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iron_worker 09-06-2007 06:49 PM

IronWorker - SS gone WestSide
Well summer working out didn't go too well cause I was working around small towns so I did some cardio stuff but no access to weights while staying in crappy hotels.... Boo so my lifting has suffered but I did get to the gym in my hometown for the last month or so with a buddy so I at least got acclimated to lifting again.

Class started this week so its time to start up the starting strength program. I need to bring up my strength numbers and would like to add some bulk too. I'll be doing this program till probably xmas for sure.

Here is what we did today and remember I started fairly light so I'd have room to improve and so I could nail the form.

My current weight is 170lbs and I'm right at 6' tall. So I'm pretty lanky and I'd like to fill out some before spring break trip! I'd tell you my bf% but my little hand held thing is busted soooo too bad ha.

Workout A

bench - bar x a few? (warmup/stretch)
- 115 x 8 (warmup)
- 135lbs 3x5 (working sets)

squats - bar x 10 ish (warmup/stretch)
- 115 x 7 (warmup)
- 135lbs 3x5 (working sets)

standing rows
- bar x a few? (warmup/stretch)
- 95lbs x 10 (warmup)
- 115lbs 3x5 (working sets)

Accessory Lifts

- bodyweight 3x10 (I figured my tris were already warm from bench)

Sitting Skull Crushers (with dumbell)

- 40lbs x10 (too light)
- 45lbs 3x10 (felt pretty good so I'll work from there)

Leg Raises (one in the middle and one off to each side)
- completed 5 cycles middle left right for 3 sets

Cable Ab pull down

- 70lbs x 10 (too light)
- 90lbs x 10 (too light)
- 120lbs 3x10 (much better)

Felt really good to get back to the gym. Hope someone will check this out and comment on it if necessary.

I was gonna ask about how wide should I grip on rows? I was just doing the same grip as bunch since its the opposing exersize.
Also, should accessory be 3x10 or more 3x5 stuff?
One more question, when working abs is it good to have high reps or low reps?
Thanks for any help you can give.

Iron Worker

Ross86 09-07-2007 10:43 PM

For the accessory kind of depends on the exercise. For abs high reps are ok to tone, but to build big abs, you'll need to do weighted exercises. Squats, dead lifts, etc will take care of your abs. From the workout you posted, it doesn't look like you did any exercises to target your back.
You'll be better off choosing a workout program from this list:

Get your diet right also. Without a good diet, most of your lifting will be for nothing. Here is a good reference for bulking:

Looking forward to hearing about some good results
Keep us posted

iron_worker 09-08-2007 07:32 PM

Well I somehow managed to get sick so I haven't been back to the gym but I'm hoping to get back at it tomorrow. As for stuff for the back, I'll be doing deadlifts on that day and I could do reverse hypers for an accessory. My eating has sort of suffered due to being sick but I'm trying to get back on track.

EricT 09-09-2007 09:34 AM

On your rows just choose a neutral grip. Not too wide not too narrow.

The ab work you've chosen is fine. I will point out that IW is doing weight ab exercises, cable abs obviously and hanging leg raises can well be considered "weighted" unless you have feather legs. Stick with moderately high reps and don't do any accessories at 3x5. You might want to cut down the total sets of ab work right now, though and it may be prudent to cut it down to a minimum to see how things go and then build it up.

Get 8 or more reps on that and accessories. I would not do an additional tri extension after dips like that. Remember you are doing some type of pressing three times a week. So bench, dips, and tri extension is tricep overkill on the first day. Go anywhere from 8 to 12 reps on this stuff and you'll be fine.

Don't add "back" like extension until you see how things are going. If you are progressing on deads and squats with good form then there is likely no need for additional back work. You do assistance stuff because it's needed to advance your primary lifts.

Sorry to hear you're sick. Me too. Hope you feel better soon.

iron_worker 09-09-2007 12:20 PM

Thanks Eric. You always have insightful comments especially in these journals.

So basically you're saying keep it real simple to begin with and add on later as needed if gains are slowing or stopped. Alright well I'll cut it down to just dips for now and perhaps just one ab exercise.

I'm heading to the gym tonight despite my head cold (at least my body isn't aching all over anymore :) ) Here's my plan:

Deads 3x5
Squats 3x5
Standing Military Press 3x5

Pull ups 3x10
We used to do preacher curls after this but maybe I'll skip that for this time. What do you think?

EricT 09-09-2007 12:44 PM

^^^You're welcome. Yeah pretty much what I'm saying....keep it simple and add when needed. I meant to say 8 to 12 reps for "accessories" btw, not 6 to 12 (just in general).

Do 1x5 for deads. 3x5 is too much for this. To train the deads it is feasible to progress by increasing denstiy and adding reps here and there as long as this is not inducing a high state of fatigue or you can add a set after a good rest in lieu of increasing load. There are legitimate reasons for doing this. However for straight load progression just stick to 1 set of 5.

I would also point out that although Rip says, rightfully, that deads and squats can be increased by much larger increments than pressing exercises, etc. it is not always the best idea to increase load on these this quickly. As I've said before, quicker is not always better. One thing that people fail to recognize is that interjoint coordination changes as the load increases pretty much no matter who you are. What that means is as you increase the load very quickly week to week the relationship between the lower extrmeties move and the lumbar rejion especially will change in response to the increased load. No matter how much you try to adhere to a precscribed method and form this will pretty much happen. This is why some people feel like their "form is breaking down" as they progress in SS.

Problem is the relatively small changes can be big in terms of injury potential for the unconditioned muscles because of changes in starting length, etc. That's really one of the drawbacks of the starting strenght program in general. All of this applies to squats also.

Definitely a good reason to keep deadlifts to 1 set since the average beginner will be increasing the load very very quickly. When you couple this increase in load with mounting fatigue it's not a good prescription. Even without this deads are going to be the most metabolically demanding thing you do.

This is all just general stuff and not necessarily aimed at you in particular since we have a bunch of guys doing SS.

For ab look at Hunter's journal and see what he's doing now and what I posted in that (just so I don't have to repeat myself :)

EricT 09-09-2007 12:46 PM

OH and yeah I'd skip the preacher curls so you can concentrate your efforts on working the pullups/chinups. All the curls will do at this point is potentially interfere with those.

iron_worker 09-09-2007 04:33 PM

Well I have been doing deads before... except we did more like 3 sets of 5-8 reps... So do I still need to stick with one set? That seems awfully low.

EricT 09-09-2007 04:56 PM

That's good, I think, that you were doing deads like that before. But it's not low in the context of what you are doing. Keep in mind that on alternate weeks you'll be doing deads twice a week since I take it you are following an ABA format.

iron_worker 09-09-2007 05:11 PM

Hmmm well I spose you're right. I'll try out this 1x5 with some good warmup sets to start. See how that goes for a few weeks. Seems like the weight should be awfully close to your 1rm.

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