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Thread: Do any of you guys use fractional plates?

  1. #1
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Do any of you guys use fractional plates?

    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.

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    I would pass on the weights and instead of adding 5lbs every workout, focus on adding 1 or 2 reps to your previous weight.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    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
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  6. #6
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detard View Post
    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.

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    Only when I am breaking a record

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    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luyando View Post
    Only when I am breaking a record
    Yep. When you are getting into heavier weights, then 5-10 lb increments should be small enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by RhodeHouse; 05-13-2008 at 04:39 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    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.


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    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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Roark View Post

    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.

  13. #13
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Well I guess if you already paid for them you might as well use them!
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    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.

  15. #15
    mind/body zen's Avatar
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    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.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpikeyThing View Post
    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

  17. #17
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    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.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    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!"
    Last edited by vdizenzo; 05-14-2008 at 06:45 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    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.

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    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    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
    Last edited by RedSpikeyThing; 05-14-2008 at 05:21 PM.

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    I probably would never do 1lb jumps, but definitely 2.5lb jumps if I had the plates.

  23. #23
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpikeyThing View Post
    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.

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    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.

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