Hi there, folks!
I decided it was about time to stop planning how I was gonna workout, and actually work out - what a thought, right?
I'm an absolute novice lifter; this afternoon was my first time in a gym in a number of years, and the first time I'd ever attempted to squat, bench press or deadlift.
I'm 25 years old, 6'5, 188 lbs.
I have a diet plan; you can look at it here if you're interested. Today was my first day attempting to eat right, and I've only been able to get down my calories through sheer force of will. I also didn't plan very well and didn't have the appropriate amount of milk on hand, so I was stuck improvising with the wife's skim milk and a lots of peanut butter, to get all my calories in today.
The gym! I found a nice little local gym that has a pair of squat racks and is near work - I plan to be going to the gym immediately after work on gym days. I was excited and nervous about getting into the gym for the first time. "Am I gonna make an ass of myself? I really don't know what the hell I'm doing... I hope I don't drop a bar!" Those were the thoughts that were running through my head.
Got to the gym, got signed up and did my 10 minutes on the bike to get the blood flowing.
I didn't get the numbers I wanted, but I won't let that get me down, considering this is only my first time lifting weights properly!
Also, I'm completely aware that these lifts don't yet fit into the standard 3 sets of 5 reps that Starting Strength adheres to; I definitely plan to use those guidelines, but this way day one, so gimme a break
85lb x2 - Form fell apart on this set, I don't know if I didn't rest enough, but I couldn't get through this.
I tried to pay close attention to my form, but I think I need to be sure to refer to some notes on the important aspects of form just prior to attempting the lift; there's so much to remember!
- Bar x5
- Bar x5
- 65lb x5
- 65lb x5
- 85lb x4
Again with the form issues; there's so damn much to remember! A gent at the gym suggested that I needed to tuck my shoulders more and be sure to bring the bar down onto my nipples, not my upper pecs. Good advice, I think.
- 115lb x5
- 115lb x5
- 135lb x4
The last pull at 135 made me see purple, and I figured it would be prudent to stop there. I also realized that it might be a good idea to pull up my socks so I don't rip my shins to pieces while learning to do this lift.
So, I was rather disappointed to be squatting as much as I was benching; I'm sure this is due to poor form and general lack of developed musculature.
If anyone's in the DFW area, feel free to get in touch, I'd love to meet some other lifters in the area!
Any advice, comments, thoughts, etc are appreciated!
Last edited by yasher; 08-26-2009 at 09:56 PM.
Looks good. Your title is a lot like mine . Starting Strength will treat you well. Good luck!
I really psyched myself out after my first workout, so I didn't make the next two that I should have done. I was really overthinking things and worrying too much about whether I was doing the lifts right, instead of thinking about the things I'm supposed to be doing during the lifts.
Today, ZenMonkey was kind enough to meet up with me, and he critiqued my form and offered lots of encouragement. I'm really excited to get on track.
Work sets @ 65
Work sets @ 75
Didn't deadlift because I wasn't able to appropriately assume the starting position. I tweaked my left hip flexor a bit.
We worked on my Power Clean form - which sucks - and ZM showed me how to do a bent-over row and a Pendlay row, in case I can't figure the clean out, but I'm gonna figure the clean out, damnit.
Also worked on my Press form - did work sets w/just the bar. That lift is a monster.
ZM showed me how to stretch properly, and how to foam roll - those things are awesome! I ordered one as soon as I got home.
ZenMonkey was awesome for driving up to help me with my workout, and a pretty awesome dude all around. Thanks so much man.
Anytime bro, anytime. Dont sell yourself short either, those were some deep squats with fantastic form. You are well on your way. By the way, I never asked, what are your specific goals? Just curious.
Check out the videos in the Texas Method Sticky for form stuff. They are a definite help.
I also see youve joined foam rollers anonymous. Welcome to the club.
Last edited by ZenMonkey; 09-02-2009 at 04:46 PM.
I figure I'll come to some more concrete goals as I get further along in training; right now, my main goal is to get strong. At the moment, the only measuring stick I have for that is the five lifts from SS.
So, uh, strength, I guess I'll figure it out
I try to watch those videos regularly, and I pick up new stuff every time I watch them.Check out the videos in the Texas Method Sticky for form stuff. They are a definite help.
I also see youve joined foam rollers anonymous. Welcome to the club.
I gotta tell ya, I love being an Amazon Prime member - $4 overnight shipping means I'll have my foam roller no later than Friday, but it could get here tomorrow, depending on when & where it ships from.
Its not easy getting used to being sore. I have to squat down to get something at work and it just kills my legs. Will this sort of soreness lessen as I progress further?
Foam rolling, stretching, and even light cardio should help.
Also, a microlactin supplement helps me alot. Combine powdered microlactin in you shake and then take a ZMA supp. OR, buy ETS for similar effects. Its the smae thing. The price comes out comparable. I think ETS is much more worthwhile than RESULTS.
Last edited by ZenMonkey; 09-03-2009 at 04:09 PM.
I actually opened my bottle of ETS yesterday for the first time. Is ETS the sort of thing I should be taking daily, or just on workout days, or what?
I think I'll go stretch now. Foam roller should be here tomorrow
Oh, my hip flexor feels a lot better today. I think yesterday's stretches and foam rolling really helped.
Gym was awesome today. Felt strong today. Got in, did my thing, got out. It was nice to know what the hell I was doing and not lolligag around. I think I spent 80 minutes total, from start to finish.
Squats - 5x3 @ 85
These were awesome and deep as hell. I'm not gonna let myself slack in keeping my squats deep - if I start out with em deep, they're gonna stay there once I start adding weight.
So I'm squatting, and this dude - a personal trainer at the gym and a pretty nice dude - gives me some "advice". He tells me that I don't want my knees to be spreading, and that I don't want my knees to be coming over my toes. Of course, I know that's not at all what SS says, so I smile and nod, and proceed to do my last set. I hope that was the proper response
Bench - 5x3 @ 85
These felt really good. I made a point to think about pulling the bar apart, to engage my lats. I also made a point to stay in the groove as best I could. Felt like as I added weight, it got easier to stay in the groove. I tried to do work sets at 80 instead of 85 and they just felt light, so I went up.
Deadlift - 1x5 @ 115
Deadlift form was sloppy. I felt like my back was rounding on the way back down to the ground. I was able to get down low and keep my arch today though - hip flexor isn't bothering me today. Stretching & foam rolling has really helped.
I'm gonna revisit the deadlift section in Starting Strength this weekend, and hopefully be ready to deadlift properly next Wednesday.
If my gym's not gonna be open on Monday (or Sunday) because of the holiday, can I work out on Tuesday and then Wednesday, or should I do something like Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday next week and then get back on M/W/F the week after next? I want to be working out M/W/F but I'm pretty sure a day off in between workouts is important, especially when squatting 3x a week.
I'm gonna go see if my foam roller is on my front doorstep so I can foam roll my sore ass.
Last edited by yasher; 09-04-2009 at 05:57 PM.
These damn things could be classified as implements of torture under the next Geneva Convention.
Foam rolling hurts!
I'm already sick of walking around like a gimp; my legs don't seem to want to function right when they're this sore and I keep finding myself stumbling because I thought my leg was going to bend and it didn't.
I'm sure this goes away as I get more flexible and my muscles get more used to being worked hard, but damn.
I'm also thinking that I could have gone harder on the bench and probably on my squats; I'm not anywhere near as sore today as I was on Thursday.
Nice WO man! Dont worry about how fast you add weight. Use the stepwise approach Rip recommends and youll be pushing big numbers before you know it. Remember, getting stronger is a waiting game and patience is of the utmost importance.
Im glad youre loving the squats though! If you want you are free to come to SMU to lift on Monday. It may be a bit crowded, but if we get there early enough it should be fine... and we dont have to do all the form stuff that we did last time.
Man, today was rough squatting and I don't know why.
Squats - 5x3 @ 95lb
The outside upper third of my quads really hurt doing these. I don't know if it was the 3 days off or what, but I really felt like I didn't have these in me tonight. I managed to bang out my 15 after warming up - I did 2 bar sets, 3x65 and 1x85, then did my work sets - but I really didn't feel right. This is a new kind of sore; I assume it's just part of being new to this movement. It may also have something to do with having had a long damn day at work, but I'm a little confused right now. I'll see how I feel on Thursday.
Still got deep as hell though.
Press - 5x3 @ 55lb
This lift is a doozy. 55lbs feels like half a ton on the last rep of each set.
Barbell Rows - 5x3 @ 65lb
My form sucks on these. This was my first time doing them and I need to go back over the form section in SS.
I also need to learn to Power Clean. You free Thrusday, Zen?
Yep, Im free Thursday. If you want to come to SMU I can surely help.
I gotta stop overthinking things and just realize that weird **** is gonna hurt for the next two months. Form was a bit rough because something new hurt but I managed to work through it.
I read something about Joe D's Agile 8 and I think I'm gonna start working on those stretches and dynamic movements to loosen my hips up a bit more.
Workout today felt really good.
Went down and worked out w/Zen at SMU and did a lot of work on clean form. At the end of it all I'd probably done one work set @ 80lb and a work set or two at 60lb, but the intent of today's work was form, not weight. So I feel like I'm one big step closer to understanding how to do power cleans, and I want to work toward doing full cleans as well.
Bench Press - 3x5 @ 95
These felt great, I did 6 reps in my last set and felt strong. Figuring out how much bounce to get off the chest is hard, but I'll get there with practice. Felt real good.
Deadlift - 2x5 @ 80
I was uncomfortable with my deadlift form, so I had Zen make sure I was doing them properly; I was also doing singles, rather than doing a full set of 5 at a time, so I sucked it up and did a couple full sets.
Now I understand why everyone says deadlifting sucks. I'm excited to start moving weight in the deadlift.
Squats - Didn't squat today; I did a lot of work on cleans and deadlifts, and I didn't want to overexert.
Today felt real solid. Can't wait for Saturday.
Good luck, gonna be more impressive than not at your height when all is said and done with added mass.
I'm really pissed off right now.
Had to work all day yesterday, so I decided I'd get up early and get my workout in today.
Warmed up my squats with the bar and something didn't feel right; by the time I got to 85lb, I wasn't able to get a 4th rep, - much less 3 sets - and I did 95 last time I squatted. Both hips felt super tight, and my right hip felt worse than it has since I started working out.
I managed to do 3x5 OHP @ 55; I tried 60 and an old injury in my lower neck/upper back (maybe in my trap?) flared up and got super tight. Last time this happened I had to get a cortisone shot to loosen it up.
After the disaster that was squatting, I didn't feel like I wanted to attempt anything else leg related, so I just came home.
I feel like I did this to myself, though; I don't know what I've eaten this week, and I haven't stretched properly. Those two things combined to make for this mess of a workout, and I'm really disappointed in myself.
I also hadn't squatted since Tuesday, which I'm sure had something to do with it. Frustrating.
Edit: I'm really good at beating myself up over stupid **** it seems.
All I have to do is stretch for the next two days, eat right, track what I eat and hit the gym hard on Tuesday. No use being pissed at myself.
Last edited by yasher; 09-13-2009 at 10:22 AM.
I'm quite jealous that you have experienced help, I would've loved that. Looking forward to seeing your progress mate.
I'm glad to have someone like Zen in my area as well; he's been very generous with his time, and I feel much more confident in my lifts because of his critique and advice.I'm quite jealous that you have experienced help, I would've loved that. Looking forward to seeing your progress mate.
Thanks for the comment!
Those weights wont move themselves!!
Last edited by ZenMonkey; 11-19-2009 at 09:33 PM.