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brihead301
05-13-2008, 12:47 PM
I just ordered a set of fractional plates today:

2 1/4 lb.
2 1/2 lb.
2 3/4 lb.
2 1 lb. plates.

I've just been training linearly lately, no ME or DE stuff, just sets of 5 adding weight every workout. I'm at the point where it's just not possible to continue adding 5 lbs. to my OH press, Bench, and soon power clean. So I figured that it was necessary to start making smaller jumps in weight so I can keep progressing.

The only thing I'm concerned about is that the other plates that I use at the gym may not all weigh the same thing (some "45 lb. plates may way 45.5 lbs. or 44.5 lbs., etc....), which would defeat the purpose of fractional plates.

I was just wondering if you guys have experience with these things, and how helpful they are to you to keep progressing. Or should I just shut the f*** up about these small plates, and SFW!!!! lol.

Reko
05-13-2008, 01:04 PM
Can you change the exercises or grip instead? Doing that will alter the amount of weight you can use and then after a few weeks of doing something else go back to the original movement. If you can't go up maybe your body is just burning out.

Detard
05-13-2008, 01:12 PM
I would pass on the weights and instead of adding 5lbs every workout, focus on adding 1 or 2 reps to your previous weight.

brihead301
05-13-2008, 01:21 PM
Well, I'm basically just following Rippetoe's novice routine, which has you doing 3x5 of everything (except deadlifts which is 1x5). He suggests that you should keep progressing in weight from workout to workout for as long as physically possible. He says that for upper body lifts like the bench and OH press, it is eventually necessary to take smaller jumps then 5 lbs. because those muscles used don't get as strong as fast as the muscles used in squats and deads.

I have tried experimenting with different grips in bench and OH press, but that hasn't seemed to do anything for me. For instance, I'm stuck at 220 lbs. for 5 reps on bench. I can't do 225 for 5 reps, BUT I could probably be able to do 220.5 for 5 reps, then 221 the following workout, then 221.5, etc.... Until I'm eventually at 225 for 5 reps.

It just seems logical that my body would adapt better to smaller jumps in weight, and over a long period of time those small jumps will add up to a major strength gain.

Detard
05-13-2008, 01:27 PM
Personally, I think your over complicating it. If you can do 220x5, why not go for 225x4, then shoot for 225x5 the next session? Thats how I would do it but to each their own

brihead301
05-13-2008, 02:05 PM
Personally, I think your over complicating it. If you can do 220x5, why not go for 225x4, then shoot for 225x5 the next session? Thats how I would do it but to each their own

Well I could do that, but then when it comes time do do 230, then 235, I will get stuck very quickly. I will barely even feel the 1/2 lb. at a time though.

This is just the method the Rippetoe recommends. It's one of several different methods of getting stronger. I was just looking to see if anyone else on this powerlifting board had experience doing things this way.

Rob Luyando
05-13-2008, 04:03 PM
Only when I am breaking a record

Guido
05-13-2008, 04:05 PM
Only when I am breaking a recordYep. When you are getting into heavier weights, then 5-10 lb increments should be small enough.

RhodeHouse
05-13-2008, 04:39 PM
Well I could do that, but then when it comes time do do 230, then 235, I will get stuck very quickly. I will barely even feel the 1/2 lb. at a time though.

This is just the method the Rippetoe recommends. It's one of several different methods of getting stronger. I was just looking to see if anyone else on this powerlifting board had experience doing things this way.

That is why Progressive Overload doesn't work that well for that long. It's time to do a little thinking for yourself. This is when you need to start experimenting and trying different things. Just because Rippetoe doesn't mention it in his book, doesn't mean it's not good.

I would use his same template, but change the reps you're shooting for. Why not do triples or even 8's. This would give you a whole new cycle to run thru.

And, the most obvious answer - GAIN SOME WEIGHT! That'll solve all your problems.

joey54
05-13-2008, 04:51 PM
or you could deload and start over with some lifts. like going back to 210-215 in bench and working back up. I like what Rhodehouse suggests more though.

Jeff Roark
05-13-2008, 07:08 PM
I've used them before, but I just made mine from links of chains. They are useful at the right times like when you truly can't make a 5lbs gain after weeks and maybe even months of grinding. I think it is truly an advanced lifters tool.

Anyway I suggest you try it and I'll predict after 2-4 weeks you'll probably say enough of this **** and be back to what you are doing now. After you get to that point I'd change my reps up instead going for some lower rep stuff followed by a few rep out sets with light weight.

brihead301
05-14-2008, 07:41 AM
Anyway I suggest you try it and I'll predict after 2-4 weeks you'll probably say enough of this **** and be back to what you are doing now. After you get to that point I'd change my reps up instead going for some lower rep stuff followed by a few rep out sets with light weight.

I'm not really changing what I'm doing now though. I just started out low and added weight every workout. Only now, I'm stuck on my bench and OH press so that I can not add 5 lbs. per workout anymore. This is why I have to take smaller jumps on those 2 lifts. I'm still considered a 'novice' according to Rippetoe's books, and according to him linear progression should take place for as long as possible for a novice before more complicated programming is to happen. It doesn't get much simpler then adding more weight every workout if that is possible does it?

Well I already paid the $50 for the set of plates, so I'll see how it goes.

Guido
05-14-2008, 08:30 AM
Well I guess if you already paid for them you might as well use them!

RedSpikeyThing
05-14-2008, 09:31 AM
I'm still considered a 'novice' according to Rippetoe's books, and according to him linear progression should take place for as long as possible for a novice before more complicated programming is to happen. goes.

If you can't add 5 lbs/workout you're not a novice anymore. Check out his intermediate routine. It's also linear periodization, but has a weekly schedule.

zen
05-14-2008, 09:44 AM
Wow, I never thought about increasing resistance between workouts by such small amounts.

I usually manage my progress by trying to add reps, and when the reps get high enough, I just make the jump to the next 5 or 10lb increment in the next workout.

I'm kinda curious what it would be like to add a LB or two each workout.

brihead301
05-14-2008, 10:14 AM
If you can't add 5 lbs/workout you're not a novice anymore. Check out his intermediate routine. It's also linear periodization, but has a weekly schedule.

No, he has a section in starting strength specifically talking about microloading. He says to start off by adding 5 lbs. - 10 lbs. to the squat, 10 -15 lbs. to the deadlift, 5 lbs. to the bench, OH press, and power clean. Once gains start to slow down it is necessary to take smaller jumps, but as long as you're progressing then you're getting stronger. He says that's is necessary to buy fractional plates in order to do so. That's a major part of his program. The smaller muscles just don't get strong as fast and therefore smaller jumps are required to keep novice progression moving for as long as possible.

I'm still able to make 5 lb. jumps on squats every workout and 10 lbs. to my deadlift. My power cleans are starting to slow down, but I've still been able to do 5 lbs. per workout though and complete all the reps.

I may be able to make one more 5 lb. jump on my OH press and get all 5 reps for all 3 sets, but I seriously doubt that I'll be able to make another 5 lb. jump after that, but 1/2 lb. or 1 lb. jumps are definately possible. Same thing with the bench, and soon the power clean.

It does seem weird and rather pointless to add such small amounts of weight, and to you guys who are squatting and benching huge numbers are probably thinking "just smash f***ing weights you p***y." But it makes sense that over a long period of time a lot of very small jumps can add up to a very big overall gain.

Check this article out about it:

http://www.mightykat.net/Microloading.pdf

brihead301
05-14-2008, 10:17 AM
Yes, I could do the higher reps thing that you guys are talking about, but I decided to stick Rip's novice program out for as long as possible, before trying other methods.

It's funny, on his forum he yells at people all the time for not listening to them with the microloading thing. People complain about hurting their shoulders and stuff, and he just says "I told you so you dumb bastard. You can't make 5 lb. jumps forever on the OH press and the bench". He's a firm believer in it, so I'm giving it a shot.

vdizenzo
05-14-2008, 12:26 PM
I try to use only 100's and 45's. However, sometimes I have to break down and use 25's. I'm so ashamed to admit that.

To quote one of the greatest mind's of our time, lil' Jimmy Wendler, "Training programs suck!"

brihead301
05-14-2008, 12:37 PM
I wish I could just slap on some extra 45's when I want to move up in weight, but unfortunately I'm not even at 2 45's per side yet on my bench for a set of 5, lol. I don't think I'll be slapping 1 more on each side for a little while.

Detard
05-14-2008, 04:02 PM
The force is weak with this one.

RedSpikeyThing
05-14-2008, 05:19 PM
I may be able to make one more 5 lb. jump on my OH press and get all 5 reps for all 3 sets, but I seriously doubt that I'll be able to make another 5 lb. jump after that, but 1/2 lb. or 1 lb. jumps are definately possible. Same thing with the bench, and soon the power clean.


Fair enough, but why wouldn't you make one 5 lbs jump per week, instead of three 1 lb jumps? The math doesn't make sense to me.

Also, what forum is he posting on?

EDIT: I just read the article. Seems to make sense to me :)

Notorious
05-14-2008, 05:29 PM
I probably would never do 1lb jumps, but definitely 2.5lb jumps if I had the plates.

brihead301
05-14-2008, 06:06 PM
Fair enough, but why wouldn't you make one 5 lbs jump per week, instead of three 1 lb jumps? The math doesn't make sense to me.

Also, what forum is he posting on?

EDIT: I just read the article. Seems to make sense to me :)

If I was able to do a 5 lb jump weekly, I certainly would. But I've tried, and I can't do it (at least not without altering rep ranges or something like that, like you guys suggested). I can stick to a weight for 3 workouts straight on OH press, and go up in everything else, but as soon as I add the 5 lbs. I can't do it.

I know it sounds like a pussy way to do things only adding 1/2 lb. or 1 lb. at a time, but it's progress, but it's so minimal that your body doesn't even realize that it's moving more weight.

F*** it, if it works to get me higher on my presses and cleans then hell ya! If it doesn't work, then I have some nice pretty little colorful plates for decoration, lol.

This is his personal Q&A forum:
http://strengthmill.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=36

I would have never even considered the idea of doing things this way if he didn't convince me to do so.

RedSpikeyThing
05-15-2008, 09:13 AM
You know, I think I've benn convinced to try this out. I'm following his intermediate routine (the Texas Method) and my bench and OHP are suffering. I'm going to do it the ghetto way, though.....1/2 lb chains :)

PS thanks for the link :)

RhodeHouse
05-15-2008, 09:26 AM
No, he has a section in starting strength specifically talking about microloading. He says to start off by adding 5 lbs. - 10 lbs. to the squat, 10 -15 lbs. to the deadlift, 5 lbs. to the bench, OH press, and power clean. Once gains start to slow down it is necessary to take smaller jumps, but as long as you're progressing then you're getting stronger. He says that's is necessary to buy fractional plates in order to do so. That's a major part of his program. The smaller muscles just don't get strong as fast and therefore smaller jumps are required to keep novice progression moving for as long as possible.

I'm still able to make 5 lb. jumps on squats every workout and 10 lbs. to my deadlift. My power cleans are starting to slow down, but I've still been able to do 5 lbs. per workout though and complete all the reps.

I may be able to make one more 5 lb. jump on my OH press and get all 5 reps for all 3 sets, but I seriously doubt that I'll be able to make another 5 lb. jump after that, but 1/2 lb. or 1 lb. jumps are definately possible. Same thing with the bench, and soon the power clean.

It does seem weird and rather pointless to add such small amounts of weight, and to you guys who are squatting and benching huge numbers are probably thinking "just smash f***ing weights you p***y." But it makes sense that over a long period of time a lot of very small jumps can add up to a very big overall gain.

Check this article out about it:

http://www.mightykat.net/Microloading.pdf

Progressive Overload - which is what he's talking about - linear loading, or whatever the buzzword is -DOESN'T WORK WELL FOR STRENGTH. It's a good start.

Here's the theory, if you have a baby calf (I don't know why you would, but whatever) Pr gressive Overload says that as long as you pick that little bastard up everyday, you'll get stronger. This is true, however, there comes a point in time when you can no longer pick up the calf because it's now a bull. What happens next? How do you continue to get stronger when the bull gets to heavy to pick up? Your bench press and overhead presses are now bulls. YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO MAKE PROGRESS. Change the reps or the program. For the OHP and bench, the program has run it's course. Now, it's time to start thinking. That's the part that people don't like. They want it spelled out and handed to them on a platter. This is where training is supposed to get fun. You get to think about your program and make it work for you. I hope you don't just go looking for another program that someone else has written.

BTW - to solve the problem of what to do when the calf becomes a bull and you can't lift it anymore- kill it and eat it.

brihead301
05-15-2008, 09:51 AM
You make good points Rhodes. Unfortunately, I have already paid for these plates, so I have to paint them black then at least try them out. I'm going to exhaust the possibility of linear progression for as long as possible (it doesn't get much simpler then adding weight every workout if possible does it? I'm still new enough at this where the simplest of programming will still work), then I'll start messing around with reps and assistance exercises and stuff. If I can get a few more lbs. on of my presses this way before stalling again, then hell ya. But at the point I'm at now, my calf still has not grown into a bull yet. I have a long ways to go until I stall on squats and deads too, so moving up on those will also make me stronger. I'm young and in no rush.

I have a question for you. Was there ever a time when you struggled to bench 225 lbs. 5 times? I don't know your exact numbers, but I think you're benching over 600 now right? My goal is 315 lbs. for bench and 225 lbs. for OH press.

RhodeHouse
05-15-2008, 09:59 AM
You make good points Rhodes. Unfortunately, I have already paid for these plates, so I have to paint them black then at least try them out. I'm going to exhaust the possibility of linear progression for as long as possible (it doesn't get much simpler then adding weight every workout if possible does it? I'm still new enough at this where the simplest of programming will still work), then I'll start messing around with reps and assistance exercises and stuff. If I can get a few more lbs. on of my presses this way before stalling again, then hell ya. But at the point I'm at now, my calf still has not grown into a bull yet. I have a long ways to go until I stall on squats and deads too, so moving up on those will also make me stronger. I'm young and in no rush.

I have a question for you. Was there ever a time when you struggled to bench 225 lbs. 5 times? I don't know your exact numbers, but I think you're benching over 600 now right? My goal is 315 lbs. for bench and 225 lbs. for OH press.


Hell yeah I had trouble with 225. I could barely bench it 1x as a college freshman at a bodyweight of 190. I only benched 285 as a 255lb senior. We've all struggled with lifts. Keep after it. 315 will fall.

DrDudley-Robey
05-21-2008, 08:08 PM
Yes, When breaking records at a meet!!!!:hello: :hello:

brihead301
05-22-2008, 06:39 AM
Yes, When breaking records at a meet!!!!:hello: :hello:

Well, you are a tough guy.

dstjacques
05-02-2013, 06:21 AM
Hi brihead301!

I know this is a major thread bump, but I am really interested about what happened with your progress with fractional plates back then, as I am currently in the same situation as you were.

Do you remember what was your approch with microloading back then, and did you make good progress with it? What is your bench press now, and what method de you use to increase it?

My current bench press is only 5 x 5 at 135, but progress is really slow and I tend to get stuck a couple of weeks when I increase the load by 5 pounds. I just bought a set of fractional plates, and I was wondering if I should continue to bench each workout increasing with only 1lb each time or if I should switch to the Texas Method and alternate intensity...

Thank you and have a nice day!

chris mason
05-02-2013, 10:56 PM
Fractional plates are a complete waste and truly the tools of a highly ineffective system. I.e., if you are resorting to them out of need you are training WRONG.

Judas
05-03-2013, 03:44 AM
Fractional plates are a complete waste and truly the tools of a highly ineffective system. I.e., if you are resorting to them out of need you are training WRONG.

I will absolutely and utterly disagree with you here... but only in ONE instance. When working with light weights (that are maximal for you).

My rule ov thumb is that anything under around 170lbs (my minimum changes as needed), you could benefit from ONE MORE lighter increment... 1 1/4lb plates (a pair being 2.5lbs). If your bench max is 185, then sure... you should be fine with 2.5's as your smallest plates. But if your max is 150, then the 'baby' plates can really help you get along. The weaker the max (especially under 135lbs), the more you need them.

My reasoning. Anyone here that can say, bench 315 knows that under maximal circumstances, even meet circumstances, 5lbs more CAN break the lift. The bigger the max, the smaller a deal the extra 5lbs is obviously. My girl benches 150lbs max. For her to try and push into heavily plateau'd PR territory she has to add a minimum ov 5lbs. If my max is say, 450lbs thats equivalent to a 15lb MINIMUM jump. I think most 450+ benchers would walk right out ov any gym that had nothing smaller than a 15lb plate. As soon as we started working with the 1 1/4lb plates, her lifts (that have been plateau'd for years and years... shes an elite lifter), everything started to move again. I've seen it work time and time again where other trainers and their 2.5lb plates fail.

I see no need for 1lb, or 1/2lb plates, or any other increment aside from 1 1/4lb plates.

But again, and i stress, this ONLY applies to women (or weak men perhaps) that have maxes that are less than say, 150-170lbs. If you're working on a lift that already has two plates a side on the bar, these wont help a bit. In fact, i can guarantee that unless your gym has extremely expensive Ivanko, Eleiko, or Leoko plates the differences between the different plates, just as a variance in casting quality from the factory will add up to more or less than 1-2lbs...

Judas
05-03-2013, 03:53 AM
On another semi-related note... Olympic weightlifters DO use incremental plates. The 'one-kilo rule' has done away with the typical 2.5, 5 and 7.5lb increments... in favor ov 1, 2, 3 and 4kg increments. The sets you buy come with .5kg, 1kg, 1.5kg, 2kg, and 2.5kg change plates. Olympic lifters up to the very elite Gods will be seen sliding as little as a .5kg plate on the bar to make a difference. Funny how different that sport is that with the strongest lifters in the world a kilo will make or break a lift.

theBarzeen
05-08-2013, 07:23 PM
Fractional plates are a complete waste and truly the tools of a highly ineffective system. I.e., if you are resorting to them out of need you are training WRONG.


Agreed. Just get the weight on the bar close to what you need and smash it. I can't feel the difference between 1000 and 1001 on the bar and what marginal improvement I might get from moving the extra pound isn't worth it's weight in doo doo......

chris mason
05-09-2013, 06:43 PM
On another semi-related note... Olympic weightlifters DO use incremental plates. The 'one-kilo rule' has done away with the typical 2.5, 5 and 7.5lb increments... in favor ov 1, 2, 3 and 4kg increments. The sets you buy come with .5kg, 1kg, 1.5kg, 2kg, and 2.5kg change plates. Olympic lifters up to the very elite Gods will be seen sliding as little as a .5kg plate on the bar to make a difference. Funny how different that sport is that with the strongest lifters in the world a kilo will make or break a lift.

The strongest in the world? Hmmm

I'm curious where you got the information the best O-lifters use .5 kg plates?

700
05-09-2013, 07:17 PM
Agreed. Just get the weight on the bar close to what you need and smash it. I can't feel the difference between 1000 and 1001 on the bar and what marginal improvement I might get from moving the extra pound isn't worth it's weight in doo doo......

Playing devil's advocate: is a 1000lbs to 1001lbs difference really comparable to a lifter trying to go from 150 to 151 on a lift?

Aren't fractional plates just another tool?

JK1
05-11-2013, 01:43 AM
Playing devil's advocate: is a 1000lbs to 1001lbs difference really comparable to a lifter trying to go from 150 to 151 on a lift?

Aren't fractional plates just another tool?

They are, but the problem is people get too caught up in the numbers and ultimately they end up cutting themselves short. To me a fractional plate is a 10 lb plate, or on a bad day a 5 lb plate. Anything less is just a waste of time. I need to get my head straight and lift instead of farting around focusing on the math of what kind of a difference 5 lbs of bar weight will make.


For someone like my wife, who moves about 1/3 to 1/4 of the weight I do depending on the lift, then yeah, she can use 2.5 lb plates for her fractional lifts. it makes sense. We have exactly 2 pair of 2.5 lb plates in my gym, for my wife to use.... everything else is a multiple of 5.

Anything less is for children and those who need to learn to lift correctly.

Judas
05-11-2013, 04:39 AM
The strongest in the world? Hmmm

In my opinion, yes.


I'm curious where you got the information the best O-lifters use .5 kg plates?

In Olympic lifting, a 1kg PR is still a PR, even if the bar weight is over 250kg. The '1-kilo rule' that came into play not too long ago did away with the 2.5lb increment (well, for them it was 1.25kg) and everything went to 1kg increments. Thats in comp, and in training. Further... this rule change came about just recently (within last decade), at a time when lifters are getting stronger and stronger... hell, even approaching, and in some cases exceeding old weight-class records (when drug testing was a complete joke). You would think if a 1kg increment was meaningless they'd be going the other way with minimum increments.

That said, Olympic lifting is a lot different than powerlifting in one key pertinent way... it is a LOT more hit or miss. There is no grinding out maxes, nor saving botched or misgrooved lifts. In powerlifting you can get fairly far out ov line and still save a lift, so maybe the increments dont need to be so minute. In weightlifting, even the elite ov the elite can miss a lift due to an extra 1kg... it can be the difference ov the bar just not getting high enough to secure overhead... and NO amount ov strength or grinding will overcome that.

Further still, if it happens at the elite level, then you can be sure its common at the beginner/intermediate/advanced level... where 1kg is proportionately more weight still. I know weightlifters that count even squat PR's in 1kg increments. I personally think thats a bit silly, but many dont, and some are pretty damn good.

chris mason
05-11-2013, 08:09 PM
In my opinion, yes.



In Olympic lifting, a 1kg PR is still a PR, even if the bar weight is over 250kg. The '1-kilo rule' that came into play not too long ago did away with the 2.5lb increment (well, for them it was 1.25kg) and everything went to 1kg increments. Thats in comp, and in training. Further... this rule change came about just recently (within last decade), at a time when lifters are getting stronger and stronger... hell, even approaching, and in some cases exceeding old weight-class records (when drug testing was a complete joke). You would think if a 1kg increment was meaningless they'd be going the other way with minimum increments.

That said, Olympic lifting is a lot different than powerlifting in one key pertinent way... it is a LOT more hit or miss. There is no grinding out maxes, nor saving botched or misgrooved lifts. In powerlifting you can get fairly far out ov line and still save a lift, so maybe the increments dont need to be so minute. In weightlifting, even the elite ov the elite can miss a lift due to an extra 1kg... it can be the difference ov the bar just not getting high enough to secure overhead... and NO amount ov strength or grinding will overcome that.

Further still, if it happens at the elite level, then you can be sure its common at the beginner/intermediate/advanced level... where 1kg is proportionately more weight still. I know weightlifters that count even squat PR's in 1kg increments. I personally think thats a bit silly, but many dont, and some are pretty damn good.

You didn't answer my question. I want to see where it says any elite or high level O-lifter regularly uses fractional plates in his or her training. I've seen more than one training video of the best of the best O-lifters and have never seen a fractional plate on the bar.

Judas
05-12-2013, 01:39 AM
You didn't answer my question. I want to see where it says any elite or high level O-lifter regularly uses fractional plates in his or her training. I've seen more than one training video of the best of the best O-lifters and have never seen a fractional plate on the bar.

Maybe you need to watch more videos? Trust me, it happens. Why would i lie about it? Again, many Olympic program styles revolve around PR's or PR attempts, and in that sport, they come as low as 1kg. No different than when a powerlifter inches their numbers up bit by bit... 5lbs here, 5lbs there... and over time it adds up. Olympics just use smaller increments is all.

Granted i will give you that a lot ov Olympic clubs (not the majority, but many) still use the basic 1.25/2.5/5kg plates, i trained at one just last week.

chris mason
05-12-2013, 10:33 PM
Maybe you need to watch more videos? Trust me, it happens. Why would i lie about it? Again, many Olympic program styles revolve around PR's or PR attempts, and in that sport, they come as low as 1kg. No different than when a powerlifter inches their numbers up bit by bit... 5lbs here, 5lbs there... and over time it adds up. Olympics just use smaller increments is all.

Granted i will give you that a lot ov Olympic clubs (not the majority, but many) still use the basic 1.25/2.5/5kg plates, i trained at one just last week.

I didn't say you were lying. I think you are misinformed, and or overstated your idea. A PR is a PR, but again, show me a video with a fractional plate being used by a world class O-lifter. You tell me to watch more videos, I am happy to do so. Provide some links.