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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:30 am 
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Gorilla
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Adena wrote:

If you do aim to do ass to grass squats at some point, it helps to have a much narrower stance, and sometimes people even elevate their heels. You might already be able to do deep squats like that.


Hm, maybe I'll start trying empty bar squats to see if I can get the balance down. It's only recently that I developed enough hip flexibility to properly squat below parallel, though, so I think it will be a while before I can do full squats.


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Gorilla
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It's been a while so here is an update of my last couple of sessions! My bodyweight is currently hovering around 136-137 in the morning.

Squat: 5x5 @ 175lbs*
Bench Press: 3x5, 2x4 @ 125 lbs
Pendlay Rows: 3x5 @ 105 lbs
Weighted Dips: 3x5 @ 35 lbs
Overhead Press: 5x5 @ 85 lbs
Deadlift: 1x5 @ 230 lbs
Weighted pullups, chinups: 3x5 @ 15 lbs


*I got as high as 185 for my 5x5 squat, but found I was doing my reps way too slowly, which was causing a lot of hip flexor pain even on rest days. I dropped down to 155 and focused on doing nice, deep, below-parallel squats and exploding up with speed instead of my previous "you-can-tell-how-much-I'm-struggling" pace. I've now made it back up to 175, and am doing the reps with far better form than ever before. Deeper (I've been working on hip flexibility), and FAR faster. As a result, I haven't had hip pain in weeks, while before I had it for 1-2 months nonstop. I'm excited to break 185 and beyond with my better form and increased power!

I barely failed my last bench attempt at 125...I needed a bit of help from my spotter on the final rep of the last 2 sets, but feel confident I can get it next time and then go for 135.

Overhead press was a b*tch. Between my poor shoulder flexibility and being tired from doing killer, slow squats, I used to be spent before even attempting them. I've been increasing my shoulder flexibility (by hanging from a chinup bar at home), since my problems were partly due to my tight lats. Dropping my squat weight and fixing my form also made a huge improvement. Today I rocked 85 lbs on the overhead, which was a real accomplishment for me. I think I posted an 80 lb press in this log, but I later realized I did it on a day I skipped squats due to knee soreness. As soon as I tried pressing after squatting again, even 75 lbs was too much. So I basically worked up from 75 lbs to 85 lbs in the time since my last post on this log.

Ah, now for the deadlift. My pride and joy!! Last time, I pulled 2 plates for a total of 225, and today made it 230. I feel like absolute death afterwards, but haven't had any issues with rounding my back or anything like that. Getting ever closer to that 2xBW lift!

Pendlay rows have been a learning process. I haven't been able to increase the weight much, but I feel I'm doing it with better form each time (avoiding using hip drive, etc). Wanted to make sure I'm actually doing Pendlays (keeping completely immobilized hips) before moving up in weight. My strength has definitely been improving on this despite a relative lack of change in the numbers.

My weighted dips have maxed out at 35 lbs and I think I'm going to have to drop the weight and build back up. My tiny little arms can't seem to handle 40 lbs yet, especially after bench!

I just finished doing chins and pullups with 15 lbs on the weight belt, and am moving up to 20 lbs next session.

Overall, I think I'm doing well considering it's exam season! I took a week off 2 weeks ago, both for studying purposes and to give my body its first true rest week in 2 or 3 months.

Other than that? A month ago I started doing 4 hours of Krav Maga a week with the Canadian director of the IKMF (the international krav maga federation). It's intense, but so far I've been able to keep up both the class and my lifting. Other than one day where we did 2 hours of nonstop striking practice, after which my upper body was so completely destroyed that I could only do my squats the next day. Bench etc just wasn't going to happen. As my conditioning improves I'm sure I won't have any more days like that.


Last edited by medman on Mon May 10, 2010 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:38 am 
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Elephant
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Amazing progress, some real nice numbers in there! :) Your press/bench are pretty much already better than mine!

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:04 am 
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Gorilla

Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 527
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Wow! You are improving so much! I think a little rest did you some good!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:45 am 
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Gorilla
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Thanks guys! Yeah, taking the squats down when I realized my form was bad, and taking that week off were the two best decisions I made since starting stronglifts. I was feeling worn down/on the verge of hip injury all the time, so ignoring that could only have had terrible consequences!

I think I need to take a picture on my next deadlift day like your 185 one, Adena!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Gorilla

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Location: Des Moines, Iowa
medman wrote:
Thanks guys! Yeah, taking the squats down when I realized my form was bad, and taking that week off were the two best decisions I made since starting stronglifts. I was feeling worn down/on the verge of hip injury all the time, so ignoring that could only have had terrible consequences!

I think I need to take a picture on my next deadlift day like your 185 one, Adena!


Good idea, I just wish I had video too.


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:22 am 
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Gorilla
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Videos would be great but are also beyond what I can do right now (no camera!).

As promised, here's an update, together with a photo of me at the top of one of my 235 lb deadlifts (yes, it's 235 and not 225...there are two little 5 lb plates hiding at the very ends that don't show up in the photo). It's not so much a smile as a grimace (I always get my game face on when putting in crazy effort...I have no control over it so I've decided to embrace it). It's funny because this photo has shown me that, apparently, I fan out my sternocladomastoid when I deadlift, which makes me neck look much thicker than it actually is...

Image

As for the workouts, here's the latest:
Squat: 5x5 @ 185 lbs (finally worked my way back up to it!)
Overhead Press: 1x4, 2x3, 2x2 @ 90 lbs
Deadlift: 1x4 @ 235 lbs
Weighted Chinups: 3x5 @ 20 lbs

I should have had the 5th deadlift, but I forgot to buy chalk, and the bar I was using really didn't have the best grip. My hands had gotten sweaty, and it was really a grip failure that kept me from doing the 5th rep. I need to get myself some chalk so this doesn't happen again. Oh well, I'll nail 235 next time! My 4th rep still had good form so I think I can easily get the 5th with some chalk (or one of the better bars in the gym).

Overhead press DESTROYED me. I got 5x5 at 85 lbs last time, but 90 lbs killed me. I think part of it was psychological (really wasn't my best gym day), and part of it was my shoulders being tired from all the striking practice I've been doing for my krav maga class, which really does a number on my shoulders and arms.

On the plus side, I made up for it by nailing my previous PR of 185 lbs on the squat. Last time, I barely made it through the sets, and was in so much pain by the end that I could barely sit down on the bench afterward, and could barely get myself up off it after a couple of minutes. That was when I vowed to drop the weight and learn to squat with better form. I nailed 185 with much more confidence and power (and didn't feel dead afterward at all). I want to repeat this weight though, because my gym partner told me I wasn't quite hitting parallel. I might drop the weight 15 lbs or so and build back up, going below parallel. I don't see much point in trying to break 200 lbs if my form isn't perfect.

Weighted chinups are getting hard. I was really feeling the 20 lbs (just moved up from 15), but then again, I do them right after my heavy deadlifts, so what can I expect?


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:41 am 
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Stegosaurus
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You're doing great!

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:01 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Great progress, Medman! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Gorilla
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Thanks, guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Gorilla

Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:57 pm
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Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Nice job! I'm never going to catch up to you at this rate, haha!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:48 pm 
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Gorilla
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Adena wrote:
Nice job! I'm never going to catch up to you at this rate, haha!


Psh, this is just an opportunity for you to push yourself even harder :supz:

What I've come to realize is that my legs and back are really my biggest strength. My gym buddy and I started at very similar strength levels, but I've surpassed him by about 25 lbs on the squat and 100 lbs on the deadlift, while he's surpassed me by 10-20 lbs on the overhead and bench presses. I seem to be quicker at building lower body strength while he's an upper body guy. Kind of a neat scientific experiment, with two guys doing the exact same program and getting different results. I wish I could see the kind of gains on my presses as I've had on my squats and deads. My presses have gone up by about 20-30% since starting, while my squats and deads are approximately 100% higher than three months ago!


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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:33 pm 
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sorry im late but i agree really nice numbers lately

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Elephant
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medman wrote:
I seem to be quicker at building lower body strength while he's an upper body guy
I'm the same man, but I think you're doing great on your presses, I still suck at them!! Just be patient and the gains will come. Your current gains are quite amazing for the time frame, I hope they don't slow down :D

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 Post subject: Re: Medman, the Ant Man!
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Gorilla
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MaryStella wrote:
sorry im late but i agree really nice numbers lately


Unacceptable. I expect compliments on a more timely basis. Thanks a lot! :mrgreen:

chewybaws wrote:
I'm the same man, but I think you're doing great on your presses, I still suck at them!! Just be patient and the gains will come. Your current gains are quite amazing for the time frame, I hope they don't slow down :D


Thanks! It's nice to have some encouragement. It can get frustrating watching my buddy outpace me on the bench and overhead presses. I keep reminding myself that I have no control over my genetics, and that I should be grateful that my squats and deads have progressed so nicely. The really frustrating thing, though, is that he has much bigger legs than me. I'm getting strong but still have marathoner legs. They're not quite as skinny as they were, at least. I'm trying to keep a powerlifting vs a bodybuilding mentality...I'm more concerned about building strength in my legs than how they look.

I'm super stoked about how fast the gains have been, but being realistic, I know they'll be slowing down soon! I'm anticipating needing to switch to an intermediate routine by the end of the summer. These past couple of weeks have been lame (only going to the gym about twice a week) because it's exam season, but my final exam is next Friday, so after that I'm going to refuse to let myself miss any sessions all summer.

I've also been considering cutting a bit. Because these past couple of weeks haven't been as intense lifting-wise, I'm trying to fill in the gaps with cardio I can do at home. I've already lost 1-2 lbs of fat, and might try to lose another 1-2 before the lifting (and eating) gets intense again. My abs have hypertrophied so much, it would be nice to cut down a bit and show them off!


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