Week 8

Dec 17, 2012 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
3×5 95 lbs.
4×5 115 lbs.
2×5 135 lbs.
5/5/3/4/3×155 lbs.

Press
2×5 45 lbs.
2×5 75 lbs.
5/0/2×90 lbs.
5/2×85 lbs.

Deadlift
5×5 180 lbs.

NOTES
After an unscheduled week off from getting to the gym, due to life priorities, I returned in hopes of progressing from where I left off. Boy, should have listened to my conscience and deloaded by 10%. I did nothing but struggling the entire time in the gym. Not sure if the squat was the worst or the press. Regardless it was a struggle, which got me thinking. Am I fooling myself with the weights I am trying to lift? In the grand scheme of things, these are “light” weights, especially when I have set higher goals. Sure, I am only starting my 8th week, but looking forward I don’t believe I will have a chance to achieve my 12-week goals., but that aside continuing to lift long term is a bigger goal.

My shoulders were very tight and consequently they are very worse this evening. Even have a bit of pain in my left wrist, something I have not had since I went with a wider, thumbless grip. The shoulders never did loosen up today and remained tight through every squat, which was somewhat painful. The alleged “Bicipital Tendonitis” does not feel any better after taking a week off from the gym.

Maybe I didn’t try hard enough at the squat this week, going 5/5/3/4/3, completing only 2 sets. I see myself re-racking 155 lbs. on Wednesday to give it another go. the squat felt wrong today. It felt as if I was leaning too far forward, I couldn’t get the knees to go out and I don’t believe I ever felt the hip bounce. Consequently, it was a piss poor squat routine.

Unfortunately, it went from bad to worse when I started with a few warmup sets for the press. First time I had used any warmup sets, but wanted to see if the reading and videos I had watched had made any difference in how I press. I still feel as if I am doing something wrong with the press. I loaded 90 lbs. as my workout weight today and knocked out the first set with no problem. Thus, I gained a bit of confidence and thought maybe it wasn’t THAT bad. I was quickly knocked back to reality when I couldn’t get 1 rep in my second set. Maybe it was not resting long enough or possibly the 7 days layoff I had. The third set I did 2 reps and decided to deload to 85 lbs. for the last 2 sets. I got all 5 in the fourth set, but only 2 to finish out my so-called 5×5.

The deadlift went off without any problems and 180 lbs. is still a fairly easy weight to pull. I need to video myself doing this lift in order to see my back. I believe my approach and set up are good and the lift happens, but not sure about the back.

I also adde4d 15 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine today. That I knew I could knock out. As for the struggles, I learned a valuable lesson, deload if you happen to miss a week at the gym. I do believe I would have been much better off dropping the squat to 140 lbs. today. The same for the press, 70 lbs. would have been a more realistic approach than struggling how I did.

Not quite sure what to make of the shoulder pain, it’s all I can do to squeeze the scapulas together when I get under the bar, even at that point I am in a lot of pain.It’s just as difficult to get from under the bar and move my shoulders. I figure stretching and shoulder dislocators would have helped at this point, but I am not having much luck. It might be off to visit the nurse practitioner or the doctor for another look at the shoulder since the medication and stretching isn’t helping, then again neither does a week off from the gym.

Lesson learned. I assume I will see some setbacks this week, already planning on deloading on Thursday for the squat and rows, possibly for the bench as well, but that weight is still manageable.

Dec 19, 2012 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
2×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5×5 135 lbs.
5×5 150 lbs.

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

Row
5×5 95 lbs.

Notes
Back at today after a disappointing Monday afternoon, one in which I struggled after returning the SL5x5 after an unexpected week off. Aside from the continued shoulder pain, I did have some tightness on my inner thighs, which I thought odd. This did not prevent me from squatting, but I did stretch them out just a bit as I moved through my warmup sets.

After failing miserably at 155 lbs on Monday, I decided to drop the weight to 150 lbs and pick up where I left off on SL. The weight didn’t feel heavy, but I had to work get the weight up in the final few sets. At no time did I feel like I was going to fail, like I did on Monday. Instead I took a bit more time for each set and was able to get all 5 sets in.

I am going to give it one more week and call the doctor again, as the shoulder pain is getting to the point of unbearable. I attempted to stretch out of the shoulders while warming up, but it didn’t seem to really help with the squats. I continue to cringe when I get under the bar and move my hands into place, using a relatively wide, thumbless grip. I don’t expect any thing different on Friday either. I did attempt a few shoulder dislocators after I was done lifting, just to see if I could do them. The entire range of movement was nothing but pain in the left shoulder.

I decided not to deload on the bench press and it seemed to be the right decision. After I knocked out the warm up sets, I concentrated on the set up and was able to easily bench 115 lbs for 5 sets. I probable could have easily done 145 lbs, but figured I would wait on adding any further weight for PRs or 1RM until next week, giving my body a chance to get re-acclimated to the gym.

Finally it was rows, again much like the squat I decided to drop the weight back down to 95 lbs, which was the last successful weight I was able to accomplished.I decided to use the recommendation from @PhillipSanMiguel and used the underhand grip to get a feel for how the row should feel. I even recorded a few videos that should provide a good view of the lift and hopefully provide more feedback in order to progress on this lift. Based on what I see, the back is too rounded and I seem to pull my upper torso up at times.

Overall a much better day, hopefully there are no further breaks from the gym. Hard to see myself NOT at the gym now after getting to a point where I enjoy going and like the lifts I am doing because I am seeing and feeling results.

Dec 22, 2012 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)

Squat
2×5 45 lbs.
2×5 95 lbs.
3×5 115 lbs.
5×5 150 lbs.

Press
2×5 45 lbs.
5/5/3/5/5×85 lbs.

Deadlift
5×5 190 lbs.

NOTES
Felt really good walking into the uncrowded gym today and seeing my squat machine open. I was hoping to work with 155 lbs today, as I had failed on Monday and worked with 150 on Wednesday. Unlike my previous warm ups, I omitted a 135 lbs warm up and went with 115 lbs. I didn’t want to tire myself out before attempting 155 lbs. In hindsight I should have skipped 115 lbs and done 135 lbs. Either way, I don’t think it really mattered.

While 155 lbs wasn’t difficult I did struggle on a few reps and lost my form and felt a few were probably not valid. I did record myself again using this weight and nearly every rep looked as if I leaned forward before starting up. This is causing my some frustration and need to figure out how I got this forward movement involved when coming out of the hole.

A side note here, had a woman walk up to me while I was squatting and asked how much longer I had, which I replied “3 sets” and then she asked if she could wait. “Sure” I said. I finished up and gave up the rack and went to my presses using a different bar. I had to wait and watched this gal squat an empty bar, ATG. What I didn’t expect was her to toss on 135 lbs, back completely out of the rack and go ATG again. If that wasn’t enough, she toss on 155 lbs (the weight I was working), and backed out of the rack, going ATG! I struggled somewhat with 155 lbs, but felt I got some good squats in. She toss on 20 more pounds for 175 and damned if she didn’t do the same thing, ATG outside the rack. Quite impressive for her size, maybe 5′-6″ very trim.

She interrupted my press, as I had to watch her squat. As I got going, I did warm up with a few empty bar sets before loading 85 lbs. Much like last time, I struggled with form and missed 2 reps in the 4th set. I believe I am getting too much back into the movement. Also a question, am I supposed to be bouncing the barbell off the from of my chest and immediately going into another rep or are they individual movements, down, pause, up, pause? Read Mehdi’s comments on the hip thrust taught by Rippetoe and tried not to us this yesterday.

The final lift, the deadlift, probably my best lift to date, as I continue to see consistent progress with this lift. I loaded 190 lbs. today and easily knocked out my 5×5. I might need to work on my grip, as I was having some issues keeping my hands on there. Not sure if it’s time to change the grip up or if it’s just an issue of how I am gripping the bar currently.

As for the shoulder, the pain was still evident, but I did feel as if it was more flexible today when doing squats. I noticed it after just a few warm up sets that I was able to pull them close in and squeeze my shoulders more. Still I have other more pressing problems to address now with the squat. I will post the video later today.

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