T Nation

Strength Cure for a Weakling


#1

Hey everyone,

About me:
Age: 22
Height: 6'0
Weight: 190
Goals: strength and mass

Current PRs:
Bench: 225x1
Squat: 295x1
Press: 145x1
Deadlift: 315x1

I read extensively about 5/3/1 prior to this post to figure out how to set up my program; however, I would appreciate feedback on it before taking the plunge.

Programming:
Wave 1: Low Intensity, High Volume - 2 Cycles of BBB (C1: 50% - C2: 55%)
Wave 2: Medium Intensity, Medium Volume - 2 Cycles of 5's PRO & 5x5 FSL
Wave 3: High Intensity, Low Volume - 2 Cycles of SVR II

TM will be set at 85% of 1RM. AMRAP sets will be stopped when bar speed slows down excessively.

All assistance for my first cycles will be BW exercises, working up on reps in a fixed time frame. May adjust if glaring weaknesses stand out.

As far as conditioning is concerned, I don't have access to a prowler. Instead, I will do HIIT on bike, sprints, and may add carries if recovery allows it.

Template:

Monday: Bench
DeFranco's Agile 8
DB swings & Face pulls & Paused bench (warm up sets)
Pull ups & Paused bench (work sets)
Pull ups & TnG bench (supplemental sets)
Fat man rows & Push ups: AMRAP in 7 mins

Tuesday: Squat
DeFranco's Agile 8
Box Jumps & Squat (warm up sets)
Hip flexor stretches & Band pull aparts (sets of 15-20) & Squat (work & supplemental sets)
Back extensions: AMRAP in 5 mins
Ab wheel roll outs: AMRAP in 5 mins
Conditioning: HIIT on bike

Wednesday: OLY lifts
Learning these, very light. Will remove them if they affect recovery.

Thursday: Press
DeFranco's Agile 8
DB swings & Face pulls & Press (warm up sets) - deadstop
Pull ups & Press (work sets) - deadstop
Pull ups & Press (supplemental sets)
Fat man rows & Dips: AMRAP in 7 mins

Friday: Deadlift
DeFranco's Agile 8
Box Jumps & Deadlift (warm up sets)
Hip flexor stretches & Band pull aparts (sets of 15-20) & Deadlift (work and supplemental sets)
Hanging knee raises: AMRAP in 5 mins
Suitcase carry: 5 mins
Conditioning: sprints

Questions:

  1. I train in a commercial gym and can't do med ball throws, hence the DB swings. Any other alternatives? Thought about plyo push ups, but they might be too draining.

  2. Conditioning is not my priority at the moment, but I understand its importance in regards of work capacity and mental toughness. Are carries the best alternative to prowler? Or complexes (thinking these may hurt recovery)?

I will start a log in the Training Logs section and keep you posted with progress!


#2

Hey bud, we’re pretty much the exact same size if that makes this anymore helpful.

  1. I like plyo push-ups. They’re a good bit harder than med ball throws, so just do less of them.

  2. Weight vest walking is great and isn’t too hard on your body if you’re concerned about recovery. They’re not that expensive and they last forever. Carries are sweet too. So are complexes, but they they take a toll sometimes.


#3

Thanks for chiming in TX!

Notes taken, I will swap DB swings for plyo push ups. I suppose the added specificity will be a benefit to warm up as well.

For easy conditioning, I walk everyday (weighted if my school bag counts!) and go for hikes on weekends when time allows me to.


#4

[quote]Hambulgar wrote:
Hey everyone,

About me:
Age: 22
Height: 6’0
Weight: 190
Goals: strength and mass

Current PRs:
Bench: 225x1
Squat: 295x1
Press: 145x1
Deadlift: 315x1

I read extensively about 5/3/1 prior to this post to figure out how to set up my program; however, I would appreciate feedback on it before taking the plunge.

Programming:
Wave 1: Low Intensity, High Volume - 2 Cycles of BBB (C1: 50% - C2: 55%)
Wave 2: Medium Intensity, Medium Volume - 2 Cycles of 5’s PRO & 5x5 FSL
Wave 3: High Intensity, Low Volume - 2 Cycles of SVR II

TM will be set at 85% of 1RM. AMRAP sets will be stopped when bar speed slows down excessively.

All assistance for my first cycles will be BW exercises, working up on reps in a fixed time frame. May adjust if glaring weaknesses stand out.

As far as conditioning is concerned, I don’t have access to a prowler. Instead, I will do HIIT on bike, sprints, and may add carries if recovery allows it.

Template:

Monday: Bench
DeFranco’s Agile 8
DB swings & Face pulls & Paused bench (warm up sets)
Pull ups & Paused bench (work sets)
Pull ups & TnG bench (supplemental sets)
Fat man rows & Push ups: AMRAP in 7 mins

Tuesday: Squat
DeFranco’s Agile 8
Box Jumps & Squat (warm up sets)
Hip flexor stretches & Band pull aparts (sets of 15-20) & Squat (work & supplemental sets)
Back extensions: AMRAP in 5 mins
Ab wheel roll outs: AMRAP in 5 mins
Conditioning: HIIT on bike

Wednesday: OLY lifts
Learning these, very light. Will remove them if they affect recovery.

Thursday: Press
DeFranco’s Agile 8
DB swings & Face pulls & Press (warm up sets) - deadstop
Pull ups & Press (work sets) - deadstop
Pull ups & Press (supplemental sets)
Fat man rows & Dips: AMRAP in 7 mins

Friday: Deadlift
DeFranco’s Agile 8
Box Jumps & Deadlift (warm up sets)
Hip flexor stretches & Band pull aparts (sets of 15-20) & Deadlift (work and supplemental sets)
Hanging knee raises: AMRAP in 5 mins
Suitcase carry: 5 mins
Conditioning: sprints

Questions:

  1. I train in a commercial gym and can’t do med ball throws, hence the DB swings. Any other alternatives? Thought about plyo push ups, but they might be too draining.

  2. Conditioning is not my priority at the moment, but I understand its importance in regards of work capacity and mental toughness. Are carries the best alternative to prowler? Or complexes (thinking these may hurt recovery)?

I will start a log in the Training Logs section and keep you posted with progress![/quote]

Since you are new to the program I would suggest starting with the 5s PRO and 5x5 FSL. This will give you practice on the main lifts and moving the bar controlled and fast for each rep. It will also teach you just how effective a simple program can be if you dedicate yourself to it.

The 5x5 FSL sets will add some decent volume, so make sure your assistance work compliments your program and doesn’t duplicate work you have already done. For instance, if you do 5x5 FSL for bench, prioritize lat and upper back work next instead of a bunch of pushups. Throw in some dips or pushups last only if you feel you need to, as you have already done a lot of horizontal pressing in your main sets and FSL sets.

Regarding not having a place to do med ball throws, just do box jumps on these days as well. You are warming up your CNS, not your Upper Body CNS. No such thing.

Stay away from carries and complexes as conditioning. Pick sprints, bike, or weight vest like TX said.

Good luck.


#5

[quote]JoeyWaters wrote:

Since you are new to the program I would suggest starting with the 5s PRO and 5x5 FSL. This will give you practice on the main lifts and moving the bar controlled and fast for each rep. It will also teach you just how effective a simple program can be if you dedicate yourself to it. [/quote]

Wouldn’t BBB provide the same benefits? Lower intensity to really nail technique? Or the high volume invariably lead to form breakdown?

Should I focus only on fat man rows then? Or add in a few sets of band pull apart, face pulls or rear lateral raises?

[quote]Regarding not having a place to do med ball throws, just do box jumps on these days as well. You are warming up your CNS, not your Upper Body CNS. No such thing.

Stay away from carries and complexes as conditioning. Pick sprints, bike, or weight vest like TX said. [/quote]

Point taken.

Thanks!


#6

[quote]Hambulgar wrote:

Since you are new to the program I would suggest starting with the 5s PRO and 5x5 FSL. This will give you practice on the main lifts and moving the bar controlled and fast for each rep. It will also teach you just how effective a simple program can be if you dedicate yourself to it.

Wouldn’t BBB provide the same benefits? Lower intensity to really nail technique? Or the high volume invariably lead to form breakdown? [/quote]

I don’t know if it would be form breakdown so much as lack of bar speed toward the end of the set. You need to learn what it means to push each rep with power and BBB is more of a “train the muscle not the movement” approach.

[quote]The 5x5 FSL sets will add some decent volume, so make sure your assistance work compliments your program and doesn’t duplicate work you have already done. For instance, if you do 5x5 FSL for bench, prioritize lat and upper back work next instead of a bunch of pushups. Throw in some dips or pushups last only if you feel you need to, as you have already done a lot of horizontal pressing in your main sets and FSL sets.

Should I focus only on fat man rows then? Or add in a few sets of band pull apart, face pulls or rear lateral raises? [/quote]

Fat man rows are fine, any type of row is. Band pull aparts or any other sort of rear delt work is good, mainly for balance. Feel free to throw those in there.


#7

[quote]JoeyWaters wrote:

I don’t know if it would be form breakdown so much as lack of bar speed toward the end of the set. You need to learn what it means to push each rep with power and BBB is more of a “train the muscle not the movement” approach. [/quote]

Strength being my primary focus, I will adopt your idea and start with 5’s PRO & 5x5 FSL.


#8

[quote]Hambulgar wrote:

[quote]JoeyWaters wrote:

I don’t know if it would be form breakdown so much as lack of bar speed toward the end of the set. You need to learn what it means to push each rep with power and BBB is more of a “train the muscle not the movement” approach. [/quote]

Strength being my primary focus, I will adopt your idea and start with 5’s PRO & 5x5 FSL.[/quote]

I think this will give you a good balance of strength and size. 5x5 after your working sets is no joke when you put your all into each rep. Let us know how it goes.