Harden' the fack up and use hook?
Or I could just use the trap bar? Heavier weight, more quads, less technical and less stress on the lower back. Seems like a good deal to me...
No gym tonight. Too much work. Not got equipment set up yet. That'll be in the next fortnight. I'll take this as some deload time.
Should be getting rack and bench set up soon. Quite excited. Looking into purchasing some bands as well to use for assistance exercises like pull downs, pull throughs, rear delts, rotator cuffs, etc.
So I'm leaving Rippetoes and moving onto an Iron Addict style split (chest/shoulders workout A, back/legs workout B), because I honestly got too burned out doing the same lifts in the same rep range over and over again. You just know that when you no longer feel excited about busting your ass in the gym any more when you need some change. SS, focusing on the squat, bench, deadlift, press and power clean is without doubt the best thing for newbies, whatever their goal is. It'll get you the strongest the fastest, which also equals the biggest the fastest, assuming enough food is eaten.
But you eventually get mentally tired of the same lifts in the same rep range, over and over again. You want change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Sadly, many newbies choose the worst possible option because they see SS as something of a quick introductory course in lifting before they can start the real stuff: a five day bodybuilding split. These routines obviously work for advanced level bodybuilders, but not so much for the average lifter, or the guy who's done SS for a few months. The evidence is empirical, it's all around you in practically every gym in the world.
I have thought occasionally that I might also be making the worst decision out of the two, but a cookie cutter template that uses five reps for everything isn't necessarily the best solution for every lifter (unless you're a newbie, then it is). Different lifters have different needs which must be specifically met.
For me, it's upper body strength that is lacking. The reason it is lacking is because I quite simply don't have a big enough upper body relative to my lower body. My legs are 25" around the thighs, and my squat's still weak so there's plenty of room to grow still. However, my upper body lags significantly. It's obvious I don't lift much when you look at me.
One thing I've noticed from all the biggest benchers (the best test of upper body strength) is that they all have big upper bodies to go with it. So I'm going to be devoting more time to getting a bigger upper body, and I'll be doing this by using more volume on the pushing exercises. SS had 9 sets of push per week (3 bench/press 3 times per week). I'm going to use around double that, in varying rep ranges.
This is the first time I've ever focused on the strict press. This is also the best my delts have ever looked, so it's obvious that the press is a good exercise for me. I don't like the bench that much, but I don't want to be that guy that doesn't train his weaknesses so I'll still be training it. I like push presses as well. They're almost equal to my bench, despite not having been trained since 2009. I don't know what like they are for a mass builder because I haven't tried them long enough yet, but I think they're pretty badass and a good test of functional strength, particularly for athletes as they, like so many athletic manoeuvres, begin from the ground up.
Assistance work for the pushing exercises will be close grips, lock outs and dumbbells. No curls.
Kroc rows will be pushed up. My gym's dumbbells only go up to 45kg, and I can dumbbell row them, Chinese style, for 10 not too hard reps. But I've got dumbbell handles and enough plates to use 60kg at least in my garage. Hopefully more plates on the way.
Squats will be done low bar style. After having done Olympic style squats for a while, I think low bar is a superior way to squat because you can use more weight and more musculature. Easier to progress on them as well, and better carryover to other lifts. After having bashed Rip's squat form I take back everything I said. It's effective, hits the most musculature and isn't too bad on the knees at all. I like front squats, but my upper body gives out for more quickly than my lower body.
I'm also going to start training 4 days per week. Doable once I get the rack set up. It'll be a nice experiment to see how recovery works with it.
Sorry for the long post, but this is the first time this week I've had the chance to think about anything for prolonged periods of time that wasn't about damping equivalent systems.
Good stuff. Will be interested to see the precise exercise selection.
Also interesting that you're going for a 4 day/week instead of something like the SPBR. I think you're right to do so.
My training's being influenced by WS4SB and IA. I like IA's idea of doing back and leg exercises on the same day, since in many cases leg exercises are back exercises to a point, and vice versa. I like Joe's idea of RE for upper, though. I like the idea of doing some high rep dumbbell work after the main lift.
However, the idea of supersetting biceps with traps doesn't sound so appealing. I've never done a shrug in my life yet my traps are doing just fine. I've done the SPBR before and didn't like the low frequency of squats. It worked fine for the deadlift, however, but squatting didn't go so well. Now I'll still be squatting of some sort twice a week, and deadlifts will be performed whenever I feel like it. I like deadlifting so I'll be doing it probably every fortnight, to see how I get on with a lower frequency of deadlifts. No sets across, though: I've got on fine in 2010 with only one set.
Exercise selection will be the big three compounds and their derivatives, and rowing exercises. All bench pressing will be done paused. This is because I know from experience that when I start bouncing to get the required reps, I get them, but stall soon after. Romanian and still leg deadlifts will be more regular, and with higher reps, to make up for the less frequent bent leg deadlifts. Never done Romanians before, looking forward to trying them. I still won't be making box squats my main squat exercise because that didn't workout too well.
It'll be four days a week, but not four heavy days. 'RE' bench won't be heavy, for example. I don't know what I'll be doing with leg/back days yet, though. I think I'll see where recovery takes me.
Weaksauce tonight. Think I might know why.
67.5 x 5
60 x 5
60 x 8
First two sets paused, last set just normal.
Yes, very poor. But it was the crappy bench with stupidly low uprights. Lost set up taking bar out of pins, which is just above my forehead.
And also, not used to doing bench first. Usually squat first and then come to bench. CNS must not have been properly warmed up with a 60kg bench press. Heard IA mention this before. I'll warm up with some heavy abs in future to see if it makes a difference. Just didn't feel ready to lift during my worksets. Although I think 67.5 is a paused PB.
Dumbbell bench press:
20's x 5
20's x 5
20's x 5
Again, poor, was expecting more. These haven't gone up since I did them in December when I was benching 50 for sets of 5. Used the 25's for 4x8 and the 22.5's for 2x12 before, when my bench was the same as it is now. Might also be because it's the first time I've used dumbbells to bench since December; not used to the movement. So don't think I'll bother with these again if they have no correlation to my bench.
Finished with some abs 1 x 15, 2 x 10
Then some rear delts.
What will be done in the future:
I am definitely weak in the triceps so after my main pressing movement (flat bench or push press [I just like push presses and think they're awesome, and they're my best pressing exercise]) I'll do some sort of heavy triceps exercise, like close grip board presses or something. Then I'll do some delts with dumbbells, standing, because seated is gay, for some higher reps.
I'll be starting out with heavy abs to get the CNS warmed up. Heavy abs won't affect my benching, but it'll warm up the CNS.
And have to get used to doing more than one lift/three sets of pushing in one session again. Last time it took a week or two to adapt. Forgot about that.
I'm getting exactly the same thing with having to adapt to doing more than one pushing exercise per session now I'm doing WS4SB instead of 3x5 either overhead press or bench press. It really makes you realise how much your triceps are struggling when you get onto your second exercise and they start giving out. I have seen the first improvements on my bench in ages by doing a greater volume of pushing exercises, though, so hopefully you'll be able to do the same.
I know exactly what you mean when you say that it makes you realise how your triceps are struggling when you get onto your second exercise. On my dumbbell benches my triceps were giving out and I failed all sets due to not being able to lock out.
Ha, you should see the lifts I posted for my repetition upper day on Tuesday - on the last of my three sets of DB military presses (after doing 15/12/8 bench with 22.5kg dumbbells) I only managed to get 4 reps, and on the fifth I was just standing there with my arms nearly locked out but my triceps totally failling to push even a small weight like that any higher.
What exercise did you do for your abs?
Knee raises in the dip station. I prefer Roman chair situps, but I was chatting to one of my old drinking buddies who I haven't seen since last year in the other room.
Well I like doing them so I'm going to be using them as my main upper lift for a while soon to see how progressive I can be with them. Briefly used them as my main lift during the Christmas period where I got in 3 upper body workouts and went from 40 to 50 for 3x5 pretty easily, but a) that was piss light weight anyway and b) it was regaining strength I already had.
Never put 70 overhead for reps.
Bit of a strange workout tonight. Did it in my garage because I got some pallets to use to protect the floor so I can actually deadlift in my garage.
Snatch grip 2" deficit deadlifts:
100 x 3
100 x 3
120 x 1
120 x 1
120 x 1
Grip fail. Reps weren't too hard, and wanted to continue.
2" deficit deadlifts:
120 x 5
120 x 5
130 x 5
140 x 1
The 120 x 5 sets weren't really difficult at all. But grip was fatigued and it showed on the attempt at 140. Got one rep but just couldn't grip well enough to get a second.
Also, all deadlifting was done in my Ironworks tonight. No chalk.
Tried to do some Bulgarian split squats but couldn't balance on my right leg.
So did some dumbbell step ups instead.
Dumbbell step ups to high box:
2 x 10 each leg
Box was putting my knee a few inches higher than hip crease. Weren't too difficult, but grip was failing.
60 x 6
60 x 6
60 x 5
Pinkies on the rings grip, which was failing. And my back was tired after the deadlifts.
Damn my ass hurts (no homo).
Looking back though my old workouts, I'm beginning to notice trends.
The biggest trend I'm noticing is this: Working up to 1 maximum work set sucks for size and strength, ergo it sucks, full stop. The only exception to this is the deadlift. And even then, that worked okay on 2 sets.
So from now on, going to make sure that I do at least 3 work sets, in good form, of the main exercise for that day, unless its a deadlift.
Also, barbell rows are useless. Too much neural drive goes into stabilising the body rather than into the lats, upper and mid back and arms pulling the barbell towards the chest. If I can dumbbell row the 45's for 10 reps Chinese style (i.e. not too strict) and only barbell row 60kg for 6, then it's obvious.
I've done underhand barbell rows and thought much the same of them as normal barbell rows.
Chinese dumbbell rows are how the Chinese weightlifting team do them. There's vids on Youtube.
Got my rack set-up today. Need to do the bench sometime soon because there is almost absolutely nothing I can do for chest or shoulders in my garage without the bench.