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Thread: Help me get stronger!

  1. #1
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Help me get stronger!

    Here's some background on me. I was not an athletic kid, I grew up in a garage and drag strip. I never played any sports, never cared to (still really don't). I was 300lbs about 8 years ago, I dieted and exercised down to 210. I realized that I really liked lifting and have been doing it regularly since then. I've been as lean as 190, I'm sitting at 220 right now. I'm 6'4, 35 years old and I am NOT blessed with good genetics.

    I have a piss poor bench, I pushed 315 the other day (I know it sucks, no need to tell me). I can deadlift 500 on a really good day, and squat 415. I'd be willing to bet I could squat a little more if I work on my form. I'd really like go get all of my lifts up. It'd be really awesome for me to push 350 on the bench. Can I get some suggestions as to programs that will help? I currently lift 5 days a week, I workout alone but in a gym. I really would appreciate a bit of direction, thank you
    Last edited by big ragu; 03-17-2013 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    5/3/1 is a solid simple program to follow. There are more advanced programs like Westside or the Cube but if your form isn't good, don't have a good coach, or don't really know what you are doing I would stick with something simple.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  3. #3
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    I'll have to look up what that is. I have no real access to a coach or anything, and I'm getting too old to really make too many gains. But I'd still like to try!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    I think without a coach or people to train with 5/3/1 is the best program. If you are around people who know what they are doing, Westside is a significantly superior approach.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  5. #5
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    IMO, 5/3/1 would be your best bet. Buy the 5/3/1 for powerlifting book and read it. If you google it, I'm sure you'll find enough information. Best of luck!
    My Training Log
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    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
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  6. #6
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Thank you both for the replies. I'm going to ask a really dumb question, try not to laugh. I've got to be past the point of any sort of competing, right? I really enjoy lifting, it's been great for me. A few months ago I got into this little comp at the gym, it was basically a bench/run deal. Bench 75% of your body weight up to 30 reps, and then run a 5k. The amount of reps resulted in a time off your overall 5k time. Anyway, the bench portion was fun but it really didn't have anything to do with lifting a lot of weight. Is it too late to make any sort of progress to do any sort of competing? Keep in mind I work out alone, I have no one to train with and there are no strength coaches where I'm at. Hell I don't even know how to eat to get stronger! I know I'll never be scott mendelson, or any where near the majority of the guys here.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    You can absolutely compete, there are plenty of people in every competition that have numbers much lower and much higher than yours. No one particularily cares what numbers you put up in a meet (or in general), you are up on the platform competing with yourself.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  8. #8
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Really? I guess I had a different idea of how these things work. Even at my size? I'm 6'4 220, seems like the majority of the people at my size would be putting up big numbers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    I competed in January at 38 years old. You'll have a great time.

  10. #10
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    I agree, your doing it for yourself and nobody else. Once you compete and you hit your numbers, you plan for another meet and train to do better. My uncle is 68 years young, and he competes at least once year in a push/pull competition.

    IMO, your numbers are not that as bad as you think they are. Time to get positive, pick a meet, train for it and hit PR's!
    My Training Log
    My YouTube page
    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
    Sponsored By:

    10/20/Life
    Vanilla Gorilla

  11. #11
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff guys. I honestly would have never guessed it was like that. I'll have to see what, if any, comps are relatively local (Rochester, NY). I wonder if I can find something like 6 months from now, and give it a shot. As far as diet goes, what's important? Just calories? Big protein? Big carbs? I've learned to eat to be lean, I don't know how to eat to be strong. Currently I eat a bunch of protein, but a lot of calories too. I'm probably the strongest I've ever been, but not lean at all. I'm getting kind pumped for this, I like to have goals, and I like seeing numbers go up. Guess I need to research the 5,3,1 program, and get started!

  12. #12
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hopper View Post
    IMO, your numbers are not that as bad as you think they are. Time to get positive, pick a meet, train for it and hit PR's!
    This is true as well. Those are not bad numbers either (if you even consider any numbers as "bad").

    Couple things, don't change your diet up too much. Eat a solid diet and compete at whatever comes naturally, there is no need to bulk up as big as possible. You'll get plenty of PRs at your current weight. If you want to get bigger thats great, but keep in mind your history with weight.

    If you run 5/3/1, run it for a solid 6 months and then after that do a competition, you can pick one out now but the program needs some time to progress forward.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  13. #13
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    I did my first meet (bench only) in over 25 years in February at 46 years old. Don't worry about your numbers (which aren't all that bad). Do a meet, learn how a meet runs, have fun.

  14. #14
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    I see that 5,3,1 is a 4 week program. I assume you run it for 4, then restart it based on your new 1rm? I'm still a little confused on the program, I need to look it over some more tomorrow. More than likely I'll start it on Next Monday. I thank you all for your input, i may start a log when I get it rolling.
    Last edited by big ragu; 03-18-2013 at 08:09 PM.

  15. #15
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Buy the book
    My Training Log
    My YouTube page
    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
    Sponsored By:

    10/20/Life
    Vanilla Gorilla

  16. #16
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Fair enough! I bought the ebook, I'll do some reading
    Last edited by big ragu; 03-19-2013 at 06:52 AM.

  17. #17
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big ragu View Post
    Fair enough! I bought the ebook, I'll do some reading
    I wasn't trying to be an a-hole, lol. But, he does explain everything and it will all make sense to you.

    Did you get the 5/3/1 for powerlifting or his first one? If you have any questions, just start a thread. There are a few lifters here with 5/3/1 experience including myself.
    My Training Log
    My YouTube page
    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
    Sponsored By:

    10/20/Life
    Vanilla Gorilla

  18. #18
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    No worries man, I never took it as you being an ass! I don't know which one I got, it's titled Jim Wendler, 5,3,1. I suspect it's the first one.

    Edit:I have this one:
    http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...d=370&pid=2976
    Last edited by big ragu; 03-19-2013 at 07:49 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    Think thats the regular one, but that's all you need. Give it a read, and follow one of the templates he has until you start to get more knowledgeable about what kind of assistence works for you.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

  20. #20
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's the first version. The other one (5/3/1 for powerlifting) is pretty much the same. He just swaps it to 3/5/1 and adds singles. If you have the extra cash, I would buy that one as well. He does explain how to peak for a meet and some offseason training. IMO, both books are worth the money.
    My Training Log
    My YouTube page
    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
    Sponsored By:

    10/20/Life
    Vanilla Gorilla

  21. #21
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    Funk it, I bought them both. Between the 2 books and a new Inzer belt this is getting expensive! I'm kidding, small price to pay for knowledge.

  22. #22
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    Good, now read them and let us know if you have any questions.
    My Training Log
    My YouTube page
    Training by Tone Barbaccio
    New Dimensions Wellness & Education

    *************************
    Best geared meet @ 242
    1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
    665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
    Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
    700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total

    *************************
    Sponsored By:

    10/20/Life
    Vanilla Gorilla

  23. #23
    Senior Member Jonathan E's Avatar
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    Brian, Donttakemeoff, and others have provided you with some good ideas. Follow them. I just wanted to echo the thought of thinking positive and competing for yourself, against yourself ! Get at it.
    (Raw)
    Bench: 350
    Squat: 475
    Dead: 500

    "All people dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous ones, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."

  24. #24
    Senior Member big ragu's Avatar
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    I'm on it! I see people that ask for help and then don't follow what they're being told. That's not me. I asked, the entire group suggests the 5,3,1 method, and that's where I'm heading. Overall seems like a simple program, I just need to get a better grasp on the assistance work. Like what exercises to do on which day. Seems a lot like the 5x5 program, which I have run in the past. I haven't had the time to read it all, but I will.

    I think the biggest battle I'm going to have is diet. Right now I'm 220, I'm lean at 200. Right now I am carrying quite a bit of fat on my midsection. I just have to keep my mind set on being strong, and not start dieting. I'd like to do this for 6 solid months and see where I end up, and I'd like to keep this weight, if not put on a little more. At 200 I'm not very strong. Luckily I have a pregnant girlfriend who's eating everything. Makes it tough to diet anyway! I'd really like to see a 350lb bench someday, a bigger dead and squat.

  25. #25
    Senior Member DontTakeEmOff31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big ragu View Post
    I'm on it! I see people that ask for help and then don't follow what they're being told. That's not me. I asked, the entire group suggests the 5,3,1 method, and that's where I'm heading. Overall seems like a simple program, I just need to get a better grasp on the assistance work. Like what exercises to do on which day. Seems a lot like the 5x5 program, which I have run in the past. I haven't had the time to read it all, but I will.

    I think the biggest battle I'm going to have is diet. Right now I'm 220, I'm lean at 200. Right now I am carrying quite a bit of fat on my midsection. I just have to keep my mind set on being strong, and not start dieting. I'd like to do this for 6 solid months and see where I end up, and I'd like to keep this weight, if not put on a little more. At 200 I'm not very strong. Luckily I have a pregnant girlfriend who's eating everything. Makes it tough to diet anyway! I'd really like to see a 350lb bench someday, a bigger dead and squat.
    I would just clean up your diet but keep eating a solid amount of food, that will slowly recomp your body if you maintain your current weight and get stronger.
    Best Gym Lifts:
    475 - 315 - 585

    Best Meet Lifts (220 Raw)
    435 - 295 - 555 (1285)

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