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Fat and Fixing it: Atlas Beginning Strongman

After training took a hard dive due to another injury, a wedding, a move, and 2 months in a new job, it is time to get my act together. Training hard, going to log and track my progress, hoping to see some real gains here in the next year or so.

Just joined a strongman gym out in San Diego, so will have an opportunity to train that for the first time. Very excited, and hopefully some comps in my future.

Obligatory beginning stats:
Height: 5’10
Age: 22
Weight: No idea, still waiting for my scale to come in. Above 230 I’m guessing

Work for Yesterday:

Lat Pulldown: 140x8, 140x8, 14010
Super set with
Overhead press: 135x5, 135x5, 135x7

DB Row: 3x10x85
Superset with
Dips (BW): 3x4 (absolutely no shoulder mobility after dislocating it, babying it back)

Giant set:
Tricep Pushdown: 3x10x100
Axle Curl: 3x10x55 (maybe, no idea what the axle weighs, so guessing 25)
Lat raise: 3x10x20

Work for Today:

Deadlifts: 135x5, 225x5, 315x2, 355x5, 355x5, 355x8

Front squat: 135x5, 185x5, 185x5, 185x7

Frame Carry: 4 rounds, 300lb frame, 100 feet

Conditioning: 4 rounds
10 sandbag squats
10 KB swings
60 jump ropes

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Work for Today:

Warmup: 6 sets of 3 throwing medicine balls at the wall (I normally do some sort of throw or jump before I lift, figured I should start recording it)

Superset:
Seated Cable Row: 170x8, 170x8, 170x11
Bench press: 215x5, 215x5, 215x6

Log Clean and Press: 135x5, 135x5, 135x10

Superset:
Lat pulldown: 3x8x150
Lat raise: 3x12x20

Giant Set:
Overhead DB extension: 65x12, 65x12, 65x15
Axle curl: 55x12, 55x12, 55x10
Band pull apart: 12, 12, 12

Notes:

  • First time touching a log in over a year, and only second time ever. Started with 135 because that’s the logs weight empty. The initial clean feels awkward, but the actual press feels great. I think because of my crappy shoulder mobility, I can actually push press more with a log than a barbell. Weird. Definitely upping the weight next time

  • Suppose I should take a moment to explain my programming. I am not following any sort of real program because I will be traveling for about a month in 7 weeks, so I don’t want to start a program I can’t finish. Not sure what the gym situation will be where I am going, but pretty sure I won’t have any strongman toys. Also, because I am just getting back into the swing of things, I expect some strength to come back pretty quick, so I’m just keeping it simple. I have three tiers of movements. Tier 1 is deadlifts, bench, overhead, front squat, SSB squat, and log. Tier 1 gets trained 3x5, with the last set taken to technical failure. If I get 7, ill bump the weight the next week. Tier 2, rack pulls rows lat pull etc, is basically the same except 3x8, bumping weight if I hit 10 on the last set. Tier three is the little stuff. Lat raises, curls, and there I’m not too focused on weight or reps, just trying to get some blood flowing and some volume into the muscles near the end of the workout. More injury prevention than anything. Will run this for a few months; then probably hop into some of Brian Alsruhe’s programming.

Work For Today:

Prep: 5 sets of 3 box jumps

SSB squats: 135x5, 235x3, 265x5, 265x5, 265x7

RDL: 135x5, 185x8, 185x8, 185x12

Db walking lunge: 25x10, 25x10

Atlas Stones to mid chest platform: 95x3, 120x3, 120x3, 120x3, 145xnope

Notes:

  • Lower back is fried. Normally, i won’t lift 4 days in a row. Planning on Mon-tues then thurs-fri for my lifting days to get a little recovery time, but just didn’t happen this week. Not a big deal, but I could tell I was tender.

  • SSB is no joke. I was testing it out, and waiting for that whole “pushing you down” feeling that so many people say they feel. Was pretty vertical, and honestly didn’t think it was bad… until two 4 of my 3rd set with 265 where I leaned forward maybe an inch more than usual. Jesus it threw me off fast. I like it way more than normal squats, will definitely keep this in the rotation

  • Atlas Stones. I love em. I also hate em. Attacking these last with an already fried lower back may not of been the smartest move, but I kind of like ending the day with em. 95 was a joke, 120 was manageable, but I could not get 145 moving. If I can lap it, it’s easy for me to get it up. Still, I think the biggest thing for me is I just have no idea what I’m doing on the pick, and it’s hurting me. Definitely an area to work on

  • A bird shit all over the seat of my motorcycle while I was in the gym. Not relevant but I was not a happy camper

Work for Today:

Super set 1:
Lat pulldown: 145x8, 145x8, 145x11
Overhead press: 140x5, 140x5, 140x8

Superset 2:
Cable row: 160x10, 160x10, 160x10
Dips: 5, 5, 5

Giant set:
Rope pushdown: 60x12, 60x12, 60x12
Axle curl: 55x12, 55x12, 55x12
Lat raise: 20x12, 20x12, 20x12

Conditioning:
10 minutes on weird elliptical/stairclimber abomination

Notes:

  • I presses felt strong today, very strong. Think I had more in me but went in with 8 as a goal

  • Switched DB rows for cable rows mainly because I really liked the cable when I tried it last week. Going to build on that for awhile

  • Plan for conditioning was to run a mile. My gym has one small treadmill. It took me about 5 steps to realize I am officially too fat for this treadmill, thing was skipping like crazy. Thus, the elliptical thing. Will do that until I drop some pounds, or until I start running outside to train for my next PRT

Work for Today:

Warmup: box jumps

Deadlifts: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2, 365x5, 365x5, 365x8

Front Squat: 135x5, 190x5, 190x5, 190x7

100 foot frame carry: 320, 320, 320, 320

Conditioning: 3 rounds
15 44lb kb swing
15 44lb kb goblet squat
10 sledgehammer slams
Jump rope x50

Notes:

*deads and squats both feeling strong. Feel like I am more “rediscovering” strength rather than actually getting stronger, but hey I’ll take the gains either way

  • This conditioning sucked. Hard. The squats were the worst part because I would try to brace, which meant I wasn’t breathing, so I’d run out of breathe like crazy because my heart rate was already up. Good kind of suck, definitely doing it again

Whole workout took me about 1 hour 10 min. Need to cut that down if I’m going to start lifting before work

Work for Today:

Warmup: bunch of med ball throws

Superset 1:
Seated row: 40x10, 110x5, 160x3, 175x8, 175x8, 175x10
Bench: 45x10, 135x5, 185x3, 220x5, 220x5, 220x5

Log Clean and Press: 145x5, 145x5, 145x9

Superset 2:
Lat pulldown: 150x8, 150x8, 150x9
Lateral raise: 3x20x13

Giant set: 3 rounds
Overhead Db extension: 70x10, 70x10, 70x12
Axle curl: 55x12, 55x12, 55x12
Band pull apart: 15, 15, 15

Notes:

  • I know this may be a sin, but I hate bench: just always feel wrongs, never feels my pecs, always worried that I am either lifting too slow or dropping the weight on my chest. One of those lifts that has still to “click” in my head. Very seriously going to consider just dropping bench in my next training cycle and move to incline or maybe floor press, both have always get better

  • 145 feels a lot heavier than 135 on a log. Managed 9, may have had more, but not clean reps

Work for today:

Warm up: a little jammer, some skips, couple broad jumps

SSB: 70x5, 160x3, 210x2, 270x5, 270x5, 270x7 PR

RDL: 45x10, 135x5, 195x8, 195x8, 195x9

Db Walking Lunge: 25x10, 25x10

Atlas stones: 95x3, 120x3, 120x3, 160x1, 160x1, 160x1

Conditioning: 4 rounds, 30 sec rest
Sled push: 45lbsx100 feet

Forget to hit submit On the last post, that’s actually from Saturday.

Work for Today: (running late, sprint through the workout haha)

Superset 1:
Lat Pulldown: 155x8, 155x8, 155x9
Overhead Press: 145x5, 145x5, 145x8

Superset 2:
Cable row: 165x10, 165x10, 165x10
Dips: 6, 6, 6

Giant set:
Db overhead extension: 3x12x70
Axle curl: 3x12x55
Lat raise: 3x12x20

Work for today:

No warm up

Deadlift: 135x5, 225x3, 315x2, 375x5, 375x5, 375x8

Front squat: 135x5, 195x5, 195x5, 195x7

And that was it. In and out in maybe 30 minutes? In-laws are visiting, on top of a busy work schedule, so time was tight today. Deadlifts felt awful but moved well so… meh.

I’m down to see how training in a strongman gym goes. What is your training history if you dont mind me asking?

Hey boss,

Training history is a little sporadic. Played football and wrestled in high school, ranked pretty well on the state level in both. Lots of fun there, and had my introduction to weightlifting through sports.

Went to college and joined my schools powerlifting team. Competed in the USAPL for about a year until I tore my Patellar tendon falling off the obstacle course… that was fun. After that, weights took a hold, and I actually got into BJJ for the next two years. Not too much lifting then, a basic 2x a week full body thing for the most part, then just running and calisthenics. Loved BJJ, still would like to get back to it.

Hopped around bodybuilding programs for a couple months but I just could not stick with any of them for long, the type of training just didn’t excite me. Other than that, the last year was a lot of running, rucking, and calisthenics for some Military evolutions I was doing.

Got hitched, moved to San Diego. Did CrossFit for a month, old shoulder injury started to hurt like ever loving hell (torn rotator cuff). Then the gym upped their prices and I decided it wasn’t worth it, found the strongman gym two days later. And now we’re here haha

Pretty solid background. Welcome back to the grind. Looking forward to following along.

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Work for today:

Superset 1:
Cable row: 175x10, 175x10, 175x11
Bench press: 220x5, 220x6, 220x7

Log Clean and Press Press: 155x5, 155x5, 155x5

Superset 2:
Lat pulldown: 150x9, 150x9, 150x10
Lat raise: 20x13, 20x13, 20x15

Giant set:
Overhead DB extension: 75x10, 75x10, 75x10
Axle curl: 55x13, 55x13, 55x13
Band pull apart: 12, 12, 12

Notes:
Felt pretty good today. Got the same for bench as last week, but it felt better. May have had another rep in me, but I wasn’t going to find out without a spotter. Jumped up 10lbs on the logic felt like I jumped 40. 155 was far heavier than 145, but I still got my 3x5 so I’m happy. Decided not to push the weight on accessories today and just push the reps instead, nice change of pace

Work for Friday:

Did squats, RDLs, and some stones. Forgot to log, forget the weight. Whoops

Work for today:

No warmup (busy day)

Superset 1:
Lat pulldown: 155x8, 155x8, 155x10
Overhead Press: 150x5, 150x5, 150x8

Superset 2:
Cable row: 170x10, 170x10, 170x10
Dips: 7, 7, 7

Giant Set:
Rope push down: 70x12, 70x12, 70x10
Axle curl: 60x10, 60x10, 60x10
Lat raise: 20x12, 20x12, 20x12

Notes:

  • Not bumping weight on lat pulldowns for a bit, going to focus on really owning this weight here and making sure to feel it with my back before trying to add more. Maybe stay here for the next 2 weeks or so, just adding reps

  • Overhead press felt like crap, yet moved well. Was worried I wouldn’t get my 3rd set of 5, then pushed to 8. Weird day. Everything felt awful but moved well… I’ll take it.

  • My shoulder still hates dips and I am determined to get good at them again. When I wrestled, I used to do sets of 30 for dips. Getting back to it…slowly

  • My wife and I decided to do a 2 month fitness challenge. Not any formal thing, just the 2 of us making a pact with one another. Meal prepping every Sunday, one cheat meal a week. No missed workouts. No alcohol. I’m pretty excited, diets been sloppy since moving and the wedding, feel like this is going to be a nice kick start to feeling like my usual self again

Work for today:

Warmup:… none. Again. I really should do something, my mobility has always been awful.

Deadlifts: 135x5; 225x5, 315x1, 385x5, 385x5, 385x8 (PR)

Front squat: 135x3, 205x5, 205x5, 205x5

Superset 1:
Reverse hyper: 25x12, 25x12, 25x12
Ab wheel rollout: 8, 8, 8

Conditioning: 10 min elliptical thing

Notes:

*awesome deadlift day. I think 385 for 8 is technically a PR for me. Not the strongest my deadlift has been, but I never did reps above 5 when I was stronger, so sort of a PR by default. Whatever, I’ll take it. Last rep took everything I had, fairly certain I met Jesus somewhere in there.

  • Front squats were okay. Still added 10lbs, still hit 3x5. I may have had more in me on the last set, but I wasn’t liking how the squats were feeling. Felt my upper back caving too much; was muscling the weight rather than squatting it. Being fried from deads didn’t help any. Still a good lift, just won’t bump weight next week

  • No carries this week, tore a callus on the last set of deads, was bleeding everywhere. Did some reverse hyper for the first time, felt weird. Homemade rig, lots of the gym is by a local dude with a welder. Definitely some built in heft to the swing arm, so I just threw on a 25 and got in some reps. Definitely bumping the weight up quite a bit next time.

  • I hate training abs. I also need to train abs. And training is going to start to happen on lower days. Damn.

Nice job on the deadlift pr. Keep up the good work.

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Thanks man, really feeling like I’m getting back to a good place. Long way to go, but I’m happy with the progress

What is an SSB squat btw?

Safety Squat Bar squats.

I may be totally off base on how I labeled that, just know the bar is called the SSB bar… actually that would be safety squat bar bar… oh god what have I done haha

Oh ok. Lol.