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    1. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      02-16-2015 05:08 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by osiris View Post
      I hate body-part splits for people who aren't trying to be competitive bodybuilders. For the fairly active, weekend-warrior athlete, I would stick with full body training centered around the major lifts. This will make your body stronger. How much mass (muscle or fat) you carry on your body is decided largely by what you eat and your genetics, and in a much smaller way by your training methodology. You are doing plenty of "cardio" and general activity in your life outside of the gym. Your legs may be good at cycling, but they are probably not that strong. If you can't comfortably squat 300 pounds at 225 pounds body weight, your legs aren't strong.

      You can't make your body lose fat in certain areas with training, your body stores fat where it wants to. All you can do is make the fat on your body go away in a general sense, and that is best helped (via training) by increasing the total volume of muscle on your body. This is done most efficiently by working the biggest muscles on your body...which happen to be on your legs, back, and chest.

      People (especially those new to training) tend to massively overthink lifting when they start out, because there is so much bro-science being spewed by people who want to sell you something or want to create confirmation bias for themselves. Training for strength first is the best way to reap all of the benefits of lifting weights- increased athletic ability, improved physical appearance, and better health.
      Great post. Minor quibble: squats are more than just a leg exercise. You could have very strong legs, but if your core and supporting muscles aren't strong enough, you will never have a decent squat. I will say that I started out with a routine kind of like the OP. It took me a while to come around to a routine centered around big lifts and free weights, but I am glad that I did.

      On a side note, it frustrates me to no end that commercial gyms will often have a whole floor full of every conceivable machine variation, but have ONE power rack in the corner. Not only does it send the wrong message to Noobs, it always ends up with lines for the equipment.
      Last edited by Nealric; 02-16-2015 at 05:10 PM.

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    3. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-16-2015 06:14 PM #27
      As I continue to sort through the information and research proper form and techniques, I ran across this program:

      http://stronglifts.com/5x5/

      It appeals to me because its relatively simple and linear. It also seems to incorporate the concepts you guys have all been talking about in a way that makes sense to me.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

    4. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      02-16-2015 06:48 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by Seabird View Post
      As I continue to sort through the information and research proper form and techniques, I ran across this program:

      http://stronglifts.com/5x5/

      It appeals to me because its relatively simple and linear. It also seems to incorporate the concepts you guys have all been talking about in a way that makes sense to me.
      ^ Pretty similar to starting strength. My only issue is that there was no way in H-E-Double Hockey Stick I could have done as much squatting as it recommends when starting out. I could barely walk 48 hours after squatting heavy (and by heavy, I mean heavy for me- I started extremely light in absolute terms), let alone do another squat workout. It may work better for younger folk who can recover quicker.

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      02-16-2015 07:01 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Seabird View Post
      As I continue to sort through the information and research proper form and techniques, I ran across this program:

      http://stronglifts.com/5x5/

      It appeals to me because its relatively simple and linear. It also seems to incorporate the concepts you guys have all been talking about in a way that makes sense to me.
      If it interests you and you would stick with it, then go for it. You can't go wrong with any of the suggestions and most of us have run these with success. The key is consistency and to get yourself in a mental state that you enjoy getting to the gym and making progress.

    6. Member sortadelux's Avatar
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      02-16-2015 07:29 PM #30
      This thread has come at the perfect time for me as a couple of life changes have shoved me back into the gym. Not only is the 5x5 simple but it seems to be relatively quick. This guy seems to be awfully opinionated about his technique. Do see any problems with what he does?
      "Never attribute to maliciousness that which can be attributed to stupidity."

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      02-16-2015 08:20 PM #31
      What guy are you referring to?

    8. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-16-2015 10:20 PM #32
      I think he's referring Mehdi, the guy in the Stronglift videos.

      Did my first routine tonight based on his recommended starting weights; squats, bench press, barbell rows. The squats were a little tougher than I expected, but I'm not too weak or wobly. I think I need to add weight. Wed is squats, overhead barbell press, and deadlift.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

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      02-16-2015 11:41 PM #33
      Great brotha. You are on the right course. Keep at it and let us know how it is going and if we can be of help. Trust us, you will be surprised and happy at what building an overall strong physique can feel like.

    10. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-17-2015 01:04 AM #34
      Thanks again. I will check in and update periodically. Hopefully others like sortadelux who find themselves in the same boat can get some value for it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

    11. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      02-17-2015 10:26 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by sortadelux View Post
      This thread has come at the perfect time for me as a couple of life changes have shoved me back into the gym. Not only is the 5x5 simple but it seems to be relatively quick. This guy seems to be awfully opinionated about his technique. Do see any problems with what he does?
      I don't think his technique is problematic, although my take is some of the things don't matter quite as much as he says. For example, I really don't think it's the end of the world if you don't do rows starting on the floor. Perhaps it's because I've never been very flexible, but I could never get comfortable doing rows that way. It also requires equal diameter bumper plates unless you are rowing at least 135 (bar and two full size 45 plates), which most gyms don't have.

    12. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-17-2015 10:38 AM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by Nealric View Post
      I don't think his technique is problematic, although my take is some of the things don't matter quite as much as he says. For example, I really don't think it's the end of the world if you don't do rows starting on the floor. Perhaps it's because I've never been very flexible, but I could never get comfortable doing rows that way. It also requires equal diameter bumper plates unless you are rowing at least 135 (bar and two full size 45 plates), which most gyms don't have.
      I am fortunate. My gym has three power racks and low weight large diameter plates in 10, 25 and 35 lb increments.

      And what I said yesterday about not feeling wobbly. Yeah, about that...
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

    13. 02-17-2015 05:40 PM #37
      I don't know what Stronglifts says about progression and starting weights, but my advice would be to start with what seems absurdly light and add on a small amount of weight every week. If you haven't squatted in the past, start with the bar only, then slowly increase the weight. Something like this:

      45 lbs (bar only)
      65 lbs
      85 lbs
      105
      125
      135
      +10 lbs weekly until you hit the weight that feels like you are pushing with a lot of effort on the last rep of the last set
      +5 lbs weekly until you hit the weight that feels like you are pushing with a lot of effort on the last rep of the set

      If you fail (meaning you don't complete every rep of every set with proper form) at any weight along the way, knock off around 20% of the weight, and start back with +10 lb weekly progression.

      Once you can bench your body weight, squat 1.25x your body weight, and deadlift 1.5x your body weight, feel free to switch to whatever bodybuilding program you want if that is your goal.

    14. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-17-2015 06:27 PM #38
      For the squats, I started off doing two sets with an empty bar per his recommendation as a warm-up. Then I threw on a couple of 10 lb plates and went through 5 sets at 5 reps per. His recommendation is to add 5 lbs each workout for as long as you can. That might be optimistic, and I figure that I'll probably have some failures doing the full 5x5. My plan is to not add the incremental weight until I can make it through all 25 reps without failure.

      For the weights, he recommends starting with just the bar on the first day. So...

      Week 1:
      -Mon - 45
      -Wed - 55
      -Fri - 60

      Week 2:
      -Mon - 65
      -Wed - 70
      -Fri - 75

      ...and so on...

      If I manage to maintain that rate of increase while also dropping my fat weight, I should be squatting at or around my body weight in 6-8 weeks. Unless my math is off.
      Last edited by Seabird; 02-17-2015 at 06:37 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

    15. 02-18-2015 03:01 PM #39
      I think squatting three times a week is going to become overkill very quickly. Teenagers and college kids can squat all the time and they have the hormones to recover and make progress. As I've moved into my thirties, I find that I need at least 3 days of rest between squats to fully recover and be able to push hard the next session.

    16. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-18-2015 04:18 PM #40
      You could be very right. I'm going to do my best to follow the routine as best I can. I'll update as I go. Tonight will be my second time at it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

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      02-18-2015 04:42 PM #41
      My opinion is that you should follow a program as it is designed, especially when you are first learning. They are set up and designed for a reason. Once you gain experience, you can tweak things and customize, but even then it is good to come back to a proven template and follow it.

    18. Member JCJetta's Avatar
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      02-18-2015 05:48 PM #42
      And stick with a program for a good 3-6 months for it to be truly effective. Patience. Enjoy your newbie gains which will probably arrive within 3 months or so, but push through a program keeping track of your progress and focusing on quality of the movements. You'll never stop learning, so don't expect perfection. I'm one of the older farts here and have over 20 years experience; in the last 5 years I've made major changes to my lifts and technique. In some cases it was almost like starting completely over.

      Finally, do not feel compelled to compete with the Bros at the gym or anyone else for that matter. Do your thing and do it well; make training time something you enjoy, look forward to, even earn.

      Last but not least, never do curls on the squat rack.

    19. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      02-18-2015 06:27 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by JCJetta View Post

      Last but not least, never do curls on the squat rack.

      LOL!

      When I was still brand new to this gym and learning the local culture, there was a guy doing curls in the power rack. He would do a set of bench presses within the cage, then sit up and do curls. I didn't know any better until I noticed two guys clearly annoyed at having to wait on him (there is another bench outside of the cage that's hardly ever occupied for long). Eventually one of them walked over not saying a word, and starts doing chin ups on the rack right in front of the guy so that if he sat up for another set of curls, chin-up guy's junk was in his face. Kind of aggressive-passive-aggressive.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

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      02-18-2015 07:14 PM #44
      aggressive passive aggressive

    21. Member sortadelux's Avatar
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      02-19-2015 08:56 PM #45
      No curls in the squat rack, got it.

      We have the "update facetagram for 15 minutes" girls taking up at least one every morning. Luckily our gym has 3.

      I'm struggling integrating squats into my routine as the last couple times I've done them, my back really took a beating. I've stayed to the incline leg press for the better part of a year now but would like to get back to squats. Clearly my form needs work, but until that happens is it better to stick to a smith machine or keep it light in the regular rack?
      "Never attribute to maliciousness that which can be attributed to stupidity."

    22. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      02-19-2015 09:37 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by sortadelux View Post
      No curls in the squat rack, got it.

      We have the "update facetagram for 15 minutes" girls taking up at least one every morning. Luckily our gym has 3.

      I'm struggling integrating squats into my routine as the last couple times I've done them, my back really took a beating. I've stayed to the incline leg press for the better part of a year now but would like to get back to squats. Clearly my form needs work, but until that happens is it better to stick to a smith machine or keep it light in the regular rack?
      Work the rack with light weight staying mindful of technique. Smith machine will train bad form.

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      02-19-2015 09:40 PM #47
      Your form will never get better in the smith machine. Stay out of it, go low weight in the squat rack, and learn your form properly. It will be frustrating in the beginning, but oh so worth it.
      Last edited by Papa Dras; 02-19-2015 at 10:30 PM.

    24. Member JCJetta's Avatar
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      02-19-2015 09:48 PM #48
      Quote Originally Posted by Papa Dras View Post
      Your form will never get better in the Smith Machine. Stay out of it, go low weight in the squat rack, and learn your form properly. It will be frustrating in the beginning, but oh so worth it.
      Fixed that for him, seriously.

      You'll get so much more from squatting 95lbs on a real squat rack than a couple of plates on a Smithtard Machine. Weight training is not a race, it is training.

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      02-19-2015 10:29 PM #49
      I had racks on my mind. Thanks, I edited.

    26. Chili Bigot Seabird's Avatar
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      03-03-2015 12:10 PM #50
      Bump for a question. It's going to be somewhat subjective and probably academic since it won't really impact my routine, but here goes... I am now into my 3rd week of the 5x5 program. Mehdi (the guy who does the StrongLifts blog) warns that after the 3rd week, some plateauing is expected because the weights are now "heavy". He mentions that progress only really begins with heavy weight. I guess up to this point, it's been one long warm-up.

      I have seen some oblique references to "lifting heavy weights" elsewhere, but what does that mean? Obviously, a 400 lb deadlift is heavy. But is there any other scale to follow? Does "heavy" begin at a specific weight or a specific ratio to body weight? 200 lbs? 1.5x body weight? 2x?

      Also, given that Mehdi is a Belgian with what I presume is a French accent, I try to consider some translation and idiomatic differences with his jargon and descriptions.
      Last edited by Seabird; 03-03-2015 at 12:33 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Col. David Crockett
      I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to Hell, and I would go to Texas.

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