T Nation

Starting Out In Strength Training

Hi, can somebody please give me some advise before starting a strength training program. My goals are 60/70% strength and 30/40% physique. Would a singles rep routine let me get to these goals.

I’ve read from some people that you will not gain much in size when it comes to singles. I’m not looking to add massive gains in size, I would be happy to add a few pounds of muscle, strip some fat and have a solid physique.

I trained using singles a couple of years ago and prefer it to every other type of routine I have done. I would like to get back into singles, but I have read that I need to do Bill starrs 5x5 routine for about 5/6 months, then the 54321 routine for another 5/6 months before starting singles.

Is this correct or is there a quicker way for me to start.
Cheers.

[quote]gav223 wrote:
Hi, can somebody please give me some advise before starting a strength training program. My goals are 60/70% strength and 30/40% physique. Would a singles rep routine let me get to these goals.

I’ve read from some people that you will not gain much in size when it comes to singles. I’m not looking to add massive gains in size, I would be happy to add a few pounds of muscle, strip some fat and have a solid physique.

I trained using singles a couple of years ago and prefer it to every other type of routine I have done. I would like to get back into singles, but I have read that I need to do Bill starrs 5x5 routine for about 5/6 months, then the 54321 routine for another 5/6 months before starting singles.

Is this correct or is there a quicker way for me to start.
Cheers.[/quote]

Not sure what this means ``My goals are 60/70% strength and 30/40% physique.’’

solely doing heavy singles isn’t going to accomplish either goal. if you want to combine strength with size gains I would recommend a basic 5x5 or even 3x3 program. Doing nothing but heavy singles is a pretty inefficient way to try and add strength or size

Hi Robo1, any chance you can explain a bit more. A friend who is a powerlifter trains using singles most of the time. He’s not massive, but can lift big poundages for his size.

Although I don’t know his exact routine I know that the majority of his workouts are singles only. I don’t know much about weight training so would like to know the best way to go. The 3x3 system you suggest sounds interesting. How would I set that up.
Cheers.

Advice from an owner of the book: get the book and read it thoroughly.

Be strict with your form. If you can’t use proper form, consider lowering the weight.

Practice the moves with the bar alone until you get the form right.

Do not depart from the program.

Plan to take 3-9 months to get to novice status if you’re not already there.

Get Lon Kilgore’s strength standards sheet and use that as a guide.

Don’t rush it.

Warm up a little before the workout. Stretch after the workout.

Eat!

[quote]gav223 wrote:

I trained using singles a couple of years ago and prefer it to every other type of routine I have done. I would like to get back into singles, but I have read that I need to do Bill starrs 5x5 routine for about 5/6 months, then the 54321 routine for another 5/6 months before starting singles.

Is this correct or is there a quicker way for me to start.
Cheers.[/quote]

Brooks Kubik, author of Dinosaur Training has written exactly what you wrote above.

He asks that the reader implements the 5x5, (although not necessarily Bill Starrs) then switch to 54321, then to 5 progressively heavier singles.

He also says singles have gotten him and his training partners bigger and stronger than ANY other routine they’ve tried.

I like the idea but the thing that would keep me from using that as my sole training modality is that I need more conditioning work. So what I started doing is dragging my sled, using sandbags, running sprints and hitting the heavy bag an addition to the weights.

As far as the weights, I like to (for now anyway) do a set of a basic exercise like military presses for 10-12 reps, add weight quickly and do 6-8 reps, add weight again, and do 3-5 reps, then rest/pause one or two singles. I’m using a full-body workout for this so I may do the same with squats, chin-ups, dips and rows and call it a day. Takes about 35 minutes if you really move.

[quote]gav223 wrote:
Hi Robo1, any chance you can explain a bit more. A friend who is a powerlifter trains using singles most of the time. He’s not massive, but can lift big poundages for his size.

Although I don’t know his exact routine I know that the majority of his workouts are singles only. I don’t know much about weight training so would like to know the best way to go. The 3x3 system you suggest sounds interesting. How would I set that up.
Cheers.[/quote]

singles training every day all the time is a very brute force type of method that IMHO works best if you are using progression techniques that keep you from truly maxing out such as altering the rack heights, number of boards, length of pauses etc. or if you use rest pause methods and keep the weight at 90%.

The problem is i see most people going for PRs on every single set, which is just going to lead to burn out.

there is a much more elegant way of achieving the same strength gains by employing medium and high volume techniques, which is where the starr 5x5 and korte 3x3 programs come into play.

The beauty of both is the a combination of volume (which helps you practice and perfect technique), conditioning (the repetitions force your brain to recognize the weight more consistently), and recovery (most of the medium to high volume programs don’t require you to be fully recovered to go on to the next workout, which pushes your body to develop a higher tolerance and workload capacity)

gav223, if you’re new to these programs there is a fairly detailed primer floating around on the web about both the 5x5 programs and the 3x3 set up. If someone has the link please post. This isn’t the same link but it’s a good description as well: http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/manrodt4.htm

but the gist is you warm up and then do 5 sets of 5 reps of compound movements like the squat and bench press.

You’re going to have to figure out what you’re 5 rep max is on each lift and then each workout the weight you end up doing the 5x5 with will be a percentage of that max. the 3x3 program is similar in nature with slightly lower percentages on the weight.

Here is a link to the 3x3. http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/korte.htm. there are better descriptions out there but that’s the first link I found. Personally for a beginner the 5x5 is going to be better for you. The korte program is a bit more involved because of the volume rises and falls over the course of a few weeks.

Both programs are great though. There is very little assistance or isolation exercises involved here. You are doing heavy compound lifts with minimal rests between training days. One of the reasons why these programs are so popular is 1) they work and 2) they are so simple in nature that even a caveman could do it.

Hi
I starting strength training around 9 months ago and I have had great results with the workout below.
sets x reps
Monday
5x5 Squat
5x5 Bench Press
4x5 Deadlift

Wednesday
5x5 Squat
3x5 Pullup
6x5 Dip
3x5 Chinups

Friday
5x5 Squat
5x5 Military Press
4x5 Deadlift

Add weight to pullups/dips/chinups with a weighted vest or dip belt.
I also did boxing twice a week.
Hope this helps.

Thanks guy’s for all the information. I’ve never heard of the 3x3 system and after reading it, I am going to give it a go. The only problem I can see is the amount of time I will have to put into it. I am thinking of using it for a 6/9 month period and then changing to a singles routine as Derek said about using Dinosaur training.
Cheers.

Christian i have seen zercher squats performed by some of the best squatter and strongmen in my gym and feel i need to give them a go!Now what set/rep should i use for this exercise and should i do it after my squats?

This is my current lower body day

Squats 5/5/3/3/3/3
Zercher squats 3x3
cleans 5x3
rdl 4x12-15
leg extensions 3x10

I train for strength only so i dont use too many exercises in a workout!Also i have been training for muscle size only so my program is a little all over the place this is what i have also

Chest/tricep

A.bench press 5/5/3/3/3/
B.Db presses 4x6
C.Close grip presses 3x3-5
d.skull crushers 3x10

Back/bicep
A.Deadlifts 5/5/3/3/3
B.Pull ups 4x6
c.db rows 4x8-10
D1.hammer curls 3x6-8
D2.Barbell curls 3x12-15

Shoulders/chest/back

A.Military presses 5x5
b.side raises 3x10
c1.Db incline presses 3x12-15
c2.Db flyes 3x12-15
d.Lat pulldowns 3x6-8
rear delt raises after side raises also

This is my 4x a week plan training 2days on 1 day off.I feel this is pretty ok and will give me enough rest and i am also on a diet rich in protein/carbs and fat,following massive eating plan by jb.Only taking protein powder and creatine before training.Any help will be great buddy thankyou.

Oh i enjoyed your cluster video and j&h ebook most enjoyable.I also purchsed your girlfriends training video too and i was amazed! she sure is a one off :wink: