T Nation

PL in My Future?

Hi Everyone,

Longtime article reader and log lurker here. Thought for the longest time that I might want to be an FA, but I just don’t seem to have the discipline needed to dial my diet in that tightly. I’ve thought for years about starting a log, but I guess the stars never aligned until now. A fellow gym goer put a bug in my ear about powerlifting a couple of months ago, and now that school (for my kids) is out, I can actually consider the possibility…

I’m a 42 year old, SAHM of three, ages 14, 12 and 10. I’ve been lifting casually since high school, (with breaks due to life) and (somewhat) seriously for about 6 years. I love feeling strong and lifting heavy (compared to the average gym female, not a PL female!) But I’m curious to see if I might be able to develop the strength needed to do well in a Raw PL competition.

I intend to steer my training in the PL direction starting on Monday, 6/23,with the help of that fellow (Bench only Powerlifting) gym goer, but wanted to get this first post in just to say hi, and give a little background about where I’m starting from.

Because of life events (houseguests, and my oldest daughter graduating from 8th grade,) I’ve only gotten 3 workouts in during the last 3 weeks, (2 this week, 1 last week, and none the week before) whereas I usually get at least 3, if not 4 workouts in per week.

I will post my three most recent workouts in the next post, just to give you an idea of my starting point. Keep in mind that these were done with the idea of just getting back in the gym after a break to get everything moving again.

-Whitny

Ok, totally not sure if this is the correct method for posting in my own log, but here goes…

Also forgot to put in that I am about 5’ 6", currently about 145 lbs, and looking to compete in the 148 Masters 40 - 44 class if I actually decide to compete.

6/13

(After a 13 day absence…)

warm-up, stretch, hip ROM

Squat
BW x 10
45 x 8
65 x 6
85 x 6
95 x 5
115 x 5, 5, 5
95 x 10

Bench
45 x 10
65 x 8
85 x 6
95 x 5

tri-set the following 3 exercises…

wide grip pull-up: BW x 8, 8, 8
Pistols: x 8, 8, 8
Bench: 95 x 10, 10, 10

lots of abs…

6/17

warm-up, stretch, Shoulder ROM

Bench
45 x 10
65 x 5
85 x 5
95 x 5

superset next two exercises…

WGPU x 8, 7, 6, 6, 6
Bench 95 x 5, 105 x 4, 115 x 3, 125 x 2, 135 x 1

almost (too much rest for true ss) superset next two exercises…

incline db bench 25 x 8, 30 x 8, 35 x 6, 40 x 6, 45 x 4
1 arm db row 30 x 8, 35 x 8, 40 x 6, 45 x 8

standing OH db press
25 x 8, 6
20 x 8

ABS…

6/18

Short on time tonight…

RDL
45 x 10
65 x 7
85 x 4
95 x 4
115 x 3

Conv. DL
135 x 4
155 x 4
175 x 3
185 x 2
205 x 2
225 x 1
185 x 5
135 x 10

next two are supersetted:

walking lunge with 25’s
x 15 ea leg, 15 ea leg, 15 ea leg
Lying leg curl
60 x 10, 10 10

are you following a specific program? Or are you following what your bench only pal is telling you to do?

IMO Bill Starr’s 5x5 I believe will be perfect for you, linear progression, it will allow you to hone in your technique and help you realize your strength in a gradual fashion. Follow it for 12 weeks. A simple google search will bring up the template and lay out your numbers for every training day. Its a three day a week program I always added an extra day for other stuff. Its a nuts and bolts program Squat, Bench, Deads and Rows, no fluff and will allow you the time out of the gym to take care of other stuff.

You will be fine for a PL meet, your first meet should be a meet just to get numbers on the board. Good Luck

Hi Matty

My “bench only pal” (Charlie), also suggested a 5x5 template to start, so that is the plan. I’m hoping to get in the gym 4 days/week this summer so will probably do something similar to what you have suggested.

I’m planning to attend a local meet in a few weeks to get a feel for what it will be like, then just get my feet wet and compete in Bench only for my first meet.

I wish I could start now, but I’m off to a Cowboy Action Shoot for the weekend with my husband and son. So first official training will be Monday.

Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by!

Powerlifting and firearms.

You’ll fit in just fine. Welcome!

Welcome. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress. There are a few competitive PL here. My best advice is don’t wait until you think you’re good enough. Find a meet and jump in.

Howdy I will be following along also…

Thanks for the welcome Twojar, Ouro, and Bulldog!

Ouro-if I do the meet I’m considering for my first, I definitely won’t be “strong enough” :wink:

Love the pic Bulldog, thanks! Hopefully I’ll get my own pic’s posted eventually.

Will be gone the rest of the weekend, but promise to post my first workout on Monday!

Take care everyone!

[quote]wle88594 wrote:
Hi Everyone,

Longtime article reader and log lurker here. Thought for the longest time that I might want to be an FA, but I just don’t seem to have the discipline needed to dial my diet in that tightly. I’ve thought for years about starting a log, but I guess the stars never aligned until now. A fellow gym goer put a bug in my ear about powerlifting a couple of months ago, and now that school (for my kids) is out, I can actually consider the possibility…

I’m a 42 year old, SAHM of three, ages 14, 12 and 10. I’ve been lifting casually since high school, (with breaks due to life) and (somewhat) seriously for about 6 years. I love feeling strong and lifting heavy (compared to the average gym female, not a PL female!) But I’m curious to see if I might be able to develop the strength needed to do well in a Raw PL competition.

I intend to steer my training in the PL direction starting on Monday, 6/23,with the help of that fellow (Bench only Powerlifting) gym goer, but wanted to get this first post in just to say hi, and give a little background about where I’m starting from.

Because of life events (houseguests, and my oldest daughter graduating from 8th grade,) I’ve only gotten 3 workouts in during the last 3 weeks, (2 this week, 1 last week, and none the week before) whereas I usually get at least 3, if not 4 workouts in per week.

I will post my three most recent workouts in the next post, just to give you an idea of my starting point. Keep in mind that these were done with the idea of just getting back in the gym after a break to get everything moving again.

-Whitny

[/quote]
You can build up to your past lifts, and build on those. Just hurry slowly. You are not in your mid 20s anymore, but you can still get much, much stronger than you were at that age. I got there. But you are not bulletproof anymore. You’ve reached an age where previous lifting experience can actually work against you, and where things can actually tear. Big time. Been there, done that as well.

But warm up very carefully, listen to your body even more carefully than ever before, and you will get there. Good luck!

Good luck. The way I look at it, you are a blank slate and not beaten up. You should be able to make some good progress. Find a meet and just compete against yourself. Too many people (myself included) get caught up in what other people can lift.

[quote]Crippler56 wrote:
Good luck. The way I look at it, you are a blank slate and not beaten up. You should be able to make some good progress. Find a meet and just compete against yourself. Too many people (myself included) get caught up in what other people can lift. [/quote]

That’s a good way to look at it.

No matter how old we get, we still need that ‘check your ego at the door’ sign, don’t we? :wink:

Welcome.

I have found PLers to be an incredibly supportive group of athletes, regardless of experience or ability.

Like Julie said: jump in. Get a total. Then work to improve at each meet. It makes it easier if you just think of it as competing against yourself. Because that’s truly what it is for most of us.

Ok, hopefully this won’t be a double post…

Carl, Crippler and Snap, thank you for the warm welcome!

Carl - Working out without warming up is like getting in a car without putting my seatbelt on. It’s just not something I can do. Even when I’m short on time, I always get a quick warm-up in. I’m also very careful to listen to my body, and tend to err on the side of caution when something doesn’t feel right.

Crippler and Snap - Although the idea of setting records sounds appealing, I am just ready to push myself further and see how far I can progress. It will definitely be a competition against myself.

Now, for tonight’s workout…

My weekend of shooting was fair. It’s just hard to do well when you don’t practice, but overall, it was fun.

What wasn’t fun was coming home Sunday evening to a very sick 4-H pig that we had been trying to nurse back to health, and realizing he probably wouldn’t make it to the morning. He didn’t. Unfortunately my cardio this morning was digging a hole out by the back fence to bury him in. (The hole wasn’t that big, he was only about 25 pounds.) Still, not the way I wanted my day to start…

It did get better though, and by this afternoon I was ready for my new program. I’m still working out the kinks and accessory lifts, but I’ll be following a basic 5x5 pattern with my main lifts and 3 - 4 sets of 5 - 10 reps on accessory lifts.

Monday, 6/23

treadmill, warm-up, stretch…

Bench

45x10
65x8
75x6
95x5

(I picked 105 for my work sets, but it was too light. Next week I’ll start at 115.)

105x5
105x5
105x5
105x5
115x5 (could have easily done another set)

Decline Bench

45x10
65x5
95x10
115x5

(I was basically just getting a feel for these, since I don’t usually do them. 115 felt good, and I’ll start there next week.)

Seated Hammer Strength press

95x10
115x10
135x10,10

Again, just getting a feel for these, have never done them before. Did notice they hurt my wrists. It was also pointed out that I was gripping the handles such that the back of my hand made an almost 90 deg angle with my forearm. I need to watch my grip on everything.

Incline Bench
45x10, 10
65x 10

I was starting to run out of time at this point so only got in two quick sets of abs and

dipsx6, 6, 5

It did not feel like a particularly hard workout. I need to raise the weight on all of these exercises next week.

The only thing I have concern about is my wrists. They are sore and not happy with me as I type.

I need to decide if tomorrow will be squats or deadlift. I’m leaning toward deads! Must go to bed though or I’ll feel like I’m dead in the morning.

Night y’all

Ouro, Crippler, and Snap are all right on the money. Welcome to the ranch.

What type of 5x5 program are you running?

[quote]JoeGood wrote:
Ouro, Crippler, and Snap are all right on the money. Welcome to the ranch.[/quote]

Thanks for the welcome Joe. I agree, and look forward to learning from them and the other experienced lifters here.

[quote]MattyXL wrote:
What type of 5x5 program are you running?[/quote]

Matty, that is an excellent question, for which I’m not sure I have a good answer. I’m improvising based on the following:

Including this week, I have 8 straight weeks before the kids go back to school. I really want to take advantage of an easier “kid” schedule to get in the gym 4 days a week, because during the school year, I rarely get more than 3 workouts/week and sometimes that drops to just twice or once per week.

The meet I am thinking about getting my feet wet with is Aug. 23. Even though I am tentatively planning to do bench only at this meet, I want to train all three lifts.

My thought was to workout as follows:

Monday

Bench: 3 to 4 warm up sets followed by 5x5 work sets, increasing the weight on work sets by 5 - 10 pounds each week. This followed by:

3 - 4 chest focused accessory lifts (might include a shoulder press and/or tricep work too)

ABS

Tuesday

Squats: same protocol as Bench, followed by:

3 - 4 quad focused accessory lifts

ABS

Wednesday

Cardio or Rest

Thursday

Back day starting with wide grip pull ups 5 sets of AMRAP on each set, trying to maintain or increase by at least 1 rep per 5 sets each week; followed by:

3 - 4 back focused accessory lifts (might include a chest exercise and some bicep work here too)

ABS

Friday

Deadlift: same protocol as Bench and Squat, followed by:

3 - 4 low back and hamstring focused accessory lifts (might include more shoulders here also)

ABS

Saturday/Sunday

Rest/family activity

Fwiw I really think you should look into doing Bill Starr’s 5x5, in this program which is a three day per week you will do the following:

Day 1 - Squat, Bench, Row
Day 2 - Squat (or Front Squat), Incline Bench (or OH Press) and DL
Day 3 - Squat, Bench, Row

I always added a 4th day for assistance and BB stuff. I always supersetted my pressing with chins or pullups.

If you do a simple Google Search for “Bill Starr 5x5 - Madcow Intermediate or Linear Version” you will be able to download the template. The template will allow you to plug in your maxes and it calculates all your weights for all your exercises. There is no thinking involved on your part. All the weights used will be spread out through the weeks, I find it to be excellent and have ran it three times and have always made gains.

Just my .02 good luck either way

[quote]MattyXL wrote:
Fwiw I really think you should look into doing Bill Starr’s 5x5, in this program which is a three day per week you will do the following:

Day 1 - Squat, Bench, Row
Day 2 - Squat (or Front Squat), Incline Bench (or OH Press) and DL
Day 3 - Squat, Bench, Row

I always added a 4th day for assistance and BB stuff. I always supersetted my pressing with chins or pullups.

If you do a simple Google Search for “Bill Starr 5x5 - Madcow Intermediate or Linear Version” you will be able to download the template. The template will allow you to plug in your maxes and it calculates all your weights for all your exercises. There is no thinking involved on your part. All the weights used will be spread out through the weeks, I find it to be excellent and have ran it three times and have always made gains.

Just my .02 good luck either way[/quote]

Matty,

I appreciate your two cents and believe you about Bill Starr’s 5x5. I looked it up and even put my numbers into a calculator to see what it said. After my Tuesday squat workout (which I’ll post next), I think I need to squat more than 1x/week!

With that being said, because my days in the gym this summer will be M, T, Th, F, I am going to stick somewhat with my original plan, but will hybridize my workouts a bit with the numbers I got from the 5x5 Starr calculator, hitting bench 2x/week and squat 2x/week and see where it takes me.

Once the kids are back in school, I’ll go back to a M, W, F, and I’ll switch to a true Bill Starr 5x5.

Thanks for the input. I hope you’ll continue to check in now and then. :slight_smile: