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Medman, the Ant Man!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Thanks guys!


Yesterday I nailed 200 lbs (PR) on the squat for my 5x5 with good depth! Felt super strong, I wasn't even close to failure. I'm so psyched to finally be back to upping my weights on squats after my frustrating summer piriformis syndrome crap.


I also nailed my deadlift 1x5 at 250 lbs (another PR). Both the squat and the deadlift felt heavy but easily doable with no form concerns. I'm hoping to get to that 2XBW deadlift (280 lbs) and 1.5XBW squat (210 lbs) soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks guys!


Chewy - I just recently deloaded to 135 on bench because I was becoming displeased with my form. At 135 I am able to actually touch my chest on all 25 reps so I plan to build back up from there. I was doing 150 before that, but the depth wasn't something I was happy with.


As for the OH presses, I was doing 95 lbs with no problems at the gym I was using until mid August. Then I switched gyms (back at the school one), and 95 lbs became impossible. Part of it might be that the rack is a bit lower (so it takes more to get that first rep up), but otherwise I'm stumped. I deloaded to 85 lbs last time, which still felt so much harder than it did at the previous gym. I'm not sure if maybe the bar I was using was a few pounds light or something...but it's the only exercise that seemed to take a real hit when I switched back to the uni gym.

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  • 6 months later...

Alright, let's get this party started again! Sorry for falling off the face of the earth...September marked the beginning of my clinical rotations, and with them came many 24-hour days on-call, and 80-hour work weeks + exams + trying to keep the rest of my life from imploding. I did get to the gym a fair bit, but was derailed by a shoulder injury from October-December. From January-March, I began going to the gym 2-3 times a week, slowly easing into full-intensity workouts again, and regaining the ground I had lost.


I am happy to say that I am currently injury-free and plan to stay that way. I learned my lesson about warmup sets and working on my flexibility (which has been the main issue all along). Shoulder inflexibility is what caused my injury, and hip inflexibility is what was holding me back before that. I'm finally at the point that I can do proper IPF depth on my squats at work weight, and I finally learned how to bench properly while protecting my shoulder from injury.


As of this past week, I have started the Texas Method, because Stronglifts worked so well for me initially (for those who don't know me, SL brought my squat from 95 lbs to over 200 in about 6 months). I'm not counting any of my previous PRs (such as 235lbs on the squat) because I feel my form wasn't strict enough, so this is a new chapter in my training. Reading Chewy's log has inspired me to train for an open IPF comp - I'm currently looking for a local club in Ottawa to train with, so we'll see if and/or when that ever happens.


Week of March 28th - Bodyweight 137 lbs

Day1 (volume)

Squat: 5x5 @ 185lbs

OH Press: 5x5 @ 80lbs

Pendlay Rows: 5x5 @ 135lbs

Dips: 3x5 weighted +25lbs

Neutral-grip pullups: 3x5 weighted +20lbs


Day 2 (recovery)

Front Squat (Clean Grip): 3x3 @ 115lbs - weight limited by wrist flexibility

Bench Press: 3x3 @ 135 lbs

Pendlay Rows: 3x3 @ 135 lbs


Day 3 (Intensity)

Squat: 1x1 @ 225lbs - PR

OH Press: 1x1 @ 105lbs - PR

Deadlift: 1x1 @ 300lbs - PR!!!


So this is my starting point. I didn't do it this week, but for the record my PR on bench recently was 155lbs, putting me at 680lbs total for the "big three". I would like to reach 300lbs squat, 400lbs deadlift, and 200lbs bench as my short-term (6 month?) goal - an improvement of roughly 30% across the board. As a beginner, I feel that it should be possible to make that kind of improvement in that timeframe as long as I keep lifting big and eating big. If it takes me longer than that, I'm happy, so long as I'm continually improving.


On a side note, this week was the first time I ever tried front squats. I'm using the clean grip, and man oh man do I have to work on my wrist flexibility - ouch!

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For front squats, maybe try the two-finger "grip"? I think it's awesome, and anything else hurts my wrists a lot.


I have the bar at the edge of my fingertips sitting right up on my delts at my throat. Before this my wrists hurt even with light weights, heavier weights were unbearable. Just couldn't keep my elbows up.

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Thanks for the advice regarding front squats, guys. I'll give it a shot this week on my recovery day.


Yay glad to be reading your log again!


Anything specific you did to improve hip flexibility? That's my major weakness, that and hamstring inflexibility.


Only two major things. Firstly, the squats themselves. By squatting as deep as I could with heavy weight, I found myself slowly being able to go deeper and deeper. I would add weight and add weight week after week, going as deep as I could....and once I got to a point that I felt the weight was too heavy to go deep enough with, I would deload significantly and re-start the process, only I would find that I could go deeper than the previous time I had been at that weight.


The second thing I did was religiously "squat stretch" before each session. With a wide stance, sit back into as deep a bodyweight squat as you can (it's ok to hold onto the rack for support). Hold that position. Then try sitting back as deep as you can (you'll need to hold on for support, this isn't a balanced position I'm talking about), then sit back up and try bouncing slightly, or rocking side to side - anything to add a bit of gentle movement while you're in that deep squat. I'm probably sucking at the description, but a local powerlifter showed it to me and said it would fix all my problems. It did! I would do that for minimum 1 minute before each session, and find it really loosens me up. The key is to just move around in a way that feel natural, while holding a really deep squat. Kind of a combination of static and dynamic stretching. It really helps though.


As for hamstrings...that's something that I'm still struggling with! I blame all the running I did, but I'm just a stiff person in general.

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Me too, and the more I run the worse it gets!


Will try some of your suggestions, the squat stretch sounds pretty good. It's been suggested to me by a few people who know what they are doing, now I just need to get religious about doing it regularly.


Just make it part of your squat warmups. I have a ritual of squat stretching, doing 20 reps as deep as humanly possible with only the bar, then doing my leg swings, and finally starting my warm up sets. It really gets me loose and I totally feel the difference it makes every day. Plus it's a nice little ritual to get me into my workout frame of mind, because I always start with squats.

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medman on the front squat with the clean grip (which is how i do mine) most of the weight should be on your chest not on your fingers or wrists. They are just there to hold the bar against your chest and stop it from falling down as you squats. Take notice if your keeping your elbows high. They should be a parallel shelf to the floor. let me know if it helps any?

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Thanks for the tip. I feel that my wrist flexibility is limiting my form on the front squat - I can't actually grip the bar if my upper arm is parallel to the floor while the bar rests on my anterior deltoids and upper chest. As a result, my arms end up coming down a bit, but it's the only way I cando it right now. I'm doing daily wrist stretching so that I should hopefully be able to get my fingers under the bar with it in proper position.

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If that's the case it sounds to me like it is your shoulders and lats that are too tight not your wrists. But obviously you know your body better than i do. I don't actually "grip" that bar in a front squat. it just rests against my fingertips and my chest. It is stressful on the wrists.

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