The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Implementing A Westside/531 Mix for my Athletes (Advice Sorely Needed)

    Some background:

    I run the weight room at the high school I currently teach at. I'm going into my sixth year coaching, I was "co" coordinator of the weight room for 3 years and this year I got sole possession of it.

    We are not allowed to mandate that the athletes show up for the weight room.

    We get 3 days a week in the weight room (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).

    Last season, I got control in the late spring (May or so) and I implemented the four day split WS4SB. It worked pretty well. I think we had very solid results. But we didn't see the increase on the main lifts like we wanted. We only had the weight room 3 days a week, but I did a rotation of A/B/C then the next week it was D/A/B, then it went to C/D/A, etc.

    So this season, I switched the program to a 5/3/1. The results are amazing so far, but I'm not liking the way we have to run the weight room. I've even created individual sheets for each kid so that they see exactly how much weight they have to lift every 8 weeks.

    I've cut out the Military Press Days, due to the fact that we only get 3 days in the weight room. This leaves us with two lower body days and one upper body day per week.

    My concern there is that if a kid misses a day (which, most kids miss at least one a week) and it happens to be the upper body day, they miss the upper body work for that week.

    Generally there's two of us in the weight room and over 30 kids. It's hard to keep track of everyone. If I see someone that wasn't there on Thursday for Upper Body day and they are there Saturday, I usually try to juxtapose their deadlift work with their bench work and make it a combo day.

    This is putting a ton of work on my plate. And I'd like to make things less complicated. Last year the four day rotation seemed to work, and I want to go back to that.

    So, without going into too much detail and boring you with even more fluff, this is the gist of what I'd like to do:

    A Day- Squat
    5/3/1 Protocol

    Assistance Work: Max Effort Day 5x5, 3x5, 3x3 (rotating by week)

    B Day- Bench
    5/3/1 Protocol

    Assistance Work: Max Effort Day 5x5, 3x5, 3x3 (rotating by week)

    C Day- Deadlift
    5/3/1 Protocol

    Assistance Work: Dynamic Effort Day 8x3, 3x10, 5x10 (rotating by week)

    D Day- Military Press
    5/3/1 Protocol

    Assistance Work: Dynamic Effort Day 8x3, 3x10, 5x10 (rotating by week)

    I don't think doing the 5/3/1 heavy every day is going to hurt them, especially when they get to the 3x5 week. And I think that the dynamic work will give pretty solid recovery time.

    Every fourth week, for the deload we go pretty light in the main lifts and we add complex training for the week. The kids enjoy it and it's gotten them in much better shape.

    My question is this: Is this the BEST way to go about things?

    I was also thinking I could just stick with 5/3/1 on a 4 day rotation and make all assistance work 5x10 to induce hypertrophy.

    I know there are some great strength coaches here, and I'd like your input. I'm pretty much alone here and don't have many people to talk to who know a lick about lifting.

    Thanks for the help in advance, folks.

    If you have any questions for me to help please feel free to ask.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

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  3. #2
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Upon further thinking, I think I would keep two max effort days per week, regardless: The main lifts would rotate, but the days would stay the same. For instance:

    Tuesday will ALWAYS be a Max Effort Day.

    Thursday will ALWAYS be a Dynamic Effort Day.

    Saturday will ALWAYS be a Max Effort Day.

    The lifts would rotate on an A/B/C/D schedule.

    or should I keep Military Press out of it and set it up so:

    Tuesday is ALWAYS Squat

    Thursday is ALWAYS Bench

    Saturday is ALWAYS Deadlift

    But each week rotate so that 2 days are dynamic/1 Max and then the next week 2 Max/1 Dynamic?

    The last option would fit our schedule much better as we want to test our kids 3 times this year (We like the team building atmosphere it creates, and the competition it drives). Seeing how we do 4 week cycles with 3 of the 5/3/1 and one week is complex training. But then we get back to my original dilemma of one upper body day... Argh!
    Last edited by KoSh; 01-05-2010 at 07:52 AM.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  4. #3
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    You've put a lot of thought into this! Nice work.

    I like your second post much better than the first.

    Couple things to keep in mind when developing the program, the program that is the more simple of the two is probably going to be more effective.

    I think 531 is going to be a huge pain in the neck for a team, I'd throw it out completely. I know it gives you a guideline, however to be really good with it, you're going to need to spend a lot of time writing up these programs, calculating their percentages and testing maxes

    With the military stuff, I would keep it out of the mix as the main lift but don't throw it out completely. Use it as an accessory movement, say 3-4 sets of descending reps starting with 10

    Don't forget triceps, especially for the linemen. Shoving power does indeed start with the chest and shoulders (and upper back) but it ends with the tris.

    Look at a MMA fighters punch, it's the extension of the elbows, not all shoulder

    As an example once, I was at a highschool and I had their 300lb center come up to me and shove me as hard as he could. This kid was pretty big and he did put me on my heels, but not as much as he should of.

    Conversely, I put some wrestling mats behind him and had him stand in front of me. I didn't take any steps closer to him, just shoved him right in the chest really quick and flipped him onto his shoulders on the mats lol.

    *this was all with coaches persmission and supervision so don't go around shoving your kids lol

    Point was though that you do certainly need the extensor work for linemen.

    For the deadlifting, just be sure they don't go balls out and sacrafice their form for the pull. Deadlifting is essential for athletes, however it must be done properly


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  5. #4
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    You've put a lot of thought into this! Nice work.
    Thanks Trav. And thank you for the reply.

    I like your second post much better than the first.
    Which part specifically?

    I think 531 is going to be a huge pain in the neck for a team, I'd throw it out completely. I know it gives you a guideline, however to be really good with it, you're going to need to spend a lot of time writing up these programs, calculating their percentages and testing maxes
    This actually isn't a problem. I've done all of that already for the first 2 month phase of the program and it's working great. I have their own individual sheets that they use and keep track of themselves with. I work the ISS room here in school, so it's pretty easy for me to get all of this done. Plus I'd rather have something productive to do during school. We will be testing three times this year. We did a "Rep it out" max to start the offseason (which was against what I wanted to do, but whatever). We have one coming up at the end of January, beginning of May and mid August, 1 rep max days.

    With the military stuff, I would keep it out of the mix as the main lift but don't throw it out completely. Use it as an accessory movement, say 3-4 sets of descending reps starting with 10
    That's what I was doing now, except I was using the push press to help develop their explosive power. So I should stick with that concept then. Cool. Answers question 2

    Don't forget triceps, especially for the linemen. Shoving power does indeed start with the chest and shoulders (and upper back) but it ends with the tris.
    Excellent point. I did somewhat forget about the triceps, but you're absolutely right.

    For the deadlifting, just be sure they don't go balls out and sacrafice their form for the pull. Deadlifting is essential for athletes, however it must be done properly
    Yeah, they're pretty good with the form. Butt down head up seems to be something I repeat about 700 times every deadlift day, but they're pretty good with it for the most part. They have a tendency to let their butts drift high, though and it drives me nuts. They tend to look DOWN. I want them looking at a point on the wall directly in front of them... Not at the bar
    Last edited by KoSh; 01-05-2010 at 11:44 AM.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  6. #5
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    Looks like you have a pretty good plan in place. Travis thats a great point about the triceps that so many people overlook. Just make sure you are doing some rep work for hypertrophy, the extra muscle mass they put on will be well worth it.

  7. #6
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickp8 View Post
    Looks like you have a pretty good plan in place. Travis thats a great point about the triceps that so many people overlook. Just make sure you are doing some rep work for hypertrophy, the extra muscle mass they put on will be well worth it.
    I was thinking of making the dynamic day more of a mix between repetition work and speed work.

    And obviously, I didn't say it earlier, but ab work will be in the mix as well.
    Last edited by KoSh; 01-05-2010 at 01:09 PM.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoSh View Post
    I was thinking of making the dynamic day more of a mix between repetition work and speed work.

    And obviously, I didn't say it earlier, but ab work will be in the mix as well.
    From what I have seen and done the rep work with weights is more beneficial than dynamic work with weights (for high school athletes). You can do all the dynamic stuff by throwing med balls and jumping, and you can still do all that stuff with the way you have it set up.

  9. #8
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickp8 View Post
    From what I have seen and done the rep work with weights is more beneficial than dynamic work with weights (for high school athletes). You can do all the dynamic stuff by throwing med balls and jumping, and you can still do all that stuff with the way you have it set up.
    So maybe go higher on volume like 5x10 for hypertrophy? Or because of the age drop it down to 3x10.

    I would think 3x10 would be great, simply for the fact that they are young and have plenty of gas in the tank to recover and they get 20 more reps worth of practice in.

    I might just make them do Wendler's Big But Boring Variation on Rep Day.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  10. #9
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    I would maybe do 3x12-15 but you have the right idea.

  11. #10
    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    How come you only have three days? is that the coaches rule, schools rule, or highschool athletic association in your states rule?
    Last edited by BoAnderson71; 01-07-2010 at 07:59 PM.
    Division 1 shotputter.

  12. #11
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Thats:

    1) What the school gave us...

    2) The kids won't be able to get there more often than that. It's bad enough getting the kids to find rides as it is. We're a fairly low income school with a pretty high parental unemployment rate. I'm happy that we have three days, to be honest, and that we're filling the room on those three days.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  13. #12
    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    oh, thats tough man. We always had four during the school year so it was easy to do a lower upper split. In the summer we could only have three so we did one upper, one lower and then a mix on the third day.
    Division 1 shotputter.

  14. #13
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoAnderson71 View Post
    oh, thats tough man. We always had four during the school year so it was easy to do a lower upper split. In the summer we could only have three so we did one upper, one lower and then a mix on the third day.
    It's not so bad. The kids are really buying in. During the summer we're upping it... I think they said we can have the weight room five days and we'd "require" the students to be there for four of them. I for one, won't feel bad about having them walk or ride their bikes to the school when it's warm out.

    But that remains to be seen.
    Last edited by KoSh; 01-10-2010 at 06:46 PM.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  15. #14
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    I wish we had someone like you running our weight room! Our plan was something like: Workout a: curls, db shoulder press sitting on a ball, lat pulldown, incline cable row, leg curls, leg extensions all 10-8-6-4-2. Workout b: Lunges, bench press, incline bench, upright row, crunches all 10-8-6-4-2.

    It was a joke, everyone benched four days in a row and didnt progress, and no one got any size. Total joke.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    did you ever work something out?

  17. #16
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Yup, I'm going to run different routines. I have some guys that have been training for a few years and they came up to me and specifically asked if we could run actual Westside. I'm going to do that for about five of my athletes.

    I'm going to stick with the 5/3/1 with hypertrophy work for the vast majority of the kids, but I'm going to video tape every one of their max attempts (if I can get a camera) and try to figure out where their weaknesses are when we test out so I can kind of individualize workouts. (This will be done with the WS kids as well)

    For my eighth graders that start the second week of February, I'm going simple. Starting Strength. Going to start them all with the bar and have them each advance from there. None of them have ever strength trained so it gives them an opportunity to learn the lifts. Some may be using a broom stick and advance to the bar later. We'll see.

    Should be interesting. I'm willing to commit a ton of time to this so we'll see what happens.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

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    ITs realyl awesome that you know what your doing and that your willing to dedicate so much time to these guys. I wish my high school coaches were as knowldgeable as you guy are...Some of my coaches get mad at me for doing less then 10 reps o.o

  19. #18
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astreocclu View Post
    ITs realyl awesome that you know what your doing and that your willing to dedicate so much time to these guys. I wish my high school coaches were as knowldgeable as you guy are...Some of my coaches get mad at me for doing less then 10 reps o.o


    Ugh.

    Try to educate them. Show them stuff online. They may not want to hear it, but at least you tried. Some people just don't know any better. Give it a shot.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

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    i have...they are so arrogant its impossible. If i showed them something like defrancos they would say something about "steroids" (even though the athletes there obviously arent since they have to compete in regulated sports) There is one guy thats really good, but he isnt a gym teacher, hes a science teacher and the only sport he coaches is girls volley ball. I feel that if i ever get really strong the other coaches will listen, but they wont before then thats for sure.

  21. #20
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoSh View Post
    Yup, I'm going to run different routines. I have some guys that have been training for a few years and they came up to me and specifically asked if we could run actual Westside. I'm going to do that for about five of my athletes.
    ....

    For my eighth graders that start the second week of February, I'm going simple. Starting Strength. Going to start them all with the bar and have them each advance from there. None of them have ever strength trained so it gives them an opportunity to learn the lifts. Some may be using a broom stick and advance to the bar later. We'll see.
    This is the beginning of great coaching -- Listening to your athletes is key. Back in my day it was always cookie cutter programs with everybody doing the same thing.

    Have you found that the more your athletes know about what they're doing, the more they commit to your program?
    Stats: 11/15/07-First-meet--2nd Meet----3rd meet
    Weight: 185-----187---------198---------198
    Max Bench: 255---220-----------280------300
    Max Squat: 405----395----------440------460
    Max Dead:475-----485----------551------570
    CHINUPS - Bodyweight + 135, x1, dead hang. Still working on the one arm chinup.

  22. #21
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazerboy View Post
    This is the beginning of great coaching -- Listening to your athletes is key. Back in my day it was always cookie cutter programs with everybody doing the same thing.

    Have you found that the more your athletes know about what they're doing, the more they commit to your program?
    First off, thank you!

    Second, absolutely. We were testing a few kids who can't make it Saturday to our big testing day and I had to watch them... Over on the other side of the room, two of my guys who will be running Westside were working with other athletes who are newer to the iron game. They were giving awesome form pointers. Talking about leg drive on the bench, traps driven into the bench, touching low, etc. It's great to see the things I teach working, and them buying in.

    They even commented about how I told one of them that they needed tricep work to lock out heavier weights on the bench and they relayed that to another kid who was having trouble in the tricep position. "Coach told me that my triceps are weak from that point, and to be honest with you, he's right. Tell coach you want to do more tricep work, he'll help put it in your program!!!"

    It feels great, man. They look like they know what they're doing for the most part too!
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  23. #22
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    Ok, so we had TREMENDOUS progress through our first testing day. Our collective bench press was pretty stagnant, though. I attribute that to the fact we only have one upper body day going on thanks to the three day split. They need more upper body work... OR they need to make sure they get their one day a week in.

    So I need to brainstorm a way to do this while keeping with the 5/3/1 trend.

    My first thought is to make it so that if they miss a day, they pick up on the one they missed. For instance:

    Day 1 = Squat, Day 2= Bench, Day 3=Deads

    If you miss Day 2 and you come in on Saturday, you don't get to automatically go to deadlift, you HAVE to do your bench day. Then Tuesday becomes Deadlift day.

    Or create some kind of split where they will be working lower body 3 days/week and upper 2 days/week. Something like this:

    Tuesday: Squat/Bench
    Thursday: Front Squat/bodyweight work
    Saturday: Deadlift/Military Press

    But then if you miss a day it cripples two of your lifts. Or you could use the above formula for that and make it so that they can't skip a day...
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  24. #23
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoSh View Post
    Ok, so we had TREMENDOUS progress through our first testing day. Our collective bench press was pretty stagnant, though. I attribute that to the fact we only have one upper body day going on thanks to the three day split. They need more upper body work... OR they need to make sure they get their one day a week in.

    So I need to brainstorm a way to do this while keeping with the 5/3/1 trend.

    My first thought is to make it so that if they miss a day, they pick up on the one they missed. For instance:

    Day 1 = Squat, Day 2= Bench, Day 3=Deads

    If you miss Day 2 and you come in on Saturday, you don't get to automatically go to deadlift, you HAVE to do your bench day. Then Tuesday becomes Deadlift day.

    Or create some kind of split where they will be working lower body 3 days/week and upper 2 days/week. Something like this:

    Tuesday: Squat/Bench
    Thursday: Front Squat/bodyweight work
    Saturday: Deadlift/Military Press

    But then if you miss a day it cripples two of your lifts. Or you could use the above formula for that and make it so that they can't skip a day...
    My first thought when you said you have a lot of kids that miss a day is to do an upper and a lower exercise each day. Maybe rotate Bench, Incline, and MP as the upper exercises. Or Bench, MP, and Med Ball Throws/Plyos or something like that. You may want to rotate in different bars on the squat to take some stress off those shoulders if you do go with an upper and lower movement every day. Again, just a thought. Awesome job training these kids.
    Last edited by ehubbard; 02-02-2010 at 07:53 AM.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehubbard View Post
    My first thought when you said you have a lot of kids that miss a day is to do an upper and a lower exercise each day. Maybe rotate Bench, Incline, and MP as the upper exercises. Or Bench, MP, and Med Ball Throws/Plyos or something like that. You may want to rotate in different bars on the squat to take some stress off those shoulders if you do go with an upper and lower movement every day. Again, just a thought. Awesome job training these kids.
    Love the plyo throw idea.

    I would love to use different bars, but we don't have them and money is extremely right. We'll be sticking with the normal Oly bars for now, unfortunately.

    Thanks for the ideas and the feedback. My initial thought of doing some kind of upper body work 2 times a week seems to be backed up by what you said above.

    Thanks alot for the help. Really appreciate it.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
    Jim Wendler, 531 Method

  26. #25
    Senior Member ehubbard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoSh View Post
    Love the plyo throw idea.

    I would love to use different bars, but we don't have them and money is extremely right. We'll be sticking with the normal Oly bars for now, unfortunately.

    Thanks for the ideas and the feedback. My initial thought of doing some kind of upper body work 2 times a week seems to be backed up by what you said above.

    Thanks alot for the help. Really appreciate it.
    I hear you on the money being tight. The New York Barbell Giant Cambered Bar isnt a bad option if and when the time comes ($250). Of course its a much cheaper option if you can go to one of their stores and pick it up instead of paying the exorbanant shipping. Also West Cary Barbell has a cambered bar for somewhere in the 160 range, although the bar only weighs 30 lbs.

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    Last Post: 03-28-2007, 09:21 PM

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