Decent gains yes?

Status
Not open for further replies.

BlackTigers

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2006
4,493
2
71
This is the end of my fourth week of SS. I have a partially torn rotator cuff that the doctor pretty much just told me to suck it up and deal with, which is why my bench and press is lagging. Fuuuhhhck.

I've gained maybe 3 pounds, but lose quite a bit of body fat....like a very noticeable amount. People I dont even know are making comments about my upper body now, which I'm totally cool with. Being a meso = good shit.


365 max dead after 3 weeks of the program.....can't complain. Aiming to pull 405 off the floor by the end of January. EAT EAT EAT.



161daps.jpg
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
8
0
Looks like you are making great progress, so keep with it. Only 2 comments:

1. SS uses the power clean, not the row. The two lifts are completely different and IMO, the former is a MUCH better choice for overall strength/athletic performance.

2. SS uses 1 set of 5 for deadlifts. You didn't list the reps of the exercise, so it's not clear exactly what you're doing, but it looks like it's usually 2 sets and sometimes 1 rep? You should probably stick with the program as written for a lot longer than 1-2 weeks before you start tweaking it, as any changes you make are likely going to make it less effective.
 

BlackTigers

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2006
4,493
2
71
Looks like you are making great progress, so keep with it. Only 2 comments:

1. SS uses the power clean, not the row. The two lifts are completely different and IMO, the former is a MUCH better choice for overall strength/athletic performance.

2. SS uses 1 set of 5 for deadlifts. You didn't list the reps of the exercise, so it's not clear exactly what you're doing, but it looks like it's usually 2 sets and sometimes 1 rep? You should probably stick with the program as written for a lot longer than 1-2 weeks before you start tweaking it, as any changes you make are likely going to make it less effective.

1) I have a lot of trouble with the power clean. I don't have anyone who I train with who knows anything about Olympic lifts, so I settle for the row. In the book it's an acceptable (albeit not prefect) substitute.

2) My deadlift schedule is wonky. In the yellow, that's where I pulled for max effort lifts (1RM). Every other deadlift number is a 5 rep set. Sometimes I did two if I felt I could safely pull more weight up, and I know it's not programmed for that....but it's not going to kill me. The first 1RM lift was me being pushed to pull the 335, and that felt good. The second one was just an ego lift for me. Losing a day of deads isn't going to kill me...as you see the increase in my 5RM was pretty drastic after that anyway.
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
8
0
1) I have a lot of trouble with the power clean. I don't have anyone who I train with who knows anything about Olympic lifts, so I settle for the row. In the book it's an acceptable (albeit not prefect) substitute.
Many lifters never had someone to teach them the power clean (myself included), but still do it fairly successfully. It isn't that hard and it wouldn't have been included in the book if it was impossible to teach it to yourself. Infact, the technical difficulty of the lift is part of the reason it is so useful: the coordination/balance/timing you develop from doing it is actually quite applicable to using your strength/power in real life. Also, if we are going to mention the SS book, you may want to pay attention to what Rippetoe actually says about substituting the row for the the power clean (pg 289):

"If you are avoiding the clean because you don't want to have to learn how to do it, it is suggested that this might not be the best way to approach your training."

2) My deadlift schedule is wonky. In the yellow, that's where I pulled for max effort lifts (1RM). Every other deadlift number is a 5 rep set. Sometimes I did two if I felt I could safely pull more weight up, and I know it's not programmed for that....but it's not going to kill me. The first 1RM lift was me being pushed to pull the 335, and that felt good. The second one was just an ego lift for me. Losing a day of deads isn't going to kill me...as you see the increase in my 5RM was pretty drastic after that anyway.
Obviously, it's not going to kill you, but as a beginner in your first weeks of SS, it isn't a great idea to get in the habit of tweaking the programming whenever you feel like it. The programming is setup the way it is because this scheme has proven to work best for the majority of people - any changes to it will most likely be less effective. An occasional 1RM is no big deal, but twice in your first 3 weeks seems excessive.

At any rate, good luck with the program!
 

BlackTigers

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2006
4,493
2
71
Many lifters never had someone to teach them the power clean (myself included), but still do it fairly successfully. It isn't that hard and it wouldn't have been included in the book if it was impossible to teach it to yourself. Infact, the technical difficulty of the lift is part of the reason it is so useful: the coordination/balance/timing you develop from doing it is actually quite applicable to using your strength/power in real life. Also, if we are going to mention the SS book, you may want to pay attention to what Rippetoe actually says about substituting the row for the the power clean (pg 289):

"If you are avoiding the clean because you don't want to have to learn how to do it, it is suggested that this might not be the best way to approach your training."


Obviously, it's not going to kill you, but as a beginner in your first weeks of SS, it isn't a great idea to get in the habit of tweaking the programming whenever you feel like it. The programming is setup the way it is because this scheme has proven to work best for the majority of people - any changes to it will most likely be less effective. An occasional 1RM is no big deal, but twice in your first 3 weeks seems excessive.

At any rate, good luck with the program!

I'm definitely with you on the PC thing, and I'm trying to learn it...but for now I use my rows as my heavy worksets. I'm having a lot of trouble doing everything smooth...it's jerky and my hip "thrst" after the initial pull is very awkward....I don't feel like I'm getting power from it.

And for the deads....the first 1RM was after my 5 rep sets. The second was after a warmup of 275(ish??)x4....which is still higher than my last workset. :p

That's the only change I have made to the program, I'm sticking to the T for the rest of it really. One day of extra deads did nothing but boost my confidence and give me more inspiration. Not what Mark says to do, but it felt good and made me feel strong. The 365 after 3 weeks was pretty awesome for me. I don't like tweaking the program, as the idea gets shot down often, but sometimes i don't feel tired yet after my dead lifts, so I do more. Eh, oh well.

The only other thing I do is sub in some dips or maybe some pullups, and I love to do lateral raises with dumbbells because my shoulders need a lot of work, and they aren't interfering with my progress, so I should be alright. I'm keeping an eye on everything for now.

Thanks man. Eventually I'll learn how to clean. =/
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
8
0
I'm definitely with you on the PC thing, and I'm trying to learn it...but for now I use my rows as my heavy worksets. I'm having a lot of trouble doing everything smooth...it's jerky and my hip "thrst" after the initial pull is very awkward....I don't feel like I'm getting power from it.
Only way you'll get better is by practicing it. A LOT. Dump the damn rows and just practice power cleans for 20 minutes each workout instead. Re-read the chapter in SS. Get Greg Everett's Olympic Weightlifting. Check out the Stronglifts Power Clean Tutorial. Watch the o-lift videos on the Crossfit Exercises page.

The only other thing I do is sub in some dips or maybe some pullups, and I love to do lateral raises with dumbbells because my shoulders need a lot of work, and they aren't interfering with my progress, so I should be alright.
Lots of people add a set or two of dips or pull-ups to the end of each SS workout. As long as they don't interfere with your main lifts, go for it. As for lateral raises, IMO, they are pretty useless. Heavy overhead and bench press (and dips, if you add them) is more than enough stimulus for your shoulders, especially if you have rotator cuff issues.
 
Last edited:

BlackTigers

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2006
4,493
2
71
Only way you'll get better is by practicing it. A LOT. Dump the damn rows and just practice power cleans for 20 minutes each workout instead. Re-read the chapter in SS. Get Greg Everett's Olympic Weightlifting. Check out the Stronglifts Power Clean Tutorial. Watch the o-lift videos on the Crossfit Exercises page.I


Lots of people add a set or two of dips or pull-ups to the end of each SS workout. As long as they don't interfere with your main lifts, go for it. As for lateral raises, IMO, they are pretty useless. Heavy overhead and bench press (and dips, if you add them) is more than enough stimulus for your shoulders, especially if you have rotator cuff issues.

Gah, you convinced me on the power clean. It just feels so damn unnatural for me that I lose motivation after failing 50 times on an empty or partially loaded bar. The other crutch is that my gym I usually lift at doesn't have bumper plates....and they don't like us dropping weights. =/ ill throw some pads down on Tuesday and just keep working at it.
 

brikis98

Diamond Member
Jul 5, 2005
7,253
8
0
Gah, you convinced me on the power clean. It just feels so damn unnatural for me that I lose motivation after failing 50 times on an empty or partially loaded bar. The other crutch is that my gym I usually lift at doesn't have bumper plates....and they don't like us dropping weights. =/ ill throw some pads down on Tuesday and just keep working at it.

Heh, nice. One comment though: it will be very hard to get the right feel for the power clean with an empty bar. I'm sure you can easily reverse curl 45lbs and almost any jump motion will send that weight flying, so the incentive to properly complete the second pull via a rapid hip extension is just not there. Instead, carefully load some actual weight on there and try again. Once the bar is heavy enough to discourage you from trying to pull with the arms, you'll be forced to rely on proper mechanics to complete reps and your technique will improve.
 

BlackTigers

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2006
4,493
2
71
Heh, nice. One comment though: it will be very hard to get the right feel for the power clean with an empty bar. I'm sure you can easily reverse curl 45lbs and almost any jump motion will send that weight flying, so the incentive to properly complete the second pull via a rapid hip extension is just not there. Instead, carefully load some actual weight on there and try again. Once the bar is heavy enough to discourage you from trying to pull with the arms, you'll be forced to rely on proper mechanics to complete reps and your technique will improve.

You nailed it...that's my problem. I yank the bar with my arms...because using my entire body for that weight just feels weird.

And when I throw a plate on there, even though the weight is absolutely manageable, it kinda freaks me out because I don't generally throw weight towards my throat.
 

katank

Senior member
Jul 18, 2008
385
0
0
Nice progress.

For the cleans, try to keep bar path as vertical as possible. Note that you're not throwing anything towards your throat but are instead diving under the bar. In fact, the bar should essentially be weightless and not move much in the air after you shrug your traps.

I had a lot of trouble with this myself when first starting out. It should come if you just work at it though.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.