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Old 10-24-2008, 09:47 AM   #1
Kekoa Kuamo'o
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Post Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

After an inordinate amount of time with various lifting routines, I have settled down with my copy of Starting Strength and found happiness.

This log begins about 2-3 weeks after starting SS and the gallon of milk a day (GOMAD) diet. I have goals of 250x5 squat, 315x5 deadlift and 135x5 press and 4000 calories a day. I'm about 194 now and although I want to follow SS to a tee, I need to be able to fit into the suit I had tailored when I was 188 since I'm wearing it to get married in December so I probably can't go much over 200 before then. Let's see how this goes.

I lift Tues, Thurs and Sat and try to be active on the other days.

Thursday, 23 Oct
4 minutes stair stepping warm up

Squat
45, 135, 175, 200 warm ups
220 x 5
220 x 5
220 x 5

Today was the first day I began to use the low bar squat. After watching videos of my form and comparing them to Rippetoe - approved vids, I diagnosed myself with high bar position. Switching to low bar was akward and really stretched my shoulders / chest, but feels much better. I tried 220 work sets on Tuesday, but only managed 5, 4 and 3 reps with my old high bar position. These low bar squats felt amazing.

Press
45, 65, 90 warm ups
105 x 5
105 x 5
105 x 5

3rd set, rep 5 was very hard but was able to grind it out.

Clean
45, 65, 95 warm ups
115 x 3
115 x 3
115 x 3
115 x 3
115 x 3

I'm still learning cleans now that I have improved my forearm/wrist flexibility enough to allow for the rack position. I expect this to improve quickly.

Assistance / Stretching
Hanging leg raises 5 x 3 short rest
Grip machine work
Did a few handstand push up negatives against a wall since I'm working up to being able to do an actual HSPU
Shoulder dislocates with a wooden bar


I recently bought lifting shoes and I'm beginning to notice the difference. I'm also very happy to have adopted the low bar position.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:29 AM   #2
James Compora
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

good luck with the starting strength. Nice looking layout for the log
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
Kekoa Kuamo'o
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

Thanks James. Here's the lift for today. Exciting day as it's my first time with 225 squats.

Saturday, 25 Oct
4 minutes rowing warm up

Squat
45, 135, 185, 200 warm ups
225 x 5
225 x 5
225 x 5

Here's a video of the squats today. Need a few inches more of depth it looks like, and my slip while racking the last set is why Rip says to aim for the uprights and not the hooks.

Bench
45, 135, 155, 185 warm ups
200 x 4
200 x 5
200 x 5

I had no chalk today and my hands slipped to the outside on the first set which I think accounts for the missed last rep.

Deads
135, 185, 225, 250 warm ups
275 x 5

Here's a video. I don't like what I'm seeing on my deadlift form. I'm keeping the bar over midfoot and the scapula over the bar, but my hips are pretty much above my shoulders and it looks more like a RDL. It's hard to keep the back arched like this too. I'm going to play around with it next time and try to incline my back a little. Also, this gym's plates are retarded.


Not a bad work out. I need to buy some chalk for when I work out at gyms that don't have any.

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Last edited by Kekoa Kuamo'o : 10-25-2008 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:12 PM   #4
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength


Good work today, a couple fingers are a bit numb from the stretch that the low bar position is giving me, but I'll live.

Tuesday, 28 Oct
4 minutes steppin' warm up

Squat
45, 135, 185, 200 warm ups
230 x 5
230 x 5
230 x 5

Hoping to keep going up

Press
45, 70, 90 warm ups
110 x 4
110 x 4
110 x 5

In SS:BBT, the press is supposed to rest on the deltoids at the bottom position, but I'm not flexible enough to get my shoulders out there. Consequently my shoulders continue to get tired having to support the weight and I think that's what killed the last reps on the first two sets. Any ideas?


Cleans
95 warm up
120 x 3
120 x 3
120 x 3
120 x 3
120 x 3

Still trying to improve flexibility for a solid rack position. I keep hitting my collarbone.

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Old 10-28-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
Ryan Whipple
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

Low-bar squats makes a huge difference, I'm glad you found them! The numbness is a problem for a while, but it goes away with a few things. As you get more flexible, it won't be as hard to hold the position. As you get stronger you'll have both the strength and the muscle-padding to make the bar comfortable. The same goes for the press and clean; very few things feel better than a clean caught in the perfect rack position. I know you're still working flexibility, but when I notice my catch getting sloppy, I think about punching someone with my elbows during the catch...that really gets them out there!

What were you squatting prior to SS? I'm not sure by your comments if you are struggling or not. If you aren't going deep enough now you probably won't correct that as you continue to get heavier. I reset my squat when my form got shaky, and I think I'm better for it. I'm getting close to the same weight again, but I'm much more confident. There's nothing wrong to low-balling your starting figure, but if you can improve your form while going heavier, more power to you!

And what's with people having weddings around Christmastime! I mean, I guess it's convenient because the family is already gathered around, but I'll be in Wyoming on the 27th...far away from you guys. I'll have to congratulate you long-distance!
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:46 AM   #6
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

I'm glad I found them too. It took a lot of videos and thought to discover that I had been doing a relatively high bar prior. Before I took an interest in correct squat form I was doing 225 for 10 reps of half squats. I then went to a 5x5 program squatting fairly correctly at 135. Prior to SS I was squatting about 205 for 5, but it wasn't sets across, it looked more like, 135x5, 165x5, 185x5, 195x5, 205x5. So doing 3 sets of 5 in SS, I reset down to 190 for the sets across and worked high bar up to 215. I was struggling from 210 and up with the high bar. Doing low bar at 230 feels about as hard as high bar at 200.

As Rip writes in SS, it is more difficult to get the same depth with low bar. He also says to keep working it because the act of squatting itself will improve flexibility and depth in the low bar position. I haven't posted my vid from yesterday, but I think it's about an inch lower in depth than the video I posted for the 25th. Did you get a chance to see my squat video from the 25th?

I'll add that elbow punch to my mental cues. When I remember to stomp hard I also seem to rack the bar better. Remembering that in addition to when to shrug and keeping the arms straight and throwing the hips forward is quite a bit, but I think I'm making headway.

I'll send you some pictures from the wedding too, I'm pretty excited about it.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:08 AM   #7
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

I did see the squat video, and one thing I'd like to know but can't tell from it is what your feet are doing. When I watch people squat in the gym, only 10% or so keep their weight on their heels. It's a really unnatural feeling to squat that way, because a natural athletic stance is weight on the balls of your feet, which allows for sudden movement. (When was the last time a volleyball coach said "weight back on your heels!"?)

I found that once I was comfortable keeping my weight entirely on my heels, and learned to start the movement by shoving my hips backwards, it was easy to imagine my body folding down and then extending back up. The solid base at the feet makes all the difference. When I judge parellel at the bottom of each rep, I also judge where my toes are. I can't really spend time to wiggle them at heavy weights, but I do try to pay attention to them.

You're right about stomping making a big difference. I do it before my heavy singles, and will do it before all my work sets once they start feeling heavy again. It seems to bother the row of anoerexic girls on the leg machines behind me, but most people on the platforms next to me seem to understand.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:25 AM   #8
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

I believe I am pushing through the floor with the weight balanced midfoot. I have some raised heel lifting shoes and it's really difficult to get on your toes in these shoes so they are great. When I lifted in squishy shoes I was able to wiggle my toes while squatting. It was a change initially to feel the weight on the heels but became very comfortable quickly.

I'm jealous that you have lifting platforms. I lift at Dyess/Sheppard gyms and they've got none. Can't drop the bar from the rack position which isn't much fun.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:11 PM   #9
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength

I hear what you're saying about lifting platforms: the base here has one squat rack, one smith machine, and oodles and oodles of other machines. I lift at the University gym since it's much closer (and the bike ride there is my warm up ) It has three very nice platforms along with one power rack and a few other goodies. I'm glad I have it...there is no way I would be lifting the weights I am now without knowing I could drop it if things get out of hand.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:14 PM   #10
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Re: Kekoa GO'ing MAD with Starting Strength



Chocolate milk is amazing. Especially since today's workout was brutal. I was a little sore from tennis and basketball yesterday and the weights took advantage of that.

Thursday, 30 Oct
3 minutes steppin' warm up

Squat
45, 135, 185, 205 warm ups

235 x 5 PR
235 x 5
235 x 5

The 4th and 5th rep of each set was a fight. It took a lot of willpower not to rack it after the 4th rep. My bar speed has been slowing for the past 2 work outs, so I may need to do 235 again next time. I think I also hit about 2 inches more depth than the last couple sessions which is nice.

Bench
45, 135, 185 warm ups
200 x 3
200 x 2
190 x 4
190 x 5

I wasn't feeling the bench for some reason today. I couldn't find a position under the bar to get comfortable and my grip and shoulder position felt weird. I dropped to 190 and tweaked the set up and eventually it got better.


Deadlift
135, 205, 225, 245 warm up

285 x 5 PR

Deadlift felt good today. I was very comfortable in my set up position and pulled all 5 reps pretty well. I'm glad SS only calls for one work set of deadlift though, I couldn't do it again today.

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