View Full Version : KZA's Building Strength

12-12-2009, 09:35 AM
Motivation has been a big killer for me, as I'm sure it is with many others. But it's time to put aside the excuses and get to work on bettering myself. I'm doing the Starting Strength program, and I start right now.


I've bought my own equipment, currently consisting of 6ft + 7ft barbell; weight plates 2x 2.5kg, 4x 5kg, 2x 10kg, 2x 20kg; 2x adjustable dumbells; weight plates 4x 1.5kg, 8x 2.5kg; Squat Rack, Bench. Other additional equipment; boxing bag and jump rope. Currently don't have a place to hang the bag.

Starting Stats

Age: 19
Height: 5'8/172cm
Weight: 163lbs/74kg
Build: Solid build with excess fat. (Does that make senses? That's how friends have described my build. But they refuse to say I'm fat, but that's how friends are I guess.)

Bench: 3x5 54lbs
Squat: 3x5 76lbs
Dead: 1x5 89lbs

As I'm only starting, I'm weak and focusing on form. Pathetic figures. :P

"Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality." - John W. Gardner

12-13-2009, 06:11 AM
Update 13/12/09

Not too much to say in regards to lifts, I spent today working on my bench, finishing off the sanding, sprayed the undercoating on and got my first layer of paint over it. It's looking great, I'll work out tomorrow and finish off the bench. Hopefully it'll be up and in action by Tuesday. :smoke:

Update 14/12/09

Finished the bench, waiting for it to dry overnight. I bought 2 more 20kg plates, sadly I didn't get to workout today because the room has been preoccupied with my families washing, due to the rain all day. :bash:

Off Road
12-13-2009, 08:33 AM
Good for you for getting started. I'm looking forward to watching your progress.

12-13-2009, 09:09 AM
Thanks Off Road, I think keeping a log will definitely help keep me on track. But during my progress any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks. I'll try to make my progress reports detailed enough to get some advice. Focus on where I'm struggling and doing well.

12-15-2009, 01:41 AM
Update 15/12/09

Today my refurbished bench is sitting proudly in my home-gym, hopefully I'll have a photo up soon. I spent the majority of today digging 15-20 holes in the garden planting ferns and carrying heavy pots around. My body is quite sore so I think I'll just do cardio tonight and leave lifting to when I'm fresh tomorrow morning. Definitely excited about using this new bench, previously I was using an "Ab-Blaster" Bench (my mother's) or whatever they're called, so happy that's gone. Pushed a few light-weight reps on the bench and couldn't be happier. Hope to update with some lifting stats soon and make some progress.

9:10pm Cardio

Distance = 3.8km
Time = 28mins

12-16-2009, 06:18 AM

34.5kg/76lbs 3x5

24.5kg/54lbs 3x5

45.5kg/100lbs 1x5

I kept SQ and BP the same since I've only started lifting again, and trying to get form down. I felt quite confident with the DL so I decided to increase the weight a little, it wasn't too bad but I rushed the last 2 reps and lost a little bit of form. I'll definitely slow it down a little next time. But everything went smoothly with no strain. :D

Off Road
12-16-2009, 06:47 AM
It's refreshing to see somebody starting with the squat/deadlift higher than the bench press. It's usually the other way around.

12-16-2009, 07:00 AM
Really? I find it quite hard to the do the BP to be honest. I use to do DB-BP on my old routine earlier in the year (when I didn't know what I wanted in a program :P) but I only made it to 13.5kg per DB 3x10. To be honest I kind of enjoyed it more than with a barbell but meh. I love doing squats and deadlifts. I'm looking forward to the Press next session. Something I haven't done before.

Off Road
12-16-2009, 07:06 AM
A lot of guys start out with bench and curls. Then when they start "serious" lifting, their bench is way ahead of their other lifts. It's nice to see somebody that has their priorities straight :)

12-16-2009, 07:24 AM
Haha :) yeah I saw plenty of that when I use to workout in the gym. I was into the curls and bench press, but I also did squats from the start to balance it out (but it was on the smith machine, I was scared of the barbell :P).

12-18-2009, 07:19 AM

39.5kg/87lbs 2x5

Seated Barbell Press
24.5kg/54lbs 3x5

Dumbell Bent-Over-Row
11.5kg/25lbs (3x5)

I accidently missed a set on the squat, and realised after the workout xD silly me. Anywho I did make progress on the weight which I'm happy with and I'm quite sure I could've successfully completed the last set.

If anyone can help me, is the Seated Barbell Press a good alternative to the standard Standing Press as I have quite a low roof (with a ceiling fan) so I can't complete this exercise safely. (Will remove fan soon)

Also I'm doing the dumbell B.O.R as I don't feel safe doing the clean and jerk. Please any input would be appreciated.

Off Road
12-18-2009, 08:24 AM
If anyone can help me, is the Seated Barbell Press a good alternative to the standard Standing Press as I have quite a low roof (with a ceiling fan) so I can't complete this exercise safely. (Will remove fan soon)

Also I'm doing the dumbell B.O.R as I don't feel safe doing the clean and jerk. Please any input would be appreciated.

Those sound fine.

12-18-2009, 09:12 AM
Thanks Off Road. I'm more worried about squat, deadlift and bench over the others. I don't mind if the others are more 'assistance' exercises to the other lifts.

12-20-2009, 01:18 AM
Weekend Off

Very relaxing, I don't feel I deserve it after only 2 days of the program. But I want to follow it by the book as to get the maximum potential out of it. So 3 days a week, cardio every day in-between and 1 day completely off of everything. Yesterday was hard, I was itching to lift, today I'm just looking forward to tomorrow. After only 2 sessions, heavy lifting is really starting to grow on me. About to go for a run soon.

Feeling good, nothing pulled or damaged from lifting, so I feel confident with my form and look forward to putting on more weight tomorrow!


Jump Rope - 20 mins
Skateboarding (Light cardio) ^^

12-22-2009, 02:29 AM

44.5kg/98lbs 3x5

Bench Press
29.5kg/65lbs 3x5

49.5kg/109lbs 3x5

I was pretty upset with myself over not working out yesterday, and I really had no excuse. So today I went at it hard, taking my time and really paying attention to recovery and form. Apart from a pretty dull start to the day my weight training really made it an amazing afternoon. All of my lifts went up, and still felt easy to push up, I felt I could do more but I've only started so I don't want to rush ahead of myself.

Apart from all my lifts going up easy today, I did almost injure myself on the last rep of my second set of squats. I lost focus and lost balance near the bottom, I caught myself though and finished the rep. The last set went perfectly fine. :strong:

Off Road
12-22-2009, 06:20 AM
Excellent workout. I can't wait to see the progress you make.

12-22-2009, 07:05 AM
Thanks Off Road. I hope to be deadlifting and squatting my own weight or over by the end of January. Really looking forward to it. Do you think this a realistic goal?

12-31-2009, 10:22 PM
I let myself down over the holiday period, went off track, ate alot and drank a lot. But I'm going to get back into it and continue lifting hard. The recent lack of sleep and poor diet choices obviously affected my workout greatly. So after some good rest, I'm hoping my numbers return on saturday.

Thursday Workout

Squat 49.5kg/109lbs 3x5

(Yes my squat actually still went up and it wasn't bad at all, the last set though I felt a little weak coming back up, the last 2 reps I struggled a little but I tried my best not to sacrifice form.)

Bench 19.5kg/43lbs 3x5 (My bench went down and I had great difficulty with my last set but pushed through)

Deadlift 0 (I was out of energy really fast, the lack of sleep and poor diet has definitely affected me)

I know I did pretty terrible and I knew I would be sacrificing gains during the celebrations. I'm getting back on track and hitting the weights hard.

01-02-2010, 05:34 AM

Squat 3x5 49.5kg (Easy :hump:)

Bench 3x5 29.5kg (Easy :hump:)

Deadlift 1x5 54.5kg (Only increase this session, felt difficult but I got through all the reps)

I decided to keep all my lifts on their previous weights, just to see if I had decreased in any of the lifts. Squats and bench were a breeze, but I'm always confident with my deadlift (maybe overly so) so I tried to increase it, it was quiet a difficult set but I pushed through it.

Overall I'm quite happy and should be increasing next workout. :hump:
I'm scared that my squat is going to push infront of my deadlift, I may post a thread on this but I want to ask a question here for anyone whose subscribed to my journal.

If my squat overtakes my deadlift, should I;

Continue to squat but at a fixed weight while my deadlift increase.
Continue to increase both and not care? Is it a big deal?

Off Road
01-02-2010, 08:25 AM
Increase both and not care :)
Some people just squat more than they deadlift.

01-02-2010, 09:52 PM
Ah ok :P sounds good to me.

01-04-2010, 03:28 AM

Squat 3x5 54.5kg/120lbs

Military Press 3x5 24.5kg/54lbs

Dumbbell Row 3x5 11.5kg/25lbs

Squats felt amazing, got through them with no trouble and progressing great. I've been increasing above the recommended amount for SS for quite some time, this is due to me not having 1.5kg plates that can go on my barbell. I'm going out to buy some tomorrow, I think I'll lower the increases as to keep them coming for longer.

Getting use to the military press as I've only done it once before, fun exercise. I heard doing it seated allows for less assistance from the legs, targetting the shoulders more so I've chosen to do it seated. I've kept these the same as before since the break, and look forward to increasing them. I hope to post some pictures soon of my chub for future reference and to track progress.

Off Road
01-04-2010, 07:32 AM
Squats felt amazing, got through them with no trouble and progressing great.
Isn't that a great feeling when you have things dialed in just perfect. Also, smart move getting some lighter plates.

01-06-2010, 07:32 AM
Spontanious Workout

I did a random workout with my brother and friend in my weight room, since they really wanted to. It wasn't structured at all but I lifted quite heavy (Bench, OHP etc etc) and felt working out today wouldn't be at my highest intensity. So I took today as a rest day and will continue lifting tomorrow.

01-07-2010, 06:49 AM

Squat 3x5 57kg/125.6lbs

Bench 32kg/70.5lbs

Deadlift 59.5kg/131lbs

Doing great, the smaller increases are working out for the better. And everything just felt right. I'll admit I struggled a little in my last rep of each squat set. I'll see if it's necessary to deload a little.

01-09-2010, 06:16 AM

Squat 1x1 69.5kg/153lbs (Accidently overloaded the bar :shoot:)
1x5 59.5kg/131lbs
1x3 59.5kg/131lbs (Failed miserably, I just couldn't lift it)
2x5 49.5kg/109lbs (Did these with no troubles, felt really light)

OHP 2x5 27kg/59.5lbs
1x4 27kg/59.5lbs (Failed on last rep)

Dumbell Row 3x5 14.5kg/32lbs

Notes; Felt pretty disappointed, I wasn't in the best mood for reasons I guess you wouldn't care to hear about. I accidently overloaded the bar in my first set of 5, and I felt the extra weight straight away and had trouble getting back up. I couldn't finish the rest of the sets after reloading so I dropped the weight.

I'm deciding between whether this was just a bad day or I should deload a bit for my next workout. Oh well, two days rest and I'll lift again on tuesday. If I deload I'll drop my squat back to 54.5kg/120lbs.

Off Road
01-09-2010, 07:31 AM
It was a fine workout. Don't deload yet, sometimes you just can't push as hard. Make sure you get a lot of rest and a lot of food and see how the next one goes.

01-09-2010, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the advice Off Road. I'll take my 2 day break, do a bit of cardio for fun, eat big and sleep well. Hope things go better next time.

02-05-2010, 09:21 PM

Squat 54.5kg 3x5
Bench 32kg 3x5
Deadlift 59.5kg 1x5
49.5kg 1x5