Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Weightlifting


More of the above and less of whatever that thing is on the right

In July of last year, I decided to get in shape, after realizing that my daily routine consisted of only mild exercise in the form of apple picking and lawn moving. I didn't feel like running--I live in the middle of Cincinnati and the streets are busy--so I opted for my teenage passion of weightlifting. I started off doing a rather ridiculous bodybuilding program taken from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding that left me with little progress after a month, so I searched the internet for a basic strength program (because strength was what I was interested in more than being ripped) and settled on a full body routine from Starting Strength.com. The program is basically the following: Squats every workout, three times a week, accompanied by a push exercise (alternating the bench press and the overhead press) and a pulling movement (alternating deadlifts and power cleans). Every exercise, except the pulls, is performed for three sets of five reps. (The deadlift is taxing, so it's only performed for one set of five, while the power clean, being an explosive movement, is easier to do with five sets of three.)  Weight is added every workout, so long as you're able to performed the required number of reps. After six months on this program, my single lift results are:

Deadlift-345 lbs
Bench Press-250 lbs
Overhead Press-165 lbs
Power Clean-185 lbs
Squat-one rep max-? 5 rep max-245

My squat should be a hell of a lot better than it is, but I just recently bought a squat rack, and I was basically doing partial squats out of a decline bench press station, so I couldn't quite go below parallel. (In a full squat, the hip joint must be below the joint of the knee.) All in all, I think I've done pretty well. My weight has went from 178 lbs to 194 lbs, with all of the added weight being muscle (at least, I don't look visibly fatter). My end goal is to compete in a powerlifting competition within a year, so obviously I have a lot of work to do, because I don't think it's worth competing in something unless you plan on being competitive. I've started to vary my program, adding in front squats, barbell and dumbbell rows, and one-arm dumbbell presses, as well as doing more volume. In the next six months, I hope to achieve the following:

450 lbs Deadlift
350 lbs Squat
275 lbs Bench Press
175 lbs Overhead Press

The above are decent intermediate numbers for someone under 200 lbs. At 5 '10 and 194 lbs, I can probably add at least another twenty or so pounds of body weight while remaining fairly lean. There is the perception that a lot of powerlifters are fat, but most of the best (Ed Coan, Kirk Karworski) were definitely in shape. From here on out, I'll do a weekly update on my progress. Here's yesterday's workout:

Squats: 45x1x10, 95x1x5, 135x1x3, 185x1x2, 205x1x2, 215x1x1, 240x3x5
Bent-Over Rows: 45x1x10, 95x1x5, 115x1x5, 145x5x5
One-arm Dumbbell Rows: 70x3x8



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