Novice Squat

Epic achievement this morning - I squatted my bodyweight! That means I can officially upgrade my status from UNTRAINED to NOVICE. I've been doing the Starting Strength lifting program by Mark Rippetoe and this is my first major benchmark.

Mostly, you do what's on the cover.

This program has you doing three workouts a week and you squat at the beginning of each workout. You also try to add about 10 pounds every workout. It's exciting to watch the progress, so I made a chart (click for bigger).

One month of squatting on Rippetoe's Starting Strength.

The classifications on the chart (untrained, novice, intermediate...) came from some random website and were based on a single rep max. Since I do 3x5 rep "work" sets, I converted the 1RM values from the site to the 5RM values you see on my chart. It's all made up, but its fun to have some kind of benchmarks.

Anyway, for whatever it's worth, I've read various places about bodyweight squat as being a nice benchmark when you're starting out, so I'm happy I got there. The site where I got those numbers thought it would take me three months - ha! Go coach Rip!

What Now?

Originally, I was going to do this program for about three months and try to cut in enough running to get ready for a half marathon at Fargo. Now that I'm one month in, I'm pretty sure that I've gone almost as far with a half-ass effort as I'm going to go. I've been adding less weight per day and I'm starting to fear my upcoming workouts.

Coach recommends that you drink a gallon of whole milk every day, and try to get 300g protein and 6000 calories. I've been eating more protein and fat, but I sure haven't been eating 6000 Cal worth. In the beginning, everything shoots up without much effort, but now that I'm an all-knowing novice, I think to keep moving up you have to really start being compliant with the diet and rest rules.

I figure the fun part is the initial gains. I also figure that I've built up enough protective muscular machinery around my running parts that I might prevent an injury or two. Right now, my plan forward is to drop down to one or two days a week of weights/kettlebells and go back to a runner-like schedule (and diet). After Fargo I might do another month of this plan to return to my present novitiate glory.


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