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Captain's Log - jdubs27


Greetings all. I'm about to turn 24 and have decided to get back under the bar and lose some weight while upping my strength and conditioning. I haven't lifted regularly since high school and have become upset with my current physique. I've decided on Ripptoe's beginner program outlined in his practical programming for strength book. I like the practicality and simplicity of the program.

Workout A
Squats 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Dead Lift 1x5

Workout B
Squats 3x5
Overhead Press 3x5
Dead Lift 1x5

The plan is to lift 3x a week, alternating between these workouts and adding weight each time, about 5 lbs. My starting weights are going to be low so that I don't overdue it and hurt myself. I can lift a lot more but I want to start with light weights and perfect my form and build up my core and stabilizers so that when I get to the heavier weights my body will be ready. Here we go!


Starting weight is about 210-215, I want to get down to about 180. I'm going to be doing cardio and body weight circuits on off days. My diet will be mostly paleo with supplements.

Just finished Workout A. I felt like a pansy using such light weight compared to what I used to lift, but I need to put my ego aside.

After a warm up set or two:

Squats 3x5 with 135 lbs
Bench Press 3x5 105 lbs
Deadlift 1x5 225 lbs

Everything was really easy and felt good. I've had really bad shoulder problems in the past and haven't done back squats in a long time so I went especially light on those lifts. I'm currently doing some shoulder cuff work to prevent injury, and I plan on incorporating shoulder cuff work after every lifting day. I figure by adding 5 lbs to each lift every time I do it should bring up my numbers fairly quickly. Ripptoe recommends following this basic routine for 2-3 weeks before adding in some other exercises, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now I've decided to follow this until the rest of the month, and by adding 5 lbs ever time it should add around 40lbs to my squat and deadlift and 25 to by bench press and overhead press, since I alternate this lifts. Sounds good to me! I'm not going to record cardio workouts because doing cardio has never been a problem for me, but lifting regularly has. No more excuses. Time to get strong. Next planned lifting day is Monday. See ya then.


Just attempted weighted carries after reading a recent article by Dan John. Holy crap they are freaking hard. I did about a half mile carrying 5 gallon water jugs in each hand, but I took plenty of pit stops. About 85 pounds total. My goal is to do a mile without setting the jugs down, right now I really have no idea how long it will take to reach that goal, but I plan on doing weighted carries at least once a week until I reach that goal. Gunna be sore tomorrow I reckon.


Squats 3x5 with 140lbs

Press 3x5 75lbs

Deads 1x5 230lbs

Squats were a lot harder in the morning; I guess my nervous system wasn't awake yet. Deads were easy, but I usually use a lot more weight the few times a month I lifted before starting this program. One more workout and week one is over. After week two I'm going to move on to the next phase, which cycles different exercises. This way I can still add 5 lbs every time I do a each exercise without plateauing too quickly. Loving it so far.


+5 lbs on all Workout A lifts

Next planned workout is Saturday


Weights to use Saturday

Squats 3x5 with 150lbs

Press 3x5 80lbs

Deads 1x5 240lbs


Saturday workout went according to plan. Still feeling strong on all lifts. Finished with some planks and face-pulls, and a few other little exercises to keep my joints healthy. I've been doing these after every lifting day. Need to do more soft tissue work though.

If I keep this up I'll be lifting more than ever in no time! My only concern is that my weight loss efforts will impede my progress. This isn't an ideal program for someone trying to lose weight, but since its a strength program and not a mass program I think I should be alright. As long as I time my carbs around my workout I think I can recover and get stronger while dropping some lbs.

I finished the velocity diet last summer with great results, and starting tomorrow through Saturday I plan on following the velocity diet with two days of pulse fasting thrown in. With some fasted cardio in the morning and by sticking to my workouts, I'm hoping to drop up to 5 lbs during the next week. Fuck yea.

Weights to use on Monday's workout:

Squats 3x5 with 155 lbs (feelings strong on the squats, going ass to grass, numbers should steadily rise without any problems)

Bench Press 3x5 115 lbs (still unsure about my shoulders, but I'm optimistic, gotta be patient)

Deadlift 1x5 245 lbs (I need to get my grip strength up, just a few weeks ago I was doing over 300 lbs for 2-3 reps, but my grip is the limiting factor, I don't want to use straps at this point, sticking with lighter weight until I get used to lifting regularly)

Must improve grip strength!


Workout 5

Squats 3x5 150 lbs

Bench Press 3x5 120 lbs

Deadlift 1x5 240 lbs

Whoops, I just started a new job and tried to hit up the gym on my lunch hour, so between driving and showering and all that I only had about 25 minutes of gym time. Blasted through the workout no problem, everything was really easy even with like 30 second rest periods between sets, except I used the wrong weights cause I didn't have time to check my log. Oh well.

Next time I think I'll just add 10 lbs to my squat and deadlift, and bump my bench up to 135, because its been way too easy thus far. My shoulders are feeling a little stiff because I didn't have time to squeeze in my shoulder drills I usually do before benching, definitely never doing that again. If I can bench 135 without my shoulders aching I'll be very excited. I'm so tempted just to say fuck it and load up plates on the bench press but I know that would be stupid; I need to take it slow. I might just stick with 135 for a while and up the reps to about 10-15 until I can determine if my shoulders are up to more weight.

Deadlifting is going great, I really hope I can get to 295 without having to back off due to a weak grip. I can lift 295 right now but not for 5 reps without having to reset my grip. I can always do heavier singles but I want to stick with the 1x5 scheme that the program suggests.

Squatting is going good, easy sailing so far. BUT I think it is causing my neck to be really stiff. I need to review my form. I think I'm driving up with my head too much. Definitely plan on reviewing Ripptoe's exercise techniques videos I downloaded before Wednesday's workout. After next workout its time I start alternating deadlifts with power cleans, sweet!


Squats 165 3x5

Press 85 3x5

Deadlift 1x5 255

Easy workout today, felt great. Time to incorporate cleans and alternating them with the deadlifts, I think I do that for a couple of weeks then add pull and chin ups and back extensions, need to check.

Yesterday I did the v-burn beginner (-pike push-ups, those cause shoulder discomfort for me) in 17:10. I love this workout for its ease and its just great for mobility, I feel really loose today, love it. I plan to do these twice a week for until April.

Smooth sailing so far, I expect to see steady increases in my lifts for a few weeks yet.


Squat 170lb 3x5

Deads 260lb 1x5

Bench 125lb 2x5 135 1x5

Squats felt good. Deads are getting harder but still feeling strong. Bench is still awkward for me because I am so focused on my form and worried about my shoulders. The weight is pretty easy when I just relax and push. However, I don't want to get injured again so for a few weeks I think I'm going to stick with 135lbs and just do a lot of reps and sets until I feel comfortable adding more weight.


Squats 175 3x5

Power Cleans 115 5x3

Bench 135 2x5 1x10

lots of facepulls with different weight, generally around 27.5lb right now

After watching a squat technique video by Ripptoe, I realized that I've been squatting wrong all this time. I've been driving with my chest as you would do during front squats, while I should have been driving with my butt. This hip drive brings the hams into play and makes it so much easier!

First time doing power cleans, really cool exercise.

Review bench form further...

Feeling stronger, legs especially, body fat reducing gradually. F yea.


Squats 180 3x5

Press 90 3x5

Deadlift 1x5 265

Lower back was really fatigued after squats and presses, but I powered through the deadlifts alright. I wonder why my back was so much more fatigued than normal, I'll have to see if this is the case from now on or if it was just a fluke. Press was easy, starting to feel the weight on the squats but still easy to push through, deadlifts are just plain hard but I should still be able to progress nicely. One more week on this phase and then I start cycling in more exercises.

Getting stronger, feeling good, fuck yea.


Squats 185 3x5

Power Cleans 120 5x3

Bench 135-145lbs messed around with form and didn't focus on counting reps, bench still feels awkward to me, getting frustrated, left shoulder felt off...hmm...

Everything else going good


Due to minor elbow discomfort, I've decided to back down on the weight for power cleans until I get the form down better.

Also, I've decide to go back down in weights for the bench press until I am absolutely sure about my technique. I think I will practice each session and then on designated bench press days I will practice but also do some cable presses and flies to get in a good chest workout.

I refuse to be stupid and hurt myself again. On the bright side, I have no concerns about my overhead press, squats, or deadlifts. These 3 lifts should be more than enough to bump up my strength levels while I focus on some on learning how to bench and clean correctly with light weights.


Unexpected travel plans, won't be back until next week. I'll have access to some light dumbbells, plan to train and diet as best I can.


Didn't get any training in while traveling, but I've been strict with my diet since getting back and just got back into the gym today. Good workout.

I've switched to dumbbell bench press for now because they seem easier on my shoulders, but my left shoulder wasn't feel too good after my last set, which tells me that my form is fine but my old injury is still a problem. However, with proper warm-up drills and face-pulls directly after chest work, I think I can prevent any further problems, as long as I keep my ego in check.

Standing overhead press 3x5 100lbs - getting hard!

Deadlift 1x5 285lbs - physically and mentally difficult but kept good speed even through the last rep, probably never done this much weight for 5 solid consecutive reps, use to train in the 1-3 rep range, I'll be pumped when I can do 5 reps with 3 plates on each side, oh yeaahhh!!!!!

DB bench press 3x10 50lb dbs - continue with this weight for a few days to prevent injury

Face pulls w/ rope 3x12 25lbs (bump up weight)

This workout was done after 3 consecutive night shifts at the hospital and little rest, so hopefully it was harder than it would be normally, either way I'm happy with my progress so far, I just hope I don't stall for another couple of weeks.

Squats, abs and cardio tomorrow.

Using starting strength as a guide, but with my on-call employee status I have to be flexible.


Squats 3x5 195 getting harddd last couple reps real slow but pretty sure I can still put on at least 10 lbs before having to use the same weight on consecutive squat workouts

Overhead press 3x5 105 barely making last reps but got em all

Low cable row with large v-handle 2x10 1x7ish 1x4ish 120lbs

Noticed sharp but brief pain in left shoulder after training, could have been from anything, as squats have hurt my shoulders in the past, I either grip too narrow and have shoulder pain or go real wide and lose some of the tightness in my upper back. Feels good now and will continue to monitor and take precautions. Overall great workout, real quick. Been super busy with work and sleep has been off but hopefully I can recover and keep adding weight for a while, I really need to get through starting strength, off tomorrow so I'm planning on reading quite a bit.

I haven't been doing any cardio period, besides walking the dog, tomorrow I think I'm gunna do a shit ton of push ups and some planks, as well as some fast pace walking, and some straight arm push ups! HUZZZAHHH!


Forgot that I did some chins yesterday

3 sets, 7,6,8 or somewhere around there, excited to nail 10, hopefully soon

Diet has been really good, whole foods primarily and keeping carbs below 100 a day, even on training days.

Refusing to weigh myself until I KNOW that I'll see a number below 200, which if I keep this up will be sooner than later


Looking good man!
I hear ya with the shoulder problems, just take it slow, I partially dislocated both my shoulders....twice..... cause I was too dumb to be patient with lifting + football + pole-vaulting, patience is key, take your time and you'll be fine! I started with 95lbs on bench and after a couple months back up to where I was before I was injured so it all paid off.
Overall great progress man keep at it!


Ouch! If you can bench pain free after that I should be able to too if I'm patient, good advice and thanks man.