T Nation

On a Quest For Strength

Greetings all you that are a helluva lot stronger than me.

My plans are to train for strength during next summer and I would like to hear some suggestions on witch one would suit a intermediate FFB like me.

Here’s my current PR lifts:

DL: 3x5 reps with 160kg (353 lbs), no 1RM tested (video included in this previous thread:
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2022196 )

Squat 140kg (308 lbs) x 1 rep below parallel
Bench 105kg (231 lbs) x 1 rep, sucks

6’2 tall at 188lbs (14% bf).

I’ve been lifting for a couple of years and I have a pretty solid technique in most of my lifts. Except cleans because I’ve never done them that much.

I know that a advanced program ala Tate wouldn’t do me much good and I’m not nearly enough advanced to even think about a full westside template. I’ve been looking at Westside for skinny bastards and Rippetoe’s starting strength.

Is Rippetoe’s program going be enough or should I focus more on WS4SB with upper/lower ME days + some dynamic work??

Forgot this one:

Push Press 2x70kg (154lbs).

Also here’s a program I planned for my self focusing on also strengthening my weaker shoulders and tri’s.

Day 1 ME upper

Bench variation 3 x 3
DB bench 5 x 5-8
Chin up 5 x 5-8
Row 5 x 5-8
Rear laterals 3 x 8-12

Day 2 ME lower

Squat, dead or Good morning 3 x 3
Hack squat or front squat 3 x 8-12
Calf raise 5 x 8-12
Bicep curls 5 x 5-8
Abs

Day 3 DE upper + heavy shoulder and tri

Speed bench 6 x 3 (50% 1RM)
Dip or Close grip bench 5 x 3-5
Push press 5 x 5-8
Side laterals 5 x 8-12
Shrugs 3 x 8-12

No sets are taken to failure.

Maybe good or no good?

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
I usually tell people to do rippetoes for a few months then switch to WSFSB with a day for squats, RE upper, deads, ME upper

SImply put I wouldn’t get stronger in the squat/deads only doing lower body once a week.

let’s say it’d look like:

Monday: ME upper
Flat bench
incline db
row/delt supersets
trap excersise

Tuesday:
ME squat variation
unilateral
hammy/pchain movement. (I’d pick romanian DLS or skip entirely if it prevents you from going to your max on friday)
abs
calves

Thursday:
chain pushups/RE bench bench variation
chin/DB powerclean superset
military press (my favorite bench assesory)
shrug/arms superset
grip/forarms

Friday:
Deadlift (sumo/conventional)
unilateral
abs
calves

[/quote]

This is how I would lay out a program for us intermediates. Very wsfsb influened. But it keeps you practicing your competition lifts. I’ve run a similar program with great results. I can’t gain strenght doing lower body once a week. So it worked great for me.

also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever. You can do DE work, or lockout work instead on the RE day.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
I usually tell people to do rippetoes for a few months then switch to WSFSB with a day for squats, RE upper, deads, ME upper

SImply put I wouldn’t get stronger in the squat/deads only doing lower body once a week.

let’s say it’d look like:

Monday: ME upper
Flat bench
incline db
row/delt supersets
trap excersise

Tuesday:
ME squat variation
unilateral
hammy/pchain movement. (I’d pick romanian DLS or skip entirely if it prevents you from going to your max on friday)
abs
calves

Thursday:
chain pushups/RE bench bench variation
chin/DB powerclean superset
military press (my favorite bench assesory)
shrug/arms superset
grip/forarms

Friday:
Deadlift (sumo/conventional)
unilateral
abs
calves

This is how I would lay out a program for us intermediates. Very wsfsb influened. But it keeps you practicing your competition lifts. I’ve run a similar program with great results. I can’t gain strenght doing lower body once a week. So it worked great for me.

also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever. You can do DE work, or lockout work instead on the RE day.[/quote]

That looks like a good template but I on the other hand I get lower body strength gains pretty easy compared to upper body. Upper body is weakness at the moment. Specifically upper body pressing (overhead and bench) and vertical pulling (chins).

I gained 45 lbs on my deads and 33 lbs on my olympic style squats last fall just by doing them for 3x5 per week. With some calf work that was all I did for lower body.

I want to dedicate a whole workout for lower body next summer and I believe that training lower body for 2 sessions per week is going to further the imbalance I have with my upper body.

So next summer I’m hoping to further my lower body gains and really improve my horizontal and vertical pressing. That’s why I’ve divided the upper body workouts into two sessions.

I would add in hamstring/posterior chain work on your lowerbody day(SLDL, dimel DL, Romanian DL etc), and due to your lack of strength you could probably get away with doing heavier DE lifts (60-70%) once you get them dialed in with lower weights. I would ditch the side laterals on DE day and do face-pulls or maybe rows, something like that. You could also do a strict press instead of push press, but that isnt necassary. PP would probably build your traps, SA, and abdominals better from the extra load, but strict press would build the shoulders and arms better maybe. I think switching them every couple of weeks just to mix it up might be the ticket. I would really push it on the ME lifts though, and take 1-2 sets to failure at least(just the main bench or squat movement).

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever.[/quote]

I think about it the exact same way zep. Makes you really focus because its your only chance of the week to hit all the reps for the determined sets. If you make all your lifts (with desired weight) you feel so awesome and life is good, if not, its just like-- Eff off and don’t talk to me for a while.

OP, you’re on the right track. For what its worth I’ve been doing basically a WS4SB template for about 4 weeks but awesome results so far.

I think I’m going to try Westside for mass first for about 6 to 8 weeks without the DE day for lower body and see how that feels.

I’ve tried a few linear type programs in the past and always have trouble at some point to make the poundage with the pre-set weights.

[quote]DouglasJ16 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever.

I think about it the exact same way zep. Makes you really focus because its your only chance of the week to hit all the reps for the determined sets. If you make all your lifts (with desired weight) you feel so awesome and life is good, if not, its just like-- Eff off and don’t talk to me for a while.

OP, you’re on the right track. For what its worth I’ve been doing basically a WS4SB template for about 4 weeks but awesome results so far. [/quote]

yep, you know you better then we know you. Someone in another thread said osmething about “don’t cripple certain lifts just because they are heavier then they should be in comparison”. Just something to think about. If you plan on competeing in powerlifting it’s about the biggest total, not if your bench and squat and deadlift are a correct distance from each other. Do as you see fit, and to what fits your goals, yet again you know you better then I do.

It’s true that I know my self better than you. But I know my self in a way that I can spot my weaknesses and my strong points. Do I know my self well enough to make optimum progress, no. I’ve still got a lot of trial and error to go before I find out what works just for me. But many of you that post here at T-mag are giving me a lot of good advice and ideas in knowing my self better and for that I am thankful.

Concerning my programs I’ve decided to first bring my pressing up about 40 lbs, squat and dead up at least another 20 lbs. Then I just might go with something really simple for a while like Rippetoes. As soon as the progression stalls with that I’ll switch to more complex program like the one zephead4747 suggested to me. I started out as 245 lbs tub of lard 4 years ago and the main point that I have realized (again) is that I still have a long way to go and there’s no need to rush things.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
DouglasJ16 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever.

I think about it the exact same way zep. Makes you really focus because its your only chance of the week to hit all the reps for the determined sets. If you make all your lifts (with desired weight) you feel so awesome and life is good, if not, its just like-- Eff off and don’t talk to me for a while.

OP, you’re on the right track. For what its worth I’ve been doing basically a WS4SB template for about 4 weeks but awesome results so far.

yep, you know you better then we know you. Someone in another thread said osmething about “don’t cripple certain lifts just because they are heavier then they should be in comparison”. Just something to think about. If you plan on competeing in powerlifting it’s about the biggest total, not if your bench and squat and deadlift are a correct distance from each other. Do as you see fit, and to what fits your goals, yet again you know you better then I do.
[/quote]

Im assuming thats geared towards the OP? Sorry if I’m being slow here.

Either way I agree whole heartedly. I mean there’s a balance between putting some extra emphasis on where you’re struggling, and ignoring what you’re relatively ‘good’ at. Just remember you’re never lifting enough.

OP as you’ve said, I’d definitely try to improve where you’re weak. But its all about finding that balance and what works for you. Good luck

[quote]DouglasJ16 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
DouglasJ16 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever.

I think about it the exact same way zep. Makes you really focus because its your only chance of the week to hit all the reps for the determined sets. If you make all your lifts (with desired weight) you feel so awesome and life is good, if not, its just like-- Eff off and don’t talk to me for a while.

OP, you’re on the right track. For what its worth I’ve been doing basically a WS4SB template for about 4 weeks but awesome results so far.

yep, you know you better then we know you. Someone in another thread said osmething about “don’t cripple certain lifts just because they are heavier then they should be in comparison”. Just something to think about. If you plan on competeing in powerlifting it’s about the biggest total, not if your bench and squat and deadlift are a correct distance from each other. Do as you see fit, and to what fits your goals, yet again you know you better then I do.

Im assuming thats geared towards the OP? Sorry if I’m being slow here.

Either way I agree whole heartedly. I mean there’s a balance between putting some extra emphasis on where you’re struggling, and ignoring what you’re relatively ‘good’ at. Just remember you’re never lifting enough.

OP as you’ve said, I’d definitely try to improve where you’re weak. But its all about finding that balance and what works for you. Good luck

[/quote]

yeah it was directed at the OP.

Iwouldn’t do rippetoes. i don’t see you adding the 5lbs per week he recomends. And I sure as hell can’t squat 3x a week with cleans and deads.

That was just a post I quoted of what I told someone else in a differen thread. It’s a routine I tried myself and worked pretty well for me.

[quote]DouglasJ16 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
DouglasJ16 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
also. Only going heavy once a week in your lifts is a great way to teach you to push yourself so you don’t “waste” the workout. It’s given me a great benefit as an intermediate instead of saying. “Oh I’ll do it on thursday” or whatever.

I think about it the exact same way zep. Makes you really focus because its your only chance of the week to hit all the reps for the determined sets. If you make all your lifts (with desired weight) you feel so awesome and life is good, if not, its just like-- Eff off and don’t talk to me for a while.

OP, you’re on the right track. For what its worth I’ve been doing basically a WS4SB template for about 4 weeks but awesome results so far.

yep, you know you better then we know you. Someone in another thread said osmething about “don’t cripple certain lifts just because they are heavier then they should be in comparison”. Just something to think about. If you plan on competeing in powerlifting it’s about the biggest total, not if your bench and squat and deadlift are a correct distance from each other. Do as you see fit, and to what fits your goals, yet again you know you better then I do.

Im assuming thats geared towards the OP? Sorry if I’m being slow here.

Either way I agree whole heartedly. I mean there’s a balance between putting some extra emphasis on where you’re struggling, and ignoring what you’re relatively ‘good’ at. Just remember you’re never lifting enough.

OP as you’ve said, I’d definitely try to improve where you’re weak. But its all about finding that balance and what works for you. Good luck

[/quote]

Thanks. I know that if I get my pressing up even 20 lbs I’ll have a lot more motivation to train for over all strength again. And I know it isn’t the smartest thing to do but it is progress and extremely motivating for me so it can’t be all bad.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Iwouldn’t do rippetoes. i don’t see you adding the 5lbs per week he recomends. And I sure as hell can’t squat 3x a week with cleans and deads.

That was just a post I quoted of what I told someone else in a differen thread. It’s a routine I tried myself and worked pretty well for me.[/quote]

I can see the problems with Rippetoes. Meaning that I’ll probably hit wall pretty quick trying to add 5.5 lbs every week on all sets.

But I feel linear strength training has a lot to offer me. You think that Madcows 5x5 would be better?

[quote]Megatron999 wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Iwouldn’t do rippetoes. i don’t see you adding the 5lbs per week he recomends. And I sure as hell can’t squat 3x a week with cleans and deads.

That was just a post I quoted of what I told someone else in a differen thread. It’s a routine I tried myself and worked pretty well for me.

I can see the problems with Rippetoes. Meaning that I’ll probably hit wall pretty quick trying to add 5.5 lbs every week on all sets.

But I feel linear strength training has a lot to offer me. You think that Madcows 5x5 would be better?
[/quote]

yeah the intermediates program is more designed for people who wouldn’t be able to manage the adding of weight the begginer program calls for.

Update on my quest.

Well I did Waterbury’s ABBH1 or 6 weeks and while it felt like a decent 2-way split program witch had training heavy wih low reps, I didn’t feel that I was very effective.

After ABBH I started Madcow’s 5x5. I really like the simplicity of the program and the constant progression it requires.

I started off good but after 4 weeks was caught in the flu wave that was sweeping across the country. That kept me out of the gym for over a week.

Here’s my starting weight on the program and where I am now after 7weeks:
squat 5x120kg — 5x130kg (287lbs)
bench 5x85kg — 5x95kg (210lbs)
row 5x85kg — 5x95kg (210lbs)
dead 5x130kg — 5x145kg (320lbs)
push press 5x60kg — 5x70kg (155lbs)

I hope to get 5kg more in all of my lifts and then I’ll deload bench and push press.

The only problem I’ve had is with my lower back. All the squatting, deads and rowing are really pushing my recovery every week.

Is there any viable option to rows for this program? Substitute rows for about 4 weeks would give me time to get my lower back in better shape. And I really don’t want to stop squatting or dead lifting.