Discussion in 'BHM/FFA' started by michiganbhm, Jul 4, 2012.
No ... still gaining ... 540lbs right now.
I really like Wendler's style and I have looked into the 5/3/1 training split. I decided to go with Rippetoe's Starting Strength novice routine. Since it has been 10 years since I trained hard, I felt like the novice Linear Progression was a better fit for where I am presently. I did have to change it a bit as my work made the 1 1/2 hour training sessions hard to keep up with, so i'm doing a 4 day split instead of a 3 day split on a linear progression until I stall out on it. Once I do that I will go into the 5/3/1 plan. Right now, volume wise, I need to squat and bench more than one time per week.
My training right now looks like this,
Bench heavy 3x5
Standing Press @80% of work weight 3x5
Squat heavy 3x5
Romanian Deadlift 3x5
Standing Press heavy 3x5
Bench @80% of Monday's working weight 3x5
Lying Tricep extension 3x5
Friday or Saturday depending on schedule
Deadlift heavy for 3x3
Squat @80% of Tuesday's working weight for 3x5
Snatch grip high pulls from the hang 3x5
Each week I'll add 5 to 10 lbs. to the working weight until I can't get all reps. Once I stall after re-setting and ramping back up twice, then I'll move on to the 5/3/1 program.
As far as building a foundation, you can't go wrong with Starting Strength. My upcoming training phase is going to focus on quality of movement. However, I do not want to neglect strength and power. I'll only be able to do high intensity weight training once every four days. So I'm incorporating Christian Thibaudeau's "6 Weeks to Superhero" into Scott Sonnon's "Tactical Gymnastics". I'll be doing my own variation of carb cycling to sync, in what I think will be the most beneficial way, with the 4 day wave of intensity.
That CT program looks intense. I think I'll keep that one in mind should I decide at some point to go after fat loss as a primary concern. Between those two programs it looks like you have hour work cut out for you, but the results will most likely be good.
I've never understood the slavish devotion some lifters have to their regiments. I'm a strong proponent of mixing it up. When you walk into the gym you never know which apparatus will be available (i.e. if someone will be hogging the only squat rack for the entire lunch hour or if machines you were planning to use are down for repairs). My solution is to just have a general idea of what body parts you want to work on and then use what's available when its available (i.e. if the bench press benches are all in use but there's an empty small flat bench do dumbbell presses). I try to keep moving constantly -- if my shirt isn't totally soaked by the end of my workout I know I didn't work hard enough.
Also, I'd caution people who are not hardcore lifters regarding heavy weight low repetition workouts. Two issues are readily apparent: first, heavy low rep work is a recipe for injury; and second, its really hard to get a good workout doing only low rep (i.e. < 8) work -- if you don't push yourself to the limit you'll never break a sweat.
In my opinion most people would be better served by not measuring their success by the pounds of weight they lift but rather by improvements in their general level of fitness (i.e. how fast you can run a mile, how many push-ups you can do, can you still run the basketball court with the 20 somethings ...). For me weight training is one tool I use to improve/maintain my general fitness level. I'd also add that its important to get out of the gym on a regular basis. Every good exercise program needs an aerobic component -- its important to walk, run, bike, swim ... at least 30 or 40 minutes at least 3 or 4 times a week.
You need devotion if you want to make any real progress. You need know what your goals are and have a solid plan that you stick to. Just randomly going in and picking exercises based on general muscle groups and what's available will lead to mediocre results. Going to a gym that has more than one squat rack is helpful.
It also depends what THEIR goals are. How can you have an opinion on how someone can be better served by having a different goal than what they want, and instead using your goal? Some people just want to be as strong as they can be and don't care about running a mile or on a basketball court. If strength is the goal, you need heavy low rep work with big compound movements. Form is important to learn, and then they are generally pretty safe, especially since a novice is going to be well below the threshold for what their body can truly handle because they just don't have the work capacity or mental toughness built up yet. Hardcore lifters are much more likely to be injured because they are able to push their bodies much farther. Apparently you have never done a true 3-5 rep max squat or deadlift. If you had, you would know that you will definitely break a sweat and jack your heart rate up. Those heavy, compound lifts also stimulate the strongest CNS response, which is what causes your body to adapt.
If the goal is just fat loss and general fitness, gaining more strength and muscle mass will result in quicker improvements. The model your present is a very inefficient way of reaching even the basic goal of keeping up with the 20 somethings.
Basically, everything you just said goes against the most basic, fundamental, time-tested tenets of training. Going in and making yourself sweat is better than nothing, but not the optimum way to results. Sweating isn't any kind of measure of pushing yourself to the limit. Based on your stated opinions, you really shouldn't be giving anyone advice on their training.
I actually do know what I'm doing. I never said anything about randomly going form exercise to exercise. I don't stick to any set routine but I certainly do have a plan. Its just a flexible plan. I see no need to slavishly follow some preordained workout schedule. A good workout is about intensity. If you're spending all your time standing around waiting for equipment your workout will not be intense. I maintain intensity by moving to the next available piece of equipment that fits my flexible plan. Changing things up is recognized technique (i.e. muscle confusion).
Low rep high weight training is nothing new. Mike Mentzer advocated this type of training back in the 70s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mentzer This type of training does seem to work for some people. Many people, myself included, never got on the bandwagon. Its been my experience that its almost always better to grind out one more repetition than to add another ten pounds. This is especially true for multi-joint compound exercises that do need to be the core of any workout -- I try to never go below 8 reps and go up to 20 for leg exercises. Here's an interesting article on this subject.
Here's a good article about the benefits of distance running from one of my favorite websites.
I saw this thread and wanted to chime in. I'm working on loosing a bit of weight as well. I've always been a stocky guy and I have no plans to be skinny, but I'd like to lose a few pounds and get into better, healthier shape. Discussing loosing weight on Dims can dangerous sometimes lol but it's a great feeling seeing other guys in the same boat and seeing the support out there.
As long as no one suggests someone else loose weight its all good.
I'll see your distance running and raise you this from a highly respected strength and conditioning coach.
I'm not really interested in getting into a pissing match with you though really. What you describe as your approach is exercising, not to be confused with training. There is a difference, it's not just semantics. If exercise is what you're after, then by all means go for it and enjoy it! But breaking a sweat is not an indicator of good training. It is an indicator of exercise, but training means you have a specific agenda or goal in mind and a plan on how to get there. Trying to reach strength goals without having a plan to follow and just hitting it catch-as-catch-can is a recipe for failure. It is what keeps people looking and feeling the same year in and year out despite the fact that they are exercising hard.
The info on training that has come out over the last 10-15 years is groundbreaking. I was away from training for 10 years and it feels like I'm learning things from scratch all over again and I have been around iron since I was 13 years old. The info is there, but most people don't want to find it nor are they willing to give it a shot if they read something that may turn their world on its ear. If you're happy with your regimen,continue with it. Just don't confuse what myself and Geodetic Effect are talking about with what you describe. It's not exercise at all.
I'd actually read this article previously. I agree with the author's advocacy of interval training. However, his antipathy toward middle distance running is in my opinion (and that of many others) misplaced. Its interesting that on the website that posted this article there's a bit of any ongoing feud between people who advocate low rep high weight training and those who advocate more reps and lower weight (the back and forth actually makes T-Nation a very good site)
I do have very specific goals -- goals that are measured by athletic performance. The number of push-ups I can do is more important to me than how much I can bench press. My mid-distance running times are more important to me than how much I can squat. I gauge my progress by comparing my performance to objective standards like Army physical training standards.
I've been a keen student of physical fitness since the late 70s. I even took an upper division, faculty of rehabilitation medicine, exercise physiology course when I was an undergrad (in addition to 18 faculty of science physiology credits). I have indeed given many regimes a shot over the years. Low rep high weight training does not work for many people (it did seem to work for one of my early workout partners). Over the years many people have touted the latest greatest training techniques. What remains are tried and true techniques -- today's cross-fit training would look quite familiar to 1950s gym rats.
Worth remembering in all of this debate is that science has now shown--and even identified some of the genes/expressed-genes responsible for--different people responding different to exercise regimes (in general, and of specific sorts). Obviously hormones levels will play a role too, but a chunk of how much you respond in what ways is programmed into you.
Which doesn't mean that anyone won't benefit from any exercise/training plan, but it means that saying there is one true path for everyone is probably like trying to describe the best way to teach math.
The bulk and cut routines only make sense for professional bodybuilders -- and even then there's beginning to be a backlash. Here's a good article on the subject.
For ordinary people slowly loosing fat while increasing strength and endurance is the way to go. No fancy diets required -- no bizarre training regimes.
Regarding diet I can't improve upon the advice of Michael Pollan -- "eat food, not too much, mostly plants."
Regarding exercise it doesn't really matter what you do so long as you do it intensely and frequently. Find something you enjoy doing and play hard.
Bigmac, your ridiculous recommendations really don't deserve anymore responses. Except, I wonder, where are your results? All this supposed knowledge and experience, years of "training", yet the best result you can produce is not getting fatter and maintaining an average level of physical activity. Results are king.
Yes results matter. Lets take a look at some results:
-- Bodybuilder and original high weight low rep proponent Mike Mentzer died at age 49. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Mentzer
-- Runner and aerobic exercise guru Jim Fixx died at age 52. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Fixx
-- Jack LaLane, who espoused a rational balance of resistance training, endurance training, and reasonable diet lived to be 96 and was active till the very end. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_LaLanne
Well played sir. Well played.
Tad, you and I so often think alike.
And there are at least eight ways to teach math - I suspect the number of successful training plans greatly exceeds that!
Yes, genetics does indeed play a large role. Some people can whip themselves into shape in a few weeks others need to work for years to get ahead of the curve. Some people's muscles are geared more toward endurance others more toward power.
Regarding exercise plans its true that the number of plans out there is proportional to the number of commentators (i.e. pretty much unlimited). However, there are plans that most would agree are ill advised and potentially dangerous.
Separate names with a comma.