T Nation

Back to Square One

Wassup first post on T Nation but I have been scanning for the past 2 years.
I am looking for input on my training and getting back to basics. I have been lifting maybe 2 and a half years no. Period. That’s it. Didn’t lift in high school. I will eventually be competing but wanna get my numbers better before.

Anyways. After much thought and humility. I am realizing that yes. I am still novice as all hell. And the only semi decent lift I have is my 450 DL. Other than that. My squat is stick at maybe 340 and bench a measly 230. I tell you what tho. I was damn proud to finally slap that second plate on there. But it took ages.

I am slowly realizing that there are so many articles and programs that seem aimed at geared lifting. But I want to compete raw. I am thinking I need to take my squat and bench back to square one. And build that starting strength and basic strength. the injuries and aches I have I think are due to becomin over zealous with fancy accessory and weakness training when I really am just weak in general. Also I am thinking that for a while I need leave my 1RM for testing only. Just to see if I am making progress.
So here’s what im thinking

Max effort squat day:
Heavy squat FOR REPS. Sets? 3-5? I was thinking reps of 3-5.
Heavy ham string work
Heavy lower back work.
Core training.

Max effort bench:
Heavy bench for reps. Same shit as squat.
Heavy tricep work.
shoulder work. 5-12 rep ranges? Sets?
Heavy or high rep lats/upper back work

Speed squat:
Speed work: 8 sets 2 reps at 50% 1rm
rep work for hamstrings
Lower back work.
Core.

Speed bench:
Speed work: 8-10 sets 3 reps change grips. But not having arms spread eagle.
Tricep work.
shoulder
lay upper back.

Read an article and a guy was preaching that box squats don’t do shit for raw guys. I guess I could understand with max effort. But what about speed work?

Wrap it up:
What im looking for. Any article links that are great for beguinner raw lifters. Info on training for raw lifters. Tips on programming. Tips on basically anything ive said. Please take any negative shit you have and shove it. I can take tough love tho.

One last thing. Im thinking since I need to work on overall strength. I will leave the band work and chain work only for my deadlift because I’ve seen it help and because that’s the only lift that isnt total horse shit.
Thanks everyone

Stay motivated

Nice post. I respect the commitment to rep work, and realizing that you would probably benefit from focusing really hard on building the basics rather than too much fancy shit and 1rm work that TESTS a lot more than it builds. I recently have been working on doing the exact same thing.

Looking at your program, I think 3-5 sets on squat and bench looks good. I might even do some weeks with higher reps, however. For example, do 3 weeks where you do sets of 8, 3 weeks where you do sets of 5, and then 3 weeks where you do sets of 3. Something like that. Also, I think your acessory work is maybe still falling into the trap of “not basic enough.” I’m not saying that there is no merit at all to doing specific tricep or hamstring work, and if you REALLY feel it helps you than by all means keep it in, but I think sticking to bench press variations and overhead press variations, and squat variations and deadlift variations might be best. And maybe that’s what you mean by tricep/shoulder work and hamstring work, i’m not sure. Just a thought.

Also, for info on raw lifting, check out Paul Carter’s Lift, Run, Bang. It’s a blog. He’s a strong guy, a good friend of jim wendlers, and his philosophy echoes a lot of what you were talking about - namely, that too many people get caught up in fancy training programs, acessory work, and trying to always test their strength by going to 1rm’s far too often, rather than focusing on their rep work and really building the muscle, technique, and strength they need to hit new PR’s. Jaime Lewis’ Chaos and Pain is also good stuff. Both of them have a thousand posts, so you can probably get a lot of good information out of there.

Also, I hate box squats. But that has to do with my specific experience and my squatting style, and is certainly not a universal thing. But I still hate them haha. Take that for what it’s worth.

Good luck man, keep at it.

[quote]N.K. wrote:
Nice post. I respect the commitment to rep work, and realizing that you would probably benefit from focusing really hard on building the basics rather than too much fancy shit and 1rm work that TESTS a lot more than it builds. I recently have been working on doing the exact same thing.

Looking at your program, I think 3-5 sets on squat and bench looks good. I might even do some weeks with higher reps, however. For example, do 3 weeks where you do sets of 8, 3 weeks where you do sets of 5, and then 3 weeks where you do sets of 3. Something like that. Also, I think your acessory work is maybe still falling into the trap of “not basic enough.” I’m not saying that there is no merit at all to doing specific tricep or hamstring work, and if you REALLY feel it helps you than by all means keep it in, but I think sticking to bench press variations and overhead press variations, and squat variations and deadlift variations might be best. And maybe that’s what you mean by tricep/shoulder work and hamstring work, i’m not sure. Just a thought.

Also, for info on raw lifting, check out Paul Carter’s Lift, Run, Bang. It’s a blog. He’s a strong guy, a good friend of jim wendlers, and his philosophy echoes a lot of what you were talking about - namely, that too many people get caught up in fancy training programs, acessory work, and trying to always test their strength by going to 1rm’s far too often, rather than focusing on their rep work and really building the muscle, technique, and strength they need to hit new PR’s. Jaime Lewis’ Chaos and Pain is also good stuff. Both of them have a thousand posts, so you can probably get a lot of good information out of there.

Also, I hate box squats. But that has to do with my specific experience and my squatting style, and is certainly not a universal thing. But I still hate them haha. Take that for what it’s worth.

Good luck man, keep at it. [/quote]

totally agree with you on the basic part. what I mean is like for heavy hamstring i do defficit no touch straight leg deadlifts. and on light day, just plain straight leg deadlifts and try to be explosive. and for heavy back i do extensions with like a 70 lb dumbbell held to my chest. Ill try to dig my toes in and try to immitate a GHR by trying to use my glues/hamstrings to get me moving, then use my lower back to squeez and hold me for a sec at the top. it lights all of that area up, and is the closest I can get, i guess the army doesnt see the need for a GHR. I have been doing JM presses for tricep work, I think itll be ok to do that because It really hits those triceps around the elbow. ill sometimes get a shitty feeling in my elbow on the first set or two warming up, but ill just use a light weight and move it around at the bottom and work out the pain.

I believe paul carter is the guy who i saw saying that box squats dont do shit lol

I will deffinetly try the 3 weeks 8 sets and decreasing. I think ill go for about 4 sets of 8 reps. for those three weeks. and try to add 5 pounds each time. since its max effort I will get close to failure. but seeing as how raw lifters usually fail at the bottom i think I will do the reps with a 1-2 second GOOD pause at the bottom.

I appreciate the input. I will deffinetly look at their blogs

You are running a WSB type program, look at the 2 Westside threads.

I just purchased Wendler’s 5/3/1 book. I think I am going to man up and take it super basic. and hopefully itll get me in and out of the gym quicker too.

as for explosive training, Ill just man up and blast as hard and fast as i can. as you should anyways.

going to use this time to perfect form, and get basic allover strength in