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mark74's log

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 2:28 pm
by mark74
My history:
  • 2003-2005: I am a runner, BW is 68-69 kg. Like most runners I get injured and don't ever recover completely.
  • 2006-2010: my lifestyle turns to sedentary. I'm not doing much sport either. In 2009 my left knee is injured in a home accident.
  • January 2010: I'm 35 yo, BW at an all-time high of 86-87 kg. My left knee is useless: just looking at it makes it swell.
  • May 2010: BW down to 85 kg. Pick up lifting again with a full-body program of my own design. BW drops to 84 kg.
  • June 2010: I need to strengthen my legs to get my knee back, so I get a bench with a leg curl/extension attachment. I discover low carbing, my BW takes a dive to 80.5 kg.
  • July 2010: work on posture and begin some light squatting. BW: 78.5 kg
  • August 2010: halfway through the month, switch to StrongLifts 5x5. I've been already doing all of the SL lifts by myself, so I start off at Sq:36 kg - BP:34 kg - OHP:26 kg - DL:39 kg. BW: 76 kg, BF: 23-24%.
  • September 2010: I keep dieting as hard as I can and even start IF, but I only manage to reach 74.5 kg, then I'm overwhelmed by an irresistible hunger. BF: ~22%.
  • October 2010, BW stable, BF: 20%.
  • November 2010: on 11/17 a small injury to my left quad keeps me from squatting for 3 weeks. Sq:62 kg - BP:42 kg - OHP:34 kg - DL:80 kg. BW: 75.5 kg, frustrated with the lack of progress on the presses so try GOMAD.
  • December 2010: before Xmas: Sq:70 kg - BP:deload - OHP:deload - DL:86 kg. BW: 76.8 kg, BF: 23%.
  • January 2011: back from 1/17. BW up to 77.5 kg.
  • February 2011: making progress again. Sq:68 kg - DL:92 kg. Still deloading and getting stuck on the presses. BW is 78 kg.
  • March 2011: Sq:85 kg - BP: 45 kg - OHP:37 kg - DL:101 kg. BW up to 80 kg
  • April 2011: PRs are set. Sq:93 kg - BP:46 kg - DL:106 kg. My left shoulder is injured for good. BW peaks at 82 kg, BF: 25%
  • May 2011: back to training, I haven't eaten properly, some strength lost. BW goes down to 79.5 kg, BF: 24%.
  • June 2011: On a caloric restriction to lose fat for a wedding, my weight goes down to 76.5 kg. BF: 22%
  • July 2011: Switched to 5/3/1, BW stable, BF: 20%
Graphical history:


So today it was (all weights in pounds)

Squat; 44x5x2 + 110x5 + 132 (5x5).
During the first three sets of the 5x5 I had some small fit in the muscles right above the knees, that disappeared in the last two. Took plenty of recovery between sets, was not completely happy with the form, I have a tendency to shift the weight towards the forefoot while coming up.

Press; 70 (5x5) with no warm up.
Missed the last rep of the last set, quite surprised by this, maybe I cut recovery too short. I'm planning to do some pressing on my rest days to get the weight up a bit faster (the so called "greasing the groove" strategy), also I've been pressing a bit last week.

Deadlift; 115x5 + 159x5 + 181x5 + 203x5
All without a belt (I only use one when I feel my form is deteriorating). As usual the DL is less of a hassle than the squat and got much closer to my PB. The last two reps however were a bit "slow". I might be going for a better 203 the next time as well.

After that I put on some racing flats and went running in the woods. I was planning to do 20 minutes but stopped the clock at 30'56" as I took a different route to get back home. For most of the time my left knee was hurting a bit, and also my right shinbone every time the foot would hit the ground. Kept a fairly regular pace but on the way back I tried some, uhm, let's call them accelerations :wink: All in all, 4 km @ an average HR of 144, max pace 4:27.

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Re: mark74's log

Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:39 pm
by mark74
Did some soft tissue work with tennis balls, some accessory work with weights, and went back to the bench after some weeks.

(all weights in kilos)
Push-ups (on knees): 50
Lateral raise: 2x10 + 4x12 + 5x12x3
External shoulder rotations: 1.5x12 + 2.5x12x3
Bench press: 30x5x3 + 34x5x2 + 38x5
Overhead Press: 32x5

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 3:12 pm
by mark74
My upper body was literally creaking today, the left pec was hurting like hell but I put my tennis balls to good use.

SL day (weights in kilos):

Squat: 50x5x2 + 60x5x4 + 70x5
Bench: 30x5x2 + 34x5 + 40x2 + 42x3
Row: 36x12x3

Got a good feedback from the squat and generally happy enough with the form, so I upped the ante on the last set, and it went ok. Weeks without back squatting have left me with a strange feeling, I think the strength is still there for the most part, but the endurance..?

As for the left shoulder, there was no pain on the bench (but not satisfied with form at 42), but my left lat was feeling weird on the 2nd and 3rd set of the row.

Afterwards, outside for some sprinting. Left knee felt really good but some light pain from the right shinbone again. Not sure how the quads will feel tomorrow (I'm a bit pessimistic...), some numbers:

Warm up phase 1.39 km, 11', HR: 145 (163), avg pace 7'59" with some sprinting up to 4'13".
Sprint phase (10"/2' pattern), total sprints 7, 1.96 km, 15'28", HR 149 (177), max sprint pace 2'46"

I'm still feeling the buzz from the training session after 2 hours. Hope the landing won't be that bad :)

PS: edited the first post adding details.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:15 pm
by mark74
Today: 50 pushups (on knees) and then took a walk (~6000 steps)

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:08 am
by mark74
Yesterday 05/14 was mostly a rest day except for some pressing (28x5x2 + 30x5 + 32x5 + 34x3 + 34x4 + 36x2), which resulted in some uneasiness in my left shoulder showing up later in the evening.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:01 pm
by mark74
SL day:

Squat: 50x5 + 60x5 + 70x5x3 + 80x5x2
Press: 28x8 + 30x5 + 30x5/4/4
DL: 72x5 + 82x5 + 92x5


10' warmup, 1.13 km, HR 132 (151)
8 intervals (15"/21), max pace 3'02"/HR 166

Squatting was good at 70 so I took another leap, but at 80 form was breaking down a little. I put to good use some tips I've found yesterday on Rip's site: pushing your knees out as far as possible really does make it easier to go down without rounding the lower back. Pressing was OK - I did some soft tissue work behind the left shoulder blade before, but it still felt 'weird'. I think I'm rounding my back on the DL so I'll stay at 92 until I'm happy witht that.

As for the sprinting, I used longer sprinting intervals, last thursday I had the feeling 10" was capping me. Ironically the intervals were too long and I wasn't able to push as hard today, both in the sprinting and the recovery phases, not sure why.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:45 pm
by mark74
SL day:

Squat: 60x5x2 + 76x5x5
Bench: 34x5 + 40x5x4 + 42x5x2
Row: 38x12

I've been trying to film myself while squatting. The results so far suck but it still might be worth reviewing the video on the PC. Bench went OK, I think getting all the 5 reps in without breathing in the work sets, is something I'll have to come to terms with. Strangely my left shoulder only felt funny when doing the row.

Sprint: I was literally running late so had to cut down the warm up to 5 minutes. It didn't seem to affect things badly. My max sprinting pace was still 3'/km but it generally felt much better than monday. I think it would be useful to figure out a way to record the average pace in each sprint. I'll have to find another place to sprint, as of lately the air was filthy.

PS: after dinner I was feeling like my brain was sinking into my skull, a feeling I eventually remembered was the same from last year when I had the so called "carb flu". I proceeded to gulp down half a kilo of full fat yogurt with berries. Felt much less tired after that.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:00 pm
by mark74
5/19 Thursday: 50 pushups o/k
5/20 Friday: SL day
Squat: 54x5 + 64x5 + 78x5x5
Press: 28x5 + 30x5 + 34x4/3/3
DL: 72x5 + 92x2
5/22 Sunday: went out on my bike, started out leisurely and ended up sprinting
5/23 Monday: SL day
Squat: 60x5x2 + 81x5x5/5/5/4
Bench: 36x5x2 + 40x5 + 44x5/5/4 + 42x5 + 40x5
Row: 38x12x3

Friday I was quite happy with form on the squat, when I started pressing it occurred to me something was wrong. I was feeling like someone pulled batteries out of my back. When I did the first DL set it was clear I wasn't going to be able to go through all sets and skipped 82, but that didn't help one bit.

Monday (today), I went up too much on the squat and was not happy with my form, thought wise to quit at the fourth set. Did the same mistake on the bench and ended up with some half-ass kind of reverse pyramid. Rowed the same weight as the last time, like Rip says if you can't row with good form then you shouldn't be rowing at all. I didn't feel like I was rowing quite well in fact.

I'm feeling a bit down these days because of the struggling. I think I had been too happy about sprinting, it does take a toll. Today was one of those days when you're squatting and suffering and even think about quitting. That feeling lingered on for the rest of the session. Ugh.

On a sidenote, left shoulder is still not 100%.

Song of the day

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:25 pm
by mark74
Rest day. Soft tissue work on the left shoulder, followed by some pressing: 26x5x2 + 28x5 + 30x5 + 32x5 + 34x5 + 33x5/3.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:53 pm
by mark74
Wednesday 5/25, SL day:
Squat: Bodyweight warmup + 60x5/x4 + 70x3 + 81x5/x4 + 80x5/x4
Press: 26x5x2 + 30x5 + 32x5/5/5/4/4
DL: 72x5 + 82x5 + 92x2
HIIT (bike): 18'

Another humiliating session. If someone told me I was squatting 93 kg and deadlifting 107 kg I wouldn't believe him. And that was only 6 weeks ago. After the squat I stumbled on some shard of pride and did the best I could pressing. Deadlift? no comment.

Thursday 5/26, rest day:
Incline Bench: 6x20
DB Incline Bench: (6x2)x10 + (10x2)x5 + (12x2)x5x5
Biking: 41'37", HR avg 135 max 166

I realized my left clavicular is almost missing. Well if compared to my right one. I'll be doing some incline bench as an assistance exercise in an attempt to make things more even.

Friday 5/27, SL day: came home too late and only had time for some HIIT (22' + W/U + C/D) on the bike.

Sunday: took a very long walk (12+ km), about 3h30 IIRC.

Friday, a new need has emerged: shedding weight. Well, fat I hope. The following changes have been implemented:

a) calorie counting + caloric restriction
b) protein intake tracking
c) "zero carb" diet + refeeds
d) zero alcohol
e) regular HIIT practice
f) regular cardio
g) dropping volume, from 5x5 to 3x5 (I need more time to do HIIT, I need to accept I've been backtracking already, and I doubt I'll be able to keep up volume in face of caloric restriction anyway).

Today (5/30): SL day
Squat: BWx5x2 46x5 + 56x5 + 66x3 + 76x5x3
Bench Press: 36x5x2 + 40x5 + 42x5x3
Row: 38x12x3

More or less satisfied with the squat, I'll try working back up to my PB from here. I'll be doing the same with the deadlift. Need to focus more on keeping the darn blades squeezed at all times on the %$"%!%" bench. Row felt great. Better than in a long time. Although there was still some creaking, so to speak, in my left lat.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:42 am
by mark74
6/1, Lifts:
Squat BWx10 + 46x5 +56x3 + 66x3 + 76x5x3
Press 26x5x2 + 30x5 + 32x5x3
DL 66x5 + 76x5 + 86x5
+ Bike sprinting (arranged in a 20' W/U + 20' + 20' C/D fashion)

I'm focusing on increasing speed of execution of the squat and in particular using the stretch reflex, as in the last cycle I had been getting rather slow. Press, I'm aiming to get as perfect as possible before increasing the weight. Bike sprinting is OK except my 20 yo bike is slowly falling apart and my left knee will complain if I apply too much pressure, I always had the tendency to favor a slower cadence. I really don't like the feeling of over-pedalling (is there a better word?) but I'll have to accept that.

With my best friend wedding this month I really don't have any money left to get new equipment, be it a new bike or new plates/rack/olympic set etc. There are some lines from an old Queen song that fits my situation perfectly.

6/2, accessory work
Incline bench: 26x5x2 + 30x5 + 34x5 + 38x5/5/5/4.
Went for an extra set but decided to avoid failure. +1h15 slow walk in the sun.

As far as the diet goes, I'm averaging roughly 1600 kcal a day and my weight is currently trying to go in the high range of 78 (although I hit 77.8 after the walk + lift, and despite drinking a lot of water). Tonight fish with shrooms + soup + something else to hit the protein requirements. Tomorrow I'm planning to get a pizza with no cheese and a large salad with loads of tuna, some tomatoes and leek. Yum yum.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:00 am
by mark74
6/3: lift+sprint day
Squat: BWx10 + 46x5 + 56x5 + 66x5 + 76x5
Bench: 36x5x2 + 40x5 + 42x5x3
Row: 40x12/11/8

I was a bit hyper from drinking too much green tea so the squat went by as if nothing, but then I found hard to keep my arms steady wehn benching. Row, upping the weight 1 kilo would have been a better idea.

6/4, 6/5, rest days, no walking, no bike, just greased the groove a little with some pressing on sunday evening.

6/6: Lift+sprint day
Squat: BWx10 + 48x5 + 58x5 + 68x5 + 78x5x3
Press: 6x15+26x5+30x5+ 32x5x3
DL: 66x5 + 76x5 + 86x5

The press finally felt good, deadlifting also was not a problem. Sprinting, I'm not happy, the park I've been using will be closed for 2 weeks, it's not easy to find a good place to sprint where the air is not filthy and there's not too many people or cars around.

6/7: Accessory work:
Incline bench: 6x10 + 26x5 + 30x5 + 38x5x3

Before that I went biking for a little more than a hour, no sprinting though. The weather has been bad as of lately and the wind strong enough that the first leg felt like pedalling on flat tyres.

Weight is steady but waist has been shrinking.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:04 pm
by mark74
Woohoo, weight has dropped to 78 pre work out (new min at 77.3 afterwards, which BTW is not a lot of difference, guess I'm getting more used to summer's temperature)

8/6: Lifts + Sprints
Squat: BWx10 +58x5+68x5+78x5x3
Bench: 26x10+36x5+42x5x3
Row: 40x12x3

Was satisfied with this session overall and will be adding weight on all three lifts (is this the light end of the tunnel which started in April?). As far as sprinting goes, I've been readjusting my bike to get better pushing mechanics (that basically means moving the saddle up and forward). In other news, the bottom bracket is on its last legs, I'll see if I can explore repair options tomorrow.

As for the diet, I forgot to mention that I revised my original zero-carb stance, I'm playing around with rice pre and post workout according to the schedule of the day and what I'm going to eat. This is meant to minimize glycogen depletion from daily biking (although it's probably not that great of a risk), but also because I want more energy for the lifting sessions.

I'm sick of being fat -ish and weak.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:00 pm
by mark74
GtG Press: 6x15 + 26x5 + 30x5 + 33x5x3
Biking: 1h16m HR avg 136 BPM.

edit: Tried out some yoga in the evening under the guide of an audiobook. Funny stuff. Think I'll keep doing it until I figure out whether it's of any use to me.

Re: mark74's log

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:28 pm
by mark74
6/10: only lifts
Squat: BWx15 + 68x5 + 78x5 + 80x5x3
Press: 6x20 + 26x5 + 30x3 + 33x4/5/5
DL: 68x5 + 78x3 + 88x5

Who said you can have the best workout of your life when you're tired? I want a refund. Today I woke up 4h early and after 2 hours spent relaxing and trying to get back to sleep I gave up and got out of the bed.

I had a full and active day, and that is good, but when workout time came I surely wasn't in the best of shapes. Pre-workout rice and proteins could nothing against the pain that was squatting. First set I even felt nauseous and ground out 5 reps somehow while I was trying to keep the meager contents of my stomach where they belonged. Second set was decidedly better but still not good enough. Third, with my body running on gas fumes it's better forgotten.

Then, a missed rep in the press made me realize the cartload of time between sets was not enough and had to go for a boatload instead. Surprisingly, the deadlift came out pretty decent.

My bike is currently in pieces and I'm looking for spares so no sprinting today. I could've go out running but that would have felt like pushing my luck.

In other news, the scale says I've hit a new low for 2011, at 76.7 and my belly looked flatter in the mirror.