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

It’s 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
    Wannabebig Member
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    5/3/1 program - Some questions

    Hey guys,

    I like to keep things short so I'll try to do just that. I finished reading 5/3/1 and am planning on doing my next winter bulk on the program. 5/3/1 is fairly complex so I have some questions. Up untill now I've been doing Starting Strength, which brought me up to the following maxes.

    PR: 65kg 5x3 (reps x sets, not sure what the convention is)
    BP: 91,25kg 5x3
    SQ: 130kg 5x3
    DL: 160kg 1x5

    In my personal opinion, I'm done with SS - I'm sick and tired of squatting three times a week and want to build my upper body more (the obvious parts, pecs and shoulders). My legs have grown so hard I actually have growth marks on them (the kind pregnant women have) so it's enough for me. I'm planning on doing 5/3/1 Big But Boring with an emphasis on upper body over lower body, seeing as everything up to the point has been the opposite. I am also moving into a home gym so I need to weigh my options as I will be more limited in terms of assistance exercises.

    QUESTIONS:

    1. Wendler prescribes 10x5 on the assistance work of the main lift. Do we add increments to this? If so, how exactly? Does he mean we only go up in the assistance by doing the 5lbs increase in the 1RM each month? Or am I missing something here?
    2. Same with the assistance work, dips and chins etc, do we add increments to these?
    3. It is not my goal to get 'a lot' bigger, in fact i'd say im 80% near the physique I desired.
    I don't want any bigger legs, can I stop incrementing on the squat when I'm back at 300lbs 5RMs, or would that **** up my body's balance? I'd like to deadlift stronger, but not squat stronger...
    4. Wendler suggests dips and chins as foremost exercises. It's possible my garage ceiling will be too low to do chins (ive always done em till now), could I exchange chins for barbell rows? I was thinking of the following exercises:

    Press-day: Weighted dip
    DL Day: Dragon flag (abs)
    BP Day: Barbell Row
    SQ Day: Good Morning


    That's all, hope I was concise . Thanks to anyone who can help!

    Regards,
    R

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  3. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    5/3/1 is a GREAT routine, but it is mostly a powerlifting routine. If your goal isn't to increase your squat and deadlift, then it's probably not the best choice of routines. If your goal is strictly upper-body hypertrophy, again, it's probably not the best choice of routines. And given your limited knowledge of how to set up the accessory lifts, I'd say it would be best to find a routine that will teach you this stuff.

    If you still want to run 5/3/1, I'd suggest setting up your accessory work to better reflect your goals. For instance; on deadlift days you could follow the deadlifts with some chin-ups, rows, and shrugs to make it a more complete back day. Bench press could be followed with dumbell inclines, and a couple of arm exercises. I suggest you research some good abreviated bodybuilding routines to see how they set everything up.

    Good luck to you and congratulations on making great progress so far.
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  4. #3
    Wannabebig New Member
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    as already said it is more of a powerlifting routine because its really getting a certain lift stronger as opposed to overall body building. but i tried it out for like 2 months and saw great results, even from a body building perspective. to answer your questions:
    1. you dont really need to add increments to the assistant work but if you find that the weight you did last week got too easy and you can do more than 10 then up the weight.
    2. just keep doing the assistance work and you will see them increase
    3. well since you squat on a lower more like quad day you can switch it to front squat if you want to just isolate the quad and focus on hamstrings on your deadlift day.
    4. if you have always done chins till now, why dont you just keep doing them? you could change to rows if u want but i find pullups work your lats and overall width a bit better.
    as for the routine i remember having atleast 2 assistance lifts each day, possibly 3. for my bench day i did incline dumbbell press, pullup, and tricep pushdowns. deadlift day i did lying down leg curl, lunges, and decline crunches. press day i did military press 5/3/1, dumbbell military press, dumbbell rows, and dips. squat day i did leg press, goodmornings, and hanging leg raise.

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the comments

    The problem with dips and dumbbell work is that I'm moving into a home gym and I can't do them, the first because my ceiling is too low (I'd hit it with my head when doing pullups using the power rack's bar), the second because I don't own dumbbells and am focusing on BW and barbell exercises to limit the amount (and cost) of material I need.

    If 531 isn't really a bodybuilding program, I don't mind. After all I'm a child of Starting Strength, which gave me great visual upper body bulking even though the program was bare in terms of upper-body work (and isn't even intended for BBing at all). I'm very happy with the size of everything, save for pecs and delts. I figure that the best program is the simplest program which can net you results for the longest period of time. Where there are incremental increases in strength and GOMAD, hypertrophy is sure to follow anyway

    Would I be hindering progress if I added upper pec incline benching on the DL or SQ days? I'd be breaking the 'rest muscle for four days' rule then, but it would give me something to do on squat and DL days, if so I could set em up as just squat and DL 5/3/1, followed up by two upper body or back assistance exercises. How does this sound?

  6. #5
    Wannabebig New Member
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    if youre doing 5/3/1 then stick to that and dont do uppers on a lower day.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgb1990 View Post
    if youre doing 5/3/1 then stick to that and dont do uppers on a lower day.
    Okay, fair. Anything else I can do on lower days that only require a barbell besides good mornings/shrugs? Based on the ideas you guys gave me, I'm thinking

    Squat day:
    531 squat
    ???
    Good mornings

    DL Day:
    531 DL
    Barbell Row
    Shrug

  8. #7
    Wannabebig Member slug's Avatar
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    Squat day:
    531 squat
    ???
    Good mornings
    Why not repeat the squat again at 50% of 1RM? It's in the BBB layout for squat day.

    Core lift 5/3/1
    Core lift again at 50%
    Accessory lift

  9. #8
    Become Unbreakable Mark!'s Avatar
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    Boring but big as a great addition to the 5/3/1 platform, that's all I got.
    "Light Weight"

    260's by May

  10. #9
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomly View Post
    Anything else I can do on lower days that only require a barbell besides good mornings/shrugs?
    Stiff-leg Deadlifts
    Romanian Deadlifts
    Lunges
    Split Squats
    Hip Thrusts
    Front Squats
    Box Squats
    Hack Squat
    Step-Ups
    Rack Pulls
    High Pulls
    Cleans
    Leg Curls
    Heel Raises
    I could keep going but I think you get the idea...
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slug View Post
    Why not repeat the squat again at 50% of 1RM? It's in the BBB layout for squat day.

    Core lift 5/3/1
    Core lift again at 50%
    Accessory lift
    Well, as said in the above post I've been squatting 3X/Week on SS and frankly, I'm tired of em. I'm squatting 130 5x3 and don't really have the ambition of squatting anything over 300lbs (135kg) so I'm thinking of working to that and then platforming the squat. I'll hit 300lbs anyway so I won't need the acessory there, unless I'd do it as a metabolism-rape lifting day to keep the fat gains to a minimum. Overall, I don't have the desire to become massive, I just wanted solid numbers in all the compound lifts, speed, endurance, and a nice athletic physique.

    So, again, I'd like to increase press, BP, deadlift, but not squat, as I feel my legs are big enough. I also have an SI joint hip mobility issue in my right hip, I can manage this level, but I don't think I'll be doing myself good if I go aiming for world record squats.

    Cleans sound good tho, never really went into them on SS. Put some Olympic up in this motherf-
    Last edited by Randomly; 08-25-2011 at 09:25 AM.

  12. #11
    Wannabebig Member slug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomly View Post
    Well, as said in the above post I've been squatting 3X/Week on SS and frankly, I'm tired of em.
    Fair enough.

    Stiff-leg Deadlifts
    Romanian Deadlifts
    Lunges
    Split Squats
    Hip Thrusts
    Front Squats
    Box Squats
    Hack Squat
    Step-Ups
    Rack Pulls
    High Pulls
    Cleans
    Leg Curls
    Heel Raise
    Hey Off Road, I have no way of doing leg curls at my home gym. What would be your suggestion as a decent sub for them?

  13. #12
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slug View Post
    I have no way of doing leg curls at my home gym. What would be your suggestion as a decent sub for them?
    Any of the other pulls would work just fine. But if you have a dumbbell you can do leg curls.
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  14. #13
    Wannabebig Member slug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    But if you have a dumbbell you can do leg curls.
    Do tell?

  15. #14
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slug View Post
    Do tell?
    Set the dumbbell on the floor, place a foot on each side, lower yourself onto a bench, and leg curl.
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  16. #15
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    Come to think of it, you *could* do this with a barbell as well, technically speaking, yet it would require intricate balance, a zen state of mind, and some clever strapping

    How about preacher curls on a squat day? Theyre an upper body exercise, but I'm not using my biceps for any main lift save for stabilising functions, so could we sneak that into the lower days and not have recovery suffer?
    Last edited by Randomly; 08-26-2011 at 02:16 AM.

  17. #16
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slug View Post
    Hey Off Road, I have no way of doing leg curls at my home gym. What would be your suggestion as a decent sub for them?
    Good mornings. Lunges.
    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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