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Darth Yoga

Two months lifting! 195Lb deadlift!

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So, I was not especially interested in weightlifting, but a good friend wanted a gym buddy, and bought me a three month gym membership, so I agreed. My previous fitness activity was Pavel's "Simple and Sinister" kettlebell routine, and I really loved the simplicity of having just TWO things to learn. Looking for something similar for weight training, I found "Stronglifts 5x5" and researching that lead me to "Starting Strength ", which was just the program I was looking for. (Today's workout has been brought to you by the letter "S"...)


"Starting Strength" is a beginner program of three sets of five of a few basic barbell lifts, adding a little weight each workout. Three times a week, beginning every workout with Squats, then either Bench Press or Overhead Press, and finishing with either Deadlift or Power Clean. Just three exercises per workout, generally 2 sets of 5 lifting just the bar, then a few reps of intermediate weights, and 3×5 of your current weight. Pretty simple. I can really take my time with it, and still be done in an hour.


I've only recently added in the Power Clean, and still haven't gotten the hang of it, but I've made good progress on the rest. (For reference, I'm 5'8" and 155lb, 36 years old. ) 


Squat 130 lb (3×5)

Bench Press 100lb (3×5)

Deadlift 195lb (1×5)

Overhead Press 50lb (3×5)


Squat and Deadlift progress is slow at this point, with occasional failed lifts and backing up. Bench and Overhead Press are still steadily increasing 5lb per week. For the Overhead Press I started super light because of a previously tweaked shoulder, but I'm finally getting to where I can use the "real" bar for it, instead of the little plastic weights from the cardio room.


I've put on some muscle. I know am not eating enough for serious muscle gain, but I really don't care. I can't afford to buy all new shirts anyhow. :)


The main benefit that keeps me going back to the gym is that I've struggled on and off with depression for most of my life, and heavy lifting three tines a week has made a HUGE improvement to my mood. I've done various other sorts of fitness, and nothing else has come close to this. I'm not actually especially interested in weightlifting, but I feel so good that I've got to stick with it, at least for now.


I've got one month of gym membership left. After that, I'll make a one month attempt at replicating this mood effect with home workouts, while I scrape up enough cash for a super cheap set of weights.


It has been  a long while  since I have been active on these forums, and I don't know if I'll stay active, but I really needed to post this.

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You've stuck with going to the gym three times a week for two months, without it being a prior habit for you - that's great! On top of that it sounds like you've found something which helps maintain your mood and contributes to regulating your depression - another solid feat! Have you tried bodyweight strength training before? It could help you maintain similar effects once your membership runs out.


If you do end up getting too buff to fit into your shirts maybe consider this one:


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