Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Lifting History (Part 2)

Over 2008 and 2009 I became a personal trainer. In 2010 I read Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. These days I don't think SS has gospel-grade merit, however it is a good place to start training and spark you're interest in strength sports, and it's what got me started on semi-productive strength training. On the forums (where I learned of SS), most guys seem to feel that on SS you should get to about 300/200/400lb on the big 3 in 3 months on the program. That never happened for me, and unlike most guys who complain about the program not working for them and ask stupid questions on the forums, I actually read the book, repeatedly, and implemented it. I don't want to pull the hardgainer or genetics card (which I think held me back for the first 6 years of training; I at least made some progress when I stopped crying that I don't have the genetics to be bigger or stronger), but I suspect that being so skinny all my life didn't put me at much of an advantage, and there are probably still some mental barriers hindering my progress from years of believing I couldn't ever lift half the weights I can today. Anyway, I didn't make the amoutn of progress on SS that a lot of guys report, although I did make some progress on the program, which is a good thing. In fact, 2 years later, I've only recently hit my first 3-wheel squat, as seen below:

I weighed in at about 69.5kg on the day, which I'd like to report is part-way through a cut -- I got up to 74.9kg at the start of September.

Since Starting Strength, I've done a few different intermediate programs, including Madcow's 5x5, Wendler's 5/3/1 and the Texas Method. I've found that I need more than 1 work set on most exercises to make progress, presumably because practice is good for strength and volume is good for muscle mass. I've tried different rep ranges, including 10's, 8's, triples and singles, and for a brief stint this year, I even did 20-rep squats and AMRAP bench presses, which I've got a video of below:

I've played around with high bar and low bar squats. Had I not done so I think I would have hit my first 3 plate squat a year ago, but I did, so that's that. I've played around with focusing on powerlifting and with focusing on olympic lifting. Turns out I'm even worse at olympic lifting than powerlifting, so I may not be doing much of that again, but here's a video of me awkwardly snatching 40kg. I did say at the start of this post that I'd be incriminating myself, and all video evidence of me ever trying out the olympic lifts is incriminating evidence against me:

I've discovered that I prefer to do my front squat Anderson style. And I've heard that this is good for olympic lifting, but I suck at olympic lifting, so don't take my word for it.

I've tried out different grips on the deadlift, and now like training with a hook grip, which I've pulled 150kg with the week prior to my 160kg mixed grip DL (see the video with the 140kg squat), even though my entire deadlift "training" for 2012 has reaked of this horrible affliction.

And now that I've undoubtedly bored to tears anyone who's accidentally stumbled across this page, I think I'll hit the "publish" button at the top of the screen.

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