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I've been keeping a pretty meticulous log for myself, but I figure it might be useful to post it here and maybe get some feedback on some of my issues.

 

I started on the Stronglifts strength program back in February, and save for a few weeks I took off due to injury have stuck to it since then. The injury wasn't training related, but lifting with it made it worse so I took the time off.

 

Rolling the clock back to the end of January, 2011 - I finally signed up to use the gym at the University I work at and started doing random lifts (using the machines and dumbells) and 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week. At various times during my life I've gone through bouts of lifting and exercise, and have always been someone athletic and in decent shape, so the basic muscle strength started coming back. I felt that I wanted to focus on strength training and did some research on different programs before deciding to try Stronglifts 5x5. I felt as though I didn't need to start off with the empty bar as was recommended, since I had been lifting for a solid month already at that point and had plenty of prior lifting experience.

 

My Motivation:

I've always been fascinated with human strength, and pursued strength training a bit in my youth. I like the feeling of being able to nonchalantly pick up heavy things and move them myself. My wife and I are expecting our first child near the end of June 2011, and I want to be strong for my family.

 

Milestones:

First week of lifting 2/21-2/25/2011

Weight ~178 lbs (scale I was using wasn't very accurate, consistently had me about 5 lbs heavy)

Starting lifts

Squat: 95lbs 5x5

Bench: 95lbs 5x5

Row: 95lbs 5x5

Overhead Press: 60lbs 5x5

Deadlift: 95lbs 1x5

 

Week 8 4/11-4/15/2011

Weight 184 lbs (at week 5 I started using a biometric scale at home a friend got for me and tracking fat and muscle %)

Ending lifts

Squat: 205 5x5

Bench: 150 5x5

Row: 150 5,5,4,3,3

Overhead Press: 105 5x5 (extremely hard to finish these)

Deadlift: 195 1x5 (the deadlift was hard to do properly at lighter weights and also felt way too easy, so a couple of times I doubled the weight increase)

** During week 8, I realized that I had screwed up the training schedule and was doing bench/rows twice as often as press/deadlifts! This was probably why I stalled on the rows, as I was progressing to fast and not giving myself enough recovery time. I decided to deload on both bench and rows by 20 lbs.

 

The weekend following week 8 I injured my left elbow while helping a friend move. I thought it might have just been sore or a little overextended so I continued to lift for the next two weeks with a bit of elbow pain. I had trouble hitting some of my lifts, OHP in particular, so progress slowed a bit.

 

The weekend after training week 10, I injured the same elbow even worse and decided to take the next week completely off from lifting, hopefully giving myself time to heal

 

Week 12 5/9-5/13/2011

At the end of the previous week is when I went vegan! (I was vegetarian for the previous 5 years)

Weight: 186.6 lbs

Ending lifts

Squat: 240 lbs 5,5,5,5,4

Bench: 140 lbs 5x5

Row: 140 lbs 5x5 (a bit difficult, but completed)

OHP: 120 2x5 (elbow pain caused me to stop the workout after 2nd set)

Deadlift: 245 lbs 1x5

** Major elbow pain - tried wearing an elbow brace, but it didn't seem to help much. After Friday's lifting fail due to the elbow pain I decided I needed to take more time off (2 weeks this time) to heal up. I told myself that if the elbow was still bothering me when I went back I'd get it looked at.

 

Week 15 5/30-6/3/2011

Weight: 187.4 lbs

Ending lifts

Squat: 235 lbs 5x5 (lowered squat by 15 lbs because I was feeling a little weak after the 2 week break)

Bench: 150 lbs 5x5 (really hard to finish)

Row: 140 lbs 5x5 (also lowered row by 10 lbs because I was feeling weak and didn't want to fail the lift)

OHP: 120 lbs 5,5,4,3,1 (I get the feeling a deload is in my very near future on this lift)

Deadlift: 255 lbs 1x5 (felt a bit tough but got through it)

**Figured out the source of my major elbow pain - my bar position on squats! In trying to find a comfortable resting place for the bar while doing low-bar squats I was putting the bar too low. I had been looking over technique videos during my 2 week break and trying to find something I was doing wrong and I found it. While the weights were lighter it wasn't bothering me, but once I had the initial injury, the extra strain on my elbow was too much. I switched to a slightly higher position with the bar resting at the top of my shoulders at the level where my trapezius meets my deltoid. This is much easier on my elbows, but is much harder on the muscles it's sitting on!

Any advice here would be great!

 

I'll add a nutrition post to this tomorrow (probably), and start tracking the rest of my workouts here as well.

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Nutrition:

 

I'm not picky at all about food. This makes setting up a diet for myself pretty easy, as I can eat the same thing every day, and tend to do so once I've got a good balance sorted out.

 

Height: 6'

Weight: 188.6 lbs (as of this morning)

 

Here's what a normal workout day (M-W-F) looks like:

Breakfast, ~06:00

Whole grain Muesli w/ soy milk

Cals: 570; Protein: 21 g

Snack, ~08:30

One or two pieces of fruit, couple handfuls raw mixed nuts, unsalted

Cals: 400-500, Protein: 10 g

Lunch 1, ~11:00

Quinoa, mixed beans, corn, carrots, broccoli

Cals: 600, Protein: 30 g

Post-workout shake, ~14:00

Lifetime Life's Basics Plant Protein Powder ("Greens") w/ soymilk

Cals: 330, Protein: 33 g

Snack, ~15:00

One or two pieces of fruit, couple handfuls raw mixed nuts, unsalted

Cals: 400-500, Protein: 10 g

Lunch 2, ~16:45

Quinoa, mixed beans, corn, carrots, broccoli (same as lunch 1, I split what I cook into 2 portions)

Cals: 600, Protein: 30 g

Dinner, ~20:00

1 Potato and a quarter block of high-protein tofu

Cals: 240, Protein: 20 g

 

Totals = Cals: between 3200 and 3500, Protein: 153 g

% of totals from Fat: 25%, Carbs: 56%, Protein 19%.

I'd really like to cut down on the fat a little and maintain the protein, but not sure how to do it other than cutting out some of the nuts and replacing with more beans or tempeh. My dinners are the only real variable in my day-to-day, as I might have some avocado, tempeh, or random weekend leftovers.

 

On the non workout days, I usually don't have the shake unless something happens and my meals go to crap, so I get a bit less protein, but still at least around 120 g.

 

I've been monitoring my weight and body composition over the past couple months using a household biometric scale (not sure how accurate it is).

workout%252520lean%252520muscle%252520graph.jpg

workout%252520body%252520fat%252520graph.jpg

 

During the time that I injured myself, I didn't eat dinner or have any protein shakes, which cut down on my calories and protein a bit. This lead to some minor weight loss, most of which seemed to be fat weight. Now that I'm back in the gym and eating, the weight is coming back on. I'd really prefer not to gain any more weight, but everything I've read says I won't make any decent strength gains without it. I suppose I'll keep going for now, but if I get close to 200 lbs, I'll stop the strength training and switch to crossfit or something else.

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5x5 Week 16

 

Monday, 06/06/11

Body: 188.6 lbs

 

Squat 5x5 @ 240 lbs

OHP 5,5,5,3,3 @ 120 lbs

Deadlift 1x5 @ 265 lbs

Body Weight Pullups 3,2,1

 

Squats at this point are war - I have to growl my way through them to finish the sets and really force my knees out. I also find myself doing somewhat of a "good morning" lift to finish out the later reps in the sets - My hips end up rising faster than my shoulders. OHP failed for the second time @ 120 lbs. Deadlift is finally getting tough. I've had no trouble on the deadlift up to this point, but now I finally feel the strain to get the weight up for 5 reps. Elbows are a little sore after working out, but no pain! Started adding pullups to the mix after my cooldown and before my spinal decompression hangs.

Edited by asparagus
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5x5 Week 16

 

Wednesday 06/08/11

Body: 188.6 lbs

 

Squat 5x5 @ 245 lbs

Bench 5x5 @ 155 lbs

Row [email protected] 145 lbs

BW Pullups 3,2,1

 

Squats are war!

Shoulders feel bruised from bar on the squats. Checked in the mirror late on Wednesday night and sure enough I have bruises on both sides near the shoulders where I've been resting the bar. I'm going to have to try a little lower position so the bar sits over more muscle, but I'm concerned about my elbow hurting again. I'll have to check on Friday whether I am relaxing my back muscles once the bar is on them, that would probably explain the bruising. Bench and rows were fine.

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5x5 Week 16

 

Friday 06/10/11

Body: 187 lbs

Dropped a little weight according to the scale. I ate a bit less on Thursday than normal, but didn't think there was that much difference to make me lose 1.6 lbs in 2 days!

 

Squat 5x5 @ 250 lbs

OHP 5,5,4,2,2 @ 120 lbs - Third time failing at 120 lbs. Push-pressed the bar to finish the sets of 5; the rep numbers given indicate the completed natural presses. Next OHP day gets a deload down to 105 lbs.

Deadlift 1x5 @ 275 lbs - 1.5xBW!!!

Body Weight Pullups 4,2,1

 

Didn't get a lot of sleep last night (~5 hours) so was uncertain about how I would perform today. I struggled through the squats, not for lack of energy but for the heavy weight. Legs didn't feel good at the start of the squats (sore). Bar position didn't seem to be a problem today - no pain. Concentrated on squeezing my shoulders back more, probably gave the bar more muscle to sit on so worked out better. Was doubting myself on the OHP but went for it and decided to push-press to finish the failed sets. Felt a little strain/soreness in my lower back after deadlifts, but now (1.5 hours later) my back feels fine.

 

I think I'm going to have to start foam rolling. My legs especially are super sore pretty much every day now, mostly in my hips and upper thighs. For a while I was doing static stretches pre- and post- workout, but then switched to dynamic mobility stretches pre-workout and static post-. I'm doing shoulder dislocations and squat-to-stands as part of my warmup.

Edited by asparagus
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Wow this is a VERY COOL journal

 

And hitting more than 100lbs for your OH presses is just insane over a 16 week period. That is PROGRESS!!

I swear as soon as I am more certain that my "not so great" lower back is strong enough, I would love to hit the 5X5 program for 16 weeks to see how I do. (And to throw a variation at my muscles)

 

I'm one of those people that has my 4x5 cards and writes down weight/reps in the gym. No way I could track those things in my head. Good journals I feel are a big key to success to gaining the body you want. Looking forward to more posts!!

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Thanks, growinglarger!

 

The Stronglifts program is pretty simple in only doing 3 exercises per workout, 1 of which is always squats, and so is pretty easy to keep track of. I workout on my "extended" lunch break at work (I take about 1.5 hours for the workout, including stretches and warmup sets) and as soon as I get back to the office I record my reps and session notes into my spreadsheet. Then at some point a little later I put them up here. One thing about the journal I feel really helps are the little side notes on the workout, as they give a bit of context to the numbers and then I can go back and read through my lifting history and learn from it. I also think I've made pretty good progress, but I did a lot of lifting when I was younger so I think my body already had the framework needed.

 

5x5 Week 17

 

Monday 06/13/11

Body: 187.4 lbs

 

Squat 5,4,2,3,3 @ 255 lbs

Bench 5x5 @ 160 lbs

Row [email protected] 150 lbs

BW Pullups 5,3,2

 

On the first rep of the first set of squats I knew I wouldn't get 5x5 today. Bad sleep quality and quantity, low energy, back's a bit sore from bad sleep. My legs and glutes felt OK until I got down in the hole, then all of a sudden I felt how sore each muscle was. Powered through the 1st set, but then the energy just dropped away. Bench was extremely hard, but made it through. Had to cheat on the last rep of set 5 on bench, got the bar up to the first pegs, then a short rest, then pushed the rest of the way up. Didn't make solid chest contact on last rep of set 5 of rows. Still going to advance the weights for next bench/row workout anyway. I think it was just due to low energy today and bad mindset after failing the squats.

 

I noticed last Friday that my gym has a couple foam rollers lying around that no one seems to use (at least when I'm there) so today I started foam rolling. I know that it's highly recommended, especially by some of the more serious lifters on this board. With how sore my upper legs and glutes are all the time at this point, I hope it helps.

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5x5 Week 17

 

Wednesday 06/15/11

Body: 188.8 lbs

 

Squat 4,4,4,3,3 @ 255 lbs

OHP 5x5 @ 105 lbs

Deadlift 1x5 @ 285 lbs, 1 @ 305 lbs, 1 @ 315 lbs PR!

1xPlank @ 41 seconds (just to mix it up a bit, wanted to see how it feels)

 

Felt OK going into the squats, but had to drop the bar on the 5th rep of the 1st set. Had no strength to get it back up out of the hole. After that it was a struggle to get each rep on each set. OHP was fine, although I was not feeling as strong with the lift as I thought I would. Deadlift was a struggle - growled my way through it. To make myself feel better after failing squats I decided to try for a PR on the Deadlift - I achieved it. My previous PR was 300 lbs 7 weeks ago, although I may have been able to go a bit higher at that time. Still bummed about the squats though. So far this week I've been having pretty low energy levels, probably due to stress and poor sleep (which is also probably due to stress). I think I'm going to try increasing my protein intake a bit, which will most likely mean more tofu/tempeh (soy) in my diet. At least it will be the organic stuff...

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5x5 Week 17

 

Friday 06/17/2011

Body: 190.0 lbs

 

Squat 5x5 @ 255 lbs

Bench 5x5 @ 165 lbs

Row [email protected] 155 lbs

Planks @ 45 secs, 45 secs rest, 30 secs, 45 secs rest, 30 secs Work that core!

Hanging spinal decompression 35 breaths, 25 breaths, 20 breaths

 

Finally made the damn squats, took me all week! All the lifts went well today. I wasn't sure what to expect after this horrid week of squats, but managed to push them all out. The workout was a bit late in the day, about 2.5 hours later than usual. I figured I should include the spinal decompression, since I do it at the end of every workout. I just hang by my hands from the pullup bar on the squat rack until failure, relaxing my back muscles. It's easier to count full deep breaths than it is to accurately count seconds without a clock to count with. Each one of my breaths is somewhere between 1.5 and 2 seconds on this I think, but not sure.

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Thanks for the praise, Robert!

 

I'm a scientist, so keeping detailed journals and reports is second nature to me. I love charts!

 

5x5 Week 18

 

Monday 06/20/2011

Body: 187.8 lbs

 

I was wondering how I'd do on my workout today, as I had some abdominal pains over the weekend. I thought it might be kidney stones again, but I didn't pass any rocks or have dark colored (bloody) urine, so I'm not sure what it was. I was still feeling a little off last night, but ended up sleeping really well. For the first time last night I had a blended fruit and veggie drink (unfiltered apple juice, cantaloupe, honeydew, broccoli, zucchini, carrots - all organic except the melons) as my late night meal (~1 hour before bed). Usually I eat a small meal such as a veggie burger on bread or a potato or tofu. I'm not sure if the drink had anything to do with my sleeping so well, but it was easily the best night's sleep I've had in weeks.

 

I'm going to start listing my warmup weights as well, following the form of some of the other journals here...

 

Squats

1x10 @ empty bar (45 lbs)

1x5 @ 85 lbs

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 175

1x3 @ 205

1x2 @ 235

5,5,4,5,5 @ 260

 

OHP

1x10 @ 45 lbs

1x3 @ 85

5x5 @ 110

 

Deadlift

1x5 @ 135 lbs

1x5 @ 175

1x5 @ 205

1x3 @ 235

1x2 @ 265

1x5 @ 295

 

Planks

3x30 seconds

 

BW Pullups

5,2,2

Followed by hanging spinal decompression (which doubles as grip training!)

 

Squats - not sure if it is cheating, but I paused a second before the last rep on sets 4 & 5. This gave me the energy I needed to complete the set. I could have completed the 3rd set as well if I tried it that way, so I'm not counting it as a fail and I'm going to increase the weights next time. I am concerned that I am not getting down to parallel on the later reps in my sets, however. I'll have to take a video on my next workout. OHP went fine, although I wish it felt easier considering the recent deload. Rocked the deadlift, although my grip is starting to loosen up on the last couple reps. I may have to switch to the over-under grip soon. Did 3 @ 30 secs planks before I remembered today was a pullup day, so I did them too.

 

Over the weekend I read through the Thrive Diet book, and figured I'd try the before/after workout fuel idea. I didn't make any of the Thrive shakes, but instead had an apple and an orange before the workout and again after instead of having a protein shake right after which has been my norm up to now. I had the shake about 45 minutes later. I'll try this for the rest of the week to see what effect it has on my workouts and recovery. The sugar in my system from the fruit might have helped with my energy during the workout.

 

All-in-all, a good workout!

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Very nice! This program seems to be working well for you. You've made a serious jump in the weights you are moving. Or maybe you were already that strong to begin with. Either way, you don't seem like a beginner. Good luck to you, especially if you ever decide to try Crossfit. I thought I saw you mention that somewhere in here.

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Thanks Rob!

 

I used to be what I considered strong years ago, but at some point last year I realized just how much strength I've lost over the years of not training. However, I never tried squatting or deadlifting before, so I guess I wasn't 'truly' strong. I did throw in a thought about crossfit at the end of my nutrition post, addressing a concern of not getting too heavy (I don't really want to break 200 lbs.).

 

5x5 Week 18

 

Wednesday 06/22/2011

Body: 187.8

 

Squats

1x10 @ 45 lbs.

1x5 @ 85

1x5 @ 125

1x5 @ 165

1x3 @ 205

1x2 @ 235

4,4,4,4,4 @ 265

 

Bench

1x10 @ 45 lbs.

1x5 @ 85

1x3 @ 115

1x2 @ 145

5,5,5,4,3 @ 170

 

Row

1x10 @ 45 lbs.

1x5 @ 85

1x3 @ 125

4,4,4,4,4 @ 160

 

What a FAIL day - rotten workout today. Went in feeling good but hit the wall on the first set of squats - had to dump the bar. After the first set I was wiped out and had poor energy for the rest of the lifts. On the 4th bench set, rep 4 was a huge struggle, but I thought if I held the bar at the top for a few seconds I'd have enough energy left to finish. Wrong! Had to dump the bar to the side and worm my way out of it. Embarrassing! Rows were a wash. Skipped planks altogether. Legs are totally sore now, even after foam rolling and I'm just drained. Lower back feels a little off too - probably from dumping the bar on the first set of squats. Going to try to get to sleep early tonight and recover. Had a banana and a peach before the workout, didn't seem to matter. I did notice I was very hungry post workout, so I probably waited too long after my first lunch meal to hit the gym, didn't have enough gas in the tank...

 

I took a couple videos today with my phone, one of my last squat warmup, another of my first squat FAIL-set. I'm posting the warmup one. I see right off that I'm not getting quite parallel. I also had some trouble finding the sweet spot for the bar on my back, this got worse as the sets progressed. My knees also get out in front of my toes a bit, but I'm not sure if there is anything I can do about it.

If any of you serious squatters have any insight or tips on this, please have at! Thanks!

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Try spreading your knees farther apart as you squat down.

 

I gave it a try today at a lower than scheduled weight. I set my stance a bit wider and concentrated on keeping my knees out. They still squeezed past my toes a bit, but not as much as on Wednesday. I'm sure my form just went completely to crap on Wednesday, as I usually get parallel or slightly past and don't notice my knees sticking out forward as much.

 

5x5 Week 18

 

Friday 06/24/2011

Body: 188.8 lbs.

 

Squats

1x10 @ 45 lbs.

1x5 @ 85

1x5 @ 125

1x3 @ 165

1x2 @ 195

5x5 @ 225 Technically not a failed set as I lifted lower weight on purpose for today.

 

OHP

1x10 @ 40 lbs.

1x5 @ 80

3x5 @ 110

2x5 @ 115 Again, not a technically a failed set as I did lower weight on purpose.

 

Deadlift

1x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x5 @ 175

1x5 @ 215

1x3 @ 245

1x2 @ 275

1x5 @ 305

 

Was feeling a little off since Wednesday with kidney stones and energy so wanted to take it light today. Paid attention to my form on squats - tried to get a more solid bar position and tried a wider stance pushing out my knees. Knees still came out in front of my toes. Will have to keep trying to adjust my form and checking with video. OHP was fine at 110 and my back/abdominals were feeling fine so I stepped it up to 115 for the last 2 sets, without problem. Since I was feeling good I went for my regular deadlift - it went fine, had to readjust my grip on last two reps, almost lost grip on the last one. Still with overhand grip though, not bad, I guess. I took a video of my deadlift for the first time. I noticed that in the video it looks as if I'm slightly rounding my lower back (although it could be the angle/quality of video/etc.), and I'm not completing the movement in one good smooth motion on every rep. I shouldn't have waited this long to take videos, as apparently my form is lacking on squats and deadlifts...

 

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5x5 Week 19

 

Monday 06/27/2011

Body: 187.8

 

Pushups

3x30

 

Inverted Rows

4x10

 

Did some easy bodyweight exercises at home at night. Didn't go to the gym today - for a few reasons. Got to work really late, wasn't feeling particularly energetic and have been feeling off ever since the start of passing kidney stones over the past week (the weekend was no exception). Hopefully I'm done with the stones for a while. There was a week almost a month ago during which I ate a lot of salads which may have been the cause.

 

With stretching and foam rolling and having to take longer breaks between sets, some workouts are lasting almost 2 hours now, which are not feasible with my work schedule and mean I get home really late. I may have to change my workout routines to fit better into my schedule.

 

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos this past weekend in an effort to nail down my form a bit on the squat and deadlift. I recall that I used to pay really close attention to my form on each rep of each set, but as the weights got heavier I think I started slacking off without realizing it.

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5x5 Week 19

 

Wednesday 06/29/2011

Body: 189.4 lbs

 

Squats

1x10 @ 45 lbs

1x5 @ 85

1x5 @ 125

1x5 @ 155

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 215

5x5 @ 245 Higher than last time but still lower than a week ago

 

OHP

1x10 @ 45 lbs

1x5 @ 85

5x5 @ 115

 

Deadlift

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 175

1x5 @ 215

1x3 @ 255

1x2 @ 285

1x5 @ 315 - 6 big plates!!!

 

Not sure if it's just a mental issue or physical that's keeping me from performing well on squats, but 245 was a lot harder and heavier than it should have been considering a week ago I was up to 265. Form seemed a bit better though judging by the videos I took today. I took long breaks between sets on all the lifts today. It made a lot of difference in OHP. The first 3 sets I only waited about 90 secs between sets, the last 2 I waited 3 minutes and it made the lifts much easier. Form was great on deadlift through all the warmups, but seemed to falter on the work weight. Lower back still rounding a little. Needed mixed grip on the last rep to get it up.

 

Tried a to switch around my footing and leg/body form on the deadlift, hoping to find the sweet spot. Been banging up my shins a bit too. A big problem I'm having is the damn octagonal plates that my gym has. The loaded bar hits the floor and rolls either back or forth, meaning that I have to constantly readjust my stance on each rep or pull the weights from a slightly off angle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

5x5 Week 19

 

Friday 07/01/2011

Body: 189.4 lbs

 

Squat

1x10 @ 45 lbs

1x5 @ 85

1x5 @ 125

1x5 @ 165

1x3 @ 195

1x2 @ 225

3x5 @ 250

 

Bench

1x10 @ 45

1x5 @ 85

1x3 @ 115

1x2 @ 145

2x5 @ 170

 

Rows

1x10 @ 45

1x5 @ 85

1x3 @ 125

2x5 @ 160

 

Had to leave work early today so only time for a short workout. Wouldn't have hit 5x5s on any of the lifts anyway, could easily tell by the way I felt, low strength and energy.

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Been home caring for my wife and newborn son the past 2 1/2 weeks, so no gym time for me. Not that I'd even have had the energy for it if the time was available. No sense trying to lift heavy on 3-4 hours of sleep a night. My diet also went to shit, dropped down to 183.5 (approximately 6 lb loss) for a bit there before I started to eat a little better a few days ago. I am back at work part time (couple days per week) for the rest of the summer so I'll be working out only on those two days, making slower gains in the gym. I am planning on getting back into the lifts this Friday, but I'll have to see how much sleep I get. I'll also need to have shorter workouts, so I'll be cutting back to 3x5, instead of doing 5x5.

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Heh, Crossfit is tempting, but I don't know if I'm ready to switch out of pure strength training yet. Maybe when I hit 200 bench, 300 squat, and 400 deadlift...

 

5x5 Week 20

 

Monday 07/25/2011

Body: 187.8 lbs

 

Squats

1x10 @ 45 lbs

1x5 @ 85

1x5 @ 125

1x3 @ 165

1x2 @ 195

3x5 @ 225

 

OHP

1x10 @ 45

1x5 @ 85

3x5 @ 110

 

Deadlift

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 175

1x3 @ 215

1x2 @ 255

1x5 @ 285

 

Deloaded by 10% on all my lifts due to the 3-week break. Also tried 3x5 to see how long the workout would be. I only get a 1 hour lunch break from work and lately it has been taking me almost 1 3/4 hours to finish a 5x5 workout including stretching and rolling. This means that I end up leaving work an hour later which puts me right in the worst part of rush-hour traffic. The 3x5 workout took me about 1 1/4 hours - much better! However, I'll probably stick to 5x5 for the rest of the summer and go to 3x5 at the end of August when I go back to work full time.

 

I actually got about 5.5 hours of sleep last night, which was one of my better nights over the past 3 weeks so I felt good going to the gym today. This was still a difficult workout, as I haven't been sleeping well or eating properly during the 3 week break. My weight dropped to 183 lbs. during the break and slowly came back up after I started eating more. However, I definitely haven't been getting enough protein and fear a bit of muscle loss. Definitely feels good to be back in the gym again!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been away from the boards for a bit. Mostly because I've been away from work most of the time over the past month and I check the forum while at work. I've got a bit of catching up to do!

 

Strength Week 21, 3x5

 

Friday 08/05/2011

Body: 186.2 lbs

 

Squats

10 @ 45 lbs

5 @ 8

5 @ 125

5 @ 165

3 @ 195

3x5 @ 230

 

Bench

10 @ 45

5 @ 85

3 @ 115

2 @ 135

3x5 @ 155

 

Barbell Row

10 @ 45

5 @ 85

3 @ 115

3x5 @ 145

 

Hit all my marks, but it was a tough workout. I guess being out of the gym for such a long time, poor sleep, and diet on my off days has taken it's toll. I've dropped a bit of weight, and some of it is probably muscle. Oh well, it's a journey, and I just had to back-track a bit. I'll still get where I'm going (where-ever that is! ), it may just take a bit longer. Managed to fit the workout into 1 hour, fitting perfectly in my lunch break. Of course when the weights get heavier I'll start to take longer breaks between sets again and it will extend again. For now this will work fine. 3x5 should also be easier for me to manage as it will take less recovery in the near future which is good given my poor sleep and eating schedule. Next week I go back to work at almost full time, so should be working out 3 days a week again. Can't wait to get back up to my high lifts!

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Strength Week 22, 3x5

 

Wednesday 08/10/2011

Body: 191.4 lbs - not sure what happened here! 5 lbs in 5 days, wow... I haven't really been eating much differently than the way I was back in June, except for probably getting a little less protein. I also don't think I look like I put on 5 lbs - have I been sleep-lifting?

 

Squats

10 @ 45 lbs

5 @ 85

5 @ 125

3 @ 165

2 @ 205

3x5 @ 235

 

OHP

10 @ 45

5 @ 85

3x5 @ 115

 

Deadlifts

5 @ 135

5 @ 175

3 @ 215

2 @ 255

5 @ 295

 

All the lifts were challenging, almost didn't finish the OHP. I'm not sure if I'm getting to parallel on the squats again, I'll have to video myself next time to check. I felt as if I was going as deep as I could and still get the bar back up. On the last couple reps of the last set of squats I needed to pause before between for a moment. Put some lotion on my hands prior to the workout, kept them from completely drying out, although my grip suffered as a result. Used the mixed grip on deadlifts and was able to finish the set.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Strength Week 22, 3x5

 

Friday 08/12/2011

Body: 187.2 lbs

 

Squats

3x5 @ 240

 

Bench

3x5 @ 150

 

Rows

3x5 @ 140

 

squats went well. Made a mistake on the bench and row. When I got to the gym I remembered my target weights incorrectly and went low by 10 lbs. No wonder they seemed relatively easy. Next time I'll do the weight I was supposed to on this workout. Had to do my exercises quick so I could leave early, managed to do everything including stretching in less than an hour, great!

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Week 23 and Monday of Week 24 were skipped as I was having a nasty bout of kidney stones and the doc put me on antibiotics (not sure why, there was no infection...), which totally took the wind out of my sails. Felt like crap until the last pill wore off on Monday afternoon.

 

Strength Week 24, 3x5

 

Wednesday, 08/24/2011

Body: 186 lbs

 

Squats

3x5 @ 245

 

OHP

3x5 @ 120

 

Deadlift

1x5 @ 305

 

Made the squats but barely. Needed to take a few seconds in between some of the reps on the last two sets. I figured it would be difficult coming off a 9-day break with kidney stones and antibiotics and such. Had to push-press the last two reps on 3rd set of OHP, feeling tired. Deadlift was rough, really hard to do. I feel like I strained my back a bit much on the last two reps, it's feeling a sore now. I think part of my trouble with back strain on the deadlifts is the length of my torso and legs. I need to get almost into a deep squat position otherwise my back is parallel to the floor at the start of the lift. After heavy squats it is really hard for me to pull from that deep so I think I tend to start with my hips a little higher and pull with my back.

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