T Nation

Need Advice For PL Training

Hi!

Ok. I’ve been training with weights off and on since high school, but I’ve never really been serious about it until lately. I’m coming off of a knee dislocation that happened last August. My left leg is still weaker, but my overall strength is higher than it has ever been. I’ve been training solid for about 4 months now, and my lifts have gone up quite a bit.

I want to be strong. Freaky strong. But I don’t really care if I look like it. In fact, I’d prefer that I didn’t. I don’t want to be huge or ripped; I want to pick up 500 lbs and throw it. If I get huge or ripped on my way there, so be it, but my main concern is ripping cars in half and throwing airplanes into the Atlantic Ocean. From California.

I would like to compete in some powerlifting contests in the future and kick some asses. I’d like to compete at 181, weighing about 180 or high 170s; is that unrealistic (too light) for someone who is 5’10"?

I want to look healthy. I’m not concerned with having very low body fat, but I am concerned with having high body fat. My body fat is at a medium level right now, if I had to guess I would say ~15%. I do not want it to increase at all, but I would not be severely put out if it did not decrease.

I have a good amount of time to train and I am dedicated. I’m not afraid to bust my ass in the gym, but I’m also not such a stubborn mule that I power through days where I shouldn’t even be training (ow fuck knee!). I’ve been working with a sorta-kinda Westside approach called Westside for Skinny Bastards by Joe DeFranco, but instead of a 3-day split it’s a 4-day with 2 days for upper body and 2 for lower body.

I ran into some problems when I tried the ME deads on lower body day, then tried to do pulldowns on upper body day…didn’t work out too well, because my lats were like FUUUUUCK you buddy. I could barely get through one set before I was afraid of tearing something. I run into these sorts of problems a lot it seems, but I continue to make progress for the moment.

I’m just getting hung up on all the different kinds of programs to use. I know there is no “One True Program” for everyone. Westside is amazing but I think the real Westside program would chew my face off and shit it out in time lapse so that it was back on my head, covered in shit. I’ve been checking out stuff by Chad Waterbury, it seems like most people are really pleased with the results they get from his workouts…but I’m not sure if they have the same goals as I do.

Here is what I am working with right now:

-5’10"
-182 lbs.
-26 yrs of age
-Dead sexy
-200 Raw Bench
-280 Raw Squat (I maxed at 95 lbs in January due to the injury, huge progress here)
-315 Belted DL

These are my goals:

-5’10"
-under 181 lbs.
-continue to age
-continue to be dead sexy
-Shoulder tackle a tractor trailer off of the highway, and then bench it
-Pull a blue whale out of the ocean, and then squat it
-Pull the space shuttle out of its flight path, and then DL it

Do I need to pack on some muscle before I mess with a PL cycle? CW’s TBT program looked really awesome, but then he went on to say that some of his other programs would be better for straight power. Help!!!

Final note: My diet is pretty darn good (could always be better I suppose but that is probably my strong point right now), I understand a lot about how c/p/f work together and when and where to include those, eating only whole foods, plenty of vitamins, greens etc. Diet should not be an issue with me.

I’d say start out with Bill Starr’s 5x5 until you stale on the lifts, deload and continue with some high volume russian routine. Deload again and continue with some WB type of training to work on your weaknesses. When you’re finished you’ll be experienced enough to figure out what to do next or to conceive a routine of your own.

You’ll gain bodymass on each of these routines if you eat enough. You’ll recompose your bodymass if you eat smart i.e. healthy and train hard.

[quote]No Interference wrote:

I want to be strong. Freaky strong. But I don’t really care if I look like it. In fact, I’d prefer that I didn’t. I don’t want to be huge or ripped; I want to pick up 500 lbs and throw it. If I get huge or ripped on my way there, so be it, but my main concern is ripping cars in half and throwing airplanes into the Atlantic Ocean. From California.

.[/quote]

Ah, a man after my own heart. I’ll try to say more when I’m not a zombie from lack of sleep, but I’d suggest throwing in some single leg unsupported squats and other “therapeutic” lifts for your knee. It will make it stronger and more stable for your ME work, and will lessen chance of injury.

Not a glamorous path, but necessary to stay healthy. You can’t rip cars in half if you can’t even stand up straight or squat bodyweight without pain.

This is a great attitude to start with, best of luck in your pursuits.

I would say that if you are 182 right now and you really want to get strong, you are going to have to put on some significant muscle. I really wouldn’t worry about your weight class unless you are at a point where making weight will allow you to win the class, qualify for a bigger meet, or set a record.

As far as Westside being too advanced, here is what Louie Simmons said in one of his articles:

“I hear all the time that Westside training is for the advanced and that only top 10 lifters can do the training that is required at Westside. It is true that our training is advanced, but it is also great for beginners. Why start out wrong, or start with a program that will yield only small results?” … “Because the Westside system is mathematical, it is based on a percent of your limit strength. It can be used by a 300 squatter or a 900 squatter.”

There are lots of good programs besides Westside, any of the programs mentioned above would be a good starting point as well.

Ugh I just typed up a big post and my browser ate it. Sumbitch.

Basically, the knee doesn’t cause me hardly any pain, and I’m doing unilateral movements to try to strengthen it up to the same level as my right leg, which is actually very strong–I used to bike everywhere and study Shaolin Kung Fu.

I’ve read about a billion articles by Louie Simmons, but it’s really hard to put a program together on just the information presented, as it is often incomplete. I’m a visual guy, I like charts and values and parameters I can select and deploy in an optimization-like manner. Anything like that on the site here, or is it mainly descriptions such as what Louie writes?

Good luck with your training mate. You are on the right track.

I have the same problem as you. I am finding it hard to come up wit a program to suit my needs, based on all the different info on this site. It seems we have similar goals, so I will be interested in the responses to this thread.

[quote]No Interference wrote:
Ugh I just typed up a big post and my browser ate it. Sumbitch.

Basically, the knee doesn’t cause me hardly any pain, and I’m doing unilateral movements to try to strengthen it up to the same level as my right leg, which is actually very strong–I used to bike everywhere and study Shaolin Kung Fu.

I’ve read about a billion articles by Louie Simmons, but it’s really hard to put a program together on just the information presented, as it is often incomplete. I’m a visual guy, I like charts and values and parameters I can select and deploy in an optimization-like manner. Anything like that on the site here, or is it mainly descriptions such as what Louie writes?[/quote]

Yeah, there’s stuff like that here. Check out and read every Dave Tate article he’s written so far. Start from the first article he wrote.

Also, there is a sample beginner program at elitefts.com–Meeting the iron series by Paul Dimarino, Periodization Simplified, and especially A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO EFS. This last one contains a list of links to articles specifically intended to put together the whole kickstart package.

I don’t know that there are a bunch of chart oriented articles here or at elitefts.com but the Dave Tate articles here will help you out, as will the articles on efs that I mentioned.

Hey,

Here’s my suggestions:

  1. Go to some PL meets in your area and watch. I know NASA (a PL federation) conducts a lot of meets in the midwest.

  2. Find some training partners that compete. Preferably ones that are stronger than you. Listen and learn.

  3. Keep the training simple. Check out this link: http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/index.htm

Click on the 3x3 articles by Stephan Korte. Read through and print them off. You’ll get a heavy dose of squat, bench, and deadlift PRACTICE every week. And it’s all in a nicely packaged template. Just fill in your numbers.

  1. Practice your lifts like you would practice refining a golf swing or baseball swing. Constantly strive to improve their performance, not just the strength aspect. I’ve had the privilege of training with some very technically proficient lifters who dramatically increased my total by refining my technique.

  2. Read everything you can by Dan John, Dave Tate, Louie, Waterbury, Thibadeau…

And most importantly: Have fun. It’s just liftin’ weights!

Later, David

I’ve been to 2 NASA meets in the past 6 months , and I gotta tell ya that there aint many guys your height lifting in the 181 class . I lift in the 181 (mid 170’s) at 5’7" ; most male lifters your height lift in higher weight classes .

personally , I would put precedence on getting freaky strong ; and not worry at all about moving up a class (or 2). trying to stay under 181 pounds might hold back your lifts a bit .

[quote]No Interference wrote:
Hi!

Ok. I’ve been training with weights off and on since high school, but I’ve never really been serious about it until lately. I’m coming off of a knee dislocation that happened last August. My left leg is still weaker, but my overall strength is higher than it has ever been. I’ve been training solid for about 4 months now, and my lifts have gone up quite a bit.

I want to be strong. Freaky strong. But I don’t really care if I look like it. In fact, I’d prefer that I didn’t. I don’t want to be huge or ripped; I want to pick up 500 lbs and throw it. If I get huge or ripped on my way there, so be it, but my main concern is ripping cars in half and throwing airplanes into the Atlantic Ocean. From California.

I would like to compete in some powerlifting contests in the future and kick some asses. I’d like to compete at 181, weighing about 180 or high 170s; is that unrealistic (too light) for someone who is 5’10"?

I want to look healthy. I’m not concerned with having very low body fat, but I am concerned with having high body fat. My body fat is at a medium level right now, if I had to guess I would say ~15%. I do not want it to increase at all, but I would not be severely put out if it did not decrease.

I have a good amount of time to train and I am dedicated. I’m not afraid to bust my ass in the gym, but I’m also not such a stubborn mule that I power through days where I shouldn’t even be training (ow fuck knee!). I’ve been working with a sorta-kinda Westside approach called Westside for Skinny Bastards by Joe DeFranco, but instead of a 3-day split it’s a 4-day with 2 days for upper body and 2 for lower body.

I ran into some problems when I tried the ME deads on lower body day, then tried to do pulldowns on upper body day…didn’t work out too well, because my lats were like FUUUUUCK you buddy. I could barely get through one set before I was afraid of tearing something. I run into these sorts of problems a lot it seems, but I continue to make progress for the moment.

I’m just getting hung up on all the different kinds of programs to use. I know there is no “One True Program” for everyone. Westside is amazing but I think the real Westside program would chew my face off and shit it out in time lapse so that it was back on my head, covered in shit. I’ve been checking out stuff by Chad Waterbury, it seems like most people are really pleased with the results they get from his workouts…but I’m not sure if they have the same goals as I do.

Here is what I am working with right now:

-5’10"
-182 lbs.
-26 yrs of age
-Dead sexy
-200 Raw Bench
-280 Raw Squat (I maxed at 95 lbs in January due to the injury, huge progress here)
-315 Belted DL

These are my goals:

-5’10"
-under 181 lbs.
-continue to age
-continue to be dead sexy
-Shoulder tackle a tractor trailer off of the highway, and then bench it
-Pull a blue whale out of the ocean, and then squat it
-Pull the space shuttle out of its flight path, and then DL it

Do I need to pack on some muscle before I mess with a PL cycle? CW’s TBT program looked really awesome, but then he went on to say that some of his other programs would be better for straight power. Help!!!

Final note: My diet is pretty darn good (could always be better I suppose but that is probably my strong point right now), I understand a lot about how c/p/f work together and when and where to include those, eating only whole foods, plenty of vitamins, greens etc. Diet should not be an issue with me.[/quote]

You won’t be able to improve much at 5’10" and 180 unless you go up a weight class or two. You can deny it if you want but i was in denial at the National Colegiates a long time ago and i was a head taller than all the other 165s at 5’7". i am now a 220/242.

5x5 is a great way to build groove and strength. Far more important to find a group fo knowledgeable PLers to help you learn the technique you need, than what exact program to follow. Just work at it for a while.

jmo
jack

Hey, neat.

I’m still 182, with +30 bench, +70 squat, and +60 deadlift. Go me. =)

[quote]No Interference wrote:
Ugh I just typed up a big post and my browser ate it. Sumbitch.

Basically, the knee doesn’t cause me hardly any pain, and I’m doing unilateral movements to try to strengthen it up to the same level as my right leg, which is actually very strong–I used to bike everywhere and study Shaolin Kung Fu.

I’ve read about a billion articles by Louie Simmons, but it’s really hard to put a program together on just the information presented, as it is often incomplete. I’m a visual guy, I like charts and values and parameters I can select and deploy in an optimization-like manner. Anything like that on the site here, or is it mainly descriptions such as what Louie writes?[/quote]

Go to Dave Tate’s EFS site and research the basic template.
here are some usefull links:
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/workout_templates.htm
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/my_mistakes.htm
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/a_question_of_strength.htm
http://www.elitefts.com/documents/a_question_of_strength.htm

Westside is great but it is easy for beginners to get confused and also to add a lot of stuff they don’t need at first (Bands, chains extra workouts, sled pulling GPP etc etc) Do the basic stuff first (also on Elite look at Jim Wendler’s stuff)

Best of luck!