I think I've been training wrong for 3+ years...

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    I think I've been training wrong for 3+ years...


    Don't get me wrong, I've made huge gains both physically and mentally over the last 3 years of training. Until recently, it has been primarily to obtain a healthier way of life. I've been bitten by the bodybuilding bug and am aiming to compete for the first time in May 2011. To date, my workout routine has always been based off of whatever I've read in magazines and has progressed to what I've found on forums like AM. I've put on a considerable amount of muscle and have lost a respectable amount of body fat. When researching bodybuilders history I have found that some of the best started out strength training first to build a solid base then progressed to traditional bodybuilding. I have been researching Strong Lifts 5x5 which is similar to Madcow program. This takes me from a 5 day split where each day worked a single muscle group using 4 exercises with about 3-4 sets 8-12 reps to a 3 day split consisting of only compound exercises rotating so each exercise is done twice every 7 days. I'm looking to start over and train for strength until I can squat/deadlift/benchpress 1.5xbodyweight which currently is 180. What are your opinions on this?

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    Ok. Sounds good.
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    So my goal at my present weight would be

    Squat/Bench/Dead 270lb 5x5

    I'm not far from that on Dead/Squat but my Bench is where I have room for improvement. I'm working past a phobia of barbells created when my shoulder popped out of socket leaving me pinned under the bar when I first started weight lifting. Ever since then I used dumbells. I don't have a partner so benching max solo is a tricky business without using the smith machine.
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    Your plan sounds good overall. I wouldn't necessarily have a set bodyweight strength ratio in mind. Provided you eat enough you should get both bigger and stronger. Ride out the gains for as long as they last. Some bodybuilders will include some light arm and calf work with programs like this if they feel these areas become disproportionately smaller to the rest of their body. If you do this extra isolation work, keep the weights light and the volume under control so that it doesn't negatively affect your recovery ability.
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    I have been adding calf work as the 5x5 program doesn't directly hit that area. Between bent over rows, pull ups/chin ups I'm hoping my biceps get enough stimulation to grow with the rest of my body. I will add some isolation exercises to the muscle groups if I feel that they are not getting the stimulation.

    TY!
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    create your own 5x5. also, train your triceps heavy if u wanna see your bench go up. also, if you get stuck at a weight, pause at the bottom for 2 seconds then explode up. that does good for your plateau
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    I dont believe in compounds only, a lot of people might disagree but I think it is for people who are time constricted or not serious.
    For me compounds dont grow my arms very well, and they become the weak link as stated above, and shoulders and calves need isolation work also.
    Having certain compounds such as Flat BB bench or elbow out rows dont train the 2ndary muscles in a full ROM and dont even keep tension on them throughout the set, so you get poor growth and therefore overall mediocre strength gains.
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    I went from doing 4 day splits as a newb to a 5x5 and had much better results. My whole body grew.

    Now I do a modified 3x5 program with some added high rep(8-10) movements. I find it hard to keep the intensity and volume up of the 5x5 for long and it tends to get boring. But I do love the core lifts and squating every workout.

    An example of what I do is this -

    Workout A.

    Squat - 3x5
    Bench - 3x5
    rows - 3x5

    I usually do those in "supersets" - squat then bench and then row with 1 minute rests between each excersize.

    Then I do -

    Dips - 3x8(or untill failure)
    t-bar rows - 3x8(or untill failure)
    Supersetted to save time, up intensity.

    Then to finish it all off
    Incline DB presses 2x8-10
    Dropset x2 or 3 of BB curls, EZ bar curls or hammer curls. Whatever I'm feeling like.


    So far I like this. I can get it all done in about 1 hour or less. All while still adding 5lbs to each of the core lifts each week when bulking. The supplemental lifts I'm able to add every other week, again, when bulking.

    But I feel like I get more out of things this way. Some of my area's(arms, delts) need more than the trickle down affect of the larger compound movements to grow in size. Also, when doing a full 5x5 it's hard to have energy to do the extra excersizes without going into overtraining.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dizmal View Post
    I went from doing 4 day splits as a newb to a 5x5 and had much better results. My whole body grew.

    Now I do a modified 3x5 program with some added high rep(8-10) movements. I find it hard to keep the intensity and volume up of the 5x5 for long and it tends to get boring. But I do love the core lifts and squating every workout.

    An example of what I do is this -

    Workout A.

    Squat - 3x5
    Bench - 3x5
    rows - 3x5

    I usually do those in "supersets" - squat then bench and then row with 1 minute rests between each excersize.

    Then I do -

    Dips - 3x8(or untill failure)
    t-bar rows - 3x8(or untill failure)
    Supersetted to save time, up intensity.

    Then to finish it all off
    Incline DB presses 2x8-10
    Dropset x2 or 3 of BB curls, EZ bar curls or hammer curls. Whatever I'm feeling like.


    So far I like this. I can get it all done in about 1 hour or less. All while still adding 5lbs to each of the core lifts each week when bulking. The supplemental lifts I'm able to add every other week, again, when bulking.

    But I feel like I get more out of things this way. Some of my area's(arms, delts) need more than the trickle down affect of the larger compound movements to grow in size. Also, when doing a full 5x5 it's hard to have energy to do the extra excersizes without going into overtraining.

    I think you hit the nail on the head as to what I'm trying to achieve. I've been doing everying from GVT to the Omega Project over the years and yes I have seen results but I haven't "GROWN" to bodybuilding status. I'm going back to a 5x5 to obtain a strong base to build off of. I'm about a month in now and yes it feels as though I'm not working hard enough but as I'm getting closer to my max in each exercise I can tell I need to jack up the intensity to keep progressing
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    I dont believe in compounds only, a lot of people might disagree but I think it is for people who are time constricted or not serious.
    For me compounds dont grow my arms very well, and they become the weak link as stated above, and shoulders and calves need isolation work also.
    Having certain compounds such as Flat BB bench or elbow out rows dont train the 2ndary muscles in a full ROM and dont even keep tension on them throughout the set, so you get poor growth and therefore overall mediocre strength gains.
    +1

    Someone way back when had a great comment: Doing only basic compound lifts gives on a basic physique.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgenyo View Post
    I think you hit the nail on the head as to what I'm trying to achieve. I've been doing everying from GVT to the Omega Project over the years and yes I have seen results but I haven't "GROWN" to bodybuilding status. I'm going back to a 5x5 to obtain a strong base to build off of. I'm about a month in now and yes it feels as though I'm not working hard enough but as I'm getting closer to my max in each exercise I can tell I need to jack up the intensity to keep progressing
    I don't buy into that strength training base malarkey. I read that in Arnold's encyclopedia and bought into it at the time but he conveniently left out the part about popping d-bols.

    This takes the thread in a different direction but how's your diet? If you are not counting you calories and measuring your portions then you will probably get better gains out of doing that rather than sweating over minute training details.

    Also what is 'bodybuilding' status? Make sure you are not comparing yourself to pro's and models who are likely using gear.
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    points taken. either way the change of pace is good for my muscle confusion so I'll press onward and adjust where needed.

    TY for all the comments.
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    i just switched to this workout about 2 weeks ago and i love it.

    mon - back and chest
    tues - arms
    wed - off
    thurs - legs and shoulders
    Friday - chest and back
    Sat - legs
    Sun - off
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