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Valentine's Day Massacre: Starting Strength again.

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by valbert, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. valbert

    valbert White Belt

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    I'm hoping that having an audience to my training endeavors will augment my motivation and shame me into being somewhat consistent. I've been lifting for longer than I care to admit, but have been inconsistent due to chronic lower back injuries; when I first started lifting, I didn't know anything about proper deadlift form, which led to injury and I feel like I have a much smaller margin of error when it comes to lifting form as a result.

    Anyways, I'm giving Starting Strength a go (again), but I'm trying to take core training, mobility work, and eating very seriously in order to avoid injury.

    Age: 23
    Height: 5'11"
    Weight: 170-175

    Current Routine:
    Workout 1
    A: 3x5 Squats
    B: 3x5 Bench
    C: 1x5 Deadlift
    D1: 4x(8-15) Chest-supported rows
    D2: 4x(8-15) 45 degree back estension

    Workout 2
    A: 3x5 Squats
    B1: 3x5 Press
    B2: 4x(8-15) Neutral grip pullups
    C: 5x3 Power cleans
    D: Ab wheel

    Goals:
    1: Stay injury free.
    2: Stay with Starting Strength until I can no longer make linear progress. That is, do SS until I stall, then reset, stall, and reset one more time.
    3: If I do get injured, train around the injury rather than getting depressed and temporarily quitting.

    Any advice, especially regarding staying injury-free, is much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  2. valbert

    valbert White Belt

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    8/20/10

    All lifts are in pounds, btw.

    Squat: 1x5/135; 1x2/165; 3x5/185
    Bench: 1x5/45; 1x5/95; 3x5/140
    Deadlift: 1x5/135; 1x5/190
    Chest-supported row: 4x8/70
    Back extensions: 4x12/35

    First work set of squats was hard and I ended up bursting some capillaries around my eyes, which always makes me feel accomplished. Second set was a little easier and the third set was easiest. Weird. May have been because I was experimenting with a wider stance for the first set and narrowed it for the last two.

    Bench was pretty easy. So was deadlift. I'm taking the deadlift very slow, since it has done so much damage to my back in the past.
     
  3. edco76

    edco76 huh? Platinum Member

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    Good luck.
     
  4. toonie

    toonie Tuesday

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    You should upload videos so people can critique your form and tell you what to work on.

    Good luck.
     
  5. valbert

    valbert White Belt

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    Thank you, edco and toonie for the well-wishes.

    8/24
    Squat: 1x5/45; 1x3/135; 1x2/165; 3x5/190
    Press: 1x5/45; 3x5/100
    Power cleans from hang: 5x3/120
    Neutral grip pullups: 1x10/bw; 2x8/bw; 1x9/bw. These were scattered throughout the workout. BW=175, today.
    Ab wheel: 4 sets from knees.

    Squats were pretty tough but my form was good, I think. I meant to bring my camera to film myself today, but forgot. Hopefully I'll remember on Wednesday. Press was pretty easy. Power cleans at this point are light and easy. Just focusing on form. By the end of the workout, my back was getting a little sore on the right side, but it felt fine an hour afterwards.

    For prehab, I've been doing a dynamic stretching routine prior to the workout with some dynamic stretches between lifts as well. After the workout, I try to static stretch my hamstrings, hip flexors, piriformis and adductors for 3 minutes per side.

    For every workout, I listen to two songs for my hardest set; I listen to the first track while I visualize the lift, get set up under the bar at 1:10, then commence the set as the first song transitions into the second. May they bring you as much pleasure as they have brought me:




    I believe that covers all the important stuff.
     
  6. freeski

    freeski Blue Belt

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    I too suffered from chronic back pain. I fractured my L5 in high school and never really got rid of the pain until I started strength training in a serious manner (about 1.5 years ago). Good luck with your training.
     
  7. valbert

    valbert White Belt

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    Thanks freeski. Did you do anything special in your strength training routine to make yourself injury-proof, or did you simply follow a conventional strength program?

    8/25/10

    Squat: 2x5/45; 1x4/135; 1x2/165; 2x5/195; 1x4/195 (failed on rep 5)
    Bench: 1x5/45; 1x3/115; 3x5/145
    Deadlift: 1x5/135; 1x5/195
    Chest supported row: 4x9/70
    45 degree back extension: 2x12/35; 2x15/35

    So, on my last set of squats, I got the first 4 reps fine, then on the fifth rep I went a little too deep, hit the bar on the supports I was using to spot myself which totally threw me off and caused me to fail: FFUUUUUUUU!!! I was mega pissed off because I'm pretty sure I would have gotten that last rep without too much trouble if I hadn't hit the support. I was about to rerack the weight and try the set again, when I remembered the words of tonight's post-dinner fortune cookie: "You may lose the small battles, but you will win the war." So wise. Anyways, I figure that pushing myself to do extra sets after I've failed is not really consistent with my goal of avoiding injury, and that in the long run it's not a big deal (possibly better) if I only increase my squat weight 10 lbs this week instead of 15 lbs. After all, getting strong is a marathon, not a sprint don't you know?

    Everything else went smoothly. Zero back stiffness, which is awesome. My right hip has felt really stiff and sore since my last workout, so that made squats a little tougher. I managed to get video of a set of squats and my deadlifts from today. I'm having some trouble getting them from my camera to my computer, but I'll get them up here soon enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  8. valbert

    valbert White Belt

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    Got my videos figured out. Form critiques are hugely appreciated.




    Things I'm noticing: On all squat reps, my lower back is less tight than I'd like. I'm not sure if the rate at which my hips rise is a problem; am I GMing the weight, or is this what Rippetoe would call hip drive? I think I see a little tail tucking, which is something I'd really like to avoid, as I think it has caused me a lot of grief in the past. Gonna keep stretching my hamstrings to try to eliminate tail tucking.

    I think the deadlift weight is so low that any form problems I might have aren't really manifesting themselves. I guess I don't really see any problems.
     
  9. freeski

    freeski Blue Belt

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    With regards to my former chronic lower back pain: I did a lot of core work...planks, over head squats, sit ups.
     

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