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Annie learns RPE

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  • Annie learns RPE

    Training History:

    Female / 32 / 5'6" / BW in the 81-84kg range

    Zero athletic or even exercise background prior to my first run of SSLP at age 22. No sports as a kid, was very very weak and "unfit".

    Ran SSLP in 2008-2009, failed to keep a log. My memory is that I ended up somewhere like SQ 135, B 65, PR 50, DL 175
    Did not train seriously for the next 5 years or so.
    Started training again in late 2014. Attended SS Seminar in 2015 and competed in my first meet (Strengthlifting). It fired me up.
    Got online coaching from Reynolds 2016-2017, then continuing with SSOC 2017-2018. Made enormous progress initially, and continued intermittent process after that.
    Had a significant shoulder injury/chronic pain situation in Spring 2016 which impacted my training for about 5 months. (AC join sprain/marrow edema, bone spur possibly the culprit, but really, who knows.) It still flares up on occasion, but I am able to manage it pretty well on my own.
    Stopped online coaching last month and am going to proceed on my own, at least for a bit.
    Attended BBM Seminar in October 2018; have gone on a bit of a deep dive since then.

    Best lifts are:

    Squat: 125kg (in competition, March 2017)
    Press: 42kg (in training, January 2019)
    Bench: 55kg (in training, January 2019)
    Deadlift: 138kg (in competition, March 2017)

    I became interested in becoming a coach over the last year as well. I train out of my garage gym (as of May 2018), and since then have been training 3-5 people on a pretty regular basis. More soon on this front.

    I teach high school/middle school theater, and do program coordination (Summer/Extracurriculars) at a small private school. I'm also a theater/performance artist. I like video games, cocktails, and general geekery.

    I'm on IG @anniepaladino -- it's private, but I'll accept most non-robots.
    Last edited by anniemichael; 01-21-2019, 02:10 AM.

  • #2
    Just starting Week 7 of 12 Week Strength Template. So far I have been probably 90% compliant. Very poor compliance with GPP.

    I just signed up for my first powerlifting meet (USPA), Feb 23. I'd been mulling it over for awhile, and it lines up pretty fantastically with my training schedule, so... doing it. My (rather ambitious) goals are: 130 / 60 / 142.5. I REALLY want to bench 60...


    Week 7 Day 1

    Comp Squat:

    121x1 @8 (Initially rated a 9 but upon video review, it really was just an 8. I remain a chronic over-rater when it comes to RPE...)
    102.5 4x4 @8,8.5,8.5,8.5

    Comp Bench:

    55x1 @9 PR!
    47.5 4x4 @8,8,8,8


    75x8 @6
    77.5x8 @7.5
    81x8 @9

    Skipped my remaining sets due to low back fatigue. Not bad at all, but I didn't think RDLs were worth risking another pain episode like I had a couple weeks ago. Heavy squats seem to cause big time back fatigue for me these days.


    • #3
      Week 7 Day 2(ish)

      Felt like shit this afternoon. Might be getting sick, might have had crappy sleep, might just be suffering under caloric deficit. Whatever the case, I napped for like an hour and then forced myself to lift.

      I ended up having a GREAT deadlift session and another mini press PR before hunger/fatigue got the better of me. I'll try to finish the workout tomorrow.

      Comp DL:

      135x1 @7.5 felt too easy and it's soooo close to 300lbs so...
      136.5x1 @8! not a PR, but 137 is my all time and meet PR, and this was a pretty solid 8, so...yay!
      115 4x4 @8

      Comp Press:

      42.5x1 @9


      • #4
        Catching up from yesterday, plus some junk reps thrown in for good measure...


        AM BW: 186.6lbs

        Comp Press:
        36 4x4 @8

        Beltless Squat:
        I've been getting serious low back fatigue from all squats, but especially beltless. Annoying, but trying to work around it. Cut # of worksets down today to manage it.
        50x8 @6
        60x8 @7
        60x8 @8
        60x8 @8

        2-Count Pause Bench:
        30x8 @6
        32.5x8 @7
        35x8 @8


        • #5

          AM BW: 187.0

          Pause Squat:
          102.5x1 @8.5 (should have been lower, lost hip drive halfway up)
          82.5 3x3 @8.5

          First time doing this exercise. Back angle past horizontal lolz. Serious lower back pump, ow.
          70x8 @6
          75x8 @7
          77.5 3x8 @8

          Scrapped pin bench - bit of my recurrent shoulder pain creeping back in, just being overly cautious. Realizing I need to be careful about this increase in bench volume as I go into meet prep.


          • #6
            wow you're strong!! love seeing fellow women kick ass


            • #7
              Thanks clara_j !!

              Migraine on Friday, so training got pushed to Saturday.


              AM BW: 186.4

              Pause DL:
              107.5x1 @7 oops
              100x3 @8.5
              100x3 @8.5
              100x3 @9

              Pin Bench:
              53.5x1 @9
              47.5 3x3 @9

              Slingshot Bench:
              50x5 @6
              55x5 @7
              57.5x5 @8

              Doing these mostly for shoulder pain management. Slingshot bench is one of the things that most reliably prevents/alleviates my periodic shoulder pain. Plus it's fun.

              Ab Wheel:


              Week 8:

              After this week, I'll switch to peaking template. I'm going to keep Pause DL in instead of deficit deads, because I find them beneficial and also because I've never actually done deficit DL, and don't want to introduce a new movement at this point.


              AM BW: 186.0

              Finally feeling the effects of slight caloric deficit. SO sore, and everything was SO heavy today.

              Comp Squat:

              120x1 @8 (ugh, this was my single @8 2 weeks ago...)
              122x1 @9
              103.5x4 @8
              103.5x4 @8.5
              103.5x4 @9

              Comp Bench:

              53.5x1 @9 LOLZ this was terrible. But, predictable, since I did 2 bench slots less than 24 hours earlier...
              52.5x1 @8.5
              45x4 @8
              45x4 @8
              45x4 @8


              77.5x8 @6
              80x8 @7.5
              82.5x8 @8

              Low back fatigue got too great, so scrapped last two sets again.


              • #8

                AM BW: 186.6

                Comp Deadlift:
                137x1 @7 (this was supposed to be my 1@8, but...)
                140x1 @8 PR!
                142.5x1 @9 (maybe) PR!!!

                Totally unexpected. Yay!!! Vids on IG.

                Comp Press:
                last time pressing before the meet...
                42.5x1 @8
                43.5x0 @10 meh. probably could have got it on a second go, but...whatev
                35 3x4 @8

                Was getting late and tired, so didn't do third slot. This is also my third day lifting in a row, so I'm pretty beat up right now.


                • #9
                  ...aaaaand after that success, I got sick and promptly lost like 4 days of training. Sigh.

                  Last week was also tech week and performances for our school's Middle School Musical Revue (which I produce/direct) so...fatigue/overall stress very high.


                  AM BW: 185.7

                  2 second pause bench:

                  35x8 @6
                  37.5x8 @7
                  40 3x8 @8

                  Felt fine, didn't have time for anything else.

                  Got sick later that night...

                  Was supposed to start peaking template today (Sunday), but still feeling quite ill, so I did some Day 3 stuff that I had missed and will plan to start peaking tomorrow.


                  Overall, strength levels were not really affected by illness, but I was just getting lightheaded after every set, basically. Not bad.

                  Pause Squat:
                  100x1 @8
                  85 3x3 @9

                  TnG Bench:
                  55x1 @8
                  56x1 @9
                  51 3x3 @9


                  • #10

                    AM BW: 185.0

                    Still fucking sick. Body aches have mostly subsided but now the congestion and coughing has really shown up to party.

                    On the plus side, Seattle got like 5 inches of snow Sunday night so naturally the city shut down and my school has had two snow days in a row. LOLZ.

                    Starting the BBM "fast peaking" template today (had intended to start it on Sunday). Cut my volume mostly by half, but I was able to keep weight on the bar up to normal. Plague just means that sets of 4 felt like sets of 10, cardiovascularly-speaking.

                    Comp Squat:

                    122x1 @8
                    100 2x4 @8

                    Comp Bench:

                    56x1 @8
                    57x0 @10 nope, not today. Darn.
                    47.5 2x4 @8

                    Pin Bench:

                    40x4 @6
                    45x4 @7.5
                    48.5x4 @9
                    46x4 @8


                    • #11
                      Still fighting the plague.

                      It's been getting down to the teens here in Seattle which has made the garage gym SO GODDAMN COLD. Tiny Vornado space heater is not up to the task. Need to investigate alternatives.

                      Seattle Snowmageddon's gorgeous but inconvenient.


                      AM BW: 184.4 woot! 1kg to go...

                      Comp DL:

                      143.5x1 @8 PR
                      122.5x4 @8.5
                      120 2x4 @8


                      50x1 @8
                      46x4 @8
                      45 2x4 @7.5

                      No spotter for these so went a little conservative with the intensity.

                      I'm behind on my training schedule which means I'm going to try for 3-4 training days in a row coming I nixed beltless squats to try to manage low back fatigue.

                      Revising my DL meet goal to 150. Feeling less optimistic about getting that 60kg bench though. 130 for my squat still seems about right.


                      • #12
                        Serious back pain/fatigue on Saturday. Was better on Sunday.


                        AM BW: 184.6

                        Pause Squat:
                        105x1 @9
                        90x3 @8
                        90x3 @8.5
                        90x3 @9

                        Slingshot Bench:
                        50x5 @6
                        55x5 @7
                        57.5x5 @8

                        80x6 @6
                        90x6 @8
                        90x6 @8


                        • #13
                          Intended to train yesterday, but ~2 hours of snow shoveling proved to be too much for me.

                          Mixed bag today with training...

                          10 days out!


                          AM BW: 185.2 (hoping this little stall is my usual premenstrual bloat...I routinely gain/lose ~5lbs every month)

                          Comp Squat:
                          123x1 @8
                          125x1 @8.5 this ties my all-time and meet PR. I am hoping this will be my second attempt at the meet. Felt eh, looked great on video.
                          110 3x3 @7 super easy. Likely will take 115 as my opener.

                          Comp Bench:
                          ...went to shit today. I kept sliding the freaking bench back.
                          50 3x2 @9

                          Then shoulder pain increased a bit, so no pin bench for me today.

                          I'm going to Austin this weekend for a friend's bachelorette weekend. Hoping I can sneak away to a gym one or two times while I'm there without being too annoying about it.


                          • #14
                            Did some other stuff leading up to the meet but that's boring so... MEET REPORT!!

                            USPA PowerFest in Richland, WA
                            Feb 23, 2019

                            • First powerlifting meet! (I've done 3 strengthlifting meets lolz)
                            • Went 8/9, missing my third bench
                            • 5kg PR on both squat and deadlift
                            • Coached and handled my own damn self
                            • Also coached handled my 17-year-old trainee; she went 9/9 at her first meet and everything she did was a USPA state record lolz

                            So my training somewhat went to shit the last week before the meet, but I didn't let it throw me. My diet also took a hit due to aforementioned bachelorette party... The meet itself was 3.5 hours away (in the snow), so we went for the evening weigh in. I woke up at 83.2, ate as little as possible and almost entirely liquids all day, weighed in at 5:00pm at 82.9, peed and stripped completely naked which got me down to 82.7, spent the next hour spitting and finally weighed in at 82.4. It was a weird experience that I never thought I would actually do, happened.

                            It was a relatively small meet, 32 lifters total. I got second in my class, out of I think four women. It was, generally speaking, a very heavy meet -- vast majority of lifters were above 82.5 (both male and female).

                            1st: 115 (three whites)
                            2nd: 125 (three whites, this tied my comp and gym PR)
                            3rd: 130 (three whites, horrific knee cave, but honestly RPE 8 and an all-time PR)

                            1st: 50 (three whites)
                            2nd: 55 (three whites, went fast enough that I was tempted by 60, but good thing I didn't because...)
                            3rd: 57.5 (miss -- got stuck halfway up. I was pretty bummed, but it was a good grind, which is still somewhat of a win)

                            1st: 130 (three whites)
                            2nd: 145 (three whites, this tied my gym PR)
                            3rd: 150 (three whites, almost laughably fast, all-time PR)

                            One thing I had forgotten about the competition environment is how much of a performance boost I get from eating simple sugars and carbs all day long. It's SO far from how I normally eat, and it's amazing what a bunch of gummy bears and a bottle of gatorade can do for me.

                            My trainee also had a great day... and since there were no records for 56kg 16-17 year old women, all her lifts were state records. Super fun. She commented "everything here is so much easier than at the gym..." I'm especially happy with her deadlift, which is generally her toughest lift. She had failed 72kg twice in the last few weeks, but at the meet 75 went up like a warmup. I had her run the BBM novice peaking template, and it seemed to work great for her. I had her do pause deadlifts instead of deficit, just to reinforce some form things we've been working on.

                            Overall, I had a TON of fun -- so much so that I went full YOLO and signed up for another 6 weeks. Mainly because it'll be in Long Beach, CA, and I'll be competing alongside my husband, my dad, and my mother-in-law!!! My dad and I have the same deadlift goal (350lbs), which is delightful.

                            Planning to keep on my slow cut, to avoid the weigh-in shenanigans. I'm hoping to be walking around at 81 by the next meet.


                            • #15
                              Great job at your meet that's so cool of you and your trainee!!