Day 46, Squat and Bench PRs!

While I didn’t blog yesterday, I was very focused on my goals. I mapped out the next 4 weeks of lifting, went for a run, read about the Greyskull LP program and watched a few videos of Mark Rippetoe explaining just about everything about everything.

After today, I have 11 more gym sessions before my next day off. If I continue to progress linearly without any stalling these are my projected stats:

  • Squat: 260
  • Press: 130
  • Bench: 210
  • Dead: 280

Looking at these numbers scares the shit out of me and I think setting these as my goals for the month is a bit too optimistic. Assuming I stall a few times, here’s where I think I will be:

  • Squat: 240
  • Press: 115
  • Bench: 195
  • Dead: 275

Still impressive stats for me. But I’m hesitant to set these as my goal stats. It’s hard to walk the line between difficult but reachable goals and setting expectations so high that failure is inevitable. On day one, my original weight lifting goal was 225 squat and I think it’s reasonable to reach this within the next 11 sessions.

Also notice that I haven’t mentioned barbell rows. I really haven’t been doing them and I thinking that I will continue to ignore them as opposed to dropping squats to 2x week. Since recovery doesn’t seem to be an issue yet, I would like to keep squatting 3x a week until I can no longer progress that quickly. So the only thing I’m still thinking about is whether or not to do deadlifts every session. I think the answer is “probably not” but I feel like I haven’t done enough on days when I only squat and bench. Time will tell… it always does!

2015-05-08 07.08.03So as for today, I was able to progress in both the squat (205 x 5 x 3) and bench (185 x 5 x 3). I found a spotter for the bench and I’m glad I did. With my shoulder still bugging out on me I wouldn’t have had enough confidence to push and get all the reps. The final set I did 6 reps with a little bit of help on the last one. The problem I have with getting a spotter is that my social anxiety kicks in (especially in a gym full of guys 20 years younger than me) and I feel guilty for bothering someone. Clearly I have to get over this though since I can’t really bench any more weight without help.

In other news, I started taking a thermogenic called Shred Jym. I’m pretty much a sucker for supplement marketing even though I know better. A very long time ago I had great success on a fat burner called “Phen Free”. It contained caffeine, L-Tyrosine, synephrine and cayenne pepper. Flash forward 15 years later, I found a thermogenic made by Jim Stoppani called Shred Jym. It has caffeine, L-Tyrosine, synephrine, cayenne pepper, Acetyl L-carnitine and Green tea. So I decided to give it a try. I took half the dose yesterday and didn’t notice much of a caffeine buzz so I think I should be able to tolerate the full dose right away.

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On workout days I will still take 1 scoop of my PWO and sip my iced coffee during the workout. Then I will take this supplement before lunch and again around 3pm. Taking the second dose later should be ok since I don’t have to get up as early on non-workout days. Then on days when I don’t go to the gym I’ll take the first dose before I wake up and the second before lunch. Supposedly there is an appetite suppressant in the formula so we’ll see if that happens today.

Will this help? I don’t really know, but I’m going to give it a solid effort for the next month and see…

*UPDATE*

Shred Jym might be worth my time. After taking a full dose I got a little nauseous (probably because I hadn’t eaten in 2.5 hours), but that quickly passed and I found myself enjoying a very steady and stable energy surge, not jittery at all. I am not a caffeine novice so 200 mg on top my morning coffee was ok for me. I also noticed that by the time I had walked to my lunch destination, I really wasn’t starving for a meal. So hopefully the appetite suppressant will be effective. I plan to take the next dose around 3:30 with my afternoon snack. We’ll see if anything changes…

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Day 10, Improved Squat Form

Scale at home read 208 again, while the gym scale read 205. Is it possible that I’m losing 3 pounds of water weight during my workouts?

Squats were much better today. I studied a squat coaching video with Mark Rippetoe (the founder of the Starting Strength program) and tried to focus specifically on 1) bar position, 2) feet position and 3) using hip drive for the primary movement. I didn’t concentrate on getting below parallel, but I’m pretty sure I got down pretty far. Added 5 pounds since Monday so 140 x 5 x 3. Still 20 pounds less than what I was doing in February but lighter weights = better form. On Friday I will try to make a new video of my form to compare to last Friday.

After squats I did overhead press 70 x 5 x 3. The movement is much easier after watching Rippetoe explain that the movement should involve the “hips moving horizontally with locked knees“. Once I tried adding this movement to the reps, the weight seemed lighter and I didn’t strain my neck as much.

Finally, I hit a deadlift PR of 195 x 5 x 1, which was pretty satisfying.

The weather is finally resembling spring and my hot tub is back in action. So I hope to add a bit of cardio and some moist heat therapy to my life very soon.