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Thread: Tom Mutaffis Q&A

  1. #26
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemz View Post
    What's the best way to train symmetry? Because for some odd reason the right side of my body seems to pack more mass than the left side. I work as much with dumbells or other seperate weights as possible i always work with the max weight of my weakest side never do more reps with my for example my right arm and yet it still seems to get bigger faster than my left..
    Strength and size inbalances are fairly common in beginner and intermediate trainees. Generally they will work themselves out as long as there is not a postural limitation (flexibility, injury) that is causing the imbalance.

    Did you play any sports before you started weight training? Or have any injuries that may have caused an imbalance?

    Personally I had some rather substantial imbalances to overcome from skateboarding for a couple of years.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

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  2. #27
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    In your personal opinion, is squatting twice a week enough for legs? I only do squats twice a week for legs. Of course I want big legs, but is that enough? Should I include anything else, something that doesn't hurt my knees like extensions?


    Thanks!


    Excellent thread!
    -█--------█- Squat: 285 x 3
    ......\☻/...... Bench Press: 235 x 3 (stuck there)
    ........▌....... Skull Crusher: 110lbs ez bar
    ......./ \......Standing Shoulder Press: 115lbs (barbell)


    "I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them." Pablo Picasso

  3. #28
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Strength and size inbalances are fairly common in beginner and intermediate trainees. Generally they will work themselves out as long as there is not a postural limitation (flexibility, injury) that is causing the imbalance.

    Did you play any sports before you started weight training? Or have any injuries that may have caused an imbalance?

    Personally I had some rather substantial imbalances to overcome from skateboarding for a couple of years.
    I did martial arts and i used to punch and kick the most with my right side it's just strange because i've read about it and i do what everyone says to get them balanced but the right side just seems to develop faster

  4. #29
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by View 1 View Post
    This is a general question. If someone asked you to lay out a very basic training template for the average joe who could only hit the gym 3 days a week ( your basic health club ) and wanted to gain some muscle and loss some body fat, what would you recommend?

    In regards to deloads, do you think most people need to deload more often and let there body recover, or do you believe that there are times when you need to push yourself and let your body adapt to certain types of training ( what ever that training may be, but generally something that has a little more volume, frequency or intensity than what that individual is use to )?
    Question 1: (General three day split)

    For the average person who is looking to just work out and has general fitness goals I would recommend this three day split:

    Monday - Chest & Back (Barbell / Dumbell Pressing, Chins, Rows, etc.)
    Wednesday - Lower Body (Squats, Deadlifts, Lunges, Machines)
    Friday - Arms & Shoulders (Dips, Curls, Extensions, Laterals)

    This program would ensure that each muscle group is being trained directly once per week which would allow for ample recovery and is ideal for those with general aesthetic goals. It is a simple training split and should be full of compound movements, one heavy compound movement per bodypart and the rest performed as simple "working sets". Rest periods should be anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes between sets depending on intensity and current conditioning levels.

    If someone were looking for a bit more strength and mass then I would recommend something like this:

    Monday: Pulling (Back / Biceps / Deadlifts)
    Wednesday: Pressing (Chest / Triceps / Shoulders)
    Thursday: Lower Body (Squats / Lunges / Etc.)


    Question 2: (deloading)

    When talking about recovery weeks or deloading there are a lot of variables that should be considered. Personally I would generally train for 2-3 months and then deload by doing no weight training for a week and just cardiovascular exercises. This recover week would come once I had hit a plateau or if I was feeling burnt out (designated by instincts / performance). In many cases I feel that this is the most effective way to train because it allows you to maximize your training and contstantly train to your limits, but I can also appreciate how some strength-focused programs incorporate regular deloading after high intensity weeks to allow for recuperation.

    If your goal is to increase strength then I think that some of the programs like the 5/3/1 with frequent deloading are effective. If your goal is to build muscle then personally I believe that deloading every three weeks is a waste of time and would hold you back.

    Other factors that contribute to recovery are stress, training intensity / volume, calorie intake, supplements, performance enhancers, and sleep. This is why I believe that you need to listen to your body to determine when the best time to deload is unless there is already something mapped into your program. There is no magic number of weeks where you will stop making progress if you have not allowed for some down time; it all depends on the individual.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  5. #30
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryumexicano View Post
    In your personal opinion, is squatting twice a week enough for legs? I only do squats twice a week for legs. Of course I want big legs, but is that enough? Should I include anything else, something that doesn't hurt my knees like extensions?

    Thanks!

    Excellent thread!
    Only do squats twice a week for legs? Squats twice a week is more than enough for legs, in fact I would make sure that you are on a program that has adjusted intensity to allow for optimal recovery so that you are not overtraining. This is especially true if you are deadlifting on another day (although I remember you had a back injury so you may not be deadlifting).

    What I would recommend for a two day per week program is one 'volume' day and one 'heavy' day (for mass). If you are training for strength then I would do one 'speed/accessory' day and one 'heavy' day.

    Think about it like driving a car. Each week you have one tank of gas, and it is up to you to decide how to use it. If you push the pedal to the floor (high intensity) then you will burn through that gas more quickly. If you drive too slow then you will have plenty of gas, but you might not use it all before you get to next week. If you train 2-3 times per week with the pedal to the metal you will run out of gas, and run out of progress. The objective is to use the whole tank of gas but not to run yourself down to empty each week, this allows for progress.

    Remember, you do not grow in the gym -you grow from training hard and then feeding your body with ample nutrients (protein/calories) and getting enough rest.

    Simple answer: Yes, squatting 2X per week is plenty.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Only do squats twice a week for legs? Squats twice a week is more than enough for legs, in fact I would make sure that you are on a program that has adjusted intensity to allow for optimal recovery so that you are not overtraining. This is especially true if you are deadlifting on another day (although I remember you had a back injury so you may not be deadlifting).

    What I would recommend for a two day per week program is one 'volume' day and one 'heavy' day (for mass). If you are training for strength then I would do one 'speed/accessory' day and one 'heavy' day.

    Think about it like driving a car. Each week you have one tank of gas, and it is up to you to decide how to use it. If you push the pedal to the floor (high intensity) then you will burn through that gas more quickly. If you drive too slow then you will have plenty of gas, but you might not use it all before you get to next week. If you train 2-3 times per week with the pedal to the metal you will run out of gas, and run out of progress. The objective is to use the whole tank of gas but not to run yourself down to empty each week, this allows for progress.

    Remember, you do not grow in the gym -you grow from training hard and then feeding your body with ample nutrients (protein/calories) and getting enough rest.

    Simple answer: Yes, squatting 2X per week is plenty.
    Thanks a lot Tom!! I really appreciate your response. I might sound ignorant but I don't know the difference between Volume and Heavy :S

    Thanks for the response though!! I am doing squats today and I love them Deadlifts are out of my list for now.

    -█--------█- Squat: 285 x 3
    ......\☻/...... Bench Press: 235 x 3 (stuck there)
    ........▌....... Skull Crusher: 110lbs ez bar
    ......./ \......Standing Shoulder Press: 115lbs (barbell)


    "I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them." Pablo Picasso

  7. #32
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    Tom,
    About me- been following the Westside Barbell for the last month with nice gains. lifts and weight in Sig.
    My goal is: I would like to compete in some strongman type events in Florida. Ultimate goal would be 300 @ 15%

    1. Do you think my squat is low, compared to my other lifts? if so what can I do in addition to squats and dead lifts to improve the squat?
    2. Is it possible to train for strongman in a gym? tips? I started overhead BB presses 135 x 5 x 5
    3. When would I know I'm ready to enter an event? Amateur of coarse but still don't want to look like an idiot, is there a "standard' that my lifts should be.

    Thanks in advance,
    Andy
    JOURNAL
    6'3" 324lbs 33% started lifting Oct/09

    Squat-315
    Bench-275
    Deadlift-410
    and climbing...

  8. #33
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    Tom, do you have any advice for increasing raw DL strength while cutting? Perhaps a specific regimen or a rep scheme?

  9. #34
    Wannabebig Member ebomb5522's Avatar
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    Tom,
    I'm going to be competing in my first strongman competition on December 13th. I currently am at college with minimal equipment (virtually just a gym). What sort of template might you advise I utilize to best prepare myself without having the necessary equipment to train the events? I was thinking a 5/3/1 sort of day, or a push-pull-legs template, but I wanted to get your advice. Thanks.

  10. #35
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryumexicano View Post
    Thanks a lot Tom!! I really appreciate your response. I might sound ignorant but I don't know the difference between Volume and Heavy :S

    Thanks for the response though!! I am doing squats today and I love them Deadlifts are out of my list for now.

    Here is a more detailed explanation of the two different types of training sessions:

    Volume- Performing a high number of sets / repetitions in a given workout, but not necessarily with heavy weights. An popular example of this is a protcol called "German Volume Training" or GVT. GVT calls for 10 sets of 10 with one minute of rest between sets. The weight used is typically 50% of your 1RM. If you are doing two training sessions per week then I would not incorporate GVT, but you could do something like (5) sets of (10) reps with two minutes rest between sets @ 50%.

    Heavy - Performing an exercise with high intensity (percentage of 1RM). Typically anything above 70% of your 1RM would be considered 'heavy'. So if you can squat 300 lbs for one rep then on your heavy day you might do something like 215-225 lbs x 5 reps x 3 sets.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  11. #36
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy31 View Post
    Tom,
    About me- been following the Westside Barbell for the last month with nice gains. lifts and weight in Sig.
    My goal is: I would like to compete in some strongman type events in Florida. Ultimate goal would be 300 @ 15%

    1. Do you think my squat is low, compared to my other lifts? if so what can I do in addition to squats and dead lifts to improve the squat?
    2. Is it possible to train for strongman in a gym? tips? I started overhead BB presses 135 x 5 x 5
    3. When would I know I'm ready to enter an event? Amateur of coarse but still don't want to look like an idiot, is there a "standard' that my lifts should be.

    Thanks in advance,
    Andy
    Andy -

    I used to live in Florida and there are actually three strongman training groups in the Tampa/St. Pete area. Your bodyweight/bodyfat are not as important as strength and athleticism when it comes to strongman competition, although in some cases having good leverages or additional bodyweight can be helpful.

    1. Your squat does seem to be a bit low compared to your deadlift, but it depends on your squat form. If you are squatting high bar/ATG then 285 lbs would be a good number for a 400 lbs deadlifter. Honestly, squats are not that important for strongman but they are a good exercise for general leg power. I would incorporate some box squats since that should allow you to move heavier weights.

    2. Yes, there are a lot of things that you can do in the gym to prepare for strongman. The most important exercises are front squats, deadlifts, hang cleans, incline bench press, and push press / push jerk.

    The 5x5 protocol can be good for building strength, but remember that in strongman you only get one shot at the weight. If your body responds well to volume then I would continue with the 5x5, but it may be in your best interest to work with a pyramid progression working up to one max effort set (can be anywhere from 3-8 reps) and then do some lighter volume work after that. Here is an example:

    Push Press Workout:
    115 lbs x 3
    135 lbs x 3
    145 lbs x 1
    155 lbs x 3
    135 lbs x 3-5

    This will allow you to work with some heavier weights but you still have some volume as well. (If you are doing strict overhead press I would work on trying to use your legs, since that is allowed in strongman competition).

    3. There is a 'Novice' class in many contests for first time competitors, but you do only get one opportunity to compete in that division. In terms of general strength levels I would say that you should find a contest where you can at least complete some distance or one rep on each of the events. There is a good contest coming up in March in Fort Myers that may be one to look at. I believe that some of the events will be similar to gym lifts and should be manageable.

    I can also set you up with some of the local training groups so that you can give the events a try, just send me a PM and I will get you their contact information.

    Let me know if there is anything else that I can help with.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  12. #37
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twm View Post
    Tom, do you have any advice for increasing raw DL strength while cutting? Perhaps a specific regimen or a rep scheme?
    I want to make sure that I give you the best answer, so I need a little bit more information before making a recommendation.

    1. Are you interested in only focusing on your deadlift or do you have other objectives with your program?

    2. What type of accessory work do you currently do for deadlift?

    3. What is your current deadlift max and where do you want to be? Also what is your goal for 'cutting'?
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebomb5522 View Post
    Tom,
    I'm going to be competing in my first strongman competition on December 13th. I currently am at college with minimal equipment (virtually just a gym). What sort of template might you advise I utilize to best prepare myself without having the necessary equipment to train the events? I was thinking a 5/3/1 sort of day, or a push-pull-legs template, but I wanted to get your advice. Thanks.
    The 5/3/1 is OK, but if you are training for an event that is about 5 weeks away you are not going to see any drastic gains with that protocol.

    Since there is only one NAS contest on 12/13 I assume that you are competing at the Paxton Power Gym event.

    The events for this contest are:
    1. Log Press
    2. Trap Bar Deadlift
    3. Crucifix Hold
    4. Farmer’s Walk
    5. Sandbag Carry Medley

    Here is how I would train for each one of these using equipment in the gym.

    1. The gym exercises that will have the most carryover to this event are the incline barbell press and the dumbell clean and press. You can also do some standing push press to work on timing and to get comfortable with having weights overhead. Wearing stable, flat sole (chucks, sambas, skateboard shoes) will make a big difference on log press. I would work on heavy incline bench and then work technique with the dumbell clean and neutral grip press (to simulate the log). I can take a video to demonstrate this if you would like. For barbell push press I would work with a manageble weight and just work on using leg drive and breathing with the weight locked out overhead (you do not want to take a breath with the implement on your chest/shoulders).

    2. Does your gym have a trap bar? If not I would just work on your squats since the trap bar deadlift involves more leg power than back power and is quite different than a standard deadlift.

    3. Dumbells are a good way to simulate the crucifix hold. Simply stand with your back against a stable surface and hold the dumbells out at your sides at a 90 degree angle. Have someone time you if possible. This will give you the mental toughness required to succeed in the timed hold.

    4. You can do farmers walk with dumbbells. Dumbbells are going to be more challenging than actual farmers walk implements but will get you used to moving with weight in your hands. I would also do some static hangs from a pullup bar to build grip strength (try to get to 1 minute, if you can do that easily then hang weights from yourself).

    5. If you have an old punching bag or something that you can carry that would be your best bet. Otherwise I would say to maybe just get an old suitcase or backpack and stuff it full of some jugs of water (with screw on caps), weights, or any other heavy objects. You can also practice doing heavy walking lunges or high rep machine work in the gym. The main thing here is going to be getting used to breathing with heavy weights on your chest and then doing heavy endurance work for your legs. Depending on the weight of the sandbag your legs could be burning halfway through the event; but sometimes these events are relatively easy.

    In terms of an overall template I like to do (2) upper body days and (1) lower body day per week. You could do something like this:

    Monday: Incline Bench Press, Dumbell Clean & Press, Standing Push Press
    Wednesday: Trap Bar Deadlifts / Squats, Walking Lunges or High Rep Machine work.
    Friday: Chins, Farmers Walk, Rows, Crucifix Hold.

    I would start off relatively light on the first week, then a bit heavier on the second week, the same weights for the third week but make them easier, and then the heaviest weights on the 4th week (2 wks out from contest). Take the week off before the contest and just do some light lifting or cardio to stay active. This should allow you to PR at the event.

    Let me know if you need any additional assistance to prepare for your contest.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  14. #39
    Wannabebig Member ebomb5522's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    The 5/3/1 is OK, but if you are training for an event that is about 5 weeks away you are not going to see any drastic gains with that protocol.

    Since there is only one NAS contest on 12/13 I assume that you are competing at the Paxton Power Gym event.

    The events for this contest are:
    1. Log Press
    2. Trap Bar Deadlift
    3. Crucifix Hold
    4. Farmer’s Walk
    5. Sandbag Carry Medley

    Here is how I would train for each one of these using equipment in the gym.

    1. The gym exercises that will have the most carryover to this event are the incline barbell press and the dumbell clean and press. You can also do some standing push press to work on timing and to get comfortable with having weights overhead. Wearing stable, flat sole (chucks, sambas, skateboard shoes) will make a big difference on log press. I would work on heavy incline bench and then work technique with the dumbell clean and neutral grip press (to simulate the log). I can take a video to demonstrate this if you would like. For barbell push press I would work with a manageble weight and just work on using leg drive and breathing with the weight locked out overhead (you do not want to take a breath with the implement on your chest/shoulders).

    2. Does your gym have a trap bar? If not I would just work on your squats since the trap bar deadlift involves more leg power than back power and is quite different than a standard deadlift.

    3. Dumbells are a good way to simulate the crucifix hold. Simply stand with your back against a stable surface and hold the dumbells out at your sides at a 90 degree angle. Have someone time you if possible. This will give you the mental toughness required to succeed in the timed hold.

    4. You can do farmers walk with dumbbells. Dumbbells are going to be more challenging than actual farmers walk implements but will get you used to moving with weight in your hands. I would also do some static hangs from a pullup bar to build grip strength (try to get to 1 minute, if you can do that easily then hang weights from yourself).

    5. If you have an old punching bag or something that you can carry that would be your best bet. Otherwise I would say to maybe just get an old suitcase or backpack and stuff it full of some jugs of water (with screw on caps), weights, or any other heavy objects. You can also practice doing heavy walking lunges or high rep machine work in the gym. The main thing here is going to be getting used to breathing with heavy weights on your chest and then doing heavy endurance work for your legs. Depending on the weight of the sandbag your legs could be burning halfway through the event; but sometimes these events are relatively easy.

    In terms of an overall template I like to do (2) upper body days and (1) lower body day per week. You could do something like this:

    Monday: Incline Bench Press, Dumbell Clean & Press, Standing Push Press
    Wednesday: Trap Bar Deadlifts / Squats, Walking Lunges or High Rep Machine work.
    Friday: Chins, Farmers Walk, Rows, Crucifix Hold.

    I would start off relatively light on the first week, then a bit heavier on the second week, the same weights for the third week but make them easier, and then the heaviest weights on the 4th week (2 wks out from contest). Take the week off before the contest and just do some light lifting or cardio to stay active. This should allow you to PR at the event.

    Let me know if you need any additional assistance to prepare for your contest.
    Thanks a ton.

    This is really helpful and I will take your advice on the three days a week. If I have any more questions on the training, I will certainly ask, and yes I am doing the Paxton Power Gym event. Just one question, with the Dumbbell Clean and Neutral Press, would I clean 2 dumbbells at the same time, or individually?
    Last edited by ebomb5522; 11-03-2009 at 08:01 AM.

  15. #40
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebomb5522 View Post
    Thanks a ton.

    This is really helpful and I will take your advice on the three days a week. If I have any more questions on the training, I will certainly ask, and yes I am doing the Paxton Power Gym event. Just one question, with the Dumbbell Clean and Neutral Press, would I clean 2 dumbbells at the same time, or individually?
    Here is a more thorough description of that exercise:

    Dumbbell Clean & Press: (Log Simulation)
    - Place the dumbells on the floor with the handles parallel to each other, perpendicular to your body.
    - Row the dumbbells into your lap in the nueutral position and then use your hips to thrust the weights up to your shoulders.
    - Keep the dumbells in a neutral position and rest the weight on your front deltoids/upper chest.
    - Squat down slightly through your heels and then explode upward with the weight, trying to throw/press them overhead.
    - Bring the weights down to the ground and repeat.

    Dumbbells are awkward to clean and will get you used to being explosive with the log. Because they are not a fixed object this will also help with your stability. I will try to take some video of this the next time that I am in the gym.

    Barbell clean and press is another alternative, but it is easier to press a barbell than to press a log if you are doing a push press.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  16. #41
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Is it true that leg extensions are bad for your knees?

  17. #42
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    Awesome Tom! I Can't thank you enough man. I am still "taxed" from the squats from Yesterday.

    I appreciate your time in doing this awesome thread It's very cool when the pros and experts help us, the beginners.
    -█--------█- Squat: 285 x 3
    ......\☻/...... Bench Press: 235 x 3 (stuck there)
    ........▌....... Skull Crusher: 110lbs ez bar
    ......./ \......Standing Shoulder Press: 115lbs (barbell)


    "I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them." Pablo Picasso

  18. #43
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    Tom thanks for the info.
    The more I learn, I realize how much I don't know...
    the more I Google the more I get lost...

    When you say pyramid progression, are you meaning add weight and reduce reps up to the max I can do 3 reps? Or do I keep same reps and keep adding weight,then do the lighter volume you mentioned previous post?
    I am confused on what kind of split I should be doing. I am not working now so all I got is time. Is it better to go to a 4 day split or should I stick to some of the 3 day ones you posted already?
    Then I read about active recovery- should I be pulling my car around the block, or throwing a medicine ball around?
    I guess WS BB really isnt the routine I should be follow considering my goals. Since I am so new I feel I should get a plan and stick with it for a while. Just want to make sure its a solid plan.
    Cardio... is car pulling considered or should I be doing more running/biking type?

    I hope I asked solid questions without rambling to much.
    Last edited by Andy31; 11-03-2009 at 11:45 AM. Reason: cuz I cant type
    JOURNAL
    6'3" 324lbs 33% started lifting Oct/09

    Squat-315
    Bench-275
    Deadlift-410
    and climbing...

  19. #44
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I want to make sure that I give you the best answer, so I need a little bit more information before making a recommendation.

    1. Are you interested in only focusing on your deadlift or do you have other objectives with your program?

    2. What type of accessory work do you currently do for deadlift?

    3. What is your current deadlift max and where do you want to be? Also what is your goal for 'cutting'?
    1. I would like to maintain bench and squat strength, however historically, I have never been able to maintain pressing strength on past diets... so I'm willing to accept that decrease

    2. I do SLDLs for reps at 315 after deading. Never really pushed the envelope on these. Also, I have a short legs and a long torso so I have been using more back than legs while deading.

    3. Current max is 507 raw which i hit last monday, though it was a grinder and slightly hitched. I tried 516 today and I couldnt even budge it from the floor... it was laughable. I drank a lot over the weekend due to halloween which is really unusual, so that failure may be related. I am dieting to a ~10% bf level. I am about 14-15 currently. I suspect it will take me 12-14 weeks to get to that level at a current bw of 228. I would like to stay lean after this diet. I've found that having even medium fat composition is really unenjoyable for me.

  20. #45
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Tom I appreciate it.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

  21. #46
    Wannabebig Member ebomb5522's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Here is a more thorough description of that exercise:

    Dumbbell Clean & Press: (Log Simulation)
    - Place the dumbells on the floor with the handles parallel to each other, perpendicular to your body.
    - Row the dumbbells into your lap in the nueutral position and then use your hips to thrust the weights up to your shoulders.
    - Keep the dumbells in a neutral position and rest the weight on your front deltoids/upper chest.
    - Squat down slightly through your heels and then explode upward with the weight, trying to throw/press them overhead.
    - Bring the weights down to the ground and repeat.

    Dumbbells are awkward to clean and will get you used to being explosive with the log. Because they are not a fixed object this will also help with your stability. I will try to take some video of this the next time that I am in the gym.

    Barbell clean and press is another alternative, but it is easier to press a barbell than to press a log if you are doing a push press.
    Thanks, thats how I did them today.

    Another question. Should I do squats and Trap Bar Deadlifts on the same day and what would their rep ranges be, and would it be wise to keep it to only 3 days a week?

  22. #47
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemz View Post
    Is it true that leg extensions are bad for your knees?
    Most research points to leg extensions doing more harm than good, but they have never directly bothered me. I rarely do them though because there are so many better alternatives.

    If they do not bother your knees then I would say that they are fine as a light isolation movement at the end of a workout, but there is also some variance from machine to machine in terms of the effectiveness and safety.

    I would focus your work on the following movements for Quads:

    - Standing Lunges
    - Front Squats
    - Walking Dumbbell Lunges
    - Olympic Squats

    Standing lunges are one of the least used exercises and is great for quad development. I set them up with an aerobic step and then lunge onto the step alternating between legs.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  23. #48
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy31 View Post
    Tom thanks for the info.
    The more I learn, I realize how much I don't know...
    the more I Google the more I get lost...

    When you say pyramid progression, are you meaning add weight and reduce reps up to the max I can do 3 reps? Or do I keep same reps and keep adding weight,then do the lighter volume you mentioned previous post?
    I am confused on what kind of split I should be doing. I am not working now so all I got is time. Is it better to go to a 4 day split or should I stick to some of the 3 day ones you posted already?
    Then I read about active recovery- should I be pulling my car around the block, or throwing a medicine ball around?
    I guess WS BB really isnt the routine I should be follow considering my goals. Since I am so new I feel I should get a plan and stick with it for a while. Just want to make sure its a solid plan.
    Cardio... is car pulling considered or should I be doing more running/biking type?

    I hope I asked solid questions without rambling to much.
    It can be confusing when you are trying to come up with a training split since there is so much information out there and different ways to apply many of the principals.

    The example protocol that I wrote for you was basically a low volume and moderate intensity warmup and then one very high intensity set followed by one lower intensity and high volume set.

    This is the best way to prepare for strongman because you 'practice how you compete'. In strongman competition you get one chance (set) to give it your all for 60 seconds. If in training you are working with moderate weights for (5) sets of (5) that will build strength but it will not condition your body for peak performance on one set with a high intensity weight.

    Adding in the volume set afterward ensures muscle fatigue, improves conditioning, and allows you some additional technique work.

    Here is an example of what I might do on Incline Bench Press.

    Warmups:
    135 lbs x 10
    135 lbs x 7
    185 lbs x 5
    185 lbs x 3
    225 lbs x 2
    245 lbs x 2
    275 lbs x 1-2

    Work Set:
    300 lbs x 7

    Additional Endurance Set:
    255 lbs x 10

    This has worked very well in preparing me for the max effort one-shot environment in strongman contests.

    Training Program:
    With regard to a training program, you can go with either a 3-day or 4-day split. It really comes down to personal preference, your recovery abilities, and if you are doing GPP work on off days.

    Car pushing/pulling can be good GPP but I would look to make a tire sled or invest in a steel sled if you plan to do this frequently. It is easier to add or remove resistance and can be done anywhere. If you are worried about your conditioning then interval training is a great way to increase GPP, as well as barbell/kettlebell complexes. Cycling is a good form of low intensity cardio and will help you to burn off bodyfat, which in turn will make you more mobile for strongman events.

    I will PM you with contact information for the strongman training facilities nearby and let me know if you have any other questions regarding your gym training.
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

    Weight: 218 lbs | Gym PR's -> Front Squat: 510 lbs / Overhead: 375 lbs / Deadlift: 700 lbs

    Supplements: www.AtLargeNutrition.com

  24. #49
    Thus I Refute Thee !!!! Bodyguard's Avatar
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    Tom, how old are you.
    Age: 18
    Height: 6'1
    Weight: 238

    All lifts are raw:

    Bench: 325(max)
    Squat: 510(max)
    Dead lift: 500(max)

  25. #50
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Tom, I recently injured my shoulder doing overhead pressing/cleans (I think it is my AC joint) and I have taken time off and it seems to be better and isn't hurting in the gym. What are some good shoulder and chest exercises that I can do that are easier on the shoulder? As much as I love exercises like thrusters, cleans, push press, etc. they put a good bit of stress on my shoulders. I hope to be back to the point where I can do those exercises fine but until then I still want to get a workout in but keep it shoulder friendly.

    Also, would doing decline be better for my shoulders than bench press? I have gone to dumbbell bench lately because I have found it is less stressful but I just don't feel as if dumbbell bench is as effective as barbell.

    Thanks!

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