Starting Starting Strength

Happy New Year!

I’ve already gone to the gym three times and done some weight lifting. I’m following the Starting Strength protocol created by Mark Rippetoe. I’ve heard really good things about his training style and have seen friends get really far using his method. Rather than doing a whole bunch of different stuff, he says to focus on maybe a hand-full of exercises, particularly squat and deadlift.

Disclaimer: I have received extensive weight lifting training through personal training, high quality Crossfit classes, and practice. DO NOT just go to the gym and start throwing weights around without a GOOD personal trainer or weight lifter show you how to lift safely and efficiently. There are some BAD habits out there, even done by the so-called “experts.” Don’t just think you can go into a gym and figure it out on your own, not if you want to lift anything over 50 lbs, ever! Get coaching!

I’ve already improved in the past three trips to the gym, but here is my basic strength base that I’m starting from:

Bench: 95 3×5 (“three sets of five” for all you non-initiated)
Squat: 155 3×5
Deadlift: 225
Press: 65 (I’m sure I can do more but it was a bad day)
Dead-hang pull-ups: not even 1 (no swinging, bands or kipping)
Bar dips: 2

I’ll post updates every week or so to keep you in the loop as to how I’m doing, and keep myself accountable.

I’m also running or biking hills pretty regularly. After two weeks it’s already starting to pay off! If nothing else, it’s easier for me to bike to work in the morning (fuck you, hills!), and I’m starting to get the exercise “bug” again; that sort of antsy feeling that urges you to keep moving. I know I’m getting fitter the stronger I feel that urge to move. It’s a positive feedback loop for me.

My 5k is just under three weeks away, eep! I should be ok, though; I’m actually maintaining a 10-minute mile pace, which is surprisingly fast for me considering how little I’ve been running the last couple of months. Woot!



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