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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:27 pm 
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stuward wrote:
Based on the 181 standards, your 3x5 weight for squats is almost at the Intermediate level. Your 1RM is probably over that number. It's quite realistic that you should aim at the advanced number. It may take a while to reach, and you may have to change your program along the way, but it's a reasonable goal. I don't know where your other lifts are. This is based soley on your squat.


My other lifts are currently at: DL - 315, Squat - 250, BP - 185, Pendlay - 150, MP - 105. (3x5)
I just backed off my MP's because I couldn't get 3x5 @ 110.

stuward wrote:
Why bother maintaining? Keep improving for the rest of your life. Each year, try to be better in some way that you were the year before.


Once I reach my lifting goals, I plan to shift to getting my bmi down; in particular getting this belly off. When I say maintain, I simple mean maintain the strength I've gained. I don't want to lose it and do not necessarily want to move much higher. That's not to say that I won't change my mind; however, at some point I will just want to work out and not worry so much about pushing heavier and heavier lifts.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:51 pm 
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If pushing heavy weights is not your main goal, why are you focusing on it now? It sounds to me that you're using strength training as an excuse not to focus on bringing your belly down. In my opinion, get healthy first, then get strong. Then get strong enough to do the things that you want to do. It's easier to maintain than to build so while you work on whatever skill, or whatnot, just do some weight training once in a while to maintain what you have. You can get strong and get healthy at the same time, but your priority has to be clear.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:31 pm 
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My goals are real clear: achieve the strength level I want to be then burn fat / tone to achieve secondary goal. Your opinion doesn't match other monitors of this website who recommended building strength fīrst then loss weight which is what I am doing. There are no excuses here; my main goal right now is pushing heavy weights. I am working hard to build to my desired strength level and will then move to a toning / fat burning routine. At the same time i will use a maintenance routine to maintain desired strength level.

I've also adjusted my nutrition to fit the routine. Eating cleaner and more balanced meals.

I have a journal, discussion journal and several posts through a few threads, so my knit formation and background is here.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 am 
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In general, it's harder to gain muscle and build strength than it is too lose muscle, and since you need a little fat to build muscle, most do well to build muscle first. However, too much fat is catabolic, and you're better off to be trying to lose fat while you attempt to build muscle. In the case of excess abdominal fat, the health issues associated with it are so great, they need to be addressed immediately. Sufficient muscle will keep you mobile and independent longer in your old age but if you have a heart attack first, you'll never see the benefit of that strength. I've written on this before and this is not a new position for me. if I were you I would continue to lift heavy but include a metabolic component and start eating in such a way to reduce your abdominal fat. That will mean, more eggs and greens, and less sugar among other things.

I've given enough unsolicited advice now so I won't pester you more with it. I am here for assistance if you want it.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:26 am 
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What Stu said.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:07 am 
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Just added last and this week's workouts. Advice, suggestions and constructive comments welcome. I'm not too happy about not getting the 275 on my squat.

As I'm hitting personal bests I do have a couple of questions:
1) How long should rest periods be between work sets?
2) Does hitting personal bests lead to resets?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:17 am 
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slw0096 wrote:
Just added last and this week's workouts. Advice, suggestions and constructive comments welcome. I'm not too happy about not getting the 275 on my squat.

As I'm hitting personal bests I do have a couple of questions:
1) How long should rest periods be between work sets?
2) Does hitting personal bests lead to resets?

When you are doing stuff like 3x5 or 5x5 or something where is mostly heavy resistance and below 6 reps, the optimal rest time lies somewhere between 3 and 7 minutes. I usually go by feel. I rest as long as it takes for me to get my next set finished, and not to failure. After the first set rest might be 2 to 4 minutes, and I'm feeling fresh. On the latter sets it might take 4 to 7 minutes of rest to feel like getting there without failure. I always try to avoid going to failure, at least on weekly basis.
Heavier weight takes longer rest. The point isn't hypertrophic, like having 1 to 2 minute rest to fatigue and go all lactic on your muscles. When going 3RM or higher, I usually rest from 5 minutes to something like 10 minutes. Again, more like how you feel yourself. Optimized and strict rest periods are not that important in Max Effort work, more in the accesorial and hypertrophy work. Max strength doesn't come from fatiqued muscles.

I personally didn't àlways reset when I hit my PR, I tackled the next weight the next workout. If it was way too much, I either tried again next week, or resetted a couple of steps down and built from there. Again, it goes pretty much on how you feel. Was the PR easy? Does the new weight feel light?

The workout looks ok to me, I personally would Deadlift before benching.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Dub wrote:
When you are doing stuff like 3x5 or 5x5 or something where is mostly heavy resistance and below 6 reps, the optimal rest time lies somewhere between 3 and 7 minutes.


Most everything I've read says about 5 minutes at the upper end; however, with these higher weights it seems I need to take a bit longer in order to get all reps within the lift. I just don't want to take too long of rest period as I've read if the rest period is too long then I might be pushing too heavy.

Dub wrote:
I personally didn't àlways reset when I hit my PR, I tackled the next weight the next workout. If it was way too much, I either tried again next week, or resetted a couple of steps down and built from there. Again, it goes pretty much on how you feel. Was the PR easy? Does the new weight feel light?


Heck no, the new weight feels dog heavy. 265 was extremely tough and taxing, and I wondered if I'd be able to do the 275 which is what I always wonder when I hit a hard weight. It's interesting to hit a weight that feels tough but the next weight up doesn't feel as tough. The 275 felt even heavier than 265 felt. I was able to get 5,4,1 the first try but last time I was lucky to get 3x2.

Dub wrote:
The workout looks ok to me, I personally would Deadlift before benching.
I use the bench to rest between my squat and deadlift. I'm curious to know why you would put deadlift before benching?!?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:47 pm 
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I use the bench to rest between my squat and deadlift. I'm curious to know why you would put deadlift before benching?!?
I like to do the biggest and the best compound moves first. Also I like to do the same muscle groups first. And I have always paired the two, so it has become a habit too. Just my preference.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:53 am 
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slw0096 wrote:
Just added last and this week's workouts. Advice, suggestions and constructive comments welcome. I'm not too happy about not getting the 275 on my squat.

As I'm hitting personal bests I do have a couple of questions:
1) How long should rest periods be between work sets?
2) Does hitting personal bests lead to resets?

There is no best rest time for for everyone, it's very individual. You need to find this yourself. Especially in doing heavy singles for max, you need to rest as much as you need to rest, 6, 8, 10 minutes, whatever.

If hitting a new PR leaves you needing to reset, then you shouldn't be maxing, IMHO. After a PR, a bit of rest in appropriate, but you need to go on with your progressive training without losing a lot of time. I've made the mistake several times of resetting after a PR, and it takes me a long time to get back to where I was. I think that if you manage your fatigue and your rest adequately, you'll be able to pick up on your training, after maybe one training microcycle (?a week?) of relative rest.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Jungledoc wrote:
There is no best rest time for for everyone, it's very individual. You need to find this yourself. Especially in doing heavy singles for max, you need to rest as much as you need to rest, 6, 8, 10 minutes, whatever.


Not to sound contradicting, only to get clarification, most everything I've read says upwards of 5 minutes. I just want to be sure I'm not losing anything with longer rest periods and will get the most out of my workouts. Before, I could catch my breath within a few minutes then I would force myself to wait another minute or two in order to ensure I would get my next lift; this has worked for me. Now, I question how long that wait should be. Are there any pointers as to know when you've rested long enough?

Jungledoc wrote:
If hitting a new PR leaves you needing to reset, then you shouldn't be maxing, IMHO. After a PR, a bit of rest in appropriate, but you need to go on with your progressive training without losing a lot of time. I've made the mistake several times of resetting after a PR, and it takes me a long time to get back to where I was. I think that if you manage your fatigue and your rest adequately, you'll be able to pick up on your training, after maybe one training microcycle (?a week?) of relative rest.


Here is a summary of where I am:
I just reset my MP's as I attempted 110 for 3 workouts and was unable to obtain 3x5. I just cleared 112.5 last session, so I have successfully reached a sticking point, reset and have progressed beyond that sticking point.

Pendlays - I am progressing nicely. I find myself repeating the same weight once before moving up.

Bench - I attempted 185 at least twice maybe three times and then backed up to 165 and now at 175.

Squat - When I first attempted 275, I felt my form wasn't quite right, so I recorded it. I saw that I wasn't going far enough down. I put aerobic steps in place to ensure proper depth and then did a session of lifting to determine what weight to use. I lift x5 until I hit a weight (265) that was hard, I backed it up to 255 and worked from there. 265 was extremely tough, and instead of doing this weight again, I attempted to go up to 275. First session was okay with 5,4,1 but the second session was 3x2.

Deadlift - moving along nicely. I think I attempted 335 when I was set to lift 325. Last session I lifted 325 without any problems and moving up to 335.

As you can see, all lifts are at PR's now, so any advise, constructive comments would be greatly appreciated for my continued progress. With hitting PR's should I shift to a weekly progression rather than a daily progression? - something like H-L-M? I'm not looking to change anything if unnecessary; just looking at maintaining linear progress. I don't plan on resetting unless it becomes a sticking point as I did with MP's and BP's. I just need to know how to handle the extreme weight of the squat :D.

Will you explain microcycle?

In addition to increasing the weight, are there other metrics or measurements I can take to monitor gains / progress?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Not to sound contradicting, only to get clarification, most everything I've read says upwards of 5 minutes. I just want to be sure I'm not losing anything with longer rest periods and will get the most out of my workouts. Before, I could catch my breath within a few minutes then I would force myself to wait another minute or two in order to ensure I would get my next lift; this has worked for me. Now, I question how long that wait should be. Are there any pointers as to know when you've rested long enough?

What are your goals? What could you possibly lose when resting too much? Rest time is most dependant on your goals. I do not support the the 5 minute -theory. On Max effort work, the rest should be somewhere around 3 to 15 minutes. You see, there are few things to consider.
The reason why Max Effort work needs 3 to x minutes of rest is found from your muscle and force/energy production. When you have very short, intensive sets with 1 to 5 reps, your muscle is producing all it's energy from it's ATP storages, and all of it's creatinephosphate (CP). These storages last about half a minute. A bit before the CP storages run out, the body also starts to run huge amounts of energy/ATP development through glycolysis. That means that in shorter sets, the muscles don't really produce any lactic acid. When going to higher reps (Hypertrophy, 6 to 12 reps), the set goes along longer, and your muscle fatiques. The point in short rest time on higher rep sets is to keep this muscle fatiqued and run it to the edge of energy development. The body never gets to recover from the previous set.

Now, you see that your point in higher intensity low-rep sets is not to fatique the muscle. You're not supposed to create lactic acid or anything. Your goal on 1 to 5 reps is to maximize force development. If your body hasn't recovered well, you can't produce max effort work. Both the ATP and CP storages recover to near full-state in 3 to 5 minutes, maybe even more and maybe less. Depending on the intensity. Hence the 5 minute remark. It's true, but it doens't limit anything. What stops you from resting more? The muscle isn't necessarily fully recovered from the work even though the storages would be near full.

I would still go by feel and study around it. You'll now your state of recovery eventually after lots of lifting. You will find out what suits you best. Also you can also check your heart rate and study that method also. Heart rate testing is more a long term recovery method, but you could see if there is some limit or pattern on rest time/recovery/heart rate. Interval training sometimes work around heart rate recovery. When you go to failure, you haven't rested enough or the weight is just too heavy to handle. Simply put.

Quote:
Will you explain microcycle?

Microcycle is the smallest complete and sequentially repeatable group of sessions in a given system. Most microcycles are a week long and broken down into days to accommodate the calendar week.
My microcycle consist of a week of Workout A,B and C. 5/3/1 has four workouts, in weeks period or possibly longer if you have a three day split.

Quote:
In addition to increasing the weight, are there other metrics or measurements I can take to monitor gains / progress?

Bar speed and rest time would be the best I can think of. You need less rest, you get stronger and recover from the weight faster. Bar speed increases, you produce more force. Also the feeling of the set. Did it feel lighter?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Good answer, Dub.

When you say "PR" I automatically think of a 1-rep max. You are talking about hitting sticking points in your lifts, maybe a 5-rep max. That's a little different. What I said about rest periods isn't different.

I think that your real questions is why am I sticking, and what can I do about it? The common explanation is that a beginner gets to the point when he or she can't recover properly from the workout in a couple of days, and needs to "periodize" their training, that is, break up training in a way that works certain muscle groups on different days, and in different ways to allow better recovery. The theory is actually a lot more complex than that, but I think that's good enough for our purposes here. You touched in this when you asked about "a weekly progression" rather than a "daily progression". The answer to your question is yes. Doing heavy-medium-light is one way, but splitting is probably a better way for now. Common ways to split for your stage of training are upper-lower or push-pull-lower. That would mean doing your upper body lifts on one workout, then the lower body work in the other. The second would involve doing things like bench and military one time, chins and rows another and lower body on the third.

There's one other thing to think about. When we decide that we are going to do a fixed rep-set scheme, we limit the ways in which we can make progress. So (for instance) if you've decided to do 3x5, sets-across, the only tool that you have available is varying the weight. So you pick a weight (however you do that) lift it for 3 sets of 5 reps (I'm assuming appropriate warm-up) and then go on to the next exercise. Next workout, you increase the weight and lift it for 3 sets of 5 reps. You continue until you can't get all the reps then feel discourages, or you reset, or ask the guys on a forum for ideas to continue progressing.

Many times this plateau comes because your are adding weight faster than you can gain strength. Simple as that. You don't need tricks to break through the plateau, you just need to increase your work at a slower rate. But if the smallest increment you can use to add weight is 5 pounds or 10 pounds, and you insist on lifting 3 sets of 5, that can be more added work than you can handle.

Why now start out at 3 sets of 3 at a weight that is challenging, but not pushing failure? Then next workout, add a rep or 2. Maybe a set of 4, a set of 3 and a set of 4. Or whatever. Or a 2 sets of 3 at the current weight and 1 set of 3 slightly heavier. That way you can add a smaller increment of work each time. On a given day, if you are doing well, you could even add a 4th set. Gradually you'll find yourself doing a lot of reps, maybe more sets than you feel is ideal, and maybe can't push the weight any more. Then your "reset" is going back to 3x3, but at a significantly heavier weight than you used last time. Not going down to an over-all easier workout.

Does that make sense? I personally think it works better than sticking to a fixed combination of reps and sets. We often have discussions here about the advantages of high-rep, low-load vs. low-rep, heavy routines. This lest you vary it gradually over time. You start low-rep (at least relatively) and heavy (again, relative to you), and gradually shift to a high-rep routine, where the weight is more than where you started, but may now be light for you, at least sort of light. Then go back to a challenging, low-rep routine, and again let it evolve over time.

This also has the advantage of being adaptable to how you are doing on a given day. If you are tired from lack of sleep, or from illness, or if it's just a bad day for unknown reasons, you can go by feel, and not make any big increases. If you have a day that is especially good, you can make bigger increases. Be careful, though. I have a problem with temptation, and sometimes push all three parameters (weight, reps and sets) at once. Sometimes that's the right thing to do, but sometime I end up exhausted and beat-up, and don't do well for a couple of workouts afterwards. Go by feel, but stay smart.

Yes, Dub's explanation of microcycle is right. My microcycle is 4 workouts, spread over 9 days. It's kind of odd, and doesn't fit with lifting only on certain days of the week, but it works for my situation. A microcycle can be as little as 2 workouts, but would rarely be more than 5. You can also think in larger time periods. Terms like mesocycle, macrocycle and just cycle get used, but they aren't too useful to most of us. I organize my training into "cycles" of 4 microcycles, but that's just arbitrary and is for my convenience. For things like "5/3/1" it's more meaningful, since each of 4 microcycles is a little different.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:54 am 
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Dub wrote:
What are your goals? What could you possibly lose when resting too much? When you go to failure, you haven't rested enough or the weight is just too heavy to handle. Simply put.


Right now, my prmary goal is to increase strength. Once I've achieved my strength goals I will shift to a toning / hypertrophy routine to lose any additional fat loss that isn't lost during strength training. This isn't to say I won't switch back and forth; I research to learn and then try it out to see if it works.

I"m not sure what is lost. First guess would be muscles cool down if rest is too long, maybe; I really don't know that why I ask.

I'm actually not trying to push to fatigue. I'm using the 3x5 routine. When I get the 3x5, I add weight to it and try it again. It just so happens that I am now at weights I've never done before.

Dub wrote:
My microcycle consist of a week of Workout A,B and C. 5/3/1 has four workouts, in weeks period or possibly longer if you have a three day split.


After reading this for the second time and jungledoc's post, it cliicked. So, my microcycle is two days because my routine is a full body split across two days. I do ABA then BAB over two weeks. What is 5/3/1?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:24 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
The common explanation is that a beginner gets to the point when he or she can't recover properly from the workout in a couple of days, and needs to "periodize" their training, that is, break up training in a way that works certain muscle groups on different days, and in different ways to allow better recovery..


How do we know when its a sticking point vs can'''t recover properly?

Jungledoc wrote:
...but splitting is probably a better way for now. Common ways to split for your stage of training are upper-lower or push-pull-lower. That would mean doing your upper body lifts on one workout, then the lower body work in the other.


What would my routine look likke on a split?

Jungledoc wrote:
There's one other thing to think about. When we decide that we are going to do a fixed rep-set scheme, we limit the ways in which we can make progress. So (for instance) if you've decided to do 3x5, sets-across, the only tool that you have available is varying the weight. So you pick a weight (however you do that) lift it for 3 sets of 5 reps (I'm assuming appropriate warm-up) and then go on to the next exercise. Next workout, you increase the weight and lift it for 3 sets of 5 reps. You continue until you can't get all the reps then feel discourages, or you reset, or ask the guys on a forum for ideas to continue progressing..


This describes what I do for the most part; the exception is the discourage. I haven't faced that as I know that I won't hit the 3x5 each and every time. I ask on the forum when I hit something that feels extremely heavy and to ensure I'm doing things correctly. THe best example I have is my MP's as I"ve actually just successfully navigating through a sticking point by resetting and moving forward. My primary concern is the squat given the amount of weight and position involved. All other lifts it's easy to push to the limit and if I get in trouble drop the weight or have a spotter assist. Squat is a different animal. Plus, I've hit a weight that's tough, and I want to approach it in a way that I maximize my gain.

Jungledoc wrote:
Why now start out at 3 sets of 3 at a weight that is challenging, but not pushing failure? Then next workout, add a rep or 2. Maybe a set of 4, a set of 3 and a set of 4. Or whatever. Or a 2 sets of 3 at the current weight and 1 set of 3 slightly heavier.


The last two workouts, I did a ramp down style where I did 1x3 @ 275, 1x4 @ 265 and 1x5 @ 255. I was able to get the 3; I attempted 4 put let it go. @ 265, I pushed 4th but not comfortable with pushing up the 5th. I pushed hard to get the 5th @ 255. So, is this modification one that will encourage gain since my body isn't accustomed to it?

Jungledoc wrote:
Does that make sense? I personally think it works better than sticking to a fixed combination of reps and sets. You start low-rep (at least relatively) and heavy (again, relative to you), and gradually shift to a high-rep routine, where the weight is more than where you started, but may now be light for you, at least sort of light. Then go back to a challenging, low-rep routine, and again let it evolve over time.


It makes sense. What's a way to gauge what to do on any given day? I'm wondering if for example laziness won't creep in and cause me to lift light for a few workouts making it hard to push intensity. What's a good flow for moving from low reps / high intensity to high reps / low intesnity back to low rep / high intensity? For example, once I clear 275, I may move to a high rep / low intesity routine. What might my current routiine look like modifieed.

Thanks for your input.


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