I Lift. Therefore, I Am.

Little known fact: #Shakespeare Sonnet 18 “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?  Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” was actually written in reference to breaking in a brand new block of chalk while standing over a loaded #barbell getting ready to pull.  The Bard knew a beautiful thing when he saw one.   #inlovewiththeiron #startingstrength #deadlift #highsocksdontcare #powerlifting

Little known fact: #Shakespeare Sonnet 18 “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate…” was actually written in reference to breaking in a brand new block of chalk while standing over a loaded #barbell getting ready to pull. The Bard knew a beautiful thing when he saw one. #inlovewiththeiron #startingstrength #deadlift #highsocksdontcare #powerlifting

Where do I purchase these pink weights? Can't find them anywhere. Please let me know at MaryAHill325 yahoo com


Ended up going a little more aggressive than my plan today. Once I was under the bar and felt good, and also thinking about my timetable ahead, I wanted to hasten the ramping back up process a bit. I still think it’s reasonably conservative, just slightly less so than before.

45x6x2, 135x5, 225x4, 291x2, 337x1, 359x5, 370x5, 381x5
Notes: First time in the ramp-up doing sets across at anything remotely resembling a heavy weight. I planned to do 359 and then 370 for two sets, but looked so easy upon review of the film that I added 5kg for the last set.

135x5, 225x5, 315x5, 405x5
Notes: Last set was 3 reps DOH and last 2 hooked, to re-acclimate to hook grip. Planned on 392, so this was also a small increase over that plan. Fast, easy reps. I noticed upon watching the video of my DLs, and have noticed in some other recent DL footage, that I don’t set my grip right on my first rep. I try to overgrip, and the bar has to make its way down lower into my hand and fingers before it leaves the floor. I will be working to improve this. It’s tricky though, because it’s not something you can work on at light weight, since you don’t know you’re doing it wrong until the weight is heavy enough that you can’t pull it in the wrong position in your hands. Right now, since I’m a bit out of training, this is probably somewhere between 365 and 405. But as I ramp back up, it’ll probably go to somewhere between 455 and 495 before long. Will be a challenge.

Sled Push
Empty x 1, 15kg x 4 - all done at about RPE 7.5-8. Just getting back into conditioning. It made me breathe a little heavy but was very manageable. 

Notes: Just because. Rested about a minute between sets.

Ramp Back Up: Day 1

Stitches out as of this morning. The area of the incision is still slightly irritated but nothing that should prevent me from doing anything. Doc said it takes up to a year to fully & completely heal, and I should put SPF 30 sunscreen on it before going outside or else the scar area will darken. I probably won’t, because I don’t really care enough to devote what little mental energy I have to spare to remembering to put on sunscreen before going outside for an entire year. Fuck that noise. Scars are cool.

Ramped back up today but still easing my way back in.

45x5x2, 133x5, 199x5, 265x5, 309x5, 353x5
Notes: Put belt on for 309 and 353. Not because I needed to, but to re-acclimate to wearing the belt. Back to the 4th hole, too, which is good. I had it on the third for a bit there, and there’s no reason I need to carry enough bf right now to have it on the third hole. All reps were easy and explosive.

45x5, 111x5, 155x5, 199x3, 243x5, 265x5x2
Notes: I’ve been putting my index finger about 1.5 inches outside the smooth for these; felt a bit odd at the heavier sets so moved it out an inch for the final set at 265. Felt a bit less odd. I’ll experiment with my regular grip on Thursday, see how my shoulder reacts. By now it’s been about 2.5 weeks since I’ve benched with a regular grip, and the only benching I’ve done in the meantime has been the very, very light stuff with close grip. Hopefully that will prove to have been enough rest for my achey breakey left shoulder.

45x5, 89x5, 133x3, 155x5, 177x5x2, 133x10
Notes: I really have a love/hate thing going with the press. I feed and water it so lovingly - since I started pressing regularly in 2008, not a training week has gone by where I haven’t barbell pressed at least once. More often twice, sometimes even thrice. I enjoy it SO much more than the bench press. Yet, I’m mediocre at it (relative to my other lifts), and it goes down so quickly when left alone for reasons beyond my control. DAMN YOU, PRESS, I CAN’T HELP BUT LOVE YOU BUT ALL YOU DO IS CAUSE ME PAIN! 

177 felt way, way harder than I expected. Not actually hard, but if we were RPEing it, I’d put it at a 7.5 or 8, whereas I expected it to be a 6. Relatively speaking, it’s roughly equivalent to the 353 squat I did today, which was much, much easier in comparison. Bah. I hate you, press. But I also love you. So I’ll be back.

BW Chins
Notes: Threw the 6 in there just to get used to some more volume without overdoing it. Could’ve done 8x4.

Tricep Rope

Cable Ext Sh. Rotations

Why would that "dead lift" make you feel jacked?! No range of motion whatsoever. Unless your just trying to improve grip strength...



It’s called a rack pull, babe. If you knew the first thing about lifting, you would know it’s purpose. And maybe what it’s called. But you probably don’t even lift, which is why you’re on anon trying to shame me.

Gosh. I’m so tickled! :) This is my first anon hate message, guys. Does this mean I’ve made it?


Low bar position


This is for fitwordnerd and anyone else who might want to see what low bar position looks on at least one person who is not a huge jacked-as-hell dude like nearly all the models used in Starting Strength.

Before you go to the gym next time, watch this video. Big muscular dude but still very…

Solid tutorial on low bar position by my Old Pal Sara aka fulltimeillin.  Mirin’ her narrow grip.

I think the main reason people get their jimmies so in a rustle about the elbows up thing is simply because the dogma in powerlifting is to have thumbs around the bar and elbows down.  This puts undue pressure on the wrists and is why you see most PLers squat with wrist wraps, so mitigate that stress on the wrists.  However, because the hand and wrist are supporting the weight of the bar, the elbows don’t need to be up.  I don’t think there’s any advantage to elbows down, and have never felt one all the times I’ve tried it.  I think it’s simply an artifact of them not needing to be up, because the thumb is around the bar.  And then when someone else came and popularized an “elbows up” position, as so often happens, there was an instinct to circle the wagons and defend the elbows down position.   I do not know that this is historically accurate, maybe people were writing things about why the elbows should be down before SS came out or became popular.  This is just my unresearched perception.

I also know that many lifters will swear up and down on their mother’s grave that driving their elbows down helps them during a squat.  However, I have yet to hear of a reasonable mechanism by which it would do so.  Maybe there is one that I haven’t yet read or heard of, but until then, I will continue working under the Placebo Effect assumption.

The SS method avoids the wrist issue by not wrapping the thumbs around the bar.  Thus the wrists can lie flat and not intercept any of the weight of the barbell.  This is great, but presents a new issue - what will keep the bar on your back, and prevent it from sliding down during the rep?   This is where ‘elbows up’ comes in.

A significant part of ‘Elbows up’ is a shoulder extension and further scapular adduction while in external rotation and already somewhat in scapular adduction.  Which muscles do this?  A non-exhaustive list includes the lats, rhomboids, and rear delts.  So when you engage in active shoulder extension under the bar, all those muscles of the back engage and bunch up - and here it’s really the muscles of the upper back that are important for the moment - providing a convenient and even comfortable shelf upon which to place and hold the bar.  Obviously this is bigger and more stable the bigger those muscles are on you, but I’ve never coached anyone who didn’t have enough musculature to hold a solid low bar position in this manner once properly taught how.

It is certainly possible to have elbows too far up.  The vast majority of people aren’t flexible enough to do this, but for the few who are, it’s something to watch out for.

There are also people whose shoulder mobility/flexibility does not permit this position (at least without significant pain), but who can get into a decent low bar position if they wrap their thumb around the bar.  Which is what I would recommend doing if you’re one of these people.

Both the thumbs around and the thumbless elbows-up grip can be hard on the elbows, but I think this is more of an issue with the thumbless, elbows up grip.  Widening the grip often helps, but reduces the size of the shelf.  If you can’t find a grip width that doesn’t lead to elbow tendon issues and pain with the thumbless grip, going thumbs around might help some as well.

At the end of the day, I don’t think which grip you take is a major determining factor.  It’s so common for people to get so stuck on minor things like grip.  Yes, we have reasons why we generally prefer the thumbless, grip.  But it’s not a defining feature of the squat by ANY means.  It’s very noticeable, if you’re attuned to these things, so has become a quick identifier of a “SS Squatter” or “Rippetoe nutswinger” but really it’s not nearly as big of a deal or intrinsic feature of the SS style squat as many make it out to be.   If you put your thumbs around the bar, the SS police aren’t going to come get you in your sleep.

#startingstrength #froyo #gainzzz by prescription of Dr. Gainz @jordan_thecoach with @rorimegan and @jpl_75 and Nick, who is not on any social media because he’s busy getting his #clean and #jerk up to 200kg.  #strength #iifym #iifymgirls #powerlifting #olympiclifting  (at 16 Handles)

#startingstrength #froyo #gainzzz by prescription of Dr. Gainz @jordan_thecoach with @rorimegan and @jpl_75 and Nick, who is not on any social media because he’s busy getting his #clean and #jerk up to 200kg. #strength #iifym #iifymgirls #powerlifting #olympiclifting (at 16 Handles)

Dmitry Klokov Interview "On Par" Update: Part 3 Added - All Things Gym

Klokov is a smart, savvy, perceptive guy.  Mirin’ not just his world-class strength and power, but his business savvy as well.

Last Stitched Training Session

Stitches come out Monday, so unless I decide to train over the weekend, this will be my last day purposely holding back. I won’t attempt to jump right back to previous working weights and will take some time to ramp back up, but it’ll be nice to put some weight back on the bar. My body also feels good. Other than some minor lingering tightness in my left lumbar area, my aches and pains - the ones that you tend to always carry around when you’re lifting heavy 4x/week every week - are either gone or significantly reduced. Feel ready to ramp back up and then set some new PRs.

45x6x2, 111x5, 177x5, 221x5, 265x5, 309x5, 320x5

45x5, 89x5, 133x5, 166x5, 188x5, 210x5x2

177x5, 265x5, 360x5

BW Chins

DB Curlzzzz

Cable External Shoulder Rotation

The march back continues. Felt good overall today, everything was easy.  Stitches come out Monday.  I can’t wait to get back to lifting heavy.

45x6x2, 111x5, 155x5, 199x5, 232x5, 265x5, 287x5

45x5, 78x5, 100x5, 122x5, 144x5, 155x5, 166x5
Notes: Attempted, somewhat half-heartedly, to work on the double layback again today.

155x5, 243x5, 331x5


Tricep Rope

Cable External Shoulder Rotation