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 Post subject: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:30 am 
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Gorilla
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Location: Ontario
When I first started exploring the world of weight training a couple of years ago, I was a vegan marathoner, weighing in at a meager 106 lbs (48 kilos) at 5'6". I wasn't consistent in the gym, and always made excuses, until recently when I did a month straight of P90X and got hooked on the rush of adrenaline that I never quite got from running and biking (though I do love me some runner's high!). I convinced a friend to start StrongLifts with me one month ago, and have been very consistent with it (and plan to continue this way).

My photo log: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=21112&start=0

So where am I now, after 1 month of SL? 127 lbs, getting stronger and bigger every day.
Deadlift: 1x5 @ 135 lbs (BW+10)
Squat: 5x5 @ 125 lbs (BW)
Bench Press: 5x5 @ 110 lbs (BW-15)
OH Press: 5x5 @ 70 lbs
Chin-ups (unassisted, unweighted): PR of 13, 10, 8 this week
Inverted Rows: PR of 16, 12, 10 this week

Working on improving my "Ant Man" status - soon to be able to deadlift, squat AND bench above my bodyweight for a full 5x5! As for my bodyweight, I had made it to 124 with my old routine over the course of a couple of years...in the month since I started StrongLifts, I've gone from 124 to 127.

I honestly don't know why I never did this before. Loading up a full sized plate on each end for deadlifts today and seeing people stare at the little marathoner deadlifting with perfect form was quite fun. This has been such a fun intro to powerlifting that I don't think I'll be able to stop! I had let myself become convinced that as a natural marathoner build, I could never and would never be strong. Now I'm asking myself when I hope to be overhead pressing above my weight ;)

As for supplements, I've been going with 2.5-5g of creatine ethyl ester with my pre-workout meal, 12g of EAAs (split up into 6g while working out, 6g immediately afterward), and a half-serving of Vega before bed.


Last edited by medman on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:35 am 
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Stegosaurus
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"Ant Man"?
I thought you said "Rant Man"! :wink: :zunge:

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:19 am 
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Elephant
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Hey man glad you're enjoying stronglifts :)

The inverted rows won't be doing much for you now that you're hitting 15 reps in your first set. Switch them over to barbell rows. Test how much you can handle for 5x5 then start adding 2.5kg/5lbs the same as the other exercises - i wish I'd done this WAY earlier.

Same with chins, when you hit 15 reps start adding weight to them and switch to 3x5. You still switching them with pull-ups every other time? Also make sure you go down to full lockout at the bottom of each rep.

Same when you can do 15 reps of push-ups, switch them for dips. When you can do 15 dips (1st set) switch to weighted dips 3x5.

All the newer exercises will make you stronger quicker, no use wasting time with the bodyweight exercises when you can do >15 reps.

I delayed doing all these and my progress suffered. I reckon I could've been where I am now 4 months ago if I didn't make stupid mistakes haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:50 am 
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Manatee
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Nice, another Stronglifter in here. Keep it up and be sure to eat big!

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:55 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: Ontario
Vegan Joe - :lachmal: :boxer:

Chewy - thanks for the advice! I know I should switch to barbell rows soon/now, I'm just a little intimidated by them, and am concerned my spectacularly poor flexibility might be an issue. But I guess I have to put those fears aside and actually TRY them, as I might not have any issues at all in the end. Pushups are a breeze, I can easily bang out 20-30, even after having gone all out on bench. I didn't recall reading about switching pushups to dips - I thought the next step was weighted pushups? I like the idea of switching to dips, though, because pushups felt way too similar to bench, and are done on the same day. Thanks so much for the recommendations, though - hopefully with your advice I'll be able to get stronger faster (and progression is already so fast and so easy as a beginner)!

Coroho - thanks! I've never been a fan of keeping track of calories...whether I was doing my marathon training or weightlifting, I find my body lets me know when it needs more fuel for my training. I've been starving since I started StrongLifts, and I always eat when I'm hungry, so I'm definitely eating big these days!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Elephant
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With barbell rows, just do your best. Bend over as much as you can with a straight back (then you won't have to worry about injury). My hip flexibility is awful but I can feel it improving as I do them more. I feel like each time I can bend over more with a straight back.

Dips are similar to push-ups in the muscles they work. I've read stronglifts used to have dips instead of push-ups, can't remember the reason why they changed it. It's easier to add weights to dips, and I think it's a better exercise. If you stick with stronglifts when you hit 1.5x bodyweight for a single squat rep they recommend you switch over to their advanced program which uses weighted dips - why wait? If you find up push-ups easy chances are you'll be able to do 15 reps dips no problem. If so just go straight to 3x5 weighted :) Weighted dips are FUN!

And no probs, I want to help as many people as possible not make the mistakes I made! And listen to coroho. My gains were horrid for months and months and months when I reduced my calories to try cut bodyfat!

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Gorilla
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Thanks, chewy! Talked to my gym buddy and we're stoked to start the dips, barbell rows, and weighted chin ups/pull ups :)

And don't worry, I'm definitely not about to start cutting calories!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Gorilla
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How's it coming? I really like the "antman" analogy. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: Ontario
Rob PMFF wrote:
How's it coming? I really like the "antman" analogy. :D


Thanks! Right now being "big" isn't where I'm at...but being strong relative to my size is something I can work on!

I've had a 4-day break from the gym due to final exams (the biggest of which is tomorrow - on all of neurology and psychiatry!) but will be heading straight there afterward! I figured the brief break might be nice for giving my muscles a chance to rest, so I can get back to it hardcore tomorrow :boxer:. It's been just over half a week, but I miss the gym so badly...but with the level of sleep deprivation I've been at, it probably would have been counterproductive to go even if I had had the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Gorilla
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Yeah I hear ya. Good luck on that exam!

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:42 pm 
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Gorilla
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Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:44 am 
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Elephant
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Yeah good luck!!

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:49 pm 
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Good luck! :)

My friend's bf just started his residency in psychiatry - sounds interesting! I don't know much about it, since in psychology we tend to eschew psychiatry. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Gorilla
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Thanks guys.

The exam went well. The gym, not as much. I was extremely psyched (no pun intended :lol:), and although I set a new PR on Squat (135lb 5x5), bench press was a disaster. My warmup sets felt harder than they should have been, and my right shoulder was feeling oddly tight. I did some static and dynamic stretches, and when I did my first set, I was barely able to finish the 5 reps because of pain in my right shoulder. I didn't even attempt any further sets. It was extremely frustrating - it had been a week since my last time in the gym, and I did absolutely nothing to my shoulder that could have possibly injured it during my week of studying!

Inverted rows went alright (I was afraid to push it because of the shoulder, but it didn't turn out to hurt doing these). My gym buddy asked me to teach him how to do dips, as this was the day we were switching from pushups to dips, and surprisingly, the dips felt ok. I didn't lean too deep into the dips, and I kept the volume low because I was nervous about the shoulder, but for some reason, dips didn't bother my shoulder the way bench did.

I don't know what could have happened, but I really hope it resolves quickly. Tomorrow, I'm supposed to do overhead press...I'll warm up slowly and see whether that exercise bothers my shoulder, and skip it if I feel anything unusual.

All in all, very frustrating for an apparent shoulder injury to appear without any warning after a week of rest!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:30 am 
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Elephant
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Do you do warm-up sets? If not, now would be a good time to start. For squats/press/bench I always start warming up with an empty bar, and then add weight till I get to my work set. I haven't found a better way to warm up than the actual movement you will be doing.

Ice your shoulder 20 mins on, 20 mins off as much as you can before next workout.

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