T Nation

Pillars Of Strength?

Program A: Heavy Compound Lifting
Back Squat: 5 sets, 7/5/3/5/7 reps, 2 min rest.
Stiff Leg Deadlift: 5 sets, 7/5/3/5/7 reps, 2 min rest.
Hack Squat w/ Calf Raise: 5 sets, 7/5/3/5/7 reps, 2 min rest.
Note on Hack Squat - Hold calf raise for 2 seconds.

Program B: Rest-Pause Isolation
Standing Leg Curl: 4 sets, 5+5+5+5+5 reps (25 reps per leg)
Use a 10 rep weight
10 sec rest between 5 reps
Alternate legs every 5 reps in a set
90 second rest between sets

Single-Leg Ext: 4 sets, 5+5+5+5+5 reps (25 reps per leg)
Use a 10 rep weight
10 sec rest between 5 reps
Alternate legs every 5 reps in a set.
90 second rest between sets

Bulgarian Squat: 4 sets, 5+5+5+5+5 reps (25 reps per leg)
same stuff as above

Program C: High-Volume Super-sets.

A1. Front Squat: 3 sets, 6-8 reps - Slow eccentric / Fast concentric
A2. Leg Extension: 3 sets, 15-20 reps - hold 1-2 sec at peak contraction
rest 2min
B1. Sumo Deadlift: 3 sets, 6-8 reps - Slow eccentric / Fast concentric
B2. Lying Leg Curl: 3 sets, 15-20 reps - hold 1-2 sec at peak contraction
rest 2 min
C1. Standing calf raise: 3 sets, 6-8 reps - slow eccentric / Fast concentric
C2. Seated calf raise: 3 sets, 15-20 reps - hold 1-2 sec at peak contraction

soooo being the short skinny that I am, I obviously have no idea what I am doing. So… When I am on the bulgarian squat of program B today. The gym owner comes up to me and calls me an idiot.

He was working out in the same area in the gym as me today, as I begin the squats I get the following comment thrown at me:

“I don’t usually talk to people when im working out, but I had to because watching you is pissing me off”

All those standing leg curls & leg extensions are useless apparently, and I was wasting my time. If I want to do that sort of stuff I should
“Go to the health club up the road”.

I mean totally shitting on what I am doing is cool I guess, since I’m only 140lbs at 5’6" I don’t have 2 shits of a clue what to do in order to gain size (Fuckin aye).

The gym owner is about 320lbs at 6’ 3", and he’s been weight training for about 15+ years, so he obviously isn’t a idiot when it comes to this sort of thing.

But fuck, If I was any bigger and had some muscle, he wouldn’t of came and shit on CT’s program, or would he?

I had to stop the workout today and finish off with 3 sets of squats, completely pissed me off

What do you guys think? Did I get called an idiot because pillars of strength is useless for people without already developed legs? Or because I’m a scrawny fuck and the gym owner is completely ignorant of it?

He sounds like a jackass.
Keep doing the program. CT has made awesome specialization programs, and pillars of strength is one of them. Your legs will grow as long as your diet is in order.

I did pillars of strength and it was awesome, just ignore the guy and keep at it.

2S

I can see why he did it he has probably seen hundreds of smaller guys workout and never grow or get stronger and he was most likley just trying to help you

I mean how many times have you been in the gym and seen a smaller guy walk in and you know he wants to get bigger and you know he has looked up on it because he is doing some fairly advanced stuff but in your mind your just screaming SQUAAT!


n3wb

[quote]n3wb wrote:
I can see why he did it he has probably seen hundreds of smaller guys workout and never grow or get stronger and he was most likley just trying to help you

I mean how many times have you been in the gym and seen a smaller guy walk in and you know he wants to get bigger and you know he has looked up on it because he is doing some fairly advanced stuff but in your mind your just screaming SQUAAT!


n3wb[/quote]

Yeah I am probably just looking too much into it, he’s helpful most of the time. But pillar’s of strength isn’t ‘that advanced’ and is probably more beneficial than me just squatting 3 times a week.

If you’re 5’6 and 140 you could probably benefit just as much if not more from more basic, heavy training coupled with lots of food. There is no need to go on a bodybuilding specialization program if you’re 140 lbs. The owner does have a point.

But if he is so opposed to those machines why does he have them in his gym to begin with?

Actually, no. If you hit your lower body 3x a week with compound movements, especially as a beginner on a proper diet you would experiance the fastest muscle/strength gain of your life. Single leg movements (like the BSS) are a good secondary exercise, but the variety of single joint movements like the leg curls, extensions, and supersetted calf work are rather unecessary are your stated level of developement.

[quote]KombatAthlete wrote:
If you’re 5’6 and 140 you could probably benefit just as much if not more from more basic, heavy training coupled with lots of food. There is no need to go on a bodybuilding specialization program if you’re 140 lbs. The owner does have a point.

But if he is so opposed to those machines why does he have them in his gym to begin with?[/quote]

probably because i spent ages on each machine (4 sets of 25) with 10 second rest interval every 5 reps.

Slash his tires, he deserves it. Picking on the little guy, knowing that he cant/wont fight back because it’s your gym is a cowardly thing to do. I would have assaulted him and left.

Fuck it, go to a health club if that’s where you get huge.

[quote]kane101nod wrote:
But pillar’s of strength isn’t ‘that advanced’ and is probably more beneficial than me just squatting 3 times a week.

Actually, no. If you hit your lower body 3x a week with compound movements, especially as a beginner on a proper diet you would experiance the fastest muscle/strength gain of your life. Single leg movements (like the BSS) are a good secondary exercise, but the variety of single joint movements like the leg curls, extensions, and supersetted calf work are rather unecessary are your stated level of developement. [/quote]

well how about a program like this?

workout1:
close grip bench press - 5x5 increase weight each set
flat dumbbell bench press - 3x10
deadlift - 4x8
clean & press - 3x7
lying leg raises/crunches/roman twists - 3x25 superset

workout2:
squat - 5x5 increase weight each set
leg press - 4x10
stiff-leg deadlift - 4x8

workout3:
barbell bench press - 3xmax reps increase weight each set
Chin up/Hammer Strength Pull Down - 3x10 superset
Bradford Presses - 3x12
thick bar curls/dumbbell tricep extension - 2x12 & 3x8 superset
hanging leg raises/machine crunches/side bends - 3x12

workout4:
squat - 8x3
barbell lunges - 4x10
deadlift - 4x8

Monday: Workout1
Tuesday: Workout2
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: REST
Friday: Workout3
Saturday: Workout4
Sunday: REST

There is a lack of bicep work and majority of exercises are high reps, this is because of severe ‘aches’ in my forearms. I spoke to a sports physio today and he told me to cut back on heavy weight with exercises that require a lot of grip strength until the problem gets better.

[quote]Roy wrote:
Slash his tires, he deserves it. Picking on the little guy, knowing that he cant/wont fight back because it’s your gym is a cowardly thing to do. I would have assaulted him and left.

Fuck it, go to a health club if that’s where you get huge.[/quote]

i can’t tell if this is sarcastic or not but either way I like your style

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:

There is a lack of bicep work and majority of exercises are high reps, this is because of severe ‘aches’ in my forearms. I spoke to a sports physio today and he told me to cut back on heavy weight with exercises that require a lot of grip strength until the problem gets better.[/quote]

Not to be a downer but that might make a lot of things really hard to do. Especially deadlifts. Maybe you could rest up for a week or so and let the forearms recover on their own?

I’ve learned through unfortunate personal experience that lifting through aches and pains only makes them worse in the end and you have to take more time off if (when) you actually hurt yourself.

It’s better to let problems clear up on their own before they become big ones. You will be happier later for it.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
kane101nod wrote:
But pillar’s of strength isn’t ‘that advanced’ and is probably more beneficial than me just squatting 3 times a week.

Actually, no. If you hit your lower body 3x a week with compound movements, especially as a beginner on a proper diet you would experiance the fastest muscle/strength gain of your life. Single leg movements (like the BSS) are a good secondary exercise, but the variety of single joint movements like the leg curls, extensions, and supersetted calf work are rather unecessary are your stated level of developement.

well how about a program like this?

workout1:
close grip bench press - 5x5 increase weight each set
flat dumbbell bench press - 3x10
deadlift - 4x8
clean & press - 3x7
lying leg raises/crunches/roman twists - 3x25 superset

workout2:
squat - 5x5 increase weight each set
leg press - 4x10
stiff-leg deadlift - 4x8

workout3:
barbell bench press - 3xmax reps increase weight each set
Chin up/Hammer Strength Pull Down - 3x10 superset
Bradford Presses - 3x12
thick bar curls/dumbbell tricep extension - 2x12 & 3x8 superset
hanging leg raises/machine crunches/side bends - 3x12

workout4:
squat - 8x3
barbell lunges - 4x10
deadlift - 4x8

Monday: Workout1
Tuesday: Workout2
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: REST
Friday: Workout3
Saturday: Workout4
Sunday: REST

There is a lack of bicep work and majority of exercises are high reps, this is because of severe ‘aches’ in my forearms. I spoke to a sports physio today and he told me to cut back on heavy weight with exercises that require a lot of grip strength until the problem gets better.[/quote]

Since this was addressed to me, and that its ‘good’ to do community service…

  1. what you wrote is silly. i’m not you, but your rep combos, exercise selection, and exercise rotation are far from optimal.

  2. i’m not going to give you a fish, but show u how. which will require YOU to read, digest, learn, and implement for yourself, which is far more valuable than me giving you a program.

  3. read dan john, found on this website and @ danjohn.org. be sure to read his 100 or so page ebook and the faq, esp. the part about ‘overtraining,’ which (esp. in your case) should be titled adaptional adjustments.

  4. for program recommendations, i’d go with Roberston’s
    www.robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/quest.html
    or hunt down the ORIGINAL bill starr 5x5 (search also for the ‘madcow’ version, it has a ‘pretty’ excel format. if your in season athlete, ws4sb will do also.

  5. eat

  6. chart progress in terms of objective increases in strength (more reps/more weight) if you aren’t already doing so

  7. continue reading all things training related (except things from newsstands and weider), learning, and asking questions.

  8. from what you say, your gym sounds fantastic. continue training there and become a sponge. muscle is not built in the chrome and fern
    -k

[quote]kane101nod wrote:
Goodfellow wrote:
kane101nod wrote:
But pillar’s of strength isn’t ‘that advanced’ and is probably more beneficial than me just squatting 3 times a week.

Actually, no. If you hit your lower body 3x a week with compound movements, especially as a beginner on a proper diet you would experiance the fastest muscle/strength gain of your life. Single leg movements (like the BSS) are a good secondary exercise, but the variety of single joint movements like the leg curls, extensions, and supersetted calf work are rather unecessary are your stated level of developement.

well how about a program like this?

workout1:
close grip bench press - 5x5 increase weight each set
flat dumbbell bench press - 3x10
deadlift - 4x8
clean & press - 3x7
lying leg raises/crunches/roman twists - 3x25 superset

workout2:
squat - 5x5 increase weight each set
leg press - 4x10
stiff-leg deadlift - 4x8

workout3:
barbell bench press - 3xmax reps increase weight each set
Chin up/Hammer Strength Pull Down - 3x10 superset
Bradford Presses - 3x12
thick bar curls/dumbbell tricep extension - 2x12 & 3x8 superset
hanging leg raises/machine crunches/side bends - 3x12

workout4:
squat - 8x3
barbell lunges - 4x10
deadlift - 4x8

Monday: Workout1
Tuesday: Workout2
Wednesday: REST
Thursday: REST
Friday: Workout3
Saturday: Workout4
Sunday: REST

There is a lack of bicep work and majority of exercises are high reps, this is because of severe ‘aches’ in my forearms. I spoke to a sports physio today and he told me to cut back on heavy weight with exercises that require a lot of grip strength until the problem gets better.

Since this was addressed to me, and that its ‘good’ to do community service…

  1. what you wrote is silly. i’m not you, but your rep combos, exercise selection, and exercise rotation are far from optimal.

  2. i’m not going to give you a fish, but show u how. which will require YOU to read, digest, learn, and implement for yourself, which is far more valuable than me giving you a program.

  3. read dan john, found on this website and @ danjohn.org. be sure to read his 100 or so page ebook and the faq, esp. the part about ‘overtraining,’ which (esp. in your case) should be titled adaptional adjustments.

  4. for program recommendations, i’d go with Roberston’s
    www.robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/quest.html
    or hunt down the ORIGINAL bill starr 5x5 (search also for the ‘madcow’ version, it has a ‘pretty’ excel format. if your in season athlete, ws4sb will do also.

  5. eat

  6. chart progress in terms of objective increases in strength (more reps/more weight) if you aren’t already doing so

  7. continue reading all things training related (except things from newsstands and weider), learning, and asking questions.

  8. from what you say, your gym sounds fantastic. continue training there and become a sponge. muscle is not built in the chrome and fern
    -k
    [/quote]

Honestly, I can’t see much wrong with the workout plan I set out. The upper body days are a more basic version of defranco’s “westside for skinny bastards”.

All of the exercises are basic movements, most are big compound.

Deadlift reps being slightly high, I explained.

Theres no way I am going to be able to stay sane doing a 3 day a week program. I’m skinny, I’m not lazy.

I’m not totally disregarding what you said, but I’m not a complete idiot. I have been training for 7 months, the only reason I am still 140lbs, is because I came from a base of 98lbs.

If you could maybe point out what you think is totally useless with the program I set out, I could get a better view of things.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
Honestly, I can’t see much wrong with the workout plan I set out.
All of the exercises are basic movements, most are big compound.

Deadlift reps being slightly high, I explained.

Theres no way I am going to be able to stay sane doing a 3 day a week program. I’m skinny, I’m not lazy.

I’m not totally disregarding what you said, but I’m not a complete idiot. [/quote]

well, i tried. i loathe getting into this with you, as i tried the clear, easy explanation (above) but you are already ‘too smart’ for me. i dont know how many ways i can put this. you have ratio of what, 4:0 in terms of horizontal push to horizontal pull, that will make GREAT shoulder balance. you deadlift not just once a week, but THREE TIMES! and with about 30 reps a session. the ability to do maintain this level of volume with any sembelence of intensity while still planning for proper recover is just insane, let alone foolish, since your lumbars will be too fried to even serve their stabilizing role in the cleans, squats, overhead presses, lunges, or even benches.

but you aren’t an idiot. so you knew all this already.

there is a reason the writers here are good and respected. the programs i recommended for you to look at BALANCE for movements across all the planes of the body with respect to volume, intensity, AND recovery. 3 of the 4 programs i recommended are ATLEAST 4days a week. i also love your comment that training 3 days a week (bill starr) is for the lazy, you dont realize why thats so funny as you have no conception of intensity or hardwork (i have no doubt you ‘feel the burn’ @ every session though).

but you aren’t an idiot. so you knew all this already.
-k
thanks kid, i finally understand where X is coming from

[quote]Kane101nod wrote:
you have ratio of what, 4:0 in terms of horizontal push to horizontal pull, that will make GREAT shoulder balance. you deadlift not just once a week, but THREE TIMES! and with about 30 reps a session. the ability to do maintain this level of volume with any sembelence of intensity while still planning for proper recover is just insane, let alone foolish, since your lumbars will be too fried to even serve their stabilizing role in the cleans, squats, overhead presses, lunges, or even benches.[/quote]

I knew that I’d get a somewhat un-friendly reply, but whatever. I did however ask, what you thought was wrong with my program. It will help me out alot in regards to training in the future.

I will make sure I balance my push:pull movements in the future, and drop my volume.

[quote]Kane101nod wrote:
but you aren’t an idiot. so you knew all this already.[/quote]

I am not an idiot, and I didn’t know that already, which is why I asked if you could point out what you saw was wrong with my pgoram.

You recommended:
www.robertsontrainingsystems.com/articles/quest.html (3 days a week)
ORIGINAL bill starr 5x5 (3 days a week)
ws4sb (3 days a week)

I was unable to find ‘madcow’ version of 5x5.

Again, I have no problem with 3 day a week programs, but I love training and 3 days a week doesn’t do it for me.

[quote]Kane101nod wrote:
i also love your comment that training 3 days a week (bill starr) is for the lazy, you dont realize why thats so funny as you have no conception of intensity or hardwork (i have no doubt you ‘feel the burn’ @ every session though).[/quote]

Perhaps lazy was the wrong word, as for ‘no conception of intensity or hardwork’ I can’t really emphasize enough of how ignorant that comment was. Is it so hard to believe people just like training and going to the gym often?

I would be at the gym 7 days a week, 2-3 hours at a time if it would be beneficial.

Most of the programs designed to pack on mass are 3 days a week, which is why I insisted on pointing out the flaws on the one I tried to make. Which you did, for that I’m grateful.

Anyhow, in despite of your sarcastic post and some of my annoying replies, you helped me out quite a bit, thanks.

40lbs in 7 months is great why dont you just keep doing the same program you were its working

What I dont get is how did the gym owner not notice all your size gain any one who can gain that kind of weight fairly clean knows what they are doing


n3wb

[quote]n3wb wrote:
40lbs in 7 months is great why dont you just keep doing the same program you were its working

What I dont get is how did the gym owner not notice all your size gain any one who can gain that kind of weight fairly clean knows what they are doing


n3wb[/quote]

I went from 98lbs-125lbs by eating a crap load, going in the health club for 2 hours every day (7 days a week) for about 2 months.

Basically my routine was 3x10 on every machine then leave. I didn’t do any free-weights.

Then I stopped gaining, and bought into Anthony Ellis’ training/diet program.

Heres a link to the ad that sucked me in: http://www.musclegaintips.com/

I gained about 10lbs (6-7lbs muscle) in about 2 and a half months on that.

It was basically a 3-day split (chest,shoulders,triceps - Legs - Back,Biceps) and the diet was 6 meals a day which consisted of eggs, chicken, rice, spinach, 2 myoplex’s and Udo’choice oil w/ a protein shake before bed.

About 2 weeks into his program I was really hooked on training, and I read bodybuilding.com, his site and other sites constantly.

I perhaps read a bit too much, and came off his program, it was ok but it could of been better. Since then I have been changing around shit a lot trying to find a good program to stick to.

I’ve only gained about 5lbs in the past 2 and a half months doing my own thing, I’m sure that is due to the fact I’m in-consistant.

Right now my goal is to get myself a good 4-5 day a week program, and a solid diet plan so I can eat a lot of clean food, and be organized about it, then I will start it in the new year.

(Which is why I’m asking a lot of questions on T-Nation currently)

Using Kane’s advice with the push:pull ratios, and volume suggestions, I’ve modified this program a bit more.

Key notes -

I am absolutely adamant on doing compound leg exercises twice a week. I’ve only been doing it once a week before and I think an increase of frequency is what I need.

I want to go to the gym at least 4 times a week, I have a lot of time on my hands and I don’t want to be sitting down a lot at home.

I aim to hit all muscle groups with enough volume to promote growth. (Not sure if I’ve achieved this)

Here is what I have so far (I used ws4b guidelines on creating upper body splits, and removed the supersets)

workout1 / Upper Body
Close Grip Bench Press - 5x5
Flat DB bench Press - 3x8
Hang Clean - 2x8
High cable pulls to throat with long bar - 2x10

ab circuit superset:
Lying Leg Raises/Crunches/Roman Twists - 3x25

workout2 / Lower Body
Front Squat - 5x5
Leg Press - 3x10
Stiff-Leg Deadlift - 3x8

workout3 / Upper Body
Barbell Bench Press - 3x10
Chin Up - 3x10
Military Press - 3x8
Hammer Strength Seated Row - 3x8

ab circuit superset:
Hanging Leg Raises/Machine Crunches/Side Bends - 3x12

workout4:
Squat - 5x3
Deadlift - 3x5
Standing Leg Curl - 3x10

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:

I went from 98lbs-125lbs by eating a crap load, going in the health club for 2 hours every day (7 days a week) for about 2 months.

Basically my routine was 3x10 on every machine then leave. I didn’t do any free-weights.

Then I stopped gaining, and bought into Anthony Ellis’ training/diet program.

Heres a link to the ad that sucked me in: http://www.musclegaintips.com/

I gained about 10lbs (6-7lbs muscle) in about 2 and a half months on that.

It was basically a 3-day split (chest,shoulders,triceps - Legs - Back,Biceps) and the diet was 6 meals a day which consisted of eggs, chicken, rice, spinach, 2 myoplex’s and Udo’choice oil w/ a protein shake before bed.

About 2 weeks into his program I was really hooked on training, and I read bodybuilding.com, his site and other sites constantly.

I perhaps read a bit too much, and came off his program, it was ok but it could of been better. Since then I have been changing around shit a lot trying to find a good program to stick to.

I’ve only gained about 5lbs in the past 2 and a half months doing my own thing, I’m sure that is due to the fact I’m in-consistant.

Right now my goal is to get myself a good 4-5 day a week program, and a solid diet plan so I can eat a lot of clean food, and be organized about it, then I will start it in the new year.

(Which is why I’m asking a lot of questions on T-Nation currently)[/quote]

Just listen now, champ. Kane is right, there is a difference between a program optimised for performance and simply training for the enjoyment of training. If you want to learn how to increase performance, then listen to the advice given. There is no point trying to defend yourself. Shugart wrote an interesting article on this. And if you want to just train for fun, then what do you care what these people say? Just go and pump.

-Cloth