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kwoww
9/22/2009 1:18pm,
since i'm at college now and can't train bjj anymore, i figure it's a good time to start making myself stronger. since i'm small and weak, i decided to start with two days of lifting each week, using emevas' rough structure that he posted somewhere. my routine looks like this:

Tuesday:
squat 3x5
ohp 5x5
bent over row 5x5

Thursday:
deadlift 3x5
benchpress 5x5
pull-up 3x8 with very short breaks

miscellaneous cardio on off days, including jogging, biking, and the rowing machine. also bouldering once in a while.

i'm 5'5" or 5'6" and probably like 140 lbs. most recently (ie an hour ago) i squatted 135, overhead pressed 65, and also rowed 65. i'm pretty fucking tired.

so first off, how does this look to you guys? my goals are just to gain some absolute strength. am i on track for that?

second, i want to add a 3rd day of lifting (most likely saturday), but i'm not really sure what to put there. i was thinking maybe dips and DB cleans, but beyond that it's kind of up in the air. i just want to keep it interesting. any suggestions? unusual dumbbell complexes? fun bodyweight stuff?

Emevas
9/22/2009 6:17pm,
Any reason the lower body volume is different from the upper body?

Yoj
9/22/2009 6:26pm,
If you haven't lifted a lot before, then it doesnt seem right really, aim for a full body workout, each session, using mainly compound movements. If the muscles aren't used to it, start with higher reps, with lower weights so you can get the form right, such low rep levels are good for mass, but for trained muscles, I'm betting your form is off and you are cheating the range to lift, you need to condition the muscle through the range before you start heavy set lifting.

Emevas
9/22/2009 6:37pm,
Low rep levels tend to be better for strength than mass.

As for conditioning the muscles, I've had my wife lifting with 5 rep sets from the start without any sort of issues. You can definitely improve your GPP and work capacity before lifting heavy, but it's not entirely necessary.

Yoj
9/22/2009 6:48pm,
Well I'd say low reps are better for strength and mass, depends what your after etc. I guess I'm saying, if you are lifting with a weight that is heavy enough to make you stop at 5 reps, it's pretty heavy, and if you havent lifted before, or haven't got someone watching your form, you are probably cheating part of the range to manage to do so.

But then the OP doesnt mention what/how the sets work, for example, if I was doing 3 sets, I would pick a weight which gave me 12 reps on the first, 10 on the second, and 7/8 failure on the third. I guess if you are aiming for lower reps it would be a weight which would be around 8/7/5. If the weight is such that on set 3 you could continue past 5, then the weight isnt right for pushing the envelope. It's more about the point of failure rather than the number of reps.

searcher66071
9/22/2009 6:52pm,
You want a 3rd day?

Try this one:

Squat
Bench Press
Lat pulldown
Overhead press
Upright row
Dips
Leg extension
Straight bar curl
Leg curl


All exercises 3x10-12. It is a very basic workout. And you need to do something with your leg exercises. You need to hit them hard to get a good testosterone buildup in your body. Mass building is gonna be better if you hit the legs hard.

Emevas
9/22/2009 6:58pm,
Well I'd say low reps are better for strength and mass, depends what your after etc. I guess I'm saying, if you are lifting with a weight that is heavy enough to make you stop at 5 reps, it's pretty heavy, and if you havent lifted before, or haven't got someone watching your form, you are probably cheating part of the range to manage to do so.

But then the OP doesnt mention what/how the sets work, for example, if I was doing 3 sets, I would pick a weight which gave me 12 reps on the first, 10 on the second, and 7/8 failure on the third. I guess if you are aiming for lower reps it would be a weight which would be around 8/7/5. If the weight is such that on set 3 you could continue past 5, then the weight isnt right for pushing the envelope. It's more about the point of failure rather than the number of reps.

I'd have to disagree with your comment about low reps regarding strength and mass. Low reps in the 1-5 range tend to have a greater impact on CNS recruitement vs. stimulations of sacroplasma, whereas working in the 8-15 range tends to go the opposite route. You can gain a great deal of strength and actually lose mass while operating in the 1-5 range assuming you're at a caloric deficit.

As for what/how the sets and reps work, I imagine it's straight weight across with 2-5 minute rest time without training to failure (as training to failure tends to be the antithesis of strength training). At least if it was based off the program I had suggested.


Try this one:

Squat
Bench Press
Lat pulldown
Overhead press
Upright row
Dips
Leg extension
Straight bar curl
Leg curl


All exercises 3x10-12. It is a very basic workout. And you need to do something with your leg exercises. You need to hit them hard to get a good testosterone buildup in your body. Mass building is gonna be better if you hit the legs hard.

I can't tell if this is serious or not.

Yoj
9/22/2009 7:05pm,
You can gain a great deal of strength and actually lose mass while operating in the 1-5 range assuming you're at a caloric deficit.



Fair enough, you've clearly investigated this more than me, the idea of me being in a calorific deficit is unusual!

Anyway, I'm off to do some squats so I can be a sexual tyranosaurus!!!!!!

Emevas
9/22/2009 7:14pm,
Yeah, I ran through a period of being in a caloric deficit recently for a PFT. Not fun. Thankfully I'm back to high cals and stretch marks.

kwoww
9/23/2009 8:09am,
Regarding upper/lower volume, I actually couldn't finish the last rep of my overhead press yesterday. The rows, meanwhile, I realized I can do a lot more. However, I'm only using like 1:00-1:30 rest time between sets, and maybe 5 minutes between workouts. Pull ups are 8x3 with 30 second rests. Should I increase those? Swap pull-ups for the pulldown machine?

And yes, it's straight weight across, but I forgot to mention that I've been doing a warmup set of 5 with an empty bar, and then for the big 3 another warmup set of 5 with maybe half my work weight.

Marrt
9/23/2009 8:37am,
Fair enough, you've clearly investigated this more than me, the idea of me being in a calorific deficit is unusual!

Anyway, I'm off to do some squats so I can be a sexual tyranosaurus!!!!!!

So, huge legs and almost vestigial arms? zexy...

Emevas
9/23/2009 1:47pm,
Regarding upper/lower volume, I actually couldn't finish the last rep of my overhead press yesterday. The rows, meanwhile, I realized I can do a lot more. However, I'm only using like 1:00-1:30 rest time between sets, and maybe 5 minutes between workouts. Pull ups are 8x3 with 30 second rests. Should I increase those? Swap pull-ups for the pulldown machine?

And yes, it's straight weight across, but I forgot to mention that I've been doing a warmup set of 5 with an empty bar, and then for the big 3 another warmup set of 5 with maybe half my work weight.

I would definitely have longer rest periods if your goal strength, especially on the pull-ups. Try for 2-5, or until you're ready to do another set for the same amount of reps.

You didn't really explain WHY you're using this rep/set protocol though, just what happened when you tried it.

kwoww
9/23/2009 5:42pm,
Why? As in, why 3x5 or 5x5 or whatever? To be honest, I'm not really sure. Probably a combination of the suggested protocols in the back of Starting Strength and all the stuff I've read online, particularly in this forum.

I mean, if there's something wrong with it then by all means suggest something better.

Emevas
9/23/2009 6:28pm,
It's just an imbalance between your upper and your lower. I'd either go 5x5 with the lower body work or 3x5 with the upper body work. For the chins I'd try to keep it the same as well. It's just a question of creating balance between the muscles.

kwoww
9/23/2009 11:17pm,
ohh, okay. i wasn't even thinking upper/lower so much as "hard"/"less hard." but tbh i'm not really sure whether to do 5x5 or 3x5, then. what would be the benefits of either?

and by keep it the same for the pull ups do you mean stick with 3x8 or also go to 5x5/3x5? i can't exactly up the weight on those, and i dont want to plateau on the pull-ups while i move ahead with everything else and then give myself posture problems or something like that

Emevas
9/24/2009 8:36am,
Any reason you're unable to up the weight on the pull-ups? Even a 5lb increase is still moving in a positive direction.

If you have no other training going on in your life, try for higher volume ala 5x5. If not, or if you find you're unable to recover from that, try lower. You don't have to overthink it too much, just try to balance it.