Beginner needs some help/advice
I am a 32 year old endurance athlete looking to get strong. I began Starting Strenth about 6 weeks ago. I am 5'10" and was 163 lbs.
When I began I was only able to lift twice a week, Tues and Saturday, and on Thursday I would do bodyweight excersises and sprints at the park next to my work. 4 weeks in I got stuck on bench and squat, 185 and 220. My press and deadlift are steadily rising at 115 and 315. I dropped the weight on bench and squat by 10% and increased gradualy, but now I am stuck again at the same place.
Two big things changed this past week. First, I found another gym close to my work, so I started lifting 3 times a week as the actuall SS recommends. Second, I had only gained 2lbs in 5 weeks, so I added a half gallon of whole milk a day to my diet, I gained 7 lbs in 7 days, so I am now 172lbs.
So, should I drop all my weights by 10% or more to get used to this new 3 times/week schedule and bodyweight change? Should I go back to lifting 2 days a week with BW excersises and sprints on the third day? Should I lay off on my deadlifts, as they are much stronger than my squats and could be affecting them?
Any advice would be greatly appreaciated. Thanks
Its hard to give you an exact solution. As a general rule I am not in favor of constantly resetting weights in order to work back up. Sometimes it is necessary, but in reality I think it is more useful to give up less ground and try to fight through sticking points.
I would not do the bodyweight exercises or the sprints at this point. Do your event specific exercises (assuming run, bike, swim???) and lift for strength. The squats and deadlifts will do more for your speed than the sprints will and I'm not sure the bodyweight movements do anything for you.
Try this schedule:
Monday - Lift
Tuesday - Endurance events
Wednesday - Off
Thurs - Lift
Fri - Endurance events
Sat - Endurance events
Sun - Off
If you really want to get serious about your strength then I would do the program on Mon-Wed-Fri and just limit endurance events to Saturday. If you were my client, then you would do the latter until your squats were 315 for sets of 5 unless you had a competition coming up in the immediate future.
Thank you. That is actually very helpful. I have recently decided to quit endurance for the next 6 months to a year and try to get as strong as possible. MWF it is with no resets.
One final question: At what point should I add a belt to my squat workouts?
Whenever you want. I put my belt on when I hit 405 in my warm ups. I'd use it for all my worksets on the SS program, no matter what your weights are. BTW, you can still do your endurance shit on Saturday if you want to, if you plan on competing in endurance events in the future. You don't need to completely detrain them, you just need to keep the volume and frequency to a level that doesn't interfere with your strength gains.
Thank you. This has been really helpful.
Another question on missing reps and getting stuck:
On presses I went from 110 to 115 and got 3-3-3 the first day. Today I did presses again and got 4-4-4, resting 3-4 minutes between sets. My plan is to do it again this Saturday and hopefully get the 5-5-5. When this happens again, on presses or any workout, should I add an extra set so my volume is closer to 15 work reps or should I continue with three reps of whatever I can do?
I have experimented with this in the past....doing 4x4 or 5x3. It works okay for benches and presses, not so well for squatting.
I had a kid that made a pretty long progression on the bench doing something like this:
I am not recommending that, it was just something that I fucked around with and guinea pigged a kid with a few years ago on the bench. We made many many months of uninterrupted progress doing that. He was a skinny little fuck who wouldn't eat, so straight linear progression on 5's wouldn't work for him that well.
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