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Old 05-20-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
Brent Mattis
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1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

I started the Onus Wunsler Starting Strength Protocol 1 month ago today (4/20/2009). Now that my gains are slowing I figured it might be a good opportunity to highlight changes. I followed the Onus program very closely. The only change was I added the Diesel Crew Shoulder Rehab Protocol to help my shoulders (which I've hurt pretty badly before). My shoulders are stronger than ever (although still weak relative to my core). I've stopped doing it.

Diet:
I followed the protocol pretty close to a "T". GOMAD, lots of calories. Two shakes a day. Generally a post workout shake consists of Whole milk, frozen berries, 2 scoops of protein, peanut butter, and flax seed. My pre-bed shake consists of whole milk and a scoop of ON Casein. For breakfast I made a lot of frittata's using vegetables and leftovers for extra protein. I also made some bacon, sausage and other tasty bits. Lunch was mostly leftovers (I cook big dinners), perhaps some yogurt. Dinner was usually a source of protein (tuna, salmon, tilapia, steak, chicken, pork, crab, etc.), a source of fiber and carbs, (broccoli, asparagus, spinach, salad, etc.), and sometimes some carby carbness (a small serving of pasta, rice or beans).

Weight and Body Composition:

4/20: 182.5#, 13.7% BF, 157.5# LBM
5/20: 194.4#, 15.0% BF, 165.2# LBM

The increase in mass was very noticeable. My pants, mostly purchased when I weighed 160 don't fit me very well anymore. My shirts are all tighter. The extra 4 pounds of fat is mostly distributed around my rear end and abdomen. Starting Strength is definitely not good for someone afraid of fat. I look a bit "husky" which is a change for me, having been pretty scrawny all my life.

Strength:

I've made very strong gains in all my lifts. At 27, I'm significantly stronger than at any prior time in my life.

All lifts are my 5RM.

Squat: 115 -> 225
Press: 65 -> 95
Deadlift: 135 -> 215
Bench Press: 95 -> 120
Power Clean: 95 -> 125

The protocol calls for 3x10 back extensions, adding weight each time. The first two sessions I did my back extensions unweighted, now I'm up to 40#.

Chin-ups. My chin-up performance has increased somewhat. The fact that it hasn't increased more is unsuprising given my 12 lb increase in body weight.

Take aways:

I'm very pleased with my gains from Starting Strength. My gains have definitely reached a point of inflection, I can't add 10 pounds to my squat each week. I've failed on my Press twice now. However, I haven't had to reset yet. I'll likely continue with Starting Strength until I exhaust my 'easy gains', then I'll go back to Crossfit to cut my fat and rebuild my Metcon and GPP.

I'd like to thank all the folks on the CF board who steered me towards this program.

Brent

PS
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
Frank DiMeo
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Excellent job! Keep up the good work!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:56 PM   #3
Greg Pieris
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Great work! You'll surprise yourself at how much more you have in you over the next 2 months.

Something you could work on in that time is that your deadlift is proportionally quite low compared to your clean and squat. This could either be a matter of deadlifting infrequently on the Onus variation of the program, or too small increases between deadlift sessions, or you're squatting high. If it's the latter, which is true for a lot of people who back squat without a coach, fix it now to ensure your linear gains continue longer. Otherwise it's simply a matter of going harder on the deadlift. There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to deadlift at least 250 if you can back squat 225 to depth.
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:49 AM   #4
Brent Mattis
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Hi Greg, what happened was, in the book it said to add 15 pounds between deadlifts... which was fine for someone on the regular SS program, but for someone on the Onus program I should have bumped it by 30...

I went 135, 150, (then i figured out my mistake), 180, 215. My next work out will be 245, at which point my DL will be greater than my BS (as it should be).

Thanks,
Brent
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
Benjamin Smith
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Dude - I'll repeat what the others have said. I think you have a LOT more to milk out of a novice progression. I'll paraphrase something that Steven Low (extremely knowledgeable and capable CF.com poster) said on another board:

Milk SS until you can squat and deadlift 2-2.5x bodyweight, can powerclean over your bodyweight, bench 1.5 bodyweight and press bodyweight.

Have you checked out the original Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe (who teaches CF seminars)?
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
Brent Mattis
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Well Benjamin, I'll keep trying, but I don't know if I have the genetics to go massive like that.

I'm making solid gains in my squat. I hit 240 today and it was hard, but to be honest it was easier than hitting 235 on sunday. I don't know when I'll plateau.

My Press and Bench OTOH are VERY weak relatively speaking. I've failed on 100# twice in my press (after making linear gains from 65#). Today my bench press hit 135#, which I was pleased with, but the only thing keeping me from failing on the last reps of the final set was the knowledge that I had no spotter so I COULDN'T fail.

Thanks for the encouragement y'all.

Brent
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
Brent Mattis
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Oh, meant to add, I have read Starting Strength. I went by my CF affiliate and got an hour of coaching on my Squat, Power Clean, and Press form. Very useful.

Brent
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #8
Brian Dolan
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Hey Brent, great job! Where do you work out? I'm in the West Palm area, actually I live in Stuart but I'm a West Palm Firefighter and grew up in the city. I'm the opposite from you, I'm a huge (literally - right now I'm about 265) believer in Crossfit, and while I'm pretty strong, I've gotten stronger since really subscribing to CF. More importantly for me, my endurance is greatly improved and I've also managed to drop around 15 lbs so far!

Let me know how it goes for you. Are you planning to join an affiliate? I may call BGI in the future, but for now I'll stick to Golds.

Later, bro!
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:39 PM   #9
Brent Mattis
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Dolan View Post
Hey Brent, great job! Where do you work out? I'm in the West Palm area, actually I live in Stuart but I'm a West Palm Firefighter and grew up in the city. I'm the opposite from you, I'm a huge (literally - right now I'm about 265) believer in Crossfit, and while I'm pretty strong, I've gotten stronger since really subscribing to CF. More importantly for me, my endurance is greatly improved and I've also managed to drop around 15 lbs so far!

Let me know how it goes for you. Are you planning to join an affiliate? I may call BGI in the future, but for now I'll stick to Golds.

Later, bro!
I'm living on Singer Island, I train at the LA Fitness on PGA@Turnpike. It's globo, but it works for me, for now.

Before I started SS I did a month of CF at BGI south. Great people. Even if you don't join, I'd recommend just going there to hang out with them and checking out their setup, it's pretty awesome.

A year ago this week I weighed 157 lbs. It's pretty nuts that I weigh 40 pounds more (granted I'm about twice as strong over every muscle group).

I think my ideal weight is probably in the 180 lbs but I don't care. I'll keep adding mass until my lifts stop increasing.

Brent
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:16 PM   #10
Joshua Murphy
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Re: 1 Month of Starting Strength...Stronger than ever before.

nice job so far...keep us posted on your progress...
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