Beginning the Starting Strength programming

Looking at the Starting Strength program to get my strength gains quickly back up to my previous levels (I’ve owned the book for a few years, but was too involved with Crossfit, Oly lifting, and kettlebells to properly use the program).  Since I did bench press last night, I started with the 2nd Day of the Two Day repeating programming.  Looking at the recommended milk intake for novice muscle gains. Since I haven’t drank milk in any quantity in the past few years, I’ll have to see if my body still tolerates it.

Program will be:
Day 1: Squat, Shoulder Press, Power Clean
Day 2: Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift
Repeat every two days.

  • Rowing (machine):
    • 0:00:00 || 856 m || 2:55 split || 0 bpm || 0 % (+59 pts)
    • Warmup
  • Barbell Squat:
    • 55 lb x 5 reps (+33 pts)
    • 55 lb x 5 reps (+33 pts)
    • 105 lb x 5 reps (+47 pts)
    • 155 lb x 3 reps (+53 pts)
    • 195 lb x 3 reps (+69 pts)
    • 195 lb x 3 reps (+69 pts)
    • 35 lb x 25 reps (+40 pts)
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press:
    • 35 lb x 5 reps (+46 pts)
    • 35 lb x 5 reps (+46 pts)
    • 65 lb x 5 reps (+56 pts)
    • 85 lb x 3 reps (+52 pts)
    • 100 lb x 5 reps (+71 pts)
  • Power Clean:
    • 55 lb x 5 reps (+28 pts)
    • 85 lb x 5 reps (+35 pts)
    • 85 lb x 5 reps (+35 pts)
    • 85 lb x 5 reps (+35 pts)

Puttering around

I don’t usually eat pizza, but had a hankering for a Supreme pizza last night, then finished it off today.  Despite waiting a few hours before working out, even the warmup rowing was causing some real nasty tasting reflux.  I decided to keep the workout lite and just piddled around instead.

Rowing 250m x 4

Power Snatch 35#
Power Clean 95#
Front Squat 95#
Chinups (Green Band)
Rope Climbs (modified)

Tomorrow begins Week 2 of the 5 week Kettlebell Challenge.

Front Squats, Power Cleans

Front Squats 5 x 3, 50kg/110lb, 60kg/132lb, 70kg/154lb

Power Cleans from above the knee 3 x 5 (gradually increasing weight to 60kg/132lbs) From an elevated box

Power Cleans from Below the knee 2 x 5 (gradually increasing weight to 65kg/143lbs) From an elevated box

Started off with a bad headache that dissipated about mid way, then finished off with very sore lower back from the pounding of the heavier cleans.  I need to learn to land softer and absorbing the impact better.

Olympic Weightlifting Skills


Front Squats 4 x 5 (mostly as a warmup) (gradually increasing weight to 145lbs… focus on upright back/chest position)

Power Cleans from above the knee 3 x 6 (gradually increasing weight to 100lbs)

Power Cleans from Below the knee 2 x 5 (same weight throughout using max from previous exercise)

Back Squats 4 x 5, weight incrementally up to 100kg (220lbs)

Coach is fussy about technique, so I have to constantly remind myself that performing the lifts in rapid succession for “intensity” isn’t the goal, but rather drilling in correct motor patterns.

Olympic Weightlifting Skills and Easy Cycling

Cycling on the Trainer (mountain mode), 30 minutes, 5.6 miles (just trying to make sure my butt doesn’t forget the saddle)


250m Row


Front Squats 5 x 3, 3 x 3 (mostly as a warmup) (gradually increasing weight)

Power Cleans from above the knee 4 x 3, 3 x 2, 2 x 2 weight incrementally up to 62.5kg (138lbs)

Power Cleans from Below the knee 4 x 3, 3 x 2, 2 x 2 weight incrementally up to 62.5kg (138lbs)

Back Squats 3 x 5, weight incrementally up to 80kg (176lbs)

Olympic Lifting Skills -Cleans


Hang Power Cleans 3 x 7 (40kg, 45kg, 55kg, 55kg, 60kg, 55kg, 55kg)

My Cleans lacked explosion, so coach transitioned me to Back Squats with a twist… fast, explosive reps.

Back Squats
55kg x 5 (first rep slow, 4 reps explosive) 2 minute rest and repeat sets 3 times
55kg x 6 (first rep slow, 5 reps explosive)

Transitional Deadlifts 55kg x 6 x 4 (just below knee to just above the knee)

I was dead tired at the end… lots of heavy central nervous system load for me…. all that explosive work left me wiped out.

Power Cleans, Kettlebell Swings and Cleans

Penny worked on Power Cleans.  We did some video and review after each lift, which was instructive. I did her workout weight (65# & 95#) as warmup and then tried 145# since my form is starting to feel better.  This is about 85% of my 1RM, but felt much better than when I did it a few weeks ago.

One of the things that I was unhappy with after reviewing video yesterday, was my apparent rounding of the upper back.  With additional video and Penny coaching my back into position, I worked on a better back curve.

After we finished Power Cleans, I spent time working on Kettlebell Swings, transitioning from 2-hand to 1-hand swings, then hand-hand drills.  Finished up with one-arm KB cleans.

Power Cleans practice

Did a short video to critique my power cleans.

Beginner Power Cleans from Bob Overstreet on Vimeo.

  1. Need lifting shoes
  2. Even when I cued myself for “head-up, chest-out”, I see there is back rounding?!?  Do I need to sit back more into the deadlift position?
  3. Not releasing hook grip in the rack position
  4. Others?

1RM Power Cleans

I’ve never done 1RM (Max Weight) Power Cleans before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  After a few brief warmup attempts, I escalated quickly to “heavier” weight.

Bob Workout:

65 x 5
75 x2
95 x 2
125 x 1
155 x 1 FAIL
135 x 1
145 x 1
150 x 1 Slammed my knees jumping too soon.
155 x 1
160 x 1
165 x 1 PR
170 x 1 FAIL
Pretty spectacular failure trying to squat under and barbell when flying with me off balance.  Called it a night!!

Penny Workout:

65 x 2
95 x 1 Fail
95 x 1 PR
100 x 1 Fail
100 x 1 Fail
95 x 1 PR

1000m Row, GHD, Cleans, Press


4 Rowing Intervals (250m, 30sec rest) 2:50/500 pace

2 Rounds:
10 GHD Back Ext
10 GHD situps

15 Cleans 65#
10 Presses 65#

10 Steep angle Ring Rows

1000m Row

Time: 3:50 (I couldn’t let Penny’s 4:02 PR last night stand over mine that long… lol)

10 Cleans 65#


250m Row
Green Band pullups (4, 4, 3)
Knee Pushups

15 Snatch 65#

Time: 2:45