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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Starting Strength Day 1, 10-1-08

Today marks the beginning of a major change to my workout programming. As crazy as it may seem, I'm beginning a Starting Strength(SS) cycle today. I've been planning on this for some time now. The primary reason is I'd really like to put on some muscle mass. I'm 6'1, 169lbs and I'm hoping I can put on a good 20-30lbs in weight in the next handfull of months and then return to crossfit afterwards to trim down the fat and start in again on increasing my work capacity across broad time, and modal domains. My goal is to end up 15-20lbs heavier with the same (or less) bodyfat (I'm at ~13% now) and continue my crossfit career from there. Not because I think the strength gains I'll make will automatically transfer to killing all the WOD's as RX'd, though the increased strength will help especially in heavier WOD's like Linda, the Bear Complex, Lynne, and of course the CFT, but because I want to be bigger. Always have wanted to be bigger then I am. This kind of focus should also give me much stronger hips and midline stabilization, which are the engine and transmission that drives the body. We'll see if it works. I'll be honest that I'm a little concerned that I may be pissing away the next 4 or so months. This is certainly not what Jeff Martin head coach at Brand X would have me do. However other top notch coaches like Mark Rippetoe (obviously) and Greg Everett recommend doing SS and then returning to WOD's afterwards. Its a challenge that I'm stoked about and hopefully I'll come back to Crossfit and get back to a good state of metcon fitness pretty quickly. I already know I'll really miss doing some of the CrossFit WOD's, because I enjoy them so much, but lifting heavy is a ton of fun too!

I don't know how long I'll be doing SS. That depends on how long I can continue linear progression, ie: adding weight to the bar and making progress. It'll also depend on if I decide to reprogram when I do stall out and switch to an advance novice SS program, or intermediate level strength and mass gain program. I'll make those decisions when I encounter them.

I've started a food log on in order to track how many calories I'm eating. The goal is to eat a truckload of calories every day during this cycle. The amount of food you eat is what determines if you gain weight and get bigger and your training is what determines if that weight gain is muscle or fat and to what ratio. Also obviously how 'clean' you eat plays a role. When trying for weight gains, SS calls for drinking a gallon of whole milk a day (GOMAD) and getting down somewhere in the range of 4,500-7,000 calories.

I'll be doing the original SS program which looks like this:

Workout A:
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B:
3x5 Squat
3x5 Shoulder Press
5 x 3 Power Cleans

As of today here is what my lifts look like:

Squat: 1 rep max 240lbs, 5 rep max 200lbs...I'll start at 140lbs...Single rep max goal of 300lbs
Deadlift: 1 rep max 355lbs, 5 rep max 315lbs...I'll start at 250lbs....Single rep max goal of 400lbs
Benchpress:  1 rep max 165lbs, 5 rep max 145lbs...I'll start at 100lbs...Single rep max goal of 200lbs
Press: 1 rep max 125lbs, 5 rep max 105lbs...I'll start at 60lbs...Single rep max goal of 140lbs
Power Clean: 1 rep max 180lbs, 5 rep max 150lbs...I'll start at 95lbs....Single rep max goal of 210lbs

I'll be adding 5lbs to each lift every single workout until I need to reset. I'll reset twice and then look at doing the advanced novice program from Rippetoe's book Practical Programming.

If you want to learn more about this program, you can read till your eyes bleed about it HERE.

So today I did:

Squat 5 x 3 - 140lbs
Bench Press 5 x 3 - 100lbs
Deadlift 5 x 1 - 250lbs

Ate 5,114 Calories....216grams of fat.....479grams of Carbs.....322grams of protein
% of Calories:
9 Hours of sleep

The first day went well. I enjoyed going shopping today and buying 4 gallons of whole milk as well as a bunch of other food. The lifting wasn't too bad at all. Did feel my low back though...Just got a little tired by the time I did the work set of the deadlift.


JR said...

that's awesome! you ate a ton of calories(and probably enjoyed it). i'm really glad you're doing this, especially after you reminded me of your top lifts, but most of all because being strong is a really good thing. you can always get back in metcon shape pretty quick after you gain some much needed strength and bulk. good job man!

Dan said...

Joe, not to make you into a test-dummy, but I'm really curious to see how your dedication to a program like this works for you.

And sorry about last night... I was in great need of some sleep. I fell asleep just before 9pm watching TV with Lauren and woke up just before 11am! 12 hours!

To many early appointments and payjobs. Sorry bro.

JAK said...


You are definitely right that eating that much was a lot of fun. A whole lot less 'rules' than the paleo zone diet. Its funny it takes its own type of discipline though. Gotta cook more, and attack the meals aggressively. I'm not used to pounding meals like that. My stomach felt waay full at every meal which I haven't been used to on the zoneish diet I was on. But it was fun acting like a zombie and just feasting as if there is no tomorrow.


No worries buddy. Glad you got the sleep that your body obviously needed. I don't mind being your guinnea pig, somebody has got to do it. I'm really curious too! It'll be interesting for sure to see what happens.

Dan said...

How's drinking a gallon of whole milk (yuck) going to work at the office? Are you going to get one of those cigarette lighter fridges?

JAK said...

Great question Dan.

I was thinking of getting one of those fridges. Its either that or getting a thermos or two. I figure if I drink 1/4 gallon before and after work (thats one large glass of milk - 4 cups), then I'll only have to drink 1/2 gallon while at work. Should be doable. Hopefully. Maybe.

It's either that or a few nalgenes and my soft cooler filled with icepacks.

Tonight is my first night at work, so we'll see how it goes.

JAK said...

Oh and by the way Dan...Don't you ever say yuck about drinking milk (whether its whole, 2%, or skim)again or I may need to end our friendship immediately. Milk is white gold baby! As Mark Rippetoe says, its good for growing baby mammals which is most certainly what you and I are.

Say it with me..."Milk is MMMMMM MMMMMM GOOD"