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SpiralOut's Newbie Fresh Log


Yellow Belt
Feb 15, 2008
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So here goes, my training log. Some background for you: I got into lifting in college, did the curl monkey routine, with lots of isolation, different days for different "muscle groups" (bis, tris, chest, back, legs), and not a clue in the world. I burned out pretty quickly after I stopped progressing. Went to Law School, more laziness and drinking, without much hope for a physique or any kind of measurable fitness.

Last Summer, I started running 3 times a week, mostly to lose my beer gut and love handles. I weighed in at almost 170# before I started running. I set my StumbleUpon for health related sites. I came across StrongLifts at the end of 2007, and started training in early 2008. I knew immediately that compound lifts were going to be key to any progress I hoped to achieve. I cannot explain how I knew, but I believe it has to do with man's evolved nature to lift heavy things and use his body in conjunction with the mind to eke out a living.

I'm 5'8", right around 155#, with two months of lifting in the bag. My physique used to be skinny fat guy. Now, it's just more skinny, but I'm growing, albeit slowly. My goal is simply to get strong. I know that lifting right will produce and effect on my physique, and that's all good. But I'm focusing on 2x Bodyweight deadlift, 1.5x BW squat for 1x5, 5 chin-ups, 1x5 BW Bench, and .75xBW SOHP by my birthday, May 30th (The big 30). I try to eat as much as possible, and use whey as my only supplement.

Comments, Criticism, and anything else are welcome.

Friday, March 14th B Session

(I run for 5 minutes before I start lifting. Warm Ups are 2x5xEmpty bar, always. I then move up roughly 40# increments. Ie, squats 2x45#x5, 1x95#x5, 1x125#x4, then work weight. But I usually just post the work weight.)

Squat 160#

Overhead Press 90#

Deadlift 175#

Chin Ups BW
3,2,1.5, 1(jump cheat)

Didn't get 5x5 on squats, so I will retry. SOHP also. This is my second stall. If I stall again on wednesday, I plan on lowering the weight 10% the next session. Deadlift is great. Grip is the weak point; I have to reset it after each rep. I still feel like a beast doing them. Chin Ups are coming along nicely, since I couldn't do one when I started training.

Monday, March 17th, A Session

Squat 160#

Bench Press 115#

Bent Over Rows 120#

Dips BW + 17.5#

Wrist Roll Ups 7.5#
1, 0.5, 0.75

A good day lifting. Everything felt hard but not outrageous.

Now that's I've laid out my bare essentials, I expect the reports going forward to be a bit more personal. I'm laying these two days out from memory, but I expect I'll just type out my day on one site, and xfer it anywhere else I need it to be. I hope you've enjoyed reading, and I look forward to keeping you updated!
Another fucking lawyer.... Christ

Welcome and best of luck
Enright, I thank you two times. However, I haven't passed the bar yet. I took the NY state trooper exam and the bar in february. But getting the trooper job is probably harder than passing the bar, considering all the hurdles. Aren't you also a shyster?

Wednesday 3/19 B session

Squat 165#

Overhead press 90#


Chin Ups 2/1.8/1/2 (jump cheat)

20 incline situps

Gah. Squats gave me problems. After set 3, my right leg became sore again. Stretched, got into sets 4 and 5 with a dull ache, pretty much limited to the right quad. Ached much more between sets than during. A little worse than last week, maybe a 2 out of 10. After 20 minutes had elapsed from my squat work, the pain faded.

I have stalled on Overhead Press three times now. It appears a soft deload is in order.

Deadlift felt great. I made sure I wiped the bar thoroughly after 145# work. Work set was hard, but still manageable. Grip was a little loose, but required minimal resetting on the floor.

I have been using different bars for my chin ups, due to lack of equipment at my gym. I had to kip a lot to get my chin near the bar.

On a side note, I had the pleasure of going to the Sabres/Lighting game tonight, and watched our boys pull off a great comeback. I'm tired and off to bed!
Enright, I thank you two times. However, I haven't passed the bar yet. I took the NY state trooper exam and the bar in february. But getting the trooper job is probably harder than passing the bar, considering all the hurdles. Aren't you also a shyster?

Correct - but I'm kind of retired from chasing ambulances.

What are your plans? Are you going to private practice or gov't (I am assuming gov't)?

Also - buy a foam roller
Stick arms and legs and weak all over, but with a gut. Yeah, being a skinny fat guy is the worst.

Welcome and good luck.
@ZeroCrew - this is my first time stalling on the OHP. I'm going to try a deload down to 75# and add weight progressively from there. If I'm still stuck at 90# after the deload, I will give the Push press a try. But to be honest, this is my first deload, and I'd like to gain that experience before switching lifts.

@Enright - I have a job coming up with Sovran Self Storage (d/b/a Uncle Bob's) as basically an customer service/inside sales person. I'm hoping to get into their legal department, as they buy $50-100 million worth of property a year. I guess I always admired the in house lawyer gigs when attending law school, so I would really like to attempt for that before I decide on another path. But I have plenty of options, so once I pass the blasted bar, we shall see what happens. (Besides a night spent with a bottle of really good scotch.)

Thanks all for the welcomes! Its the first day of spring, and its snowing. I was hoping to be jogging outside on my non-lifting days, but nature has different plans.
Friday, 3/21 A session

Squat 115#

Bench 120#

Bent Over Rows 125#

Dips BW + 20#

Squats may need to be skipped on monday. After I did my squat stretching and warm ups with the bar, I felt a tingle in the right leg. Warmed up with 85#x5, tingle transitioned to light pain, maybe 1.5 out of 10. The pain was still confined to my right quad. Pain hasn't really been an issue before the work sets until this point. Since I hadn't even started my work sets, I felt very skiddish about ramping up the weight. However, I didn't want to do nothing for squats; its against my new religion. :p Sets of 10 went well, only struggled barely with the 9th and 10th reps. Back was very pumped afterwards, but pain in my leg neither increased nor decreased throughout the sets. Form felt great throughout. Leg pain subsided by the time I had warmed up for bench.

Bench required my full attention, but still good.

Bent Over Rows - I felt my right leg aching again after sets 3-5, but the ache was in both my quad and hamstrings now. Pain was at 1 out of 10 at this point. Nothing unbearable, but the fact that it is reoccurring has me worried, and that's why I'm contemplating skipping the squats next week monday; I figure I might need a little more rest. Rows were tough but doable; again, breathing out on the flex helped finish the sets.

I finally stalled on weighted dips, but I'm happy with my progress. Next wednesday I will retry with 20# to get 3x5.

Any advice on the squats and associated pain in the legs? I did light stretching after the lifting, I can easily touch my toes, and when I stretch my hammies in the seated position with feet touching, my knees are only about 1-1.5 inches from the floor, with my feet less than 3 inches from my crotch. I feel I have good flexibility, so I haven't really made an issue of it.

Also, Enright, what would I do with said foam roller? I think we have one at the gym, about 2.5 feet long and maybe 6" in diameter. (I've only glanced at it.)
Monday, March 24th. B Session. Happy Dyngus Day!

Hip Mobility/Glute Activation work - leg swings, lunges, split squats, supine bridges. Wanted to do more, but I had to grab my squat rack before the 4pm curl monkey rush. These are new for me, and I'm concentrating on form.


SOHP 75#


4 (30 second rest between each, held negatives)
2.5 (more of a parallel bar)
x5 -60# assist Pull up machine

Comments - Squat warm ups went well. At 165#, I was doing more of a goodmorning than a squat. at 135#, form felt clean, moved pretty fast, kept my chest way up and out. Will go for 140# 5x5 next session, and focus on form to prevent the goodmornings.

SOHP was fast and powerful. Hopefully I'll break the 90# barrier as I work on my speed.

Deadlifts were awesome. I mistakenly loaded 180# on my first work set. Did 5 reps, thought it was a little easy, checked the weight, realized my mistake. 190# was hard on the grip, but felt good otherwise.

Chin-ups still suck my balls. Next session I'm going for 3xfailure, hoping for 3 reps in the first set. See ya'll Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 26th. A session

Squats 145#

Bench 125#

Bent Over Rows 135#

Dips BW+20#

Parallel Bar Chinups

Squat form felt good. I'm really focusing on keeping my chest up and out. Didn't drain the tank on this workout. Bench was tough during the last set. Still got it to lockout.

I skipped the 130# level for Bent over Rows and went right for the plates. The bar was quite slippery, and I had to wipe it down after the first set. Still, wasn't going to get all 5x5. Next time I will git er done. Dips felt good, I finished strong with the weight.

I just read Keith's new post, and will likely incorporate his advice about switching rep ranges once in a while. I've also been thinking about dropping wednesday back squats, and starting to work on front squats. I did 95# for 3 reps after my squats, and I can tell I'll need lots of practice to get them to a respectable weight.

On a side note, i start my new job on April 21st. Customer service and inside sales, but after a while I hope to transition into their legal department. It definitely beats waiting tables while i wait to hear about the bar exam. All the best!
sounds like your making good progress. Your height and bodyweight are pretty much the same as mine. So i'll be sure to keep checking back.

good luck and keep lifting heavy!
Thanks Ktoph!

Friday, March 28th. B session

Squats 155#

SOHP 80#


Chin Ups BW
2.8, 2, 1.5

Pull Up Machine -60#

Form on squats felt really good. Had my heels planted, keep my chest up and out. Whatever was bugging me in my leg is no longer an issue. Next week i will be back into uncharted territory.

SOHP was nice and explosive. Almost caught my nose once or twice. two more sessions til I'm back at the weight where I stalled.

Deadlifts were good, but my grip is almost at its limit. I am still using the regular, non alternating grip for as long as I can get away with it, but this won't last much longer. Otherwise, form felt good, back wasn't too tight afterwards.

Chin-Ups and pull ups are the god damn devil.
Monday, March 31st. A Session. Week 12.

Squats 165#

Bench 130#

Bent Over Row 135#

Dips BW+22.5#

Parallel Bar ChinUps
2.5, 2

Incline Calf Raises 140#

Comments: Squats felt great today. I'm back to where I'd stalled a couple weeks ago. My torso was little forward out of the bottom, but I kept my eyes up, chest out, and corrected asap.

Bench felt good. I may need a spotter in the near future, but I'll determine that in the gym, not here. Bent over Rows went well. I was breathing hard to make sure I had a lungful of air to exhale on each rep, and I used minimal hip drive, all things considered.

Almost failed at dips in the third set, but I breathed hard through them and reached the goal.

As for Calf Raises, i was mostly doing them so I could check out a blonde who was doing some dumbell work for her abs. The calf machine was very conveniently located. The weight itself wasn't much of a challenge, and the reps may have been as many as 8, but I was distracted. Until wednesday!
Wednesday, April 2nd. B session

Squat 170#

SOHP 85#


Parallel Bar ChinUps (partials)

Cheat Curls 45#

Notes: Squats felt good. 175# shouldn't be a problem. I was using the squat rack for my SOHP, and some guy wanted it when I was halfway through my set. I rushed myself, and felt distracted. I'm going to try 90# next time anyway, even missing the last rep, as I feel I would've made it had I given myself enough rest between sets, and had my head right.

For the Chin Ups, I was bringing myself down to just where the bicep hits parallel, and then back up. I feel my biceps are the weak spot in my chin ups, as I really slow down near the top of the rep. I did a few sets of cheat curls at the end to address this issue. I may keep them in steady rotation; we'll see how it goes.
You're doing double-overhand for the deadlifts? Sounds like they're coming up pretty quickly, nice job.
Thanks Tamil. I am doing double overhand until my grip starts giving me real problems. So far, resetting my grip quickly between reps has worked well enough, if I need it at all. I didn't mention deads in my writeup this time, dunno why. I did a 8 rep set as opposed to 5 based on Wassung's advice to shake up the rep count from time to time. Next time I'll likely shoot for 210#x5, double overhand. My intent is to keep this grip as long as possible, to train my forearms as much as possible before easing into a staggered grip.

As stronglifts recomends only one set of deads after squats, I don't see this being a problem. Once I switch programs, probably around the end of may, when my squat hits 1.5x BW, I honestly have no clue what I'd like to do. That is to say, I'd kinda like to deadlift more, I want to start powercleaning, and I'd really like to work in some front squats. I also start new job in 3 weeks, so I'm not even sure what my schedule will look like. I am thinking either a 3 or 4 day split, but we'll see.

As it is, I'm just working hard at my squats. I walk into the gym with a 20oz bottle of water. I have to refill it after my squat warmups (and a light jog). I have to refill it again after my squat work. I feel like I put out more than 95% of the slobs or curl monkeys there, and I'm still so far away from accomplishing anything of note. But I continue on, safe in the knowledge that lifts that tire the fuck out of me are doing something good. Already, I have a pair of jeans that are getting pretty tight around the hips and butt.
This is a great log, 5 heavy sets of 5 thats what I like to see. Keep up the good work and enjoy teh gains!
Thanks Vince. It's great walking out of the gym knowing you did real work.

Friday, April 4th, 2008. A session

Squats 175#

Bench Press 135#

Bent Over Rows 140#

Dips BW+25#

Pinch Plates 2x10#
L46s R47s/L26s R 27s

Pullup Machine -40#

Comments - Squats were tough, and I needed a full 5 minute rest between sets 4 and 5. Bench was tough too. almost considered using a spotter on my last set, but opted against it, and no worries.

Bent Over Rows were good. I was using a bit of hip drive towards the end, and felt it in my lower back after sets 4 and 5. Dips were awesome. Heavy breathing on the last reps of last set, but I still started low and got lockout.

Pinch Plates for a little grip training, and then the machine to work on pull ups, which I don't do a lot of. I feel awesome today. I'm very happy with the progress I've made so far, and cannot wait to see how long I can ride this train.
My Birthday is May 30th. I'll be hitting the big 3-0. I had written down some goals in early February that I wanted to achieve by the big day. I am assuming a body weight of 160# by that point.

2x BW Deadlift - 1 rep
1.5x BW Squat - 1x5
1x BW Squat - 1x20
1x BW Bench - 1 rep
.75 BW SOHP - 1 rep
10 dips + 25#
5 Chin Ups
2 Pull Ups

I think I'm in a good position to achieve many, if not all of these goals. In fact, I am really only worried about the SOHP, as its been giving me the most troubles. My birthday lands on a friday, so I hope to give myself the gift of landing these in the gym that day.