An Irishmans Crack at SS

I ve been training for awhile now and after lurking around these forums and looking at at other peoples logs I decided it was time to sign up and do it myself!

My background…

I ve always been reasonably active but never excelled at any one activity. I think as I was younger I used to get bored very easily and move onto the next activity/sport (Alcohol often got in the way of things to as I was fond of a tipple and there wasnt much could get between me and a night out). As I ve gotten older(30 now eek) I find I can stick to things a bit better. For the 3 years or so I ve mainly been involved in Thai boxing/ Kickboxing. This made me fit but never really gave much good shape. Over the last 8 mths or so i have been doing weights workouts along with the thaiboxing. These workouts were in a very unstructured way. Basically a week would be: thaiboxing 2/3 days, weights 2 days, throw in a run on another day.

My body shape has reacted alot better to the weights workouts than the thaiboxing. Even though in the thai boxing we did a LOT of pushups, situps, burpess etc… Since starting the weights have a got more muscular and definened looking which is what I want.

At the moment I am in between boxing clubs. Moved area and havent found a new one. I m keen to get back to it at somestage cause I love the training, but to be honest id been picking up a few injuries that I couldnt shake and it was getting frustrated. I think ill stick with the weights for now.

This brings me to Starting Strength. This program is ideal for what I want right now. A good planned,structured program. Thats what I need, other wise I fall off the track a bit. The only problem I have with this program is the deadlifts. A few years ago my arm was crushed in accident. Around the forearm, so I have very weak grip in my left arm. Its not tooo bad if my hand/palm is facing sideways, ie like a natural position hanging by my side. Still only at about 80% like this. If my palm is facing away or towards me its much weaker. Hard to explain in wrting. Basically it means my deadlifts will be shit. Im thinking of doing V handle rows instead. The exercise where one end of a barbell is on a hinge in the corner and you lift the other end using a V handle. Make sense?


I started SS last week. My log notebook is at home so Ill update this later. Its going good so far. My squat is weak. I havent squatted in a long time. Didnt do many leg exercises in the gym cause we did some bodyweight ones in thaiboxing training. I am really struggling on getting proper depth so had to drop the weight way down. Its only slightly bigger than my bench!

My current bw is 82kg and Im 5’ 11".

Edit: I never added in goals.
My goals are pretty vague really:
-get stronger
-more muscular
-keep my fitness up
-do the Eureka stair climb in November

Basically I want to put on muscle but keep it as lean as possible. I am not trying to get huge just a bit chunkier looking. I have a reasonable level of fitness from the kickboxing(although this has declined recently) and Id like to keep it as much as possible. There is a boxing gym opening in my area in October so I might give that a crack then and I dont want to be totally puffed out at that.

An update of my first week on starting strength:

Monday 1/8/11
Squats 3590 kg. I’m struggled with technique on this. Problems getting deep. I have pretty bad flexibiliy in hamstrings which doesn’t help.
Standing Press 3x5x42.5kg
Rows 3x5x55
Edit - forgot to add in pull ups 7,4

Tuesday 2/8/11
Interval training on the treadmill. 25 min including warm up cool down

Wednesday 3/8/11
Squat 3x5x80kg dropped the weight to improve my form. Much better
Bench 3x5x72.5kg

Tried deadlifting on one of these-

It’s a better for me cause the handles are parallel to body so its a bit easier on my grip. Grip still failed when I tried adding more weight. I had 100kg on it. Not sure what your lifting on this cause it’s on a hinge. Anyway I only managed 3 reps before it started to slip.
Dips 11,9

Thursday 4/8/11
35 min run with the dog.

Friday 5/8/11
Squats 3x5x85kg
Press I did 1set of 5 with 45kg. Struggled. So went back to 42.5 for the rest.
Row 3x5x60kg
Pull ups 8,5

Saturday 6/8/11
20 min run with the dog. Few sprints thrown in at the park. Felt very tired doing this which isn’t suprising really since I’ve done more squats in the past week than I have in the past year.

Today is a rest day. Probably take the dog for a long walk. Bit hungover this morning. Had some friends over for dinner. I cooked lamb shanks. It was savage. Washed it down with a few bottles of wine and beer. Good times.

Todays Workout went really well. The squats are starting to feel good. Im no longer feeling wobbly when i try and go deep. When I started i really felt like i was going to tip over when I went deep. I workout at 6am these days cause it fits into my schedule well. I am not sure if its the best time to be doing weights. I try and eat something before hitting the gym but as its so early and i am still half asleep i can just manage a slice of bread or something.

Squats 3x5x90kg - felt great
Bench 3x5x75kg
Someone was using the deadlift machine and I was stuck for time so I did pull ups with a V handle instead.
9, 6
Dips 7xBW 10kg, 8xBW 10kg first time I tried weighted dips. Went ok. I just used a 10kg dumbbell holding it with my feet cause I dont have weight belt.

Last nights cardio - 9/8/11
Run with the dog. 10 mins jog to the park, 12 sprints(about 100m), jog home. Some core work on the ab wheel thingy.

This morning - 10/8/11 6am
Had a good workout. Im really enjoying this Starting Strength program.

Squats 3x5x95kg - form was a bit off on the last couple of reps. Ill keep with this weight the next day
Military press - 3x5x45kg feeling a bit stronger and more comfortable on this exercise.
Rows 3x5x62.5kg
Chins 8,5

I took a few pics last night which I must stick up to see if I make any noticeable progress.

I woke up today with a bit of a twinge in my back which doesn’t feel right. Hopefully it will have worked out by the morning and I’ll be able to get my workout in. I had back problems a good few years ago and I don’t want that again.

My legs were fairly stiff today too so I went for a light jog after work with the dog. Did about 25 mins and loads of stretching when I got home. Some core work too.

I’ll see how I am n the morning if I go to the gym. I might just go and do sone bag work if my back is still off and leave the weights til Saturday.

Back felt much better so i was in the gym for 6am.

Squats 3x5x95kg - kept with this weight since Wednesday cause my form was off then
Bench 3x5x77.5kg
Dead lift machine 5x100kg
Dips bw 12.5kg x 9,6

Bench press is becoming my favorite exercise. I am powering through the gains and I love it! Wont last for long i know. Its been awhile since I did the bench. When I was in the accident a few years ago I dislocated my shoulder and did something to my ac joint. It reset a bit funny and used to give me pain on the bench press. seems to be much better now.

I struggle to eat something in the morning before my workouts. partially because of time, but also cause i just dont feel like it. I guessing this will affect my lifts eventually. What should I try and eat?

Its the wifes birthday today so its out tonight for a nice meal and plenty of drink! A nice steak, red wine and a have few beers. Cant wait.

Well the exercise and diet over the weekend was pretty bad. a lot of shit was eaten and beer drank. Yesterday was beautiful here in Melbourne so I did get to take the dog out for a few long walks. Ah well so it was back to the gym this morning.

Squats 3x5x100kg
OHP 3x5x47.5kg
Row 3x5x65kg
Chins 9,5

Workout went well this morning. Finished each of the lifts without any major problems. Starting to feel a bit stronger on the OHP. The beer over the weekend must not have affected me to much!

Tonight’s training:
Took the dog for a run to a different park tonight and there was a pull up bar there. I did 6 sets of
Pull ups 5,5,3,3,3,2
Push ups 15,15,15,15,15,15
100 metro sprint ( or there a bouts)

Then ran home. It was about 40 mins altogether.

Today’s diet was a pretty average days diet
7.30am 3 eggs on rice
10.30am protien shake, yoghurt
12.30 lunch - large grilled chicken breast, 2 slices wholemeal bread, some cottage cheese
3.30pm orange and apple
7pm dinner - lean mince meat, some veg, curry powder, on rice

Throw in a cup of green tea(started drinking this lately when there was no coffe in work) and 2 or 3 coffee. Maybe a biscuit or bit of chocolate too.

This mornings workout 6am:

Squat 3x5x105kg
Bench 3x5x80kg bit wobbly on this. I thought at one stage I was going to slide off the bench. I think i held the bar unevevnly or something
Deadlift Machice: 1x5x120kg
Dips bw 15kg 8,5

Pretty happy with this workout this morning. Getting up early isnt even bothering me anymore. The wife isnt too happy with me going to sleep so early though. Some nights she doesnt get home from work til after 10 and I am mostly asleep by then!
I have a nice big porterhouse steak waiting for me at home this evening which will get me through work :slight_smile:

Some pics i took last week
Front 10 August 2011

Front 10/8/11

Side 10/8/11


Back 10/8/11

Tonights workout was the same as Tuesdays. I probably should have changed something but couldnt be bothered really.

10 min run to park, then 6 sets of:
pull ups (cant remember how many)
push ups 15
run 100m

run home.
Tired now.

This mornings workout:

Squat 3x5x110kg hmmmm not so good, going to keep this weight again the next time. form was terrible.
OHP 3x5x50kg this was better than I thought. I usually struggle when I up the weight on this
Row, 1x3x67.5kg failed on the last set
chins 10, 5 most chins ive ever done! go me. i felt very light after the rows for some reason.

came home and had last nights leftovers for breakfast. roast lamb, few spuds and carrot, gravy and 2 fried eggs. yum

A bit of inspiration…

This fella is a legend here in Melbourne. he turned 80 a few weeks back. He still gets up at 5.30am every morning, does a 5km run, 200 pushups, 200 situps, and then a swim in the ocean. He’s a former AFL player. They used him in the Jeep Wrangler ad cause the Jeep was celebrationg its 70th bday. Fairly inspiring stuff. Fitter than most fellas my age I know!

I went a bit mad over the weekend and bought myself a home gym. Picked it up second hand. a Nautilus NT 1200 Power cage, Olympic bar, 270kg weights, stands for storing the weights, dumbbells, Olympic Ez curl bar, chin-up/dip station, belt for adding the weight on dips etc… and a couple of other handles and bits and pieces. He even threw in a treadmill which I didn’t want but the wife said she’ll use it. got it all for $1000 which i was pretty happy with. He said it cost $3500 altogether. Not sure how true that it is but it wouldn’t be too far off Id say. He was trying to sell it for a few weeks and I was keeping an I on his add. He started at $1800… $1500…$1300 and when i saw it drop to $1100 I thought to hell with it, and went for it. My gym membership is up in the next few weeks and I had been thinking about setting one up myself. My gym membership is about $700 a year so I suppose its about a year and a halves membership cost. All I have to so now is put it all back together and us it!

This mornings workout 6am.
Squat 3x5x110kg much better than friday
Bench 3x5x82.5kg bit wobbly but got there
dead lift machine 1x4x125kg failed on the last rep
Dips bw 15kg 7,5 fail, worse than last week. Shoulder was a bit so though from moving all the shit yesterday. my excuse anyway.

I am pretty happy with myself that I havent missed a morning workout in 4 weeks! A few years ago I would have laughed hard if someone suggested getting up at 5.50am to workout.

Yesterdays workout was terrible and not even worth logging. Its the first really bad workout I have had since starting this program so I am not too disappointed. I did manage to move up weight on my OHP but thats it.

This morning workout 6am
Met a friend in a local park for some training. Ran for around 30 mins, then did a couple of rounds of pad work with some pushups thrown. Nice early morning cardio workout.

LAst weeks workouts were pretty shit. the worst week i had since starting this program. i didnt even log fridays one cause it was so shite. Maybe i was just tired or something.

The weekend was beautiful here in Melbourne. A sign that spring is just around the corner. On saturday I took the dog for a light run, 25 mins or so. On Sunday we just relaxed in the garden. Girlfriend cooked a savage lamb roast and sat outside eating and drinking.

This mornings workout was a good bit better than last weeks. ALthough I took way too much time on the squats and didnt have time for the rows, so just did a few sets of pull ups instead.

6am workout

Squats 3x5x115kg i think i will keep this weight for a few workouts and try and get my form down pat. ive noticed as ive been upping the weight my form has been getting incrementally shiter.
OHP 3x5x50kg i didnt have any 1.25kg plates to up this so i just put on collar lock things. not sure how much they weigh but its less than 1.25kg. i have some 1.25kg plates but they arent for Olympic bars. I might just hang them on with string or something the next day
Pull ups 7,5,3 this was shit.