Programming Back Extensions Programming Back Extensions

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Thread: Programming Back Extensions

  1. #1
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    Default Programming Back Extensions

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    So I've been following the program as outlined in SS for two months now with good results.

    But I read in PP (pg. 106 - 107) that I should now add back extensions to give me a break from pulling from the floor. (Or should I have done this earlier?) Deadlifts are starting to get really hard to recover from when I do them twice a week, so I think it's about time.

    My question is, what set/rep scheme do I use for back extensions? Do I program them like chins, i.e. do three sets till failure until I can get 12 reps for each set then start adding weight?

    If it matters, my current worksets are:

    Squat: 127.5kg
    Deadlift: 140kg
    Bench: 87.5kg
    Press: 65kg
    Power Clean: 65kg

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    If you're switching to the Onus Wunsler program, there's a sample of it on pages 300-01 of Starting Strength 2nd ed. There he uses 3 sets of 10, and that's what I've been doing. [EDIT: just looked again, and on some days the sample program says 5 sets of 10 - maybe someone else knows why the difference]

    It's assistance work, so I'm not sure you necessarily have to make a strict progression with them - I generally use as much weight as I can tolerate across 3 sets and still feel a good burn in the back, which can vary depending on how the work sets felt that day. But maybe others have a different experience and have seen benefits from progressing them linearly like the other lifts.
    Last edited by August West; 01-24-2010 at 06:16 AM.

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    Yeah, generally I've seen assistance stuff be used at higher reps, but still moderately high intensity. They should be difficult.

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    TGM-I'd suggest 1-2 times a week, programmed about 48hrs after a High Intensity/Med Vol. day or on a Low Vol/Low Intensity day. Basically place them in your programming so as not to mess with your main lifts.

    They can be combined w/ hypers, GHD or Hip extensions adventually. The rep scheme can vary but you'll see them programmed with higher reps. Keep in mind these are technically assistant exercises.

    There are plenty of great examples of these movements online---check them out, experiment and have fun with them.

    3X10-15 is fine for an Intermediate trainee.

    Best,
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    If you're switching to the Onus Wunsler program, there's a sample of it on pages 300-01 of Starting Strength 2nd ed. There he uses 3 sets of 10, and that's what I've been doing. [EDIT: just looked again, and on some days the sample program says 5 sets of 10 - maybe someone else knows why the difference]

    It's assistance work, so I'm not sure you necessarily have to make a strict progression with them - I generally use as much weight as I can tolerate across 3 sets and still feel a good burn in the back, which can vary depending on how the work sets felt that day. But maybe others have a different experience and have seen benefits from progressing them linearly like the other lifts.
    I didn't even think to look in the sample programs, that does help alot.

    In SS they do switch, maybe 3x10 wasn't enough to provoke overcompensation? In PP pg. 177 the extensions are all 3 sets of 10. Also, the trainee has switched to Onus Wensler (or started on it) within two weeks, should I have done the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
    TGM-I'd suggest 1-2 times a week, programmed about 48hrs after a High Intensity/Med Vol. day or on a Low Vol/Low Intensity day. Basically place them in your programming so as not to mess with your main lifts.

    They can be combined w/ hypers, GHD or Hip extensions adventually. The rep scheme can vary but you'll see them programmed with higher reps. Keep in mind these are technically assistant exercises.

    There are plenty of great examples of these movements online---check them out, experiment and have fun with them.

    3X10-15 is fine for an Intermediate trainee.

    Best,
    Mike
    Thanks for the advice but I've only been training for two months and am still well in the novice stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGM View Post
    I didn't even think to look in the sample programs, that does help alot.

    In SS they do switch, maybe 3x10 wasn't enough to provoke overcompensation? In PP pg. 177 the extensions are all 3 sets of 10. Also, the trainee has switched to Onus Wensler (or started on it) within two weeks, should I have done the same?



    Thanks for the advice but I've only been training for two months and am still well in the novice stage.
    TGM-i think it's safe to say you'd be fine programming back extensions and such even at your assumed level. Simple application of 3X8/10 1-2 days a week should be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGM View Post
    In SS they do switch, maybe 3x10 wasn't enough to provoke overcompensation? In PP pg. 177 the extensions are all 3 sets of 10. Also, the trainee has switched to Onus Wensler (or started on it) within two weeks, should I have done the same?
    No...

    Look at the novice program in PP, follow that one.

    If you can still do two DL sessions a week, do that, with cleans on Wednesdays (if you even want to clean, that is). If you can't DL twice per week, do it once, with cleans/chin-ups/pull-ups on the other non-DL days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
    TGM-i think it's safe to say you'd be fine programming back extensions and such even at your assumed level. Simple application of 3X8/10 1-2 days a week should be fine.
    Cool, thanks for the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Force Production View Post
    No...

    Look at the novice program in PP, follow that one.

    If you can still do two DL sessions a week, do that, with cleans on Wednesdays (if you even want to clean, that is). If you can't DL twice per week, do it once, with cleans/chin-ups/pull-ups on the other non-DL days.
    Well, I deadlifted last Wednesday and was still feeling throughout the weekend, and while I haven't stalled I've slowed down to 2.5kg jumps which seems to be a bit small for a deadlift. So think I'm right to go ahead and reduce the amount of deadlifting, if anyone thinks otherwise go ahead and say so.

  9. #9
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    Default 2.5 a week is fine

    If you can continue to add 2.5 kg every wednesday you will be fine for a while because it takes quite a while before you stall on dead lift.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by TGM
    My question is, what set/rep scheme do I use for back extensions?
    I like to make progress on my assistance exercises, but I'm not on a novice program that makes aggressive progress in the main exercises, so take my comments for what they're worth. (I do an upper/lower split.)

    Back Extensions:
    Lower body workout #1---3x10@Body weight (30 reps total)
    Lower body workout #2---3x12 (36 reps total)
    3x15 (45 reps total)
    4x10 (40 reps total)
    4x12 (48)
    4x15 (60)
    5x10 (50)
    5x12 (60)
    5x15 (75)
    Add 5lbs, repeat.

    I do a similar thing with Weighted Sit-ups, which I just added in.

    If you'll notice, the volume is sort of waved with this. I just made this progression up at some point. Use it if you think it makes sense for your training.

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