T Nation

I Don't Feel Like I'm Doing Enough...

I’m currently trying to get into good enough shape to play football at the collegiate level. I wanted to walk on to my local school in 1-2 years, hopefully get a redshirt sometime in there. I’ve always wanted to play defense, preferably DE or MLB. I played MLB in high school, freshman year, before I got injured and eventually dropped out.

I’ve been going back to the gym since August 2010; I was 365lbs when I started, and I dropped to ~280 by October, in a very unhealthy way. I found SS in December of 2010, started it, then followed that a few months later with Madcow 5x5 intermediate after I stalled out in the same place after 3 resets. I started Madcow last March.

When I first started going to the gym and lifting, I was 280lbs, couldn’t squat air and embarrassingly enough got pinned to the bench with 95lbs. Now I’m back up to 340lbs, have a Squat that tops out at around 400lbs, and was able to rep 250lbs on bench (not the case atm, had minor procedure with a bad spider bite).

Currently, I’m doing Madcow 5x5 while subbing DB variants for Bench and Incline/SMP (I alternate Incline Bench and Standing Military Press when I stall on one.) I’m sorry for the extending wall of text, but I feel the more information the better, even though most of you know the 5x5 layout:

Monday: Heavy Day
Squat: 165x5; 205x5; 245x5; 285x5; 325x5
DB Bench: 50x5; 55x5; 60x5; 65x5; 70x5
Row: 65x5; 85x5; 105x5; 125x5; 145x5
W. Hypers: 45x8x2
D. Sit-ups: 45x8x4

Wednesday: Light Day
Squat: 165x5; 205x5; 245x5x2
DB Incline: 45x5; 50x5; 55x5; 60x5
Deadlift: 225x5; 265x5; 305x5; 345x5
D. Sit-ups: 10x3

Friday: Medium Day
Squat: 165x5; 205x5; 245x5; 285x5; 335x3; 245x8+
DB Bench: 50x5; 55x5; 60x5; 65x5; 75x3; 60x8+
Row: 65x5; 85x5; 105x5; 125x5; 150x3; 105x8+
Assisted Dips: 5x3
DB Curls: 30x8x3
Tricep Extensions: 110x8x3

That’s an example of my week. I recently switched to DB presses as seen in my last thread, and heavy reset on Bent-over Rows. Squat and Dead are getting back to where they were before reset.

I’m happy to see improvement and I really want to stick with plans and not hop around, but is there more I can do? I don’t want to not do enough.

I feel like I’m not doing enough. I tried adding cardio/sprints/plyos, but I got conflicting info on what to do, how much to do, and when to do it. When I tried just adding randomly I just hurt my workouts.

Can anybody give me some advice on when is best to do, and how much is too much, sprints and plyos on Madcow5x5? All I learned from my last try was Sprints and 40 depth jumps off of an 18inch box on off days was horrible advice and made my knees cry.

With my size I was told I could be a good DE, but I feel awfully weak for my size. A friend at my gym says that I’ll probably lose a lot of weight when I go through conditioning and 2 a days, but even if I lost weight and maintained my current strength, wouldn’t I still be pretty weak as an athlete?

how tall are you?

6’0"

I’m a total fatty.

There’s a lot to be said here. I want you to know before I say any of it that I am not trying to crush your dreams, I am just being honest with you.

1-why in the hell did you stop playing football in high school after one year? you’re going to be a GIGANTIC fucking disadvantage since you’ve basically never played football before.

2-you’re not playing linebacker of any type at 340 lbs. You aren’t playing defensive end either. You’re going to be a defensive tackle/noseguard. Possibly an interior offensive lineman.

3-You need to GREATLY reevaluate your training. You want to play collegiate football but you weigh 340 pounds and don’t condition. If you continue with this plan, you will never make the team because you will do 2 drills and pass out.

My suggestion would be to find a training program geared towards athletes (WS4SB, Juggernaut method) and start training like an athlete if you want to be one. Conditioning, jumps, and sprints are an integral part of an athlete’s training, and skipping them is a recipe for disaster. There is MUCH more to being a football player then lifting weights.

teach yourself how to power-clean

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
There’s a lot to be said here. I want you to know before I say any of it that I am not trying to crush your dreams, I am just being honest with you.

1-why in the hell did you stop playing football in high school after one year? you’re going to be a GIGANTIC fucking disadvantage since you’ve basically never played football before.

2-you’re not playing linebacker of any type at 340 lbs. You aren’t playing defensive end either. You’re going to be a defensive tackle/noseguard. Possibly an interior offensive lineman.

3-You need to GREATLY reevaluate your training. You want to play collegiate football but you weigh 340 pounds and don’t condition. If you continue with this plan, you will never make the team because you will do 2 drills and pass out.

My suggestion would be to find a training program geared towards athletes (WS4SB, Juggernaut method) and start training like an athlete if you want to be one. Conditioning, jumps, and sprints are an integral part of an athlete’s training, and skipping them is a recipe for disaster. There is MUCH more to being a football player then lifting weights.[/quote]

Nah, you won’t crush anything of mine.

  1. I quit because I injured my back and when my parents took me to a doctor they told me bed rest, and gave me pills. They gave me a few pain killers. Whenever I ran out, I just asked for more, told them I hurt, and they kept giving them to me. I ended up dropping out of school. My girlfriend, now wife, got me cleaned up, and now I refuse to take painkillers ever.

  2. I’m well aware that I won’t be playing DE or MLB if I somehow walked onto a team today. The only person I’ve talked to said I’d be a good DE because of my size, and I don’t really care as long as I’m on the field.

  3. I agree that I need a change. I was planning on just focusing on strength until I got my Squat and Bench up to better number, then start focusing on my conditioning while holding on to strength, because when I started this I was told that I should focus on strength first because muscle takes the longest time to build and anyone can lose fat or build cardio in much shorter order.

I’m all for more conditioning I just wanted to know how to go about it the right way. I guess a year has been long enough for Madcow5x5, after my next reset I’ll move on to WS4SBs. I’m curious though, what’s the Juggernaut method? I’ve never heard of it. Or I should say what’s your opinion of it compared to WS4SB, I’m probably going to look it up before anyone responds.

Just as a question, is there a reason that you’re focusing on football instead of doing something like powerlifting?

Exercise and training can be invaluable in the way of providing structure and motivation for anyone, but particularly individuals who have had substance abuse problems and such in the past.

Let’s say that you don’t make the football team or get injured again. What will be next? I guess I’m just wondering whether you’d ever be interested in something like powerlifting or another activity that people participate in without a collegiate affiliation or whatnot. That way, you can have a training road that won’t be closed to you, like it might be if you were to not make the football team.

Additionally, how are you justifying those lifts that you listed as maxes? If you can squat 400, why are your heavy days only doing 325x5? And if you can rep 250, why are you only benching the 70sx5 (because of the injury?). That didn’t make much sense to me.

I’m focusing on football because I love the game.

I don’t worry about not making a football team, I will. That said, I enjoy lifting. I just don’t feel like Powerlifting or Bodybuilding (I don’t plan on being fat forever) are my thing. People who do those things have a real love them. I just love football and then the thought of getting more athletic. I want to spend the rest of my life getting stronger, faster, and smarter. I went and got a GED, tied for 4th best graduating score and got a plaque and everything lol, then got accepted to my local college. I’m going to school to be a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

410 was the most I’ve ever successfully attempted and lifted on Squat, 460 on Deadlift so I list those as my 1RM. I’ve repped 250 on bench and 220 on row (x5). All my lifts are on a reset atm, and my Presses and to a lesser extent, my rows have been really fucked up since my injury in October. I got a brown recluse bite that almost cost me my arm. A black area started to form and it got red, lightning-like streaks in it. They sliced my arm down and irrigated it out, sprayed some crap in it, and gave me a crapton of antibiotics. Since then, I kept crapping out at just over the 200mark, 225x4 being my best with acceptable form. I got advice to try using dumbbells for my presses for a bit, and I just started that, starting lower and working my way up.

Juggernaut method, is awesome give it a try

[quote]Experiment1 wrote:

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
There’s a lot to be said here. I want you to know before I say any of it that I am not trying to crush your dreams, I am just being honest with you.

1-why in the hell did you stop playing football in high school after one year? you’re going to be a GIGANTIC fucking disadvantage since you’ve basically never played football before.

2-you’re not playing linebacker of any type at 340 lbs. You aren’t playing defensive end either. You’re going to be a defensive tackle/noseguard. Possibly an interior offensive lineman.

3-You need to GREATLY reevaluate your training. You want to play collegiate football but you weigh 340 pounds and don’t condition. If you continue with this plan, you will never make the team because you will do 2 drills and pass out.

My suggestion would be to find a training program geared towards athletes (WS4SB, Juggernaut method) and start training like an athlete if you want to be one. Conditioning, jumps, and sprints are an integral part of an athlete’s training, and skipping them is a recipe for disaster. There is MUCH more to being a football player then lifting weights.[/quote]

Nah, you won’t crush anything of mine.

  1. I quit because I injured my back and when my parents took me to a doctor they told me bed rest, and gave me pills. They gave me a few pain killers. Whenever I ran out, I just asked for more, told them I hurt, and they kept giving them to me. I ended up dropping out of school. My girlfriend, now wife, got me cleaned up, and now I refuse to take painkillers ever.

  2. I’m well aware that I won’t be playing DE or MLB if I somehow walked onto a team today. The only person I’ve talked to said I’d be a good DE because of my size, and I don’t really care as long as I’m on the field.

  3. I agree that I need a change. I was planning on just focusing on strength until I got my Squat and Bench up to better number, then start focusing on my conditioning while holding on to strength, because when I started this I was told that I should focus on strength first because muscle takes the longest time to build and anyone can lose fat or build cardio in much shorter order.

I’m all for more conditioning I just wanted to know how to go about it the right way. I guess a year has been long enough for Madcow5x5, after my next reset I’ll move on to WS4SBs. I’m curious though, what’s the Juggernaut method? I’ve never heard of it. Or I should say what’s your opinion of it compared to WS4SB, I’m probably going to look it up before anyone responds.[/quote]

I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m glad you got your life back in order.

If you want to be an athlete, you need to start training like one. Now. As in, reading up on those two methods, picking one, and starting it tommorow. You are hurting yourself more and more with every day that goes by with sub par programming. As an athlete, you can NEVER focus on one aspect of your training while neglecting others. This is a recipe for disaster. Forget your next reset, you should be starting your new program TOMMOROW!

The Juggernaut method was written by Chad Wesley Smith. He was a national level shotput thrower in college and recently squatted over 900 pounds raw. He trains athletes of all kinds now. I don’t know a whole lot about his program, because I don’t have the ebook, but if you want to give it a shot then definitely buy the ebook. WS4SB is free. Both will be fine, it’s your choice.

Just found new article by Chad. Great plan…

http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/sports-training/nfl-combine-prep-high-school-studs-and-the-inverted-juggernaut-method/

My google-fu sucks, I’m not really finding much solid info on the Juggernaut method. I mean a lot of people talking about it, but it’s generally “It’s like 5/3/1”, “the 10s waves killed me!”, or “it’s awesome, buy it”.

I looked into WS4SBsIII, but if I’m reading this right, I have to choose between Squat and Deadlift once a week? That makes me feel kinda uncomfortable because those are my favorite lifts and everyone has essentially always told me Squat and Deadlift or you’re just being a baby. I know it works, I’ve seen the results, and joe is a very knowledgeable guy, but maybe it’s not my style. Also, there seems to be a lot of picking and choosing and I feel like right now that may let me be easy on myself.

Can anyone give me just a basic overview of the Juggernaut Method’s layout, if I feel it would suit/benefit me better than WS4SBs then I’d have no real arguments with shelling out 15-20 bucks for the e-book.

I’d like to get right on one of these later tonight or tomorrow with a little help.

[quote]Experiment1 wrote:
My google-fu sucks, I’m not really finding much solid info on the Juggernaut method. I mean a lot of people talking about it, but it’s generally “It’s like 5/3/1”, “the 10s waves killed me!”, or “it’s awesome, buy it”.

I looked into WS4SBsIII, but if I’m reading this right, I have to choose between Squat and Deadlift once a week? That makes me feel kinda uncomfortable because those are my favorite lifts and everyone has essentially always told me Squat and Deadlift or you’re just being a baby. I know it works, I’ve seen the results, and joe is a very knowledgeable guy, but maybe it’s not my style. Also, there seems to be a lot of picking and choosing and I feel like right now that may let me be easy on myself.

Can anyone give me just a basic overview of the Juggernaut Method’s layout, if I feel it would suit/benefit me better than WS4SBs then I’d have no real arguments with shelling out 15-20 bucks for the e-book.

I’d like to get right on one of these later tonight or tomorrow with a little help.[/quote]

With WS4SB, you pick several movements for upper and lower max effort days rotate them (generally every 3 weeks). I undersand you wanting to squat and deadlift every week, but you don’t have to to make progress.

If you’d rather do the juggernaut method, that is also a great choice. Basically it’s like this, you start with 5x10 for a couple weeks, and then you have an all out set. For every rep you get above 10, you will raise your training max a certain amount. Then the next month you do the same thing with 8 reps, then 5, then 3. Then start over at 10.

Smith has been recently toying around with what he calls the “inverted” juggernaut method. The difference is that instead of 5x10 or 5x8, you would do 10x5 and 8x5. Personally I would do it this way because when I gave the juggernaut method a go, I felt like all the high rep sets were killing me and I couldn’t lift much by the 5th set.

Okay, I guess I’ll shell out for The Juggernaut Method. I can think of far worse uses for 20 bucks.

Now is there any more info on the inverted method? I mean how do you determine the weights, is there a “auto-regulation formula” for it or something?

Can’t wait for later tonight to get started.

[quote]Experiment1 wrote:
Okay, I guess I’ll shell out for The Juggernaut Method. I can think of far worse uses for 20 bucks.

Now is there any more info on the inverted method? I mean how do you determine the weights, is there a “auto-regulation formula” for it or something?

Can’t wait for later tonight to get started.[/quote]

As far as I know, and from reading Smith’s log, the weights are exactly the same. The only thing that changes is the set rep scheme. Except on the “test” weeks, where it will remain the same.

For example, in the “normal” juggernaught, the first 3 weeks are:

5x10, 3x10, one all out set, aiming to get above 10 reps

For the “inverted” it would be:
10x5, 10x3, one all out set, aiming to get above 10 reps

[quote]Experiment1 wrote:
Okay, I guess I’ll shell out for The Juggernaut Method. I can think of far worse uses for 20 bucks.

Now is there any more info on the inverted method? I mean how do you determine the weights, is there a “auto-regulation formula” for it or something?

Can’t wait for later tonight to get started.[/quote]

Inverted method is all laid out in the link I posted

Meh, accidentally posted early.

I got the juggernaut method e-book. Reading it and planning to start with Squats tonight in a few hours. Haven’t decided if I’ll do a 4day split or alternating days yet, but I can decide that tomorrow when I got more time.

Probably just going to do it as listed in the ebook for my first run, it couldn’t hurt and might make me less of a pussy.

Just gonna hammer out my accessory lifts before dinner/homework, and then head out.

Thanks for the advice guys.

I’ll say this much, I certainly feel like I worked out.

Really not used to the 10’s, and I thought it was going to be so easy when I went to the gym. I had a fairly conservative 90% working load. The jumps actually started off making my feel awful, but by the end, I felt much better about them, like I suddenly felt lighter. The Squats started off so bad too, but after the second set it really started to click and I felt good. I stopped at 12 on the last set and felt like I messed up, but I was supposed to keep some in the tank.

I went with WS4SBs assistance, only because it’s been stuck in my head since reading about it. I learned I should probably work up from the lighter side of the spectrum on my accessory work. My legs weren’t cooperating, I felt stupid grabbing the 50’s and having to drop weight a few reps in and start over lighter.

Should I switch my chosen WS4SBs accessories once every 3 weeks like the main lifts on that program, or once a week?

[quote]Experiment1 wrote:
I’ll say this much, I certainly feel like I worked out.

Really not used to the 10’s, and I thought it was going to be so easy when I went to the gym. I had a fairly conservative 90% working load. The jumps actually started off making my feel awful, but by the end, I felt much better about them, like I suddenly felt lighter. The Squats started off so bad too, but after the second set it really started to click and I felt good. I stopped at 12 on the last set and felt like I messed up, but I was supposed to keep some in the tank.

I went with WS4SBs assistance, only because it’s been stuck in my head since reading about it. I learned I should probably work up from the lighter side of the spectrum on my accessory work. My legs weren’t cooperating, I felt stupid grabbing the 50’s and having to drop weight a few reps in and start over lighter.

Should I switch my chosen WS4SBs accessories once every 3 weeks like the main lifts on that program, or once a week?[/quote]

Yea, those tens look so easy on paper until you do them lol.

Was there no assistance work laid out in the ebook? I’m not saying the WS4SB assistance won’t work, but it would be simplier to do whatever is in the book, if there’s something in there.

It gives several options for accessory work, one of them being WS4SBs accessory work. I just chose it because it was there and I had the WS4SBs page open.

Some of the options are:

“What I Do”
WS4SBs Assistance for the Juggernaut Method Main lifts.
Periodization Bible
5/3/1 used on accessory lifts (dips for example).
Etc.

I need to buy my own medicine ball and do my MB throws before I go to the gym. They don’t allow any throws but slams.