Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bump in the Road, and then a Steep Cliff

Not even two weeks into this routine and I've ran into a few big hiccups. I didn't mention this with my run down of the first week of 5/3/1, but after my last set of squats that week I had this insanely odd headache that I've never experienced. I could feel my heart beat in the back of my skull, behind my left ear, and every beat was painful. This lasted roughly 10 minutes and would strike at every proceeding workout when I'd finish the final rough few reps. Obviously I've decided to take the safe route and take a break while I get some medical advice, but this isn't the only wall I've run into.

Of course when something goes wrong, it tends to get worse. To share a little bit of background info before I share the story, I workout in my garage with a simple bench, barbell, and free weights. So me being the most brilliant lifter who has ever lifted decide it's a great idea to drop my 280 lb deadlift at the end of my last set, and...



This guarantees a decently lengthy downtime regardless of a potential injury. Me being a broke college student can't afford a proper barbell, so I'll have to wait a month or two and scrap up some change for a cheap replacement. As for now the plan is to focus on what is in my control; I'm going run more frequently and see what I can do about body weight movements to keep myself maintained. Until next time...

-tlf

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First week with 5/3/1

First week is over with my latest routine; I am finding myself more motivated than ever to put everything I got into every repetition. As suggested with the outline of the routine, I am using 90% of my 1 rep max for all the calculations for the first 4 weeks. I was first skeptical with the idea and believed I wouldn't be adequately challenged. But with this routine the last set of every day is a max effort, leaving me with more than enough carrots at the end of a stick. As I said before in my last post, I shall give the details on where I'm at and where I am going to aim to be at with time under pressure.

Weight/Height: 195lbs./5'11''
Body Fat: 15-17%

Bench Press 1RM: 255lbs.
Squat 1RM: 233lbs.
Deadlift 1RM: 328lbs.
Overhead Press 1RM: 159lbs.

When I look at my stats I always sigh at the ratio of my bench press versus my squat. As with my last routine I am taking it upon myself to get my legs to a respectable strength. I have only been squatting and deadlifting for the past 3 months, where as I have been doing some sort of chest work for the last year.

The goal I have in place for the next 3 to 4 months is to maintain, if not gain, my muscle mass and drop to around 180~lbs. I do feel my squat has the most room the grow, but that isn't my biggest concern for the time being. My diet is directed to achieve my first and main goal; I'm positive my squat will make the most progress regardless, but it isn't the focus.

I'll hopefully keep updating with progress every week, and if you wanted to read a detailed outline of the routine I mention the link is here:
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength

-tlf

Friday, September 2, 2011

Plan with Purpose

It's time for me to explain my mindset when putting the time in on my current workout regiment, and how someone goes about getting through their personal exercise routines. Currently I have 1 week remaining until I'm going to switch routines, which will bring an entire new set of expectations.

The first thing I did when deciding my current program was to layout what I wanted to have accomplished at its completion. In times past I would decide what workouts to do as I went, resulting in a real disorganization and loss of motivation when shit didn't happen instantly. Goals, in my opinion, are the driving force behind accomplishing anything, even when the goal is no where in sight. My goals that I set before deciding on my current routine was:

-Increased strength
-Corrected imbalances between my legs/back and chest/arms

It's a short list but it has clear long term objectives. This combined with continued short term goals is what I find most ideal. The program I chose was Starting Strength, which includes 5 fundamental compound movements and focuses heavily on squatting. From the research I had done this was a clear cut choice as it focused specifically on the goals I had in mind. I had full confidence in my program from the very beginning that no matter what happened week to week, the end result wouldn't disappoint.

Another major aspect to keeping focus throughout a workout routine is to track the progress. When I was several weeks into the program and had made poor improvements from the previous week, I couldn't feel bad about it knowing how much has already been improved. Simply continuing and completing a routine guarantees results. Whether the goals someone has is based on body fat, muscle mass, strength or whatever the case is, having all the numbers that represent progress towards the desired result keeps stress out of the whole equation.

I will make another post sometime soon with an outline of my next routine and goals/starting stats, all that good stuff. And hopefully log progress somewhat frequently.


-tlf