Looking for program ideas
With my deadlift at 308 and squat at 308 and bench at estimated 230 odd(though I am very unsure of that as it's based on 176x10), I am above the 810 limit for Class IV but well shy of the 932 for Class III. Quite why I am bothered with this is a bit odd as I have no plans to enter a meet, these numbers are just another method of motivation.
Anyways, I am new to powerlifting though I have a solid enough base in general weightlifting. This means I should in theory, have plenty of room for improvement. I am doing 5/3/1 but after I come back from vacation (in 5-6 weeks time) I will be looking for a program that takes advantage of my newbie status. 5/3/1 is awesome and I will definitely return to it.
I was thinking of base cycles of Smolov for Squat, Deadlift and Bench though one after the other (not at the same time as that would be stupid).
Was just wondering if anyone has program ideas that will get results over 12 months though I assume most programs are in cycles of 12 weeks of thereabouts. Not looking for a quick fix though any program that gives me those much talked about newbie gains is welcome. Would love to total over the 932 mark (and beyond as far as possible) well before my 30th bday which is at the end of March. I am around 193 pounds last I checked and would like to remain under 198 if possible.
Basically I would like to improve my big 3 and get strong all over. I have plenty of abdominal fat (bodyfat around 21%) but am not looking for a six pack, just a firm midsection, firm chest etc. and generally a body that doesn't make me look like a slob.
Hope the M&S crew can help out as any assistance is appreciated. Sadly, my gym is not a powerlifting one and there are none anywhere near me. This means it's hit and miss whether or not I get the squat rack on any given day though I usually get access to it once the bodybuilders are done with the arm curls :D Actually, it's not a bad gym at all though I wish there was more space for powerlifting moves.
I should also mention that as I work from home, I have more or less limitless time to train and am more than prepared to push extremely bloody hard!
I have noticed a few people doing the Steve Reeve's Program. Looks challenging. I know it is far removed goalwise from what I said above but would doing this until say Christmas give me a good base from which to really plough into the heavier weights? Sorry, I am a proper noob :(
12 months gives us plenty of time to get stuff done. We do need to sort out some concrete goals. You're not a beginner any more and trying to get stronger, leaner and fitter just won't happen to any great degree if you approach all of those at once. But if you plan ahead time for each, you can have all of those things when 12 months are up.
If you're like any other guy starting out you want to be strong, lean and buff. So we'll go with that.
First 3 months: Concentrate on getting leaner and fitter. This will mean 3 Full Body sessions per week, done H/L/M. 3 Cardio sessions per week and a restricted diet, 500 calories below maintenance. Concentrate on whole foods, cut out the protein shakes.
Stick to the routine and aim to end this phase at 15% (or below) bodyfat. Establish a baseline for your lifts as you'll be working them hard the next 3 months.
Second 3 months: Maintenance and strength training. Slowly transition to maintenance mode. 3 Full Body sessions per week, 3 cardio sessions and a maintenance diet.
Stick to the routine and aim to end this phase sub 15% bodyfat but much stronger than the last 3 months.
Third 3 months: Abbreviate and grow. You will switch down to 2 Full Body sessions per week. Cut out the cardio sessions and bump up the calorie intake so you are gaining at the rate of 1lbs every 2 weeks.
Aim to end this phase at 15% and much, much stronger than before.
Final 3 months: Back to getting leaner and fitter. Back to 3 Full Body sessions per week, done H/L/M. 3 Cardio sessions per week and a restricted diet, 500 calories below maintenance. Concentrate on whole foods, cut out the protein shakes.
Aim to end this phase at 10% bodyfat while maintaning strength from previous phases.
If you've followed this successfully then congratulations; you're 10% bodyfat and stronger than before.
A basic template for Full Body sessions:
Heavy: Bench Press, Squats, Bent Rows, Seated DB Press, Curls
Light: Pullovers, DB. Flyes, Side Laterals, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls
Medium: Standing Press, Chins, Deadlifts, Incline DB. Press, Reverse Curls
The highlighted exercises will be the main markers for progression. I would suggest high reps, 3x10 on everything except Squats and Deadlifts where 1x10 will suffice. Limit rest periods on Light days.
Also some reading: http://musclehealthandstrength.blogs...of-months.html
I think for your goals you could make good progress on a full body routine. The Reeves is a solid program, but it seems as though you are more concerned with strength at the minute as opposed to size and although the Reeves will give both i think a 'proper' strength routine could be the way for you to go.
You have decent lift numbers already, so I think something like Madcow or Reg Parks 5x5 could be a good choice for you.
These would let you focus on progression of the lifts and put in a bit of accessory stuff too. The solid looking body will come with time and diet.
Just my 2p worth mate, but there are lots of good strength based programs around, have a look on the site, see which ones take your fancy and then post up and we will try to see if they are right for your goals.
Edit : Fazc has, as usual, also given really solid advice :)
Love this forum!!!
Faz and Carl gave you stellar advice. Listen and learn how Faz has the different periods layed out (more on this later), and pay special attention to what Carl said about sticking with a routine until you stop making progress. That's not a set amount of days on a calendar, it's when you stop progressing.
I like Faz's template for; conditioning, maintenance, grow, and refining. But, I'm more likely to not get hung up on the time periods. For instance, if you are in the grow phase and are still making great linear progress, I wouldn't cut it short. I would stay in the grow phase as long as I possibly could. Your first real grow phase will be the best training of your life and you want to ride that horse as long as you can.
It's also the kind of advice that scares away those looking for the quick fix. They wanna put on 30 pounds of muscle and improve lifts by 100 pounds in 3 months.
You really think that Squat and Deadlift's are okay with a single 1x10 work set a week? I always thought these 2 lifts needed to be trained with low reps? But you're an experienced lifter and know your stuff.
I guess that gives me a real chance to go balls out and improve. It also means ditching exercises such as rack pulls and so forth but I know this is just a template and is not Gospel.
I do find it amazing that 2 sessions a week helps you grow but again, you're very experienced and know what you're talking about. The 4-6 day a week mode is not always the best.
When you say Heavy, Medium and Light, do you mean to change percentages or is it just an indication of the nature of the exercises chosen. The light day exercises seem less demanding in general.
Thanks a lot :), (I especially like the cardio needs because I am not fit in the sprinting sense, the long distance running sense (5km on Treadmill and 30 minutes on the road my best efforts) or the carrying heavy stuff over long distances sense) I will definitely keep this top of my list of plans. I will be starting whatever new regime 2nd week of October.
Good stuff, glad you're taking it on board. The rest of the guys have great suggestions as well, so let a few more people give their input, soak it all up and made a decision.
When you decide what route you want to go, try and draw up a preliminary plan and we'll help again with the specifics.
To answer some of your questions;
1) H/L/M for you will be dictated by the exercise used and rest periods between sets.
2) Reps will remain quite high (10-15). For your purposes and experience level, that will work best.
3) There is room for you to do Rack Pulls if you like, just work it into the template. Instead of Deadlifts perhaps.
4) 2-3 sessions are just fine for building bulk and strength. The key is getting stronger for high reps - forget about how long you spend in the gym, that means jackshit.
Don't get me wrong, I don't blindly recommend low-volume routines. In fact in fat-loss phases I work with considerably more volume than most people here. But I know that for gaining bulk, that is not the route to take. You need to match your training to your goals.
This link is also a terrific method of improving one rep maxes. I was right, you do know your stuff :D The more I look at it, the more I love it. It helps 1RM which is a big goal and also has enough assistance exercises to target weak points. Good Mornings, rack deadlifts, leg presses, close grip bench presses are all here and all exercises I am hoping to incorporate into any program I do. The only thing I would add would be dips and that's it! Everything else is perfect. What kind of cardio would you do with this program? (If any?).
Muscle, Health and Strength: Raw Powerlifting: How To Increase Your One Rep Max
Thanks again and I look forward to other people's input but not half as much as the workouts themselves ;) When I started doing weights, there were loads of days where I half-assed it or else didn't go to the gym altogether. Now I look forward to every workout. Mind you, my gym being less than 5 minutes away helps a bit!
So we're liking the 4 day a week split now, right?
It can be done with up to 4 days of cardio (I've done that before), in 2004 over the course of 3 months I dropped some 8kg of fat using that routine and 4 days a week of cardio. My personal preference was steady state cardio, I worked up to an hour 4 days a week on various rowers, cycles, ellipticals etc.
Just one word of caution on the 4 day split, I would have a light week every 3rd or 4th week, where you lift nothing heavier than 60-80kg or so. It's a pretty full-on routine and I found that was necessary to keep progressing.
I would still consider approaching this in 3 month blocks. That will ensure you have deadlines to meet, and deadlines generally mean that people won't short-change themselves and that they will stay focused on the goal.
Great advice in here. Just wanted to say go get it Kuyt!
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