T Nation

Strong is Beautiful

Thanks to everyone who left a post in The KimbaLog since August 2009 – its filled up and this is my new log.

Link to old log: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_women_training_performance_powerful/the_kimbalog?id=3288454&pageNo=0

Here is the CliffsNotes version of the old log:

  • I’m 5’4", 111 lbs or so, 45 years old by the calendar but not in my head.

  • Lifting heavy things, eating mostly clean and winning the genetics lottery have gotten me the body I want. My cardio is bicycling in the good weather, and downhill skiing and XC ski-skating when there is snow.

  • My goal now is to lift heavier things, but in a rational, sustainable, injury-free way.

  • I started 5/3/1 in January and am currently in Wave 2.

  • The only female company I have in the lifting of heavy things are the badass chicks right here at PW. (The gentlemen-callers frequenting this space are the icing on the proverbial cake).

  • If this forum didn’t exist, my squat and deadlift form would be utter and complete shit, as opposed to the reasonable works in progress that they now are.

  • Specifically I want:

a 1.5 x bodyweight back squat (170 lbs.)
a 2 x bodyweight sumo deadlift (225 lbs.)
a 1 x bodyweight bench press (110 lbs. – I’m rounding this down cause this is my suckiest lift)
an 85 lb. military press
40 bodyweight dips
10 chinups

  • My PRs as of today are:
    Back squat - 120 lbs for 2 reps
    Sumo deadlift - 160 lbs for 4 reps
    Bench press - 85 lbs for 1 rep
    Military press - 65 lbs for 1 rep
    Dips - BW 1 x 27
    Chinups - BW 1 x 8

Let’s see what wonderful goal-attaining I can log here.

Since no-one will ever get to comment on this post in the old log, here is today’s training one more time. For the skimmers, there is a question at the end.

Today’s training had high points and challenges.

“Off the 5/3/1 Reservation” Day

Back squats to 3 risers plus a step
Bar 1 x 10 warmup
75# 1 x 10 warmup
95# 1 x 5 working
115# 1 x 3, 1 x 4 (out of 5 reps, got helped on the third), 1 x 1 (failed on 2)

I’ve reached a bit of a sticking point at 115 lbs. Back on 1/5/10, I had a strong squat day and repped out 10 at this weight on an “off the 5/3/1 reservation” day. Since then I’ve attempted 115# again on only two occasions due to my 5/3/1 loading scheme, never getting more than 3 reps. Today I had an alternately over-eager spotter (helped on reps that I could’ve gotten) and inattentive spotter (let me get stuck on the step on the third set). grrr.

Lack of mental focus? Maybe. Likely. Some physical weakness in my quads/glutes/hams? Poor nutrition/sleep? Or maybe progress comes in fits and starts, and with back sliding?

My plan is to continue on the 5/3/1 path and see what happens.

Bench
85# 1 x 1 (failed on 2) <—This equals a PR, and is my true one-rep max
75# 2 x 5

I was happy to put up 85# again. After that, eh.

Walking lunges
2 25s 71 steps, no resting, good form except my back knee could go lower

Lat Pulldowns
70# 1 x 20

Triceps Pushdowns
??# 1 x 15

Biceps curl into shoulder press
12.5# 1 x 15

Plank – held strict form for 1:30

Side Planks – 1:00 each side

Cable Hip Adductions/Abductions
7.5# 3 x 10 each leg

I showed up today and did my best. Calling it good.

Those of you using a mixed grip on deadlifts, do you alternate which hand is up/down during a training session or from session to session? To this point I have always used a palm facing floor grip on my right hand and palm facing ceiling grip on my left. Lately I’ve been noticing that my left wrist aches a bit when I twist it from palm down to palm up during normal activities. I might try switching up the deadlift grip to see if this is causing the problem.

Hey Kimba.

I have been following your log closely since we are so close in size. I think you have made super progress. I think it’s very difficult to make strength gains when one is built such as we are. Don’t despair!

Regarding your DL question. I have read that it is beneficial to switch up the grip. Never have done it myself, though, and never have had wrist aches or such.

Good luck, my dear.

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Hey Kimba.

I have been following your log closely since we are so close in size. I think you have made super progress. I think it’s very difficult to make strength gains when one is built such as we are. Don’t despair!

Regarding your DL question. I have read that it is beneficial to switch up the grip. Never have done it myself, though, and never have had wrist aches or such.

Good luck, my dear. [/quote]

Snapper, thanks for the encouragement (and the commiseration). With regard to the size/build issue, I try to be like one of those little dogs that attacks big dogs because she doesn’t know she is little. Sometimes, however, I am forced to acknowledge the slight possibility that there may be downsides to the small thing.

I think you already are one of those little dogs. Rawr.

[quote]AlisaV wrote:
I think you already are one of those little dogs. Rawr.[/quote]

Rawr! right back atcha.

Ohh Kimba I would like to christen the first page of your log! Good job on the bench PR

YAY Kimba! You’ve been nothing but inspiration to me.

I’ll be following with rapt attention.

Being small is fierce…

im not so large meself… 5.6 is semi midget.

nice work.
Like the new diggs I think you can do those goals sooner then you think

here’s to you continuing a great journal. high five

i used mixed grip and i don’t switch up the hands. the cyst (or whatever it is on my left wrist) impairs certain things but left hand palm up doesn’t hurt it.

the story of my 7 years training, my dear. :slight_smile:

if we just kept getting stronger and stronger and packing on muscle, we’d be she-hulks, no? not that there’s anything wrong with that, but i’m just sayin there are limitations to progress and things appear to run in cycles.
either way, you’ve accomplished so much and i know you’ve got lots more planned.

Nice one Kimba - I am looking forward to those photoshoot pics.
Tal’s correct, progress is never linear. Just keep pressing forward and you’ll get there eventually.

Nice training, & congrats on the bench PR!

As these ladies have said, you’re not always going to be at your strongest. It gets frustrating, but you just try to do the best you can on any given day. :slight_smile:

Keep on rockin! :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone for following me over to the new place!

Got spray tanned this AM, and am banned from water or sweating until this evening when I shower off the bronzer and see what this tan really looks like. So much for XC skiing today. :frowning:

I am developing some sympathy for figure competitors here.

I can only imagine the hooro that is spray tanning.

Sympathy? Really? oh, you.

re: the grip question. Changing your grip is something people do, and talk about doing, because mixed grip has the potential for ripping your biceps. If your left wrist is achy, it’s probably because your grip strength was uneven, and forcing it to catch up like that is putting more of a demand on that side. It’ll be fine, just put a rolling pin on the counter and use it like a foam roller for your forearm.

Glad to see the new log, and your goals. Rawr!

[quote]CBear84 wrote:
Sympathy? Really? oh, you. [/quote]

This sympathy will likely go down the drain with that shower I’ll so looking forward to in about seven hours.

Finally a use for that rolling pin! Tried it just now, and it hurts but in a good way. Great suggestion - thanks for it. Being such a creature of lifting-habit, the very last thing I’d want to do is unnecessarily fuck with my deadlift grip.

I’m rather attached to the logging. Rawr!

I’d use dark bed linen tonight if I were you.
I use a mix grip for my heavier DLs/RPs - never caused me an issue before. (It’s about the one thing that hasn’t - god knows I’ve got enough issues already). Rolling pin is good, though. I don’t have one because I don’t bake nor do I have a husband to shake it at (if I did I’d just lam him around the head with a skillet if he pissed me off).

[quote]Cal Jones wrote:
I’d use dark bed linen tonight if I were you.[/quote]

Yeah. Good point.

[quote]I use a mix grip for my heavier DLs/RPs - never caused me an issue before. (It’s about the one thing that hasn’t - god knows I’ve got enough issues already). Rolling pin is good, though. I don’t have one because I don’t bake nor do I have a husband to shake it at (if I did I’d just lam him around the head with a skillet if he pissed me off).
[/quote]

A skillet! Cast iron, no doubt. :wink: Thanks for the laugh.

So, while I’m waiting for the longest 8 hours of my life to go by until my shower, I started eyeing my pull-up bar. I’ve been gunning for a wide grip pullup for a long, long while. For the heck of it, I bellied up to the bar and tried it.

And.

It went up! Knock me over with a feather.

Rested, then tried again. Went up again. Not a fluke!

Chin stretched up barely to bar, but I’m counting them.

And the moral of this story to you ladies still gunning for your first chin-up/pull-up and using assistance is: always try your first one of the training without assistance. One day when you least expect it, that sucker is goin’ up.

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
I think it’s very difficult to make strength gains when one is built such as we are. Don’t despair!
[/quote]

I used to be built like you guys. Just 3 or 4 years ago I was 5’6" 113. You can always thicken up if you want!