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Old 01-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
Colombo
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Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Hey all,

I decided that I'm going to try keeping a log on here as I transition from the late stages of SS into a new program, most likely 5/3/1.

Background:
This is my 3rd time doing SS, I first attempted SS 4 years ago, and lasted about 4-5 months. I then tried again about 1.5 years ago, and lasted roughly 3 months. Both times I got derailed due to injury/sickness/busy class schedule, etc. I had been sporadically doing SS between these two attempts, but never got into a serious routine.

I'm feeling a lot better this time around. I've graduated college and have the means to buy lots of delicious and quality food. I cook for myself most nights. I've also been much tougher on myself about not missing workouts. I haven't missed a workout yet, and its paying off.


Stats:
Age: 23 (24 in a month)
Height: 6'0
Weight: 216 in the morning, 220 when lifting after work.


Progess so far:
Start Date: Nov 20, 2012
Weight: 220 lbs.
• Squat: 3x5x145
• Bench: 3x5x125
• Deadlift: 185x5
• Press: 3x5x85
• Power Clean: 5x3x115

Current Date: Jan 17, 2013
Weight: 220 lbs.
• Squat: 3x5x340
• Bench: 3x5x190
• Deadlift: 335x4 (Pulled 335x3 yesterday, might need to reset this)
• Press: 3x5x120 (Currently resetting, failed to get 3x5x125 multiple times)
• Power Clean: 5x3x175 (Staying here, working on form)
Thoughts: I've made tremendous gains without gaining a pound of weight . My presses suck. My squat feels awesome and continues to progess. My deadlift kinda sucks.


Goals:
I want to get stronger, and I want to cut down to probably 200 pounds and get rid of some of this excess belly fat. So, over the next 3-4 months I'd like to...
• Have a 1100 raw total (current estimate is 940)
• Be at 200 lbs body weight
• Fix my APT
• Fix my patellar knee pain

Diet:
My current diet is pretty simple. I don't count calories, but I estimate I'm eating around maintenance. Basically every weekday looks like this:

Breakfast:
Green Smoothie (1 banana, 1 kiwi, 1 scoop whey, a few handfuls of kale, a slice of ginger root, coconut water).
Lunch:
A chicken club sandwhich / chicken parm sub / steak & cheese sub from local shops.
Dinner:
Either 1.5 pounds chicken breast or 1.5 pounds sirloin steak (1.5 pounds pre-cooked) as the main dish. A large serving of broccoli and kale cooked in grapeseed oil as the side dish.
Weekends I tend to go wild and eat a ton of wings (like ~40 on sundays) / go to chipotle / drink some booze. I probably have a heavy shake once or twice a week (2 scoops whey, peanut butter, whole milk). Also a glass of chocolate milk after a workout.

When I decide to start cutting, I'll start weighing my food and being more serious about my diet.


Daily Supplements:
3g fish oil
5000 IU vitamin D
600mg N-Acetyl Cysteine


Most Recent videos
Squat (side): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjhHbr3iomk
Squat (back): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcUbGP94zUg
• I'm not standing up fully in the side vid. This has never been a problem before, and I think I fixed it in the proceeding set. Something to keep an eye out on, though.
• I've been getting serious elbow pain in my elbows, which is caused from jacking my elbows too far up. I've been trying to fix this, but it's tough to break old habits. You can see this in the back angle a little bit.


Bench: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYb8wBDUxvI
• Been awhile since I taped these.


Press: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPl_SlSgffQ
• Lumbar might be arching too much? Not sure.


Deadlift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YpBBDgBNw4


Power Clean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aZMi8lJC0k
• I'm landing with the weight on my toes a little bit. Gotta work on keeping the weight on the heels. Should I be bending at the knees more when I catch the bar?
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #2
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

1/6/2013 workout (SS Day A)

Squat: 3x5x340
Elbow pain came back again. I have to work on not death gripping the bar and keeping those elbows down. I think the bar positioning on my lower back has changed as I try to fix my elbow problem. I'm getting serious brusing/cuts on the back of my shoulders. I'm not too worried about it though. Everything else felt good.

Bench: 0x195
Sigh...Banged out 3x5x190 last time with no problems but couldn't get a single rep of 195 today. I think the elbow pains from squats really affected my bench today. I was also feeling a little weak. Just a bad day.
I ended up doing 2x5x135 followed by 12x135


Deadlift: 3x335
Got 4x335 last workout so this was disappointing. I'm gonna go with the "bad day and sore elbows" excuse I used for bench. Hopefully I can bang out 5 reps next time and avoid a reset.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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First, I would consider deloading a week. These random horrid days can be your body saying whoa.

Second, you might consider migrating to 5/3/1. I regret trying to milk out every last drop of linear gains. 1.5 hour grind sessions to eek out an extra 15lbs of your LP are not fun and pretty meaningless long term. You can still squat more than 1x a week.

I also had biceps/elbows issues for a bit on SS. I switched to a narrower grip on bench which helped some. Moving to benching 1x week and getting some high volume curls/triceps work might help you as well.

Just some thoughts...you've made great progress so far.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by -C-P- View Post
First, I would consider deloading a week. These random horrid days can be your body saying whoa.

Second, you might consider migrating to 5/3/1. I regret trying to milk out every last drop of linear gains. 1.5 hour grind sessions to eek out an extra 15lbs of your LP are not fun and pretty meaningless long term. You can still squat more than 1x a week.

I also had biceps/elbows issues for a bit on SS. I switched to a narrower grip on bench which helped some. Moving to benching 1x week and getting some high volume curls/triceps work might help you as well.

Just some thoughts...you've made great progress so far.
Thanks for the advice.

My workouts are definitely getting too long. I'm averaging about 2 hours per workout now, since I'm resting 10 minutes between squats and 8 minutes for my other lifts.

My gym is closed next Monday due to MLK day. I may do a 2 day split next week in order to squeeze in some extra days of recovery, then perhaps transition to 5/3/1 after that. I need to do my research on 5/3/1 over the weekend and find a plan thats right for me.

The only reason I'm hesitant to make the switch is because I'm still killing it on squats. However, my other lifts are getting stuck. If I can add 15 more pounds to the squat over these next 3 workouts, there probably won't be much gains left to be had.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Don't take so long between deadlift reps, just dip grip and rip.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #6
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

The wheels have fallen off. I'll probably be switching to a new program as soon as next week. Haven't decided if I'll do TM or 5/3/1.

1/18/2013

Squat
4x345
5x345
3x345

I forgot my chalk today. The only reason I missed reps is because I let the bar slip so far down my back that it started falling off. I think with chalk, I hit all of these. The second set felt good.

Squats are absolutely raping my biceps. At first I thought it was elbow pain (maybe it was). I fixed that for one workout, but ever since my biceps have been killing me right where they meet the elbow. I rested for 15 minutes between my last two sets as I walked around wincing in pain. It really hurt.

Here are some vids:
Warmup set (behind):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWxWzJXVs4g

Set 1 (side):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox-4RyF-nWc

Set 2(side):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRcK8gcfQIE

I wasn't standing up fully in set 1, and I think I cut a few reps high. To my credit, I believe I fixed both of these issues in Set 2. Also had a ton of WIM in Set 2. If there's anything I'm proud about after this workout, it's my second set.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a back-side angle for my workset because some dude was using the bench that I sat my camera on. I got my warmup in though. What do you guys think of my grip there?

One final thought - maybe I fixed my grip which in turn fixed my elbow issues, but the new grip is allowing the bar to slip, causing bicep issues? If this is the case, I may try to stay on SS a little longer.


Press
2x120

Fail. My biceps were killing me during this. I wanted to quit but sucked it up through warmups and kept pushing. My work set did me in though, and I had to give up. The eccentric movement really bothered my biceps. I definitely hit this if not hurting.


Power Clean
No way I was gonna attempt this with my bicep/elbow issue. The catch could have really hurt me.


The squats are really affecting my other lifts. With the sore bicep, my 5RM on the pressing lifts is dropping by about 10%. I'm not sure if this is a recovery thing, bad form, or both. I've been trying to widen my grip and stop jacking my elbows up. Nothing seems to be working. If I can fix this issue, I think I can still make gains on SS. Maybe I should just switch to an intermediate program, though. Gah, so confused. Any advice would be greatly, greatly appreciated.


Life isn't all bad though. Made some stops on the way home so I could cook up a nice PWO meal:
Spoiler:
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

re: elbow pain,

have you seen this vid? http://startingstrength.com/index.ph...t_bar_position
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I've come across it, but haven't had the time to watch the whole thing. Seems like a good activity for tomorrow afternoon. Thanks
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:14 PM   #9
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Also, my unrack of the squat blows. It's tough to see in the vids, but I was shaking all over the place on my unrack. The squat rack I use has a little bump on the bars, so I need to lift the bar up like 1 inch before moving back. Any tips? HalfSlant, I perused through your log (since you started it at a similar place to me), and noticed your changed you unrack form, but I couldn't figure out how you changed it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:03 AM   #10
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Browsed for the form checks, came for the meat.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:10 AM   #11
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colombo View Post
Also, my unrack of the squat blows. It's tough to see in the vids, but I was shaking all over the place on my unrack. The squat rack I use has a little bump on the bars, so I need to lift the bar up like 1 inch before moving back. Any tips? HalfSlant, I perused through your log (since you started it at a similar place to me), and noticed your changed you unrack form, but I couldn't figure out how you changed it.
Can't you use a lower setting, so you're dropping the bar down to unrack rather than lifting it up?
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:12 AM   #12
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I think your unrack sucks because the pins are too high. The fact that you go up on your toes to re-rack is a bit of an indicator. Doesnt look adjustable, and the next set might be too low though.

When I unrack, I basically squat up and out - arc the bar out of the pins.

Your stance may be a touch wide. As far as squat form checks go, i'd def pm kidcolin and see if he'd take a look - he's really helpful and I think has some of the best form around.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:13 AM   #13
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I modeled my unrack procedure after this guy: http://www.youtube.com/user/Power275
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:23 AM   #14
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Rack at a height where you can get under the bar and Squat it out. Then you just walk it back in and lower it down.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

This is a good fix for elbow pain also.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #16
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I've been trying to fix the issue using the instructions from that video but I haven't had much luck and the pain has continued (I went pain free the first workout after watching it). Im either doing it wrong or the issue has to do with something else. Probably the fomer. I think I'll reset down to 315 next workout since changing my grip has caused other problems like the bar sliding down my back. Plus altering form at my 5RM probably isn't too effective
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #17
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Workout was okay today. I did alot of drinking this past weekend and didn't eat real well, so that probably held me back. I definitely felt a little weak despite having 3 off days.

1/22/2013

Squat
3x5x315

This felt heavier than I would have expected after resetting to work on form. I tried following both videos posted in this log. What I mainly took from Rip was where to position the bar, and from Paul - how to fix the elbows. I think both issues are related, and I'm not entirely sure if I'm following their advice correctly. I had minor pain in my left elbow (the sorer of the two) but I'm not sure if thats due to fixed form or lower weights. My guess would be lower weights.

3 sets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqhSY8y7Lbg
This was the first time I've squatted not in front of a mirror. It felt strange but I think I did alright. I'm not sure how worried I should be about my neck positioning.


Press
1x5x121
1x4x121
1x5x121

I fell forward too far on my second set and failed the last rep. I may have let the bar travel too far forward on the ascent. I tried going for the 5th rep again after recovering from the fall, but didn't have enough juice left. I stalled on 3x5x125 multiple times and I'm hoping I can break that plateau next week

2nd set: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey7idJhXXDo
Gotta work on my wrist/arm positioning when starting from a dead stop (rep 1 and rep 5.2)


Power Clean
3x3x177
1x1x177
1x3x177

I had a pretty awful third set which I caught on film. I don't think I rested enough between sets. 175-177 has been my normal weight for the last few workouts and actually think I did worse than last time. I'm just interested in improving my form here before I try to progress. The biggest flaw in my form is probably the fact that I fall forward on my toes on a few reps.

3 sets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6yedpfTDXQ


Finished up the day with Cressey's foam roll series. I focused on the quads and IT band, which both had lots of knots. My patellas have been a tad sore so I'm hoping this helps.


Dinner:
Spoiler:

Last edited by Colombo; 01-23-2013 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #18
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I decided to do some analysis regarding my hand/wrist/elbow positioning in hopes of finding why I'm getting pain in my brachialis.

January 9th - First noticed pain in the left elbow


January 11 - Left elbow pain was bad enough to post on 2p2 asking whats up.


January 14 - Followed Paul's video from Lift-Run-Bang. Completed this workout pain-free! There was definitely a noticeable shift in my elbow positioning after watching the LRB video. The grip is slightly wider and my elbows are more tucked. My wrists (esp left one) seem to be bent a little.


January 16 - Elbow pain came back, this time in both elbows. I was still trying to follow the LRB instructions


January 18 - Elbow pain was unbearable. Had to rest 15 minutes between sets and it completely ruined the rest of my workout.


January 23 - Slight pain in my left elbow (similar to Jan 9th). The weight was 90% of my 5RM, though. I brought my grip in a tad and also had my hands more over the bar. My wrists look flat which is great.



I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference in elbow positioning since Jan 14. I widened my grip a tad more on Jan 18 and had the most painful workout.

The bar positioning seems to be the same for each day.


I will cotinue to study this. Any observations would be greatly appreciated
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #19
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I had to cut my workout short after squats today due to intense pain in the left elbow. I'm also noticing a dull pain radiating up and down my arm, originating at the inner elbow. This was disappointing. I can't get over this issue .

I'll be going to the gym in two days to do a bench/DL session. I think I'm going to transition to TM or 5/3/1 on Monday, not sure which one yet. I'll need to do my research.

01/24/2013

Squat
3x5x320

These felt great. I think my form looks solid and my legs felt strong. Had slight knee cave on one of my reps. Unfortunately, my elbow/arms are not feeling great after squatting heavy.

Vids of 3 sets:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gbI9piwDoE

My elbows still seem a little jacked up in the 2nd and 3rd sets. Also, there's a pretty nice lol in my second set. I really ****ed up when racking the bar.

Speaking of racking/unracking, I was told earlier in this thread that the pins on my squat rack were too high, so I switched to some new half power racks that my gym recently purchased. They have adjustable pins. Problem is, these pins could be the WOAT.

Check em out:
Spoiler:


Basically, when unracking I need to squat the bar up 1-2" in order to get it over the wedge. Problem is, getting it back over that wedge when racking the bar can be a huge PITA, especially if the bar slips down even slightly on my back. You may be asking, "Well Colombo, why not lower the pins one level?" Well that's because if I then try to rack the weights the bar actually travels above the entire pin itself. Maybe I'm just being a whiny ***** and these pins are standard, but why can't they just have a simple, flat surface with a small slope and let gravity take care of the rest? Jimmies confirmed rustled.

More elbow analysis to come later.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:15 PM   #20
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Have you tried switching to a front squat or HBBS?
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:59 PM   #21
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Good idea. I might switch to high bar. Any idea how much strength I should expect to lose? I might try a light set of high bar on saturday. If I go this route, is there a good way I can simultaneously fix/test my low bar?
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:14 PM   #22
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Not really, your LBBS technique isn't bad or anything. Even Rip advises some people to switch over to HBBS/FS when their body can't handle low bar squatting for some reason. Most people's HBBS isn't much less than their LBBS. I've seen ratios of 90% or so. But I'd start with low weights and work your way back up to get used to it.

Tbh, I'm partial to front squats because they're so difficult to mess up. Elbows up, drop straight down, knees out, profit+++.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:19 PM   #23
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Was reading this today. You guys might find it interesting. I have no opinion as I've never done HB.

http://www.myosynthesis.com/highbar-squat-underrated
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:00 AM   #24
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

Cage looks fine, I had one just like that a while ago.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:51 PM   #25
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Re: Colombo's late stages SS --> 5/3/1 Log

I have mixed feelings about today's workout. I was supposed to just do bench/DL today, but when I got to the gym I couldn't stop myself from doing squats.


01-26-2013


Squats
3x5x225

I decided to take squats really light and mess around with my technique. I tried a really wide grip, a really narrow grip, and made sure my shoulders were not internally rotating. Unfortunately, I dealt with some very mild pain in my left elbow. I'm doing a great job of keeping my wrists flat.

Vids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhvEwSiVil4

Bench
0x185
5x155
1x155
9x135

These were a disaster. My bench has regressed big time since cleanly pressing 3x5x190 about two weeks ago. My inner elbows started hurting a lot more during bench - even my right one, which didn't hurt during squats. I'm now starting to wonder if it's not squats that's the sole problem with my elbows. They definitely held me back here. Strangely, overhead press doesn't bother my elbows much, if at all.

Vids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbyHS5ekAKU

Cut my first rep short for some reason on my non-failed set. It also seems like my left arm is descending faster than my right. These didn't feel good today, so any critiques would be appreciated.


Deadlift
5x335

Woohoo! Broke through my mini-plateau of 335, and I did it with a vengeance. These felt great. The majority of the bars in my gym are bent and make DLing hard. This time, I used the straightest bar they have which also happens to be 28mm round. The straight, thinner bar, made my DL's feel alot better. I need to find this bar every time I try DLs from here on out. During warmups, I had my knees cave in slightly on one rep. Gotta focus on keeping those knees out.

Vids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkMdJWlwSLU
Really happy with these. I think I can continue linear progression.


I ran into a guy today who I met and conversed with about a month ago. He's a former olympic lifter that one time qualified for worlds. He watched my workout and was impressed with my form for the Squat/DL. As for squat, he couldn't find anything wrong with my setup and had no explanation for why my elbows might be hurting me. I think it's probably just tendonitis that is getting aggravated even with good form. Anyway, I hope I run into this guy again since he's a really nice, helpful, and knowledgeable dude.

Might give my elbows some contrast baths today.
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