Critique my PL plan
So I am planning my training week that I will follow for a while. My goals are mainly to make linear progress in the PL lifts, especially bench and deadlift, which are weak relative to my squat. This plan was inspired by the various "Advanced Novice" plans I've seen Rip discuss. All notation is sets x reps.
Day 1: Bench 3x5, Squat 3x5, Machine Row 3x5, DB Row 1 per hand x Max Reps
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Press 3x3, Front Squat 3x3, Power Clean 3x3, Curls 3x10, Top of DL static hold for time
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Bench 3x5, Squat 3x5
Day 6: Deadlift 1x5, whatever accessory crap I am in the mood for which will probably be some mobility stuff, maybe pull-ups and dips, short conditioning
Day 7: Rest
Everything goes up in weight every time I do the exercise, except the DB rows, where I will take a weight, try to get a target number of reps with each arm, I'm thinking 25, and will up the weight when I hit that number. The DL static hold for time won't be to failure - I think my target will be to get to 30 seconds, when I do that I'll up the weight. Conditioning will be running and will be short and not super intense, unless it is raining or something and then I will figure something else out but it will still be <10 minutes.
I'll explain why I'm doing what I'm doing. I used to do the Day 5 and 6 workouts in the same day - squat, bench, dead like in SS. But the weights were going up, and I was tired enough after doing squats and bench that I felt like I wasn't giving my deadlift the proper effort it deserved, and I wasn't making linear progress at weights I knew I should. I think that splitting off the DL means I'll be able to get after it more. With regards to the rows, the owner of my gym (who I've seen bench 495#) really loves this certain machine for rowing, so I'll take his word and do that. I'm doing the 1 arm DB rows since I've heard they are good too, and the max rep set will work the grip and core a little extra and pump up the row volume, which is a little low at only 3x5 on the main machine. My back is my weak point for benching, so I want to work hard on back work. I'm doing the DL static hold since my grip is my weak point in my DL, so I want to get that in shape. On day 3, everything is 3x3 instead of 3x5 since the lower reps will reduce the chance of fatigue spilling over to the end of the week - make it more like a Texas method light day - and to make it easier to make consistent linear progress up. Conditioning is just enough that I don't get out of breath if I have to run to catch a bus or whatever - nature punishes the specialist, right guys?
So my plan is to make linear progress for a while. At some point, this will stop. I've already reset bench and squat once each while trying to make linear progress, so I figure I will reset them once more each then have to move into something more intermediate. I have two options. I could go right into Texas method for squat and bench, doing 5x5 on day 1 and 5RM, 3RM, etc on day 5. My other idea would be to stay doing 3x5 on day 1 and doing 3x3 at a higher weight on day 5, then do the day 5 3x3 weight for the next week's day 1 3x5. For example, 400#x3x5, 405#x3x3, 405#x3x5, 410#x3x3,... This might be a way to keep week to week linear progress in the 3x5 going by introducing the higher weight at a easier, lower number of reps before having to do it for 3x5. The other stuff, if I stall I will just reset down 10%. This probably goes for DL too, though I might need some more ideas of what to do there.
What are people's thoughts? Looking forward to any kind of feedback!
My numbers from my last competition a few days ago: squat: 418#; bench: 245# and just barely got red lights for improper technique on 265#; deadlift: 412# and almost got 440# if it weren't for the grip failing me. Press was at 165#x3x3, front squat 280#x3x3, power clean 210#x3x3, the rest don't really matter. Bodyweight 240#, I eat my share of food but I can't go nuts since I want to stay in the 242#s.
what were you doing before and why did it stop working?
Before I was doing basically the same thing on days 1 and 3, except not doing the DB rows and the DL static hold, and I was doing day 5 and 6 together on day 5. It was working great for the squat and pretty good for the bench, but on day 5 by the time I finished my squats and bench I was too tired to put forth a max effort on my DL and for this reason my deadlift did not increase nearly as much as my squat. The hope is that by moving the DL a day later by itself, I'll be able to give the DL a better effort and make more consistent progress in it. In addition I am adding the DB rows and static hold to improve my back and grip, two weak points for me which have been exposed in recent weeks. These changes happen while hopefully keeping the squatting and pressing program which has been working well the same. I also speculate as to what set/rep scheme I should switch my squats and bench to once my linear progress with 3x5 stalls and I need to make a change.
Could be that you're squatting way more than you're deadlifting (1 set of 5 per week, compared to ~10 sets of squats). Or that you're more built for squatting. Who knows.
RE: Kroc DB rows
Wendler put it best "pick a weight you can do for 1 rep then do it twenty times..." That is loosely paraphrased but it definitely put a different mentality in my mind for that exercise than I previously had. After reading that I went from doing working sets of 60-65 to 80-90#'s. Perhaps 2 sets, 1 WU set and then 1 working set, I still do WU set even though I do them later on in my workout.
1. No pullups/chinups or anything?
2. ABZ, no seriously.
here's a couple suggestions FWIW. don't worry about the plan. stick to a very basic 3x5 or whatever you like. I like to squat, press and pull every session. It looks like Bench is you biggest weakness, which is lucky becuase it will benefit the most from technique work. if you're going to add someting it's gonna be more bench. get with a good PL'er and figure this out. speed bench or light bench or rep bench..figure out what works for you.
your plan looks too complicated to me. simplify simplify simplify. any more complex than Volume day, light day and a PR day is over the top for me. seperate the squat and DL by at least a day or do them on the same day. I prefer same day. squat first. then pull. progress in the DL for me always stalls if my lower back is overcooked. has nothing to do with DL being too taxing, it's multiple days of squats plus DL that is too taxing. heavy back squats and light rdls then medium front squats and heavy DL is an easy way to break this up.
best advice...don't even worry about accessories at all unless they are major weaknesses. stick to the main lifts, if you need more work, back off sets are where it's at. if you have a specific weak point it's in one of these places.
hamstrings, abs grip, triceps and upperback. You can never do too much flexibilty and strenghthening of those. doing something small for those every time you go to the gym is a good start. you'll figure out pretty quick how much is too much, consistency on those will make a bigger difference than weight on the bar. pullups and power cleans never did shit for my main lifts. heavy barbell rows work better for me.
This is excellent advice. I would listen given your goals.
All the best,
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