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MC's Iron Paradise

Hey All,

New here, but a long time browser. Love all the information diamonds I have found here.


Age: 27
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 76 kg
Location: Bangkok, TH


I have been “casually” weight lifting on and off for the past 13+ years, but never stuck it out more than a couple months at a time or seen any significant progress. Never seen my abs - which is one of my goals after the strength gains I want.

Since living in Bangkok the past 3 years, I have been training more consistently, but not nearly hard enough. The past 4-5 months I decided it was time to change and have been running a few programs until the past 1 month when I decided to start doing Starting Strength to get a good base going.

I eat very well. I have an awesome fiance who loves to cook clean and count my macros for me!


So after 1 month of SS, my numbers are currently:

Bench Press - 70 kg (154lb)
Squat - 90 kg (198lb)
Deadlift - 100kg (220lb)

I am not sure how realistic this is, but my goals by the end of this year:

Bench Press - 90 kg
Squat - 120 kg
Deadlift - 130 kg
Cut enough to see my abs


I have been able to go up in weight every session 3 times a week so far. I plan to continue this until I can’t go up in weight 2 sessions in a row and swap out for something else. Any advice is welcome on this front. I know it will be difficult to increase my strength while also cutting.

I currently go to the gym M-W-F and a Saturday HIIT session with my fiance who is training in a bodybuilding fashion. I may need to cut out Sat soon as my body is starting to have trouble recovering in time for my lifts.

I plan to log all my sessions and maybe some meals here. All feedback is welcome!


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Going to go ahead and start this off from yesterday as today is my rest day.

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well at all when I woke up and was very disappointed in my lifts. I probably should have stayed home because I must have caught a cold, had the typical symptoms today.

Squat - 3 warmup sets working to 5x3 90kg
Standing OH Press - 3 warmup sets working to 40kg
Deadlift - 3 warmup sets working to 1x5 90kg

My fiance noticed my knees look a bit overstretched in my squat and I noticed my feet come up a little bit in the heels. I have a video for reference. Any tips on fixing this? It feels natural to me and I just can’t seem to keep the heels of my feet flat.

My fiance made Tom Yum Goong and Massaman Curry for the week. All packed up in boxes and ready to go.

A few things,

Lose the shoes, they arent helping your cause. Get something that doesnt have a mushy sole would be a good starting point. (chucks are pretty good and cheap)

You are starting the descent by breaking both the hips and knees at the same time. Which isnt wrong but if you dont have the necessary mobility in one of those joints it becomes hard to hit full depth in a straight line. Try to think about pushing your butt back a little bit then kind of sitting in the hole. It may help to practice just with no weight on the bar. After breaking at the hips you want to track your knees outward by pushing them out or even twisting your feet in an outward motion into the ground.

What do you do as far as warm ups go? Foam rolling a little bit and doing some static calve stretching has helped my ankle mobility tremendously.


I had a feeling my shoes were making the issue worse. I will see what I can find this weekend.

My warm up may be a bit weak, I do a few stretches after walking to the gym (about a 30 min walk) and then start with the bar and increase the weight a couple times doing 5 reps until I reach my 5x5 weight. Sometimes I will do a bit of foam rolling.

Is there any mobility exercises I could add in to help? I will try what you said tomorrow.

Thanks for information. Very helpful.

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Look into Joe DeFranco’s Limber 11. I started doing that before every lower body session and its helped me tremendously. My mobility was terrible and was giving me some knee pain/grief until I started to do this with some calve stretching and it has been a game changer. Your form still needs a bit of work, you ever watched any of the Juggernaut Squat pillar youtube videos?

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Today I took kckfl349’s advice and started out with Defranco’s Limber 11. HOLY SHIT. I felt and still feel AMAZING. My usual lower back soreness has not been an issue all day and I just feel more loose.

I also checkout out the Juggernaut Squat Pillar videos - they were awesome as well, but unfortunately I really messed up on my squats today. I just kept psyching myself out on the final rep and trying to get my form right. Need to work on this. But I took that and made sure my other lifts were spot on. The bench felt great today.

Warmup - Defranco Limber 11
Squat - 2 warm up sets working to a 5x4(2 sets were 3) 92kg
Bench Press - 2 warm up sets working to 5x5 72kg
BO Barbell Rows - 2 warm up sets working to 5x5 52kg

Will keep working on my mobility. I really felt the difference today even though my numbers weren’t where I wanted them.

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Def lose the shoes, squat barefoot if you have to, I did for years, it’s awesome!
As far as strength goals, you should be able to smash those goals, eat well, lift smartly and those lifts will be a warm-up in no time.


I may try out barefoot on Fri. If it doesn’t go well I will see what I can find this weekend. Thanks I_Luc, I will be toasting to you guys once I hit these numbers and look forward to the next 100kg.

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Decided to go back down to 90kg on my squat today since I didn’t technically do the 5 reps in all the sets last time around and it was bothering me.

Warmup - Defranco Limber 11
Squat - 2 warm up sets working to a 5x5 90kg
Standing OH Press - 3 warmup sets working to 5x4 50kg
Deadlift - 3 warm up sets working to 1x3 100kg

As far as eating, it has been a pretty typical day for me:

Breakfast - 100g of Oatmeal with almond milk + banana + raisins
Post Workout - 2 scoops Cellucor protein + banana + avacodo + almond milk + sunflower sprouts + flax seed
Lunch - 100g rice and 100g chicken mixed with potato in massaman curry
Snack - Salmon sandwich and 2 “protein balls” (made out of mixed nuts and dates that my fiance makes)
Dinner - Likely catfish or tilapia with rice and an omelette
Snack - Black beans / banana / whatever we have around

I was feeling really good today. Can’t wait to get back in there on Mon. Want to get a new video of my squat post shit shoes, haha.


Wasn’t planning on going to the gym today, but got roped in by the girlfriend. It was nice using the foam roller for a longer period though + I was able to spend this off day to isolate some body parts I feel are starting to lack.

Defranco Limber 11
10 minute walk
BB Hammer Curls - 3x10 10kg
Tricep pushdown - 3x10 110kg
2 HIIT sets of:

  1. Weighted sled push
  2. Weighted sled pull
  3. Rope slams
  4. 25 kg sandbag carry

Eating is about the same as yesterday.

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Today I was running a bit late because of the rain here and in a hurry I remembered the wrong numbers on my last lifts, so my numbers for bench and BOBR are actually LESS than I was supposed to do. At least I went up on my squat today. Felt really good, got a new video for a form check that I will post later today.

Warmup: Defranco Limber 11
Squat - 3 warmup sets working to 5x5 93kg
Bench - 2 warmup sets working to 5x5 70kg
BO Barbell Rows - 1 warmup set working to 5x5 50kg

Will make sure I have more time on Fri and double check the numbers.

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As promised, here are a couple videos. Still working on my form, but has improved post shoe. I love squatting barefoot now, so thanks for the advice.

My knee began to cave inward on my final couple reps. Working on that as well. Any feedback is appreciated as usual.

Warm up @ 60kg

Last reps @ 93kg

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Looks a little bit better, a few more pointers:

Take your time on the setup and getting under the bar (tape your setup next time too). Your wrists are bent under the bar. You want to have a straight line from your elbow and perpendicular to the bar through your hands if that makes sense. Basically keep your wrists in extension and straight. It helps me to take my thumb off the bar so that i can keep proper tension in my lats/upper back.

Not sure as to your goals for lifting but you could prob sink those heavier sets a bit more unless mobility is what is holding you from dropping lower. Try to imagine keeping your shins a bit more vertical when in the hole and pushing your butt back a little more and knees out. Your glutes can be a powerful driver combined with quads in the hole.


I will try that out and get a video of the setup. Yeah, I would love to drop lower, but I am having some issues with my left leg/hip area. I am not sure what’s going on, but I get sharp pain in that area when dropping too low. Doesn’t matter whether I have weight on or not.

My brother is a PT and thought maybe FAI or a labral tear, but that was just over a phone call describing what was happening as we are in different countries. Have you ever dealt with something like that?

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I personally have never had any hip issues. If your having sharp pain you may want to to watch out. I’m pretty sure @ape288 has dealt with some hip issues before and actually had surgery to correct an issue. He may be able to give some insight

I used to have my hands in close like that but much prefer having a wider grip, it def puts lss strain on the wrists and shoulders. Squats are looking good, and barefoot is awesome, I used to love it, and still squat barefoot a lot in summer :+1:


Today was not my day at the gym. My body just wasn’t having it with the squats and presses today. I did go up in weight on squats, but almost every rep felt like shit. Did the same weight for OH presses, but started failing after the 3rd set and just didn’t feel right in general. Really odd because I did the same weight last week for 5x4.

My savior was deadlifts today. I stayed at 100kg since last week I only repped 3 - today the deads felt great and I think I could have added at least another 5kg on there, but I did them last and had to run to work.

Warmup - Defranco Limber 11
Squat - 3 warmup sets working to 3x5 95kg
Standing OH Press - 1 warmup set working to 3x5 50kg
Deadlift - 1 warmup set working to 1x5 100kg

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Everyone has bad days, just gotta keep your head up and look to the next session. Just keep at that weight until it feels easy.

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Did something a little different with squats today due to some knee/hip pain and trying to improve my form.

Warmup - Defranco Limber 11
Squats - 1x5 40kg,1x5 60kg, 1x5 80kg, 1x5 90kg, 1x5 95kg
Bench - 2 warmup sets working to 6x4 75kg
BO Barbell Row - 1 warmup set working to 5x5 60kg

Thanks @kckfl349, I will keep at it. Squats are my nemesis!

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Did some minor arm and ab work on Saturday and took Sunday off. Came back today feeling like a new man. Last week had me down, so today was much needed. This week I plan on breaking that 100kg barrier that has to eluded me for so long and start the journey to 2-3-4 plates.

Warmup - Defranco Limber 11
Squat - 3 warmup sets to 5x5 95kg
OH Press - 2 warmup sets to 5x5 50kg
Deadlift - 1 warmup set to 1x5 102kg

I have a deadlift video coming soon for a form check as well since you guys helped me so much with the squats. Much appreciated as usual.