Starting Strength Session 21


Session #21 Jan 3rd
Squat 3×5 @235;
Press 3×5 @105;
Deadlifts 1×5 @290;
BW 234 lbs; 6’2″; age 51

Achieved milestone of Bodyweight Squat.

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Strength Progression Nov to Jan


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Starting Strength Summary


Started back to back to barbell lifting on my dad’s birthday 11/17/2016 with the Starting Strength program.  Following is a recap of my first 20 sessions from 11/17/2016 to 1/1/2017.


Chose the Original Novice program (?version 1) because I found a spreadsheet for it and printed it out with copious notes and posted it near my weights. I figured any version was good at this point in my life. Bought the iphone SS app, but it can’t seem to be coerced to fit the template I’m using: won’t let me swap the bench and press between workout A & B (shame on me for buying an app), but found the SS v1 template on the free Strongur App that works perfect.

Age 51 (bday April 1965); 6’2″; 225lbs
Session #1 Nov 17th
Squat 3×5 x85
Bench 3×5 x65
Deadlift 1×5 x135


Session #2 Nov 19th
Squat 3×5 x90
Press 3×5 x45
Power Clean 5×3 x45


Session #3 Nov 21st
Squat 3×5 x95
Bench 3×5 x70
Deadlift 1×5 x145


Session #4 Nov 23rd
Squat 3×5 x100
Press 3×5 x50
Power Clean 3×3 x55
Power Snatch 2×3 x55
I’m seeing a confusing amount of data whether or not a 50+ year old should be doing Cleans, or possibly snatches, or maybe substitute in dynamic reps of the other lifts instead (I’ve been watching a lot of RIP’s/Andy’s/Sully’s videos since I restarted lifting. I had some Oly coaching 7 years ago and loved the Snatch, so figured I’d mix up the Snatch and Clean in this workout and going forward as long as it doesn’t bother anything (e.g. shoulders/lower back). (unless someone can give me a convincing reason not to do this).

I know I have some challenges right off the bat because I have a couple of out of town business trips before the end of the year…. so I’ll find some way to punt. Likely with my “weights lifted” this light I can still use the hotel dumbbells for now.


Session #5 Nov 25th
Squat 3×5 x105
Bench 3×5 x75
Deadlift 1×5 x155

51, 6’2″, 227.5lbs


Session #6 Nov 27th
Squat 3×5 x110
Press 3×5 x55
Power Clean 3×3 x55
Power Snatch 2×3 x55

I intentionally started this progression on the light side, so I’m surprised at how much the rigor mortis sets in a few hours after the workout. Maybe it’s the Cleans and Snatches that zap me.


I’m traveling out of town this week, so found a barbell gym a few blocks from the hotel. I was coerced to go to dinner with coworkers, so I got my dinner to-go and ate after my workout. Fortunately the gym is open until 11:00 pm.

Session #7 Nov 29th
Squat 3×5 x115
Bench 3×5 x80
Deadlift 1×5 x165


Session #8 Dec 1st
Squat 3×5 x120
Press 3×5 x60
Power Clean 5×3 x60

Slow but steady wins the race.

Back was a bit tight after the squats, but I’ve been sitting in trainer’s meetings all week in crappy chairs.

2nd workout out of town in the same gym as last time. Half way through the workout the place was cleared out. Felt like I was at home in my basement, minus the sounds of cats wanting more food.

So far I have been lifting every two days since I started. May go a few more sessions before taking the “weekend” break. I’m not feeling unrecovered yet with the lighter weights, but don’t want to get carried away either.


I swapped the Bench and the Press between Workout A and B to match the SS App.

Also, I re-adjusted the poundage on my lifts.

Session #9 Dec 3rd
Squat 3×5 @145
Press 3×5 @75
Deadlift 1×5 @195


Session #10 Dec 5th
Squat 3×5 x150
Bench 3×5 x105
Power Clean 5×3 x85

My left foot was feeling a bit of strain after running around the yard with the dog yesterday. Almost talked myself into lifting tomorrow, instead of before the meeting tonight. Pushed through and did it anyway. We’ll see if I tighten up while sitting around and shooting the breeze with the guys at the meeting.


I tried a 1/2 dose of the C4 Preworkout mix. Waited 30 minutes and began my workout. Definitely got a punch from it and none of my normal lethargy. The Beta alinine cause a lot of tingling, but nothing uncomfortable.

Session #11 Dec 7th
Squat 3×5 @155; my dog interfered with my squats (he’s supposed to stay upstairs) and I forgot to put 155 on initially, but didn’t realize until after I had done three sets of 150. Went ahead and did the 155.
Press 3×5 @80
Deadlift 1×5 @205

BW 230lbs


Today I went with a 1/4 dose of the C4 Preworkout mix. Waited 20 minutes and began my workout. I got none of the tingling today, but after my second set of squat warmups with the empty bar, I could feel a warm surge (not overwhelming though).

I’m traveling out of town tomorrow. The hotel has the dumbbells and machines to make press and bench feasible, but not squat or deadlift (except as 50# dumbbells). So I decided to jump forward a couple of sessions on my squat and deadlift weight because I knew I still had a little fudge factor in my progression. Also, I’ll have 6 days to recover. I know I’ll be back home and under my own bar next Friday.

Read various parts of the Barbell Prescription book the past two days. Took to heart the “warmup until limber with 45# bar” and the singles on the top few of the warmup ladder and I felt fresh on the work sets.

Session #12 Dec 10th

Squat Working sets 1×5 @170; 1×5 @175; 1×5 @180; The 3×5 working set was to be @170, but it felt good, so I kept adding 5# each set.

Deadlift 1×5 @225

BW 232lbs; 6’2″; age 51

Jumped Squats up 25# from last session. This now feels like I really have to focus and keep my foot on the accelerator, but not too hard on the last set that it was a grind.
Jumped Deadlift up 20# from last session. Not a grind, but have to bear down and stay tight.


Got back from a week in Houston. Didn’t bother checking out the globo gyms (I don’t like them) and just took a few days off. Picked up with my next progressions for this session.

Session #13 Dec 16th

Squat Working sets 3×5 @185;

Press 3×5 @85

Deadlift 1×5 @235

BW 232lbs; 6’2″; age 51


Session #14 Dec 18th
Squat Working sets 3×5 @200;
Bench 3×5 @135
Power Cleans 5×3 @100

BW 228lbs; 6’2″; age 51


Session #15 Dec 20th

Squat Working sets 3×5 @205;
Press 3×5 @90
Deadlift 1×5 @260

BW 228lbs; 6’2″; age 51


Session #16 Dec 22nd
Squat 3×5 @210;
Bench 3×5 @140
Power Cleans 5×3 @105

BW 228lbs; 6’2″; age 51


I really wasn’t feeling it tonight. If the pre-workout mix hadn’t of jumpstarted me, I may have mailed it in. Except for the week I traveled and didn’t lift, I’ve lifted every two days. It might be time to incorporate that “three day weekend” somewhere in my schedule.

I spent time doing some goblet squats, a few bulgarian split squats to loosen my hips before getting under the bar. Also used the squat warmups to work on the Paul Horner stretches for hands on the bar…. it’s better but not close in yet.

Session #17 Dec 24th
Squat 3×5 @215;
Press 3×5 @95
Deadlifts 5×1 @270

BW 228lbs; 6’2″; age 51

Deadlifts felt very heavy tonight. I night to monitor my food and sleep recovery closer.

Merry Christmas!


Ate like a madman the past couple of days with copious amounts of protein (including 1/3 gallon of milk per day) and lots of sleep. First day I actually felt good prior to the workout.

Session #18 Dec 26th
Squat 3×5 @220;
Bench 3×5 @145
Cleans 3×5 @110
BW 232lbs; 6’2″; age 51

I went a bit too aggressively with the Paul Horn stretch for the squat hand position. Now my left shoulder is aching and ached through the remainder of the workout.


Wife and I are on Staycation this week, but life got in the way of my normal “every other day” workouts. Got an unplanned 3rd day of rest.

Session #19 Dec 29th

Squat 3×5 @225; Stiff, but not too hard.

Press 3×5 @100; something is still pinched in my left shoulder after trying to stretch hand position on the squats the past couple of workouts. It made the Press more challenging than it should have been.

Deadlifts 1×5 @280; 1×1 @300; Feeling frogging after extra day of rest.

BW 234 lbs; 6’2″; age 51

I have been eating like a pig and gaining weight. I felt fully recovered yesterday but couldn’t make it down to the basement. Felt pretty good today and slapped an extra 20lbs on the deadlift bar to gauge where I am. After the deadlifts were feeling so heavy @270 five days ago, I was pleased with how it felt tonight at with my worksets at 280 and the extra rep I threw in at 300.


Session #20 Jan 1st
Squat 3×5 @230;
Bench 3×5 @150
Cleans 3×2 @115; 1@125; 1@130
BW 235lbs; 6’2″; age 51

Feeling a dull ache shooting down my left arm every time I try to do the Paul Horn bar stretch and it effects my work sets of the squat, my bench, even the power cleans. Everything felt hard tonight. Ignorance was bliss when I was doing squats with bent wrists and had mojo. LOL