View Full Version : Goal - Lard Ass to Elite - Luigi's attempt at powerlifting

02-22-2013, 01:33 PM

I'm back in the gym. Not that any of you care, but I didn't know how to start this post. You see I used to train. I did so semi-successfully. There are actually people on this forum who I've trained with that can vouge for that. I used to keep a log too, so my history is out in the open.

The problem was I became bored and disenchanted with training. My partners left (not that I was strong enough to train with them any way). My gym became a mecca for idiot meatheads, and even supider powerlifters and bodybuilders. So I left there. I did join another gym closer to my house, but that place was even worse, but for other reasons. So I stopped training. Terrible, but it was what it was.

So after spending the last two years watching my family, and my belly grow, and moving from NYC to Pennsylvania, I've decided enough was enough.

So here I am.

I do have a plan this time. Not that I didn't have a plan the last time, but like most people who train and read these forums I did a lot of "research" on training and decided to try something new every 2 weeks. Not the best Idea.

So my plan is such; Starting Strength to get back in to training shape, then a volume based intermediate plan such as the Texas Method and the 5/3/1 until those no longer work. That's it. Probably not going to be the most exciting thing to read, but I know nobody will care, or post, until my squat is somewher in the 400lb range anyway. Then it will get more exciting.

Next post will be my first few sessions.

02-22-2013, 02:32 PM
Since I'm older, and I guess smarter, I've decided to take it very easy on the return to the weightroom. My bones creak like all hell just standing so I don't want to blow a gasket before I even have a chance to get started.

Here is what I've done so far.

02/03/2013 (weight x reps x sets)
Squats 95x5x3
Press 65x5x3
Deadlift 135x5x1

Squats 105x5x3
Bench 95x5x3
Deadlift 155x5x1

Press 85x5x3
Deadlift 175x5x1

02/10/2013 (weight at 261lbs)
Squat 125x5x3
Bench 105x5x3

02/12/2012 (weight at 260.5)
Squat 135x5x3
Press 90x5x3
Deadlift 185x5x1

02/14/2012 - Worked late and gym was closed by the time I got home from work. Sucks, but it was what it was.

02/17/2012 - So I fell down the stairs of my house. Hurt real bad, so I decided not to fuck it up more by training. Again, sucks, but it was what it was

Squat - 145x5x3
Bench - N/A
So maybe not a good week for me. Hurt my shoulder getting under the bar during my squats. So much so that even lowering 95lbs was difficult. Since I didn't want to fuck it up more I stopped the session. And . . sucks, but it was what it was.

02/21/2012 - Fucking had to work late AGAIN. My job sucks balls. No training. Yada yada, it was what it was, yada yada.

Ok, so the last week or so of training blew monkey balls. Life is what it is. Back training on the 02/24. Hopefully I don't get hit by a bus or have to drive to Montana on my bosses whim.

02-23-2013, 06:02 AM
Well...life DO gets in the way!

Keep it up! The right attitude seems to be there!

02-24-2013, 01:06 PM
Squat - 155x5x3
Press - 95x5x3
Deadlift - 195x5x1

Felt good today. Other than the aches and pains I usually have (which is totally sad by the way), no pains anywhere. Although everything did make me feel real tired and spent afterwards. My daughter and I took a good 1 1/2 hour nap as a reward. Just need to get my calories up to keep recovery going. I want to try the GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) that Coach Rippetoe says to do. But I just think going right into a gallon from nothing will make me do nothing but poop all day. I'll start at a litre a day and see what happens.

02-24-2013, 02:54 PM
Hey Luigi.

Good luck with the return to lifting. Strength will bounce back quickly.

As for aches and pains, I tend to find fish oil helps a great deal.


02-26-2013, 08:26 PM

Squat - 165x5x3
Bench - 115x5x3

God I had the Bench Press. I know why it's important to do, and the strength that can be gained by doing it. . but man I hate it so. Does that make me less manly? If it does, I don't care.
I've always loved deadlifts though. So maybe I'm just different than everyone else.

So the gym I'm at is hosting a Bench Press competition in two weeks. A couple of local big benches showed up to press today. When I left they were up to 375. I'm sure they did more because I heard one say he did 505 once in a shirt.
What I hated about today was the other guys in the gym completely kissing this guys ass about what he could bench. Look, I'm as impressed as the next guy in regards to anyone who can bench 300+, but I'm not going to bend over for him. I just don't get what blowing this guy is going to do for you.

"You'll never be one of them, if you idolize them" Or something like that. You get my point.

02-27-2013, 11:27 AM
Fell down the stairs huh? Was whiskey involved?

02-27-2013, 06:49 PM
This time? No actually. Since I have to get up at 5:30 to get to work every morning I sleepwalked my self off the top stair. Slid down the whole damn thing. Back was messed up a couple days. Best part of this whole thing? Wife didn't hear a thing. I could have been crippled at the bottom of the step for hours before she would have noticed.

Good guess though.

02-27-2013, 06:58 PM
I've been thinking a lot recently in regards to my goals. My most pressing concern is I don't have any. Yes I want to get stronger, but that is more of a theory than a hard, concrete goal. I've been thinking that I should shoot for a meet sometime in the future. My gym is running a push-pull on June 1st. I doubt I'll be very far removed from my novice program by that point, but it will give me something to shoot for.

02-28-2013, 02:53 AM
Good idea, Luigi!

I'm looking at getting my first meet in this summer, too!

02-28-2013, 12:34 PM
You just write about a 400 lb squat above. There's one right there. ;)

I gave myself whiplash running into a closed door in the dark. Feel better now?

02-28-2013, 06:12 PM
Good idea, Luigi!

I'm looking at getting my first meet in this summer, too!

Thanks Gazzy. I'll see how I feel as the training progresses. I have a habit of changing my mind when push comes to shove

02-28-2013, 06:13 PM
I gave myself whiplash running into a closed door in the dark. Feel better now?

Honestly? Yes. Yes it does. Makes me smile. Even on the inside.

02-28-2013, 06:17 PM
You just write about a 400 lb squat above. There's one right there. ;)

I don't particularly like poundage goals, because what happens when you hit that weight? You would have to start a new weight goal. And since the whole point of weight training is to get stronger (and thus add more weight) a particular weight goal doesn't seem to make sense for me. I know it does for a lot of people, but not for me.

Now the meet on the hand is a abstract event. Similar concept of a house wife deciding to get in shape for a vacation. I will train my ass off to do the best at the meet. Once the meet is over I have a benchmark. Then I'll pick another meet, and try to beat that bench mark.

Anyway, today's training.

Squat - 175x53
Press - 100x5x3
Deadlift -205x5x1

Weight started to feel slightly heavy today. So I'm finally hitting the phase of my training that will start to positively spur progress. Let's see.

03-03-2013, 02:44 PM
03/02/2013 (264.5 lbs)

Squat - 185x5x3
Bench - 125x5x3

The squats felt a tad heavy. Nothing that stopped me from finishing all three sets strong, but enough to remind me that the BS I was doing recently is going away. The Bench was the same, but only for the reason that my right shoulder is still messed up a bit from the strain I received on 02/19. It hurts when I lower the bar on the first rep. After that I just blast through it.

I feel like I'm doing well I supposed, considering I have a couple factors working against me.

a) Shoes - I'm lifting in a pair of flat footed NIKE running shoes. Not optimal for training. My Adidas weightlifting shoes were ordered on Wednesday and I should have them in a day or two.
b) Belt - I can't find my G-damn belt. My wife swears we put it into one of the boxes, but I looked in all of them and can't find it. If I don't I'm ordering a new one.
c) - Tunes - My Fing Ipod is missing. I HATE listening to other people at the gym talk. Very distracting and I can't prepare myself mentally for the lift.

03-10-2013, 09:59 AM
03/10/2013 - (264.5 lbs)

Squat 195x5x3
Press - 105x5x3
Deadlift - 215x5x1

Couldn't train this week due to family/work obligations. I'm not upset about this as I knew these things would happen and I'll just have to make the best of it. Been reading a lot of Starting Strength the past week or so and I couldn't understand what they meant by the bounce at the bottom of the squat. I think I figured it out. Previously I would kind of pause at the bottom, almost like on a box squat. Today I went to the hole and rebounded up. Felt much better. I am also learning a new technique I saw on the Starting Strength webside regarding the press. Timing was off, but I'm getting there.

Anyway. Decent day.

03-10-2013, 10:13 AM
Yup, the bounce at the bottom is the way forward. Really helps getting back up again.

03-11-2013, 07:07 PM
No training today, as it was an off day. However I wanted to share a couple things with everyone that I've been dealing with.
Firstly, and this is probably normal, but I am hungry all the effing time. I mean I just ate 4 full sausages and a plate of pasta no more than an hour or so ago, and I'm absolutely ravenous. I am assuming that this should be normal. I have no idea how many calories I'm taking in, I just eat whenever I am hungry, and that seems to be all the time.

Secondly, due to the above, I'm having a really hard time dealing with those around me. I am called Fat probably 3 times a day, and at work no less. I don't expect these people to understand that in order to get strong you have to eat, and eat a lot. But I didn't expect to be called out on it every time I have a meal. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive, or an overt pussy, but it is starting to get to me.

Thirdly, my sleep has been atrocious. I get up around 5:30 every day, travel two hours to get to work, work 8-10 hours, travel two hours plus to get home, feed the baby, and then pass out at like 9. This would be fine, but the kid gets up 3-5 times a night and I wake up each time. I know this isn't good for recovery, but I just don't know how to make it better.

Lastly, and on a more positive note, my gym had its annual Big Bench Competition on Saturday. There were three flights, but only had time to see the first flight. So I saw the ladies, the masters guys, and the young kids lift. I don't know about you but I'm much more impressed watching a 110 lb kid try to hit 95, or a 125 lbs lady bench 145, than a 6'8'', 350 lbs monstrosity in a triply ply shirt bench 600. The 600 is impressive, but the 125 from the girl is more impressive to me. I really was impressed by all of it and I'm really thinking of competing in their push-pull in June. If I estimate my numbers right I could conceivably be around a 225 bench, and 350 DL by that point. Not impressive, but I don't care.

03-12-2013, 06:57 PM
Bench - 125x5x3
Squat - 205x5x3

Had to do training in reverse as the one squat rack was preoccupied when I got there. I'm not happy with this session. Firstly, I am not comfortable with the bench. Ive read the Bench portion of Starting Strength 20 times and I'm just not getting it. Secondly, and more importantly, my squat form is off. I know it is. I feel it too much in my lower back which means that I'm lifting my chest and not driving with my hips. I'm going to have to review this and work on technique more.

Not happy.

03-14-2013, 07:21 PM

Squat - 215x5x3
Press - 110x5x3
Deadlift - 225x5x1

Everything felt good today. I spent the last three days watching Rippetoe training videos on youtube, and just kept thinking drive the butt up. I think it worked. I'm also happy I'm in the 200's again for Squat and Dead. The press is coming up slowly, which is quite fine with me. I'm not in any rush here. As long as it keeps going up I'm cool.

Had to Squat with someone doing "Legs" today. It's been a very long time since I've split body parts up, in which "Legs" was a training day, but even when I was I had a plan or program for it. This dude just bounced around doing high bar quarter squats, to the leg press machine, to the calf machine, to the hamstring curl thing, and back and forth and forth and back. I was getting dizzy. Even when I was 16 and all I knew about was HIT from Ironman Mags (remember HIT, LoLs) there was a purpose to it. Hey, whatever floats his boat. He did say I had a nice, deep squat, so that was nice.

I do also want to point out that the gentleman above was the 5th person who said to me they hated "Leg" day since I've started training at this gym. This is funny as I've only seen about 10 people train their lower bodies in about a month and a half. Well, of course Leg Day is going suck something fierce if you do 103 different things, and take them all to failure. If people would just learn to just Squat and Deadlift, then Leg day wouldn't be so awful. Just me thinking, don't take it personal.

03-17-2013, 09:56 AM
Squat - 225x5x3
Bench - 135x5x3

So much to talk about today. Squats were ok. I have to consciously remember to drive the hips. This is very difficult for me. In my previous life as a lifter I learned to squat off a box (thank you Dave Tate and EliteFTS). Box Squats, and Low-Bar Squats are radically different in that when you box squat you flex off the box using your hamstrings and low back and "shoot" the hips forward mid squat to finish. The shooting of the hips causes the upper body to rise, thus rising chest. I'm still shooting the hips, and I need to learn to stop that. Also, due to this shooting of the hips my knees come up and lock very quickly, almost jamming like. This is causing pain in my left knee. Couple this with the low back tightness I'm getting. So it is imperative I get this corrected.

My bench was no good. I still have pain emanating from when I hurt it last month. It just hurts during the eccentric portion of the rep. I'm going to try to bring my grip in a bit next time to see if that helps. If not, I'm going to have to do something drastic as my bench is not improving quickly enough.

Lastly, I'm a stiff as a board, and as tight as a dead racoons ass. I'm going to need flexibility/mobility work. So I'm youtubing Defranco's Agile 8 and doing that daily. Hopefully that will help.

03-17-2013, 05:32 PM
Did some research today on the forearm issue. It may actually be an elbow problem, and it could be attributed to having the bar too low on my back. I'm going to rise it a couple inches to see if it helps. I'll keep you posted.

03-18-2013, 04:09 PM
03/18/2013 -Conditioning and Flexibility/Mobility

Foam Rolling and mobility work
Treadmill - 3.0 mph, 1% incline, 30 minutes.

I'm not feeling well. Everything is stiff and hurts. So I went out and bought a foam roller and went at it. Since I know nothing about mobility/flexibility I started out using these two videos. I don't think this is the best option available so I'll have to do more research. (btw, if anyone could teach me how to upload videos on here so that way you see the video in the post it would be appreciated.)


I also decided I need to get my conditioning in order to. Nothing like what Wendler wants everyone to do because if I start running hills I'll kill myself. Found a walking routine on T-Nation that fits the bill. It's simple, it looks effective and most importantly it's functional. I've linked it below as well.


I debated a long distance/jogging program, but in the end decided against it. I just thought long distance running would do more bad than good. Also it's not functional to me. I just don't see where, in my life, under any circumstance I would have to run non-stop for miles at a time. Never. Even under the most extreme circumstances I can't see any reason for it. In fact, I've been in the most extreme of circumstance imaginable and didn't do it. On 9/11 I didn't run anywhere. I did however have to walk a very long distance, in 90 degree weather. So that is why I decided on walking. Again just my thoughts. Do as you wish with it.

03-18-2013, 04:23 PM
Walking will do the job, if all you want is a bit of conditioning.

Jogging can be a bit much on the joints, if all you're after is a slightly better level of fitness.

03-18-2013, 04:33 PM
Walking will do the job, if all you want is a bit of conditioning.

Jogging can be a bit much on the joints, if all you're after is a slightly better level of fitness.

My joints don't feel too hot right now Gazzy. I shudder to think what jogging would do to me.

03-19-2013, 08:41 PM
Squat- 240x5x3
Press - 115x5x3
Deadlift - 240x5x1

The Squat and Deadlift were supposed to be 235 but I found out from the guy who worked in with me that the bar was an 50lbs instead of 45lbs. They felt strong so I'm ok with the weight. I know things are going well as I haven't yet had to grind one rep yet.I figured once I got over 2 plates my time away would take its toll on me. Not yet. So that is encouraging.

For a complete motivational factor the guy that worked in with me saw me warm up with the 225 and said that my form was deep and that I came up strong. He asked if I was going to work up to 400. I found this both humorous and encouraging.

03-21-2013, 02:53 PM
03/21/2013 -
Squats - 250x5x3, 275x1, 315x1
Bench - 145x5x3

Yeah, so I know the singles aren't part of the program but I wanted to see where I was at with a heavier weight. They went up good and fast. Didn't want to try any more as I was fatigued by the 250's

As much as it kills me to have to do this I'm going to have to bench before I Squat going forward. My shoulder impingement kills me after I squat which really affects my Bench. Bench is my obvious lagging lift so I have to do what I have to do.

03-21-2013, 03:26 PM
I understand about joints hurting after Squatting - my shoulders and elbows really hurt.

Well done on the 3plates! Awesome work!

03-21-2013, 04:34 PM
I understand about joints hurting after Squatting - my shoulders and elbows really hurt.

Well done on the 3plates! Awesome work!

Thank you Sir. The 315 wasn't an all time PR for me, but a back to training PR, which makes me happy. I'm shooting for a meet in May, so I'm hoping for 400 by then.

03-24-2013, 10:00 AM
Squat - 260x5x3
Press -120x5x3
Deadlift - 250x5x1, 315x1x 365x1

Squats felt really good. Went up no problem. I'm happy about this because I remember when I did this weight years ago in which it felt very heavy and was difficult to finish. The Press felt a bit heavy so I'll have to see how long the 5lb jumps last. I did hurt myself a bit as I felt a crunch by my right scapula. Hurts like hell but I finished the reps. 250 on the Deads weren't a problem. I probably should not have done the single but I needed to know where I stand. The 315 was nothing and the 365 took a bit out of me but I got the rep without too much strain. I needed to feel how to strain again if I plan on competing in May.

03-24-2013, 10:06 AM
Great work all round, consistently adding weight.

I'm sure that 400'll fall.

It's a goal I'm after this year, too!

03-28-2013, 06:52 PM
Squat - 270x5x3

Got out of work late and only had time to squat. 270 wasn't heavy at all and my dept was good as well.
Signed up for my first meet today. May 18. That gives me 7 weeks to prepare. So excited.

big ragu
03-29-2013, 06:23 AM
I like this log, it's quite refreshing!

03-30-2013, 12:49 PM
I like this log, it's quite refreshing!

Thank you Ragu, I do my best to keep it interesting.

03-30-2013, 12:57 PM
03/30/2013 -7 weeks to Jersey Rumble Meet
Squat - 280x5x3
Press -125x5x3
Deadlift - 260x5x1

I was forced to train a day earlier than usual due to the gym being closed tomorrow. I really didn't have a good day. I hit all my reps and sets but I was dragging ass the entire time. I'm getting over a cold, have way too much stress at work, no sleep due to my sick daughter, and training one day earlier probably all caused this. Also training heavy 3 days a week is starting to get to me too. The weight goes up but I'm drained afterwards. For instance last week when I pulled 365 for the single I didn't feel recovered until almost Thursday. I knew the volume would catch up to me eventually so I'm modifying my program as advised in Practical Programing. I am adding a lighter squat variation to my middle day (front squats), I will add BB Rows for more back work, and will complete deadlifts every 5 days. Here is how it will look.

a. Squat, Press, Deadlift
b. Front Squat, Bench, Back Extensions, Chins
c. Squat, Press, BB Row

Week 2
a. Squat, Bench, Back Extensions, Pull Ups
b. Squat, Press, Deadlift
c. Squat, Bench, Back Extensions, Chins

04-07-2013, 10:04 AM
04/07/2013 - 6 Weeks to Jersey Rumble
Squat: 290x5x3
Bench: 135x5x3
Neutral grip chins - 2 sets of pulling real hard and not going anywhere
Back Extensions- BWx2x10

Last week was a tough one for me as my daughter got real sick and was in the hospital for 3 days. Luckily the docs took care of her and she's now home. Unfortunately that meant no training, but I'm ok with that as my daughter is much more important.

Squats felt real strong today. I'm real happy that I'm still progressing rapidly. Years ago this would have stapled me, but I blasted all three sets up. Since I hadn't benched in 2-3 weeks I decided to reset and build up again. The 135 was fine, and weight went up without a hitch. The neutral grip chins sucked. I pulled, and pulled, and pulled and didn't go anywhere. I read a negative only chin progression on Elite once and it looks like I'm going to have to start with that now.

I've got 6 weeks until the meet (which I hope I'm registered for, I paid and got a confirm for that, but nothing for the meet). I set the following goals in mind which I hope to hit. Squat- 400, Bench - 200, Deadlift - 400. I'm fairly confident on hitting them and have a month and a half to get it done.