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adale private msg quote post Address this user
I haven't lifted consistently in a long time. Finally going to make a run to be the strongest I can while still in my 20's, currently 23. Plan is to run a simple beginner program 4x week. Greg Nuckol's beginner high variation program. I will be bulking during this time.

Stats
23yr
5'10
170lbs


Maxes
Squat 155x2
Bench 130x2
Deadlift 205x2
OHP 90x1

Starting point: clickable text

Here's my first week in review:
Day 1
Squat 6x3 120lbs
Close grip bench 5x4 80lbs
RDL 4x6 95lbs
Bent-over Barbell Row 65x17 70x17
Lat pulldown 2x10 35lbs
Bicep curls 2x15 cable 20lbs


Day 2
OHP 6x3 65lbs
Front Squat 5x4 70lbs
Dips Bodyweight, 2x8 1x3
Leg extensions 2x10 70lbs add 1x13
Leg curls 1x10 65lbs, 1x13 50lbs


Day 3
Deadlift 6x3 160lbs
Push press 5x4 65lbs
Paused squat 4x2 70lbs
Side delt raises 2x10 15lbs
Rear delt raises 2x10 15lbs
Pec fly machine 2x10 35lbs


Day 4
Bench press 6x3 100lbs
Sumo deadlift 5x4 95lbs
DB OHP 4x6 20lbs
Pull ups 1x6, 1x5
Calf raises 3x15 70lbs
Tricep extensions 2x10 25lbs

Plan is to try and progress the Big 3 by 10lbs a week for as long as possible. Bench I'll probably get to 130 then let it go up by 5lbs a week. In 3 months I want to squat 225lbs, bench 185lbs, Deadlift 315lbs.
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THE GODFATHER wannabemuscular private msg quote post Address this user
I'm not sure that you should be working only triples on Squat, Bench, and Deadlift at your stage. Generally, reps get lower on the big 3 when you're much higher up on weight and more advanced on those lifts. You being a newb and not very strong yet, I think at least a 5x5 approach might be better.

What is the "high variation" aspect of the program? Is there a template you can share here?
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@wannabemuscular

The low reps is to allow me to really dial in my form. The high variation part is the close variation of the main lifts like close grip bench and front squat. The low variation had you doing the same big 4 everyday with different rep scheme depending on the day.

I can’t take a good screenshot of the program because it’s on an excel sheet. But you can find it here clickable text

Here is a breakdown of his reasoning for low reps for beginners:

“You should stay a long way away from failure on your sets, at least early on.

The more you have to strain to complete a rep, the more your form will break down, at least until you’ve gained proficiency with the motor pattern.

Let’s say you’re doing sets of 5, and the first three are beautiful, flawless reps, the fourth is a little shaky, and the fifth looks distinctly different from the first three. You’re ingraining the proper motor pattern you want to learn with 60% of your work, and something else with the other 40%. That makes it take longer to gain proficiency with the proper technique.

To get in enough work while avoiding failure and technical breakdown, multiple sets of low reps are your best bet. The fewer reps you do each set, the less fatigue you’ll develop from your first rep to your last rep, and the shorter the time you need to be locked in and focused on your technique will be.”
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Jsn3004 private msg quote post Address this user
I don't have time to read the article right now, I might check it out later, but it's hard to imagine someone doing "beautiful, flawless reps" then your form just suddenly breaks down and turns to shit.
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jostrosky private msg quote post Address this user
I agree with @wannabemuscular. If you are trying to work on your form why would lift heavy for three reps? I would shoot for a 5 x 5 with the "big three" then add in accessory lifts i.e. shoulder raises, pull ups, lunges etc.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@jostrosky @Jsn3004 Is it not easier to lift heavy for 3 reps versus 5? Rep 4 and 5 you might start grinding. Overall the volume of 6x3 is 18, which is only 3 more than a standard 3x5 program. I can see the benefit of doing a 5x5 because its more volume, but don't most people drop it to 3x5 to continue the gains? Overall will there be such a big difference if I do 6x3 vs 5x5/3x5 for my main lifts? Also the weights I started with are 75% of my max to allow some room for growth.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
Here's the program. @wannabemuscular

Day 1
Squat 6x3, 5-10lbs heavier than you've gone before
Close Grip Bench Press 5x4, starting with 60% of your bench press load
Romanian Deadlift 4x6, starting with 50% of your DL load
Rows of your choice 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on lat/mid/lower trap contraction
Lat Pulldowns 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on lat contraction
Biceps Curls 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on biceps contraction

Day 2
OHP 6x3, 5-10lbs heavier than you've gone before
Front squat 5x4, starting with 60% of your back squat load, and trying to add weight each week
Dips Bodyweight, 3 sets of as many clean reps as possible. Add external load when you're getting at least 12 reps on your third set
Leg extensions 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on quadriceps contraction
Leg curls 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on hamstrings contraction
Glute bridges 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on glute contraction

Day 3
Deadlift 6x3, 5-10lbs heavier than you've gone before
Push Press 5x4, starting with 90% of your OHP load
Paused squat 4x2, starting with 60% of your back squat load, trying to add weight each week
Side delt raises 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on lateral delt contraction
Rear delt raises 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on posterior delt contraction
Pec flyes 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on pectoral contraction

Day 4
Bench Press 6x3, 5-10lbs heavier than you've gone before
Opposite stance deadlift 5x4, starting with 60% of your normal stance DL load
DB OHP 4x6, starting with 30% of your OHP load in each hand
Pull-ups or pulldowns 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on lat contraction
Calf raises 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on calf contraction
Triceps Extensions 1-2 sets of 10-25 controlled reps, focusing on triceps contraction
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The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
Aside from questionable exercise selection, this program does seem to have some basic flaws. You can't train continuously with "5-10 pounds heavier than you've gone before" for long, before you'll start killing you joints and fatiguing your CNS. It's also odd that the program is focused on sets of 3 for perfect form, but then advocates as many as 25 reps. -3X
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@eknight the 10-25 reps are for exercises that aren’t as technical as the big 3. They’re there to get some volume on the prime movers and balance out your development a bit. It’s just like any other power building routine, low reps to begin and high reps to finish off. The program is only meant to be run for a few months until you get out of the beginner stage then you can follow more high volume programs. Doesn’t SS prescribe a more aggressive 5-10lbs per session versus the weekly progression suggested here.

Maybe my post is giving a fragmented view of Greg’s ideals on training. It may be best to look at the the training program in its entirety by downloading the excel located in the link I posted. Also reading his writing that accompanies the training programs.

I just want to make clear that I’m not trying to argue with you guys as a complete novice. I just think there’s some merit to this guy’s teachings since he was a former record holding powerlifter. As such I’m looking at this as a healthy debate.
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The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
SS also has you start with an empty bar, doesn't it? I think it's awesome that you're open to take advice, and also that you took the initiative to find a routine that you've put some thought into. I just wouldn't run it myself. Based on my experience as a trainer and PTA, I've found that movements like rows, lat pulls, lateral raises and glute bridges are just as technically challenging for beginners as the big three. Many people allow other muscles to compensate for the ones they are targteing with those movements. I would also say that OHP has poor carryover to powerlifting, and can be quite the shoulder wrecker because it's an unnatural movement. Finally, those leg extensions.....ugh. Squats and deads require incredibly strong hamstrings and knee stability- leg extensions actually take the hams out of the movement entirely and create a LOT of stress on the knees.

Reps for calling the middle delt head "lateral delts," and not "medial delts," (which is incorrect). -3X
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@eknight I'm actually interested about your opinions on OHP. Could you go more into detail about how its unnatural and a shoulder wrecker? I know how you feel about leg extensions lol, but I like them doing them and I don't feel any pain.
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The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
There are several joints that make up the shoulder. One of them is the glenohumeral joint- known as the ball and socket, where the upper arm (humerus) glides against the socket (formed by the glenoid fossa of scapula). The position that this joint is most stressed in is when the arm is abducted and externally rotated at the same time- the exact position that barbell OHP puts the joint in. That’s also the position that the long head of the biceps tendon and one of the rotator cuff muscles (the supraspinatus) tendon are squeezed (impinged) against part of the scapula (the acromion). When you add resistance to the position (ie, weight for pressing) it creates further stress and impingement. -3X
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@eknight @wannabemuscular
Okay guys, I listened to your suggestions and found a program that better matches what you all said. Its a 3x week DUP program with AMAP progression on the main lifts. With deadlifts having a slightly different progression - click here for DL progression

Progression: If you got 8 or fewer reps on your AMAP set, then stick with the same weight from the prior week. If you got 9 or 10 reps, increase by 5 pounds. If you got 11 or 12 reps, increase by 10 pounds. If you got more than 12 reps, increase by 15 pounds.

If you got 6 or fewer reps on your AMAP set, then stick with the same weight from the prior week. If you got 7 or 8 reps, increase by 5 pounds. If you got 9 or 10 reps, increase by 10 pounds. If you got more than 10 reps, increase by 15 pounds.

If you got 4 or fewer reps on your AMAP set, then stick with the same weight from the prior week. If you got 5 or 6 reps, increase by 5 pounds. If you got 7 or 8 reps, increase by 10 pounds. If you got more than 8 reps, increase by 15 pounds.

Tuesday
Squat 70%
2x8
1x AMAP
Bench 70%
2x8
1x AMAP
Deadlift (see image for progression)
Pull ups 3xAMAP
Barbell row 3x8
Lying DB tricep extension 2x10

Thursday
Squat 75%
2x6
1x AMAP
Bench 75%
2x6
1x AMAP
Lat pulldown 3x8
Facepull 3x10
Bicep curls 2x10

Saturday
Squat 80%
2x4
1x AMAP
Bench 80%
2x4
1x AMAP
Sumo Deadlift (see image for progression)
Pull ups 3xAMAP
Barbell row 3x8
Lying DB tricep extension 2x10

Accessory work is completely at my discretion, therefore, I'm open to suggestions.
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THE GODFATHER wannabemuscular private msg quote post Address this user
@adale I definitely like this better.

A few things:
- Add some Leg Curls or something to hit the hammies directly.
- For the AMAP sets, do not go to failure.
- Add some external rotation work for rotator cuff health.
- EAT!

Also, I'm not sure why the program has you alternating conventional and sumo deadlifts. I'd probably just stick to conventional, but you can see how that goes.

Does the program have you stay at 2 sets each day for the big 3 moves? Or, do you increase over time?
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@wannabemuscular
Would it be better to add leg curls to the days I deadlift or don’t deadlift?
External rotations with the cable good enough for rotator cuff work? If you have some favorites let met know.

The alternating deadlifts is to find which one suits me best. I personally like conventional, who knows maybe later on I could just make day 2 into a lighter DL day. Concerning the big 3, the program has me doing 2 straight sets plus 1 AMAP. It never increases over time. Were you thinking once I stalled I could drop the weight and add a 3rd straight set followed by the AMAP set?
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THE GODFATHER wannabemuscular private msg quote post Address this user
I was thinking you'd add the leg curls on the Thursday, but you can go by feel. Just get some good reps in.

I see on the deadlifts. Kinda figured that. I guess stick to the routine as designed for a while and see how it goes.

I wasn't thinking straight on the 2 sets question. I wasn't considering the AMAP set and realized after I posted. I think you'll be fine with the 3 good sets as the layout prescribes.


I'm definitely interested to follow your progress. Hopefully you'll keep the updates coming here. Good luck.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
2.13.18
Tuesday

Squat 105lbs
2x8, 1x10
Bench 90lbs
2x8, 1x7
Deadlift 145lbs
1x5, 2x3
Barbell row 65lbs
3x8
Pull ups 2x4
Lying DB tricep extension 10lbs
I honestly just repped it out probably hit 30 reps total

This workout kicked my ass. Felt like I was doing cardio. For the main lifts I had a rest period of 1m:30sec, everything else 1 minute. I decided to do rows right after deadlift since the bar was already there. Probably wasn’t the smartest idea. As I went over to do pull ups my heart was beating fast. Felt like I might puke. I guess this is my conditioning workout. I finished the whole workout in an hour. This workout was also done at 8am with only a protein shake in my stomach. Maybe adding a banana would give me more energy? After 2-3 weeks my body will probably adjust to the early morning high rep workouts on Tuesday. Just realized I forgot to do some external rotations, so I’ll hit that Thursday. Next week Tuesday I’ll have to keep the weight on bench the same and increase squats by 5lbs.
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THE GODFATHER wannabemuscular private msg quote post Address this user
Does the program specify the rest period for the main moves? 1 1/2 is kinda short for the big three I think.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabemuscular
Does the program specify the rest period for the main moves? 1 1/2 is kinda short for the big three I think.
No it doesn't. How much rest do you recommend for the main lifts and accessory?
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salokin2 private msg quote post Address this user
I think 1:30 will probably be fine right now, but you may need to increase a bit as the weights go up.
You'll know when; your body will tell you.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
2.15.18
Thursday

Squat 110lbs
2x6, 1x10
Bench 95lbs
2x6, 1x10
Latpull down 42.5lbs
3x8
Facepull 15lbs
4x10
Bicep curls 20lbs
2x10
Lying Leg curls 65lbs
3x10

So I missed my morning gym session but I was committed to hitting the gym today. Therefore, I went at 8pm . And let me tell you the difference was literally night and day between my last session, Tuesday morning lol. First off my body and joints felt warm and ready to go a lot sooner, weights felt lighter, and stamina felt improved. I felt like a machine on a mission. I also had dinner 2 hours before the gym that consisted of salmon, sweet potato and some kale. So maybe that meal in combination with the later workout time is what set me up to go in and kill it. Seems I might have to permanently move to the night workouts. I also extended my main lift rest times to 2 min and kept accessory at 1 min.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
2.17.18
Saturday

Squat 120lbs 2x4, 1x8
Bench 100lbs 2x4, 1x8
Sumo DL 135lbs 2x6 with 2-3 RIR
Pullups 5,5,4
Barbell row 75lbs 3x8 same weight
DB Lying Tricep Extension 10lbs 2x10
Cable External Rotations (I just try to do more reps each time, currently hitting about 12reps for 3sets aim is 30reps at 5lbs)

Hitting 8 reps means another 10lb increase for bench and squat for next week Saturday. Working out in the day like two hours after a meal is way more beneficial than early morning with only a protein shake.

Form critique welcomed.
Squat AMAP set
Bench AMAP set

For bench I noticed I need a tighter arch.
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salokin2 private msg quote post Address this user
I feel way better lifting in the afternoon than I do in the morning too.
Keep it up.
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
@salokin2 Quote:
Originally Posted by salokin2
I feel way better lifting in the afternoon than I do in the morning too.
Keep it up.


I was doing some research on the topic and it seems waiting at least 6 hours after waking was optimal for lifting. As the day progresses your body temperature increases, and your hormonal balance changes along with other things that make you more flexible, explosive and stronger in the day
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adale private msg quote post Address this user
2.20.18
Tuesday

Start this off by saying my workout today was trash. From when I started warming doing squats I knew my body wasn't feeling it. That combined with the gym being way too crowded and deadlift making my back too tired to do rows ended my workout pretty early.


Squat 110lbs 2x8, 1x12
Bench 90lbs 2x8, 1x10
Deadlift 155lbs 1x5, 2x3
Row 1 set of 75x8
DB Tricep extension 10lbs 2x15

Next week squat is going up another 10lbs and bench 5lbs. Lets see if I can keep progressing squats by 10lbs on my Saturday workouts until I hit 200lbs. That would be great. This week I'm supposed to do 130lbs on Saturday's squat workout.
My first milestone is trying to get a 225lbs squat within 3 months and a 185lbs bench to go along with that.
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