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VS' log - Getting Stronger

Hi there,

So, I am 30 yo this year, nearly 31, from France. Basically been lifting on and off without clear routine or goal or whatever for years. Was a very skinny guy, became an average guy, looking soft. No discipline whatsoever so I decided to take a change.

Stats at the beginning (metric system)

  • Weight 74 kgs (for 1m75)

Maxes : (don’t laugh, I am angry about them)

  • Squat : 70 kg
  • BP : 60 kgs
  • DL : around 100 kgs (horrible technique)

I will begin with STARTING STRENGTH, because it fits my very busy schedule, I liked the book. After that I will probably go to 5/3/1 because Jim is an inspiration. I read a lot and have a lot of knowledge about training but I am a knowledge warrior and wanna be a Real one. Goal is to get stronger first. Aesthetics are a bonus.

I don’t do the Power Clean because I work out at a shitty french gym with no coach allowing that. So I do Pendlay Row

12/10/2016 - started as below (had benched on monday in a stupid split)

  • Squat : 3x5x55kg - was quite easy
  • Press : 3x5x25kg - was quite easy also
  • Row : 3x5x40kg - was also easy

Done in 25 minutes, at 8 in the morning. Good.

Looking forward to next session. I have trouble getting my nutrition right. Working a lot, had to kick a “I drink wine every evening” habit, and my woman doing a severe diet is not helping a lot.

No bullshit approach.

Supps : whey, caff pills in the morning if coffee too hard to stomach. Some Z12 to help sleep but I tend to steer clear of phenibut. L-Theanine sometimes during the day and a multivit.

Okay so today 14/10/2016…

Had a poor night sleep, so was really drained down before training but managed to advance without issues :

  • Squat: 3x5x57,5kg
  • BP : 3x5x50kg
  • DL : 1x5x70kg

I need to get more sleep I feel it. A lot of stress at the office at the moment so I guess my cortisol levels are up the sky



Squat : 3x5x60 kg
Press : 3x5x27,5 kg
Row : 3x5x42,5 kg

Had a big weekend with family, work to do, housing work, birthday, pizza, and some alcohol. Was expecting to have a rough session but somehow it felt very good. Squat felt very good and natural.

I however start to feel some kind of pain in the neck, upper traps. Maybe pinched a nerve or slept in a bad posture yesterday…

Pizza + cake = full muscles and maybe a bit of a bloat so no wonder you felt good.

What kind of pain?

When turning my head to the right, I have a painful stiffness starting from the top of the traps to the skull. Only when reaching a certain point.

It was stronger yesterday than today so maybe it will go away, I keep looking at it however.

I wouldn’t worry. Probably just your traps on that side not used to working. Work on pulling your scapulae back and down for almost all lifts. That tends to be a big help.


Pre-workout nutrition : Shake : whole milk (300 ml), 2 scoops whey isolate, 2 handfuls oatmeal, some blueberries

I had a short night, probably got 6:30 / 7:00 sleep. Felt a bit tired and weak at the morning, woke up later than usual, so it was quite a rush to get to the gym and then work.

Training :
Squat : Starting Strength warm up ; 3x5x62,5
BP : warm up; 3x5x52,5
Deadlift : small warm up (some RDL with bar only + one set at 60 kg), and 1x5x75

Well this time it FELT like a real training. I was very drained after squat and BP. Deadlift was difficult, my hand were slippery.

I must say I ate poorly the day before, had less than 2000 kcal I think, was in hurry all day, maybe that affected everything.

Will eat better for next training !

Yes, I am working on technique, re-read Starting Strength book, looking some Chris Duffin videos also. Felt better today. Thanks !

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Missed a session because of traveling on friday so I went to gym today

Squat : 3x5x65kgs
Press : 3x5x30kgs
Row : 3x5x45kgs

  • warm up sets

Overall good session. Was really drained down after all that and having a “meh” day today. Will see next session.

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Went today because yesterday I was feeling very tired and sick in the morning

BP : 3x5x55 kgs
Squat-Smith : 3x5x68,5
DL : 1x5x80

Well, I arrived at the gym and the only squat rack was taken by a smartass doing half-squat and would not move or talk.

So I started with bench, which went good. 55 is probably not a lot but feels like a small achievement for me.

I had to squat because I did not want to lose the momentum of my training, so I decided to use Smith machine. Well that sucks, the move sucks, but I did it. It was a nice effort.

I was drained for DL.

Had to wait a bit, did some warmup set RDL then DL at 60. DLing 80 felt ultra hard. I suck at deadlift. I like the lift, I like doing it at 60kgs it feels good, but anything above is very hardcore. I will have to fix that, I clearly “feel” that I do it very inefficiently, especially the initial pull to lift the bar from the ground, if that makes sense.

Hey, but I did the 80x5. And even 2 or 3 reps in another set to try to figure out technique. Small victory, but still a victory.

Deadlifts just feel unpleasant. They’re an amazing lift, locking them out is satisfying, but between getting the damn thing moving and locking it out is a whole bowlful of suck.


Today’s session, in order :

  • Press : WU + 3x5x32,5kgs - RPE : 7/10
  • Row : WU + 3x5x47,5kgs - RPE : 7/10
  • Squat : WU + 3x5x70kgs - RPE : 8/10

I had to finish with squat because the rack was busy. Not optimal as my lower back was a bit tired by the row.

But it was nice. Squat was probably a PR for me, and I am happy with that.

I need to figure my peri workout nutrition. I train at 8 o clock in the morning, wake up at 6:30. I trained fasted today… And had some carbs + prot after. If I eat too much breakfast I feel bad, and if I eat too low, I feel some discomfort.

Now I have vacation and will be abroad monday, so next session will be Tuesday or Wednesday.

@MarkKO : yep, deadlifts are uncomfortable… The first part of the move feels so bad. My grip is bad too, hopefully I Got some liquid chalk which makes things better… But pulling that damn thing off the ground is a mission in itself.

That just means you’re weak off the floor. Technical improvements can make a big difference to that. I’m weak off the floor and also a bit at lockout.


After a 4 days break, I restarted training today. I felt not very good at waking up, was coughing a bit, and having some stomach issues. But I decided to train anyway. I took a coffee and some biscuits.

Squat : WU + 3x5x72,5kgs - RPE 8/10
Bench : WU + 3x5x57,5kgs - RPE 8/10
DL : WU + 1x5x85kgs - RPE 8/10

It was a hard session but I went through.

Bench was the hardest. After the squats I was very tired, and bench did not feel great…

DL was surprisingly not so hard. The last rep was hard but mostly because of “cardio” (DL makes me sweat a lot and raise heartrate a lot !). I think I got a better form after working on it.


Staying focused

Squat : WU + 3x5x75Kgs RPE 8/10
Press : WU + 3x5x35Kgs RPE 8/10
Row : WU + 3x5x50Kgs RPE 6/10

Face Pulls : 3x15 because shoulder felt a bit weird.

I have so much respect now for people squatting huge numbers. This feels increasinbly difficult for me and I am at 75 kgs squat (bodyweight), but it’s quite amazing to notice the adaptation !

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Today was plain bad.

I had to start with Bench, because squat rack was busy. I had sleep only 4 hours (awful night), and yesterday was out in the cold at soccer stadium, had a blast but did not eat or barely eat at dinner.

I failed my 60 kgs BP. It was also a psychological barrier. But, I also have a small “pain” in left shoulder / pectoral junction. This is barely noticeable most times but I felt it when I was under the bar. Could not complete the first rep correctly.

I am also incredibly self-conscious when benching. This is an issue. Always fearing to hurt that shoulder (regular pain that comes and go).

Dunno what to do, will see tomorrow.

The logical step is to find out why you’re feeling that pain, and fix it. Could be as simple as tight muscles.

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Lung infection cleared, shoulder ok, motivation regained

Trained again, with a slight deload :

  • Squat : WU + 3x5x70kg RPE : 7/7/9
  • Bench : WU + 3x5x55kg RPE : 6/7/7
  • Row : WU + 3x5x50kg RPE : 5/5/5

Last set of squat was demanding, but I warmed up a lot due to bad weather and feeling a bit foggy this morning.

I don’t feel like I lost strength, which is good.

Would maybe require some carbs + prot during workout to help recovery

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  • Squat : WU + 3x5x72,5kg RPE : 8/8/9 - last set was hard.
  • Press : WU + 3x5x32.5kg RPE : 6/7/8 - nothing very particuliar
  • Deadlift : 1x5x85kg RPE 9 - had to do first 3 - reset for starting pos, then last 2

Was having still very strong quads DOMS from the previous session, and a poor night of sleep. It was a hard training, but I did it.

Now, rest ! Next session will be probably on thursday on friday morning depending on work


Squat : WU+ 3x5x75kgs RPE: 7/8/8
Press : WU + 3x5x35kgs RPE : 7/8/8
Row : WU + 3x5x55kgs RPE : 6/7/7

So, with a big meal the day before, this went very well. Squat at a current max was not so hard. I decided to Press instead of Bench cause I still have this little “pinching” feeling when benching, so I followed Rippetoe advice to Press instead. It went quite well and I am quite happy with my Press progress.

Row felt weird. It always feels weird, I don’t really like that exercise.

Next session 13/12, probably !

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