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Old 03-30-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
Pull14
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Sorry I didn't get to this sooner Mike! A bunch of 2 cents...

For all around upper body greatness I like the idea of focusing on just 2 main upper body lifts. Push press and bench press will be the prime drives of strength. Push those two up and the mil press will follow... maybe 1-2 heavy or higher rep down sets of the mil press after you complete your push pressing work (at which point the mil press will feel pretty light). Those 1-2 down sets won't necessarily push strength but rather demonstrate strength and also keep your body from "forgetting" technique and the correct positions.

I also like the idea of squatting as much as possible. Strength is very much a skill and even if your not pushing massive weight each squat session, your greasing the groove and becoming more efficient in that range of motion.

To your concern with deadlift frequency... Performing deads often, for most people, will have a somewhat negitive effect on their squat. If your squatting, cleaning, and snatching frequently, there is plenty of work to substitute a lack of deadlifts. IE, if the deadlift isn't priority number 1, you can still push deadlift strength by only performing it as infrequently as once every 2-3 weeks (thrown on the heavy day).

I don't hold much faith in speed work for raw lifters. I'm of the opinion that every rep should be pushed as fast as possible. As the 1RM improves, so will the speed of your lighter lifts. Maybe it just comes down to semantics... Either way, don't think of your speed work as light and easy... it shouldn't be. Just push for fast reps at a pretty decent weight - once the program is in full swing, aim for weight in the mid-80% range if not a tad higher.

Pushing the 1RM comes from a combination of volume and intensity, in the ~80% range and higher. The higher the intensity, the lower the total volume and vice versa. Or, what lacks in volume must be made up by intensity, and what lacks in intensity must be made up for by volume. The "how much" defines itself for you as long as you start off conservatively and build up. When you reach a point where day 1 destroys you for the rest of the week, maintain the weight/volume on the following day 1 or cut back a little so that you can still push the other days.

I personally like the high intensity approach because it makes dealing with heavy ass weight pretty easy, both BtB and I can speak for this. Though it does take time getting used to and you can't expect progress everyday since your already training so close to the edge.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:17 AM   #12
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I agree with pretty much all of Pull's comments.

A few words about OHP and push presses, as you say you want to work on these.

At the moment, I'm recovering from various injuries that prevent me from bench pressing and deadlifting. I've become interested in increasing my overhead work and have been training this three times a week.

Over about a month, my strict overhead press has gone from 200 to 221. I'm pleased with this, though this is recovering strength to levels held a couple of years back rather than gaining strength for the first time. But I think it shows there's benefits in high frequency pressing.

However, there's a big caveat. I think overhead work is very demanding - more so than any other upper body exercise. It's hard on the support muscles. Working anywhere close to my limit, I find it really tough on the lumbar region - backache sometimes follows. I can manage this at the moment, because I'm only doing one or two other exercises. I would not want to combine this frequency with any more exercises than that.

Also: for me, little things seem to affect my comfort and strength on OHP. Wrist wraps seem to help - they allow the bar to sit slightly higher on the shoulders. Heeled weightlifting shoes help too. Most surprising for me was the effect of standing on a solid floor (as opposed to rubber mat). We have some wooden oly sections sunk into the matting. Standing on that felt er...more solid. None of this stuff substitutes for raw strength, of course .

Good luck with your goals on this. As I've said before, there are very few gym-goers who can get their own bodyweight overhead, so it's a great one to aim for
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pull14 View Post
I don't hold much faith in speed work for raw lifters. I'm of the opinion that every rep should be pushed as fast as possible. As the 1RM improves, so will the speed of your lighter lifts. Maybe it just comes down to semantics... Either way, don't think of your speed work as light and easy... it shouldn't be. Just push for fast reps at a pretty decent weight - once the program is in full swing, aim for weight in the mid-80% range if not a tad higher.
First, I agree with this statement, but wanted to point something out that IS mostly semantics:

Speed work can be thought of as "light and easy" if you're talking about the type of effort rather than the amount of effort. I hope that makes sense...

As Pull said, the effort should always be maximal, but concerning recovery speed work could be considered light and easy on the muscles involved; but then, you have to take into account the stresses that speed work may induce, such as those on your joints. as i understand it, speed work can be rough on the joints, which wouldn't bode well combined with maximal effort strength training on the other days.

my 2 cents, and take very lightly! i am no expert.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:18 PM   #14
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OK, some excellent advice. I like the idea of doing main upper body lifts, Bench and Push Press. Those are my two favorite lifts anyway, and it makes sense to thrown in some OHP here and there.

I also like limiting the heavy deadlifts to every other week, but since I know I have some form issues, I am thinking of doing them a bit more often, but with lighter weight, purely to work on form, then once the form is better, dropping the extra sessions.

Also, what pull said about pushing for every rep to be as fast as possible makes huge sense too. People I talked to at the meet said I move the bar pretty fast already, and so if I push that all the time, that'll probably be enough. Plus, what tank said about joint problems doing speed work, and I'd have to get bands and such, so that's an extra expense not needed right now. And I remember Al saying speed work is only beneficial if your form is really good on the reps. I have no guys working with me, so I wouldn't know until looking at tape later if I was doing something wrong, so that's not too helpful either. Anyway, so separate speed sessions are out.

Good point Tann about frequency with OH stuff, I also notice it can jack my low back up if I'm not careful, and obviously too much volume per week would tend toward cumulative tiredness and form problems that would be counterproductive.

OK, since most guys at the meet swore by 5-3-1, I think I am going to do some variation of that witha couple additions. Wendler has a fullbody variation already, or the full plan has plenty of room to add in cleans and extra squatting.

So, that's where I'm at now. I'll noodle that a bit:
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