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jackthestrat
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How am I doing?

Post by jackthestrat » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:16 pm

Hi everyone.

This is my first post on the boards so please be kind.

I just started weightlifting two months ago. Other than a previous stint of lifting when I was 20 I had been a lazy do-nothing kind of guy. I'm currently 27, 6', 228lbs, with a bit of a gut but not a lot of extra fat hanging out anywhere (most people guess that I'm around 190). My family are mostly "thick-bodied, big boned" people - muscular, but with weight gain around the midsection. When I was 17yrs old and 180 lbs, I looked freakishly skinny.

I've been following the modified Starting Strength routine (with Pendlay rows) for about two months. I started all lifts at 120lbs. I'm now Squatting and Deadlifting 300+, Military 145, Bench 200, Pendlay 175, and I'm pretty pumped at the results. I *feel* stronger and bigger in my legs and trunk. I've been trying to eat better, but am definitely eating *more*. I keep waking up in the middle of the night starving. Currently I'm having three protein shakes a day, two cliff bars, three square meals, and fruits for snacks. I'd guesstimate input of around 4500 calories a day.

So my question is this. I feel like on some of these lifts I am already at the wall (Military, Bench). Why are these lifts so weak? At the same time, I don't feel like I am at a point where I should stop adding weight to some lifts(deadlifts, squats), but I'm starting to get freaked out by the difference between the rep weights and don't want to start becoming unbalanced.

Does this sound like normal strength gains for these lifts over a two month period? If not normal, is it problematic? What can I do to speed along my military and bench weights? Any other suggestions to make me stronger?


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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:21 pm

I think you're doing very well.

Military at 145 is not weak at all! And bench of 200 may not set records, but it isn't bad. I thought that it was pretty odd that you started all the lifts at the same weight. There is no reason to expect that you would squat, DL, bench and press the same amount! 120 is probably a good place to start squat and DL for many beginners, and may be OK for bench, but it's a lot for press.

I'd say just keep adding small amounts to your lifts for as long as you can. Treat each lift separately. If you are still making good gains on squat and DL, go ahead and add 10 every workout. If press and bench are slowing, then just add 5. When you really plateau, reset and go back up. When the time come that you really can't make gains with linear increases, look into periodized programs, but for now I think what you're doing is fine.

Congratulations on the good gains, and welcome to the forum!

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Post by hoosegow » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:01 pm

What Doc said, plus...

Most gains in strength for new lifters is due to improved CNS function. This is a blessing and a curse. The quick gains are a blessing because it gets you motivated. When the gains stop coming quickly is a curse because most people realize that lifting weight is hard and it sucks so they quit.

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Post by jackthestrat » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:54 pm

Thanks for the responses and the warm welcome.

Lifting is the hardest part of my day, and now that I've been doing it regularly I wouldn't trade it for the world. Now I feel like I earn my showers.

I started with everything equal because that was the most that I had (in dumbbells, 2x60) and I just kind of assumed that I could lift that much. I bought the barbell and squat rack and whatnot after my first workout when I could do the 3 sets of 5 without any issue.

Hoosegow, by CNS do you mean central nervous system? If so, how does that work to streamline new gains?

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:37 pm

Welcome aboard.

Like Jungledoc said, they won't all go up evenly. You're likely to stall in this order:

Press
Bench Press
Squat
Deadlift

That's straight out of the book. It's just based on the amount of muscle to do each lift. As each one stalls, re-set that weight and start back up. Keep doing that until they're all stalling, and then it's time for an intermediate progression.


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Post by hoosegow » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:37 pm

Yes central nervous system. When you begin lifting you have two things that are happening. You CNS is adapting and learning how to respond to the stress and your body grows. Your CNS adapts quickly. Your body grows agonizingley slow.

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Post by jackthestrat » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:59 pm

Well, that ended rather spectacularly.

My spotter injured himself last December, and I stopped lifting after hitting 238lbs after a few months of the SS routine.

As a result of losing my partner in crime and getting a bit pudgy, I switched to eating Paleo and getting more cardio in.

At this point I'm 6' 195lbs and I am really feeling the need to start lifting again.

I really enjoyed the SS routine that I was doing, but unfortuantely due to new living arrangements the barbells are not going to be possible. All I have are dumbells (10-60lbers in 10lb intervals) and an adjustable incline/decline bench.

Does any one know of any particularly useful links to dumbell-only workout plans that I can take a peek at? v Or have any tips/suggestions?

V/r,

Matt

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Post by stuward » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:48 pm

jackthestrat wrote:Well, that ended rather spectacularly.

My spotter injured himself last December, and I stopped lifting after hitting 238lbs after a few months of the SS routine.

As a result of losing my partner in crime and getting a bit pudgy, I switched to eating Paleo and getting more cardio in.

At this point I'm 6' 195lbs and I am really feeling the need to start lifting again.

I really enjoyed the SS routine that I was doing, but unfortuantely due to new living arrangements the barbells are not going to be possible. All I have are dumbells (10-60lbers in 10lb intervals) and an adjustable incline/decline bench.

Does any one know of any particularly useful links to dumbell-only workout plans that I can take a peek at? v Or have any tips/suggestions?

V/r,

Matt
Do you have a chin up bar?

jackthestrat
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Post by jackthestrat » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:58 pm

stuward wrote:
Do you have a chin up bar?
I do.

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Post by stuward » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:04 pm

Read my post here: http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7102

You have more flexibility, especially for the shoulders since you have dumbbells.

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Post by hoosegow » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:53 pm

You ought to be able to put together a decent program with the dumbells you have. For legs you can do overhead squats, one legged squats, pistols, lunges, jump squats, etc.

For upper body work, if you reach 60 lbs., slow your reps way down - try a 312 tempo or even slower if you have to.

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Post by jackthestrat » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:53 am

First of all thanks to you guys for responding so quickly, it's really appreciated.

Here is one of the things I have come up with, planning on a XAXBXAX type split - thoughts? I have a nagging suspicion that there's an attempt to do "too much" here. I also have an alternative schedule based around Goblet Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Military, Chinups if you guys think it is too much. Look forward to your input...


Workout A

Squat
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Single Leg Calf Raise
Dumbell Bent Over Row
Chin Up
Upright Row
Push-Up
Bench Press
Shoulder Press
Curl
Triceps Extension
Crunches

Workout B

Lunge
Goodmornings
Calf Raise
Supine Row
Lateral Raise
Push Up
Front Raise
Curl
Triceps Extension
Crunch

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Post by NightFaLL » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:04 am

2-3 sets of each wouldn't be too rough.

I'd recommend rotating rep ranges/doing light days, though.

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Post by frogbyte » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:19 pm

That is a lot of things for one day - I'd certainly dump the curl/triceps extensions. (Although, one thing I like doing for backoff sets is the curl and standing press combination.)

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Post by Gantz » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:32 pm

Is it really necessary to have push-ups, curls, extensions, crunches, and calf raises in both routines?


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