T Nation

Two Months to Improve the Big Three

Hi Guys,
my gym membership is running out in 2 months and I want to set new PRs by then. My aim is to hit:

Deadlift: 170kg, current max: 135kg
Squat: 140kg, current max: 20x80kg/6x100kg
Bench: 100kg, current max: 2x85kg

My last program was Squat and Milk, where I stalled at 20x80kg. 2 days weren’t just enough to recover from the high rep squatting.
Right now I’m in week 2 of the Shotgun program. But Somehow I’m getting the feeling, that this program won’t guide me to my aims. Squatting/deadlifting/benching once a week just doens’t seem right, while trying to improve them.

My question a you folks, is there any better program to become stronger than the Shotgun program? Do you think Starting Strenght or 5x5 would be a better choice? (If yes, which version)

Greeting, Andi

What about Sheiko?

http://www.elitefts.com/sheiko/default.asp

Thanks for the plan, Trapzking!

I think I will start with the beginner program, but I have several questions.

Can I substitute Rack Pulls and some other exercises, since my gym is a commercial gym and doesn’t have such “exotic” equipment?

To what max does the program refer? The current or the desired max. Can I use a calculated max, or is it inevitable to test the max?

How is the program written? RepsXSets or SetsXReps?

Greetings, Andy

its repsxsets it said at the top of the link

as for the max i would have to think it is current max because for example

Day 1 Bench Press has you doing
50% 5x1, 60% 4x2, 70% 3x2, 75% 3x5

75% of your desired lift is 127.5kg do you think you could do that for 5 sets of 3 reps when your current max is only 7.5kg heavier, and you have already done 5 sets previous even though would be classed as warm ups

so the percentages are of your current lifts

equipment wise what do you have in your gym so you can possibly substitute something else for the rack pulls

[quote]bams_101 wrote:
its repsxsets it said at the top of the link

as for the max i would have to think it is current max because for example

Day 1 Bench Press has you doing
50% 5x1, 60% 4x2, 70% 3x2, 75% 3x5

75% of your desired lift is 127.5kg do you think you could do that for 5 sets of 3 reps when your current max is only 7.5kg heavier, and you have already done 5 sets previous even though would be classed as warm ups

so the percentages are of your current lifts

equipment wise what do you have in your gym so you can possibly substitute something else for the rack pulls[/quote]

We have smith machines and I could use two flat benches to lever the bar. We don’t have a power rack (unfortunately). The Squat Rack is to high to pull from there.

One more question: How high should a box for squats be? When I’m sitting on a bench, I am below parallel, I think.

[quote]Andy63477 wrote:
bams_101 wrote:
its repsxsets it said at the top of the link

as for the max i would have to think it is current max because for example

Day 1 Bench Press has you doing
50% 5x1, 60% 4x2, 70% 3x2, 75% 3x5

75% of your desired lift is 127.5kg do you think you could do that for 5 sets of 3 reps when your current max is only 7.5kg heavier, and you have already done 5 sets previous even though would be classed as warm ups

so the percentages are of your current lifts

equipment wise what do you have in your gym so you can possibly substitute something else for the rack pulls

We have smith machines and I could use two flat benches to lever the bar. We don’t have a power rack (unfortunately). The Squat Rack is to high to pull from there.

One more question: How high should a box for squats be? When I’m sitting on a bench, I am below parallel, I think.

[/quote]

stack up some plates underneath both ends of the bar.

dont use smith machines for rack pulls, if the benches were low enough it would be ok(dont know how management would feel though lol)

stacking some plates up isnt a bad idea but you would have to get a shitlod of weights cos rack pulls are done from around mid thigh

im not too sure on box squats, best bet is too read some of dave tate’s articles ive found them to be pretty good

What do you guys think about this workout program:

Monday: Chest Workout from the main site (8 Weeks long)

Wednesday: Coan-Phillipi Deadlift Template (10 weeks, 300->350lbs, or should I aim higher?)

Friday: Squat Day and some accessory work for the Bench. I couldn’t find any article about it, so I need your help here. I was thinking something along the line of the w4sb leg day with minor modifications:
ME Squat
Unilateral movement
Shoulder Press
Abs
(The hamstring and grip exercises can be cut out, because there’s plenty of them in the deadlift cycle)

Does the squat rack have spotter racks and would they be the right height for rack pulls? Or maybe they have a shrug machine?

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Does the squat rack have spotter racks and would they be the right height for rack pulls? Or maybe they have a shrug machine?[/quote]

No, we don’t have all these fancy, useful machines. I’m very short and can barely shrug the bar on the safety pins, so lifting from it is out of question. Thanks for your thought anyhow.

Greetings, Andi

ws4sb III

Inno-sport for sure. Time your 1-rep maxes to determine whether or not your duration or magnitude deficient. If your 1-rep max for any given lift takes longer than 4.5 seconds then you are duration dominant and if it takes less than 4.5 seconds then you are magnitude dominant.

From there you could construct a program using your own intelligent design, or ask for further assistance. It’s important to consider both agonists and antagonists when lifting, so as to both prevent injury and also to enhance your ability to lift heavier. These two articles are great examples of this:
inno-sport.net/Back%20Your%20Bench.htm

Those articles discuss the importants of scapular control and stability, of utmost importance when bench pressing.

If you find that you are neither duration or magnitude dominant, or you simply want to stick with a balanced split, here’s a general template. I will use both inno and westside terms to facilitate your reading.

Day 1- An-1 DUR Upper Push (ME)6% DO
Day 2- An-1 DUR Squat (ME)6% DO
Day 3- Rest
Day 4- An-1 DUR Upper Pull (ME)6% DO
Day 5- Rest
Day 6- An-2 DUR Upper Push (RE)6% DO
Day 7- An-1 DUR Deadlift (ME)6% DO
Day 8- Rest
Day 9- An-2 DUR Upper Pull (RE)6% DO
Day 10- Rest
Day 11 - An-1 DUR Upper Push (ME)6% DO
Day 12- An-1 DUR Squat (ME)6% DO
Day 13- Rest
Day 14- An-1 DUR Upper Pull (ME)6% DO
Day 15- Rest
Day 16- An-2 DUR Upper Push (RE)6% DO
Day 17- An-1 DUR Deadlift (ME)6% DO
Day 18- Rest
Day 19- An-2 DUR Upper Pull (RE)6% DO
Day 20- Rest
Day 21- An-1 MAG Upper Push (DE) 6-8% DO
Day 22- Rest
Day 23- An-2 DUR Lower (RE)10-12% DO
Day 24- Rest
Day 25- An-1 MAG Upper Pull (DE)6-8% DO
Day 26- Rest
Day 27- Rest

Every now and then I would mix in some clusters on your An-2 days. One way to do this would be to take a weight of ~88% of your 1-rep max and see how many times you can lift it, if given 1-2 minutes rest between reps. If (theoretically) you could continue for an hour, that would be +30 reps of your 88%!

It’s hard to show you the entirety of the system in a single post, but if you are at all interested, I’d be willing to help you out some more.

-Beau

[quote]beau_zo_brehm wrote:
Inno-sport for sure. Time your 1-rep maxes to determine whether or not your duration or magnitude deficient. If your 1-rep max for any given lift takes longer than 4.5 seconds then you are duration dominant and if it takes less than 4.5 seconds then you are magnitude dominant.

From there you could construct a program using your own intelligent design, or ask for further assistance. It’s important to consider both agonists and antagonists when lifting, so as to both prevent injury and also to enhance your ability to lift heavier. These two articles are great examples of this:
inno-sport.net/Back%20Your%20Bench.htm

Those articles discuss the importants of scapular control and stability, of utmost importance when bench pressing.

If you find that you are neither duration or magnitude dominant, or you simply want to stick with a balanced split, here’s a general template. I will use both inno and westside terms to facilitate your reading.

Day 1- An-1 DUR Upper Push (ME)6% DO
Day 2- An-1 DUR Squat (ME)6% DO
Day 3- Rest
Day 4- An-1 DUR Upper Pull (ME)6% DO
Day 5- Rest
Day 6- An-2 DUR Upper Push (RE)6% DO
Day 7- An-1 DUR Deadlift (ME)6% DO
Day 8- Rest
Day 9- An-2 DUR Upper Pull (RE)6% DO
Day 10- Rest
Day 11 - An-1 DUR Upper Push (ME)6% DO
Day 12- An-1 DUR Squat (ME)6% DO
Day 13- Rest
Day 14- An-1 DUR Upper Pull (ME)6% DO
Day 15- Rest
Day 16- An-2 DUR Upper Push (RE)6% DO
Day 17- An-1 DUR Deadlift (ME)6% DO
Day 18- Rest
Day 19- An-2 DUR Upper Pull (RE)6% DO
Day 20- Rest
Day 21- An-1 MAG Upper Push (DE) 6-8% DO
Day 22- Rest
Day 23- An-2 DUR Lower (RE)10-12% DO
Day 24- Rest
Day 25- An-1 MAG Upper Pull (DE)6-8% DO
Day 26- Rest
Day 27- Rest

Every now and then I would mix in some clusters on your An-2 days. One way to do this would be to take a weight of ~88% of your 1-rep max and see how many times you can lift it, if given 1-2 minutes rest between reps. If (theoretically) you could continue for an hour, that would be +30 reps of your 88%!

It’s hard to show you the entirety of the system in a single post, but if you are at all interested, I’d be willing to help you out some more.

-Beau
[/quote]

Very interesting reads (I read the whole T-Nation article and skimmed through the other) and I think I’m getting your point. I will add a fourth day to my split, which will contain DE exercises. I’m thinking of:

  • Push-up variations (can use some basketballs)
  • Fat-man Pull-ups to the face
  • overhead shrugs, handstand shrugs, dip shrugs…
  • short sprints (like 10yards or so^^)
  • sledgehammer swings (a little cardio)

The reason why I choose those exercises is so that I can perform them at home. I’m more flexible to go to the gym for the ME days. (took me 2 hour to get home from the gym by public transport…)

I tried my bench max today, and although I only got to my 3rep max, I think I’m magnitude dominant. I’m sticking at the bottom part, but as soon I reach a certain point, I can lift the weight in no time. What do the figure (6% or 8%) mean in the template?

To the other poster: Haven’t looked at ws4sb 3 yet. Had dome the original program some time before.

Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it,
Andi

Man, I think you’re putting in too much random stuff. Your goal is to get new PR’s in the three powerlifts, so make your training a function of that goal.

Sprints and magnitude and whatnot will be a detour towards a goal like putting X pounds on your total. This stuff might make sense if your goal is to run faster or lift a weight fast or be a better athlete or whatever, but all you want is to increase lifts. Leave the complicated shit for when it will be useful.

My suggestion: Find a simple, proven program, and hammer it. If you don’t reach your goal it will be because you either set your goals too high or fucked around, the program will have nothing to do with it.

I hope I don’t come across as a dick because I just want to help someone who is in a position I have been in before. Good luck.

6% refers to the level of fatigue before drop off. For instance, if my bench press max is 100 kg, I may do singles with 94 kg, with adequate rest in between sets, until I can no longer perform the lift.

I almost entirely agree with you EXCEPT I think you misunderstand the term magnitude. Magnitude refers to peak force over time, which is essential for max effort lifts. The use of strength-speed work would qualify as magnitude. The ultimate goal is to blend (per se) strength-speed work with maximum speed work.

There is SO MUCH to learn from inno-sport, I have a hard time even deciding what is most important to inform you about! More resources:
http://inno-sport.net/Training%20Basics.htm

Another important thing I must add, training (towards a goal) is mostly about intelligent program design and progression. The actual exercises and methods become less crucial when there is a clear, thought out, progression towards your ultimate goal. When progress stalls, your path to that goal may need to be reconsidered or altered.

I find it amazing that people look for all these cookie-cutter programs that were tailored for other people, when it’s not that difficult to self-assess yourself and your goals and connect the dots. Of course reading and learning more about training will enhance your ability to need fewer dots to get them all connected.