Jan 21, 2013 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)
5×5 45 lbs.
5×5 75 lbs.
By my record keeping it’s been 30 days (Dec. 22) that I lifted the last time. Not because I wanted to skip out on the program or those supporting my, but because my wife had major, lower back surgery. I knew it was going to take most of my time caring for me. It has been that and more since her surgery just happen to coincide with our move to a new home (what shitty timing!).
It was not my intention to go 4 weeks without the gym, but with her not being able to move around much the first 2 weeks required my full attention. The last 2 weeks have gotten better, but I didn’t MAKE time for the gym. Probably for the better, as she needed me more and the gym would be there when I made the decision to back to it.
That was today (Jan. 21). I decided to deload the squat by 15 pounds. My last successful attempt was 155 lbs, but knowing how I struggled previously when missed a week earlier I figured this was the best move. I decided on 140 lbs, which was a good decision. It was enough to allow me to work up to the weight, while challenging me once I got the 140 on the bar.
The squat felt good but I think I need to video myself again just to make sure I didn’t forget the basics and have the bar aligned where it should be. I have no doubts I will be back to 155 lbs shortly, but it was a good “welcome back weight.”
I decided not to deload the bench press. That was based on 120 lbs being manageable last time around. I did work up to the weight with a few warm up sets. Much like the squat, I need to review the technique as I had seemed to forgotten a few details. I was trying to keep my butt tight and my shoulders back, while keeping the wrists in line with the forearms.
The rows were a struggle 4 weeks ago at 100 lbs. So much so I had to deload and reattempt a few lighter weights, but form was causing me problems until I was told to use an underhand grip to get a feel for how the row should be. That advice helped, but I still decided to cut 25 lbs. off the rows So it takes me a bit more time to get back to where I was struggling at. Not a problem working 75 lbs.
I also spent time doing 3×20 crunches (100 lbs), 5×5 dips (unassisted) and even got 15 minutes in on the elliptical. It felt good to FINALLY get back to the gym and start back on Stronglifts.
Jan 23, 2013 – WORKOUT B (Squat, Overhead Press, Deadlift)
5×5 70 lbs.
5×5 150 lbs.
It came as no surprise that I was sore on Tuesday and into Wednesday from taking 4 weeks off. It was a “good pain” if there is such a thing, made me feel as if I had accomplished something on Monday. I give it a few more days and the pain will subside. No reason to hold back, so I moved forward and hit the gym with the hope of add 5 lbs to the squat today. Maybe it was the pain, mindset or piss poor form, but after 2 sets I had to deload to 135 lbs.
It just didn’t feel right. I am still trying to pinpoint the reason why, but I think it’s just a combination of time off and not reviewing the correct form. I noticed a few nasties that showed up in my form today. The first was my knees were collapsing in when I was trying to come out of the hole. The second was dipping forward before coming up. It was frustrating. So I dropped off the 2.5 lbs weights and finished up the final 3 sets at 135 lbs.
I debated on where to deload this movement. It is one of two lifts I struggled with 4 weeks earlier, the other was the row. So I went about 20 lbs. off and started with 70 lbs. I also included 2 warm up sets to make sure I had the form correct (or what I thought was correct). I added the rest of the weight and was able to knock out the 5 sets fairly strong. I can already foresee further complications with the press, especially when I add weight from 90 lbs on. Still it felt good to get all 5 sets done with no issue today, we will see how it goes on Monday.
The deadlift I was at 200 four weeks ago, but decided to deload to 150 and concentrate on form. I recorded video this week of the lift. Based on what I saw I might be bending the knees too soon when letting the weight down. Hopefully other members will provide feedback when I get the video up. I did add 2 warm up sets at 135 to work on the form, which felt very good. The work out weight of 150 lbs was easy, no real problem and probably my best lift in the SL routine.
As the pain subsides I am sure I will feel better and push myself more than I pushed the last 2 work outs. As of tomorrow I am back to work and hopefully back into my weekly routine adhering better to my way of eating and getting to the gym 3 times a week. It does feel good to be back on track.
Jan 25, 2013 – WORKOUT A (Squat, Bench Press, Barbell Row)
5×5 80 lbs.
The end of week has come and gone after returning to the gym since taking 4 weeks. Hopefully I don’t have to do this again because I missed having this constant in my life and participating in the Stronglifts program.
I decided to hit 140 lbs again on the squat since I deloaded to 135 lbs last week on the final few sets.This session was better, but I still struggled with the final 2 sets. The form felt better some times, but other times it felt as if I was going to fail. I was wondering if I was squatting too deep and trying to bounce out of the hole. It felt very wrong, conversely there were times I had the proper hip bounce in play and the 140 lbs seemed effortless. Hopefully I can gain more consistency in the squat for better progress as I look towards next week.
Unfortunately none of the benches were free, so I waited around an no one looked close to finishing, so I made the mistake of doing dips, 5 sets of 5 reps. When I finished a bench opened up and I started my sets. I skipped the 2×45 today and did a quick 3×95 warm up set. I bumped the weight 5 lbs to 125 lbs, but boy after the second set it took a serious effort on my part. The first 2 reps of the remaining 3 sets were no problem, but I just did not have the strength today to finish off all 5 sets. I know I can do the weight, as I had been successful previously (before deloading this week). Much like the squat, when everything was done correctly, this weight was easy, but I would relax the shoulder or loosen the glutes and the bench seemed to fall apart. I will revisit 125 pounds next Wednesday and hopefully knock out the 5×5.
Rows were no problem, much like the first time around I rowed 80 lbs. I know this lift will get more challenging all too quickly. The 5×5 was good, but the last rep on the final set could have been called cheating, but I would only be cheating myself and not progressing.
All in all I was pleased with how this return to the gym went this week. I don’t envy those who stop and start only to stop again. The way I figure it, I should be back to the weights I was working with in a few weeks, only to start the struggle. Hopefully the second time around is a stronger effort that the first. We will see how it goes.
It might be time to reevaluate my 1 year goals, as I think the 8 weeks goals I initially set are probably too much at this point in time. It’s something I will revisit in the coming weeks