I Lift. Therefore, I Am.


Wolf Plans; The Barbell Gods Laugh

Tried to train today but The Barbell Gods decided it wasn’t in the cards. My left knee was especially crabby today, and of course I forgot my knee sleeves at home. I had some unable-to-ignore pain inside my knee during eccentric knee flexion. I’ve been dealing with this at a low level for a while, I think years, but don’t usually mention it because it’s usually at a manageable level compared with some of the other shit I deal with. It’s just a suck it up and lift kind of deal. But today, I started squatting and it bothered me from the first rep, and while it warmed up a little - and I did some extra warm-up sets and reps - it never felt right. Once the warm-ups got heavy, I was shifting WAY over to my right leg on the way down and couldn’t center myself no matter what I tried. Once that happened, my head was out of the game. Did some half hearted power cleans and skipped sled pushing. Feeling annoyed right now. Here’s what I did before packing it in.

45x5x3, 135x5, 225x5, 291x4, 337x3, 381x3, 405x1, 315x5

Power Clean
45x4, 89x3x2, 122x3, 144x3, 166x3, 188x3x2

I could feel the knee on some of the power clean set-ups, too. Interestingly, never during the rep itself. Only when bending knees to bring shin to bar during the set-up. This is something I’ve felt for a long time on the random stray DL or PC rep here and there, but not consistently like today where it happened a lot and didn’t go away.

tl;dr - I couldn’t really train today and blargh.

Pressing was really rough today, even by my not very high expectations these days. Everything else was fine, however; bench felt better than Thursday.

201x5x3 @ 9,9,9.5. 162x10 @ 9
 Made a smaller jump to 201, but still hard. I’d like to PR my 3x5 and surpass 210 but am not sure if I’ll get there at this current rate. I’ve more recently done 210x5x5, at which time I probably could have done 217x5x3 or so, but now even thinking about 210x5x5 makes me feel weak.

Bench Press
313x5x3 @ 8,8.5,8.5. 232.5x12 @ 9.
 This, at least, is starting to feel better. And my shoulder feels ok afterwards, too, even though I took the same grip I took Thursday - pinkies just inside the PL line. My ideal grip is pinkies on that line, but this is way better than the much closer grips I was taking for a little while there. I am considering trying to work in some CGBP, but it’s nice for now to have my regular BP feeling ok for the first time in a while.

BW Chins
 Wasn’t resting as much as usual between sets, and before the third set, got suckered into doing some silly gym BS with some of the guys there. They were setting up a 12” box further and further from the fixed chin bar that sticks out about 18-24” from the padded wall, and seeing if they could jump and catch the chin bar (like someone in a movie jumping and catching the rail of a helicopter). All these guys weigh about 175-200. They got as far out as they dared, and I couldn’t let them think the big PL dude can’t hang, so without any warming up or prepping at progressively further distances, I just went up and did it. I did my third set of chins about 30s later. Ah well At least I didn’t get hurt, which easily could have happened doing something so stupid.


Tricep Rope

Cbl External Rotations

Dr. Petrizzo (the best DPT in the country) shows you the path to #gainz - lift heavy, eat a lot of #Texasbbq and finish off with a #PB&J cupcake and a glass of #milk.  #hillcountry #gainzzz #startingstrength #bbq #GOMAD #billstarr #nyc #DPTswholift #DrPetreeeezo (at Hill Country Barbecue Market)

Dr. Petrizzo (the best DPT in the country) shows you the path to #gainz - lift heavy, eat a lot of #Texasbbq and finish off with a #PB&J cupcake and a glass of #milk. #hillcountry #gainzzz #startingstrength #bbq #GOMAD #billstarr #nyc #DPTswholift #DrPetreeeezo (at Hill Country Barbecue Market)

Yesterday was ok. Squats felt decent, though not great; pulls felt a lot better than last week. Still not back in the usual groove, but definitely better.

405x5 @ 8, 421x5 @ 8.5, 432x5 @ 9
 Bar speed would probably indicate 1/2 an RPE point lower for each set, but I’m going by the bar speed and ‘feel’ combo. Still harder than it ought to be (did a 438x5 @ 8 only four weeks ago), but what can ya do.

476x5 @ 8.5
 Still a bit slower off the floor and less ‘tight’ feeling, which is why I scored it an 8.5. Bar speed looks like a 7.5 I’d say, but again, feel.

Sled Push
20kg x 8 - 1 min rest, except a couple times where logistical considerations necessitated more rest.

OK day today. Still a little annoyed at how these weights feel vs how I expect them to feel, but I do keep climbing back up. We’ll see if I can get to previous levels; if I can, no big deal if it feels a little harder than expected while doing so.

197.5x5x3 @ 9, 8.5, 8.5; 157x10 @ 9
 I know bar speed doesn’t look like they were 8.5s and 9s but I run out of gas SO fast on presses. You can watch this consistently in my press vids. I’m fairly confident in these RPEs. This weight for 3x5 should be easier, and I’m not sure why the first set was harder, especially since I specifically took my last warm-up at a heavier weight (184x1) to be more prepared. Ah well.

Bench Press
307x5x3, 225x11
: No handoffs for these. This was also harder than I expected, though some of that at this point is probably fatigue from doing all that pressing first. Still, 335x5x5 only a few months ago. 307x5 should be easier. 

Widened grip out to only 1/2” narrower than my preferred grip (which is pinkies on the PL line), and felt stronger in this position, but my shoulder was and still is a bit sensitive afterwards. Not any pain, just some sensitivity to certain movements.

BW Chins
Chins: 11,11,11
Neutral Grip: 8,9 (didn’t rest much between the last chin and the first neutral grip)

DB Curls

Band External Rotations
Orange band x 15 x 3

Got 7+ hrs sleep last night (a rarity for me) and feel better today, but still not 100%. Still low energy and a little fuzzy instead of focused. Hope I’m not coming down with something; my frustration would be pretty high if I had to take yet ANOTHER step back from training and then ramp back up. Guess we’ll see.

397x5 @8, 410x5 @8.5, 421x5 @9.
 Didn’t feel good here today. It wasn’t *that* ago that I did 450x5x3 with some gas left in the tank, so didn’t expect things to get challenging yet. Hopefully it’s just today being an off day.

Going to start gauging RPE for future use. I’ve read the RTS articles on it but that was a while back and I also haven’t ever consistently gauged it, so this is going to be somewhat interesting getting used to it. Right now, I’m using a combo of how it felt during the set and bar speed and form upon review of the video. I tend to run out of gas much more quickly than most (one rep will shoot up, the next will slow down significantly - way more than you’d have thought based on the previous rep - and then the next rep is a fail), so bar speed will be tempered by my feeling about the set.

Power Clean
A bunch of technique work from the jumping position, hang below knee, and floor with: 45,89, and 111. Then 133x3x2, 155x3x2, 177x3x2, 188x3x2
Notes: Felt pretty crappy at first, like I couldn’t find a good rhythm and couldn’t consistently both hit jumping position and jump hard. Got better as it got heavier, and the 177 and 188 were, mostly, the best sets.

I also experimented with stance a bit. I think I’d like to take a wider stance, but when I do, my shins rub up against the knurling on the pull off the floor, which isn’t good. Even though I don’t get horribly scraped when wearing socks, dragging the knurled part of the bar up my shins creates a noticeable catching and slowing effect. Tried turning my toes less out and that helped a bit, but still was dragging up the knurling. I’ll have to experiment more with this.

Sled Push
20kg x 7 - added 5kg and one round.
Notes: The area in which to push the sled is also the main thoroughfare of the gym, which got crowded today by the time I was pushing the sled. So I had to rest longer than I wanted to for a few rounds while people casually strolled their way across the floor.

BW Chins

Hardly slept last night, probably got 3.5 hrs total with not more than 1:45 continuously, so I’m very tired today. Felt similar to how I felt the day of the July meet, except slightly more sleep but I didn’t have meet adrenaline to help. Heavy head, difficult to focus, lots of yawning. Today didn’t feel strong or solid on technique, but I’m chalking it up to the sleep issue. Hopefully I can crash early tonight, squats are creeping up towards heavy again and I’d like to come at them with more in the tank.

186.5x5, 192.5x5x2, 151x10
Notes: I expect 192x5 to be a breeze at this point and am disappointed when it’s not. As the vid shows, they’re not slow by any means, but I want to do this weight for five reps and feel zero bar slowdown and/or muscle fatigue for the entire set, and that’s not the case*. It’s such a mental mindfuck how quickly my press gets pissed away. I was doing 210x5x5 only a couple months ago. Just gotta grind my way back up.

Bench Press
300x5x3, 223x11
Notes: First set was a bit off, next two were much better. Third set was without a hand-off. I moved my grip out again to only about 2 finger widths narrower than my normal bench grip, and shoulder feels fine.


10,10,8 - ran out of gas on the 3rd set

KB 1-Arm Press
40x5, 50x5, 61.6x5,6
Notes: Cables were busy, so did these instead of triceps and external rotations

1.21 Gigawatts!!  You’re not thinking four dimensionally, Marty! #backtothefuture #heyMcFly #makelikeatreeandgetouttahere #nothingtodowithstartingstrength #butstillcool #randomnyc #delorean #1985  (at Chelsea Nyc)

1.21 Gigawatts!! You’re not thinking four dimensionally, Marty! #backtothefuture #heyMcFly #makelikeatreeandgetouttahere #nothingtodowithstartingstrength #butstillcool #randomnyc #delorean #1985 (at Chelsea Nyc)

Two people already commented on my YouTube channel on the change in shoes (squatted in Romaleos as opposed to my usual red Rogues). I guess people actually watch my youtube videos. Huh.


My internet at home has been down since Thursday morning.  I don’t much enjoy using tumblr on my ancient and slow iPhone 4, in addition to not wanting to eat up my data plan, so haven’t been around much.  Apologies for not following and supporting as usual.  Hopefully this will get resolved soon.