Week 12

Feb 05, 2013 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5×5 160 lbs.

Bench
2×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5×5 130 lbs.

Row
5×5 90 lbs.

NOTES
This was the week I transitioned from a Monday, Wednesday, Friday lifting schedule to a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule in order to accommodate my responsibilities to my son’s little league team, which I got wrangled into managing. If Tuesday is any indication, the gym was quiet and empty when I arrived about 2PM. Great to know, as there was no action around the squat rack.

I came to the gym with a seemingly insignificant issue, as my lower, left gluteus maximus was sore. It has the feeling of being pulled, but it really only bothered me when I was in the hole and pressing to come up. It’s contained to a small area as well. Not sure if I strained it last week or if it is completely unrelated to the weight training.

With that said, I added another 5 pounds and attempted 160 lbs as my work out weight to start the week, this after 3 days off. One thing I will change for next time will be the warm up. I will follow Mehdi’s guide a bit closer, going from 2×95 to 3×135. I had been adding a 3×115 in as well, but it seems to be a big jump from 115 lbs to 160 lbs now. The weight actually felt good today, unfortunately I was a bit discouraged when I looked at the view I record and noticed I still had a reoccurring problem when coming out of he hole. I would lean forward before moving upwards. If that wasn’t bad enough, the set I record also shows me NOT hitting parallel. Not sure if that is due to the weight, bad form or the “pain in my ass.”

I accomplished the weight, but I might revisit it on Wednesday to see if I can iron out the continued form issues. This was the first time I had recorded myself not hitting parallel, so that I will assume is a more recent issue. The leaning forward out of the hole is something I have been struggling with. I am open to ideas on how to fix it.

Today would have been an ideal day to drag a bench over, into the squat rack and see if benching in there was possible. I didn’t and ended up using a regular bench. Weights above 135 lbs I will need to be very cautious, as I started to struggle with the bench on the 4th and 5th reps. Last thing I want is not to be able to get the weight off my chest if I fail (see Greg’s video for consequences, some scary shit!) I think my arms need to move in more of a north/south direction when benching. I have found a few videos after reading some other Inner Circle member’s logs and hopefully this is a simple fix.

The rows are still a mixed bag. I was able to do my 5×5 at 90 lbs, but there might have been a sneak cheat in there on a few sets. I could feel myself pulling my chest down to meet the bar as opposed to pulling the weight and squeezing the shoulder blades. I know the weight won’t get any easier, so staying at 95 lbs. might be an option for Saturday. We will see how it goes. I might added the 5 lbs. and if I struggle deload it back to 90 lbs.

Still it feels great to be back at the gym, I know I keep mentioning that, but I really did miss this “lifestyle” I have created for myself. Now that I am back into my routine, hopefully I will continue to see good gains moving forward.

Feb 07, 2013 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
3×5 135 lbs.
1×5 165 lbs.
4×5 135 lbs.

Press
5×5 85 lbs.

Deadlift
2×5 135 lbs.
5×5 180 lbs.

Notes
I have a pain in my ass. Literally. I noticed this on Tuesday or Wednesday when I got home and it felt as if something was pulled on my lower, left butt cheek (near the Ischium). The only thing I can attribute the strain or pull to is lifting weights. Not sure if the form has been incorrect to the point of injury or if I tried to lift more than I was truly capable of. It hurts to sits and squat or get into any position when you must bend your knees (act of getting to parallel).

Knowing this going to the gym last night, I was hopefully I could work through the pain, but that did not happen. I stretched and warmed up with lower weights before racking my work weight of 165 lbs. The weight felt good, not heavy at all. I was able to get through 4 reps before it happened and the pain intensified. I couldn’t get out of the hole on the 5th rep of my first work set. I deloaded the weight back to 135 lbs and finished the other 4 remaining sets with minor discomfort. Going to reevaluate the extent of this injury the next few days. I am quite sure if I continue to squat I will keep aggravating the strain, which means it might not heal quick. I might just keep squatting, but at a lower weight, possibly just to work on form and not lose some of the gains I have made recently with my squat.

I loathed moving to the press, as the weight is getting tough again at 85 pounds. Form again is the issue. I watched a few videos during the week and read a few pages on the press in Rippetoe’s book, Starting Strength in order to give me some buzz words or reminders when pressing. I did notice pain in my wrists, which would lead me to believe I have the bar set incorrectly in my hands and my forearms are not in line with the wrists. I tried correcting this a few times during the work out. With the continued problems I was able to knock out my 5×5.

Finally the deadlift, my best lift to date, but as pointed out to me by Phillip, I had been doing a 5×5 on the deadlift, not a 1×5. Yeah, I like the deadlift, but not sure if I like it 5×5. So I decided to change it up and do 2 sets at 135 lbs. before increasing the weight to 180 lbs., which was the work out weight. The form felt strong through the warm up and my work set. No real problems, but I did not attempt any higher weights.

Removing 4 sets from the deadlift might end up giving me more energy to return to doing 5×5 dips once I finish up my SL routine.

Feb 09, 2013 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

Squat
2×5 45lbs.
3×5 95lbs.
3×5 135 lbs.
5×5 165 lbs.

Bench
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5/5/5/3/5×135 lbs.

Row
5×5 95 lbs.

NOTES
I decided to continue squatting, even with the minor pain in my lower, left buttock. I spent time rereading Rippetoe’s comments on the squat form, paying special attention to how to come out of the hole. I don’t believe I have been doing it correctly, 100% of the time. I also changed my head position. I had been looking forward, more than down, but changed that and finally found a spot on the floor that I concentrated on. I do think this allowed me to use the hip bounce, allowing my hips/butt to come up. It felt better and I did not notice the pain. That tells me I wasn’t performing the squat correctly. 165 lbs. was tough, in fact I know I cheated myself on the 4th set, with a lean forward to knock out the final 2 reps. I will probably go back on Tuesday and work with 165 lbs. again.

Like the squat, I also spent time reading up on the bench, I feel as the weight continues to increase I am going to find myself stalling if I don’t secure a better form. I also took a few tips away and I felt as if these helped my bench. I did use some lower weights to warm up with and work on some of what I had read. I wish watching others worked to my advantage, but that wasn’t the case in the gym. I started off strong with 135 lbs., finishing off the first 3 sets. I stalled on the 4th set and only finished with 3 reps. Part of the reasoning, I am fearful of failing and not being able to get the barbell up. There are low hooks on the bench I use, guess I should see just how easy it would be to rack the weight if I were to fail with the bar on my chest. I still have not tried moving a bench into the squat rack, just looking at the positioning of the hooks on the rack I think it’s too high, but I won’t know if I don’t try. I will probably hit 135 lbs. a second time next week.

Finally the rows. I am back still not back to the level I was previously, but can seemingly manage the weight. Today was 95 lbs. and I whipped out the 5×5. Like the squat I could feel some cheating and the video I took confirms it. It looks as if my back not straight and I lean down, while my arms are bringing the barbell up. I only felt that on the 3rd set. We will see how 100 lbs. feels, but the weights are beginning to be more challenging.

All in all it was a good day, feels good to continue to see progress on each lift, even if I stall or decide to revisit a weight in order to have a better feeling before adding more weight and moving on.

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