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Old 04-16-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
Dave Van Skike
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Dave,

Thanks for the reply mate. Let me answer your questions in order to keep things organized.

#1- I meet, if not exceed several of these goals. The bodyweight, running and swimming aren't a problem for me. However there is always room for improvement. My base of fitness is solid, so perhaps listing these as "goals" was misleading. I run 5ks in 19:30-20:30, Swim my 5s at a solid clip and Max the PFT Cals.

#2- This is a difficult question to answer as my strength has recently gone up since December. Respectable numbers for each lifts are relative to each individual. Im not looking to be a champion here, but my current numbers are: 485 DL, 235 C&J, 345 SQ, 185 Snatch, 185 Press. Maintenance is great, and small victories in PRs are awesome, like I said above, Im not looking to compete in Crossfit or Lifting competitions. All this being said, I can directly correlate my ability to squat/DL to my rucking ability. Carrying a 350# CRRC is not much fun if your weak, and doesn't help guys on your team out.

#3 - Metcons to me are short quick bursts, a short cindy, a very light fran, ALOT of bodyweight and skill stuff. Not trying to slay myself here, just train mental fitness and maintain/gain for PFT stuff. Also, short swim intervals are occasionally used with bodyweight cals. IE:5 x Swim 50m, 25 Pushups, 25 sit-ups

Hope this fills in the blanks.

Yup. I copy.

A lot of food for thought in Justin's post so I won't rehash.

An alternative way to think about it based on your answers

1) sounds like you just need to maintain these standards? If so, then you need very little work beyond a couple short BW sessions, some intervals and one long ruck per week.

2) You don't state a strength goal here but it sounds to me like you feel you're strong enough already. If you feel you need to be stronger, I'd work on getting that DL up to a 550-585, move that squat to 405 and call it good. The Oly stuff adds nothing and taps recovery, I'd drop it or use it as a warm up. One day squatting each week is plenty to move your squat and dead. One day Pulling is enough here as well. You could press on these days as well just for variety. Does not sound like you need any of those other things you listed so I'd drop them in favor of achieving your goal quickly.

3) You clearly don't need metcons, they are costly in term of recovery and eat into your progress on the squat and dead, I'd drop that as well.

Now that you've reduced the variables to a reasonable number, you've got time for a really good plan. two days in the gym working the barbell in a squat and dead followed by logical circuits in the BW exercises, Another two other days you can fit in swim intervals with maybe some running after...actually, good swim technique is so much more important to speed than anything else, you could almost use cruise intervals in the pool for active recovery. this is something i toyed with in the waay back and it worked well. you might choose to run real easy after the lifting days...it will slow progress but it seems like a big job requirement so probably more important than your lifting aspirations. Plenty of time left over for a long ruck and recovery.

Template pretty much writes itself when you remove the unnecessary components.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
Albert Bush
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Looks like you're getting ready for a recon indoc or something similar, Jack. It also looks like you're getting some good advice here, especially from Dave. I wish I had these resources when I was going through.

When I did them (did both div and force) there was a ton of ruck running in addition to the PFT, O course and swimming stuff. That was way back in '99, so looks like it's different now. For what it's worth, while I wish I had been as strong as you back then, I don't think I would have focused on that as much in my prep (especially if I was already at that level). My prep included a sh!t ton of ruck running and swimming (twice a week in full cammies, pretty much every day otherwise), with some weighted pull ups and presses to maintain upper body strength.

I am 6'0" and hovered around 200lbs my entire career. I always had my situps and pullups, but the run was always my biggest struggle. I ran an 18:07 during the indoc and always struggled to break that 18:00 mark. Seems like you're in a similar position and would want to focus on running and swimming. I was a very strong swimmer and still found that portion to be fairly difficult (Dave's comment on technique is dead on). Side note: I recall a bunch of guys getting really fatigued while treading water because they would fight the sharks. Let them take you down and have their way with you and you will save a ton of energy. I'm sure people have told you that, though.

Not sure how helpful this is, but hopefully helps your thought process. Wish I could be in your position.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #13
Dave Van Skike
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I'm out of my depth with the strength needs of Marine but I do know, once built that big squat and dl will be hard to hold onto for long.

If you're about to go into an intensive indoctrination I'd look to build rep strength with your current maxes and focus on the real test: running, lots of rucking with weight, swimming and the nutty PT stuff the services seem to like so well.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:41 PM   #14
Jack Kroskey
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
I'm out of my depth with the strength needs of Marine but I do know, once built that big squat and dl will be hard to hold onto for long.

If you're about to go into an intensive indoctrination I'd look to build rep strength with your current maxes and focus on the real test: running, lots of rucking with weight, swimming and the nutty PT stuff the services seem to like so well.
No indoc, Just work/training. How about the idea of building up the squat/DL/Press so that when/if Pre Deployment workups come up instead of going from a 500# lift to a 350# lift, I go from 575 to a 400 or whatever. (Just round random numbers for discussions sake.)

Now that we've decided on lifts running etc, lets talk sets reps... What to use and what to cycle through. Im horrible at this. Hitting mass amounts of reps in the SQ/DL would obviously come at the end of a cycle, optimally right before a workup or physically intensive school.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:20 PM   #15
Dave Van Skike
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No indoc, Just work/training. How about the idea of building up the squat/DL/Press so that when/if Pre Deployment workups come up instead of going from a 500# lift to a 350# lift, I go from 575 to a 400 or whatever. (Just round random numbers for discussions sake.)

Now that we've decided on lifts running etc, lets talk sets reps... What to use and what to cycle through. Im horrible at this. Hitting mass amounts of reps in the SQ/DL would obviously come at the end of a cycle, optimally right before a workup or physically intensive school.


A less important issue probably. If you are settled on two days in the gym (makes sense) you're looking at a pretty simple progression. Low frequency/higher intensity.

How are you built? long limbs or short?
what have you used in the past to get to current numbers?
do you have spotters?
what are you good at? reps or singles?
what lift do you love, which do you hate?


Sounds like you're squarely in intermediate territory where progress is about to slow.

my gut reaction is an A/B/ Split:
A Press and Squat,
B Push Press and DL

Plenty of set/rep schemes that will work. No matter what they'll need to be based on a one day a week squat and one day pull. I am a fan of 531, also a fan of the old school
54321 to a top 80-95% single with a either a couple big back off sets or 3x3 with pauses squats or deficit DL. Another favorite is to use the Texas method spread over 2 days instead of 3.


Really sets and reps are pretty unimportant, what's important is getting the right amount of volume (for you) in and being recovered enough to give time to your other background goals. Better question, what kind of rep/set progressions do you like?
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:38 AM   #16
Jack Kroskey
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
A less important issue probably. If you are settled on two days in the gym (makes sense) you're looking at a pretty simple progression. Low frequency/higher intensity.

How are you built? long limbs or short?
what have you used in the past to get to current numbers?
do you have spotters?
what are you good at? reps or singles?
what lift do you love, which do you hate?


Sounds like you're squarely in intermediate territory where progress is about to slow.

my gut reaction is an A/B/ Split:
A Press and Squat,
B Push Press and DL

Plenty of set/rep schemes that will work. No matter what they'll need to be based on a one day a week squat and one day pull. I am a fan of 531, also a fan of the old school
54321 to a top 80-95% single with a either a couple big back off sets or 3x3 with pauses squats or deficit DL. Another favorite is to use the Texas method spread over 2 days instead of 3.


Really sets and reps are pretty unimportant, what's important is getting the right amount of volume (for you) in and being recovered enough to give time to your other background goals. Better question, what kind of rep/set progressions do you like?

Im fairly long limbed. I used a linear progression for all of my past strength work until I couldn't hit my goal reps (3x5) then just reset. Basic Starting Strength Rippetoe type stuff. Squat/Deadlift/Press/Clean. After that I focused on doubles/triples for a month or so utilizing 75-85% of my 1RM. It worked well for me as those are my favorite lifts. I particularly enjoy Clean and Jerk, DL, and Squat. Press is ok, I am just wary of overdoing the press movement and causing any imbalance or impingement.

Reps don't particularly bother me. For squats I like to work with doubles or triples and occasionally venture into 5, I also like hitting some 20 Rep sets once as well. Deadlift 3-5, Press 5 or less, and clean/c&j 3 or less.

Im a bit OCD with programming and like to have hard numbers set for me. When I came back from my last deployment I could barely squat 205 for 2 reps, and wasn't even close to parallel. Having set #s ahead of me helpd me track progress easily and and made me look forward to future workouts.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:33 PM   #17
Dave Van Skike
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Well if you can handle the loosey goosey nature of having an AMRAP set, 531 is a very good fit.

Here's why.
I think LP works best 3 days a week..I also think you're getting close to it not working.

Long Limbed lifters do well with rep work. People with long levers have pronounced sticking points. One of the easiest sticking point fixers are reps, learning to strain through the hard part of the lift. A better method is pauses, pause squats and DL off a block. You might have enough time for this.

Being as your recovery will ebb and flow with running and rucking and job duties, you need to autoregulate.

If you enjoy a 20 reps squat, you will probably enjoy AMRAP sets.
I'm long limbed and it worked well for me....I know that's weak but I've sen it happen several times with folks of less than ideal proportions.


I have plenty of other idea but that's my gut reaction. The templates is set, you have basic set template to finish every day and you set a goal with each session. If the squat calls for 335x1 you are going to be shooting for 5 or so...it's very motivating.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:10 PM   #18
Jack Kroskey
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
Well if you can handle the loosey goosey nature of having an AMRAP set, 531 is a very good fit.

Here's why.
I think LP works best 3 days a week..I also think you're getting close to it not working.

Long Limbed lifters do well with rep work. People with long levers have pronounced sticking points. One of the easiest sticking point fixers are reps, learning to strain through the hard part of the lift. A better method is pauses, pause squats and DL off a block. You might have enough time for this.

Being as your recovery will ebb and flow with running and rucking and job duties, you need to autoregulate.

If you enjoy a 20 reps squat, you will probably enjoy AMRAP sets.
I'm long limbed and it worked well for me....I know that's weak but I've sen it happen several times with folks of less than ideal proportions.


I have plenty of other idea but that's my gut reaction. The templates is set, you have basic set template to finish every day and you set a goal with each session. If the squat calls for 335x1 you are going to be shooting for 5 or so...it's very motivating.
Sounds solid. So go through the 5/3/1 book, template, and break it down into 2 days of lifting? Correct? How would you cycle 5/3/1 with other rep sets schemes? IE: 5/3/1 for so many weeks, then a back off week, then 3 weeks of 20 rep squats etc
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:54 AM   #19
Patrick Haskell
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Sounds solid. So go through the 5/3/1 book, template, and break it down into 2 days of lifting? Correct? How would you cycle 5/3/1 with other rep sets schemes? IE: 5/3/1 for so many weeks, then a back off week, then 3 weeks of 20 rep squats etc
Just do the program, Jack. It doesn't have to be complicatead to work. One strength of the 531 is that you can make long-term progress with it and you don't have to tinker with the fundamentals much. You'll get your high-rep days in. If anything, you might find yourself missing the heavy single or double for the first few cycles. Read the e-book. You'll get a chance to work that OCD when you start wondering how to fit assistance exercises into your already busy program.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #20
Dave Van Skike
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Sounds solid. So go through the 5/3/1 book, template, and break it down into 2 days of lifting? Correct? How would you cycle 5/3/1 with other rep sets schemes? IE: 5/3/1 for so many weeks, then a back off week, then 3 weeks of 20 rep squats etc

The book has a two day option which is solid.

I wouldn't plan on cycling other reps schemes until I hit my goals strength wise.

Doing 20 rep squats is a whole other deal but about the easiest thing in the world to program...You just have one day a week where that's all you do, start at 100 pounds off your best 20 reps squat set and add 10-20 pounds a week until you stall. Last time i did this it was 6 pretty straightforward weeks and I stopped before I stalled...So the writing on the wall, could have gone one more week at most and couldn't keep myself from adding squat days. Ultimately, 20 reppers are fun but the recovery cost is high at my age.


As a side note, I will take another run this year possibly two, but won't go over 6 weeks of it.
Back on point.... Just ride the 531 until you're banging reps with your old maxes and then test your 20 rep as a down set some day. I bet you'll find it's gone up fine.
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