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So I took the rack for a test drive today.  I'll be away over the weekend, so I wanted to get some reps in the lifts so that I can mentally rep them over the weekend.  You don't know what to think about until you find out what you suck at.  And oh was there some suck!

 

Firstly, my best friend had a baby at 11:59pm last night.  That's important because at 12:00, you start a new day.  You're entitled to (2) nights in the hospital for a normal birth so that 1 minute counted for her first night.  Other than having access to a nursery so she can get some sleep, not a big deal.  Cute baby.  Sometimes, super new babies look a little off until they shake off the birthing experience.


Firstly, walked around the lake (2.5mi/45 min).  A bit of a long warm up, but it was gorgeous out.  

Then squat stretches (paleo chair, calves, hip flexors).

Then shoulder stretches (dislocates, weighted fly position, dead hang)

Then, under the bar we went.  I found that with an extremely wide grip, I can get the bar into a proper low bar position.  However, it's so wide that I can't rack or unrack the bar like that.  For now, I unracked high bar and then repositioned.  That'll work for just the bar working on my mobility.  This seemed like a pretty big improvement, so I think I'll be low bar unracking with a slightly less wide grip soon.  This is good.

Alternated 5 reps and 10 dislocates working on bar positioning and wrists.  Being as distracted as I was with the bar, depth and form were probably awful.  Baby steps. 25 reps.

 

Next was bench:  I look great until I start moving the bar.  End point is good.  Touch point is good.  When I pause, I know where I should be.  The bar path was all over.  I just did 25 straight reps trying to find a width and cue that got the correct bar path.  Sometimes I was coming up straight and then moving toward my head.  Sometimes I moved toward my head early and pressed with my elbows was out.  Towards the end, I had my hands set.  I just sat the bar on my chest and moved my hands in/out until I had the right vertical forearms.  A work in progress.  

 

Press: These were at least mediocre.  I think my lower back is too arched to correct for my forwardly tilted shoulders.  I did these standing and my base seemed loose to start.  It was better the last 10-15 reps.  25 reps.

 

Row:  These I'm good at.  Good fixed lower back, strong base and balance.  At this weight, my upper back doesn't rise or bounce.  25 reps.  

 

Deadlift:  I kept narrowing my stance on these as I felt I could just go more narrow.  The stance I wanted to start with actually puts my hands too low.  I kept having to reset with my hips a little more open.  Banged my knees a couple of times - which is where I wanted the bar.  My first issue was starting too closed.  It helped to look up more.  I don't mean look up or even look forward.  I had started by staring basically down and at the end I was trying to look maybe 6-8 feet ahead on the ground.  My other issue is the bar would swing forward right after I picked it up.  I wasn't stabilizing with my lats.  Maybe I also didn't want to drag the bar up my tattoos given that I was in shorts, but I didn't actively think that.  Anyway, next time with calf sleeves or pants.  

 

So there you have it for babies and barbells.  Come Monday, I'm still starting at 0. This was just a test run.  Also, I'm aware that this was just rambling.

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For what it is worth I read every word of your rambling. I think it is awesome that you are taking your time to feel it out, see what works for you, and start nice and slow. I think the natural tendency is to want to get in there and work hard from day 1 at close to 1RM weight. 

 

I can't remember if you lifted before this. I think you did sports in high school, so probably? Either way, I'm excited to watch your progress!

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I lifted until about midway through college, which is a long time ago.  The program I learned (from my football strength coach) was based around squats, bench (flat and incline), press and power cleans.   Squats were always my favorite, and flat bench was always my least favorite.  The sets followed a parabolic approach - higher reps at lower weight up to peak sets in the 4-6 range and then 2-3 lead out sets where you drop the weight down.  I had x-rays taken my high school senior year where I was diagnosed with kyphosis (curvature of the back, front to back).  It was good I wasn't planning on playing football in college because I would not be cleared to play.  

 

To start college, I switched up my program a bit (and eating habits).  I was 275# at the end of my senior football season.  By the spring of my freshman college year, I was around 235-238#.  My junior year, I partially dislocated my hip.  During my recovery (during which I read the first 7 books of the wheel of time in about 10 days), I also hurt my back from hobbling around bent over.  I had nerve pain down my right leg into the top of my calf any time I stretched that side (raise my right hand or bend my leg back).  I don't think I've touched a barbell since.  I even quit playing volleyball which I had started playing at a decent level in college.  I couldn't serve or spike a ball.  After a couple years, the nerve pain subsided as the system stretched/worked it's way through the new geometry.  I still had (and sometimes still do have) nerve pain on leg lifts.

 

I got back into sports about 5 years ago.  Since, I've injured my Achilles, one knee capsule, and my right shoulder.  The rehab and subsequent maintenance has restored a lot of my peripheral strength, but I'm lacking in core mobility and possibly strength.  I'm nearing the age where my father and uncle had their lower vertebrae fused.  I figure I can sit at a desk and wait for that or I can try something different.  Once I get all my systems on the same page, I think I should progress pretty quickly.  I even think (knowing what I know now), if I can work on my hip flexor and thoracic flexibility, I can fix my bench.

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I love that you are taking the active approach. I know too many people who have been injured and got stuck in the "my life is misery now phase" and either never got out of it or spent so long in it that it was very difficult to get out of. On the flip side I know people like you who decided to do something about it and greatly prolonged any complications or surgery and some who prevented that all together. 

 

As for flexibility, I believe there is always room to improve, except in the case of people who have like metal rods in their joints or back. It takes a lot of patience, which is something I've struggled with. Mobility is definitely my weak spot. 

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I'll be out of state for the weekend playing nerd games and watching Kung Fu.  There will be pizza.  I will attempt to track regardless to see the damage.  Between last weekend's binge and this morning, I dropped 7# and am now right at the lightest I've been in 10 years?  12 years?  262.8#  

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On 6/10/2016 at 8:51 AM, Taddea Zhaan said:

I love that you are taking the active approach. I know too many people who have been injured and got stuck in the "my life is misery now phase" and either never got out of it or spent so long in it that it was very difficult to get out of. On the flip side I know people like you who decided to do something about it and greatly prolonged any complications or surgery and some who prevented that all together. 

 

As for flexibility, I believe there is always room to improve, except in the case of people who have like metal rods in their joints or back. It takes a lot of patience, which is something I've struggled with. Mobility is definitely my weak spot. 

 

So second. I know I did that like an idiot twice... one about 5 years ago, and again this past year. The body is an amazing tool for healing itself..

 

Meanwhile, nerds, pizza and kung fu? SUPER JEALOUS! Enjoy!! :D 

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Small victories - brought some food with me so had a couple of shredded chicken sandwiches for brunch.  This enabled me to skip the Taco Bell run they are currently making.  I'm not going to eat great here, but I will make my protein.  Gainz over everything.

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On 6/10/2016 at 6:00 PM, Grymm said:

I'll be out of state for the weekend playing nerd games and watching Kung Fu.  There will be pizza.  I will attempt to track regardless to see the damage.  Between last weekend's binge and this morning, I dropped 7# and am now right at the lightest I've been in 10 years?  12 years?  262.8#  

And now I'm 268# and a little dehydrated.  I'm going to pound a bunch of water to flush some of the salt from my system/hydrate.  When it gets cooler, I think it'll be time for a walk and some stretching.  I should have plenty of energy for the next couple of days while I work this sugar binge off.  Yesterday 5712 calories and that was skipping the Taco Bell run.  I'm logging to be honest rather than really work toward anything, but I think maybe this is going to lead into some better behavior during the challenge.  The last (2) Saturdays have been MFPvP-like.

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1 hour ago, Taddea Zhaan said:

Time to channel all those calories into a kick ass workout. :)

 

This is exactly what I told myself about this weekend too :P Gonna push those squats tomorrow something hard LOL

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Up at 5:40 (though not out of bed until 6/6:10).

Warm up and mobility - Check.  I have to work my mobility into my warm up else I can't squat.

Squats 6x5x45

Bench 6x5x45

Row 6x5x65

I did an extra set as the "warm up" as the weights don't get any lower.  Squats were better form than Thursday.  I did some pause reps to take a second to think about depth.  My unrack bar position was better.  At the end of a set, I tend to rerack from a high bar position over the top of the j-clips.  As I loosen up and the weight is higher, this should fix its self.

Bench form was much better.  The top position was too high towards my face previously, I think.  My field of vision is probably a little unusual due to the curvature of my back.  I had read a tip in Starting Strength to lift my head off the bench to make sure I'm not loading my cervical spine.  That wasn't a problem, but shifting my field of view a little helped.

Rows were fine.

266.2 after my shower.  I came home yesterday at 268 and then got up to 274 after 3 qts of water.  Now, 15 hours later, I've cleared a lot of the garbage from my system and probably need to drink a bunch more water.  Luckily, my favorite thing to do at work is drink water.

 

I like the A/B split.  My worst lifts (bench/press) are split and then followed by my best lifts (form-wise), DL/row.  It's good to end on a high note.  After mobility yesterday and then today, my shoulders were fully pumped doing squats.  It's now 7:30, and I'm wide awake and ready to go on a Monday.  Chronological gainz?

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On 6/6/2016 at 5:27 PM, Grymm said:

So, this?

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

So. Much. Color. ;) 

 

Following for ze gainz.

 

Also, hella jelly that you're able to do back squats with your shoulder. I've been forced to do front squats for months now due to a shoulder injury and I'm continuously pouting about it.

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7 minutes ago, Wolverine said:

 

So. Much. Color. ;) 

 

Following for ze gainz.

 

Also, hella jelly that you're able to do back squats with your shoulder. I've been forced to do front squats for months now due to a shoulder injury and I'm continuously pouting about it.

I think it has to do with how/where you've hurt your shoulder.  My shoulder has labrum damage towards the top/back.  It's from a combination of poor shoulder mobility and a lot of overhead swings for volleyball.  Luckily, it's just "some" damage rather than a full SLAP tear.  It bothers me the most if I let my shoulders get loose on a bench/chest press.  The shoulder will pull forward and pull on damaged connective tissue at the rear of the joint.  The same thing happens if I cut a strike in volleyball where you swing hard but because you're only hitting the edge of the ball, you don't get any resistance.  The momentum of the arm pulls on the rear of the shoulder.  I had to do a lot of shoulder exercises to help pull/hold my shoulder together which actually decreased my mobility further.  That's my fault, though.  I'm just behind on the mobility work I should have probably been doing the whole time.

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I ate a salad, a sandwich, and a pack of almonds.  I bought an orange to have for a snack later in the day, but I had to eat that too.  At the end, I wasn't full.  I was just out of food.  Being hungry for me is a good sign, though.  If I'm not active, I'm never legitimately hungry.  I can probably run off my "fuel reserves" for weeks.  For now, I'll keep eating what I normally do.  Maybe I'll drop a few pounds this month.  Once I get into more difficult sets, then I'll start adding. 

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Rest day - walked around the lake.  This is my neighborhood:

fslXPda.jpg

It's good to get ahead on things now while the weather is nice.  

Food has been tracked.  No adulting points yet.  I have to go to bed early to lift in the morning - building new habits.

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Rest day - walked around the lake.  This is my neighborhood:

  Reveal hidden contents

fslXPda.jpg

 

Gorgeous photo. :) Looks like a really nice place to walk around.

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Got the workout in - B.  Warmup + mobility + first (2) sets of squats where I work on bar position and mobility between took like 40 minutes.  The weight is light, so the rest is quick.

S:  5x45, 5x5x55 Once I settled on using high bar the last couple sets, the form felt pretty solid.  More reps and my hips should loosen up a little more.

P:  6x45 I did these sets pretty close together (some of them just enough time to rack and rerack).  This will definitely be the first lift I cap (not unusual).  I'll have to do them seated with the bar or dumb bells as I can't clear the ceiling.  Or I need to carry the bar outside which is not convenient.  Once I demo the ceiling, I want to see if that gets me enough height between joists.

D: 6x65 Not much to report here other than the curvature of my back actually probably helps here.  It makes my torso shorter, my arms longer, and my leg angles more open.

 

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16 minutes ago, Grymm said:

Got the workout in - B.  Warmup + mobility + first (2) sets of squats where I work on bar position and mobility between took like 40 minutes.  The weight is light, so the rest is quick.

S:  5x45, 5x5x55 Once I settled on using high bar the last couple sets, the form felt pretty solid.  More reps and my hips should loosen up a little more.

P:  6x45 I did these sets pretty close together (some of them just enough time to rack and rerack).  This will definitely be the first lift I cap (not unusual).  I'll have to do them seated with the bar or dumb bells as I can't clear the ceiling.  Or I need to carry the bar outside which is not convenient.  Once I demo the ceiling, I want to see if that gets me enough height between joists.

D: 6x65 Not much to report here other than the curvature of my back actually probably helps here.  It makes my torso shorter, my arms longer, and my leg angles more open.

 

 

Just do your presses right into the ceiling... you'll find out exactly how much clearance you need... Or have someone measure how high above your head the top of the plate goes when you press seated. You know, whichever strikes your fancy. 

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I know how much space I need - probably 10".  What I don't know is how deep the floor joists are and how thick the ceiling is.  I was a little uneven on a rep this morning and hit the ceiling with just the bar.  It's going to be torn out, so any damage is irrelevant.

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