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  1. #1
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    toefur's starting strength journal

    I know, I know... there are a million-and-one of these damn starting strength journals *grin* :P

    A little bit about me:

    I am 22 years old, and have been lifting on-and-off for 5 or 6 years now; however, up until recently (start of 07), I'd never really done it intelligently. I'd picked up bits and pieces here and there, but I was doing a lot of isolation exercises and tended to hit one body part a day, six days a week.

    Not long ago I was directed to MadCow's dual factor program, and I thought it looked really promising, so I picked it up at the start of Jan and gave it a go. About 3-4 weeks into the dual factor my continued reading on the subject had enlightened me to the fact that this program was designed for people way out of my league. I even decided it might be foolish to start off with the 5x5 linear program, so I ordered Rippetoe's book and have been working away at his program for a couple weeks now.

    I decided to make this thread because I enjoy reading other people's threads, and I think that it will help motivate me.

    My stats at the beginning of the year:

    Weight: 155
    Height: 5'7"
    Bench: 180
    Squat: 200
    Deadlift: 200

    My stats at the moment:

    Weight: 169ish
    Height: 5'7" (shockingly it stayed the same! :P)
    Bench: 210
    Squat: 280
    Deadlift: 295

    Note: my original Bench/Squat/Deadlift were probably significantly below what I was capable of. They felt tough at the time, but I think I could have added a lot more weight -- I didn't want to risk going to hard at the start though.

    When I was younger I hurt my wrists quite badly, and I find that bench pressing is the only exercise that occasionally gives me problems. The past two bench workouts I have substituted dumbell presses. Rippetoe himself seems to suggest this is actually a superior exercise... is it okay for me to be doing the db press? Or should I make more effort to continue with the bench press? The only issue I see is that my gym only has db's up to 135 lbs, but that is well beyond my strength level right now (currently using 95'ers)

    Diet: 6/7 meals a day, lots of chicken breasts and milk =)

    Supplements: Whey protein + creatine

    Question: If I experience zero bloat while taking creatine, does that mean I am a non-responder? Or does it just mean I'm lucky to not be bloated?

    Next workout is tomorrow, I can't wait!

    Cheers!
    -toefur-

    Super Awesome Workout Log 2:
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  2. #2
    Congestion JOTO MISSINGLINK's Avatar
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    Good luck with the routine. With all those threads and journals about/using Starting strength must mean that it is good.
    Death is winning. Do something.- Sam Boyd
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  3. #3
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    MissingLink:

    I think it is an excellent workout. The biggest issue for a workout like this, which is geared towards newer lifters, is making sure you learn proper form on the lifts before you start packing on tons of weight.
    -toefur-

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  4. #4
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    How are you liking west side btw?
    -toefur-

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  5. #5
    Congestion JOTO MISSINGLINK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by toefur View Post
    How are you liking west side btw?
    The program that I am on is great. There is a ton of variation on the lifts and you are still training the big 3.
    Death is winning. Do something.- Sam Boyd
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  6. #6
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    cool, maybe one day down the road I will give west side a try
    -toefur-

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  7. #7
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    toefur is offline
    Today is my girlfriend's birthday -- so my schedule is a bit cramped. Managed to get a workout in right after class though Workout B.

    Squats - 280 lbs, 3x5

    This is the weight I was at last workout. I felt I wasn't going quite low enough, so I focused on that today. I feel my range of motion was dead on today, and the weight didn't actually feel too bad! I should definitely be able to attempt 285 next time!

    Standing Military Press - 132.5 lbs, 3x5 (+2.5)

    An increase of 2.5 lbs over my previous PB. I find it hard to make progress with this exercise, so I am happy about this! I'm dangerously close to using 45 plates! Yay =)

    Pendlay Rows - 175 lbs, 3x5 (+5)

    These went pretty well. Definitely very difficult to finish the final set. I think that my rapid improvement in this exercise has largely been a result of my starting with such a conservative weight in the beginning. I feel like I'm only now hitting a particularly challenging weight. Still, an increase is an increase!

    After my workout I walked home (10 mins) and had a protein shake, with peanut butter and oats.

    Now, off to lunch
    -toefur-

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  8. #8
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    toefur is offline
    Unexpected cardio workout today:

    I was giving my girlfriend's mom a ride, and when we got out of the car at my girlfriend's house she accidentally locked the doors. I'd left the key in the ignition because I was just planning to quickly grab something. Needless to say, the car was running and it was severely locked My gf had a spare key, but she was at school, so I had to run there to get it. Probably about 20 minutes each way.

    -toefur-

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  9. #9
    Geek Giving Crappy Advice SchemeSC's Avatar
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    Heh, tough luck with getting locked out of the car. I've been there before, too.

    You are pretty strong for someone on Starting Strength. Do you plan to use microplates?

    I'm subscribed. Good luck.
    Intermediate 5x5 Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=974394

    "Bodybuilding and powerlifting are two different sports, but there are undeniable similarities. I would go so far as to state that, for the novice or early intermediate, they are the same sport." -Dave76
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  10. #10
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    toefur is offline
    Thanks!

    my gym doesn't have anything below 2.5 lbs, so I was thinking about buying some -- I also heard some people use magnets ... dunno if that would be practical I also need to get some chalk for deadlifts.

    As for the weight I am lifting -- I know I'm not just starting off like most people on the program; however, doing a structured program focused on compound lifts is fairly new to me. I felt I might as well start with Rippetoe's as it is lower volume than a 5x5. So far I have been able to make fairly steady progress, so I think it was the right choice. I can always move on to a linear 5x5 or something when it makes sense to do so
    -toefur-

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  11. #11
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    toefur is offline
    I checked out a local store here... they didn't have much in the way of micro plates, with the exception of some 1.5 lbs plates that attach magnetically. However, for two of them I would have to fork out 40 dollars (Canadian), which seems a bit over the top. I'll see what other options are available. Maybe I can order them online for cheaper.

    They also didn't have any chalk, but they were able to tell me the cheapest place to get it in town. So that's a start =)
    -toefur-

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  12. #12
    Geek Giving Crappy Advice SchemeSC's Avatar
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    SchemeSC is offline
    Originally Posted by toefur View Post
    I checked out a local store here... they didn't have much in the way of micro plates, with the exception of some 1.5 lbs plates that attach magnetically. However, for two of them I would have to fork out 40 dollars (Canadian), which seems a bit over the top. I'll see what other options are available. Maybe I can order them online for cheaper.

    They also didn't have any chalk, but they were able to tell me the cheapest place to get it in town. So that's a start =)
    This is copy and pasted from a post I made several weeks ago:

    "Here is an easy and cost-effective way to get microplates:

    1. Go the website http://www.mcmaster.com

    2. Use the product search bar in the top left hand corner. Search for product number "91081 A046". This should produce the following product: "Plain Steel USS Flat Washer 2" Sz, 2-1/8" Id, 4-1/2" Od,.153"-.213" Thk, Approx 8/Pk"

    3. Order 1 packet for $11.37 plus shipping.

    I can verify that these washers DO fit on an Olympic bar. I have them myself! The diamater of an Olympic bar is 2 inches, while the inner diamater of these washers is 2 1/8 inches. The best part is that these washers actually LOOK like weight plates (in shape and size at least), so you might not get as many funny looks at the gym.

    Here's how the poundages work out:

    1 washer PER SIDE= 1.25 total pounds to the bar
    2 washers PER SIDE= 2.5 total pounds to the bar
    3 washers PER SIDE= 3.75 total pounds to the bar
    4 washers PER SIDE= 5 pounds total to the bar

    Good luck!

    Oh, and by the way, I got this idea originally from here: http://www.davedraper.com/forum/show...0/page/0#98348. I thought that this was pretty nifty so I reposted it here!
    Intermediate 5x5 Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=974394

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  13. #13
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks man!

    I got another workout in today:

    Squats - 285

    I set yet another PB on the squat and I felt great doing it too. I had a buddy with me this time, and he commented that my depth was really good, which is good to hear

    Dumbell Press - 100's

    This was very tough, by the last rep I needed a small amount of assistance from my spotter, but I think that next time around I can nail it

    Deadlift - 285

    This was great. I got some chalk before my workout, and wow... it made all the difference. My form felt better all around, and I was able to knock out my reps without too much difficulty. I think I can jack this up 10 or 15 lbs next workout

    I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I was a bit surprised the workout went so well. Hopefully I get better by my next workout, or at the very least, not worse My girlfriend and I are going to Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island for a few days, so I should be able to get rested up for tuesday's workout!

    Thanks again SchemeSC!
    -toefur-

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  14. #14
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    toefur is offline

    Question

    hmmm... searching the part number for those washers doesn't bring anything up for me :/

    I'm about to head out for Tofino. I am definitely feeling under the weather... but on the bright side, I got nearly 12 hours of sleep last night, and I feel better than I did because of it. Hopefully a few days of rest will take care of things

    I'll be back on Tuesday!
    -toefur-

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  15. #15
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Well, I am back. We decided to stay an extra day, so I missed my tuesday workout >_< Oh well, I was (and still am) pretty sick, so maybe the extra rest will be a good thing. I will be headed off to the gym this afternoon, and will have a new post up soon!

    TEST
    -toefur-

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    Thanks for the motivating post, toefur. Feel better, and I'm looking forward to watching you progress.
    In 2006 I was a Starting Strength success story, gaining 30 pounds of muscle and hitting 400/300/500 over seven months. Then excuses happened and my interests shifted. I made a pathetically short-lived attempt at a comeback eight months later, but that didn't last. That was nearly six years ago. I'm now 27 and am back for another shot at things. Follow my log and watch me (hopefully) get hella strong again!

    My Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150615573
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  17. #17
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Another workout done. I've now completed 4 weeks, or 12 workouts, on Rippetoe's starting strength.

    Rippetoe Workout #12

    Squat
    285x5
    285x5
    285x5

    Military Press
    135x5
    135x5
    135x4.5

    Pendlay Row
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5

    Comments
    I thought today's workout went fairly well. I really am not feeling great, and even just the walk to the gym was tiring. Warm up sets felt challenging, and I was not very confident. After my first work set on the squats I felt like I was going to puke. However, for some weird reason I felt good starting my second set... and the rest of the workout seemed to fall into place from there. I actually felt like I had several more reps left in the tank at the end of my last set of squats, which I never feel like I have. The military press represents a 2.5 lbs increase over my pb from last week, though it is worth noting that I only got half of my final rep off (I think this was a result of a shorter than normal rest period between sets). The rows felt good, and are a 10 lbs increase over my previous pb.

    All-in-all it was a good workout. I hope to set new PBs in both the deadlift and the squat for my next workout
    -toefur-

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  18. #18
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Plans for march

    Heading into month two on Rippetoe I feel the program is working well. I ran into a stumbling block with my deadlifts: a lack of chalk. Since I now have chalk my deadlift seems primed to continue improving. My squat has actually caught up to my deadlift, but I think that won't last long now =)

    This month I hope to get my squat over 300 and my deadlift up to 3 plates. I haven't experienced much improvement in my bench press (stalled at 210 lbs), so I think I will reset to 175 or 180 and slowly work back up and see if that gets me going. If my wrist bothers me I may have to consider switching to db presses permanently, or getting some wrist guards. Hopefully things will be okay

    Next workout is tomorrow, and I can't wait!
    -toefur-

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  19. #19
    Zuk my e-penor Kaptn Krunch's Avatar
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    I hear you about bad wrists. I can't always do flat bench because my left wrist hurts sometimes.

    FWIW - it is definitely possible to use only dumbbells for bench on these programs, but you'd need to get some hanging plates, or those magnetic micro weights you were talking about. I ran intermediate 5x5 a year ago and used only dumbbells...Though I didn't have micro plates. Once I got to 80lb DB's, I could never go past them though. I'm sure if I had micro plates that would have been no problem.
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  20. #20
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Rippetoe Workout #13

    Squat
    290x5
    290x5
    290x5

    Bench Press
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5

    Deadlift
    300x5


    Comments
    Great workout! I set a PR in the squat, up 5 lbs from my previous best. I reset my bench press to 185 and will attempt to increase it by 5 lbs intervals back to 210 (and beyond?). Finally, the deadlift... my first 300 lbs lift yet! And I completed all five reps with solid form. Yay!

    Really happy about this workout
    Last edited by toefur; 03-02-2007 at 07:22 PM.
    -toefur-

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  21. #21
    Geek Giving Crappy Advice SchemeSC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by toefur View Post
    Rippetoe Workout #13

    Squat
    290x5
    290x5
    290x5

    Bench Press
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5

    Deadlift
    300x5


    Comments
    Great workout! I set a PR in the squat, up 5 lbs from my previous best. I reset my bench press to 185 and will attempt to increase it by 5 lbs intervals back to 210 (and beyond?). Finally, the deadlift... my first 300 lbs lift yet! And I completed all five reps with solid form. Yay!

    Really happy about this workout

    Squat PR + 300 pound deadlift = happy toefur Congrats man, and keep up the good work. Also, thanks for pepping me up over in my journal.

    I'll be looking forward to a three-wheeled deadlift from you in the near future!
    Intermediate 5x5 Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=974394

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  22. #22
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by SchemeSC View Post
    Squat PR + 300 pound deadlift = happy toefur
    No doubt! It's always nice to hit a PR, but a milestone makes it that much cooler. I'll probably boost my deadlift to 310 for the next workout, and if that goes well, then I will give 315 a go! I might be capable of 315 now, but I don't want to rush things.

    For the squat, I have been having good luck adding 5 lbs every other workout, so I will stick to 290 next time around as well. The military press and row I can probably leave where they are as well... maybe a small increase to the row.
    -toefur-

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  23. #23
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Oh, and for the record, the only accessory work I am doing are 2x8 ab exercises at the end of every workout. Usually decline weighted crunches or hanging leg raises.
    -toefur-

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  24. #24
    Geek Giving Crappy Advice SchemeSC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by toefur View Post
    hmmm... searching the part number for those washers doesn't bring anything up for me :/
    Missed this post earlier.

    There should be no space between the two sets of numbers/letters. It should be:

    91081A046

    Sorry about that.
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  25. #25
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    hmmm... I could have sworn I'd tried removing the space to no avail, however it worked this time and I've ordered the washers. Thanks again!
    -toefur-

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  26. #26
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    Real nice workouts man. Looking strong. Subscribed!
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  27. #27
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Talking

    Another workout come and gone...

    Rippetoe Workout #14

    Squat
    290x5
    290x5
    290x5

    Military Press
    135x5
    135x5
    135x5

    Pendlay Row
    185x5
    185x5
    185x5


    Comments
    This was a pretty good workout! I didn't really break any PB's, but I felt that I did better on every exercise than I have in the past. In particular, last time I did 135 for the military presses I got off 4.5 reps on my last set... this time around I managed the full 5 reps in my final set! It was a struggle, but I did it.

    I taught myself the lifts by watching videos and reading up on them, which is all well and good; unfortunately, it is hard to watch myself while I perform the lifts. I can estimate that my squat depth is okay, or that my form on the rows is proper, but in the end I'm only guessing.

    With that in mind, I took videos of my final set in each of the three exercises today. I figured that my form would be most likely to break down at that point, so that would be the best place to check things out for problems (big or small).

    Once I get them onto my computer and such I will probably post them up here so that I can get some pointers

    Yay!
    -toefur-

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  28. #28
    Registered User nyrippetoe's Avatar
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    1 - looking forward to those videos! i've reached the point where i like watching "normal" lifters rather than competition videos.

    2 - awesome job on hitting the 300 lb deadlift! looks like your squat is going to match it pretty soon.
    In 2006 I was a Starting Strength success story, gaining 30 pounds of muscle and hitting 400/300/500 over seven months. Then excuses happened and my interests shifted. I made a pathetically short-lived attempt at a comeback eight months later, but that didn't last. That was nearly six years ago. I'm now 27 and am back for another shot at things. Follow my log and watch me (hopefully) get hella strong again!

    My Log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150615573
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  29. #29
    Registered User toefur's Avatar
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    Hmmm, the row video turned out to be a video of the ground. Oops. The other two videos turned out okay, so I will post them in a second =)

    Some comments on them: My form on the military press seems fine, though as a result of it being an extremely challenging weight for me, my form does break down a bit towards the end... however, I do finish off the final set

    For the squats I am not really sure if I am getting deep enough or not. Some ATG descriptions seem to have the squatter virtually sit down on his/her ass, while many seem to advocate simply going slightly below parallel. The depth I am getting on these squats is about as far as I can go down with my meager flexibility.

    Okay, so here is the squat video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS5cH7QLBbQ

    And here is the military press video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuxfIK24AIM

    I believe they will take at least a few minutes to process on the youtube site (I've never uploaded anything there before), so if someone pops by soon you may not be able to see them right away.

    All (friendly) critiquing is more than welcome.
    -toefur-

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  30. #30
    Zuk my e-penor Kaptn Krunch's Avatar
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    Your squat depth looked just fine to me. You don't have to go ATG, unless you really want to. You'd definitely be just fine in a powerlifting competition as far as depth.
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