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Beginner Routines Discussion (From Cerebro's Am I on the Right Track Thread

Training discussion on Beginner Routines Discussion (From Cerebro's Am I on the Right Track Thread, within the Bodybuilding Forum; Originally Posted by Sentinel do not do starting strength. do something different... Monday Squats 3x5 (+5 lbs from last friday) ...


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Old 03-05-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
Jonson
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Question Beginner Routines Discussion (From Cerebro's Am I on the Right Track Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
do not do starting strength.

do something different...

Monday
Squats 3x5 (+5 lbs from last friday)
Military Press 3x5
Rows 3x5

Wednesday
Squats 2x5 @ 50% of Monday
Glute Ham Raises 2-4 sets
Bench Press 3x5
Pull-ups 4x failure

Friday
Deadlifts 2x5
Squats 3x5 @ 90% of Monday
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3x6-12
Dips 3-4 sets

Squat progression is 5 lbs every week on monday.

Military Press is the same.

Bench Press is the same.

Barbell Rows is the same.

For Glute Ham Raises try and do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. work upto that. then add weight if you can. form must be perfect otherwise you'll be accused of doing "glorified leg curls" (as i am from time to time )

For Deadlifts, add 5 lbs every week for 6 weeks and then on week 7 take 50% of your previous week and do a few light sets of 2-3 reps.. then on week 8 take 20 lbs off what you did on week 6 and start doing 2x5 and add 5 lbs every week from there. you might need to use this on the bench press, squat, military press and perhaps rows as well.

For pull-ups do 4 sets to failure. try to increase reps each week and if you think you've reached a good level (like 4x10 or something) then add weight to your body by holding dumbbells between your feet or something..and try getting solid reps then.

For incline dumbbell presses try to slowly progress by adding reps each week. start off with 3x6, then the following week take the same weight and do 3x7, then 3x8, etc...you can even do a different variation like unilateral presses, etc but save those for later.

try different variations of exercises. dont just stick to 5.

good luck

ps: buy Starting Strength nonetheless because it will help you with form. but thats all: learning form.

Sentinal I can see how the routine listed works, but this routine looks like an intermediate set up.
Cerebro would make faster progress on the bare bones SS routine as he is a rank begginer, why do squats at +5lb only every monday when he will be able to put 5lb on every workout at this stage?
Thanks Jonson
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:42 PM   #2
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I don't think it's a matter of how fast you can progress but flexibility in progression instead of this "one size fits all" approach. Fastest possible progression isn't always the best approach and I have the PM's to prove it

There is a difference between recieving instuction on the lifts and "learning" them, for one thing. Taking a new exercise and aggressively loading it right off the bat, workout to workout, isn't always going to be best for the long term. What I see is people starting out great simply because the weights are light and then 40 to 50 pounds later their squats look like a big pile of meat with a barbell on top of it. And they are back tracking and trying to figure out what went wrong.

SS is a good starting template, I think, from which to proceed but it suffers from over-rigidity and a too enthusiastic belief in it's own infallibility. There are some simple and beneficial things in terms of useful variety that could help people keep everything moving in a healthy way and also take care of the strength gains AND the mass gains without being totally obliterated by the SAME thing all the time.

Simple is good but the problems is RULES instead of GUIDELINES.

I used to recommend it across the board but I found myself in the journals writing thesis's on fix-ups for what is supposed to be simple and straight forward all the while thinking it could have been avoided by some simple modifications. There is a lot of stuck in the mud thinking in it.

What defines a beginner is that he can progress more often and yes, more than once a week. But that does not mean he needs to dig a hole in the floor and basically dial in all the imperfections he picks up from a too-agressive and unbalanced approach.

People suffer, as I've said again and again, from trying to decide between extremes. We look at bodybuilding splits and we see a bunch of useless variey for the sake of variety so we say...you only need to do this handful of thing day in and day out. One exteme to the other. So you end up with bodybuildinder's doing too much variety with no clear purpose and "strength and mass" people doing not enough variety if none at all.

Sentinel put in ghr's, for instance, because he knows that getting those glutes (and hams) on board is going to do a lot to power people's squatting and keep them healthy in the long run.

My solution would have been to simple replace squats with a wide stance single leg version to do the same thing with a compound movement that works the whole hip and leg but blasts the glutes and hams, helps with typical imbalances, and improves squatting in the long run. Plus it give you big ass legs.

3x5 and 5x5, when it comes down to it is middle ground strength and "bodybuilding" stuff. So it's kind of funny that it should become so stifled in other ways too and become completely middle of the road.

Last edited by EricT; 03-05-2008 at 03:12 PM..

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:09 PM   #3
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^^^ nice post and good thing you spoke for me because i would NEVER be able to word my reasons as perfectly...

oh, one more reason why i said something different and not SS....im tired of everyone doing the same program and as that being the ONLY program which can be done. i like different variations and the like

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Old 03-05-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Oh I was speaking for myself . You were pretty clear in what you wrote. The only problem is I think it is too rigid which is what I'm trying to get away from. It's like people don't even know they can progress in other ways anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I like the basic SS template I just don't want to make a religion out of it. Never stop expanding your horizons or you'll find your world shrinking.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric3237 View Post
Never stop expanding your horizons or you'll find your world shrinking.
Thats an awesome quote.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:41 AM   #6
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This always seems to happen with "new" programs. It gets a cult like following (whether deserved or not), then eventually people get sick of hearing about it all the time and there's some sort of backlash. Sentinel's statement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel
im tired of everyone doing the same program and as that being the ONLY program which can be done. i like different variations and the like
is a perfect expression of this phenomenon. It's not that SS now has a bunch of insurmountable problems, but that he's just sick of hearing about it. If you're sick of hearing about it and like to write variations that's fine, but that's not the program's fault.


You guys are definately spot on about a few of the problems though.

1) The loading is too aggressive; way too aggressive in some cases. From tends to break down with 5-10 lb jumps on the squat per SESSION, especially three times a week! You see the problems first hand on Rip's Q&A. Lots of kids who've been training for a few weeks and are starting to test themselves on the squat, and their form has already broken down. There's no need for this. There are millions of ways to get around this by simply cyclying or varying the load and taking the progression a bit slower.

2) The program is really rigid. Rip is really adament about forgetting specific assistance work until way later on. This can cause SOME people to have trouble if those specific assistance lifts would have corrected a glaring problem. Plus, the rigidity of the workouts can get really broing. Lots of people don't want to do Squat / Press / Pull every workout for a year, even if it would be the most effective route at this point.


Regardless, I still see the basic SS template as the BEST place for any novice to start off. The loading needs to be varied, but that's about the only real problem I see needing to be fixed. I don't see any reason to mess around with the exercises or the basic A-B set up. As long as proress is still moving along fine, there's no reason someone needs to include specific assistance stuff either. If imballances develop, weaknesses crop up, or the trainee is bored with the program, then introducing assistance stuff and variety in exercise choice would make sense. This can be included as needed. Including it off the bat sounds like simply adding assistance for the sake of assistance, and variety for the sake of variety.

Cheers,
Jeff


EDIT: Forgot to sign. Always sign. Can't forget....
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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Well I agree and disagree. Here is my suggestion. If everyone anyone wants to insist that ANY cookie cutter is appropriate for most every beginner then I suggest they get in those journals and help people through it when all these problems, from sore knees, straing adductors, bad form, inflexibility problems, etc. crop up. Put your money where you mouth is.

There are a lot of things wrong with the basic A-B format and it is NOT the best way to go for the average trainee. I agree of course about people just being sick of hearing about it but I for one spend loads of time helping people with it despite the fact that I now recommend changes to it. Rip comes from a world where he can put his hands on people, give them some cues and watch them do a few good reps. Totally different world going on here.

As far as my suggestion for adding assistance, I know exactly what kind of assistance is likely to be useful for the average guy and the average bag of problems. If you want to get into a discussion about why certain movements may be helpful, even for a beginner, let's go! . I don't see SOME people having trouble, I see way too many having trouble.

Again, no offense, but a lot of the things people say about this kind of thing is taken on faith, it's a 'everybody knows" phenomenom. I know what I see, and I see most people getting strains and form breaking down. And that IS the programs fault because a program is meant to fit and individual. Hey, people don't tend to get hurt by the programs I help them design, they get better Not that I'm volunteering. I'm just suggesting some sound changes. But these changes alter things enough to where it might not be considered SS anymore.

Last edited by EricT; 03-06-2008 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #8
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I've got no problems with modifying something you need to modify it. I do have a problem with saying program X is no good because some people might have to modify it.

I've yet to see any problem with the basic A-B format for a beginner. As long as loading isn't too aggressive and variation is incorporated if/when necessary, a novice can do just fine with it for a quite a while. I also see nothing wrong with forgetting assistance stuff until it's necessary.

I'm well aware that some trainees run into various problems, such as muscular strains and bad form habits, but "some" doesn't mean "all," and to suggest that everyone needs to change the program because some people have trouble with it is unnecessary. I'm sure you've dealt with plenty of people who've had problems and needed help, but does that prove that the program needs to be scrapped? No, it needs to be modified.

This is a NOVICE program, and any novice I've trained with this hasn't needed to start off with Glute-Ham raises, or pull throughs, or whatever, unless he's actually having trouble activating his posterior chain. Here the modification would be necessary. If he isn't having trouble with this, then he doesn't need to do them until extra PC work is useful, or he just gets bored and wants to try them out.

One problem I do see is that a lot of people starting this program are actually false novices, with a few years of quad knee bends and way too many partial bench presses under their belts, so they usually have some imballances that can be helped with specific assistance exercises or more emphasis somewhere.

My major problem was this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentenil

do not do starting strength.

do something different...
Why not? Just beause some people have had trouble with it? Just because some people needed to add certain assistance stuff to correct problems? Just because some people loaded to aggressively and their form broke down and they developed hip flexor or knee pain? To catagorically say "do NOT do Starting Strength" just becuase some people have reported problems with it reminds me of your sig.

Starting Strength as written is fine for any true NOVICE, no exercise modifications or assistance work necessary until/unless they are necessary. The only thing that needs to be modified is the loading, which can be too agressive for someone without a more experienced person watching them. Here's where the internet breaks down :(

I guess we'll just have to disagree on this one bro!
Jeff


PS: Which assistance exercises have you had to use with people? I've had to use pull throughs and hip extensions to help with PS activation, as well as face pulls and scapulae retraction stuff to help the shoulders out. So far nothing else has been necessary, but I'm sure you've had more experience with this than me.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric3237 View Post
I don't think it's a matter of how fast you can progress but flexibility in progression instead of this "one size fits all" approach. Fastest possible progression isn't always the best approach and I have the PM's to prove it

There is a difference between recieving instuction on the lifts and "learning" them, for one thing. Taking a new exercise and aggressively loading it right off the bat, workout to workout, isn't always going to be best for the long term. What I see is people starting out great simply because the weights are light and then 40 to 50 pounds later their squats look like a big pile of meat with a barbell on top of it. And they are back tracking and trying to figure out what went wrong.

SS is a good starting template, I think, from which to proceed but it suffers from over-rigidity and a too enthusiastic belief in it's own infallibility. There are some simple and beneficial things in terms of useful variety that could help people keep everything moving in a healthy way and also take care of the strength gains AND the mass gains without being totally obliterated by the SAME thing all the time.

Simple is good but the problems is RULES instead of GUIDELINES.

I used to recommend it across the board but I found myself in the journals writing thesis's on fix-ups for what is supposed to be simple and straight forward all the while thinking it could have been avoided by some simple modifications. There is a lot of stuck in the mud thinking in it.

What defines a beginner is that he can progress more often and yes, more than once a week. But that does not mean he needs to dig a hole in the floor and basically dial in all the imperfections he picks up from a too-agressive and unbalanced approach.

People suffer, as I've said again and again, from trying to decide between extremes. We look at bodybuilding splits and we see a bunch of useless variey for the sake of variety so we say...you only need to do this handful of thing day in and day out. One exteme to the other. So you end up with bodybuildinder's doing too much variety with no clear purpose and "strength and mass" people doing not enough variety if none at all.

Sentinel put in ghr's, for instance, because he knows that getting those glutes (and hams) on board is going to do a lot to power people's squatting and keep them healthy in the long run.

My solution would have been to simple replace squats with a wide stance single leg version to do the same thing with a compound movement that works the whole hip and leg but blasts the glutes and hams, helps with typical imbalances, and improves squatting in the long run. Plus it give you big ass legs.

3x5 and 5x5, when it comes down to it is middle ground strength and "bodybuilding" stuff. So it's kind of funny that it should become so stifled in other ways too and become completely middle of the road.

I didn't look at it like that proper form is more important than progression a couple of times with my own training I have reset the weight back because of form issues.
Im interested in these single leg squats Eric? how would you incorporate these into a typical SS program? and whats the best way to do them?
Thanks Jonson
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:07 PM   #10
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Just my $0.02

I'm seeing this sort of phenomenon as well. People hit the web, download a program and that becomes their bible. It may be alright to have these aggresive loading phases or 'advanced' exercises if you're more than a beginner...but in that case you're not going to use a beginner's program anyhow.

Here are a few problems I'm seeing more and more:

1)Core strengthening is emphasized as an overall way to increase your lifts...so everyone does soo much core that it actually impacts their training in a bad way (ie. fatigue, soreness, etc)

2)Alot of people starting out are not very strong and some are even a bit heavier...this may not seem like a problem but (sorry anuj but I'm not trying to pick on you) when you say do some GHR's and they can't physically do them it is a big problem. Because they're in the program they usually stick with it and use a horrid form or use their arms to help them...which IMO defeats the purpose of using GHR's. If you can do them properly then they are a huge asset.

3)Like was said earlier, these loading cycles or rapid progression are coming at an expense of form and safety. People loading a bar and doing quarter squats while their back quivers like a scared animal. Sure they're squatting more and more weight, but the cost is too high. Same goes for alot of other exercises, namely bench (bouncing weight off the chest) and deadlifts (heavily arched back or a heavily mechanical movement)

I'm not sure who I'm agreeing with or if I'm just regurgitating the same thing, but I'm swaying toward the mindset that you can't just throw a program at someone and say go do this. Simply because you need to know that the person starting the program understands what to do, how to do it, and that they're capable of doing it.

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