T Nation

First Year Training Almost Complete

I started training last November. At the time I was 6’2 ad weighed about 185-190lbs. I started out using a lot of 5x5 work with bench and squat. I added in dead lifts a little down the road. I think I started with a 185 bench 225 squat and 250 dead lift. Now I am at 222lb weight with 315 bench 425 squat and 455 dead lift. The only program I’ve ran was smolov jr and base.

Everything else has been me just taking a little here and there from other workouts and making my work outs that way. That’s worked fine so far, but going forward I know I’ll need a better work out plan. At this point what would be something good to continue making good strength gains?

A good idea is to keep training. In all seriousness if what your doing is working then continue doing that. It’s the biggest thing I’ve taken away from the sport in the last 11 months. Saturday after the meet I was asked what was next and what were the new goals. i gave the a simple answer The exact same thing I was doing before only progressively more and my goals 2.5kg/5kg/7.5kg

I got asked why. The answer its a marathon not a race and I don’t want to be remembered for what I can lift but who I was as a lifter and ambassador to the sport

WOW, one year training and already a 315 bench and 425 squat?!?

I have trained 1 year and 9+ months and it took me that long to get to a 3plate/4 plate on those.

May I ask what you did exactly? Because I also ran 5x5 for about a year of that time but didn’t go up that crazy fast like you did. I also see you started at a 185 bench,lol how did you manage to pull that off? I worked for probably 4-5 months to get there :confused:

How many times did you do the Smolov Jr/base and was it just for squat,bench,or both?

[quote]Ryan Pelletier wrote:
A good idea is to keep training. In all seriousness if what your doing is working then continue doing that. It’s the biggest thing I’ve taken away from the sport in the last 11 months. Saturday after the meet I was asked what was next and what were the new goals. i gave the a simple answer The exact same thing I was doing before only progressively more and my goals 2.5kg/5kg/7.5kg

I got asked why. The answer its a marathon not a race and I don’t want to be remembered for what I can lift but who I was as a lifter and ambassador to the sport [/quote]

Yeah, I’ve had that attitude for a while. It’s fun to kind of do your own thing to an extent. So I have been looking at it like 1. I’ve been making steady gains with no stalls 2. It doesn’t get boring to me adding different things instead of just following something.

But the problem with all that to me, and this is the reason why I’m making this thread. Yes I have been making steady gains and I’m very happy with my progress. But, you can always do things better. And I always want to stay humble and open to the fact that no matter how far I come a long, I don’t know anything, really. People have been lifting a very long time and there are a lot of good stuff out there.

I for sure get what you’re saying though. I just like hearing other opinions and thinking about how I can improve.

[quote]EthanETE wrote:
WOW, one year training and already a 315 bench and 425 squat?!?

I have trained 1 year and 9+ months and it took me that long to get to a 3plate/4 plate on those.

May I ask what you did exactly? Because I also ran 5x5 for about a year of that time but didn’t go up that crazy fast like you did. I also see you started at a 185 bench,lol how did you manage to pull that off? I worked for probably 4-5 months to get there :confused:

How many times did you do the Smolov Jr/base and was it just for squat,bench,or both?[/quote]

When I first started I basically just did 5x5 for bench and squat. I wanted to try to build just some basic strength and work on my form. After I felt comfortable with my squat form, I started smolov jr and added a fourth week to it. I believed if I could get my legs under me, the rest would come.

So I just concentrated on that. Most gym sessions I only did smolov. I didn’t want to make things more complicated than they needed to be and I didn’t want to hinder any work towards my squat. I did that in like December I think. I did the base in April going into May I believe. That’s all I’ve done them. And I probably won’t do it again until next year.

A lot of people are against smolov for new lifters because for one it is a really hard routine and it could be discouraging and I guess possibly cause someone to hurt themselves pushing too hard. Also, it’s hard to set a max while doing something like that when you’re so weak anyways that something simple like 5x5 can add a lot to your max in a short amount of time

But I went against all that and did it anyways because it just makes the most sense to me to get your legs strong first, so that’s what I did.

With my bench, I guess you’re asking how it was so high to start. I didn’t really think it was that good. I did nothing for most of 2011 except for eating unhealthy, not working or working out. And my family for sure doesn’t have any good genetics they passed down. So I don’t really know. It was touching the chest, no bouncing or butt off the bench.

I’ve added a lot of things to my work outs. 5x5 work. I also enjoyed doing things like 5x3 with dead lifts. I usually would use 5x3 a lot for two second pauses on squats.

I also stay pretty heavy, low reps for weeks. Then when I start feeling rough, I would drop the weight down and do rep work.

I put over training out of my head at the start. I think that’s a problem with people. People want to rest too much. There’s been many back to back heavy squat days, many days I’ll deadlift and squat in the same day.

I just try to eat a lot and clean and get rest. I basically eat every two hours, almost every day, for the past year. Though that does get messed up on the weekends sometimes.

[quote]BigRedMachine87 wrote:
But, you can always do things better. And I always want to stay humble and open to the fact that no matter how far I come a long, I don’t know anything, really. People have been lifting a very long time and there are a lot of good stuff out there.

I for sure get what you’re saying though. I just like hearing other opinions and thinking about how I can improve. [/quote]

The thing is, if you’re improving, you’re doing something right. If you switch, you MIGHT find a better way to get gains, but you might find a worse way. It makes a lot more sense to keep going until your gains REALLY slow down, at which point you can switch to something else that makes sense.

[quote]DaveForner wrote:

[quote]BigRedMachine87 wrote:
But, you can always do things better. And I always want to stay humble and open to the fact that no matter how far I come a long, I don’t know anything, really. People have been lifting a very long time and there are a lot of good stuff out there.

I for sure get what you’re saying though. I just like hearing other opinions and thinking about how I can improve. [/quote]

The thing is, if you’re improving, you’re doing something right. If you switch, you MIGHT find a better way to get gains, but you might find a worse way. It makes a lot more sense to keep going until your gains REALLY slow down, at which point you can switch to something else that makes sense.[/quote]

Simple answer: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Longer answer: Ultimately you’ll find that the strongest guys have experimented with many forms of training and found out what works for them. Become a student of the sport and use yourself as an experiment. If what you’re doing works, strive to understand why it is working. Conversely, if it doesn’t work, try to figure out why it doesn’t work. WHAT you do is never as important as WHY you do it. A lot of people can tell you what has worked for them, but you’re the only one who can decide what works for you.

By the way, that’s very good progress.

Thanks for the replies. I guess I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Keep learning and working hard.

Anyone want to help me out with mobility/recover work.

That’s something I need to learn more about.