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    Default Strength routine question

    I have been doing strength training for the past year and have had decent progress but it has been interrupted several times due to colds and flu. I am 53 and found that the Stronglifts program worked well for me but the 5x5 sets across were too hard on my CNS. It did get me from never squatting in my life starting the program at 115x5 up to 225x5 a couple of times. Each time until this time, i got sick and missed about 10 days of workouts and had to drop back to 210x5. My bench has always been decent and I have done it a fair bit in the past, (235x5) currently.

    I have found that Squatting, Benching, BB Rows, 2 times per week and Deadlifting and shoulder pressing 1 time per week seems to work as far as not over training. I normally have been doing 3x5 of each at close to my 5 rep max, (about 87 to 88% of my 1 rep max) twice a week. I have had to deload twice since September, I am in the middle of my 2nd deload this week.

    I would like to try doing this workout,

    Sat = 3x5 Squats @ 5RM, Bench 4x6 @ 80 to 85% of 1RM
    Sunday = 3x5 Deadlifts @ 85 to 87% of 1RM, BB Rows 3x5 @ 80 to 85% of 1RM, varied grip pullups 2 or 3 sets.
    Wed = 3x5 Bench @ 5RM, 4x6 Squats @ 80 to 85% of 1RM, 4x6 or 4x7 Shoulder Presses @ 75% of 1RM.

    I would like to try and toss in some light cardio no longer than 30 minutes twice a week and will have a deload every 6 weeks or less if i find i need it sooner.

    I am currently at Bench 275 1RM, Squats, 258 1RM, Deadlift 240 1RM, BB Rows 185 1RM and Shoulder Press 145 1RM.

    I would appreciate any comments or critiques as to whether this seems like a sound program.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Just joined M&S ManFactory's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi wolfen66!

    As a strength coach, here are my thoughts on your program:

    The Good:
    -Includes the 4 main lifts, squat, bench, deadlift and press

    -You're lifting heavy (high percentage, relatively low reps, good for strength)

    -Includes deloads every 6 weeks or less

    -Includes some assistance lifts to strengthen your mains

    The Bad:
    -Your weekly training schedule isn't optimal. If you only want to train three days per week, you should alternate one lifting day with one rest day. You'll recover and perform better. However, I suggest you try a four-day split – two training days, a rest day, two more training days, two rest days, and repeat.

    -You're too focussed on bench press and squats compared to deadlift and press. Ideally, you should train these four equally. Your 1RM numbers reflect this imbalance, as your squat and bench are considerably stronger than your deadlift. For most serious lifters it's the other way around.

    -Your assistance lifts are too few and poorly timed. On Sunday for example, you start with deadlift, a heavy pulling movement. You then do barbell rows and pullups, two more pulling movements. Proper training should have an equal balance of pushes and pulls. This improves your performance, helps stave off fatigue and reduces risk of injury. You need to add some assistance lifts for other parts of the body besides your back.

    -Your rep range and volume are always the same. You'll certainly gain strength with the 3x5 approach, but if that's all you ever do, you won't improve as much as you could. Balanced lifters change rep ranges and weight fairly often, to hit the muscles in different ways and keep the body from plateauing.
    Robert Maxwell
    Strength Coach & Fitness Writer
    [B]

  3. #3
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    Default More Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ManFactory View Post
    Hi wolfen66!

    As a strength coach, here are my thoughts on your program:

    The Good:
    -Includes the 4 main lifts, squat, bench, deadlift and press

    -You're lifting heavy (high percentage, relatively low reps, good for strength)

    -Includes deloads every 6 weeks or less

    -Includes some assistance lifts to strengthen your mains

    The Bad:
    -Your weekly training schedule isn't optimal. If you only want to train three days per week, you should alternate one lifting day with one rest day. You'll recover and perform better. However, I suggest you try a four-day split – two training days, a rest day, two more training days, two rest days, and repeat.

    -You're too focussed on bench press and squats compared to deadlift and press. Ideally, you should train these four equally. Your 1RM numbers reflect this imbalance, as your squat and bench are considerably stronger than your deadlift. For most serious lifters it's the other way around.

    -Your assistance lifts are too few and poorly timed. On Sunday for example, you start with deadlift, a heavy pulling movement. You then do barbell rows and pullups, two more pulling movements. Proper training should have an equal balance of pushes and pulls. This improves your performance, helps stave off fatigue and reduces risk of injury. You need to add some assistance lifts for other parts of the body besides your back.

    -Your rep range and volume are always the same. You'll certainly gain strength with the 3x5 approach, but if that's all you ever do, you won't improve as much as you could. Balanced lifters change rep ranges and weight fairly often, to hit the muscles in different ways and keep the body from plateauing.
    Thanks for the reply.

    Part of my issue is having difficulty with form on Deadlifts and causing my right side upper rib area to get too sore to deadlift. That is the main reason my Deadlift is stuck at 240. I had to stop deadlifts for a few months to let that heal. I really think i need to find a place i can get a trainer to teach me proper deadlift form. I can do a 4 day split. That would actually cut down on my workout time each day. How would you optimally split those lifts? Also I have found that bent over bb rows are not ideal on my mid back so I have switched to weighted pullups and plan to do facepulls as well. Are there any other back exercises you would recommend to replace BB rows?

    I like doing workouts on weekends so Sat-Sunday and Tuesday-Wednesday would probably work well. So my split should look something like this, Squats, Bench, and Press on Saturday, Deads, BB Rows, Pullups on Sunday, and do roughly the same workout again Tuesday and Wednesday? Do you have any assistance work you would recommend? Also how many sets of assistance work is normally enough?

    I have also been thinking of ways to change my rep schemes. I was thinking of a modified Wendler. I would do 3x5 the first week after rest week, then 3x3 a little heavier the 2nd week, followed by some form of wave loading, 3-2-1 or 5-3-1, ive even considered 6-4-2. Then i would do my deload week.

    I did a deload week recently and it worked well for me. I did the same sets and reps with 60 percent of the weight. When I started full back i was able to raise my Squat 1RM which is up to 264 and felt strong overall.

    I am not sure how to find a trainer to just teach me form on a couple of lifts and maybe check my form on the others. Is that common for a trainer to do just that? I workout at my home gym.

    Thanks again for the critique.

 

 

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