to 10 reps total.  I was able to do 2 sets of 2 reps.  The remaining 6 reps were done 1 set at a time.  Doing the dips hit my right chest pretty hard.  My unbalanced load on the bench- causing me to work the right chest more- carried over to the dips.

Week17 – Day47B – Party

Weight: 188.2 lbs

Busy during lunch so I couldn’t head out to the gym, so I decided leave work a bit earlier and go after.  Gym was insanely packed.  I’ve never seen so many people in a gym at one time.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×135 + 3×150 + 2×75 + 1×195 + 1×205 + 1×225 + 3×255 (1)

Couldn’t reach 5 reps.  The reps were very controlled going down.  Maybe TOO controlled, as in I was going a bit too slow.  Ideally, movements should try to be done explosively, but I’m too afraid of increasing stress on the knees if I drop too quickly.

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise: 3x6x15
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x6x15

Shortened rest periods between sets made these harder.

Deadlift: 5×135 + 3×165 + 2×185 + 1×205 + 1×225 + 5×260

I’m still progressing pretty well on these.  The jump from the 225 to 260 may be a bit much, so I should probably re-do the poundage on the ramping warm-up sets.

Dips:  10/8/6
Wide-Grip Pull-ups:  2/1/1

Pull-ups were harder today.  My right shoulder was also not too happy about them.  Dips felt good.  The first set is usually rocky as I try to stabilize my core so I don’t swing during the exercise.