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  • Bad form is probably why he's only lifting 65#. lol
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 204 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)



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    • Hi y'all! For some reason, I'm no longer getting notifications when someone replies to a thread I subscribed to. Sorry for the delay is getting back to you guys. Yep, I deadlift. I compete with a local powerlifting team and I've chosen DL as my "moneymaker"! I am of course making NO MONEY, just having a good time. We do a modified sumo style, basically just not as wide. I used mixed grip and never alternate my hands. It had actually never occurred to me. Now that I'm so anal about each aspect of how I approach the bar, I think I'm too scared to change things up. 😄 Do you ladies belt? I belt at anything above 265. I should be actively trying to increase the number at which I throw my belt on, but I don't always remember. One day, on accident, I did my 275 without belting. For a triple I think.

      Regarding bad form, I was alone at the gym when this guy came in doing some Oly lifts. Not sure what the name is but you throw the weight up above your head then release it to the ground. Anyway, I'm not super familiar with form for those but they looked really awful. Every time he approached the bar, I stopped what I was doing and got my phone. He probably thought I was playing a game or texting. I was not. I was honed and ready to call 911. 😢 When he was getting fatigued, it looked so bad I wanted to say something to him. Pretty sure it's an accident waiting to happen, unfortunately.

      Y'all also squat and bench? What's your favorite lift? I love women lifters!! Yay!!


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      • Yay for lady lifters here, too!

        You are brave for competing. I’m not sure I could, but I’ve watched some on you tube and damn some of them wimmins is strong!

        Deadlift is my favorite, but I also love to bench press. It’s crazy. Squatting is my least favorite, but I do it because it’s good for me and improves my deadlift. I picked up the alternating grips thing from Andy Bolton. He advocates it to help balance any lateral asymmetry in strength. It also combats the natural tendency to twist a little bit due to that asymmetry. At least from what I remember. I don’t use a belt and don’t anticipate needing one, but you never know. I’m adding 20 lbs in my next session so it will be getting seriously heavy, not as heavy as you’re pulling, but getting there!

        Right now I’m doing a push/pull split, three days a week. It breaks down like this -

        Pull routine -
        Deadlift (225 - moving to 245 soon)
        Bent rows (60)
        Negatives/assisted pull ups

        Push routine -
        Squat (155)
        Bench press (125)
        Arnold press (40)
        Sled (410)

        Up to now I’ve been doing a 5x5 program, but since I’m naturally a mesomorph and build muscle easily, I’ve decided to ratchet it down to sets of 3 with possibly more weight than I’m lifting now. I really don’t want to get any bigger. A lot of my dress shirts and short sleeve shirts are now tight through the delts and arms.

        About once a week I’ll add in -
        Turkish get ups with a 25 lb kettlebell - 10 minutes in 2 sessions
        Kettlebell swings - 2 arm w/44 lb bell, single arm with 25 lb bell
        Loaded carries - rack 45 lb, waiter 35 lb, farmer/suitcase 45 lb

        I’ve done the accidental lift thing, too. I miscalculated the plates because I was in a different gym and so pulled 205 without realizing it. I was like, damn that was heavy and looked at the plates again, this time counting correctly and wow, I did good.
        5' 9" 47 YO F
        PB start June 2, 2012
        Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
        Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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        • Ooo, girl! The famous belt debate. I won't be pushy but you don't use a belt because you "need it". You use it because bracing your core against and exterior force allows you to produce more power and lift more. It's a tool to lift heavier weights. Your belted number goes up, and your unbelted number goes up. If you ever become interested in the topic (you certainly don't have to) you can use the search function and peruse some threads here on the topic. I held off for the longest assuming it was a crutch. Not so. Now I work belted and unbelted and I'm stronger for it. End speech. 😜👍💪


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          • No debate here. Just don't need one at present. Pulled 245 today. Somehow it felt like I added 50 lbs not 20.
            5' 9" 47 YO F
            PB start June 2, 2012
            Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
            Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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            • Originally posted by June68 View Post
              No debate here. Just don't need one at present. Pulled 245 today. Somehow it felt like I added 50 lbs not 20.
              Go figure! Some days warming up with 135 feels daunting! Squatted today. Glad squat day is over. Like you, I definitely prefer DLs but I appreciate what the squats contribute to my DL progress.


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              • I think some of it had to do with not being at my regular gym and the substitute was LAME. Some instructor with a class of one had to make a big friggin' deal about how she was going to let us stay up there when she usually would kick us out and get the manager. I'd have made a real scene then. How do some class takers get privilege and I have to stop lifting? Grrr. Made me so mad I spilled the chalk and made a mess.

                So I went downstairs and did some bent rows. Two other men were there doing them and I was at least 25 lbs heavier. Buncha wimps.
                5' 9" 47 YO F
                PB start June 2, 2012
                Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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                • Phew.
                  Back at the regular gym today. Put 10 pounds on the squat bar and did fewer reps. Part of my 'don't get any bigger' strategy. 5 sets of 3 at 165. A very slim, wiry woman told me it was amazing. I laughed and said it was just a lot of work. Which is true. My squat used to be pathetic (it was neck and neck with my bench), but I think this is pretty respectable. Benched at 125. Arnold presses with 40s and 410 pounds on the sled.
                  5' 9" 47 YO F
                  PB start June 2, 2012
                  Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                  Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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                  • Milestone time!

                    Ok, first of all let me do a bit of a happy dance.

                    I put the big wheels on the bar and benched 135!!!

                    Woo hoo! This has been a goal of mine for while now. I lift with my husband once a week and that's the only time I have a spotter so I gave it a go this Sunday since I've been pressing with 125 for my normal working sets. What's 10 pounds on a bench? I didn't even struggle with the weight. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't majorly hard either. Did 5 sets of 2.

                    Anyway...

                    Lately there have been a few threads about how to start with weight training and it made me think back to how I got going. Itís been 25 years, but when I began working with weights it was because I was just tired of being weak. I used machines quite a bit. Mostly because I had no idea what I was doing with free weights. Then I got a book, one by Gladys Portugues, and that helped me come off the machines. I met my husband at the gym and he was a bodybuilder with lots of magazine subscriptions. Sure, mostly they had huge, freaky men in them, but a lot of the big lifts were illustrated. With some encouragement from my husband-to-be I moved to Olympic bar lifts and those now make up the majority of my program. I started as a bodybuilder, but now concentrate on strength. I didnít do a deadlift until a couple of years ago, but now I love them.

                    I canít remember being intimidated or embarrassed in the gym at all. Maybe when I was fatter than comfortable with, but I still went and did my best. Maybe it helped that I started when I was a relatively thin 22 year old, who knows. All I know is that no one has ever insulted me or been rude to me at the gym. Overall I find it a pretty positive place. These days, since I lift heavy, I have a lot of men watching me out of the corners of their eyes and several have given me compliments and positive comments. Women, too, but fewer of them than men.

                    I don't know where I'm going with this, but I think that women need to stop being intimidated by gyms with hardcore lifters in them. If you're athletic enough to use free weights, maybe challenge yourself. You just might like it.
                    5' 9" 47 YO F
                    PB start June 2, 2012
                    Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                    Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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                    • My favorite things to see in the gym are ladies lifting real weights (and doing real pullups), and people with physical disabilities doing good training. And old people lifting. I never gripe about having to wait for equipment if it's occupied by one of those categories of people.

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                      • Same here, Mr. A. The gym I go to can be a pretty chatty place and I like to give some encouragement to the folks who seem to be really trying.

                        One of these days I'll do a pull up. I'm close. I'm working on negatives now and if I could shed a few pounds...
                        5' 9" 47 YO F
                        PB start June 2, 2012
                        Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                        Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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                        • Ok, give me some pointers. My squat is also inline with my bench so I've stopped benching b/c I don't want to bench as much as I squat, ya know? My chiro told me to focus on activating my glutes when I bench b/c I'm probably a quad squater, and that definitely makes the push easier, but I can't do as many b/c my glutes tire more quickly than my quads. So give me some pointers b/c I'm only at 110# on the squat bar (I can bench 100#), but can deadlift 175#.

                          Favorite: It's a toss up between squats and DL. I love the big muscle movements. I think I'm also mesomorph b/c I put on muscle quickly too - trouble is, if I don't also burn off the fat, I just look fatter rather than fitter...

                          Overhead press (is this an Arnold??) is 70# currently.

                          I don't have much time at the gym (30 minutes over lunch) so I don't do much outside of my 5/3/1 progressive lifts (6 sets of 5 total at progressively higher reps for gains, 5 sets of 10 at a lower moderate weight for endurance). I know I need some accessory movements in there, but I haven't found the time for them yet.
                          Primal since March 5, 2012
                          SW: 221 | CW: 204 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)



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                          • Technique and weight are like a mobius strip - one definitely flows into the other. For me, the heavier I lift the more exacting my technique has to be. The more exacting my technique, the heavier I can lift. Another thing I have to remember is NOT to psyche myself out of adding weight. Even if I can only do one rep, I add. You'll never lift more weight until you lift more weight.

                            A lot of my technique comes from Andy Bolton and Pavel. For bench press, hereís whatís helped me -
                            • Grasp the bar tightly - Andy says as hard as you can, but I donít white knuckle it
                            • Arms at a 90 degree angle when bar is in low position (for me this means slightly wider than shoulder width grip)
                            • Feet flat on the floor, braced
                            • Back arched so only my butt and shoulders touch
                            • Engage my entire core - lats, obliques, abdominals - the works
                            • Flex my butt on the lift off
                            • Keep these muscles engaged during the lift
                            • Load the legs on the press



                            Hereís whatís helped me for squatting -
                            • Find the foot tripod - heel and left and right sides of the ball of the foot
                            • Slightly lift toes (to prevent going up on them, or leaning forward)
                            • Keep bar firmly on delts and traps (if I roll it up too high, I lean forward)
                            • Engage my lats and kind of snug the bar into my rear delts/traps
                            • Look at the floor just ahead of me, neutral neck
                            • Arch my lower back, but not too much, women are more flexible there and tend to over arch which if you do you tend to lose when you get down and can tuck your tail, leading to lower back strain (my experience)
                            • Flex my glutes (this helps tilt my hips to keep the bar more centered, otherwise I come forward like Iím doing a good morning)
                            • Drop straight down between my feet (I take a slightly wider stance so I can drop more fully, Iím flexible, but YMMV)
                            • Keep knees wide apart during the whole lift (knees collapsing inward means you're lifting too heavy, back off a bit until your knees stay apart)



                            Phew. It sounds mental all written out like that doesnít it?

                            With 30 minutes, you can probably get in 3-5 sets of any single lift pretty easily. Another thing I make sure of is that Iím getting at least 2 minutes of recovery time between sets. If I can go longer, I do. ATP regenerates pretty well in just a few minutes.

                            Oh and one weird thing that Bolton advocates is unloading your spine which means hanging. I find it helpful to release my spinal erectors, improve my grip and keep my shoulders loose.

                            Woo hoo! Strong women are so great. Keep going, Jenn! Let me know if I can help with anything else. Iím not an expert, by any means, but Iím learning, too, and willing to pass along whatís worked for me.
                            5' 9" 47 YO F
                            PB start June 2, 2012
                            Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                            Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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                            • this is an arnold press


                              I don't military press because it wrecks my elbows. I do Arnolds one armed and standing to engage muscles used to stabilize me during the lift. If I don't feel those working, I know I'm too light. These days I do 5 sets of 2-3 with a 45 lb dumbbell. You can also do these with kettlebells and lately I've been adding some bottoms up presses (MUCH lighter weight) to improve grip and balance.
                              5' 9" 47 YO F
                              PB start June 2, 2012
                              Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                              Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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                              • Denial. Way more than just a river in Egypt.

                                So Iíve been at this Primal thing for a couple, three years now and lost some weight, fixed some issues and generally feel great. I never did lose all the weight I really wanted to, but I got mostly there and felt good. Calories donít matter, macros can be skewed so long as Iím a fat-burning machine. Right? So long as Iím getting some exercise. So long as the bread, pasta and beer stay outta my mouth. Yeah my jeans are a little snug, but thatís from doing heavy squats, right?

                                Wrong.

                                Oy vey. Iíve put on some poundage and Iím not happy. Itís not muscle, itís fat. I finally put on a pair of pants that made it REAL CLEAR Iíve gained weight. Iím so mad, but I think itís fixable. The problem is it will take amazing will power. Actually, scratch that. Itís going to take me making my weight loss the priority mission. A few empty carby calories have slipped into the stream and those shouldnít be a problem to avoid. I donít think it was any one of them alone that caused my weight gain, but the combination. Iíd have a bit of leftover potato with my eggs and bacon and then have some fruit on top of it. Later a handful of nuts. Or two.

                                But the real problem is alcohol. Wine specifically.

                                My bugbear.

                                And my husbandís too. I think itís gotten to the point where weíre going to just have to stop buying cheap wine to have around for weekday meals. We just donít have the willpower to not open a bottle or a box. Yeah for wine snobs we do drink a bit of boxed wine and damn does that make it easy to have a glass. Or two. Or three. Itís nothing for us to put away a bottle a day if we chose to.

                                I know itís a major problem in maintaining the type of metabolic activity we want - chiefly keeping the insulin response minimal. Plus thereís all those empty calories. Why do those calories have to be so delicious???

                                Anyway, weíre going to see some friends in April over the weekend. In Phoenix. So even if itís too cold for shorts and strappy t-shirts up here in NH, it wonít be down there. So Iíve got like 6 weeks to lose 10 pounds. At least thatís my plan. I wish the streets were clear and it wasnít 10 below zero. Sprinting is so hard this time of year. I think that will be a big help on this mission. I must find a way. We do have a scale now so I can track this.

                                Also I think that I need to embrace the hunger a bit more. At first, when I changed my diet, I sort of reveled in the fact that while my stomach growled my head was clear and my energy good. Now I feed myself the minute I get uncomfortable. Not good. How else am I going to burn excess fuel if I keep eating all the time?

                                So hereís my list of changes -
                                1. Avoid the carb stack
                                2. Avoid alcohol 4 days per week (Monday to Thursday)
                                3. Avoid snacking when in the house and anticipating a meal soon
                                4. Find a way to sprint in the snow without getting run over



                                Oh please let this be doable.
                                5' 9" 47 YO F
                                PB start June 2, 2012
                                Pre PB SW = 180 (no scale at home, Mom's scale January - 153lbs!)
                                Current deadlift 245 lbs, squat 165 lbs, bench press 135 lbs


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