XFatMan's Basic Strength Program

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by XFatMan, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    My second strength cycle is a home brew. It will take seven weeks to complete, which gives me plenty of practice to learn the power clean and the bent-over row. The program will add 5% to my bench press, deadlift, and overhead press. My squat is comparatively weak, which is why I will squat each workout so I can add 10% to this lift. I will alternate between Workout A and Workout B. Weights start at 70% of my projected 5 RM and increase 5% each week.

    Workout A
    Bench Press
    Squat
    Deadlift
    Bent-Over Row

    Workout B
    Squat
    Overhead Press
    Power Clean

    There will be only one working set for the deadlift because I will be pretty beat from the squats. The squat should go before the bench press to allow the legs to rest. If I squat first, the bench will be busy and I will have to wait. I’m the only one who does the other lifts at the gym so I can do these any time. Since the deadlift works the back already pretty well, I’ll only do two sets for the bent-over row. For all other lifts, I will do three working sets.

    Cardio will mostly be rope jumping at 160 rpm or faster. This brings my heart rate to 90 – 95% of my recommended maximal heart rate. I will start with four rounds of three minutes with one minute rest and will add one round each week if possible. I will do cardio twice on Mondays and Wednesdays and once on other days. I won’t mention my cardio sessions in my log unless something unexpected happens.

    This is my off-week, and it seems I’m gaining some fat. It’s not a big deal and much better than losing mass. From Monday on, my diet will be a little more aggressive and I will go straight down to 10 calories per pound of bodyweight using a simpler calorie cycling method. It is still my goal to hit 15% body fat or less by June 30, 2008, and I won’t set any new body-fat goal before I get there.

    Beginning on Monday, March 24 ...
     
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    That looks like a good workout. The only caveat I have is that I would swap the bentover rows and the overhead presses, unless you really need them that way for a reason. Otherwise workout A is going to be killer compared to workout B. You certainly can do rows after deadlifts, I've done it myself, but once you get heavy, your lower back will be taking a beating and it might effect your day to day activities. So just to be on the safe side, I always recommend keeping them apart now.
    The only problem I could see with my suggestion is that it is possible your benching will effect the overhead press... however, I think this is far less likely and less of a problem than the deadlift/row issue.

    Also, you may want to consider keeping the squats on deadlift day a certain percentage lighter than squats on the non-deadlift day, but you can probably get away without doing this for the first several weeks. The last couple weeks, once you are moving higher poundages, it might get more difficult. You could use workout B to really push your strength in squats and workout A to reinforce form, get more volume in, etc, and it would still help with increasing strength.

    Whatever you decide, this looks like a solid routine and a very good selection of lifts.
     
  3. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    I really see the problem with the deadlift / bent-over rows. The bench press and overhead press are on different days because I read somewhere that it prevents – at least to some degree – the typical shoulder problem so many lifters are facing due to imbalance. They say that for each bench press there should be an equivalent amount of overhead presses. During my last cycle, I followed this advice and it really helped to get rid of my shoulder pain. Now, if the bent-over rows are really going to cause trouble, perhaps it would be better to get rid of them altogether. What do you think about that?
     
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I think the rows are definitely worthwhile, but... you are squatting every day and deadlifting every other workout, so adding in rows could be a lot of lower back work. I don't know, I'd probably just move them to the B day, keep the overheads on B day too, and just let A day be a shorter workout, since you are doing a lot of hard stuff that day anyway.
    Then, as your program progresses, if your lower back does become troublesome outside of the gym, you could look at dropping rows or reducing them somehow?
     
  5. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    That's a great and pretty simple solution, thanks. Workout A is short then but still pretty brutal once the weights go up. This cycle, I'll leave the setup as it is since I'm learning the bent-over row and the power clean, so they're not likely to get that heavy. If they do, I can always change things.
     
  6. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    I get around the lower back problem of deads/rows by using a Lying Dumbbell Row that let's me get in the upper back work without frying my lower back.

    As regards the 10 calories per pound of body weight, that's what I did to get from 15% to 10% bodyfat, though I added the personal requirement of 10 calories per gram of protein, also. That way I made sure I got enough protein to maintain (or perhaps even produce a little) muscle -- 1gram protein/lb of bodyweight. Some things like skim milk are naturally right at 10 cal/gram of protein -- chicken, lean beef, and tuna are in that range, too. Non-fat cottage cheese is even better!

    So long as you keep your diet focused around these foods, the calorie and protein counting is much easier. It also lets you have an easy low carb/no carb day, yet still keep your protein up.
     
  7. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    Totentanz is right. By Week 3, I'll be doing 5 reps with serious and exhausting weights. That's too much room for injury even if the rows are light. I'll go with his solution, which is:

    Workout A
    Bench Press
    Squat
    Deadlift

    Workout B
    Squat
    Overhead Press
    Power Clean
    Bent-Over Row

    Hey TunnelRat, I find the simple calorie cycling method easier to follow as I won't go hungry most of the time.
     
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry to join in so late in the day.

    Have you thought about doing front squats on one of the squat days (preferably the day you do deads) to take some load off your lower back?

    If it was me, for Workout A, I would put one heavy lift either side of bench to allow myself a bit of a recovery break. I'd rather do Squats, Bench, & then Deads to finish up (or, Deads, Bench and then Front Squats).

    For Workout B, I would do Power Cleans first as any fatigue built up from presses and squats might well mess with your form. Form for cleans is everything. If you have been squatting and pressing heavy weights just beforehand I don't think you will be doing yourself any favours. So I'd do: Power Cleans, Squats, Presses, & Rows.

    Take all this with a pinch of salt though. What works well for me might not for you. Once you get started, you can always change things around if you find something isn't quite right anyway.

    Looks like it's going to be a tough (but good) cycle! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. XFatMan

    XFatMan New Member

    <div>
    (Lol @ Mar. 21 2008,16:05)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If it was me, for Workout A, I would put one heavy lift either side of bench to allow myself a bit of a recovery break. I'd rather do Squats, Bench, &amp; then Deads to finish up (or, Deads, Bench and then Front Squats).</div>
    I'd love to do that, but if I don't go directly to the bench, it will be very busy by the time I have finished any other exercise. I can't afford to wait that long.

    It is my intention to squat every single workout because the squat is my weakest lift and one of my priorities until I can lift decent weights. That's cruel, I know, but I guess it's the only way to go.
     
  10. wannagrow

    wannagrow New Member

    you know if you removed rows from your thing it would be identical to rippetoe's SS programme xD. It just shows that you have a good selection of exercises.
     

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