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clfs
07-25-2011, 12:48 PM
This is my first post so let me give you a little information about myself. My name is Jason and I am a 27 year old software engineer from Charlotte, NC. I am 6' 0" and weigh just shy of 230 lbs. I have been lifting off and on for a few years now with very little to show for it.

This site has been a daily lurking ground for me over the past few weeks and, because everyone seems so supportive, I decided that I should take a more direct part in the forum.

Before I go into my routine, be aware that I attempted a routine similar to this about a year ago and incurred a major lower back injury performing squats (which I now know was due to poor flexibility and, as a result, terrible form.). As such, I am easing back into this routine (ommitting squats for now) with a empasis on form. I am currently performing Magnificent Mobility routines 5 days a week in addition to foam roller work to get my squat flexibility and form up to par. I am hoping to be able to start squatting within the coming month.

Here is my routine from last week:

Warmup: 8:30 min/mile run or 10 min on rowing machine

Monday:
Barbell Bench 5x5x185
Military Press 5x5x105
Skull Crushers 2x8x70
Dips 2x Failure x Bodyweight

Wednesday
Pullups (palms in) 5 x Failure x Bodyweight
Deadlifts 5x5x185 (Could go a good bit heavier but I am concentrating on good form for now)
Bent over Rows 3x8x155
Easy Bar Curls 2 x Failure x 70

Saturday
Leg Press 5x5x450 (This will be replaced with squats when I can safely perform them)
Hanging Cleans 5x5x105 (These are terrible. Don't laugh at me :) )
Dumbell Lunges 3x8x60
12" Box Jumps 3x15x bodyweight (These are a work in progress)
Planks

Diet: Historically my diet has been terrirble. My diet primarily consisted of alcohol, fried things, and cheese. Working with my wife, we have been able to start cleaning up our household diet. We essentially have been eating veggies, fruits, and lean meat almost exclusively for the last few weeks. The exception being high fiber whole wheat bread every once in a while. Over the next few weeks, I am going to try to start logging my diet information in fitday to get a better visibility of my daily caloric intake and Carb/Protein/Fat breakdown.

Supplements:

Nitrean (Have not started but should be delivered tomorrow)
Multivitamin
Fishoil
ALN Creatine (Just started loading this past friday)


My overall goal is to become stronger, increase flexibility (mostly to prevent injury), and lose the gut (I am quite chunky now).


A couple questions for you:

Are there any other suggested stretching routines or excercises that will help me with my squatting flexibility other than MM? (My primary problem is my heels lift off of the ground very early on in the squat and this causes me to lean forward and put a strain on my lower back).

My bench has been stuck at 185 (more specifically I can't complete the last set of 5) for the past few months. I don't have access to a spotter and I don't have any bands, chains, or boards (If it comes to it, I can certainly purchase these though). Any suggestions? I can make a video if anyone feels form critique is needed.


Sorry for the overwhelming first post. Hopefully I have provided enough information to get good feedback/constructive criticism. Thanks in advance!

thecityalive
07-25-2011, 01:13 PM
Are there any other suggested stretching routines or excercises that will help me with my squatting flexibility other than MM? (My primary problem is my heels lift off of the ground very early on in the squat and this causes me to lean forward and put a strain on my lower back).

Big fan of foam rolling before any of my lifts. Really gets a good stretch and breaks up any scar tissue build up in the fascia. You can roll anything to get the blood moving better. Hips, quads, hams, calves, etc.

What shoes do you wear when you squat?


My bench has been stuck at 185 (more specifically I can't complete the last set of 5) for the past few months. I don't have access to a spotter and I don't have any bands, chains, or boards (If it comes to it, I can certainly purchase these though). Any suggestions? I can make a video if anyone feels form critique is needed.

What is your current set up?

clfs
07-25-2011, 01:28 PM
Big fan of foam rolling before any of my lifts. Really gets a good stretch and breaks up any scar tissue build up in the fascia. You can roll anything to get the blood moving better. Hips, quads, hams, calves, etc.

What shoes do you wear when you squat?

What is your current set up?

I have been wearing my normal Nike running shoes. Should I try barefoot?

Typically I will perform my normal warm up run and add on some light stretching.

Warmup:

One set of 10 (concentrating on form) bar only
One set of 5 95 lbs
One set of 5 135 lbs
One set of 3 155 lbs

Five Sets of 5 Reps at 185

I can usuall hit all 5 reps on the first four sets; however, on the last set I really struggle and barely get 3 or 4. I have not been able to hit 5 yet.

MrBean
07-25-2011, 03:21 PM
Your poundages are alot similar to mine. It's uncanny. I am 6'2" and am progressing gradually on the 3 lifts. Doing better on bench since I switched up my technique to incorporate a 45 degree arm angle going down to lower chest & exploding upward. I've combined WSB with 531 and changed it around to suit my needs (one sub max & speed day per week with percentages thrown in). I also plan on purchasing a pair of Safe shoes for better grounding, especially on Sqauts & Cleans. Doing 300 lbs on the Leg press but using an Oly bar in the rack instead of a machine (Sold my leg press a while back like a dummy).

clfs
07-25-2011, 03:57 PM
Your poundages are alot similar to mine. It's uncanny. I am 6'2" and am progressing gradually on the 3 lifts. Doing better on bench since I switched up my technique to incorporate a 45 degree arm angle going down to lower chest & exploding upward. I've combined WSB with 531 and changed it around to suit my needs (one sub max & speed day per week with percentages thrown in). I also plan on purchasing a pair of Safe shoes for better grounding, especially on Sqauts & Cleans. Doing 300 lbs on the Leg press but using an Oly bar in the rack instead of a machine (Sold my leg press a while back like a dummy).

Can you elaborate a little on what you did to help your bench? You mentioned 45 degree arm angle. Is that at the arm angle at the bottom of the movement?

MrBean
07-25-2011, 04:12 PM
Can you elaborate a little on what you did to help your bench? You mentioned 45 degree arm angle. Is that at the arm angle at the bottom of the movement?

Yes the angle at bottom & using lots of tricep and upper back. Also a solid position on the bench helps. Keeping shoulder blades squeezed togther and shoulder down. Whole body tight as a nuns morals. Check out some articles by pro athletes.
Find your groove and Do some assistant work, aka lockouts, chains, boards, close grip, etc.. Get pissed at the bar. Alternate Heavy days with light ones and go for speed under control. Read alot.

http://www.criticalbench.com/athlete-interviews.htm

Goll65
07-25-2011, 05:54 PM
Get new shoes, that is a big part of you problem. You are wearing running shoes look at them the heel is thicker than the toe which means your you heel is higher tha the ball of your foot. you are trying to push though your heel but it is already elevated. Get flat soled shoes or you can go barefoot.

On the routine on your leg day cleans and box jumps need to be done first they are explosive movements. You could move cleans to back day if you want but still do them first.

theBarzeen
07-25-2011, 06:41 PM
It sounds less like a mobility issue and more like an issue with squat form to me....

There are lots of powerlifters who can barely tie their own shoes but can squat just fine..... it's all about finding the technique that works for you.


As for the bench not moving..... I'm going with 3 possibilities

1) diet is too low on calories ( quality calories, not junk)
2) you just need to work heavier weights in the 1-3 rep range..... bench heavy to bench heavy.... that or just a specific weakness but without seeing a bench missed for myself I can't say where..... or of course just technique again.
3) the program you are running doesn't work for you.... try something else. Your routine looks a lot like mine ( except I place MUCH more emphasis on the big 3 lifts)... but it still might take some changes to really work for you. If you do what you've done, you'll get what you've got.

clfs
07-26-2011, 06:32 AM
Quick update:

Yesterday was bench day. I'm not sure what was different, but I finally busted through the plateau on my bench. Not only was I able to complete my 5x5 at 185 lbs, I also had enough energy to hit an extra 3 reps at 195. Wooohooo! I am just that much closer to my goal of repping two plates. Per Mr. Beans's suggestion, I did focus on a controlled descent with the bar and and explosive ascent. Maybe that was the difference?

In addition to the PR on bench, I was also able to complete the 5x5 at 105 lbs Military Press for a new PR there too!

Apparently, just posting to this forum makes you stronger :)

Goll65: Are there any particular brands of shoes that are recommended? Where can you find these types of shoes? I'm guessing somewhere like Dick's Sporting Goods or some other generic fitness store.

theBarzeen: Thank you for the suggestions. I will shift my hanging cleans and box jumps to the beginning of my workout as you suggested.

I am very interested in getting feedback about my squat and, because it is tangentially related, my deadlift form. I will try to get videos of both of these movements this week. Hopefully, you guys/gals will be able to get my form fixed up so I can start squatting regularly again without pain!

theBarzeen
07-26-2011, 09:04 PM
Quick update:


theBarzeen: Thank you for the suggestions. I will shift my hanging cleans and box jumps to the beginning of my workout as you suggested.


I'm not sure if that was a mistake or if I wasn't clear in what I was saying.... If you are worried about bench definitely don't do a bunch of other stuff before you bench.

When I suggested switching up your routine I meant more like changing the sets, reps, and exercises used... not so much the order in which you perform them.

congrats on hitting a PR though

clfs
07-27-2011, 08:49 AM
Another update (I will probably start a journal later today):

Yesterday I performed a workout that focused exclusively on squat and deadlift so I could capture some video of my form. I am going to edit them down so they will be a little shorter. Hopefully I will have something to upload later today or tomorrow.

Here were my sets:

Squats:

10 x bar
5 x 95
135 x 8
135 x 8
135 x 8
185 x 6
185 x 6

I felt like I could handle much more weight without too much trouble, but my coordination in executing the movement started to break down so I decided to stop.

Deadlifts

5 x 135
3 x 185
5 x 225
5 x 225
5 x 225
5 x 225
5 x 225

The deadlifts felt solid. I am sure that I could lift significantly heavier weight for my working sets but I want to get feedback on my form before I start slapping more weight onto the bar.



theBarzeen: Thanks! Hopefully I was able to break through the plateau and my bench will continue to climb without as much struggle.

I re-read the thread and discovered the source of the confusion. Goll65 had made a suggestion to move explosive movements to the beginning of my workouts (this primarily affects my Squat day routine). In my haste to respond, I mixed up the the names. That comment should have been directed to him. My apologies for the disarray.

In regards to your three points:

1. The quality of the calories that I am eating should not be an issue. Everything that I eat (with the exception of cheat days) is unprocessed meat, veggies, fruit, or protein powders. If anything, the problem is that I have no idea what my caloric intake per day is. That is a problem that I am working to fix right now.

2. Several years ago, I tried something similar to this and had fast and consistent gains. Over the course of a few months I had added over 30 lbs to my bench. In fact, I was able to use that technique to hit my highest 1 rep max ever of 265 lbs. I can't even bench that much today. Anywho, the reason I had to stop training like that was because I started to develop shoulder pain. I had chalked the pain up to constantly working close to my 1RM every workout because once I dropped back down to a lighter weight the pain started to subside. Do you think that assumption is correct or do you think this may be technique related?

3. Good point. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. You said you incorporate more the of the big 3 into your workout routine. Do you just remove most of the non-big 3 peripheral exercises and increase the frequency of the big 3 workouts or do you increase the volume of each workout? To be honest, my body is itching for another bench and deadlift workout each week; however, I am trying to be hyper-concerned about overtraining. Do you think this should be a concern?

joey54
07-27-2011, 11:38 AM
You have written a lot in this thread, and to be honest I haven't even read half of it. In the first post you state you have been lifting off and on for a few years. To see any benefits most people need to be consistent. Also, seems like you are over analyzing. Pick a few cues for each lift, follow them, and everything else will take care of itself. We don't need updates either. If you want to chart your workouts, start a journal in that section. Surely you will get some good feedback doing that.

clfs
07-27-2011, 12:17 PM
You have written a lot in this thread, and to be honest I haven't even read half of it. In the first post you state you have been lifting off and on for a few years. To see any benefits most people need to be consistent. Also, seems like you are over analyzing. Pick a few cues for each lift, follow them, and everything else will take care of itself. We don't need updates either. If you want to chart your workouts, start a journal in that section. Surely you will get some good feedback doing that.

You are correct about my posts getting a little too winded. In my last post I mentioned the very same thing. Just to make things easy, if you could move this thread to the journal section that would unclutter the powerlifting section and kickstart my journal.

Off Road
07-27-2011, 01:05 PM
Just start your own journal thread in the journal section.

Goll65
07-27-2011, 06:12 PM
You can get shoes for cheap just look at them and make sure the sole is even throughout , the main example would be chuck taylors

theBarzeen
07-28-2011, 12:21 AM
Another update (I will probably start a journal later today):


theBarzeen: Thanks! Hopefully I was able to break through the plateau and my bench will continue to climb without as much struggle.

I re-read the thread and discovered the source of the confusion. Goll65 had made a suggestion to move explosive movements to the beginning of my workouts (this primarily affects my Squat day routine). In my haste to respond, I mixed up the the names. That comment should have been directed to him. My apologies for the disarray.

In regards to your three points:

1. The quality of the calories that I am eating should not be an issue. Everything that I eat (with the exception of cheat days) is unprocessed meat, veggies, fruit, or protein powders. If anything, the problem is that I have no idea what my caloric intake per day is. That is a problem that I am working to fix right now.

2. Several years ago, I tried something similar to this and had fast and consistent gains. Over the course of a few months I had added over 30 lbs to my bench. In fact, I was able to use that technique to hit my highest 1 rep max ever of 265 lbs. I can't even bench that much today. Anywho, the reason I had to stop training like that was because I started to develop shoulder pain. I had chalked the pain up to constantly working close to my 1RM every workout because once I dropped back down to a lighter weight the pain started to subside. Do you think that assumption is correct or do you think this may be technique related?

3. Good point. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. You said you incorporate more the of the big 3 into your workout routine. Do you just remove most of the non-big 3 peripheral exercises and increase the frequency of the big 3 workouts or do you increase the volume of each workout? To be honest, my body is itching for another bench and deadlift workout each week; however, I am trying to be hyper-concerned about overtraining. Do you think this should be a concern?


No worries about the mix up, it happens...

1) it sounds like your diet is good, but it'd help to get a calorie count. That hardest part about eating clean is getting in the calories needed to really grow. Clean, good foods are not very calorically dense so it takes a LOT..... to maintain weight I need between 4000 and 5000 calories a day. That's a LOT of chicken and broccoli..... You probably aren't 300# so you won't need that many calories, but it will still feel like a lot of food.

2) it sounds like 2 issues ( given the limited information) the shoulder pain could be from form ( such as not tucking your shoulders back and pinching your scapulae when you set up on the bench) or like you said, just going heavy too often. Most of my team works on a 3 week wave for each main lift. For example, on bench, week one is heavy raw or to boards, week two is lighter or to high boards for reps, week three is heavy. Or you could just break it in to Light, MEdium, and Heavy weeks.... so you aren't going heavy all the time. Each main lift is rotated differently from the others so this week ( for example) is heavy raw bench, heavy deadlift from blocks, and medium squat with reverse bands. NExt week will be light bench, speed pulls, and HEAVY squat.... this saves the joints a bit.

3) Its more about adjusting the auxiliary exercises to help the weak points on the main lifts. If my lockout is weak then most of my auxiliary movements are programmed around improving that... I do some general conditioning stuff ( as does most of my team) but on the few regular days a week where we all train together it's all about the main 3 lifts and variations of that. For example: If your lockout is weak don't do cable push downs and expect a miracle... instead try 3-board presses or benching with chains.



This is just MY opinion though. Feel free to take what you want from it and tell me to shove the rest.

Oh, and don't sweat making long posts. If you have a problem most guys appreciate as much information as they can get about it to better understand what they could share with you to help.