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  • Back to Basics

    This is my Back to Basics log. Enough said.

    Having said that this is why. I have been piss farting around the weight room for far too many years. I first picked up a weight back in high school (long time ago) while training for rowing. Since then, the reality is I have made no real appreciable change. Yup, me banging my head against a wall :frusty: for a friggen long time. How long? Well I was circa 15 when weight training for rowing (don't do it any more) and now I am 33. You do the maths. I have jumped from program to program for more years than I care and as you may have guessed I am frankly pissed off at myself. :angry: So is the wife from the not insubstantial amount of money spent on supplements.

    So after spending time here and reading (lurking) over the last few months, reading, and reading some more, I have decided the absolute best and wisest thing for me to do is start completely from brass tacks. So beginner program it is.

    I have decided on StrongLifts 5x5. Although it is a 3 day a week program, I am doing it 2 days a week. Why? I am working circa 55-65 hours a week and am studying full time, circa 20 hours a week. I also want to spend time with my wife. The studying will last up to 2 June 2012 (exam day). After that I will increase the frequency to 3 times a week.

    2 times a week may be slower progress, but I am considering this a life commitment. 5 months of this is not a deal-breaker.

    Yesterday evening I completed the first workout of me going back to basics. :whoo:

    Squat @ 20kg - 5x5
    Flat bench @ 20kg - 5x5
    Pendlay Row @ 30kg - 5x5

    That's right, I started with the empty bar. And today I am a little sore - a bit sad in all honesty. Those 21 weeks to 2 June 2012 should see me reach the following lifts based on 2 times per week lifting based on the SL 5x5 spreadsheet, assuming no stalling in weight lifted (which probably will happen):
    Squat - 122.5kg
    Bench - 70kg
    Overhead Press - 70kg
    Barbell Row - 80kg
    Deadlift - 140kg
    If I do reach those weights by the end of the 5 months, the above would be more than I have lifted on each of those movements... ever! An awesome place to be. What to do when I reach this point? Well let me get there and I'll see.

    So onwards and upwards and I intend to record this progress in this log.

    One thing I have not touched on yet are my goals. Well I would like to have a bodybuilder physique. I may or may not compete in the future, i haven't decided. However to get there I need to first get stronger, much stronger. And such the journey begins...

    Bring it! :2guns:
    My Log: Back to Basics

  • #2
    A little bit more about me. I am an Aussie living in London, UK. More pertinent facts are:
    - 180cms tall, 5' 10.5"
    - 89.1kgs, 196lbs
    Body fat, well, holding a little more fat than I should. Don't know exact %, but the scale thingy at home says 30%-ish, but not sure how accurate that is. I fit into size 32 inch jeans/pants so not overly fat.

    Notwithstanding, the aim over the next 5 months is to also loose some body fat. Nothing drastic, but will keep carbs lower in my diet. I know my body is not a huge fan of carbs and usually chucks on the fat first on the love handles. So generally will be eating a low/lower carb diet, meat, nuts, protein and veggies essentially with P/C post workout shakes. I may consider the SkipLoad as per his DVD (should watch it again) and will probably start it after a couple of weeks of steady low/lower carb high protein/meat food intake.

    Re the previous post, I could have ranted on about my over analysing streak, my supposed know it all attitude in the past, the chopping and changing of training routines, etc. But I thought let bygones be bygones, learn from the past and look forward.
    My Log: Back to Basics


    • #3
      Nothing Thursday/Friday. Slack of me really.

      Today, walked 30 mins in the area around home, which is a little hilly so get some variability. Also 1 hour of yoga at the gym. My flexibility from being a desk jockey for circa 10-12 hours a day has significantly reduced. Feel more supple and relaxed.
      My Log: Back to Basics


      • #4
        Second workout today. I watched the squat, overhead press and deadlift videos from the Starting Strength DVD last night, so made a concerted effort to execute the movements with correct form.

        Squat @22.5k - 5x5
        Overhead Press @ 20k - 5x5
        Deadlift @ 40k - 5x5

        The deadlift is supposed to be for only 1x5; however, as the weigh is so light I did a couple of extra sets to get some work in. As the weight increases, i will bright it back down to 1x5. Also the bar is really low with 10k plates on each end, so form was not perfect.

        30 mins walk also today.

        Feeling a little creaky in the thoracic part of the back, but will do some foam rolling to loosen it all up.
        My Log: Back to Basics


        • #5
          Week two.

          Squat @ 25k - 5x5
          Bench Press @ 22.5k - 5x5
          Pendlay Rows @ 32.5k - 5x5
          Whole body stretching a la DC style

          I have started reading Starting Strength and feel like I have lost the last 15 years of training. I will read it over the next few months and might even re-read it. As I am in this game for the long haul starting off slow again I think is a good idea.
          My Log: Back to Basics


          • #6
            congrats on making it a resolution to not just train but to GAIN
            '17 USAPL Chicago Raw
            17 AAU Super Total
            '16-AAU Hi
            '15-USPA Metro
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            '15-AAU HI
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            '14-USPA Metro
            '14-WABDL Sonny's
            '14-USPA State
            '14-HI Strongman
            '13-WABDL Sonny's
            '13-USPA State
            '13-AAU HI
            '11-USPA Metro
            '10-NPC Stingrey
            '09-NPC Islands
            '09-NPC Stingrey
            '09-ABA Islands
            '02-ABA Islands
            '02-ABA IronWorks
            '01-NPC Paradise Cup
            '01-ABA Olympia
            '01-ABA Islands
            '00-NPC Nat.Tri-State
            '00-INBF Musclefest
            '98-NGA Ill
            '98-INBF Ohio


            • #7
              Originally posted by trucelt View Post
              congrats on making it a resolution to not just train but to GAIN
              Thanks trucelt. That is a really good way of putting it.
              My Log: Back to Basics


              • #8
                Saturday = yoga day.

                1 hour yoga which today focussed on working the lower back and opening up the chest. Chest and shoulders feel more open and lower back was sore this morning on waking, less so now.

                Also 1/2 hour walk. Had to do some concrete slab lifting/moving today and installed a new gate to the garden, so some sort of GPP in there! Does it count? Well more movement that I usually do at work.
                My Log: Back to Basics


                • #9
                  Starting Strength:
                  Squats @ 45k - 5/5/5
                  Overhead Press @ 32.5k - 5/5/5
                  Power Cleans @ 40k - 3/3/3/3/3
                  The above included a series of warmups leading to the work sets.
                  The cleans were tough. It has been many years since I did them, and they damn near killed me. I am glad I am doing the cleans work on the weekend as I workout circa 9am so relatively fresh and have time to do it right, rather than at 8:30pm after work where it is more likely my form would go to shit. Get the practice down now, keep form on point so that when i do go 3x a week (post exam) I will have good form ingrained in me even if doing heavier weights in the evening. Must also get chalk or liquid chalk to dry out the palms, especially for cleans, and fractional plates for when the going gets tough. Still time yet, but soon nonetheless.

                  I was having a further read of SS and looking over the SS forums run by Rip. I was a doofus using StrongLifts 5x5. Essentially SL is a bloke who has taken a program designed, trialled, tested, tweaked, reconsidered, and used by Mark Rippetoe who has been lifting and teaching strength methods for over 30 years and mashed it up a little, calls it his own, and is extremely adept at making sure it pops up at the top of every google search one does on 5x5 or 3x5. Does the guy behind SL know more than Rip? Nope. Also I have started looking over Practical Programming by Rip at a very high level as don't have the time to go in depth into it; however, it is an interesting read.

                  Last edited by TeddyD; 01-15-2012, 12:45 PM.
                  My Log: Back to Basics


                  • #10
                    I'm gonna follow along.

                    You'll be pleasantly surprised how far that 1x5 dead lift can take you.


                    • #11
                      Thanks vkk. Any support is much appreciated.
                      The 1x5 deadlift is the counterintuitive bit... Faith in the programming.
                      My Log: Back to Basics


                      • #12
                        A bit shattered today. Got some news at work that rocked me a bit so have been a little stressed in mind and body. Also woke up this morning having slept on my face which manifested in a crunchy pain in my thoracic spine and sore neck. Lovely start to the day. :hurt: Ended up seeing the physio on short notice and felt much better together with some ibuprofen. The news from work has settled so should be less stressed going forward.

                        Notwithstanding, I had a good solid workout this evening.
                        Squats @ 50k - 5/5/5
                        Bench Press @ 40k - 5/5/5
                        Deadlift @ 70k - 5
                        At the end of the workout I did some extra work for the rhomboids and rotator cuffs.
                        3 point trap lifts (something I picked up from a Poliquin trainer) @ 2k x 10 supersetted with standing external rotators @ 2k x 10 - repeated twice
                        I haven't included the warmups above, but I do record them in the ol' training diary. Essentially start with the bar and then incrementally increase the weight in even steps over 4-5 warmup sets reducing the reps by 1 from 5 to reach the working weight.

                        Now I have set the bar, it is time to move it slowly upwards. I may need to by fractional plates and liquid chalk for the grip in the next few weeks. Feeling good though about training and looking forward to improving.

                        My Log: Back to Basics


                        • #13
                          Yesterday was 30 mins walk and yoga focusing on stretching out the hamstrings and opening up the pelvis and hip flexors. I am bloody tight in the hip flexors from sitting down all day, although it is something I am working on opening up. As always, I feel good afterwards.
                          My Log: Back to Basics


                          • #14
                            Went to bed really late last night, crica 3am. Far too much Call of Duty MW3 for my own good. Ended up waking up around 10am and the wife had already taken off to go to her yoga class. After walking aimlessly around the house for a bit, I got to the gym at 11:30am.
                            Squats @ 55k - 5/5/5. Good bar speed and solid depth below parallel.
                            Overhead Press @ 35k - 5/5/5. Felt good and focused on pushing through the top and shrugging the shoulders a la Mark Rippetoe's SS video
                            Power Cleans @ 42.5k - 3/3/3/3/3. Felt good at 40k+; however, getting there through warm ups is weird from 20k as the bar feels like it flops all over the place. However, once get to 40k+ bar seems to move nicely. Ended up smacking myself in the chin with the bar in one set, thankfully not too hard though.

                            The thing is after Sunday workouts, I am a little fragile around the neck/shoulder area. All I want to do is crack my neck - not massive pain, but little acute creaking. I have been to the physio in the previous weeks, and they say it is not a major problem. I am hoping with the increased work and concentrating on keeping the shoulders and scapula in the correct position during workouts it will get stronger and settle down.

                            My Log: Back to Basics


                            • #15
                              I have been stressed at work lately, which is not the best thing. Sleeping is OK; however, getting to bed by around 11pm and up at 6amish. I need to get to bed earlier.

                              Training last night was good. Good for getting out some frustrations.
                              Squats @ 60k - 5/5/5
                              Bench Press @ 45k - 5/5/5
                              Deadlift @ 80k - 5
                              Squats and Deadlift are now moving into the zone which is requiring effort and focus. The Bench Press is starting to get challenging. I have always been weak in the upper body particularly pressing movements. So this will become my focus.

                              My Log: Back to Basics