Where Stanton Strength athletes are featured that have accomplished amazing feats of strength or physical transformation.
I first met Laura’s husband Greg. Greg trains with SSOC and wanted to come out for an intermediate lifting class. Greg talked Laura into doing one of the novice classes. Six months ago Laura signed up for her first novice class.
Laura wanted to get stronger and more capable and had seen what barbells had done for her husband. Laura began like any other novice, a little uncoordinated, unsure, and not very strong. Most notable Laura was unable to manage an unloaded squat to depth without falling down. I don’t know if she believed me but I told her she would be squatting 135 in no time.
I started Laura on a box, a very cute tiny little box for Laura’s tiny leg shank. She would lower herself down as far as she could before plopping down. She would then rock and get herself back to standing. In two weeks she was able to control herself all the way to the box and we were able to remove it. Laura performed her first loaded squat all the way to depth!
Once Laura found her confidence and place within the team she began to excel. Adding weight every session, moving with better form. I still remember when she was able to load her first plate onto the bar from standing height and when she came in excited that she was able to put a heavy object up in the cupboards. Strength is important.
Laura is early to every single class. She is eager to support her classmates. While not always enthusiastic about adding more weight to the bar, she commits to every rep. She is very coachable. But please don’t ask her to do bar math. “Laura math” as we call it is something like plus/mins 75% bar weight.
Laura has been a regular at the monthly team dinners and even competed in one of Stanton Strength’s King of the Hill. The other ladies took notice as Laura had flown under the radar to become a very threatening competitor in a very short time.
I had the pleasure of spending 24 weeks with Laura over three novice classes and the improvement I saw was dramatic. Laura began with a 35lb bench press, a 15lb press, a 65lb deadlift, and was unable to squat. As of the final week of her last novice class Laura can now bench 135lbs, overhead press 95lbs, deadlift 275lbs, and squat 265lbs! Laura is almost literally 7x stronger then she was before!
There was no secret to here training. In fact, many would call it boring. But simple and hard gets results. We performed a Novice Linear Progression pretty much as described in Starting Strength. We performed three sets of five squats, press, and bench press. We performed a single set of five deadlifts. Over time we added in a light squat day with paused work. Laura spent a little time with Romanian deadlifts and good mornings to provide a break from heavy deadlifts. Later in her progression we split deadlifts into a light volume day of two by five and a heavy day of one by three. The final adjustment we made was performing a top set of five with two back off sets of five at eighty percent for the squat. Only six movements in total and one variation. Getting strong isn’t complicated, its just hard.
Laura has now joined Marie for the Thursday intermediate class and is looking to compete in the very near future. With Marie as a mentor Laura will be a dangerous force indeed. I couldn’t ask for a kinder, more dedicated, coachable trainee. Here is to a bright future and many more pr’s together!