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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:54 am 
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A bit concerning as I haven't received the feedback/responses I was expecting.

I have been maintaining my workout regimen. I have to say, Jungledoc, the advice you gave me re: ways to make changes to routine in order to keep gaining as paid off. When I increase weight by 10 lbs on squat, I do 3x3 the first day, 5-4-3 the 2nd day then i go up 10 and do 3x3. This has prevented me from resetting or being discouraged by not making 3x5 when moving up. In doing this, I also noticed my CNS wasn't as taxed so I added a back off set.

Now I'm trying to get motivated to doing some aerobics on off days to burn some of my excess fat. I'm also trying to figure out my ideal weight so I know what strength standards to use as a guide (nothing more). - any pointers will be great.

Latest stats:
DL: 355 1x3
SQ: 305 5,4,3
BP: 200 1x5 then 205 5,4
PLAY: 175 3x3
MP: 135 3x3


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:36 am 
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With the increase in weight applied to my squat, my rest periods are pushing 10 minutes which affects my total time in the gym. I'm sure it probably shouldn't matter; however, pushing almost 2 hours in the gym seems a bit much. Is there a way to improve the amount of time in the gym without completely modifying routine?


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:42 pm 
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slw0096 wrote:
Is there a way to improve the amount of time in the gym without completely modifying routine?


Cut down your rest time. I gauge how long my rests are by either the stop watch on my phone or by the time on my I-pod. The longest i take is 4-5 min between heavy deadlift or squat sets.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Looking over the 5x5 routine, I see the ramp sets starting at 135lbs, going up incrementally to the main work set such as: 135, 185, 235, 285 and 335. I'm currently doing 135, 165, 195, 225, 265 and 3x 305 which is about 10 more reps than shown in the 5x5. Given the weight, am I beating myself too much? Should I drop the number of sets to something more of a ramped 5x5 rather than 5 warm up sets and 3 work sets?


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:35 pm 
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If you're talking about ramped 5x5 the way Bill Starr used to do it, he usually started calculating with the planned top set and worked back by 12.5% to the first work set. Another way to say that is that the first work set was about half the top set, and then the sets were evenly spaced. Sets lower than the first work set aren't counted as they're for rehearsal, but that doesn't mean they don't have value. Do as many as you want until you're satisfied with your groove.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 5:48 pm 
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My current routine:

Sq: 135x5x2, 185x5, 225x3, 265x2, 305x5x3, 245x8
Bp: 95x5x2, 125x3, 155x2, 205x5x3, 165x8
DL: 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 265x3, 315x2, 365x5
Aux: rev crunches, dips and back ext (on machine)

Is the volume too much for the intensity as I'm pushing much harder than ever? Meaning, I don't seem to be adding weight each workout; I am adding every other work out. As soon as I get a chance, I'll post last couple of weeks worth of info. It amounts to, for squats, 285x5x3, 295x3x3, 295x5, 4, 3; 305x3x3; 305x5, 4, 3; 320x3x2, 2. So, in essence, I'm going up about 10 or 15 each week.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:39 pm 
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If you're progressing like that, obviously it's working. You don't have to progress every workout.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:49 am 
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Since last posting, I have altered my routine. I have shifted to the Madcow Intermediate setup with Tuesdays being heavy, Thursday being light and Saturdays being medium. I switched to this routine as I was no longer looking forward to the workouts since every workout was a "heavy" day. This allows me to go to the gym and lift without worrying about hitting a PR today.

I'm posting today because I hit a weird situation, and I'm not sure what's going on or what to do about it. At about the 2nd or 3rd week, I strained my lower back on the deadlift, so I went light for about 4 workout days. I got back to normal and continued on the program. Here are my stats for the last two weeks:

Tuesday (6/19)
Squat: 150x5, 190x5, 225x5, 265x5 & 300x5 - this was tough but doable
BP: 100x5, 125x5, 150x5, 175x5 & 200x5
Pendlay: 90x5, 110x5, 130x5, 155x5 & 175x5 - this felt heavy

Thursday
Squat: 150x5, 190x5, 225x5x2
MP: 65x5, 80x5, 100x5, 115x5, 130x4
DL: 185x5, 210x5, 250x5, 295x5 & 335x2 - this felt extremely heavy

Saturday
Squat: 150x5, 190x5, 225x5, 265x5, 305x3, 225x8 - 305 was tough but doable; last rep was kinda slow & shaky
BP: 100x5, 125x5, 150x5, 175x5, 205x3, 150x8
Pendaly: 90x5, 110x5, 130x5, 155x5, 180x3, 130x5 - @ 180 I felt form was a bit weak and I wasn't pulling all the way through chest like at 150.

Tuesday (6/25)
Squat: 155x5, 190x5, 230x5, 265x5 & 305x3 - the 3 rep was a bit slow & shaky; I didn't feel it, so I didn't go for the 4th.
BP: 105x5, 130x5, 155x5, 180x5 & 205x5 - i pushed hard to get the last one.
Pendlay: 80x5, 95x5, 115x5, 135x5 & 155x5 - made the adjustment to get form; felt moderately tough

Thursday
Squat: 155x5, 190x5, 230x5x2
MP: 65x5, 80x5, 100x5, 130x5
DL: 185x5, 235x5, 285x5, 335x0 - at 285 it felt like I'd worked my lower back to hell & back. I still feel the effects as I type this and probably will for the remainder of the day.

For MP & DL, I added a fifth set to match all the others. I found conflicting information on the net, so I wasn't sure. This week I reduced it back down to 4x5 for all exercises on my light day. Today, I only got three sets for DL's - it felt I worked the hell out of my back. I'm not sure what the issue(s) might be; any information would be greatly appreciated. I'm concerned because the load is lighter than my squat, and I know DL should be heavier, and I have lifted heavier.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is form for both squat and DL. How sure are you of your form? Video yourself and watch it. You may be able to spot problems yourself; you could post it here for others to comment on (I cannot view video on my network, so I'd be left out).

My next thought it that you have limited out on DL (maybe squat, too), and need to take more of an "intermediate" approach. As in spacing out the squatting to once a week. Beginners can squat every WO for a while, but the time comes when that won't work anymore. Weekly is more realistic when things get heavy.

Last thought is that maybe you need to build a deload into your routine, if you don't already.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:36 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is form for both squat and DL. How sure are you of your form? Video yourself and watch it. You may be able to spot problems yourself; you could post it here for others to comment on (I cannot view video on my network, so I'd be left out).


Though there's always room for improvement, I'm confident that my form is good. I have vidoe myself for form before: squat, pendlay to ensure form. My last workout I verified my depth for DL and my depth for squat to ensure they were the same. I learned that for my squat, I squat lower than I do for my deadlift.

Jungledoc wrote:
My next thought it that you have limited out on DL (maybe squat, too), and need to take more of an "intermediate" approach. As in spacing out the squatting to once a week. Beginners can squat every WO for a while, but the time comes when that won't work anymore. Weekly is more realistic when things get heavy.


I thought I had accomplished reduction in workload by switching to the Madcow routine where I have a heavy, light and medium squat days? I'm not sure if I can skip squat on a workout as I'm so use to them and I like the overall affect. Deadlifts have gone to once a week rather than every other work out.

Jungledoc wrote:
Last thought is that maybe you need to build a deload into your routine, if you don't already.


When I shifted from the beginner starting strength routine (3x5) to the Madcow, I set it up to hit my PR's by week 4. I actually took an extra two weeks. I repeated week one twice and then week three, so I think I kinda deloaded in the process of shifting to the new routine. This past week I've returned to my original PR's and trying to push passed them; except for pendlays which I had to back up a little and DL's which are giving me a problem.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:25 pm 
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I'm noticing more now than ever the changes in my body; feeling muscles I haven't felt before, holding a better posture, muscles are taking a shape. I'm gaining in strength and slowing heading towards my goal. The one thing that remains is to find the way to get rid of the dreaded gut while maintaining the stregth levels I've gained.

Any and all suggests will be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:06 pm 
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slw0096 wrote:
... The one thing that remains is to find the way to get rid of the dreaded gut while maintaining the stregth levels I've gained.

Any and all suggests will be appreciated.


Your diet will make all the difference. I've written on it in the diet section repeatedly so I won't go over it all again now. However, don't be concerned about losing strength. If you keep your weight loss to 1 or 2 lbs a week, you will maintain most or all of your strength. Keep working out as you are. Most people lose muscle because they think they have to stop lifting heavy and start doing high reps and low weight. You don't.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:12 am 
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stuward wrote:
Your diet will make all the difference. I've written on it in the diet section repeatedly so I won't go over it all again now.


I can appreciate not repeating what has already been written; however, there is a lot, so do you happen to have some quick links at your finger tips that you can drop down. I've done a lot of research and a lot of reading to get me this far; it would take me that much longer to do it all over again.

stuward wrote:
However, don't be concerned about losing strength. If you keep your weight loss to 1 or 2 lbs a week, you will maintain most or all of your strength. Keep working out as you are. Most people lose muscle because they think they have to stop lifting heavy and start doing high reps and low weight. You don't.


I don't plan to stop lifting; however, I've noticed if I'm not continually pushing the upper limite then it's difficult to make some of the same lifts I've previously made. Is there any example routines out there that have the lifting 3x per week and then exercises that are done on off days to increase activity levels in order to start losing the fat?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:08 am 
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This covers the basics.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8284

You could add in progressively challenging sprints or other challenging exercises on your days between strength workouts. You could also do them right after your workouts if that works better for you. Outside the gym, increase your other activities. Long easy walks out in nature is always a good bet.

Just keep the weight loss reasonable. If you start losing strength, throw in a refeed day or even 2. You should read "the anabolic diet" (check Google for a pdf.) That program has weekly refeeds built in for a reason.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:42 am 
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The good news is I was able to lift 335 for 3 this past workout, so I'm guessing something was just off last week where 285 seemed to kick my butt. Both my squat and bench press, I got 3 instead of 5 on Tuesday. I've done this for about 5 weeks now getting back to my original PR's, and since I've been going strong since January with the begginner SS program and now the Madcow program, I'm looking at starting Madcow over again to achieve PR's in 6 weeks. I will be adding more activities to increase weight loss, and will be sure it's reasonable as I will continue lifting.

I'm just shy of reaching my lifting goals that I've set out; right now, my attention is shifting to getting rid of this gut. This feels like a natural shift in my drive as I was originally driven to achieve stregnth goals and now my focus seems to be shifting to getting rid of the fat.

Since I'm no longer looking at trying to make gains as fast and furious as possible, I'm looking at making slight changes to my routine. Please let me know if these mods are good and that I've maintained appropriate balance.

Current Routine: Madcow Intermediate
Tuesday (Heavy)
Squat: 5x5 - achieved 300; hit 3 @ 305 and 315 last two sessions
Bench: 5x5 - achieved 200; hit 3 @ 210 last session
Pendaly: 5x5 - achieved 160; recent last week as form wasn't exact (was not making it all the way up to chest)
Hyper (45): 1 set w/ 25lbs
Leg Raises: 1 set; not really liking this exercise as I'm not feeling my ab muscles work like I did with reverse crunches

Thursday (light)
Squat: 4x5 ramping to 235;
MP: 4x5 - achieved 130lbs last session which returns me to my original PR
DL: 4x5 - hit 335 for 3 last session
Leg Raises - did two sets
In the evenings, I take the family to their respective classes, and sometimes I will attempt body weigh pull ups / dips to test strength.

Saturday (medium)
Squat: 4x5, 1x3 & 1x8; last week I lifted 315 even though I did not make 5 @ 305 the previous Tuesday. more of a let's see what I can do. I strained (pauses for a second or more) half way up but still got the 3 rep. The following Tuesday, I got 3 and not 5.
Bench: 4x5, 1x3 & 1x8; got 3 at 210
Pendaly: 4x5, 1x3, 1x8; got 3 at 160
Dip, Pullup (sort of wide grip), curl and tricep ext (standing) - 2x8 each in a circuit style.

I'm considering learning Cleans as there's a certified trainer at the gym. I'm also looking at putting front squats in on Wednesdays and changing to Incline Press. The new routine will follow the madcow set x rep requirements and look like:

Tuesday
Back Squat, 5x5
Incline Press, 5x5
Power Clean, 5x3 (I think)
Hyper and rev crunches

Thursday
Front Squat, 4x5
MP, 4x5
DL, 4x5
Rev crunches

Saturday
Back Squat, 4x5, 1x3, 1x8
Incline Press, 4x5, 1x3, 1x8
Power clean, 4x5, 1x3, 1x8
Dip, Pullup, Curl, Tri Ext

I haven't read much about the incline press; I did catch one little snip-it. It seems that the incline press is between the flat bench and standing press, so would I just do incline press all three days, or would I sub MP for incline and keep flat bench or would I sub incline for bench and then sub another for MP? Some guidance here would be appreciated.

Are there any auxillary exercises that can be added to my heavy and medium days just to add a little something to it?


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