Problems with bench (and surely with other things)
Before beginning with my problem(s), please help me assess if I was doing the program or not by looking at my training log. I'll try to be as detailed as possible, and if needed I'll add more details.
Time training: around 6 months
Body-weight: 78kg -> 99kg
Body-fat: unknown, but starting with 10% and ending with around 20% is probably accurate.
Initial lifts -> Best lifts:
Squat: 50kg -> 142.5kg
Deadlift: 50kg -> 160kg
Bench: 40kg -> 86.25kg
Press: 25kg -> 61.25kg
Powercleans (more on this): 30kg -> 62.5kg
Barbell Rows (more on this): 40kg -> 65kg
Chin-ups: 3x5 bodyweight
Dips: 3x11 bodyweight
Specific lift observations:
With the occasional deloads, I first took my squat to 132.5kg, which felt gruesome. Then I decided to start Texas Method. This 1st TM period lasted for 2 weeks, because life interfered for a bit, and I decided that I could milk SS for a bit longer. This made me deload my squat to 120kg to work on technique, and with steady progress I took it to 142.5kg. At that point I decided to start Advanced Novice, since my deads started to feel real heavy at 155kg. This lasted only a week, with a Sunday having me squat a failed 145kg. That's when I started this week with Texas Method.
The bench and press had some similar problems with the squat, but until I reached 145kg there was no periodization. Microloading was started with the press at 47.5kg, and the bench at 80kg, both following a deload. That's how I took them to 61.25kg and 86.25kg. I added dips at 82.5kg because the weights started to feel like 5RMs.
Related to powercleans and barbell rows, powercleans fucked my elbows a bit (the problem was that I was not slamming my elbows forward, so before the bar reached the deltoids, my elbows had to support some weight dynamically), which made me switch to barbell rows along with curls for some time. But I found that barbell rows are very easy to cheat, and since I try to increase my strength with honesty, I took them out (yeah, fuck barbell rows). My elbows where not so fucked that I couldn't bench or press. No pain was felt when doing these exercises. This week of TM had me doing Powercleans again, now with nailed technique.
My diet consisted on eating as much as I could: my breakfast would consist on an egg sandwich with a shitload of butter and cheese, in my lunch I would eat whatever was done for lunch until physical discomfort, my tea would be similar to my breakfast, and my dinner would be similar to my lunch. Every meal was taken with 400ml of whole milk, which would total to 1.6l per day, sometimes reaching 2l with the occasional snack of cheese, bread and chips. There were days where I could only take 3 meals, but lunch/dinner until physical discomfort was a constant
I sometimes had sleep problems in the sense that it took me sometimes 1h to sleep, but everyday I slept 8h, except in days where I had to get up early (those days would leave me with 5-6h of sleep)
With all that said, which more or less summarizes my SS training log, let me show you my Texas Method template, and what I did this week. Since I doubted about assistance work, I took out the dips, added curls on light day (I decided to add them because I couldn't see how working the biceps would interfere with the rest of the exercises, which don't work the elbow flexion) and decided to stuck with periodization for a few weeks.
Tuesday (Volume day):
Squat (ascending sets of 80% to 90% 5x5 142.5kg (low-balling), as per Justin Lascek's TM book)
I tried to practice the elbow slam, and decided that 55kg was a good starting weight.
Managed to only do 3x4 body-weight.
Thursday (Light day):
Squat (75% of 125kg, the last set of Volume day):
Press (the book said "Medium", but couldn't find what "Medium" meant, so I did 90% of my last succesful SS weight, 61.25kg)
Saturday/Today (Intensity day)
Squat (didn't know what "Working up in singles" meant, so I did some singles as a warm-up, increasing 10% per set)
4x86.25kg (was supposed to do 5)
As you can see, I have many doubts about Texas Method and my training in general:
1)What does "Medium Press", "Light Bench" and "work up in singles" mean?
3) Eat more? Although I gained significant fat, tore apart my best boxers, and was left with only 1 good jeans (which is still tight sometimes)?
4) Add assistance work?
5) Was it just a bad week?
Please help me because I still consider myself inexperienced in regards to lifting. My goals right now is to get stronger and bigger (but not so fat)
Last edited by Dumrauf; 08-18-2012 at 01:54 PM.
Reason: got the days wrong
I'm also 19 and a similar height, though I weigh about 194-195 lbs (morning weight). I have been training seriously for ~2.5 years, and while that training may not have been optimal, it has been VERY consistent and I have busted my ass to get stronger. I ran Starting Strength (not as hard as many others, since I didn't gain nearly as much weight) and have run several other programs, and am now using Texas Method programming, also with a lot of influence from Lascek's first ebook...so we have a lot in common.
That being said, I never did the "eat as much as humanly possible, and then some more" option--and I'm glad. I've definitely bulked before, and currently am, but even in gaining 30ish lbs, I gained plenty of fat--and that's without gaining ~50 lbs in 6 months, like yourself. As someone who probably has average (at best) genetics, I just don't think it's smart unless you're playing a sport where all that extra weight is useful/necessary...if you're trying to gain weight, 1 lb per week is probably enough because at that level you're still giving yourself a pretty decent calorie surplus (500 cals). And at that surplus, you're still going to be gaining fat--just hopefully not as much.
Most of it is dependent on your goals, but if you're anything like me (my goals are to be strong without getting fat, i.e. lean enough to actually look like I lift), you should probably cut weight or at least recomp, because some (most) peoples' bodies just can't gain strength/muscle at the ridiculous pace that many people on this board seem to suggest you can/should.
Would I have more muscle right now if I have doubled my caloric surplus over the last couple of years and weighed 220 right now? Absolutely.
Is it worth it to me to have 15-20 more lbs of fat on me, be miserable, and have to buy all new clothes? Absolutely not.
Last edited by Domjo54; 08-18-2012 at 08:29 PM.
First off OP, I would definitely stop trying to gain weight at this point. It's just not productive.
Secondly, I think you need to do some critical thinking regarding your programming.
They say the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again, yet expecting a different result.
Your squat won't magically get moving again from Texas Method, and the caloric demands of such a program are not the best thing for you (unless you dont care about bodyfat).
I certainly differ in opinion from a lot of the others on this forum, but that is because none of the advice on this forum has helped me reach my ultimate goal... ever.
There is more to programming than "5's" or "classic bill starr heavy/medium/light wave loading"...
I can't possibly give you a program. The only advice I can offer is to assess your goals, and really think about the most logical way to achieve those goals.
HINT: lifting can be viewed as a skill...
The only time I actually started to really develop as a lifter was when I threw out cookie cutter templates and really thought about what I want to accomplish in the gym.
My general preference is to pick a small handful of movements that are fun and effective and just do them frequently.
I can give you an anecdote as an example.
SS didn't do shit for my bench- maybe added 25 lbs to it tops after months of weight gain. I was so tired of sucking shit in the gym, that I stopped benching because I noticed I had a knack for overhead presses and dips, and just worked the shit out of those 2-3x per week. I had fun at the same time, and started to make progress.
After months of that I retested my bench for shits and giggles, and it had gotten much stronger. (from 205x3x5 post SS at 205lbs bw to 225x6 at 180 lbs bw 4 months later)
Lifting is just as mental as it is physical, so feel free to start branching out and thinking about other good movements that you might really enjoy doing. This will foster consistency and enthusiasm with your training.
I might suggest looking into 5/3/1 to get some other programming ideas as well as "dinosaur training" by Brooks Kubick.
These blogs are quite helpful as well:
Just remember to take things with a grain of salt.
Convert to lbs... Easier for the masses..
Stay at Kilos easier for me.
Originally Posted by Jimmy Tereyla
A kg-to-lb convertor would be useful, if such thing exist. Related to my body: I thought that intermediate programming cut your fat to 15% (if LP brought it to 20%) because LBM gains came faster than fat gains. This is my primary interest in Intermediate programming. Is this correct?
Are you people serious? Says a lot about the education system if you can't mentally convert kg to lb.
How much LBM vs. fat you gain is going to be way more dependent on your diet than your lifting routine...being on a routine that aims to gain weekly rather than daily isn't going to magically change this.
Originally Posted by Dumrauf
^^This, seriously. Multiplying everything by 2.2 really isn't that difficult...I'm in the US, and I did it for my post...
Originally Posted by bma_mat
I understand this. But is it true that one can fine-tune the diet so that LBM gains are greater than fat gains? This is, from what I understand, what one should do on Texas Method.
Originally Posted by Domjo54
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