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  1. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/23/2009 7:57pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Repitition Effort Lower Experiment Discussion

    Hey folks (incoming wall of text)

    Background: Last summer, ran a 3x5 program where I squatted 3 times a week. Worked up to 3x5x405+chains. Tested my 1rm for the squat at an easy 465. Switched to Westside, where I rarely squatted, and instead did a lot of indirect work (box squats/against bands/chains, safety squat bar box squats/against bands/chains, trap bar lifts, elevated trap bar lifts, etc etc). Went to test my 1rm on squats and dumped 455 on the pins. Form fell apart. I deduced that I went from frequent squatting to infrequent squatting and retarded my CNS, thus my form fell apart when the weight got heavy. Decided the solution was to switch from DE to RE work with the squats. I took a weight I could squat for 15 reps for 1 set, then rested 1 minute between sets for 3 total sets. Ran a 3 week wave with the weight, the increased it 20lbs and restared the wave.

    I started at 225 and worked up to 315. I'm now finding that my recovery is starting to falter on the squat.

    A page from my training log

    Squats of 315
    15,9,7

    Notes: I need to change this. The weight is getting too heavy, and the workout too taxing. After the third set, I went inside the house (side note: Finally rebuilt my powercage, so I'm lifting at home again) and laid on the couch for half an hour, slipping in and out of consciousness. Breathing was erratic, heart beating out of the chest, and felt like I was going to vomit. That in and of itself is not bad, but it prevents me from doing any sort of follow-up work.

    I've come up with a few possible solutions, of which I'll decide on which is going to be the most advantageous.

    1: Change the movement. Something like SSB squats or trap bar lifts. I'd either use less weight with the SSB or not have to support the weight on my body with the trap bar, both of which would reduce the issue of being grossly fatigued after my 3 sets. The change in movement would also help develop any sort of lagging muscles. The con here is I'd be losing out greatly on specificity, which was one of the big factors involved in my reason for choosing RE in the first place. I may find myself losing squats again because of a lack of form.

    2: Get rid of RE, and go back to DE. DE definitely doesn't kill my cardio, and I could improve my speed out of the hole. I'm finding myself grinding a bit here, and maybe speed work would help my sticking point. The time away from heavy squatting may be good for my body as well. If I make squats a supplemental movement, I won't lose out on the specificity aspect either. Only con I can see here is a lack of developing the supporting musculature that I get with RE, but that could be fixed with more assistance work, which I could do with the left over work capacity from DE work.

    3: Reduce the amount of sets on the RE day. I'm presently doing 3 sets, and after the 3rd set, I'm dead to the world. I didn't even have the energy to do hise shrugs after the 3rd set today. If I cut it down to 2 sets, or even 1 set ala 20 rep squats, I may find myself with more energy to complete the rest of my workout. I could also potentially use more weight as I wouldn't have to "save" anything in the tank for later sets. However, that could come back to bite me, and I may find myself in the same situation I'm currently in, now just getting taxed after 2 or 1 sets instead of 3. I may also lose something in the translation by getting less volume in with my RE work.


    I'm curious if anyone has any input. I'm looking to just do some spitballing here.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  2. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/23/2009 8:38pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A few questions:

    -What's your notation? sets x reps x weight, or reps x sets?
    -When you switched to the indirect work then switched back, were you weaker in general, or just in BB back squats in particular?
    -What's your goal?

    I'm casting a skeptical eye at this part:
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas
    Decided the solution was to switch from DE to RE work with the squats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  3. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/23/2009 8:48pm

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    The notation goes

    Weight
    Rep/rep/rep

    So this 315 was for 15, 9, and 7 reps respectively with 1 minute rest between sets.

    On the 3x5x405+chains, it's Sets x Reps x Weight

    I can't really say if I was weaker in general or just on the squat, but presently my goal is powerlifting numbers, so if I get stronger on everything but the Big 3, it's not going to really satisfy me.

    I've gone from a free squat of 465 to a box squat of 465, which is progress to me. I haven't tested my free squat, but I plan to do that soon. With the constant increasing on my RE work though, I can gauge that my strength is increasing.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  4. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 12:38am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    I can't really say if I was weaker in general or just on the squat, but presently my goal is powerlifting numbers, so if I get stronger on everything but the Big 3, it's not going to really satisfy me.
    My thoughts are that it's possible that the Westside stuff may have been building strength, but the scarcity of actual BB back squats may have shown up as rust. If this is what happened, a few weeks of getting back into the habit of squats with a reasonable frequency (not necessarily a high volume) should be enough to get back on track.

    What does your wave look like?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  5. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 9:24am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah, the increased frequency of the squatting was the goal of the RE experiment, but along with that I was hoping to build up the supporting musculature involved in the squat, similar to the impact RE upper has on the bench. I had a similar experience with the bench and my right shoulder (5 dislocations), where a lot of time doing DE had my shoulder not very stable on the bench, and RE kept it in place.


    I'm leaning towards re-introducing DE work for the squat, while making the free squat my supplemental movement, and increasing my conditioning work outside of lifting.

    Are you talking about my RE wave?
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  6. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 10:31am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Interesting that the RE stuff would be better for shoulder dislocation than the DE stuff. How's maximal-effort work stack up in terms of shoulder stability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Are you talking about my RE wave?
    Yes.

    Also, unrelated: what are your thoughts on extending rest between sets?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  7. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 11:14am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The ME stuff doesn't really go one way or the other with shoulder stability. I don't feel that it either reinforces or takes away from it, but more just tests it.

    For the RE wave, I stuck with the same weight for 3 weeks adding 2 reps to the last 2 sets.

    Usually it'd run

    Week 1:
    15/5/5

    Week 2:
    15/7/7

    Week 3:
    15/9/9

    Then add 20lbs and start over.


    I've contemplated extending the rest periods. I might give it a go, but part of me wonders if I'll talk myself out of continuing if I wait longer, haha.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  8. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 11:22am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Usually it'd run

    Week 1:
    15/5/5

    Week 2:
    15/7/7

    Week 3:
    15/9/9

    Then add 20lbs and start over.
    How many times a week?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
  9. Emevas is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 11:50am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't really operate on a weekly schedule, but it's 1 of my 4 training days. Usually a schedule will go

    RE Lower
    RE Upper
    ME Lower
    ME Upper

    repeat

    I get anywhere between 0-3 days of rest between training. I try not to train lower days within 2 days of each other, but my work schedule ultimately dictates my training schedule.
    "Emevas,
    You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
  10. TheRuss is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/24/2009 12:39pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So at least three days between rounds of RE Lower, then.

    You could tweak that, I suppose, but I think you'd do a bit better with spacing out the sets rather than the workouts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.
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