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Old 05-06-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
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So I have been looking back at my training and trying to pick out the things that worked best for me. I have found a few common themes for myself:

1. Box squats do not work for me-I find that my form is completely different on a box than free squats. Usually causing me some lower back pain too.

2. Westside is tough for a raw lifter who lifts alone. Westside is probably the best method ever for a geared lifter but looking back at my own training and other great lifters it seems there are better methods.

3. Time to get back to basics-no need for all this specialty stuff, just need heavy hard work and consistency.

4. I like hitting rep PRs

So, for now I am deciding to do a couple of cycles of chaos513 which is just a variation on 5/3/1 where you hit your rep number and then work up to a heavy single. I like to hit reps, but I also need to feel heavier weights. So, I am going to give this a chance. I will not be running this for deadlifts, too much soreness comes from this. My squat day I will also hit a deadlift variation, such as GMs or pulls of blocks.

I also have some other things I am thinking about. I have been reading the training manuals from Lift-Run-Bang and they are very good. Basically he has you work up to a heavy single and then do a max rep set.

Also, for the next month or so my Saturdays are shot. Therefore I may only have one squat day in the gym a week and then focus strongman for my other lower body day. For now, when I can make on saturdays I will still do speed work.

What do you guys think about this? Give me some thoughts?
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Good thoughts Jeremy.

Quote:
1. Box squats do not work for me-I find that my form is completely different on a box than free squats. Usually causing me some lower back pain too.
Box squats mess up my free squat form as well. Perhaps I have some flaw that creates this issue, but when I run them as my only heavy work my form changes. I've tried then wide stance squats and they seem a much better fit. Form feels the same.

Only way I use them lately is with speed work, but I am finding I prefer ATG to jump squats. Not that I do these much anymore, but on the rare occasion I do I like the jump squat from an ATG position.

Quote:
2. Westside is tough for a raw lifter who lifts alone. Westside is probably the best method ever for a geared lifter but looking back at my own training and other great lifters it seems there are better methods.
I say take from it what works for you and go your own path. I don't like speed bench work, and high rep deadlifts and sumo deadlifts always seemed to do more for me than speed deadlifts. Not that speed deads and bench can't work, but my point is that you have to use the tools that seem to work best for you.

Also, I simply don't like putzing around with too many different lift variations. Some variation is good, but in the time I spent working with things like zerchers and dimels and every other variation I could think of, the payoff was less than what I'm doing right now. Some variations of the main lifts are good, but I prefer to keep my programming tighter. Mileage may vary.

Quote:
3. Time to get back to basics-no need for all this specialty stuff, just need heavy hard work and consistency.
I think ground with the basics is a good thing. I would like to see you build from this and try/add things that work for you.

Quote:
4. I like hitting rep PRs
Nothing wrong with that. I try to hit a PR every day.

Quote:
Basically he has you work up to a heavy single a
That's not too far off from what I do. My only advice is to maybe consider keeping it more instinctual each day. Base it on feel rather than programming. Work up to a single based on how you feel, and maybe try for a backoff rep PR based on how you feel. This could be 85% of max or 65% of max. Who knows.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input steve, I think for now I am going to stick with the 5/3/1 percentages with heavy singles. I will still use feel for how heavy I go on the singles

I also think that having a progression scheme is helpful for me. I think it is easier to hit a rep PR rather than a max weight when you train alone
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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I am no where near either of your levels, so take with a grain of salt. I loved 5x5 training to start my lifting journey, but I started grinding and maybe cheating a bit on the last few reps to advance. Then I went to max effort singles followed by backoffs 5x5 and that forced me to confront my form issues as I simply could not advance at my absolute max without better form, but it ground me down mentally always being at the very edge, and I train alone so that didn't help either.

Now I'm running 5-3-1 and I love it. I thought I'd hate hitting rep PRs, as who cares unless it's a max rep, but I don't. I can feel myself getting stronger and more conditioning with better form all the way through.

However, once I get closer to a competition, I will go back to singles and backoffs as nothing sharpens the focus better than that did. I feel like this is the baseline routine to increase my strength regularly with good form and fairly safely. But regular singles amps up the body for high intensity work heading into a competion.

Just thinking out loud. I'm hoping to be jwood one day.
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