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Doing Only the Three Big Lifts?

I am going to start a new program today-

Just do the big three lifts

Deadlift
Squat
Bench

If I did those three days a week, all three in every work out, but just alternated the order…my thinking is that if I did a short time, say 6 weeks, I could add on quite a bit of strength, which is the ultimate goal. Is this completely hairbrained, or a decent idea?

absolutely. Have you ever checked out korte’s 3x3 program? A lot of lifters have seen great gains from the eight week plan.

Nah it’s a great idea if time is limited. What kind of set/rep progression are you planning on? I’d rotate that too. So your main lift for the day would be lower reps, for more sets and the other two would be higher for fewer in more of a hypertrophy zone.

I personally would switch bench for DB press, do some external rotation work and chuck in a couple of sets for any other body part you’d like to bring up.

But yeah, great idea. Will just have to be careful not to fry your CNS. If you avoid that, you should have a good little program happening.

[quote]davidh019 wrote:
Deadlift
Squat
Bench

If I did those three days a week, all three in every work out, but just alternated the order…my thinking is that if I did a short time, say 6 weeks, I could add on quite a bit of strength, which is the ultimate goal. Is this completely hairbrained, or a decent idea?[/quote]

I’d like to say it’s completely hairbrained, but only because you don’t often get a chance to say ‘hairbrained’ nowadays.

In the long term, such a minimal format is setting you up for serious muscle imbalances. (Deadlifts are a great exercise, but they’re not an actual substitute for bent arm rowing.)

In the short term, and I think 6-weeks is just barely “short term” , it could serve as a plateau buster/boredom-breaker.

There was another thread not too long ago with many different points of view:
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1659241

However, Charles Staley did recommend a similar type of program in his article:
12 Tips From A Beginner (At Heart)
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=984952

[quote]7) Confused About What To Do? Try “The 3-5 Method.”
This method has been around forever, but has recently been popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline in his book Power To The People. Understanding The 3-5 Method couldn’t be simpler: it calls for 3-5 workouts a week where you perform between 3-5 sets of between 3-5 reps per set, using 3-5 exercises per workout, resting 3-5 minutes between sets.

Now there are many, many different ways to train, and some of them involve parameters that fall outside of these recommendations, but that being said, it’s pretty hard for anyone to screw up using these guidelines. They’ve worked for countless bodybuilders and strength athletes for several decades, so don’t tell me they won’t work for you, because they will.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice. That is about the rep scheme I had in mind. After reading those post- no need to continue here. Sorry about the repost.

Since you mentioned changing the order, doing high intensity deadlift before squats is generally not recommended for the impact it will have on your lower back.

I wouldn’t dead and squat in the same day.

But if you have to, squat first. When I dead first, everything after that sucks. If I squat first, I can still bench and dead pretty well.

Have you ever checked out a Starr 5X5 program?

www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

I’ve seen this touted as a PL program. Some good lifters at our Club tried it. The Idea was: first lift heavy, secon medium last light. 3 days per week rotating the order of lifts so that all are trained H/M/L per week.

Result was it couldn’t be maitained for long, SQ & especially DL soon were dropped to once heavy or at most once heavy + once light per week. Looks good on paper, sucks when you try it, at least for experienced lifters.

you’d need some horizontal pulling too,

but you could easily have an all compound moves program, why stick to just 3?

When I first started to throw some powerlifting into my routines I used the same training with good success. Keep it to the 5x5 protocol at 6-8 weeks and increase the weights in small amounts, 2 lbs, every week. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets.