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Mark D Is BACK!!!!!

Mark D

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After way too long out of the gym, partly winter blahs and mostly laziness, I got back to the gym on Saturday.


I began a Greyskull program, for now the plan is twice a week, if I feel like I can manage I may go to three times a week.


Saturday was bench press and deadlifts, with curls as an accessory (because bro!)


Bench press:

45 lb warm up 1x10

65 lb work sets:  5/5/12



135 lb 10/5



40 lb 10/10/6


For those who aren't familiar with the program,it involves two "main" lifts each day and one optional accessory lift.  Unlike most programs, the upper-body lift is done first (the idea being that squats can wear you out enough to affect your presses, but presses aren't likely to affect your squats).  For everything but deadlifts you do three sets, two sets of five and one set As-Many-Reps-As-Possible (AMRAP).  Deadlifts are done only one set AMRAP (I'll explain what happened next).  Weight progression is 5 lbs for squats and deadlifts, 2.5 for presses.  On the AMRAP set if you can do between five and ten reps you increase by the normal progression next time.  If you can do more than ten you increase by double the amount next time.  If you can't do five reps, you deload by 10% (rounded down) next time (when it's assumed you're AMRAP will go up).  


I started light because it's been a while since I've been under the barbell, I wanted to make sure my form was OK, that's why I also did an extra set of 5 deadlifts.


My plan is twice-a-week, Saturday will be bench press and deadlifts, Tuesday or Wednesday will be OHP and squats.


It's good to be back!




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This morning:



45 lb 1x10

55 lb 5/5/8



45 lb 1x10

95 lb 5/5/9


First time doing barbell squats in WAY too long.  I want a word with whoever took my legs and replaced them with rubber bands.


I felt like I could have done a couple more squats on the last set, but my hip was starting to cramp and I didn't want it to go into a full-blown cramp with a barbell on my back.  

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DOMS mean somethings working ;)


When ever I go back to the gym after a 2 month+ break, I go 50% weight the first week or two. It helps.

It's not 80% diet, 20% exercise, it's 100% diet, 100% exercise. Give it your all.

My journey (Date - Total - BF % - LBM)

2012-01-01 - 242 - 35% - 157

2013-12-15 - 172 - 10% - 155

2016-05-01 - 231 - 25% - 173

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2 minutes ago, Duality said:

DOMS mean somethings working ;)


When ever I go back to the gym after a 2 month+ break, I go 50% weight the first week or two. It helps.


Pretty much what I did, I dropped 100 lbs off my last deadlift work weight, 60 off my squats.  I'll work my way back up there.


One of the things I like about Greyskull is that I'm not just marking time with the lighter weights, I'm doing more reps so I'm still improving, and as the weight climbs I'll keep getting stronger.


I think the big thing for me is to make sure I have enough time to recover, I think that's why I fell flat last time.  You can't squat if you're still tired from your last work out.

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Saturday Morning:


Bench Press:

45 lb 1x10

65 lb 1x5

70 lb 5/5/10


10 body-weight squats to warm up for the deadlifts



135 lb 1x3

145 lb 10


Felt better afterward this time, not as sore even though after the gym I went home and mowed the lawn.


I'll be away next weekend, and the hotel I'll be staying in has a fitness center that advertises "free weights".  I'm not expecting much, but maybe I can get something in while I'm there.


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This morning



45 lb 1x10

57.5 lb 5/5/10



45 lb 1x10

100 lb 5/5/10


There seems to be something to this program.  Last week, on both OHP and squats, I managed fewer reps on my AMREP set with a lower weight than I did this week, which seems to indicate that I'm getting stronger.  Maybe it's too early to tell, but I'll take what I can get.


Oh, as for the chimera of 1.25 lb plates, which apparently aren't available anywhere in NJ.  I could order them on Amazon, but they're expensive (really?  $25 for two plates AND another ten bucks for shipping, when a pair of 2.5 lb plates costs $6 at my local sporting goods store???)  I had an old pair of ankle weights, I just set them up for 1.25 lbs each and hang them on the barbell, easy peasy, works fine.


I also bought my own 2.5 lb plates, I got seriously tired of wandering around the gym looking for them.

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I don't lift that much so I haven't used clips but I started using them this week and I thought to myself, add enough clips and you could slowly increase in weight! ahaha! Since my weights are so light I did actually wonder how much the metal clips weigh, doesn't really affect me or worry me, it was just a thought. 

I'm sure you could DIY fractional plates with stuff from the hardware store easily. 

Jǫrð, Delvian Nomad - Level 12 { Battle Log }

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Buy 6 washers, cost $12.  They will fit on a 2" bar.  Having not done this yet, I'm not sure if the 1/8" clearance gives the plates a noticeable rattle.  Washers are generally stamped out of a reel of stock.  While the thickness lists as variable, in all likelihood the washers you get will be very close in thickness having come from the same reel.  If you have a food scale, you can weigh them to verify.  At the lightest, they are 0.5# and heaviest 0.75#.  6 washers at 0.625# lets you add 1.25#, 2.5#, or 3.75# to a lift.  8 washers gets you to 5# so 6 is the magic number.  Even if they come in at the light end, it's 1, 2, or 3#.  If you don't have a scale, you can calculate the weight from the thickness and/or verifying them to be the same thickness would mean equal in weight.


This hack courtesy of google.  I also buy a lot of hardware from McMaster for work.


Challenges: #1#2#3#4, #5

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Yeah, I considered the washers, but I already HAD the ankle weights and they work fine.


The gym has clips which I generally don't use, and don't know what they weigh.  Especially for bench press, I want to make sure I can dump the weights if I get pinned (even though I never go to failure on bench, just not worth it).


Back to the topic of the 2.5 lb plates, the best I can tell my gym has seven of them, don't ask why it's an odd number, and they always seem to go walkabout.  One memorable time I saw a guy curling with six of them on the bar, some people can't math.  There's plenty of everything else, from 5's to 100's.



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Well, the DOMS are MUCH less this week than they were last, which I take as a good thing.  A few aches, and a nasty bruise on my hip where I skewered myself on the leg press machine (which I've always thought was MUCH too close to the power rack).

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46 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

My gym has a leg raise station (with a squishy half ball on the back) almost touching the rack.  Impossible to both be in use simultaneously.   Silly.  


Both can be used, but you can't load plates on the leg press while someone's squatting, unless you want to get bonked with a barbell of course.

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21 hours ago, Mark D said:

 There's plenty of everything else, from 5's to 100's.

I absolutely love 100 lbs plates, but my current gym doesn't have any. When I was in college the gym had four of them, but they were used to weigh down the basketball hoops and strictly off limits for weightlifting!


Nate the Strong

Warforged Paladin

Level 8 | STR-33 | DEX-11 | STA-18 | CON-14 | WIS-17 | CHA-14



'He who conquers himself is mightier than he who conquers a city.'
'Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;'

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39 minutes ago, NatetheStrong said:

I absolutely love 100 lbs plates, but my current gym doesn't have any. When I was in college the gym had four of them, but they were used to weigh down the basketball hoops and strictly off limits for weightlifting!




The 100's have two apparent uses at my gym:


1) The leg press machines


2) Being racked on top of the 2.5, 5 or 10 lb plates so you have to move it to get what you need.  There's a special Hell for people who do this, the one reserved for child molesters and people who talk in theaters.  



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My wife and I are away for the weekend, so I hit the hotel fitness center Sunday morning.  It had dumb bells and that abomination in the eyes of all that is Holy, the Smith Machine.  I decided to try deadlifts in the Smith.  


Dumb bell bench press 

20 lb (each) as warm-up.


30 lb each hand



Deadlift in the Smith

135 lb 1*5

155 lb 1*5


I HATE Smith Machines!!!  Next time I'll just do goblet squats. hi 

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On 5/30/2016 at 8:33 PM, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

Nice job lifting in the hotel, though!




This "fitness center" wasn't as bad as some I've seen, it had a cable machine, the aforementioned abomination known as the Smith Machine, and dumb bells up to 50 lbs.  Along with a couple benches, and the obligatory cardio machines.


The thing I JUST DON'T GET about the Smith Machine is the bar path, it's not straight up-and-down, it's angled.  So for squatting, bench-pressing or deadlifting the bar isn't moving in a natural path.  For deadlifting, for instance, depending on which side of the bar I stood (and I tried both) the bar would lose contact with my legs and move away from my body, or push against me and push me backward.  


Have I mentioned that I HATE Smith Machines????



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Saturday morning, last session of this challenge:



45 lb 1x10

72.5 lb 5/5/12


10 body weight squats to warm up for deadlifts



135 lb 1x5

150 lb 1x10



Greyskull seems to be working for me.  Last bench press session on my third set I managed 10 reps at 70 lbs, this time I managed 12 at 72.5.


I'm not as blasted as I was, I think two lifts each day is enough.


I'm considering trying three days a week until the weights get heavier, two days of OHP/Squats and one of BP/DL.  Get the squat weights up a bit.  I just don't want to wipe myself out like I did last time.


As soon as the next challenge forum goes up I'll add my next challenge.

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