Sort of an "involuntary intermediate" - understanding the logic of my programming Sort of an "involuntary intermediate" - understanding the logic of my programming

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Thread: Sort of an "involuntary intermediate" - understanding the logic of my programming

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021

    Default Sort of an "involuntary intermediate" - understanding the logic of my programming

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    Am trying to understand the logic of the programming at a small group barbell training course I recently started. Previously, for about 6 weeks, I was training under an SSC but maintaining that wouldn't have worked for reasons of schedule and location. Ideally I would have liked to continue with the NLP as it is but I find the live cues, spotting, and the energy/commitment of routine group training quite helpful and frankly there aren't many places I can lift without a mask (this is one). I don't know the full scope of the programming yet, but so far it involves on Day A: squat + bench press and on Day B: deadlift + press. Chins and rows are supersetted with the upperbody warmups on either day respectively. The rep scheme for each lift, with some variation, are work sets of 5/3/3/2/1 or 3/3/2/2/1 reps working up to something just below a 1RM.

    1. What is the best way to ensure something like a progressive overload on a scheme like this, even if it's a little suboptimal. The overall workout feels rather less "exhausting" than sets of 3x5 across, even though the weights I am lifting for the triples, doubles, and singles are quite a bit above what I was lifting for sets across previously. But I've continued to eat a lot and don't want to get fat if there isn't as much stimulus from the new programming. I went from about 120 to 150 in the previous 6 weeks and have at least 3 quarts of milk a day.

    2. Is there an extent to which what I end up training is my 1RM/5RM ratio more than the general strength implied by 3x5 progression? The fact that at my current low level of strength progressing sets of 5 drives my 1RM is much more obvious to me than the other way around. If so I expect that will peter out very quickly, beyond I suppose a few weeks of neurological adaptations. Or is there a way to progressively overload for general strength with reps like this?

    3. Though I understand why the NLP is a better novice program, I can't say this has not been fun as I have lifted (with form, under a coach's supervision) much more than anything I had before.

    For reference my lifts are something like:

    Press 120
    Bench 135
    Squat 220
    Deadlift 255

    These numbers are for singles and though I don't think I could have done more reps (except on the squat, deadlift, and maybe bench) they did not feel like an exceptionally overtaxing grind. Though I don't know, they could be too taxing without my knowing. And these numbers are about 25-40 percent higher than where I was for 3x5 a few weeks ago. Again, ideally I would have liked to learn the power clean and keep with the NLP, but I find the live coaching, cues, bench handoffs, etc. extremely valuable. So if anyone has thoughts on how best to conform something like this to the principles in SS, would love to hear. I'm quite certain there has been at least some carryover from the singles, doubles, and triples to fives because weights I was lifting for 3x5 before feel a lot lighter but I don't know if that's just a psychological accommodation due to peter out, now that I know what "heavier" feels like.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    New York, NY


    As your 5s go up in the NLP, so does your potential to hit higher 3s, 2s, and 1s. We just don't test them because you are a novice and those values will change every session. As you noted, intermediates will train those rep ranges, but not exclusively as you also need a certain amount of volume to drive progress (thus 5s will still be in your intermediate program). An intermediate program with all those different rep ranges is unnecessarily complicated and less efficient for getting a novice strong, so that isn't in the SS NLP. As to why this coach is doing what he is doing, you will need to ask them.
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