T Nation

Variety vs. Specialization


#1

If I want to increase my bench, squat nd dl shouldn't I just bench, squat and dl? Note I am a beginner/intermediate.
I've made significant gains lifting like this for the last eight months.

Bench from 185-->225
DL from 225--> 365
Body weight 178-->192

3-5 days per week. Cycling every 3-5 weeks. Starting light, ending heavy.

I doubt I would've made such gains if I worked on support exercises + 'similar' exercises. Once my gains slow down I may try board presses and good mornings, etc. Recognize that programs like Westside work (if you're advanced) but I wonder how long guys like Tate just focused on the big 3 lifts before moving to more advanced programs. Nothing against other programs--just think they may be a bit advanced for me at this point. If you wanna get good at hitting you go to the batting cage as often as possible and get your form as good as possible and keep with it. OVer and over. Don't keep moving your feet and hand position, etc., etc.


#2

FOR sure your a beginner,and Id say everyone can and should start and base most every training session on something BIG like you mentioned.

Do that do it right and then add in the rest its all icing at that point but the BIG compounds will give you a base.

I would add some BIG rowing movment also. Chins/BB rows. I myself have started cycling 5 or so BIG execercises and fll in the rest of the workoyut after I do that and am making great progress. I use these Bench, squat, DL, Clean and press, Chins and BB row. Then add in other stuff after I complete at least one of those a day.

Thats my take. You could Do MUCH worse than concentrate on those for YEARS!!!


#3

Phil, thanks for the comments. I actually do pull-ups each workout also. 3 to 4 sets of 6. Started at 3-4 sets of 3 a few months ago, then about every 2 months or so, add 1 rep. Hope to be doing sets of 10 by end of this year. I also do one armed barbell presses. All of this is based on
Pavel's PTP. Pullups are using GTG--also from Pavel. Occasionally I'll do some barbell curls but not too often
Workout looks like this:

BP 2X5
Pullup 1X6
DL 2X5
Pullup 1X6
Squat 2X5
Pullup 1X6
Overhead Press 2X5
(Optional) Pullup 1X6

I change the order of exercises almost every time I'm in there though usually I do Squats/DL (or DL/Squats) back-to-back once I've "claimed" the rack.

I start the cycle light with weaker exercise. i.e. for bp do close hand --move hands out after several workouts of increasing weight DL-move from regular DL to romanian Squat--move from Front to back Just started doing military presses after months of one arm barbell presses. Felt awesome. Previously could barely budge 135. Now can do 5 clean reps with 150. Want to be able to (push) press my weight.

Think I'll be able to within a few months. Also, late in the cycle I'll drop to 3X week or drop one or two of the exercises if I'm too burnt. Never go to failure except maybe last day
of cycle.