T Nation

Critique my new routine

My goals is total body strength and power so this is the routine I came up with using Bill Starr’s Heavy/Light/Medium principles:

M/W/F:
10 min. Handstand Practice (done everyday)
Squat Clean - 5x3
Back Squat - 3x5
Overhead Press - 3x5
Weighted Towel Pull-up - 3x5

Decent. However, I don’t get what you’re trying to do with the weighted towelies. Towel pullups are primarily a grip exercise.

If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.

[quote]pcdude wrote:
If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Those are obvious and irrelevant points. You don’t have to bench press and deadlift to be strong. Unless, you want to be strong at bench pressing and deadlifting.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Decent. However, I don’t get what you’re trying to do with the weighted towelies. Towel pullups are primarily a grip exercise.[/quote]

Upper body pull with the additional benefit of grip.

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:
If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Those are obvious and irrelevant points. You don’t have to bench press and deadlift to be strong. Unless, you want to be strong at bench pressing and deadlifting.

[/quote]
The deadlift will allow you to pull more off the ground than the clean, therefore better developing strength off the floor. The lifts therefore complement each other, as the clean builds power and explosiveness, while the deadlift builds pure strength. The bench press allows you to push more weight than the press, therefore better developing the chest and triceps. The press is more of a total body lift (if done standing), and will compliment the bench press (and vice versa), but for most people nothing builds upper body strength better than the bench press.

If the OP truly wants total body strength, these are important points to consider, and I fail to see how they are irrelevant. You don’t have to bench and deadlift to get strong, but they can make the path easier. Being truly strong at bench pressing and deadlifting makes you strong at a lot of other things.

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:
If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Those are obvious and irrelevant points. You don’t have to bench press and deadlift to be strong. Unless, you want to be strong at bench pressing and deadlifting.

[/quote]
The deadlift will allow you to pull more off the ground than the clean, therefore better developing strength off the floor. The lifts therefore complement each other, as the clean builds power and explosiveness, while the deadlift builds pure strength. The bench press allows you to push more weight than the press, therefore better developing the chest and triceps. The press is more of a total body lift (if done standing), and will compliment the bench press (and vice versa), but for most people nothing builds upper body strength better than the bench press.

If the OP truly wants total body strength, these are important points to consider, and I fail to see how they are irrelevant. You don’t have to bench and deadlift to get strong, but they can make the path easier. Being truly strong at bench pressing and deadlifting makes you strong at a lot of other things.[/quote]
I agree with this. At least for the deadlift. IMO the bench press is the less functional lift of all the big ones and won´t really make the path easier to someone looking for functional strength.

I would still do some chest work but it doesn´t have to be the bench press, even though I do them, there´s another great exercise for chest development in a more functional way (which isn´t as important as the rest of the lifts unless you have to lift and carry big bulders or another weird activity) illustrated by Pavel in his book Beyond BodyBuilding

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:
If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Those are obvious and irrelevant points. You don’t have to bench press and deadlift to be strong. Unless, you want to be strong at bench pressing and deadlifting.

[/quote]
The deadlift will allow you to pull more off the ground than the clean, therefore better developing strength off the floor. The lifts therefore complement each other, as the clean builds power and explosiveness, while the deadlift builds pure strength. The bench press allows you to push more weight than the press, therefore better developing the chest and triceps. The press is more of a total body lift (if done standing), and will compliment the bench press (and vice versa), but for most people nothing builds upper body strength better than the bench press.

If the OP truly wants total body strength, these are important points to consider, and I fail to see how they are irrelevant. You don’t have to bench and deadlift to get strong, but they can make the path easier. Being truly strong at bench pressing and deadlifting makes you strong at a lot of other things.[/quote]

Perhaps I’ll be chastised in the forums for this, because it is a common notion to bench, deadlift, squat to get strong-- and that is it. They are indeed important points to consider, but it does not mean it is law. Deadlifting specifically is very dependent on the lifter. If you are absolutely horrible at deadlifting, then doing it will certainly lead to overall strength development.

Though, take someone like me with average limb lengths and proportions, the deadlift does hardly anything for me. I can walk away from it and still come back months later and pull around 500 without training it. My range of motion is like 10-12 inches and pulling explosively off the floor and cleaning a weight proves a helluva lot more effective. Not saying the deadlift is worthless, it is a great movement, but you can seriously not do the lift and still be strong as hell if the programming is right and something like squatting is a paramount staple in the training.

Likewise, the bench press is again a great movement, I believe it helps balance out the body. However, it is one of many tools to use for strength. If you are not competing and don’t want to bench you are losing absolutely nothing by not doing it. I guess the only thing you will be losing is the ability to bench press well-- which is a lot like worrying if you can run a mile in 6 minutes. No one cares but you, if you’re not competing.

I know a guy at my gym who ONLY competes in push meets. To me, it is silly, but he has the lower body of an 8 year old, and not kidding, an upperbody of a 250 pound man and benches around 600 raw at 205. Is he weak? No, but he sure as hell couldn’t squat 400, let alone 600. On the same token, a strong olympic lifter is going to have what I would consider great total body strength, but they will suck ass at benching compared to a powerlifter.

Look at strong gymnasts,or a successful candidate through BUD/S. No deadlifting, no benching and all I feel have total body strength as well. Perhaps not by the measure of these forums and a powerlifting meet, but who cares? So my point is that it is irrelevant. Strength and the idea of “total body strength” are, and always will be, open for discussion. In any case, hope that helps explain my thoughts :slight_smile:

[quote]Salpinx wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:

I would still do some chest work but it doesn�´t have to be the bench press, even though I do them, there�´s another great exercise for chest development in a more functional way (which isn�´t as important as the rest of the lifts unless you have to lift and carry big bulders or another weird activity) illustrated by Pavel in his book Beyond BodyBuilding[/quote]

Mind sharing this great exercise for chest development, or are you gonna make me buy the book? :slight_smile:

I’ll throw my 2 cents in on the bench and deadlift debate here, because I think it’s an interesting one.

I don’t think there’s a particularly clear-cut answer on the deadlift, because, as others have mentioned here, it really is different from person to person. A LOT of people, even powerlifters, only deadlift sporadically, or only train it when they’re close to a meet. Others train it weekly, and still others train it more than once a week. Deadlifting can take a serious toll on the body/cns, much more than most other lifts. If I have to skip a day in my routine on any given week, I’ll always skip deadlift day. Many serious lifters do not believe you actually have to perform the deadlift regularly to increase deadlift strength dramatically. Less can be more, if the rest of your programming is solid. But, like I said, there are plenty of people who feel that the deadlift is essential for them to build maximal strength. You have to figure out how to program it for yourself.

I don’t believe bench pressing is necessary for developing an awesome physique, or elite strength. Olympic weightlifters, for the most part, never bench press. The triceps can absolutely be stimulated adequately by the overhead press. Just because a person can bench press more than they can overhead press doesn’t necessarily mean they are overloading their triceps to a greater extent. It all depends on what muscles are the weakest in the chain. If I didn’t have a desire to compete in powerlifting, I probably wouldn’t bench press. It’s such a limited movement.

[quote]Grove wrote:

[quote]Salpinx wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:

I would still do some chest work but it doesn�?�´t have to be the bench press, even though I do them, there�?�´s another great exercise for chest development in a more functional way (which isn�?�´t as important as the rest of the lifts unless you have to lift and carry big bulders or another weird activity) illustrated by Pavel in his book Beyond BodyBuilding[/quote]

Mind sharing this great exercise for chest development, or are you gonna make me buy the book? :)[/quote]
Sorry for that. He calls it the keetlebell crush lift but it can be done with barbell plates as well, if done this way not only you have to deal with the weight but with several plates (depending on your strength levels).
IMO it builds the pecs in a more functional way than the bench and you sure feel them doing the work unlike a lot of people on the bench. I would put a link but you can´t post external links. Look it up, its easy to learn yet demanding.

For chest work, if you don’t care for benching, weighted dips are amazing.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Decent. However, I don’t get what you’re trying to do with the weighted towelies. Towel pullups are primarily a grip exercise.[/quote]

have you tried towel pull ups…

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:
If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Those are obvious and irrelevant points. You don’t have to bench press and deadlift to be strong. Unless, you want to be strong at bench pressing and deadlifting.

[/quote]
The deadlift will allow you to pull more off the ground than the clean, therefore better developing strength off the floor. The lifts therefore complement each other, as the clean builds power and explosiveness, while the deadlift builds pure strength. The bench press allows you to push more weight than the press, therefore better developing the chest and triceps. The press is more of a total body lift (if done standing), and will compliment the bench press (and vice versa), but for most people nothing builds upper body strength better than the bench press.

If the OP truly wants total body strength, these are important points to consider, and I fail to see how they are irrelevant. You don’t have to bench and deadlift to get strong, but they can make the path easier. Being truly strong at bench pressing and deadlifting makes you strong at a lot of other things.[/quote]

you don’t have to deadlift or bench press for strength.

As mentioned before, its helpful if you are trying to get stronger in those specific lifts

i dont think OP is going for a powerlifting meet, or olympic PR’s

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Decent. However, I don’t get what you’re trying to do with the weighted towelies. Towel pullups are primarily a grip exercise.[/quote]

have you tried towel pull ups…

[/quote]

Yes, frequently. They are great for the grip but the grip will limit the reps & weight you can use on them = awesome grip/forearm exercise, not the best one for your upper back.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
you don’t have to deadlift or bench press for strength.

As mentioned before, its helpful if you are trying to get stronger in those specific lifts

i dont think OP is going for a powerlifting meet, or olympic PR’s[/quote]

I can see how one might dismiss the bench press as being somewhat non-functional, but the deadlift? I mean come on - it’s one of the most basic movements in the history of mankind - LIFTING A HEAVY OBJECT OFF THE GROUND.

Most people who call the deadlift non-functional are those who chose not to do them because they are HARD. Even those who are not bio-mechanically optimized to perform conventional deadlifts can find a version (snatch-grip, sumo, etc.) that works for them.

And what about all of the proven strength training programs (5/3/1, Stronglifts 5x5, Starting Strength, etc.) that utilize these lifts as part of their core programming? Are they wrong in doing so because these lifts will only help those who compete in powerlifting events that include them?

[quote]pcdude wrote:
You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Faulty logic. You can’t front squat as much as you can back squat or dumbbell row as much as barbell row, but that doesn’t make them inferior exercises at all.

Lifting a heavy object off the ground, and doing it in literally the most powerful way possible, is covered by cleans.

Your second sentence is similar to the premise of this recent article from Ben Bruno:

Anyhow, yes, a heavy pull would include a clean. In this case, I do think Xagunos would be fine with a power clean instead of the more technical squat clean, but if he can legitimately handle it, no problem.

EDIT. Important-Edit. Can’t-believe-I-overlooked-it-Edit: Xagunos, you’re not really 16 years old like your profile says, right? Because if so, your posting history raises some serious issues.

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
you don’t have to deadlift or bench press for strength.

As mentioned before, its helpful if you are trying to get stronger in those specific lifts

i dont think OP is going for a powerlifting meet, or olympic PR’s[/quote]

I can see how one might dismiss the bench press as being somewhat non-functional, but the deadlift? I mean come on - it’s one of the most basic movements in the history of mankind - LIFTING A HEAVY OBJECT OFF THE GROUND.

Most people who call the deadlift non-functional are those who chose not to do them because they are HARD. Even those who are not bio-mechanically optimized to perform conventional deadlifts can find a version (snatch-grip, sumo, etc.) that works for them.
[/quote]

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I just re-read each post in this thread, and I don’t see where ANYONE said the deadlift is non-functional. Can you show me who proposed this? Jarvan, for instance, just said that you don’t HAVE to deadlift. He’s right. Heavy squatting has a strong carry-over to the deadlift. The more I can squat, the more I can deadlift.

In fact, over the last year, heavy squatting and high volume squatting has contributed more to my current deadlift numbers than actually practicing the deadlift has. And I’m not unusual in this regard.

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:

[quote]Evolv wrote:

[quote]pcdude wrote:
If you are going for total body strength, you should consider adding bench press and deadlift. You can’t clean as much as you can deadlift, and you can’t press as much as you can bench press.[/quote]
Those are obvious and irrelevant points. You don’t have to bench press and deadlift to be strong. Unless, you want to be strong at bench pressing and deadlifting.

[/quote]
The deadlift will allow you to pull more off the ground than the clean, therefore better developing strength off the floor. The lifts therefore complement each other, as the clean builds power and explosiveness, while the deadlift builds pure strength. The bench press allows you to push more weight than the press, therefore better developing the chest and triceps. The press is more of a total body lift (if done standing), and will compliment the bench press (and vice versa), but for most people nothing builds upper body strength better than the bench press.

If the OP truly wants total body strength, these are important points to consider, and I fail to see how they are irrelevant. You don’t have to bench and deadlift to get strong, but they can make the path easier. Being truly strong at bench pressing and deadlifting makes you strong at a lot of other things.[/quote]

Perhaps I’ll be chastised in the forums for this, because it is a common notion to bench, deadlift, squat to get strong-- and that is it. They are indeed important points to consider, but it does not mean it is law. Deadlifting specifically is very dependent on the lifter. If you are absolutely horrible at deadlifting, then doing it will certainly lead to overall strength development.

Though, take someone like me with average limb lengths and proportions, the deadlift does hardly anything for me. I can walk away from it and still come back months later and pull around 500 without training it. My range of motion is like 10-12 inches and pulling explosively off the floor and cleaning a weight proves a helluva lot more effective. Not saying the deadlift is worthless, it is a great movement, but you can seriously not do the lift and still be strong as hell if the programming is right and something like squatting is a paramount staple in the training.

Likewise, the bench press is again a great movement, I believe it helps balance out the body. However, it is one of many tools to use for strength. If you are not competing and don’t want to bench you are losing absolutely nothing by not doing it. I guess the only thing you will be losing is the ability to bench press well-- which is a lot like worrying if you can run a mile in 6 minutes. No one cares but you, if you’re not competing.

I know a guy at my gym who ONLY competes in push meets. To me, it is silly, but he has the lower body of an 8 year old, and not kidding, an upperbody of a 250 pound man and benches around 600 raw at 205. Is he weak? No, but he sure as hell couldn’t squat 400, let alone 600. On the same token, a strong olympic lifter is going to have what I would consider great total body strength, but they will suck ass at benching compared to a powerlifter.

Look at strong gymnasts,or a successful candidate through BUD/S. No deadlifting, no benching and all I feel have total body strength as well. Perhaps not by the measure of these forums and a powerlifting meet, but who cares? So my point is that it is irrelevant. Strength and the idea of “total body strength” are, and always will be, open for discussion. In any case, hope that helps explain my thoughts :slight_smile:
[/quote]

You know a guy who benches 6-hundo at 205? Wouldn’t that be a world record?

[quote]WhiteFlash wrote:
You know a guy who benches 6-hundo at 205? Wouldn’t that be a world record?
[/quote]

Not according to powerlifting watch. Not even an American record.