TL;DR: Go follow me on Instagram and yell at me to get stronger.
When I started lifting weights, it wasn’t with much purpose. I had this generic idea of “fitness,” which involved lots of cardio, and a little bit of strength training. I ran cross country and played tennis in high school (both exceptionally poorly), and there isn’t much concept of strength training there. I briefly tried StrongLifts after graduating college, and ran it for a few months. This petered out too. I still didn’t have much purpose in lifting weights, and without any accountability, stopped going to the gym regularly.
In 2017, I got back into it. I had a clear purpose: to look better for my wedding. “Better” was still somewhat nebulous: less fat, more muscle. I picked StrongLifts back up, and to my surprise, I loved it. Somehow getting stronger actually made day-to-day life better. Moving a couch into a new apartment was made easier when I could deadlift 185. Bringing home groceries was made easier when I was no longer sore after doing it. Even more to my surprise, I could run a 5k out of the blue without having to train for it. Additionally, it just felt good. Having more muscle mass just felt good. Who knew?
In the last year, I’ve been running StrongLifts, and interspersed with a few months here and there of cutting body fat. At this point, I’m no longer making progress running a linear progression, either at 5x5 or at 3x5 (a la Starting Strength).
So what’s next? I spent February through May cutting body fat, ending up about 15 pounds down from where I started the year. I wanted to spend some time maintaining where I’m at right now. Additionally, I wanted to compete. I don’t have any aspirations of competing at a high level, but I recently saw a video about the merits of competing. The gist here is that a competition gives you a concrete goal to work toward, a concrete end of a training cycle. Additionally, it gives you something to hold yourself accountable: You’ll cut fewer corners in training and take it more seriously when you have a date set to keep you accountable. So I’ll be competing in a powerlifting competition at the end of August.
To train for this competition, I’m going to run a program template known as the Texas Method. And I’m going to do it publicly, on Instagram! Come follow me at swamilifts and yell at me to get better at pressing.