Ready for the intermediate level
I have been training at the novice level for 5 months. I have done 1 reset on the squat and 1 reset on the press so far. I have gain about 23 lbs and improved all my lifts considerably. I have reached the target weight on the squat for my current bodyweight as listed on the chart at the end of PP. The other lifts are lagging a little behind as far as reaching the target weight on that chart. It's getting a lot harder to progress each session, especially on the squat. Quite ofent I get stuck on a particular weight for a couple of sessions before I get my 3 sets of 5. My routines are a little longer than 90 minutes at this point. I can feel a reset on the squat soon approaching. My question to you is; in your experience that's this sound like the time for a change in programming or should I wait for that second reset on the squat before I change the programming?
You can either wait for one more reset, or go ahead and change to intermediate now. But you are presenting the classic end-of-novice situation. Nice job.
My goal before I reach the intermediate level is to have all my lifts reach their maximun potential. Like I mentioned before my squats are already there but improvement has become a lot harder and I feel I'm about to stall again. My deadlifts are moving up fine, but I'm not recuperating from them as well as I used to(I'm using the A & B alternating days suggested in your books) Seems like doing deadlifts every other session may be a bit too much. My presses are however lagging behind and I would like to have them catch up before I move to the intermediate level. So, please let me know what you think of the following plan I have in order to achieve my goals.
Wait for the second reset on the squats and alternate my deadlifts with back extensions. The reset will give my squats a break and give me some extra time to concentrate on catching up on the pressing exercises. Aternating the deadlifts with the less streesing back extensions would help in my recovery and give a little more time as well.
You should be deadlifting every 5th day at this point:
A -- Deadlift/Power Clean B -- Back Ext. and chins
where A/B alternate and DL/PC alternate.
Understood Mark, thanks. I'll follow your suggestion for the reminder of my novice days.
The next goal for me will be setting up an intermediate program. Let me do my homework and I'll get back to you with a few questions on that. I want to be ready for the moment when the switch becomes a reality.
I've decided to follow the Texas method when I switch to the intermediate level. I'm not an athlete nor do I play any sports, other than barbell training. My goals are to keep up with the strenght gains I've been making with the novice program and add a little hypertrophy to the mix. So here is a list of preliminary questions I have before putting together my program:
1. Can I focus on one pressing exercise for my PR days, say:
Monday: Press 5x5
(Assistance: DB bench press 3x8-12)
Wednesday: Incline bench press 2x8
Friday: Pres 1x5
(Assistance: Dips 2xfailure)
2. Would weighted chinups work for Mondays' high volume medium day for 5x5
3. Can I use Romanian Deadlifts for sets of 10 on my light day (Wednesday) or would that be too much considering I'm doing Deadlifts on Friday for 1x5.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
2. How much weight can you use for 5 x 5?
3. RDLs done 2 days before you deadlift will affect your deadlift. If you want to do some RDLs, I'd do them Monday, depending on what other stuff happens Monday.
1. Good to know.
2. I have not added any weight to my chinups yet, since I'm following the program on PP strictly and I still can't do 15 reps on my first set. However, I remember doing them in the past and being able to add weight with lower reps. I never tested my limits, which leads me to believe there is plenty of room for improvement. I have also noticed about myself that in general I'm not good with high reps, unless the weight is light. For some reason I do better with lower reps and this applies to almost every exercise.
3. This makes sense. I read in SS that romanian deadlifts are the best assistance exercise for the deadlift and that's why I wanted to include them on the Wednesday workout since that day would be mostly assistance exercise for light weights. How about using barbell rows instead?
To give you a better idea, this would be my plan so far. I'm still willing to make whatever revisions necessary.
Monday: squats 5x5
power clean 5x3/alternate with chinups 5x5
dumbbell bench press 3x8-12 (assistance exercise)
situps 3x10 (weighted if necessary)
Wednesday: squats 2x5(light)
inlcine bench press 3x8
barbell rows 3x8
back extensions 3x10
Friday: squats 1x5
dips 2xfailure (assistance exercise)
situps 1xfailure (weighted after 20 reps)
I'm not sure if I should do 2 sets instead of 3 on Wednesday for the incline bench press and the barbell rows and if I do the rows I'm not sure if the back extensions may be unnecessary.
Your advice once again would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
1. Well, alright then.
2. 5x5 is fine at whatever weight you can manage as long as it not something silly like 5 lbs.
3. Fuck barbell rows. I'm tired of hearing about them. If you guys want to do them, just go ahead but keep it to yourselves.
I don't like inclines either. I'd rather see you push press Wednesday. Warm up to a heavy set of 5, being sure to not accumulate a bunch of volume in your warmups.
Ok Mark, taking your advice into consideration, my routine could look like this:
Romanian deadlifts 5x5
Dumbbell bench press 3x8-12(assistance)
situps 3x10(weighted if necessary)
Push press (ramping up to a set of 5)
Chinups 3x5-7(weighted if necessary) ???
situps 1 to failure (weighted if more than 20)
I also took the back extensions out of Wednesdays since I figure doing Romanian deadlifts on Mondays and Deadlifts on Fridays would be enough for my back. My questions now would be:
1. Is 5x5 for the Romanian deadlifts too much, considering I would do deadlifts on Friday?
2. I'm not sure what to do with chinups on Wednesday. I know is a light day, but I like to push myself when I do chinups.
Thank you very much for all your advice.