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Starting Intermediate Work

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  • Starting Intermediate Work

    I'm a 38-year-old who's been pretty strong throughout my life but without ever having trained it in any systematic way. I have two kids, a wife, a huge dog, a couple of cats, and I teach anything that can't get you a job at the college level: philosophy and religion. I exist in a general state of sleeplessness (my little bastards are under 4). I'm about 260, 23-24% bodyfat (likely not accounting for the fat surrounding organs), and I need to cut down to 240 or so at least. One step at a time.

    This coming week, 5/13-5/20, I'm projecting to finish up with LP. I've done one reset, the results of which I believe weren't necessarily worth the extra 3 weeks or so. That's actually one reason I'm here. I started reading and listening to Barbell Medicine content, and they articulated some things that I found interesting. As such, I've been contemplating what to do for my intermediate programming, and I'm going to try the Bridge 1.0, using GPP days for jiujitsu, which I've been longing to get back into. If anyone has any suggestions here, I'm all ears. I don't want to overtrain, but I've got get my face back into some sweaty crotches.

    My first and last LP logs are below, and I've been logging my data on Starting Strength:
    I'm really pleased with the progress I made, and I'm looking forward to making some more. I'm fairly confident BBM can deliver.

    First LP log:1/17/18

    Squat: 185x3x5

    Press: 115x3x5

    Deadlift: 155x5x1

    (Bench, not a part of this workout, was 205x3x5)

    Last LP log-with a few more to go: 5/11/18

    Bench: 290x5x3 (I had to bench alone, so I went with five sets of three for precautionary reasons. They started off around RPE 8 and ended around 8.5. I think I could have done three sets of five with a spotter, but the chance is not worth it.)

    Squats: 395x3x5 (PR territory again. All RPE 8.5 - 9. The body's getting tired. I'm going to try to squeeze out another week of this and get myself to 405x5x3, after which I'll refuse to wear anything but a speedo around home and while gardening as a celebratory gesture. Chicks dig massive white thighs. I made a good call on the switch to light squats for Wed. I will be wrecked tomorrow and will have to make a judgment call as to whether to perform light squats on Monday or stick to the once-per-week rule. I'll likely stick with once-per-week for the week or two I have left.)

    Chins: Bodyweight, 8x6x5 (I'm getting better at these, but my bodyweight is moving back down slightly as well. I couldn't do any more with good form, although I'm loathe to rate these in terms of RPEs given the variance in the amount of swingage, accidental leg-momentum, etc.)

    (Press, not a part of this workout, is 182.5x3x5)

    (Deadlift, not a part of this workout, is 405x1x5)

    If I'm reading my body right, I will be finished with LP by the end of next week. I'm more or less in the same position in terms of body fatigue where I stalled last time, and I don't intend to move toward another reset or milk LP in terms of intensity. I'm moving on.
    Last edited by Rickster; 05-13-2018, 04:52 PM.

  • #2

    I’ve been needing to switch my schedule to a Wed, Fri, Sun schedule, so I can hit BJJ. I finally made the switch today. I was fairly tired when I started, but it was good training. Based on my fatigue, And contrary to my earier post, I believe it’s the last I’ll pursue in LP, thinking that with how tired I am, most gains would be realizations of what’s already been built. With that in mind, I pushed it on a couple of lifts for the sake of vanity and vanity alone. I made it through and need a nap.

    Press: 185x5x3 (The fourth set was an RPE 9, the rest RPE 8.5. I think RPE is greatly tied to technical performance on these, more so than other lifts. This and bench are the only two lifts that I’m considering pursuing a little further on LP, the question becoming for me why? Is it worth it for a week of extra gain? I don’t know, but I lean toward a no.

    Squat: 405x3x5 (Nailed’em and was quite tired. RPE 8.5, 9, 9.5)

    Deadlifts: 425x1x5 (RPE 9.75--which I assume means I could have tried for another rep and likely wouldn't have hit it. I also screwed this number up first time and said I hit it once. I hit it five times, but that was one of the harder sets of anything I've ever done.)
    Last edited by Rickster; 05-14-2018, 05:23 PM.


    • #3

      I'm taking seriously the fact that I have to drop weight. Getting some extra years out of this body will depend on it. I don't want to be an irresponsible father and husband, refusing to prevent the preventible. At around 265, I've delimited my calories to about 2900-3000 to see where that gets me, eating around 250 grams of protein. I'm be tracking with myfitness pal. Probably the biggest thing I can do is lay off the wine and bourbon. It's easy to get carried away at the end of a long semester. The drinks add up at the end of the week, likely binding a lot of free T.

      I'll be walking my dog in a fasted state every morning, and I'll hit BJJ 2x a week for now, using it as my GPP, until I build some work capacity through this high intensity sparring and the Bridge. In fact, I went tonight and rolled with a couple of guys. I'm a little too de-conditioned to be terribly explosive, but it'll come back, and I was strong enough that no one could really tap me. In actuality, I could've gone longer, but, as difficult as it can be to bow out, I pulled myself from the sweaty man-pile and went home to help put the kids down. I really need to see how my body responds to all this work before jumping in all the way. I don't want to enter a pit of physical despair.

      My golfer's elbow is killing me, too. I'm greatly looking forward to the dropped intensity even for the sake of re-working on technique. It's so easy to drop when one is by oneself and lifting heavy. I gotta keep working the Horn stretches, narrowing my grip, and finding the correct forearm verticality for squats, which are definitively the culprit.


      • #4
        Intermediate Work--The Bridge 1.0


        I’m still very tired from my Sunday training, so I did my best to stick with RPEs in the true sense of the idea that I’m lifting based on my level of perceived fatigue. I worked very hard to go easy and not get ahead of myself with intensities based on the fact that I’m not that good at RPEs yet, and the fact that the Bridge is higher volume, which I’m not exactly used to coming off LP. With my relative inexperience, I’m using a basic 10% deload to define a goal for the day, which I, in fact, didn’t meet based on RPEs. Today’s training turned into what seems like a light day might be on an HLM, the light being defined today as somewhere between a 12-17% offset.

        Close-grip: 230x5 (RPE 7), 245x4 (RPE 7.5), 260x4 (RPE 8)-- I’m still starting with my pressing variations on account of the elbow. It hurts, albeit it feels much better today. The benches inflamed it, however. Either way, the middle number could’ve come up by 5-10lbs.

        Squat w/belt: 335x5 (RPE 6), 340x5 (RPE 7.5), 345x5 (RPE 8)--I’m still really tired on these, and, while I certainly could have eked more out based on the RPEs (I believe I got them fairly accurate here), none of these had any pop or felt particularly good. I was very happy to be done squatting.

        Rack Pulls: 335x7 (RPE 7), 325x7 (RPE 6), 340x7 (RPE 7.5-8)--The pulls got successively easier. Maybe I didn’t warm up enough, but I tried to adjust accordingly. I also wonder if the “nocebo” effect takes place with deadlifts and their variants: the fact that I expect my lower back to fatigue really easily compared to the rest of my body allows it to do so through disuse. We’ll see, I suppose!
        Last edited by Rickster; 05-16-2018, 08:08 PM.


        • #5

          Press w/belt: 157.5.5 (RPE 6), 165x5 (RPE 7) 170x5 (RPE 8)--Just absolutely nothing exciting here.

          2 ct Pause Squat: 350x4 (RPE 6, although really difficult to tell), 365x4 (RPE 6.5), 375x4 (RPE 8)--I seem to be underestimating my squats in general, but never having done pause squats has doubled this down. Maybe this in part is because I just didn’t even think about leaving my belt off, which I will do next time. I also just think that some of the dissipating fatigue means my squats are a little stronger than I thought. I’ll push it a bit more next workout either way.

          Barbell Row: 220x8 (RPE 7), 215x8 (RPE 6), 225x8 (RPE 8), 225x7.5 (RPE 10 I guess)--These didn’t actually feel that hard, but I couldn’t quite touch my chest on the last rep, and I wasn’t going to use too much of my hips. I’ll be a bit more conservative next time I train these.
          Last edited by Rickster; 05-18-2018, 08:15 PM.


          • #6

            Got the kids down, and my wife and I headed out to the ol' garage gym. She's just started her LP a couple weeks ago, doing great, and loving it, having not found a sport to do since her retirement from collegiate soccer many years ago (squat: 112.5x3x5, press: 60x3x5, bench 85x3x5, deadlift: 135x1x5). I worked some GPP, which is translating once a week into some sweet, sweet bicep lifting.... I'm on a crash course for 18" guns, which can mean a lot of things in Montana, but I'm talkin' my arms. Also, with the wrestling we're working in BJJ, a few curls might do me some good, which is what I keep saying to myself as if that's hiding me from my inner-bro.

            20-minute hike. Kept the heart-rate between 120-140 and my dog away from the many, many deer carcasses.

            Chins (bodyweight, 260) 8 - 6 - 5.5--couldn't quite get my chin above the bar on the last one.

            Barbell curls: 75x3x5--I was surprised by the fact that my tendonitis felt really good after these.

            DB seated curls: 20x15, 22.5x12, 27.5x10

            Time spent flexing in front of a mirror (TSFFM): 8 minutes--I'll try to titrate this up to 12 minutes.