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Quest for strength!

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:14 am
by oneoranother
Hi guys, first post.

I've been reading along here for some time and really found a lot of useful information. I love reading the training logs, especially Chewy's. Dude, you've inspired me a lot, thank you! I am quite scrawny, always been, but seeing your transformation has made me confident that I can be stronger and bigger. I've been vegan for a year, and a lot of people commented on my size and that vegetarians are all weaklings. I'm going to prove them wrong!! :)

So, I've been doing the Stronglifts 5x5 since October, and already seen some progress. I realize I should have started a log at the beginning, but better late than never I guess. Here are my current lifts:

Squat: 77,5 kg
Deadlift: 75 kg
Bench: 45 kg
Overhead: 35 kg

I have been trying to follow the program as strict as possible, but I started out very light on deadlifts because I was afraid I was not doing them right. I think I've got it down now though. My bench press seems to be my weakest spot (for me at last), I've been struggling a lot with it, but I've been working on technique today and think I finally got it down.
Overhead press is hard, but I actually like it. I've already stalled on it a couple of times, but it just makes me more eager to improve.
The squat is my best excercise, I think. I've only stalled once, more on that later. I have always done a lot of soccer, running and cycling so I have relatively strong legs compared to the rest of my body. The squat was not very hard for me until I reached 70 kg, up until then I thought it was rather easy. I'm starting to feel it now though!

So today's workout was kind of disappointing actually. I workout at my school, and I am therefore unable to work out during the holidays. So after two weeks of only doing cardio and light dumbells at home, I knew it was going to be tough. Despite that, I jumped right into it. Did a warm-up set on 50 kg for the squat, and one on 70 kg. 5 reps each, felt pretty good.
I then went on to 77,5 kg where I left off before the holidays, did 3 sets of 5 reps. Then went on to the 4th set but my legs just gave up. I could barely lift the bar off the rack and so I decided to stop it there. I felt some pain in my lower back, and I still have that right now, something that has not happened before. Never stalled on squats before today, never any back pain. I think the moral is to start light when coming back from a break :)

Did 5x5 of 45 kg bench press which was way more easy than it has been before. Made sure to use good form and focused on technique. Hopefully this means the bench is going to go up now, have not been so satisfied with this lift.
Anyways, I felt exhausted after this and I still had the lower back pain, so I did a quick set of chin-ups and push-ups and called it a day.

So yeah, I hope you guys want to read along. I know I can't wait to hit the gym again on Wednesday to nail those squats! Btw, I wonder if I should go for 77,5 kg again or if I should do a deload to get used to it again?

Gotta eat!

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:26 pm
by MaryStella
awesome that you signed up. looking forward to following your progress!

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:45 pm
by katz
Welcome aboard!

Vegans are NOT weaklings, lol...and best of all, we do not suffer from animal fat clogged arteries...

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:32 pm
by oneoranother
katz wrote:Welcome aboard!

Vegans are NOT weaklings, lol...and best of all, we do not suffer from animal fat clogged arteries...

Certainly not, but my country is one of the most meat consuming countries in the world and the meat and milk industry is keeping almost everyone under "control"..

And thanks, I look forward to be posting here :)

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:19 am
by robert
All the BEST!

Train Hard - Eat Well - Have Fun!

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:18 am
by oneoranother
Todays workout:

Squat: 50 kg: 1x5, 70 kg: 1x5, 77,5 kg: 1x5, 70 kg: 4x5
OH-press: 20 kg: 1x5, 30 kg: 1x5, 35 kg: 5x5
Deadlift: 70 kg: 1x5, 80 kg: 1x1
Pull-ups: 6,3,2

Woke up too late, feeling kind of sick. Threw down some oatmeal and went to the gym (training before class). Warmed up on the squats, still feeling that ache in the lower back. Went for the 77,5 kg and managed the 5 reps, but decided to deload to ease off the stress of my back a bit. Continued with overhead press, feeling pretty good. Managed 5x5 on 35 kg - haven't been able to do that before, so that was definately a personal victory! Felt really tired, but good. Did 5 reps of 70 kg on the deadlift, and went to 80 kg, doing one rep. Also new personal record!
Finished off with 3 sets of pull-ups, managed 6 good ones in the first set, first time ever doing that!
Threw down some rice protein and a couple of dates and went to class. But apparently this workout took up that last energy I had left. Felt completely crushed the rest of the school day, and was not in the mood for eating at all. Forced down two sandwiches at 10 am but I didn't eat my "second lunch" untill 5 pm. I was too damn exhausted to eat! Think I'll be going to bed very early this evening and see how I feel in the morning.

For Friday's workout I am considering doing leg press instead of the squats, just to give my back time to rest a bit. I still have the slight pain in it right now, and I don't want to seriously injury it.

Well, I'm going to relax with some tea now, try to get a smoothie down after that and then go to bed. Hope you've all had a great day, feeling better than me! :)

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:01 am
by oneoranother
Stayed home yesterday, was feeling really sick and and my head hurt like crazy. Felt a lot better when I woke up today, but still decided to skip school. I have band practice later though, so if I feel okay later I might be going and if I don't feel pain in my back I might also go and do some bench press, pull-ups and inverted rows. No squatting today though, that's for sure! :)

Ate almost nothing yesterday, just slept the whole day away almost. But I feel like I have a lot more appetite today, so I will try to eat some more when I have finished writing this. Had a soy yoghurt and a cup of green tea when I woke up, and I think I might have a smoothie now :)

Have a nice day everyone!

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:48 am
by chewybaws
Hey man hope all is well, I've enjoyed reading your posts. First of all there's no rush - don't worry about weak lifts, and you don't lose strength if you don't go in trying to hit a max every time. If you feel pain like your back, depending on how bad it is take 20kg or more off, or just take a day off squatting - it's no big deal. Your gained strength/mass doesn't fizz away in a few days (even a couple of weeks), and more often it just gives you a chance to recover more! What will cause your strength/mass to nosedive is if you fuck your back and you're out for weeks, months or worse.

How much bodyweight have you gained in your 2-3 months? I've always stalled in what I thought were "weak" exercises when I haven't been gaining weight. It's the key to good strength gains. It doesn't matter how much you *think* you're eating, let the scale be your guide!

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:58 am
by oneoranother
When I started on October 1st, I weighed about 59-60 kg. Yesterday morning I weighed in at 63 kg, so thats 1 kg pr. month.
Yes, you are definately right, it's better to take a day off. I went to band practice some hours ago, and I had half an hour before the others were there so I went down to the fitness room and put some weight on the bench. Did a couple of sets with 47,5 kg but I just got so dizzy from it so I decided to stop before I passed out :D but it was cool to feel like I could have easily done 5x5 if I hadn't been sick.

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:38 am
by oneoranother
Bench: 47,5 kg 5x5
Pull-ups: 4,4,3

Just a 20 minute workout today. Did two sets on the bench to warm up, then did 5 sets of work weight. Felt good and I'm ready to hit 50 next time.
Three quick sets of pull-ups and that was it. Light workout to get back at it and then I'll be ready to hit squats, press and deadlifts on Wednesday!

I know I need to up my eating now so I can keep the progress up, I have been under 3000 calories the last days. Would like to get up to 3500 or more, but it's hard sometimes.

Hope everyone is having a great time :)

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:19 am
by oneoranother
Squats: 50 kg 1x5, 62,5 kg: 5x5
OH-press: 20 kg 1x5, 30 kg 1x5, 37,5 kg 5,5,5,4,1
Deadlift: 75 kg: 1x5
Pull-ups: 5,3,3

Okay, so I deloaded on the squats and they were easy and I didn't have problems with my back. Gonna work my way nice and easy back to the 80 kg.
Overhead Press was killer! By the 5th rep of third set I thought I was gonna pass out, got really dizzy. Couldn't make the 4th set and I was in a bit of a hurry (trained just before class) so by the 5th set I was so crushed I could barely do one rep without cheating a bit - phew :D Hopefully I will make 5x5 next time!
Deadlift, I felt it pretty hard in my back, not sure if I'm just weak or if I'm doing it wrong. Definately not bending my back, but it might be that I need to come up in a different way. Might do a video of these next time to look at my form.
Finished off with three sets of pull-ups and some crunches, well not much to say, these are fine and I can feel I'm getting stronger at them. When I can do three strict sets of 5 I'm going to start adding some weight.

Finally got the calories up to 4000 yesterday, today I'm gonna hit about 3500 - I will have some bulgur with lentils in a moment. Happy lifting everyone :)

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:46 am
by oneoranother
Squat: 50 kg 1x5, 65 kg: 5x5
Bench: 40 kg 1x5, 50 kg: 5,4,4,4,3
Inverted rows: Just fucked around
Pull-ups: 5,4,3

Getting good at the squats again, no problems today. Can't really say that benching was easy, I failed pretty well and I will have to keep eating and hopefully I will do it next time. But it was my first time ever benching 50 kg, so things are progressing slowly :)
For rows I did a few sets without really counting, then I did some dumbbell rows and some pull-ups. I would like to do barbell rows, but I'm just afraid of hurting my back. Will have to work on that.

That's about it, I have a kind of busy weekend ahead of me so hopefully I won't be to exhausted to nail some overhead pressing monday :)

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:23 pm
by chewybaws
Just start light with the barbell rows and load it 2.5kg, will avoid any problems with form/injury. Do the one armed rows afterwards if you want, not a big deal. It's definitely an exercise worth getting good at (barbell rows).

If you eat big you can still squeeze a good couple of months out of stronglifts, aiming for 1x5x100kg dead, 5x5x57.5kg bench, 5x5x85kg squat and 5x5x42.5kg OHP within 8 weeks.

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:12 pm
by oneoranother
Thanks chewy, I am definately aiming for something like that.

Squat: 50 kg 1x5, 67,5 kg: 5x5
OH-press: 30 kg 1x5, 37,5 kg: 5,5,5,2,5
Deadlift: 70 kg 1x5, 80 kg 1x5
Pull-ups: 7,5,4

Squats were still relatively easy, definately getting back on those.
OH-press was going okay till 4th set were I failed completely, and then for some reason I managed 5 reps in the last set. I must have not rested long enough before 4th set, so that was a fail which kind of pissed me off. But then I know for sure that I will nail it on Friday! :)
Deadlift went well today, a friend of mine who has been training for a long time gave me some advice on it, and it suddenly felt better. I wouldn't exactly say that 80 kg were easy, but I didn't feel any unwanted pain in the back afterwards so I see that as a definite plus.
I marked pull-ups green cause I think that is definately a progress! It might have been that I took longer rest before I started (about 5 minutes after deadlift, ca. 3 minutes between sets), but it still felt good. But I have changed my mind about adding weight, I think I will still wait til it has become a little easier, cause it's definately still hard!
Finished off with 3 sets of crunches with a 10 kg plate behind. Felt good!

Hope everybody had a great day and I will see you again Wednesday :)

Re: Quest for strength!

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:11 pm
by oneoranother
Squat: 50 kg 1x5, 70 kg 5x5
Bench: 40 kg 1x5, 50 kg 5,5,5,4,3

Was in a hurry, I am working as a roadie the next days so I just took a quick workout. Squats were done in 15 minutes, not so hard.
Bench was tough and I did not make it which disappointed me a lot. I will just have to keep eating and then I AM gonna make it Monday!
Finished off with three sets of crunches with 10 kg, some pull-ups and chin-ups.