Advice?

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by _tim, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Hey All -

    Well, through a not so great life event I've been out of the game for over 2 weeks now.  I can feel a massive difference throughout my body, and it very clearly tells me that deconditioning has set in.

    So, I have two schools of thought and I'm not sure really what to do.  So - I'd love a few opinions on the matter.

    Option 1 - Restart my current cycle (you can read my log for the specifics if you're not familiar).  I was really enjoying it but consistency really never set in.  I'd have to go back to starting loads for sure.

    Option 2 - 8 x 8 for all of my core lifts, maybe for about 6 weeks.

    Option 3 - Power + Volume II (a past cycle name); alternating weeks between heavy triples and singles work, and volume (50+ reps per lift) work.

    Option 4 - ?

    So - SST lads, please chime in.  The only thing I won't do is a 5 x 5 cycle - they bore me to tears.

    I'm returning to the gym soon and want to set up a plan - something that incorporates the HST principles whilst maintaining an SST focus. Let me know what you think.
     
  2. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Option 2 isn't even an option. Don't do so many reps/sets for strength, unless you seriously plan on cutting the sets and raising the weight.
     
  3. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Let me add to that, quad...

    8x8 week 1, 7x7 week 2...... down to singles, progressing the load both by set and by week. Sorry about that - I should have added these details when I started the post.
     
  4. QuantumPositron

    QuantumPositron New Member

    Principle 4 is not applicable to SST.  While many strength regimens and professionally designed periodization routines have active recovery or deloading microcycles incorporated into the overall strategy they are present for different reasons than in HST.  The point of strategic deconditioning in HST is to allow more size to be added at the same or lower level of strength than before.  In SST principle 4 may be reversed:  you may wish to add more strength at a given level of muscular hypertrophy.  This is done through relative strength training regimens.

    In general I am not too sharp on the notion of applying HST principles to SST.  HST principles were derived from a mass of research on muscle hypertrophy and its response to training.  In contrast SST is more involved in neuromuscular development.  Bryan writes this out clearly in Principle 3:

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">

    As opposed to hypertrophy, the foundation for the development of strength is neuromuscular in nature. Increases in strength from resistance exercise have been attributed to several neural adaptations including altered recruitment patterns, rate coding, motor unit synchronization, reflex potentiation, prime mover antagonist activity, and prime mover agonist activity.</div>

    The goal of hypertrophy training is to increase sarcolemmic count and sarcoplasmic volume.  The goal of strength training is to increase sarcolemmic count, maximal force development, and rate of force development.   Vastly different training regimens are required for SST.

    As a side note, your option 2 is a progressive, inverse relationship between volume and intensity.  In short, its a linear loading paradigm.  This is inferior to undulating paradigms and has been largely abandoned in SST circles.  Undulating and conjugate paradigms as well as summated microcycles are more common.
     
  5. QuantumPositron

    QuantumPositron New Member

    Option 3 is more undulating in nature.  It taxes the components of one quality while allowing another to recuperate.

    Option 4:  Power + Volume III:   Weeks of heavy triples to singles alternated with weeks of reps in the 8-12 range, the same range all metastudies agree is optimal for stimulating overall muscle size.

    Option 5:  Strength + Sarcolemmic + Sarcoplasmic - another undulating paradigm:  Day 1 is 1-3RM, Day 3 is 4-6 RM,  Day 5 is 10-12 RM.

    Option 6:  Conjugated.  See Westside Barbell templates.
     
  6. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    I appreciate the perspective, QP - and I agree that not all HST principles align with SST. Once again, I should have been more clear; designing an SST cycle with ALL of the HST principles makes little sense. It's important to me to explore new methodologies; that's the plain simple reason for this thread.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
     
  7. RUSS

    RUSS Member

    OPTION #5-

    Time investment: 7 weeks

    Each work out adds one set starting with 4 until 10 sets are reached , at this point add 5# upper body , 10 # lower body and repeat dropping down to 4 sets again or if you feel bored deload for a week and then move on to a new program adding what you've learned to your &quot;tool box&quot; for future use- resist the urge to add or change anything...for the first workout of each movement you will feel like you still have 1 maybe 2 sets left in the tank- this is good , leave them there (you may feel this way the through out the entire progression and you may not - doesn't matter either way- FOLLOW THE PROGRAM).This approach does use SOME hst principals but more importantly will absolutely build strength. Simple , effective , Hepburn...

    MON)
    Overhead press 4-10x1 @ 90%1rm
    BB or Chest supported row 4-10x3 @ 80%1rm

    TUES)
    Squat 4-10x1 @ 90%1rm
    Romanian dead lift 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    THUR)
    Flat bench 4-10x1 @90%1rm
    Upright row 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    FRI)
    Dead lift 4-10x1 @90%1rm
    Front squat 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    My take on SST is that it's something I would do (a) once I have as much size as I want (or I'm close to that point), ie. I have reached my desired bodyweight and level of bodyfat, (b) if I were to perform an HST cycle and gain very little size and strength, or &copy; just for the fun of it, ie. a change of routine for the sake of a little refreshment. In all cases my diet etc. would have to be in order to be able to judge the results effectively.

    I do think that there is enough cross-over between typical lifting routines used for HST and SST that you can grow using both and gain strength using both, whether you are maintaining bw or not. But it makes sense to maximise your potential results over whatever time period you have set aside for the task.

    It seems to me (from checking your log) that strength is more important to you than size (even though, like me, you probably have a way to go in the size department before things really slow down should you want to add some size) so pick a tried and tested strength program like some of the ones mentioned by the folks here and go with that.

    To be fair to any program, though, you really have to stick with it and often life just gets in the way. I reckon in your case, where you have things crop up and keep you away from the weights, it might be good to try a routine with a shorter cycle length so that you can actually gauge how things are going. It might make it easier to meet some goals, or at least to nibble away at them. Wendler's 5/3/1 might fit that bill.

    All the best Tim. I look forward to seeing what you decide upon and then how you progress with it.
     
  9. Franko

    Franko New Member

    I'm using the 5/3/1 protocol now. I'm just finishing my first cycle, so I won't post a review of results.

    Wendler presents a template where you just perform the main lifts. I think he calls it &quot;the jack sh*t&quot; template.

    Anyways, he states that you can make strength gains with this for a while and it sounds like with your time constraints this might be a good option.
     
  10. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys - great suggestions. I know what I'm going to do. [​IMG]
     
  11. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    uhhhh... strong make big. [​IMG]


    With caveats to Wendler, I've found Faleev's 5x5 and Korte's 3x3 (which starts with 5-8x5) to be some interesting reading as of late. Talk about keeping it simple!
     
  12. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    I've thus far read a ton of Westside, Wendler, Hepburn and Korte articles, and they all in their own way carry the HST principles with them, albeit in very different ways.  Like Lol said, the crossover between HST and SST methodologies is there.

    Indeed, quad... Strong make big.

    In any event, I'm gonna do the DeFranco adaptation of the Westside layout that he calls &quot;Westside for Skinny Bastards&quot;.  Check it out HERE!

    EDIT: The one change I'm going to make is that I'm going to use the Dynamic Lower Body day from the Standard template. If there's one thing this body CAN handle, it's MORE SQUATS!

    The combination of max effort load sets with max effort rep sets is very, very appealing.  I'm absolutely sure I'm not in the right shape to survive the Standard Westside template, nor Hepburn's workout - yet.  Korte and Wendler will be perfect later on this year.
     
  13. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (RUSS @ Aug. 20 2009,5:43)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">OPTION #5-

    Time investment: 7 weeks

    Each work out adds one set starting with 4 until 10 sets are reached , at this point add 5# upper body , 10 # lower body and repeat dropping down to 4 sets again or if you feel bored deload for a week and then move on to a new program adding what you've learned to your &quot;tool box&quot; for future use- resist the urge to add or change anything...for the first workout of each movement you will feel like you still have 1 maybe 2 sets left in the tank- this is good , leave them there (you may feel this way the through out the entire progression and you may not - doesn't matter either way- FOLLOW THE PROGRAM).This approach does use SOME hst principals but more importantly will absolutely build strength. Simple , effective , Hepburn...

    MON)
    Overhead press 4-10x1 @ 90%1rm
    BB or Chest supported row 4-10x3 @ 80%1rm

    TUES)
    Squat 4-10x1 @ 90%1rm
    Romanian dead lift 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    THUR)
    Flat bench 4-10x1 @90%1rm
    Upright row 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    FRI)
    Dead lift 4-10x1 @90%1rm
    Front squat 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    [​IMG]</div>
    I think this is a great idea and have decided to put two of my trainees on this program. I created a spreadsheet to make it a bit easier for them to follow. We'll see how it goes.
     
  14. QuantumPositron

    QuantumPositron New Member

    WFSKB is cool. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  15. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Thanks QP - I just did my first workout today. The whole cycle will be documented in my log.
     
  16. sayw0rd

    sayw0rd Member

    <div>
    (RUSS @ Aug. 20 2009,5:43)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">OPTION #5-

    Time investment: 7 weeks

    Each work out adds one set starting with 4 until 10 sets are reached , at this point add 5# upper body , 10 # lower body and repeat dropping down to 4 sets again or if you feel bored deload for a week and then move on to a new program adding what you've learned to your &quot;tool box&quot; for future use- resist the urge to add or change anything...for the first workout of each movement you will feel like you still have 1 maybe 2 sets left in the tank- this is good , leave them there (you may feel this way the through out the entire progression and you may not - doesn't matter either way- FOLLOW THE PROGRAM).This approach does use SOME hst principals but more importantly will absolutely build strength. Simple , effective , Hepburn...

    MON)
    Overhead press 4-10x1 @ 90%1rm
    BB or Chest supported row 4-10x3 @ 80%1rm

    TUES)
    Squat 4-10x1 @ 90%1rm
    Romanian dead lift 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    THUR)
    Flat bench 4-10x1 @90%1rm
    Upright row 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    FRI)
    Dead lift 4-10x1 @90%1rm
    Front squat 4-10x3 @80%1rm

    [​IMG]</div>
    Hello, I'd like a little clarification about this set up.

    I understand that you do 4reps of 10 sets @ 90% 1RM but
    I don't seem to understand what you mean &quot;at this point add 5# upper body, 10# lower body and repeat dropping down to 4 sets again&quot;

    Are those 2 workouts the only workouts you do? Would accessory workouts be harmful?

    Thanks for your time!
     
  17. RUSS

    RUSS Member

    It's singles...


    4x1,5x1,6x1,7x1,8x1,9x1,10x1-add 5 pounds and drop back to 4x1,5x1,6x1 etc.

    Each workout adds a single.

    Accessory work not recommended... [​IMG]
     
  18. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hey Totz, just wondering how your trainees faired under the Hepburn singles program? Did they manage to get through the full seven weeks?

    I'll probably give this a try at some point.

    (Thanks Russ.)
     
  19. sayw0rd

    sayw0rd Member

    <div>
    (RUSS @ Nov. 12 2009,7:47)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">It's singles...


    4x1,5x1,6x1,7x1,8x1,9x1,10x1-add 5 pounds and drop back to 4x1,5x1,6x1 etc.

    Each workout adds a single.

    Accessory work not recommended... [​IMG]</div>
    oooh, thank you Russ [​IMG]

    question, would this be for beginners or would it work for someone who's been working out for many years?

    another question is, how long should the breaks be between each set? And between each exercises?
     
  20. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Russ, looks like an effective program for YOUNGER lifters, as it would be really hard on the shoulders. Were I to do it, I'd have to swap ovhd press for incline db's, upright rows for weighted chins, and front squats (which I suk at) for hack squats. I think this would do more for the big 3 lifts.
    I never could figure out why people do ovhd presses to help bench, save for the tricep work.
     

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