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Old 12-23-2011, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Novice program; Pull-ups+Chins or rows+chins?

Hey I'd like your inputs on my upcoming training period.
Background; I'm a weakling. But having started out so many times in the past that my technique is actually quite good.

I want to do a basic barbell routine like starting strength / practical programming but I don't want to do power cleans. I actually had some instruction in olympic lifts some years ago and I really enjoyed it, however I have very little experience with doing them. Whenever I try out a few sets with the bar I can «feel» that my form is shoddy but I find it hard to correct by myself. So I'm not saying «I dont wanna clean cuz it seems so weird and stuff», it's more of a «don't want to do heavy cleans by myself with no supervision except for nineteen year olds busy with assisting eachother in the preacher curl» kind of situation.

I know that «you shouldn't F* with the program» but seriously, I'd appreciate your thoughts and what's the actual reason for not doing this(apart from the fact that it would be blasphemy).

I've been considering doing this:
Mon: Squats, Presses(alternate bench/oh), barbell rows
Wed: Squats, Presses(alternate bench/oh), Deadlifts
Fri: Squats, Presses(alternate bench/oh), chins/pull-ups (max)

I'd like to have the rows in the program since it's an exercise I really like and also I think adding weight to the bar will motivate me more than reaching higher reps in the chins. I think doing chins/pullups twice a week(like practical programming novice prog) becomes a bit one sided, after all there is probably a reason why we do two different presses and I intuitively feel I should do two equivalent pulling movements?

If my goal was to add reps to my chins I'd rather do them in ladders, daily or even twice a day since that's what I've done in the past and I went from 4 to 12 chins that way before getting distracted and going back to being a lazy sod. However doing chins daily might not be realistic once I'm on a heavy program. What are your thoughts on this? To be clear on this I can no longer do 12 chins (I max out at 5 now and no, I'm not kidding).

I appreciate any thoughts and recommendations.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:30 AM   #2
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Dingo, you already have a good grasp of programming. I like it, and I say go with that approach. Best of luck.

In regards to the Chins, just a rep goal and perform as many sets needed. Over the weeks you can do more per set.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
any times in the past that my technique is actually quite good.

I want to do a basic barbell routine like starting strength / practical programming but I don't want to do power cleans.
I know that «you shouldn't F* with the program» but seriously, I'd appreciate your thoughts and what's the actual reason for not doing this(apart from the fact that it would be blasphemy).
I know it is blasphemy but I have no issue with the dropping of power cleans.

Quote:
I've been considering doing this:
Mon: Squats, Presses(alternate bench/oh), barbell rows
Wed: Squats, Presses(alternate bench/oh), Deadlifts
Fri: Squats, Presses(alternate bench/oh), chins/pull-ups (max)
That's pretty close to several variations I have pieced together. I like it.

Quote:
there is probably a reason why we do two different presses
Yes, several reasons. I big one is training balance and shoulder girdle health.

Quote:
I intuitively feel I should do two equivalent pulling movements?
In my opinion it's a good idea. Think in terms of pushing and pulling planes. The bench and row are on the same plane. The OHP and pullups are on the same plane. I think this balance is good to have in a program, to some degree.

Quote:
However doing chins daily might not be realistic once I'm on a heavy program. What are your thoughts on this?
If you were really weak at chins and wanted to improve I would have you use them more frequently.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:06 AM   #4
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Substitutes approved
It looks very well thought out and I think it looks great. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:03 AM   #5
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First of all thank you everyone, Fazc, BendtheBar and Off Road, for your feedback, suggestions and encouragement. I am so happy I found this forum.

Quote:
(BendtheBar) If you were really weak at chins and wanted to improve I would have you use them more frequently.
I think I'll start doing some morning exercises which will include chins, and keep at it until I eventually feel it interfers with my training days. My thoughts however is that if I keep it light enough it will only aid recovery to do a few bodyweight movements in the morning.

Also, in regards to the "heavy" chins on friday;
Quote:
(Fazc) In regards to the Chins, just a rep goal and perform as many sets needed. Over the weeks you can do more per set.
Thanks for this suggestion, I think a total rep goal w/ "unplanned sets" sounds like a good idea. It also allows me to go to max on my first set to check my progress every week.

Any ideas on how a decent starting rep goal and a progression for this goal should be calculated? I'm thinking 20-25 as a starting point, equivalent to four or five times my current one set max. Too little? Too much? Any thoughts?
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Any ideas on how a decent starting rep goal and a progression for this goal should be calculated? I'm thinking 20-25 as a starting point, equivalent to four or five times my current one set max. Too little? Too much? Any thoughts?
I think 25 is a good total goal. If you were only able to do 2-3 per set I might bump that down to 20 for a while.

With regards to progression, are you asking when it's best to add weight?
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
(BendtheBar)
With regards to progression, are you asking when it's best to add weight?
I was thinking more of a progression of the rep goal (for instance, 25 for the first few weeks, once I can do ten for the first set bump it up to 30, etc). Ofcourse it would over time turn into an hour-long chin specialization day which is not the goal of the program, so any alternatives are considered.

If I'm not mistaken(sorry I have no access to the books right now since I'm at my parents for holidays) Rippetoe suggests one should do at least 15 good chins in a set before adding weight, I guess this is a good approximation? My personal guess is that ensuring strong motorical competence in the movement is the "actual" requirement before adding weight, and in getting to 15 you sort of have to achieve familiarity with the exercise.

The reason I think a progression of the rep goal would be in order is that getting to 15 reps will take some time(I'm currently doing 5), and keeping the actual work done in one exercise at the "same level" in the meantime seems kind of counterintuitive when I'm hoping to add iron to the bar in all other exercises every time I train them.

I just came to think of an alternative to adding reps to the rep goal; I could eventually just add one max set(or even a ladder, though that may be overkill) after I complete the rep goal any time I complete it in four sets or less, and keep this structure until I get the 15 and can start adding weight.

Btw thanks again BendtheBar and everyone else for your time and help. I also hope you all have (had) a peaceful christmas/hanukkah/kwanzai/few days off work/insert alternative name for it here
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:09 AM   #8
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From my own experience, I was not very good at adding reps to my chin-ups. I tried using a rep goal and seeing how many sets it took me. I used ladders and I used to-failure sets. It wasn't until I added weight to them that I saw progress. I disagree with Ripp, I think heavy weight and low reps can be very benefitial to improving your chin-ups total.

I posted this write-up a while back. It really helped me get my chin-up total higher and it could easily be done in the context of the routine you posted. http://muscleandbrawn.com/forums/pow...-chin-ups.html
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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Hey Off Road thanks once again for your inputs.

My experience differs from yours in that in the past I have increased my chins from 4 to 12 by just doing chins daily, twice a day most days, in ladders. No other exercises was needed to get there, I just kept on chinning/pulling daily and switched grips when I felt for it. I got bored, however(this wasn't a part of a training program just me mucking about to see how far I could take it), and now I haven't been chinning or doing any kind of exercise for ages, and I maxed out on five last time I checked.

I expect I could do the same again but don't know if I will get the same results doing the chins only once or twice a week, which is why I'm incorporating some submax chins into my morning exercise.

However the program you linked to seems awesome and when/if I stall at my pull-ups or need a different back routine I'll think of incorporating it! I'm hesitant to start adding band resistance and single arm rows and stuff at this point of since I want to keep my workouts as simple and "lean" (as in lean manufacturing) as possible for this training period.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
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My experience differs from yours in that in the past I have increased my chins from 4 to 12 by just doing chins daily, twice a day most days, in ladders.
Goes to show you that everybody is different and you have to find what works best for you. Just keep in mind that not everything works forever and you might have to change strategies at some point. I will probably have to use your preferred methods at some point and you may have to use mine. That's the fun of it though I think.
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