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Swoliversary

pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

So a year ago today I started lifting. My two biggest goals were functional strength and minimized gym time. Reading through various routines I liked the sound of a program called 5/3/1 (with a beginner's twist). I also found that it utilized big, primary lifts - which happened to pair well with a thing I heard others shooting for: the "Thousand Pound Club". Whelp, now I've got a 3rd goal I guess.

Here's a quick look at the weight I was moving 1 year ago today (9/30/15):
Overhead Press: 60lbs
Deadlift: 115lbs
Bench Press: 105lbs
Squat: 125lbs

The weights were intentionally on the lighter side until I was confident that form was solid and I wasn't going to injure myself. Fast forward today and the weight that I'm moving looks more like this:
Overhead Press: 135lbs
Deadlift: 295lbs
Bench Press: 185lbs
Squat: 275lbs

I had no idea if the routine was something I would stick with... if it would really allow me to get stronger at only 3-4 hours of gym time a week. Here I stand a year later, stronger than I've ever been and confident that every single hour spent in that gym has been worth it.

BlackHawkprimesuspectRyderCantiRahnalH102GnomeQueenTushonmertesnHumerusMegAnnesGargoylecolaIlriyasMassalinieRyanMMChurch4252
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Comments

  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    Are those your PRs? Or what you're repping? Will you be changing anything soon in your quest for the 1000lb club?

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    I will judge the outcome when I visit next weekend.

    _kMAGIC
  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    @Annes those are rep weights. Will look into changing routine after the 1000lb target is hit (possibly in 2 weeks).

  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Oct 2016

    Update, just completed a week of 1 Rep Maxes. Currently at squat/Dl/bench -> 335/405/215, for a total of 955. Squat and bench came out a bit under where I was hoping so I've got a little more work there.

    And here's a video I snagged of my personal best on deadlift from today:

    https://goo.gl/photos/9UqCkqhW4JadKD1i6

    RyanMM
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian

    Is this the thread for anyone to post their progress? I'm, uh, asking for a friend.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @RyanMM said:
    Is this the thread for anyone to post their progress? I'm, uh, asking for a friend.

    Are we trying to conserve resources here or something? :p We don't charge per discussion.

  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian

    @Linc said:

    @RyanMM said:
    Is this the thread for anyone to post their progress? I'm, uh, asking for a friend.

    Are we trying to conserve resources here or something? :p We don't charge per discussion.

    I dunno. On some forums, "this is the thread people share x" is the preferred format instead of "a thread for each person's x." Just checking what the preference is here. ;)

  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    Folks are free to post progress here if they wish, not going to bother me. In fact I'd love to hear/see what other IC'ers are lifting!

    RyanMM
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian

    @pragtastic said:
    Folks are free to post progress here if they wish, not going to bother me. In fact I'd love to hear/see what other IC'ers are lifting!

    Set a PR yesterday in a competition. First time ever to clean 175. Got it like it was nothing :)

    PirateNinjaRyanMMpragtastic
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian

    @pragtastic said:
    Folks are free to post progress here if they wish, not going to bother me. In fact I'd love to hear/see what other IC'ers are lifting!

    Thanks! I've been wanting to post something like this but I have had a really hard time celebrating personal progress for whatever reason.

    My swoliversary won't be for a few more months, but my dietversary came on July 31st. A year prior, I started tracking my weight daily, made a permanent diet change to incorporate lower-calorie but filling lunches and keep my dinner portions reasonable, tracked my calories daily for the first 4 months to really calibrate the idea of what I should be eating, started mild weight lifting to add muscle and increase metabolism, tried to do more walking on a daily basis, and cut back on alcohol a bit. After 9 months of that, I went into more of a maintenance eating routine, keeping light lunches 3-4 days a week and still watching portions on non-gym days, and went into a 2-3 times per week barbell powerlifting routine.

    I was hoping for a more drastic progress pic, maybe I wasn't flexing enough, but I'm damn happy with where I'm at and where I'm going. I'm functionally stronger which makes some aspects of my job easier, I think my quality of sleep has improved, and I'm dealing with more external causes of stress but handling it better.

    Progress pic, spoilered for size:

    I went from mostly freeweight dumbbell stuff to big heavy lifts in March 2016 and like Prag says, the move feels like a drastic positive step. Certain things that used to take a lot of exertion like lifting up and moving the extension ladder in my office don't even phase me now, and I spent 30 minutes on a ladder a few days ago mounting a 20lb battery backup to a wall and the only thing I have to show for it are some slightly bruised quads from the way I had to lean on the thing.

    A recap on my strength-training path and some milestones:
    2003-2005 - Some bullshit dumbbell stuff and floor exercises, it's been a while.
    2005-2015 - Jack shit
    August 2015 - Lifting free weights and doing some bodyweight exercises (2-3 times a week, 20 minute sessions)
    November 2015 - Added more compound dumbbell exercises (2-3 times a week, 30 minute sessions)
    March 2016 - Finally get weight bench and bar. Bump up number of exercises per session. (2-3 times a week, 45 minute sessions)
    March 19, 2016 - My first deadlift and barbell squats!
    April 12, 2016 - Deadlifted over bodyweight for 5 reps!
    April 19, 2016 - Switched up program to a Starting Strengthish thing (power cleans replaced with Pendlay Rows, 2-3 times a week, 60+ minute sessions)
    June 22, 2016 - First workset squatting over my bodyweight for all sets
    August 5, 2016 - Added 2 extra accessory exercises to each workout day
    August 17, 2016 - Deadlifted 1.5 times bodyweight for 5 reps!
    September 11, 2016 - Squatted 1.25 times bodyweight for 5 reps!

    Can't wait to see where I am in March 2017 after one full year of powerlifting. I've thought about moving to a 5-3-1 system or moving from Starting Strength to the Advanced Novice program, but on most of my exercises I'm still showing some week-to-week linear gains so I'm not ready to start messing with stuff.

    One thing I'll say is that I've had a lot better luck adding to my lower body strength (especially squat and deadlift) and have struggle to add upper body strength (press and bench, plus grip on deadlift). I'm stalled on deadlift currently not because I can't get the weight off the ground, but because I can't keep my thumb around the bar at the weights I'm at. If I do anything, I may add a third routine to the mix to focus on accessory moves to help with grip strength and the supporting muscles that could help with upper body work that aren't currently being targeted effectively. Kroc rows, kettlebell swings, and a few other things could probably help with my progress in other exercises.

    And because I love you guys, I'm gonna share with you the stupidest awesome thing you'll ever see: a Google "Auto Awesome" of videos I took a few months ago during a workout. This is the least action-packed video of working out you will ever see paired with music only a robot could have chosen. Enjoy!

    RyanFodderpragtasticUPSLynx
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    1. Deadlift will always progress higher/faster than squat, and squat over bench.

    2. Use chalk or an eco-ball for your grip.

    RyanMM
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian

    @Thrax said:
    1. Deadlift will always progress higher/faster than squat, and squat over bench.

    1. Use chalk or an eco-ball for your grip.

    It's not really slow progress, it's more like "stalled." I've added 2 lbs to my OHP in the last 5 months, maybe 10lbs to the bench. Not sure what else to do besides keep lifting the weights I'm lifting adding a pound here and there, do a deload cycle on those exercises, or find some accessory stuff to help.

    Chalk is overdue, for sure.

  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI Icrontian

    In the past, I've had luck with an over/under grip for deadlift as well.

    RyanMM
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Oct 2016

    Mixed grip is essential. RDLs and good mornings help with deadlifts. Deload can be useful. Farmer walk for grip strength.

    You may also be at the limits of what strength you can gain on a calorie deficit.

    Also: Learn hook grip while you can. I wish I had. Can't switch to it like it's nbd when you're pulling 300+. You have to learn it as a beginner.

    RyanMM
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian

    @Thrax said:
    Mixed grip is essential. RDLs and good mornings help with deadlifts. Deload can be useful. Farmer walk for grip strength.

    You may also be at the limits of what strength you can gain on a calorie deficit.

    Also: Learn hook grip while you can. I wish I had. Can't switch to it like it's nbd when you're pulling 300+. You have to learn it as a beginner.

    +1 for hook grip. Coaches have been drilling it since day 1 and it makes a big difference.

  • maliamalia Sconnie Nation Icrontian

    @mertesn said:

    @Thrax said:
    Mixed grip is essential. RDLs and good mornings help with deadlifts. Deload can be useful. Farmer walk for grip strength.

    You may also be at the limits of what strength you can gain on a calorie deficit.

    Also: Learn hook grip while you can. I wish I had. Can't switch to it like it's nbd when you're pulling 300+. You have to learn it as a beginner.

    +1 for hook grip. Coaches have been drilling it since day 1 and it makes a big difference.

    I just googled hook grip - how does that not hurt your thumb??

  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian

    @malia said:

    @mertesn said:

    @Thrax said:
    Mixed grip is essential. RDLs and good mornings help with deadlifts. Deload can be useful. Farmer walk for grip strength.

    You may also be at the limits of what strength you can gain on a calorie deficit.

    Also: Learn hook grip while you can. I wish I had. Can't switch to it like it's nbd when you're pulling 300+. You have to learn it as a beginner.

    +1 for hook grip. Coaches have been drilling it since day 1 and it makes a big difference.

    I just googled hook grip - how does that not hurt your thumb??

    You get used to it eventually.

  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    Personally, grip-wise I went with double-overhand deadlifts until it was basically not feasible anymore (losing reps). Since then I've switched to mixed-grip only for lifts that outclass my grip, which is usually the heaviest set or two from a cycle or a 1RM. Been pretty happy with that, but of course YMMV.

    RyanMM
  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    Also, awesome progress, keep it up!

    RyanMM
  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    Hah, this video seems terribly relevant:

    RyanMM
  • RyanMMRyanMM Ferndale, MI Icrontian

    This is one I had in my file.

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    The thumbnail from that vid made me cringe

    RyanMM
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    1000 pounds

    GnomeQueenBobbyDigi
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI Icrontian
    edited Oct 2016

    Is that you, @Thrax? I know they say Keep Austin Weird, but that's some real commitment for you.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    they told me i could be anything, so I became a refrigerator

    SnarkasmUPSLynx
  • pragtasticpragtastic Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    *1005 pounds

    RyanMM
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx Top EA shill, The Dean of Computer Graphics Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    edited Oct 2016

    Guess I'll give an update of my own.

    Summer of 2013 I had gained back a bunch of weight and hit 230lbs. Between post-AMD depression and unemployment, then a VERY unhealthy lifestyle at THQ (full of beer and BBQ, basically), and having completely stopped working out, it was pretty easy for the weight I had lost over so many years prior to come back.

    I got back on the fitness train, and stopped eating/drinking like an idiot, and tracked my meals heavily. Initially I tried an extremely carb-light diet, damn near keto, and found some progress. Long story short, I've stayed in the running game ever since and kept my diet under control, and I've had fantastic progress. As of last week, I weighed in at 190lbs, back to where I was after college.

    I'm running 3 days a week, and for the longest time I was running 2/2/3 miles. Last year I stepped it up to 3/3/4 miles on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday, and have REALLY cut down my mile times. Last month, I started 3.5/3.5/4.5 just to keep it interesting. I'm now doing 3 and a half miles in 30 minutes (could likely go faster but I don't really run for speed, rather consistency).

    Granted, I don't need to lose more weight, but I keep on running. I like to eat the occasional mission burrito or drink some beers, so I make myself earn it.

    I've successfully made (once again) running a habit that is super hard for me to break. Even on vacation, I've started bringing my running gear to make sure I keep at it.

    Sometime soon I'm gonna work with the trainers at my gym at work and get back into a lifting routine. I really miss lifting, and I think I'm at a good point to get back into it.

    2013

    2016

    _kGnomeQueen
  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Also, that was an awesome day :)

    UPSLynx
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx Top EA shill, The Dean of Computer Graphics Redwood City, CA Icrontian

    @RyanFodder said:
    Also, that was an awesome day :)

    The day we took the picture that made us facebook official! <3

    RyanFodder
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