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Staving off the decline 2<&half;>

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  • Staving off the decline 2<&half;>

    Since is down so often, I've decided to also mirror my training over here. Or, depending on how long the current outage lasts, perhaps Exodus is now the mirror!

    Please excuse the HTML tag in the title. I tried it with the thought that I'd just do an edit if it didn't work, but that doesn't seem to be possible. I guess going forward I'll just pretend it was meant to be ironic!

    Since this is my first log entry over here, I’ll share my training history. So please also excuse the word count!

    I'm 66, and have been doing weight training since 2015. Before that I trained almost exclusively for endurance for many years. During that time, I made a point of keeping my body weight under 155 pounds, for the sake of riding bicycles up hills as fast as possible, so at 5'11" I was pretty skinny and had little muscle mass outside of quads.

    Around the time I turned 60 I started hearing and reading a lot about sarcopenia and frailty, and had already been diagnosed with osteopenia, so I decided I'd better work on strength and muscle mass while I still had some semblance of vigor. I studied up online for a while and decided that, despite appearances, a certain curmudgeonly fat guy in Wichita Falls seemed to have the most credible program.

    And so I became an adherent of Starting Strength. I got a couple of coaching session from Paul Horn in June 2015 and started my SSNLP at S65/B65/D135/P35 (yes, those are in pounds!) for the proverbial 3 sets of 5. I mucked around in the StSt universe for a little over two years, during which time I (a) did a stall-ridden NLP, luckily helped along by coaching from Leah and TomC, (b) did an Andy Baker HLM program one and half times, (c) got sick for 3 months and had to revert to about week 6 of my initial NLP, and (d) did another LP, which brought me to 1RMs of something like 225/145/245/95 by the middle of 2017. During that time my body weight also ballooned from the low 150s to more like 175 to 185.

    By that point I had gotten pretty well fed up with StSt and their dogmatism and general offensiveness. Since then I’ve found this site and far more useful for training information and discussion. Starting late in 2017 I got coached for over a year by Colin Lambert, whom I met on Exodus, and while working with him I made quite some progress on the lifts while getting my weight down to a tolerably svelte 165.

    My wife also started doing the lifts, and she even went to Untamed Strength and got coached for a couple hours by Alan. (As a welcome side effect, she was also OK with repurposing a room in our house for training, with a Rogue R-3 rack and related stuff.) Another real highlight for both of us was attending the BBM seminar in San Diego early last year. It was great to meet Jordan and Austin in person, reconnect with Leah and Tom, and share and compare experiences with all the other attendees. Especially memorable for me was hitting a 10-pound PR during the deadlift session.

    Since the pandemic hit last year, I’ve tried to be real diligent about both weight training and cardio. I’ve gotten into maintaining a 9-day “week” with 4 days of the main compound lifts alternating with 4 days of cardio (two bike days and two running days), plus one rest day. I also do some sort of GPP/bro stuff most days. While keeping the schedule consistent, I’ve done quite a few different templates, including BBM Hypertrophy. Most recently I’ve been following former SSC John Hanley’s 12-session “Montana Method” program, which in very rough terms involves doing quite a lot of volume while keeping most of the work sets to @7 or lower.

    My current PRs, all from the last few months, are 245 on the squat, 175 on the bench, and 325 on the deadlift. Nowadays I consider the OHP more of an accessory, but for what it’s worth my heaviest press was 102 a couple years ago. So I’m still not remotely strong in any absolute sense, but maybe doing tolerably for a skinny old fart.

    Right now I’m on my third consecutive iteration of that Montana Method program. Today was the cardio day between Session 3 and Session 4. So, finally, my actual training log entry follows.

    Cardio: Cycled 54 minutes. Mostly flat route, with a one-mile climb and matching descent in the middle. Warmed up comfortably for about 15 minutes, then hammered the rest of the way, so it was probably in the neighborhood of 7-8 MET-hours. No GPP today because my elbows are going through a cranky phase.

    tl;dr: Old weak guy messes up log title, drops names of coaches, yells at cloud, describes bike ride.
    Last edited by JimR; 04-25-2021, 10:03 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JimR View Post
    tl;dr: Old weak guy messes up log title, drops names of coaches, yells at cloud, describes bike ride.
    Ha! Welcome, Jim!
    IG / YT


    • #3
      Thanks, Austin!

      Session 4
      Bench: Overwarmup 155(89%)[email protected] paused; work sets 115(66%)x10,10,10,8,7,7 (52 total) touch-and-go
      Deadlift: Overwarmup 295(91%)[email protected]; work sets 260(80%)x3x6
      OHP: [email protected], 85(83%)[email protected]; 7-minute AMRAP: 72x4,4,3,4,4,3,4,2 (total of 28)
      Hammer curls: 14sx8x3, swinging concentrics for less elbow stress, slow eccentrics
      Overhead triceps extensions: 25# platex8x3, supersetted with hammer curls

      Started sets every 2:30 on bench; every 2:00 on deadlift, curls, and triceps extensions; every 0:57 on the OHP AMRAP so as to fit 8 sets into 7 minutes.

      Prescribed rep ranges: Bench 35-55 reps in sets of 5-10; deadlift 12-18 reps in sets of 1-3; OHP single @7, AMRAP with 85% of the single; curls 3 sets of 8 with 2-3 RIR. I had a lot more than 2-3 RIR on curls but was keeping it light due to some ongoing elbow discomfort.


      • #4
        Cardio day: Walked and jogged for 55 minutes, jogged continuously for 35. Did my default flat loop in 51:40, which is about my average or maybe a tad quicker.

        At the start I usually walk and jog alternately for 16-17 minutes because it takes me about that long to settle into a sustainable pace. After that I can usually jog continuously, except for walking a little bit at the end to cool down.


        • #5
          Session 5
          Bench: 157.5(90%)[email protected]; 145(83%)x3x6 paused (except I forgot a couple times)
          Squat: [email protected]<<6, 205(84%)[email protected]; 196(80%)x3x6
          Lat isolation work with dumbbells and then bands
          All work sets @7 or less, starting at 2-minute intervals (I like that a lot better than trying to hit a specific rest period)

          Bench was fine. Squats felt pretty much the best ever. The single with 185 felt like 135 or less; I meant that to be a set of 3, but thought it was a misload and racked it!

          My right elbow has improved, but the left one is still bugging me. The program for today called for chinup AMRAPs, but that would have hurt a lot, so I fooled around with some lat isolation stuff instead. I never came up with anything that didn't make my left elbow hurt at least mildly, but kept it to a level that seemed like it was probably OK. (No more than 8 out of 10. :-)

          Prescribed rep ranges: bench 12-16 reps in sets of 1-3, squat 12-20 reps in sets of 1-3


          • #6
            It's nice when squats feel pretty much the best ever! Nice work!


            • #7
              Thanks, slowmotion! It's good to see you over here!

              Cardio: Cycled for 58 minutes. Windy morning, so it was hard.


              • #8
                Monday, May 3
                Session 6
                Bench: 160(91%)x1 @9 paused, 122.5(70%)x6x7 @6-7
                Deadlift: 285(88%)x2 @8; 250(77%)x3x7 @7
                Pushups: BWx12,12,12,12,10,7 (65 total)
                Curls: Just a few with 10s, trying to find a motion that didn't make my left elbow hurt (not straightening the arm completely seemed to help)
                Started a set every 2 minutes on all work sets. Several little owies, but felt decent. Last week I went 12,12,12,12,10,10 on pushups, but was starting every 2:30 instead of every 2:00, so I think this week was a slight improvement despite doing 3 fewer reps.
                Prescribed rep ranges: bench 32-46 reps in sets of 3-6, deadlift 18-22 reps in sets of 1-3, pushups 5-6 sets for AMRAP (I went for AMRAP total rather than on each set).

                Tuesday, May 4
                Cardio: Walked and jogged for 48 minutes. Jogged continuously for 32 minutes. Went really slow for the last 5 minutes or so because one knee was hurting a little (maybe from an old meniscus tear, or just random nociception) but still tied my PR for that course.


                • #9
                  Session 7
                  Bench: 140(80%)x2 @6 paused; 150(85%)x2 @7 paused; 140x2x7 @6 paused EMOM
                  Squat: 227.5(93%)x1 @8; 160(65%)x8,8,8,8,5 @7 starting every 2-3 minutes
                  Overhead triceps extensions: 25-pound plate x10x3
                  Template called for rows, but I skipped them due to elbow pain

                  I tried Peri-Rx pre-workout for the first time before this workout. (Watermelon, pretty tasty.) I just had a half scoop, thinking the beta-alanine tingle might be distracting if I went with a full scoop, but I didn't feel any tingling at all. I did feel pretty energetic while benching, and had never even considered doing those doubles on an EMOM basis before. They felt really easy, and the idea of waiting 2 minutes like usual seemed like a total bore.

                  Squats were a different story though. The work sets felt OK for a while starting at 2-minute intervals, but all of a sudden I needed 3 minutes and then felt a whole lot like stopping altogether. The program called for at least 35 reps, so in the spirit of self-reg I settled for 37.

                  Prescribed ranges: bench 10-15 reps in sets of 1-2, squat 35-55 reps in sets of 5-8.


                  • #10
                    Sat., May 8: Session 8
                    Bench: Overwarmup 155(89%)x2 @8 paused; 125(71%)x6x6 @7, starting at 90-second to 2-minute intervals
                    Deadlift: Overwarmup 330x1 @9.9 PR; 266.5(81%)x2x6 @7, starting at 90-second intervals
                    OHP: 72(71%)x3x8 @7, starting at 1-minute intervals

                    Wasn't planning on pulling that hard, but warmups felt just about the easiest ever and I figured what the heck. Maybe I was just well rested, as I had just taken a couple days off to catch up on teaching-related stuff.

                    OHP was supposed to be a 10-minute AMRAP, but it was getting close to bedtime so I toned it down a little.

                    Prescribed rep ranges for work sets: bench 35-45 reps in sets of 3-6, deadlift 10-14 reps in sets of 1-2.

                    Mon., May 10: Cardio
                    Cycled 56 minutes. Did one of my go-to loops in 51 minutes, which was a 2-minute PR and didn't feel like an outstandingly hard effort. Perhaps coincidentally, this was the first time I ever took preworkout before a bike ride or a run.


                    • #11
                      Session 9
                      Bench: Overwarmup 165(94%)[email protected] paused; 150(86%)[email protected] paused, started a set every 90 seconds
                      Squat: Overwarmup 225(92%)[email protected]; 200(82%)x3x4 @8, [email protected], started a set every 2 minutes
                      Band rows: (pink+blue)x12x1, (pink+yellow)x12x2

                      Bench felt great. Squats were meh; I should have gone to shorter sets sooner, because the only intent I felt on the triples was to survive.

                      The template called for chinups, but my left elbow has a special dislike for those. I did band rows instead, trying to keep my elbows close to 90 degrees and mainly just pivot from the shoulders. The elbow seemed pretty happy with that.

                      Prescribed rep ranges: bench 8-14 reps in sets of 1-2, squat 12-18 reps in sets of 1-3.


                      • #12
                        Cardio: Walked and jogged for 54 minutes. Jogged continuously for 34 minutes.


                        • #13
                          Session 10
                          Bench: Overwarmup 155(89%)x2 @9, paused; 122.5x5x6 @7, paused, E2MOM
                          Deadlift: 275(85%)x1 @7, 295(91%)x1 @8; 260(80%)x1x10 @6-7 EMOM
                          Pushups: BWx12,12,12,12,11,9,8,8 E2MOM

                          Prescribed rep ranges: bench 20-30 reps in sets of 2-5; deadlift 8-12 snappy singles; pushups 6-8 AMRAP sets. The template also called for curls, but I'm still skipping those because of my elbow. At least it feels better after working out than it did before.


                          • #14
                            Cardio: Walked on hilly trails for an hour and 40 minutes with my wife. We did some jogging in the second half.


                            • #15
                              Session 11
                              Bench: 177.5(101%)x1 @9 PR; 145(83%)x2x5 @7, starting every 2 minutes

                              Prescribed rep ranges: Single, then 6-12 reps in sets of 1-2.

                              The template actually called for a PR attempt. I wasn't giving it much hope, but warmups felt good, and a single at 93% was RPE 7 at most, so I gave it a whirl. It looks in the video that I took like my buttocks and the bench might have parted company for a moment, and I was so far on my toes that my right leg was doing deadlift shakes, but I'm claiming it anyway.

                              Still to do: Squats, some form of rows.
                              Last edited by JimR; 05-17-2021, 05:11 AM.