Saturday, June 30, 2012

SM Day 12--Bench for 12s

Programming dictated 200, 175, 150. I ended up doing 200, 185, 185. Last set of 185 was for 16. Did DB Press, but not much because both elbows and shoulders were (are still) on FIRE! 50s for ten and 60s for five.

I may have to take a break after this cycle. I dunno. I thought I was done with tendinitis, now both 'bows AND shoulders are unbearable! Half an opiate and 800mg IB aren't even enough to dull the pain! Maybe I'll take a week off after I test my Squat 1RM on the 9th. Who knows.

Friday, June 29, 2012

SM Day 11--DL Singles 2 PRs!!

DL 455x1
Squat 375x1
Pull-ups 10, 8, 8 (BW)

Two PR 1RMs: DL and Squat! I didn't think it was possible, but f4 (developer of my program) pushed me to it, and it happened. I am getting sick of proving him right all the time ;-P

My grip failed on my first attempt. My gym doesn't allow chalk, but there was a hole in the corner that exposed some dry wall. Take THAT Work Out World! I nailed the second attempt. 451.9 was my previous PR, and that has stood for over a month (at my PL meet in May)! It is gratifying to bust down that wall.

I decided to take f4's advice and got a +5lb PR!!  375 was easier than 370 was.  Weird.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SM Day 10--Press for 20s

Crazy hard workout. From my Log:

"Presses for 20 were 1/3 awesome, 2/3 awful.

Set 1 (105) was 15, [20 second rest] 5 more. Set 2 (90) was 16, [20 second rest] 5 more. I basically did AMRAP for 5 on sets one and two after the rest. Set 3 (75) hit 20, but rep 20 was a close call.

Wow. Just... yeah, wow.

Other Lifts:
DB Bench 5w/65s; 5,7w/95s
BB Shrug 10x135,225; 5,10x300
Dips 13 @ BW (240); 6,5 @ BW+25lbs

Elbows both on fire. Left tendinitis is back, and right elbow is feeling like it wants to join the party.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Shoulders, Elbows, and Forearms are killing me today.  Especially my left shoulder and elbow, and my right wrist/forearm.  Oy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

SM Day 9--Squats for 4s

From my Log on SS:

"Squats for 4s were brutal, but I did them--sorta. 332.5, 315, 297.5.
Rep 4 on sets 1 and 2 were grinders. My back was practically parallel to the floor part way through them. Form problems and lack of strength equals dangerous squats that look like deadlifts with the bar in the wrong spot.

Other Lifts:

Chins@BW(240) 10, 9, 8
Kroc Rows,
P.Cleans 5x3@155
Glute Brdg 5x175, 2x5@185"

2 Week Review

Well, with the nature of the programming being fluid, changing week to week, not repeating a single workout all month long, I am drowning in uncertainty.  With Starting Strength, squats were done the same 3 times per week, and the others were done 2-3 times every two weeks, with the same set and rep scheme, so it was easy to see definitive progress through measuring the weight and difficulty of the loads.  I could look back and think "Last week I squatted 3x5@300, barely making the last rep of the last set.  Today I squatted 3 sets of 5 reps at 305 and they all went up easily--I must have gotten stronger!"  I know, this is intuitive, and not revelatory, but now that I am on Super Max, I realize that I took it for granted.  I find it most unsettling to not have the obvious, concrete evidence that either it is working, it is not, or I am doing something wrong.  Waiting 4 weeks for that kind of feedback is maddening--not to mention, I depended HEAVILY on the motivation gained from increasing poundage every single workout.  It kept me coming back for more.

However, since (with the exception of squat 12s, which I blame on poor nutrition and recovery the preceding weekend) I have MET or EXCEEDED all the recommended lifts from the program's formulae, that DOES somewhat help in the satisfaction/motivation department.  If DOMS are any indicator, I am doing alright as well (especially regarding DLs), although DOMS can be just as indicative of poor rest and nutrition as a good workout.

Another side effect of this uncertainty born of a lack of repetition is increased jitteriness.  On SS, I was always eager to get back to the gym.  With such gains that SS offered--linear in nature--I was always so pumped and ready to go back that rest days were torture sometimes.  Weekends, which had TWO CONSECUTIVE rest days were agony!!  Pile on the uncertainty of SM, and every day makes me more manic than the last.  Weight training has clearly had some adverse psychological effects on me.

All in all, I am enjoying SM.  I really only typed this up to get it off my chest so that I could focus on the parts of SM that I like.  The novelty can't be discounted as well.  I just hope that by the end of day 1 of the second cycle, I will be able to have something REALLY good to say about it.  If I squat less than 405 for a 1RM on July 9th, I'll be ÜBER unhappy.*

*EDIT--This used to say "on July 2nd" but I had made a mistake looking at the calendar.  July 2nd is week four of SM, and Singles aren't until July 9th, which is week one of Cycle Two!  Oops!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bacon Tuna Sandwich

New Favorite(ish*) sandwich: Tuna, Mayo, Onion and Garlic salts, touch of mustard, topped with a thick layer of maple flavored bacon.

*There are lots of sandwiches that are "more favorite," but this one happens to my favorite using the ingredients that are in the house right now.  Some guac would go really well with this.  Mmmm....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

SM Day 8--Bench for Singles

From my Log on SS:

"Bench Singles. Programming called for 225, 235, and 247.5. My third attempt at the PL meet last month was 253.3. Haha! I did 225, 265, 270, 275.

I got a new PR (with a pause at the bottom) at 275 lbs. I looked at the video and I was horrified! No arch. No contraction of the shoulder blades. No leg drive. I was displeased with myself, so I went up 2.5 pounds and used proper form. Failed, though. Still, I am pretty stoked about the progress!

Other Lifts:
DB Bench w/95s 1x7
DB OHP w/45s 2x10, 1x8."

Updated PL Total: 1096.95 ... soooo close to 1100!  Only 100 more pounds to go before I hit my 2012 goals!

DLs for 20 Video

Sorry I didn't get this up sooner--I ran into some issues.  Here is the video:

Friday, June 22, 2012

SM--Day 7: Deadlifts for TWENTY (TWO)!!

The dreaded 20 rep Deadlifts!!

From the best thread on Starting Strength:

DL 20s became DL 22, and I could have done a couple more, I am sure. Why didn't I? Because deadlifts for 22 reps sucked bloated, infected monkey testes--that's why! 292.5 went up 13ish times before I became uncertain whether I had lost count or not. So, I went until I thought I was at twenty, and did 2 more for good measure. Turns out, I didn't lose count. No oxygen to the brain plays funny tricks on one's self.

Video forthcoming--I didn't have my camera, so I used my phone and my msd card reader is busted, PC doesn't have btooth, don't have a smart phone to email it, and the file is too big to text to myself.

DLs were followed by Hatch LB squats: 10x225, 8x245, 6x265, 4x285. These sucked. Rounded the workout off with 3x8 BW Pull-ups. BW=240, still.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SM Day 6--Presses for 4

I owned the programming today!!

Programming dictated Presses for 4s @ 142.5, 135, and 127.5.

I got 142.5x7; 145x6; 147.5x6!!!


Other Lifts:
DB Bench 2x5 w/95s
Shrugs 2x5@285
Dips 3x12[/QUOTE]

Monday, June 18, 2012

SM Day 5--Squats for 12s

Squat 12x280,245,210
Chins 3x11
Rows 3x20 w85s
P. Cleans 5x3@140
Glute Brdg 3x5@145

Squats for 12 were not meant to be after Crazy Stupid DLs on Thursday--still not recovered. Programming dictated 12x280,250,210. 280 got 6, 250 got 10, and 210 got 12 ugly reps. So, for penance, I said some Hail Singles afterwards, per Father Pathway: 275, 315, 335. Could have done more, but some big sleeved up homies were eyeing me and the only squat rack in the joint.

Squat 280x6, 250x10, 210x12.  Singles: 275, 315, 335.
Chins 11, 8, 8
Rows 3x20 w85s
P. Cleans 5x3@145
Glute Brdg 3x5@145

Saturday, June 16, 2012

SM Day 4--Bench for 20s.

Good day.  Bench 20 rep sets burned a lot, especially in my shoulders and triceps.

Program dictated 20x175, 150, 125.
175 went up, but shoulders and tris burned like C-Razy! 150 went up slightly easier, but burned more. I decided going below 135 was an effrontery to my Joosey Manliness, so I tried for 135 instead of 125, and pumped out 25... boo-ya!

Bench 20x175, 150, 125
DB Press 3x10 w/40s

Friday, June 15, 2012

SM Day 3--Deadlifts for 4

Excerpt from the best thread on

"That felt like quite possibly the hardest [anaerobic] workout I've ever done. 3 sets of 4 reps DL: 397.5, 377.5, 357.5; FOLLOWED by hatch squats??? Yeah right. The Hatch formual I used dictated 245x10, 255x8, 275x6, 300x4. That was not going to happen (I hadn't factored in that I'd be bloody dying from DLs). I did 135x5, 185x3, 225x1, 245x5, 265x5 and was one foot in the grave so I did 3x8 BW Pull-ups and shuffled my way to the car, cursing f4, hatch, and Minnesota humidity the whole way.

Even now, I can hardly support myself in this chair."

So, some adjustments to the programming are in order so I don't kill myself with squats after CRAZY DLs on Fridays.

In an unrelated note, I am thinking of doing one of those "Pic a day" or "Pic a week" things... might be cool.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rip Interviews Ed Coan

Champion of the Novice Lifters interviews the Greatest Strength Athlete of all time and his Coach.

Super Max

I can't say enough good things about Starting Strength.  If you're new to lifting, new to lifting correctly, or are still a novice* lifter, you gotta check it out.  

I am super excited for this new program, though.  Super Max promises to be an amazing program.  If you're an intermediate lifter, you should check it out and seriously consider trying it for a cycle or two.

*"Novice lifter" is a deceiving term.  Being "novice" is not a commentary on your expertise or familiarity with lifting weights, proper form, or what the various exercises are for.  "Novice," "intermediate," and "advanced" all refer to one's recovery. There are LOTS of factors and variables when discussing recovery, such as nutrition, rest periods, age, testosterone levels, etc.  But, assuming your nutrition and rest are sufficient for optimal recovery for someone of your age and hormone levels, then a "novice" is someone whose weights are "light" (another relative term) enough that you can follow a novice program (like Starting Strength) with little-to-no DOMS (of course, if you're new to working out, you'll always have muscle soreness to begin with, so don't do two weeks of SS and then think you're not a novice because you're sore).  I moved on to SM, not because I thought my novice period (also known as Linear Progression, or LP: the concept that you can continue to add weight--usually 2.5 to 5 lbs--to all the core exercises each workout; again assuming your nutrition and rest are adequate) was exhausted, but because work, family, and other obligations dictated that I will not be able to eat and sleep enough to sustain LP.

SM Day 2--Presses for 12

Excerpt from the best thread on

"12 Set Presses were awesome. Programming dictated 120, 105, 90. When I got there, a person (who was using the rack) who knows I usually go straight for the rack said "I'll be done in a minute." I laughed and told him I was on a new program and was not squatting today. I got to telling him about it, and he choked when I told him about the 20 rep sets. We chatted about it a moment, and then I got to warming up for the 12s... but at this point, all the conversation about 20s got into my head. By the time I warmed up to 120... I had it in my mind that I was doing a 20. I got to 14 and started cursing f4's formula for making me do 20s at this weight. I gave up, not getting the 14th all the way up, and realized--I was on 12s!! HAHA!! Stupid mistake, but it was a great feeling knowing I hit 14.
I got 12 exactly on 105, but felt [so] good when about to do 90 that I went up 5 lbs and did 16@95. Good day."

Other lifts today:
BB Shrugs 285x5, 8
BW Dips 12, 12, 11

It was a short day, but I did skip Core and Bike.  Also, since I am now on a four day split rather than a three, some days will feel shorter anyway.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking Back

So, with my time in Starting Strength over, here are the final numbers for my progress during the last 12 months.

Excerpt from my LOG
As of last week, I decided to move on from SS. In 12 months my stats increased thus:
  • Squat 125>370
  • Bench 165>253.5 (I was doing 165 with bad form, hit 295, and decided to deload to doing PL form sometime in late April)
  • Row 75(Barbell)>20x85s (One-arm Dumbbell "Kroc" row)
  • P.Clean NA>3x5@170 (About January)>145 today. I stopped doing them for a while and just started again.
  • Press 85>185x1 (February?)>3x5@135 last week-ish. I got injured.
  • Deadlift 120>451.95
  • Body Weight (BW): 205>240
Hopefully I will see similar increases using Super Max.  My consistency, nutrition and recovery was not such that I had the gains I could have had with SS in the last year.  Hopefully, although gains should be slow now that my numbers are up, with better consistency, nutrition and recovery, I will be able to make similar gains to the last 12 months.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 1 of SM

My first day on Super Max, and it went really well. I suppose, since it was Squat Singles, that doesn't mean much--the real test will be 20 rep DLs next Friday.  But I DID hit a new Squat 1RM PR@370lbs.  I am super stoked!!  New "short term" goal: 405x1 on July 2nd.

MONDAY 6.11.12
Squat 1x315, 332.5, 350, 360, 370, 315, 315
Chins 3x10
Kroc Rows 20x85s, 2x15x85s
P.Cleans 2x3@135, 3x3@145
Glute Bridge 8x135, 8x145

Saturday, June 9, 2012

1st PL Meet

This is a post from my old blog.  It is a several weeks old, but I thought it was applicable, so I am including it here since I am dismantling my old blog:

I have decided to enter some powerlifting meets while I am in MN for the summer.  My first one ever was last weekend (Twin Ports Raw Open - Saturday, May 12, 2012 @ The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN) and it was a blast!!

Squat: 1st attempt of 145kg went up easily. 2nd of 155kg also was a breeze, but I forgot to wait for the "Rack" command, so I got red-lighted. I was going to try for 165 for my 3rd, but since I got a little flustered by the failed 2nd, I decided to just try for 157.5kg for my 3rd, which I got. It was still a 2lb PR.
Bench: 1st attempt of 100kg was simple. Since trying PL Form on bench, I have been keeping my "pinky" finger inside the 81cm, but I found out at the meet that it is the index finger, so I got almost a full hand width extra on each side!! 105kg went up so easily on my 2nd that the head judge laughed at me... haha! 3rd attempt made me feel like I should have tried for more: 115kg.
DL: 1st 185kg; 2nd, 195kg; 3rd, 205kg (+22lb PR!). On the 3rd attempt, the head judge said "Wait--you haven't worn a belt all meet... how do you do that?"

Meet total: 1057.7 lbs

Everyone was so nice, helpful, and encouraging--and not just because I was clearly not a threat, haha! It was a great experience.

Event Site: USAPL-TPRO

The Vid is 3rd Attempts only.

Project Joosification

I am Justin.  Joose is my nickname--and more.  It is kind of like the Platonic Ideal of what Justin can be.  Herein lies the recorded process of becoming Joose--at least physically.
Joose is pronounced phonetically like Juice.  It is only a coincidence that it sounds like the common nickname for anabolic steroids.  At this point, I have not ever used - nor to I plan on ever using - steroids.  Never say never, though, right?

This is my blog to chronicle my journey through various aspects of fitness.  I have been doing Starting Strength somewhat consistently for one year this month.  My success is diminished by how much MORE success I should/could have had.  I am now switching to THIS program.  We'll see how it goes.

My goals for 2012: 
*1200 PL total--s/b/dl in pounds (400/300/500)

2013 goals:
*1500 PL total--(500/400/600)
*Get blood pressure and cholesterol under control
*Six pack

2014 goals:
*Cycle a century in under 6 hours

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