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Archer's gym progress thread
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sterling_archer Offline
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Archer's gym progress thread
I want to make a complete accountability thread dedicated to my progress in gym over time. For a initial post I want to put some info about me, so all can see from where I am starting from.

Stats:
- 175 cm (5 foot 9)
- 67,8 kg (149,5 lb)
- BF: 19% (calipers method using 3 places on a body)

I am classic skinny fat dude, with 95% of fat situated around belly area. I will not post my current measurements for now, but month after this post I will write post where I will compare measurements and difference between that day and today’s measurements.

Training and goals:
I decided to pick out Starting Strength as a routine I will use. In consideration was also Greyskull but I think I will do Greyskull (or some other program) after SS. I will follow program as intended in book, except I will not do GOMAD. Regarding progression, I am aware I would need after some time finer increments in weight so there is a necessity for micro plates. This gym doesn’t have this kind of plates. I will ask though if I can bring my own as I could easily make them at home.
My goal is to get out of newbie phase and before that, utilize newbie gains as much as I can, gaining as much muscle and strength as possible.

Nutrition:
I will not write what I eat but will just say few things. In last year I managed to eat as healthily as possible, weighing food when I can. Scale moves where I want it to move. For starters I am eating 2600 kcals with at least 150 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbs and 70 grams of fats. Occasional whey with milk and/or mass gainer when I can’t fulfill all macros for the day.

Exercises:
Squat: 40 kg (88 lb)
Bench press: 30 kg
Press: 30 kg
Deadlift: 70 kg (154 lb)

I am beginning with phase 1 of SS that will last me for 3 weeks after which I will introduce barbell row (not power clean) and enter phase 2. Starting weights of squat and bench press are to most of you a joke, but keep in mind I have never done them before at home so I don’t know what I am capable of. If they are too light, 5 kg increments each time will not be a problem.
The most I ever lifted at home with deadlift was 80 kg, but that was more than a month ago so I will start with 70 kg. Regarding press, at home most I ever lifted was 38 kg but I will start from 30 kg to practice better technique and control. Again, I will probably get very fast to weight I did at home.

How I will log progress:
Tomorrow I will write short observation of my first workout. I will not log here each training day but will instead write one post on Friday (last workout day of week).

That is it for now and I promise I will not write so much in future. Smile
04-22-2018 04:48 AM
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sterling_archer Offline
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
First workout day over, here are my short observations:

Regarding gym itself, I like that they have mirrors so I could easily check on my grip width and how I look when I lift. Coach gave me advice on form and said that form in my exercises is correct (nice!). But he gave me also advice which seemed contradictory of what I read in SS and other places. For squat and deadlift he said that my feet should be more horizontally oriented, not at angle. Rippetoe speaks about 30 degree angle.

Squat:
3 x 5 x 40 kg was almost easy. I will not use jump of 5 kg, but 2.5 next time.

Press:
3 x 5 x 30 was easy and will go for 32.5 next time. Mirror helped me to see how to select proper grip. I am pretty sure I got the form correct.

Deadlift:
1 x 5 x 65 was a bit easy. Even though I wrote 70 kg as starting weight in my first post, I decided today to lower it to 65, thinking that 70 kg would be too heavy. I was wrong, but doesn't matter really as next time I will do 70 kg.

For the next time there is a bench press between squat and deadlift session. Because of reading the comments in Lifter Lounge from Scorpion to Horus, I decided to substitute bench pressing with dips. Just dips for starters than I'll see if I should put additional exercise in.
I will go for bodyweight version of dips with 3 sets of AMRAP. Does that make sense?
04-23-2018 04:31 AM
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Horus Offline
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Starting strength is correct. You want your feet pointing out at approximately that angle - with experience you'll learn the exact angle appropriate for your physiology. And make sure your knees don't flare inwards as you go down, especially as you add more weight.
04-23-2018 08:42 AM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
I completely understand that and I could add that pointing feet at angle (lets say 30 degrees) is very intuitive and comfortable. When the coach said to me to make feet pretty much straight for deadlift, I was completely bewildered. Doesn't make sense at all. I did that for one set and than went with angled when he was away. I know that it sounds dumb, but since I am a newbie, I cannot just talk to him like I am his equal and I must practically "obey" his advice.
04-23-2018 12:28 PM
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Post: #5
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
The growth mechanism for SS is that basically every workout you grind through your 5 rep max every time, which is why it's a newbie manmaker even though the total lifting volume is not very high. I would still do GOMAD for this reason, otherwise you are not going to make 5-10# jumps every week in weight on the bar and you will stall out early. That's how it works in theory. Some self-coached trainees get very fat because they are incapable of pushing themselves to the limit. If you don't want to get as fat but do want to go a bit easier on the lifting intensity you could just do 2 quarts of whole milk cut with a lot of protein powder to reduce some of the sugar intake.

Dips are good but might not be a full replacement for bench press. I would increase frequency of the overhead press if you plan on nixing bench (good idea though).

TBH don't overthink it at this stage in the game, just go hard and eat everything. You pick up a weight Monday for eight reps, come Friday don't set it down until you get ten. People grow when they aren't scared to get fat and are more stubborn than the iron they throw around.
04-23-2018 04:45 PM
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Post: #6
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Today session:

Squat

3 x 5 x 45 kg

Dips
3 x 5 BW - could have done more, but I think my form would be off, better to make 3 x 5 proper ones than many half assed ones

Deadlift
1 x 5 x 70 kg

The dips are substitute instead bench press. On Monday, I will also introduce dumbbell fly which will together with dips be my chest development exercises.
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2018 06:11 AM by sterling_archer.)
04-25-2018 06:10 AM
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Post: #7
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
(04-25-2018 06:10 AM)sterling_archer Wrote:  The dips are substitute instead bench press. On Monday, I will also introduce dumbbell fly which will together with dips be my chest development exercises.

Dumbbell flyes are definitely a good addition, good stuff.

Are you finishing off your workouts with some cardio? Since you're also looking to drop some body fat it definitely wouldn't be a bad idea to finish off each workout with 20 minutes or so of low intensity steady state cardio on the bike or elliptical, should also help your legs recover better the next day if you've done some heavy squats before.

Also disagreed on following GOMAD, consuming that much dairy is a quick way to become a fat, acne-ridden mess.

Given your current bf%, your focus should be on cutting fat and building some strength along the way. You can consider bulking and further increasing the rate of your strength gains once you've cut down to a more reasonable bodyfat level, maybe 10-13% or so.

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04-25-2018 11:31 AM
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sterling_archer Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
My cardio is basically going by bike to the gym and back home. 15 to 20 minutes in one direction (so about 40 min tops all together) with half of the way being uphill cycling. Definitely noticed faster recovery of my legs when I use a bike.

That is a good advice regarding BF, but keep in mind if I cut, I couldn't make progress in SS where you add weight to the bar each time. Ok, that is not the worst thing, but more important is that given my lack of muscle mass, going now to 13% (which I could easily do given my nutrition tracking) would make me look almost anorexic. Trust me, I have almost been there.
For now, I am not bothering myself with gaining a bit of excess fat. I am aiming for weight gain of 0,3 kg (0,66 lb) weekly and in that gain I am gaining as little fat as possible.
04-25-2018 12:46 PM
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Post: #9
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Forgot to mention, yesterday was my last workout day of the week.

Squat:
3 x 5 x 50 kg

Press:
3 x 5 x 32,5 kg

Deadlift:
1 x 5 x 75 kg

From now on I will write just once per week in this journal, on Saturday or so.
(This post was last modified: 04-28-2018 02:10 PM by sterling_archer.)
04-28-2018 02:09 PM
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Post: #10
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Today I finished my 6th workout. Here are the stats of current weights:

Squat:
3 x 5 x 57,5 kg

Press:
3 x 5 x 35 kg

Deadlift:
1 x 5 x 90 kg

Dumbbell Fly:
3 x 5 x 10 kg

Dips:

3 x 7 x BW

Since the the squat, press and deadlift have moved up in the weight accordingly with SS book, I conclude first phase of the program. On Monday I will enter second phase where I will introduce barbell rows on the Day 2, instead of power cleans.
05-04-2018 05:02 AM
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Irenicus Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
150 grams of protein, and you weight 68 kilograms?


Isn't that a little bit too much (1- 1,5 gr per kg)? You are literally shitting vast amounts of good protein - keep in mind that human body can't store protein for later use.


And tell us a little bit more about your nutrition, because 19% BF on 175 m looks horrible. This is killing your SMV. To be honest, I would worry more about your diet than your routine (yours is good).

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05-05-2018 04:23 PM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
It is an estimation that I have 19%, not totally sure though because I don't get how hard to pinch (if you tried caliper method you know what I mean). I might check out some different method when I get means. Btw, no one ever told me that I am fat, I sure don't look horrible. Classic skinny fat look, but not having huge amount of fat, just lack of muscle.
Nutrition is practically as healthy I can eat at home, so meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, only drinking water, avoiding sweets, no fast food, etc. Nothing too special.
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2018 05:09 PM by sterling_archer.)
05-05-2018 05:05 PM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
This was supposed to be in my reply from yesterday but I forgot it then.

I think that figure of 1-1,5 grams you are talking about is regarding weight in lbs. So 1-1,5 * lbs. Not fully sure though. People actually need very low protein intake in order to just survive, but regarding building strength and mass, I have never seen approach that doesn't say to eat at least 1,5 grams per body weight in kilograms. Now, maybe I am eating a little to excessive amount of protein, but keep in the mind the following:

- if I get weight of some food wrong by little, I am actually eating a lower than this 150 / 160 grams
- it all comes down to calories in and out, so if I eat a food with higher amount of protein, I am still getting nice caloric surplus (I eat mainly pork and chicken), which is necessary for growth
- I am recovering pretty well because of higher protein with combination of general caloric surplus and good rest

Bottom line, even if something goes to waste, I am still progressing and gaining about 0,3 to 0,5 kg per week which I am pleased with. At the same time, I think I am getting into slight recomposition. Rippetoe talks about this. He says that when guys who are a bit fluffier around belly start SS, they are not getting much in weight but in fact are at the same time burning their fat and getting muscle. Thus the scale doesn't move but their body is looking different.
I noticed a bit looser pants at the same belt hole as before starting SS, but love handles are still here haha. Also, my legs are much firmer and I can't really pinch much fat from them. I know for sure that I am giving myself fully in the gym and am pretty sure I am burning there a nice amount of calories, especially since I train fasted.
05-06-2018 06:15 AM
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Irenicus Offline
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
I did not made a mistake when I claimed that you are eating too much protein. I did not say that this is unhealthy for you, I just wanted to point out that you are probably spending too much money for nothing. This peer study, for example, claims that between 1,3 - 1,8 g per kilo is fine:

Quote: Our consensus opinion is that leucine, and possibly the other branched-chain amino acids, occupy a position of prominence in stimulating muscle protein synthesis; that protein intakes in the range of 1.3-1.8 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) consumed as 3-4 isonitrogenous meals will maximize muscle protein synthesis. These recommendations may also be dependent on training status: experienced athletes would require less, while more protein should be consumed during periods of high frequency/intensity training. Elevated protein consumption, as high as 1.8-2.0 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) depending on the caloric deficit, may be advantageous in preventing lean mass losses during periods of energy restriction to promote fat loss.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150425


This is echoed by many nutritionists as well.


I did not call you fat - I claimed that 19% bf probably looks horrible on you, because you have a smaller frame. If it looked horrible on me when I was a teenager (185cm, 68 kg), I can only imagine how it looks on you (175 cm). I also have a cousin, who is my height and is a skinnyfat (because he drinks beer like water and does not lift). He didn't get pussy in years, not even an IOI. That's why I made that comment - been there.


The program you are doing is very good, stick to it (I used Stronglifts). It is great that you are riding a bike all the way to the gym and back -take advantage of that while you can (can't do that in say December). And also, don't expect that you will look like Arnold overnight (like most people). You will indeed lose those love handles (especially when you bulk up, and thus increase your basal metabolic rate), but it will take time.


Keep us posted.

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(This post was last modified: 05-06-2018 09:35 AM by Irenicus.)
05-06-2018 09:23 AM
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Post: #15
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Well, I don't like the skinny fat look, I can definitely tell you that. But I haven't really noticed any negative effect regarding how people deal with me. The only reason I am not using some other routine, coupled with cutting because if I would to get rid of this fat, when I would arrive at desired BF, I would look anorexic. Think about it, I would have to get probably under 60 kg to get off that excess fat.
Trust me I have been there, somewhere last summer I cut and got into place where I lost a lot of fat, but I still saw love handles. Since I didn't had a lot of muscle, I just looked underweight and weak.

Better currently to be on the bulk and reap the benefits of increasing lifts every workout and not worry about abs (which I never had) and think about cutting later when I achieve bigger muscle mass.

Are you doing SL now and how does it compare to SS, apart from being bigger in volume?
05-06-2018 09:35 AM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
People will not treat you like crap when you are skinnyfat, that is true. But, in time, when you pack some serious muscle, you will notice that people will treat you better. Since we diverted from your topic, this thread might interest you, where people (and yours truly) have written pages and pages about that difference:


https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-13091.html

(and mind you, it's not just women, and God forbid, gays).


Speaking of bulking and cutting, you are doing it right. As far as your love handles, you'll lose them rather quick, as you progress (I lost mine, and I never went through a cutting phase). Again, don't expect them to disappear overnight, because it took years for them to "develop".


I can't comment on the last question, because I never did SS.

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(This post was last modified: 05-06-2018 04:28 PM by Irenicus.)
05-06-2018 04:27 PM
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sterling_archer Offline
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
(05-06-2018 04:27 PM)Irenicus Wrote:  I can't comment on the last question, because I never did SS.

What is your current routine?
05-07-2018 12:59 AM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
https://stronglifts.com/5x5/

In addition, I add supplemental exercises to the existing program. Workout A (Squat, Bench, Row) gets standing biceps curls (with Olympic bar), and workout B (Squat, Overhead Press) gets dips. I am thinking of adding Arnold press as well on both A and B workouts, but I have a feeling it will be an overkill.

And I do 15 minutes on the stepping machine at maximun resistance, no breaks, at the end of both workouts.


Works well for me, results are there.

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(This post was last modified: 05-07-2018 05:21 PM by Irenicus.)
05-07-2018 04:29 PM
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Post: #19
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
I will not add anything to SS for some time, as after for example deadlifts, I am pretty much depleted. No way I could do 3 sets of chins or curls after such an exercise. Since routine now has entered phase 2, deadlift is done every other day so I finally got some recover. Rippetoe talks in length about how assistance exercises in SS can be detrimental for progression. Since we lift each time more, because of low rep range, weight is higher and thus it depletes you more. Curls and/or chins would in my case make recovery more difficult.
I read that a lot of newbies add curls to SS since SS doesn't have focus on arms much and that slows them down at the end.
05-08-2018 01:16 AM
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Post: #20
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
(05-08-2018 01:16 AM)sterling_archer Wrote:  I will not add anything to SS for some time, as after for example deadlifts, I am pretty much depleted. No way I could do 3 sets of chins or curls after such an exercise. Since routine now has entered phase 2, deadlift is done every other day so I finally got some recover. Rippetoe talks in length about how assistance exercises in SS can be detrimental for progression. Since we lift each time more, because of low rep range, weight is higher and thus it depletes you more. Curls and/or chins would in my case make recovery more difficult.
I read that a lot of newbies add curls to SS since SS doesn't have focus on arms much and that slows them down at the end.

The reason that people do this is that SS has a reputation for turning its adherents into 'centaurs' (e.g. overly developed lower body vs. upper body), hence people adding in extra arm work. It is a solid workout program for developing strength in the main lifts quickly, but lacking for aesthetics.

In any case it seems like you're following SS to build a good strength foundation and then switch to something else afterwards, which is a solid plan.

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05-08-2018 04:58 AM
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Post: #21
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
(05-08-2018 04:58 AM)thebassist Wrote:  The reason that people do this is that SS has a reputation for turning its adherents into 'centaurs' (e.g. overly developed lower body vs. upper body), hence people adding in extra arm work. It is a solid workout program for developing strength in the main lifts quickly, but lacking for aesthetics.

In any case it seems like you're following SS to build a good strength foundation and then switch to something else afterwards, which is a solid plan.

I am aware of cons regarding this program, but its goal is pretty simple, to get strength to newbies, push them out of novice stage and allow them to transition to some other more specific program for goals which they want. I think that Rippetoe stated many times that you don't use for his program for years. I am fine with that.
In phase 3 chins are introduced so I will wait with adding assistance exercises for now. After completing of program I will go for a more hypertrophy based program. I see that GSLP - Arms has a good mix between strength and hypertrophy training and that a lot of people say that Johnny's program is an improvement when compared to SS.
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 06:54 AM by sterling_archer.)
05-08-2018 06:13 AM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
I did not say that you must do chinups and biceps curls. I implied that they are supplemental exercises. If you can do them, fine. If you can't, it's also fine. There are not that vital.

In your case, they might be even detrimental, because there is a chance you won't be able to ride your bike back home, due to fatigue.


And it seems that you misunderstood this part:

Quote:Rippetoe talks in length about how assistance exercises in SS can be detrimental for progression. Since we lift each time more, because of low rep range, weight is higher and thus it depletes you more.


Basically, he said that you shouldn't do any assistance movements before you are done with the main ones.


Lets take Workout A (Squat, Bench, Row) from aforementioned Stonglifts.


If you do, for example, something like Squat, Biceps Curls, Bench, Row...you progression on the Bench Press (and other lifts such as OHP and DL from workout B) will suffer - especially when you start lifting heavy weights. You can get away with this now (since you are using small weights), but in the long term, no. You don't want to hold 50kg on OHP above your head when you are tired. You'll kill someone.


On the other hand, if you do Squat, Bench , Row and curls, not only your biceps will get a boost (I want to have big biceps muscles), but your progress on the big movements will not suffer at all, because you spent most of your energy doing those.


But again, given your situation, I would save energy for a bike ride back home.

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(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 03:19 PM by Irenicus.)
05-08-2018 03:14 PM
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Post: #23
RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Ah, if that is so, it makes sense. Still I am not yet sure about adding work at the end of workout. I might add in curls on day 2, but I will think about it. Tomorrow is that day and I'll see how I feel at the end of it and decide.
That bike home is not so tiring, actually I like to drive after squats and DLs, it seems it prevents fatigue of my legs.
What is your set/rep range on curls?
(This post was last modified: 05-08-2018 03:52 PM by sterling_archer.)
05-08-2018 03:47 PM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
Again, if you still have some gas in the tank, try doing some. If you don't, no big deal - it is just a supplemental exercise.

I do 3x5 on accessories.

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05-08-2018 05:14 PM
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RE: Archer's gym progress thread
So you are opting for more strength rep range approach than hypertrophy regarding accessories. Have you ever done for example higher reps on these exercises and compared them to 3x5, how are your gains regarding arms with your current routine?
05-09-2018 01:06 AM
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