Tag Archives: Starting Strength

Starting Strength 3B / One hundred push ups 1B

I take back everything I ever said about my gym.

Holy crap were there some big dudes there today. The place had a real “meathead” feeling. It was fucking great.

Some dude was squatting 315 and another guy beside him was deadlifting that much. They were playing Seether’s “Fake it” during my cleans. I swear it’s like I was in a different gym.

There was one skinny guy in the rack beside me. I kind of felt a bond with him since we were by FAR the weakest guys there. He’s super skinny. I don’t know what my excuse is.

As for my lift. Garbage. That about sums it up

Here are the numbers.

Squat – no lift, no lift, no lift

Whenever I think I’ve hit rock bottom on this lift I always find a way to go even lower. I literally couldn’t even do 95 pounds today. I had zero problems bringing it up. The problem was going down. I get stuck about 3/4’s of the way down and my back starts hurting.

I did nothing but three warm up sets with the bar today. Zero problems with that. I’ve had so much practice with just the bar that I can go below parallel now. So there’s that.

Sometimes I think this squat issue is mental. I can’t stop thinking that I’m going to be hurting when I drop on the squats. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy. I lose before I even start. I don’t know how to get over this.

I’ll think about it over the next two days. I might need to take some more time off. I read somewhere that doctor’s prescribe nothing more than rest and relaxation for 80% of lower back pain. Maybe another week or two without squats might help. We’ll see how I feel on Saturday.

Push ups – 9, 8, 4, 4, 3

Week one of one hundred push ups is going to last at least two weeks. I couldn’t get them all today.

I was a little nervous from the start knowing I had to do 9 right off the bat. That’s a lot considering I maxed out at 10 a few days ago. I got that first set without too much difficulty, though. Color me shocked.

The second set was where I hit a wall. Started feeling the burn around number 5. By the time I got to 7 I was dying. My entire body was literally shaking on that 8th rep. I can’t believe I got it.

From there things went downhill. Was supposed to do 6 on set three but only got 4. Set four called for 5 and again I only got 4. The last set called for the most you could do with a minimum of 10. I got 3. A TOUGH three.

I’ll give day three a try next time but I’m not even close to being ready for week 2 yet.

Power cleans – 85×5, 85×5, 85×5

This was the same weight I used way back when I did these last time. It was pretty easy but it hurt like hell on the way down. You can’t throw the weights down in my gym so I have to bring it down under control. I basically dragged it down my thigh and shins. The low back won’t let me bring it down any other way.

I still love this lift. It feels good. This sucks.


Starting Strength, workout 3A / One hundred pushups, workout 1A

I think I made an ass out of myself at the gym today.

I hadn’t been there in over a week and I was missing the hell out of the place. I missed seeing the same people doing the same lifts every time I go in. I missed watching everyone looking around at everybody else all the while desperately trying to avoid eye contact. I even missed the horrible radio station they always have on. I heard “Nothing’s gonna stop us now” by Starship during my deadlifts today. I officially work out in the gayest gym in Virginia.

I’m digressing.

Anyway, I get there at the usual time and the place is full. Even stranger was seeing every single squat rack occupied. This has literally never happened to me in the entire time I’ve been working out. I had no clue what to do. I stood there for a minute or two and just stared at everybody. After that, I started aimlessly walking around like some lost tourist. What the hell was I supposed to do?

Eventually I decided to make the rounds and actually talk to the five or so people I’ve been seeing around for over a year and a half now. Most of them I’ve never said more then a few words to. It was awkward to say the least. I would talk and listen all the while keeping an eye on the racks. To make matters worse I think I really offended somebody in the process. I was talking to some guy and commenting that I never saw the squat racks full in my life. This isn’t exactly a funny comment but some girl I’ve never seen before starts laughing. I looked at her and then said something about it’s a little late for the New Year’s resolutioners. I didn’t mean anything by it and if anything I was talking about the other people in the racks but I think she thought I meant to direct that at her.

Whatever. I suck. I’m such a social misfit.

When the squat racks finally did open up I managed to completely waste my time. Typical. Oh well. It was still good to be there. I love that place.

Here are the numbers.

Squat – 5×135, no lift, no lift

This is the part where I talk about my bad back. For some reason, even though I haven’t lifted in a while I’ve been having more back pain then usual. I think all that running might have something to do with it. For whatever reason now I have pain whenever I get up after sitting down for a while. With my job that means I have it often. It sucks.

I was feeling relatively good today but I decided to do a ton of warm ups just in case. I did three sets of five with just the bar. Then I did two sets of five with 95 pounds and felt OK. I thought 135 would be another warm up set but when I got back under it for the second time I just couldn’t take it anymore. Finally decided to give it up for today.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m going to do. The smart thing to do would be to stop lifting and running for a while. There is no chance in hell of that happening. I think I’m just going to put my ego aside and go WAY back to the drawing board. I can do 95 without pain so I’m going to do 95. Next time I’ll try 100 as a work set. Who knows? Maybe my form will improve and I’ll get better depth on these things. Maybe this will be a blessing in disguise.

I’ve got to do something. The thought of not going back to the gym depresses me. I can’t imagine living my life without it.

Push ups – 7,7,5,4,5

This was actually the one bright spot to my day. I managed to do every push up. It was a little spooky because I started feeling the burn on the next to last rep every single time. Your supposed to do your max on that last set with 5 being the minimum. After the fifth rep I had no shot at six. My arms are burning right now.

It felt really good to be able to do these things with proper form. I didn’t cheat on a single one. It wasn’t too long ago I was doing these thing girly style. Considering my total ineptitude at the bench press, this push up challenge might be the one thing I can hang my hat on while I struggle through this horrible phase I’m going through.

Deadlift – 5×135

Figured I’d give the old college try here. I thought 135 would be a warm up set but it ended up hurting more then I was comfortable with so I called it a work set and walked out of the gym in disgust.

Starting Strength, workout 2B

Back issues slowed me down yet again. I really can’t figure this out. The only times I ever feel back pain are during squats and sometimes if I wake up without getting too much sleep. Both times it is temporary. On squats it goes away as soon as I rack the bar.

I can deadlift and power clean without any issues whatsoever. That just makes no sense.

Squat – 165×5, 165×5, 165×5

Absolute garbage. Every set was exactly the same. The first three reps were a freaking joke. The first rep was not even a quarter squat. I would go down, feel back pain and stop. I couldn’t make myself keep going lower. I was able to go down progressively lower on each try until lifts four and five were decent.

It’s hard to explain really. I get pretty good depth on all my warm ups all the way up to 135. Once I put the work set on I feel the pain and do things half assed.

Very frustrating. I probably shouldn’t have went up here since my last session wasn’t exactly golden. I’m gonna stay at 165 until I can get these right.

Press – 100×5, 100×5, 100×5

I’m at a point here were I have to struggle a little but I know I’m not near my max. Trying to go slow and steady. Don’t want to get stupid and stall. I’ll probably be able to add weight for a while.

Power Clean – 85×5, 85×5, 85×5

Added 20 pounds since the first day of these was so easy. Bar speed was noticeably slower but I don’t think I’m near my max. I really want to move past those bumper plates and get to at least 135 sometime soon. Can’t be stupid, though. Gonna go up by 5 pound increments from here on out.

I kept banging the weight up against my quads like your supposed to. At least I think you’re supposed to. I know your supposed to touch them. I hit them pretty hard a couple of times. Got a big bump on my left leg now. Hope that goes away sometime soon. The funny thing is that I kept banging the weight pretty hard on my chest/traps-whatever at the top. Not feeling anything there at the moment. I was worried about that. I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow.

Starting Strength, workout 2A

Saw four different guys doing barbell bicep curls in a squat rack today. There’s an entire section of the gym devoted to curls. WTF?

I bet all those guys thought I was the freak.

Squat – 160×5. 160×5. 160×5

These felt really heavy. My depth was horrible. I think the fear of back pain is holding me back. I didn’t hurt myself but I kept thinking it was only a matter of time. I’ve got to get that idea out of my head. If I’m not getting deep then I’m wasting my time doing these.

Bench – 140×5, 140×5, 140×5

I didn’t think about squeezing the bar here. The weight isn’t enough to worry me yet, obviously, so it wasn’t a problem. Need to get this right.

Deadlift – 190×5

TOUGH. I was literally scraping my thighs all the way up on every rep. That was the only way I could get it up. No back issues.

Starting Strength, workout 1B

This was a good lift. It’s not often that I go to the gym without any pain to report. The weight needs to go up but I feel like I’m on my way.

Squat – 155×5, 155×5, 155×5

The shoes are doing wonders for my form. Stability is no longer an issue. I don’t rock forward on my toes anymore.

The back didn’t hurt too much today either. I’m ready to go up next time.

Press – 95×5, 95×5, 95×5

These were pretty tough toward the end but I can go up pretty easily

Power Clean – 65×5, 65×5, 65×5

I think I did pretty good for my first time to ever power clean. I found some 10 pound bumper plates that make this a lot easier. They are the same size as the 45’s so there’s no awkward moments through the motion. I’ve got to say that I really love this lift. It just feels cool.

I’m thrilled with my flexibility. That was my main concern. I was able to get my elbows up and rest the bar on my upper body. By the second set I felt like I had the hook grip down. By the third set I felt like I had the stomp synchronized with my arms going up.

The weight was WAY too low but you’ve got to crawl before you can walk. I’m gonna go up slowly to make sure I can handle this.

Starting Strength, workout 1A

What the hell have I been doing for the past two years?

I’m as weak as ever. A 240 pound guy who’s never been inside a gym in his life could have come in today and out lifted me. Dear God this is depressing.

It’s a start, though. You gotta start somewhere. A journey of a thousand miles … single step. Whatever. You get the picture.

Squat – 155×5. 155×5. 155×5

I did warmups with 45, 95 and 135 with the intention of doing 185 here. I put it on my back and went down only to feel back pain immediately. I racked it and dropped the weight down to 155. The first two sets were pain free but I had to grit my teeth through the last set. I don’t know if it’s a different kind of back pain or if I’m just used to it by now. It didn’t stop me from doing the set so I did it.

I’m not happy with this one so I’m gonna stay at the same weight next time. My depth sucked and the back pain is only going to get worse if I add weight. Something is not right and I’ve got to figure out what it is. My number one rule is no increasing weight until I get it right at the current weight. I desperately want to go up but I’ve got to be patient. The bigger weight will come. I’ve just got to keep telling myself that.

Bench – 135×5, 135×5, 135×5

Here I had ideas of starting with 160 or so but I figured it would be stupid to try to bench more then I could squat. I’m embarrassed to say that 135 gave me all the challenge I wanted. I can go up and I will next time but this was not a good sign.

Deadlift – 185×5

I’m glad that the plan only calls for one set of deadlifts. That gives me the chance to go all out. I wanted to do 185 and I did it! I’m thrilled with my form. Zero back pain throughout the set.

There’s a mirror to my left when I do these. It’s great for checking my back when I’m in the starting position. Sometimes I start out with a rounded back. The mirror allows me to make sure it’s straight. Then I can turn my head around and get to work.

Gotta say that it took max effort do these but it felt good. I’m a little worried about going up but I will. Couldn’t have done these any better.