A Semi-Newbie's Training Log - HST/Stronglifts Hybrid

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by TangoDown, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. I find that especially for my heavy days, there are so many factors that impact my workouts. I think I'm older than you (35), so maybe my body is more sensitive to these things than you, so keep that in mind.
    1. Sleep. Crappy sleep (less than 8 hours) 1 or even 2 days before a workout and I see a negative impact.
    2. Food. Crappy nutrition within the 24 hours prior to a heavy workout and I see a negative impact.
    3. Stress. Too much stress (for me, mostly job related) and my workout suffers.
    4. Time of day. I've noticed that my "sweet spot" is right around 3-4pm. Too early or too late and I see a negative impact.

    So, I guess what i'm saying is, try not to be too disapointed with a single "bad" workout because there are so many things that could have caused it that are not purely muscle strength.

    Hope this helps!
  2. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Thanks for the input. I'm a couple months short of 20 so I could probably run on Ramen noodles, Rockstar, and 5 hours of sleep a night if it wasn't for the fact that I lift lol.

    Other than weekends, I tend to lift around 5:30pm because class gets out at 3:30 on the days I can lift (as opposed to the days I get to school at 9:45am and leave at 8:30pm), and my commute to home and then the gym is pretty long (by bus).

    My squat actually felt stronger than it did last session, so it might not be my CNS. Albeit, general fatigue from the week might have played a part by that logic because today is Saturday and hence I wasn't doing much today lol.

    My diet isn't that great at the moment because community college campus food sucks and 2 days out of the week I'm stuck at campus from morning until night (schedule is fubar). I do supplement with a mutli-vitamin and fish oil atm to compensate somewhat, but I wish I could be scarfing down brown rice and chicken breasts versus cheese pizza slices and white bread sandwiches. I think I'm still getting in around 150 grams of protein in daily on the days I have to eat at campus, and about 3000 calories, but there's no way to clarify. I tend to now drink a lot of milk before bed, not because I buy into the whole "YOU LOSE MUSCLES WHILE YOU SLEEP" bs but because I want to meet my protein and calorie macros.

    I deadlift next session. I might try 235lb again, or I might pull 230lb and then save the heavier weight for my 1 rep max day.


    Squat: 115lb x 5, 135lb x 5, 155lb x 5, 170lb x 3, 180lb x 3, 180lb x 3, 180lb x 1

    Barbell Bench: 115lb x 8, 140lb x 5, 140lb x 5, 140lb x 5

    EZ Bar Curls (max test): bar + 40lb x 3, bar + 50lb x 10, bar + 70lb x 0 (lol), bar + 60lb x 5

    Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Row: 65lb x 10, 65lb x 10


    As you can see, I decided to change up how I format my log entries. Warm ups now included as well.

    170lb squat for 3 felt easy, so I loaded 10lb on the bar and did 2 sets, which were pretty hard (I've hit 5 reps with 185lb before...well 4 but my spotter was kinda overzealous and I think I could have gotten 5...but hey, better an overzealous spotter than a spotter with ADD). By the third set I was worried some try-hard was gonna steal the only flat bench press in the gym and start doing 10 sets of 185lb 1/4th ROM bench press so I did 1 rep, said "**** it" and unloaded the bar. I want to save as much juice as possible for my 1 rep max day anyway (never have tested my 1 rep max for any lift, ever).

    Bench, second set felt easier than the first. Still messing with hand placement, obviously not desiring to flare my elbows and put excess strain on my shoulder joint. The lift still feels kinda wobbly but I'm getting the reps. I hope the "80-85% of what you can do with DBs" rule is true, but I feel in my bones that my 5 rep max will be 150lb, which is what I could do with dumbbells. Hopefully if that's the case, it's just my CNS taking a while to adapt. Best case scenario is I'm wrong and my 5 rep max is in the mid-160s to 170lbs or higher. We'll see.

    EZ bar curls, I wanted to text my maxes. I don't like preacher curls - maybe it's an ego thing but I get more pumped to lift when I can load the most weight on the bar (still keeping good form, of course). Loaded the bar with 20lb on each side, which was my 8-10 rep max on preacher curls, and it was far too easy, so I loaded up 25lbs on each side and did 10 reps, probably being able to push out 12-13 (or 15 if I started swinging/arching my back). Then stupidly loaded up the bar with 35lb plates and only brought the weight up half way lol. Lowered to a 25lb and 5 lb plate on each side and did 5 reps. Might have been able to push it to 6 or 7 reps but I didn't want to force it and neglect form.

    I don't know how much the EZ bar weighs, and the YMCA workers don't know either, so I'll just have to assume it's anywhere from 15lb to 25lb (probably closer to 15lb).

    DB bent-over rear delt row was self explanatory. Getting harder. When it starts forcing itself into a dumbbell row, I'll deload it.

    I weighed myself recently on an old-fashion (non-digital) scale and I'm 157lb. I've done it multiple times and it's about the same so I'm about that. In April I was about 150lb, and I was 153lb at the doctor's office in early July. The increase might be due to the fact that I started working the lower body, or maybe I'm putting a bit of fat on. Meh. Once I hit 170lb I'm probably going to cut, but that number seems pretty allusive at the moment. I'm guessing my body fat is about 16%. It was 15% on my friend's cool digital scale a couple months ago, which sends some electric impulse through your body, but then again it's probably not that accurate.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you want to more accurately judge your bodyfat, just grab a cheap pair of Accu-Measure calipers. I got mine for like $5 maybe online years ago. Then to figure out your bodyfat using the calipers, go to this site: http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

    It's obviously not perfect but way more accurate than the digital scales.
  4. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    As long as I don't start looking fat, IDC atm. I'm thinking that when I hit around 170lb, I'll start looking a bit chubby, which is where I'd probably want to cut. Like I said, my primary goal is to get strong over anything else.
  5. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Good. You don't want to let fat gain get too much into your head. You can always cut the fat later. It's not like you are going to be morbidly obese at sub-200 lbs bodyweight anyway, so it isn't something to worry a lot about.
  6. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Sumo Deadlift: 135lb x 5, 185lb x 5, 230lb x 3, 230lb x 3

    Barbell Bench: 115lb x 8, 145lb x 5, 145lb x 5, 150lb x 4.5

    Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Row: 65lb x 10, 65lb x 10

    EZ Bar Curls: bar + 60lb x 7


    Deadlift went fine. I thought about pushing to 235lb again but I went against it. I'll save anything higher for 230lb the next time I deadlift, which will be 1-rep max day.

    Bench, I think if I was fresh I could have gotten more reps with 150lb. As it stands I am about where I was with dumbbells... :(

    Rear delt row was fine.

    Curls were fine. More reps than last time because I didn't max out with anything else beforehand.

    Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Row: 65lb x 10, 65lb x 10
  7. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Squat: 135lb x 5, 155lb x 5, 180lb x 3, 180lb x 3

    Barbell Bench: 115lb x 8, 150lb x 9

    EZ Bar Curls: bar + 60lb x 8, rest-pause (10 seconds) 60lb x 2 (probably could have done this all at once)

    Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Row: 70lb x 10, 70lb x 5 (grip failing)

    Barbell Military Press 85lb x 10 (test)


    Squat was self-explanatory. Benching 150lb, like I thought, went a lot better than last session. 9 reps this time (failed on 10). For most of the reps, I do admit I stopped about an inch from my chest, but I don't think that'll make much of a difference. Next time I'm benching that I'll be hitting my chest. My max is probably 190-200lb. I'll be testing that on Saturday.

    EZ Bar curl, pushed to 8 reps, waited 10 seconds, and then pushed 2 more reps out. I think I could have gotten them all at once.

    Decided to test BB Military Press. Haven't done an overhead movement since the beginning of this current cycle. Left wrist hurt during the set; I need to adjust wrist position/work on form.

    Like I said, 1 rep max day is this weekend. Never pushed under a 5 rep max before so I hope I can find a good spotter and not injure myself lol. Wish me luck! ;)
  8. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Barbell Bench: 115lb x 8, 145lb x 6, 165lb x ???, 165lb x 4

    Sumo Deadlift: 135lb x 5, 185lb x 5, 235lb x 7

    EZ Bar Curls: bar + 60lb x 9


    Bench...so I walk in and some Chinese dude in sunglasses has his **** all over the bench and is doing some weird **** with a medicine ball next to the bench. No prob, I ask him if I can use the bench, he says okay. I warm up, then load up the bar to 165lb and ask him for a spot. He asks how much weight is on there, I tell him, I tell him I'm going for 5. Every rep, he starts curling the ****ing weight up so it feels like I'm lifting nothing. After like 3 reps I'm like "dude could you let the weight go?" "Sure!"

    Doesn't let the weight go :|.

    Afterwards I'm like "you were helping with the weight huh?" and he was like "NAH MAN THAT WAS ALL YOU." He gets under the bar and goes "spot me man I don't know if I can do any reps with this" and then pushes out 12. "I WAS ACTING HAHA I'M A PERSONAL TRAINER HERE'S MY CARD." Hands me some crumpled card to some Tennis ****. Starts telling me about his services. I'm like :|.

    Anyway, he walks out, I rest, I ask for someone else to spot me, I only get 4 reps. Mad as **** cus I probably could have gotten at least 5 on the first set. Guy walks back in. "HEY CAN I HAVE MY CARD BACK, I'LL GIVE YOU A NEW ONE ANOTHER TIME. HEY HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU COME IN?" "3" "WHEN IS YOUR NEXT DAY?" "Tuesday" "COOL I'LL BE HERE AND I CAN RUN A CIRCUIT WITH YOU FOR FREE."

    I wanted to sock him in the face.

    Anyway, after that I do deadlift, hit 4 reps with 235lb, grip fails on the 5th rep. Switch to mix grip (for the first time) and hit 2 more reps...probably could have pushed it to a total of 10 reps. Mixed grip felt SO MUCH easier. Of course I don't bang out the reps when I deadlift. I reset each rep so there's about 10-15 seconds between reps...kinda like rest pause but I doubt it makes much of a difference on heavy deadlift.

    This means I'm going to have to go in after my squat test day on Tuesday (so Thursday) and test my deadlift max again so I can get a concise number. Kinda sucks but whatever.

    Curls was self explanatory. This time I didn't do rest-pause and got 9 reps.
  9. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    1. Why would you ever tell someone that annoying the actual day you're coming in? =O

    2. What program are you using for your workout (ala it's not HST) ? Just wondering
  10. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    1) Because I wanted him to leave me alone :(. Luckily I come a lot later on weekdays so hopefully he won't be there.

    2) I've been using HST for upper body and Starting Strength for Squat and Deadlift (since I started Squatting/Deadlifting 2 months ago and before that my lower body was untrained). For the past 2 weeks I've been doing Balls to Wall custom **** that _Tim mentioned, if you go back a page or two; this is for my post-5s.

    I'll be completely switching to Madcow 5x5 next cycle.
  11. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    1. Just tell him any old day :p

    2. Seems like a form of cluster-reps, which is completely fine. Just stay away from routinely going to failure.
  12. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    1) Watch how he's going to wait for me at the gym all day. Oh God :eek:.

    2) I only went to failure because my grip wasn't strong enough with double-overhand to lift the weight. 4 reps in and I could tell I was basically pinching the bar instead of holding it. My body could keep going, as it demonstrated when I switched to a mixed grip. I rarely go to failure as is. I went to failure last bench session and this bench session, unfortunately, but next bench session should be my last before SD. Curl failure was the first time I've failed in curls this whole cycle.

    Yeah, I seem to cluster all my deadlifts just because I like resetting. If I don't reset, my hips end up too low.
  13. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Squat: 135lb x 5, 155lb x 5, 190lb x 4 (PR + 5lb)

    Barbell Military Press: Bar x 10, 100lb x 5, 115 x 1

    Barbell Row: 135lb x 5, 165 x 3

    Pullups: Weight Belt + 35lb x 3


    Squat, I got a PR. Didn't try for the 5th rep, but I'm gonna set my 5 rep max at 190lb for my next cycle.

    Mil Press, gonna set my 5 rep max to 105lb since 100lb felt like I could have gotten 7 or 8 reps. Hopefully due to CNS adaption that number should shoot up by the time I go for a PR.

    Barbell Row, I just don't like. Thinking of switching back to pullups for back work. Did 35lb for 3 at home, but the weight is resting on the floor for the first couple inches of the pull since the pullup bar is on my door.

    Gonna wait until Friday or Saturday to test deadlift and bench. Then I might test barbell row again just to iron out form and then decide if I want to do it or not.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
  14. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Congrats, TD. Great that you got a PR. Especially good that it was in your squat. :)

    I haven't checked out what kind of cycle you are doing so I'm guessing that the low volume for your four lifts in your last session is not your usual training volume?

    Barbell rows are a really great back strengthener but if you aren't getting on well with them why not try single-arm db rows (AKA Kroc Rows)? You'll need access to heavy db's though. Do more reps than you would for other movements. Starting a cycle with 25 reps and working the loads up until you can only manage 10 reps at the end of a cycle is a good idea until you are more familiar with the movement.

    Re grip for deads: have you tried a hook grip? If not, it's definitely worth working through the discomfort the first few sessions until you have it sussed. My feeling is that there's no need to use a mixed grip until the load is at least 400lb. Hook grip comes in handy for Kroc Rows too. And always use chalk if you are allowed to use it at your gym.

    I look forward to seeing you break through the 200lb x 5 barrier in your squats. :)
  15. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    DBs only go up to 100lb at my gym and back when I was doing DB row I was maxing at around 95lb for 5 reps. I think once I'd get to 100 it wouldn't be too long until I'm getting high reps with those.

    I'll recheck my form with the barbell row. My lower back felt fine the next day. I felt some tightness immediately after the lift but that might have been due to just the lower back being pumped lol. Not used to that since I don't do any lower back work. Thinking about doing the variant where the bar hits the ground with each rep. Think its a Pendlay row.

    The low volume is not normal. I'm finding my PRs right now so I figure I only needed 1 set.

    I was planning on trying hook grip next deadlift session but my hands are not that large so we'll see how effective it is.

    And thanks for the encouragement ;).
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  16. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    Sumo Deadlift: 185x3, 225lbx2, 245x1, 275x1, 300x0, 290x0, 280x0, 225x2 (lolnope.avi).

    Bench Press: 115lb x 8 (felt weak as ****), 135x5 (still felt weak as ****)

    Pendlay Row: 135x5, 155x5


    First 1 rep max day...ever. Deadlift, pushed to 275lb. Didn't know how good the form was though, as nobody was in the weightroom to check or film me, save for some scrawny kid doing yoga and some chick gyrating on a medicine ball. I definitely felt it in my lower back, but it wasn't pain, just "lol it's helping to lift the weight." Got cocky and tried 300lb. Lolnope, couldn't budge it off the floor. Then tried 290lb, nope, 280lb, nope. I think if I had gone from 245lb to 280lb, I could have pulled it, but alas I want good form over anything and I don't even know how hot my form was with 275lb, so I decided to call it a day, after pulling 225lb for 2 almost failing on the second rep.

    Went to bench press and it felt weak as ****. Left arm felt like I was pushing 20lb more weight than right, and the bar had 15s on each side. Didn't try for a max as planned; time for SD.

    Pendlay, I managed 155lb in good form, bent over without any jerking until the last rep. If I started explosively jerking like some sort of Psuedo Kroc row, I'd probably have pulled up a whole lot more, but then again these aren't Kroc rows.

    Time for SD. :eek:

Share This Page