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  • Comments regarding 2x4 strength training routine

    A friend of mine showed me his strength training program that I'd like people here to comment on.
    Basically, 3 lifts using 2 sets of 4 reps only.

    Schedule:
    Lift 3 days a week on non-consecutive days

    Lifts:
    Do only 3 main lifts every workout : Dead lift, Squat, Bench Press
    Start each workout with a different main lift
    Do only 2 sets of 4 reps
    Do no more than 2 supporting exercises if desired but not necessary
    Use absolutely perfect form
    Never lift to failure

    Weights:
    Starting weight should be 65% of your 1 rep max
    For the first 4 workouts, increase from starting weight by as much as 10lbs each workout depending on comfort
    After that, each increase in weight should be at the smallest increment possible (for instance, the 24 hour fitness I go to only has 2.5lb plates so I could only go up by 5 lbs)

    Details:
    If you cannot complete a workout using perfect form, roll back to a weight from 2 workouts ago and go from there
    If you are rolling back too often, you might be working out too much or eating too little
    Never lift to failure. Lifts should have perfect form and you should have a lot left in the tank.
    After 6 months, stop and do absolutely no lifting.
    When you start up again, add 10lbs-20lbs to your starting weight.

    Has anyone experienced or seen anything similar?
    Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

  • #2
    Sure, its similar to all the heavy single progression stuff: SS,SL,NR Hard Gainer.
    Lower volume but squats AND deads every session.

    I HATE counting deads as an upper body pull, I'd definitely add chins as the allowed extra.

    It's hard to see NEVER failing on single progression.

    Buy and carry your own 1.25's or improvise for microloading. Even extra collars might work.

    With 4's I hope considerable warmup is encouraged.
    Last edited by bcbcbc2; 09-07-2011, 09:41 PM.

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    • #3
      Knockoff of Power to the People (Pavel T's program). His is 2x5, but you only deadlift and press, and are supposed to do it five days a week.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
        Sure, its similar to all the heavy single progression stuff: SS,SL,NR Hard Gainer.
        Lower volume but squats AND deads every session.
        Interesting I'll have to look those up.

        Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
        I HATE counting deads as an upper body pull, I'd definitely add chins as the allowed extra.
        He suggested as much. Chins and pulls.

        Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
        It's hard to see NEVER failing on single progression.
        I'm new to strength training in general, could you explain what you mean?


        Originally posted by bcbcbc2 View Post
        With 4's I hope considerable warmup is encouraged.
        He said I should do bodyweight versions of the movements as warmup. Air squats, push ups and I suppose chins could count as both support and warmup? Do you think this is enough?
        Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RezH View Post
          Knockoff of Power to the People (Pavel T's program). His is 2x5, but you only deadlift and press, and are supposed to do it five days a week.
          Ah makes sense now. My friend is a former soviet olympic weight lifter and he told me this was the routine he used for competition (I also recall him mentioning periodization and other things I had to google but are probably too advance for me at the moment).

          He doesn't go into detail which is why I brought it up here so I have a few questions

          Why never to failure?

          Why low volume?

          Could someone expand on "microloading"?
          Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

          Comment


          • #6
            @pacific beef: Buy Starting Strength. Follow that. If this guy is a former soviet o-lifter, and you are new to the game, you need a solid foundation. Starting Strength will do that. Plus, Rippetoe has a forum where he'll answer questions about it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
              He said I should do bodyweight versions of the movements as warmup. Air squats, push ups and I suppose chins could count as both support and warmup? Do you think this is enough?
              Bodyweight versions of the movement might prepare the tissues, but won't do much on the neural side -- preparing your brain to push in this specific pattern. Like Abu Reena said, buy Starting Strength for coverage of the basics that is among the best, if not the best.

              You want to avoid going to failure because it is very stressful on your CNS (central nervous system) and provides little additional benefit but increases recovery greatly (think a week). Strength training is mostly low volume because volume and intensity are inversely proportional -- as one goes up the other goes down. Since intensity is needed for strength gains, volume must therefore be low. Microloading just means adding very little weight to the bar, less than the 5lb jump that is available at most gyms. This is done because as you progress in the lifts you won't be able to add 5lbs every session, but you will be able to keep adding weight as long as the increase is small. Basically it's a way to continue uninterrupted progress, even if the progress is slow. A 1-pound increase every session is 3 pounds a week, which is 156 pounds a year -- hardly anything to sneeze at.

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              • #8
                squats and deads are both great exercises but the prime mover muscles are the same in different proportions
                that makes programming tricky

                SS has 30 reps of squats and 5 reps of deads each 2 training days
                2by4 has 16 reps of squats and 16 reps of deads each 2 training days

                similar volume across the 2 similar exercises. interesting

                look at ss, stronglifts ,new rules of lifting and hardganer/stuart mcroberts

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                • #9
                  just bought SS. thanks for the replies
                  Last edited by pacificBeef; 09-09-2011, 10:55 AM.
                  Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Now buy the companion video...you won't regret it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
                      A friend of mine showed me his strength training program that I'd like people here to comment on.
                      Basically, 3 lifts using 2 sets of 4 reps only.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skeedaddy View Post
                        Now buy the companion video...you won't regret it.
                        Got the DVD thanks for the recommendation. It cleared up a lot of my form which I spent last week tightening up during my warm up on an empty bar.

                        I have a question regarding power cleans:

                        I've both read and been told that I should drop the bar from the shoulder rack position rather than catch it in the hang position and lower it to the floor controlled a la dead lift. However, in the video, I see people do both. Did I miss the explanation as to why and the differences? I'm asking because I believe 24 hour fitness won't let me drop their weights (my friend was warned numerous times). I'd like to do them safely instead of doing the bent over rows I subbed in for now.
                        Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
                          Bodyweight versions of the movement might prepare the tissues, but won't do much on the neural side -- preparing your brain to push in this specific pattern. Like Abu Reena said, buy Starting Strength for coverage of the basics that is among the best, if not the best.

                          You want to avoid going to failure because it is very stressful on your CNS (central nervous system) and provides little additional benefit but increases recovery greatly (think a week).
                          Thanks for this, really helped out a lot since the warm up sets on empty bar and the subsequent percentages of the work set poundages got me to think more about my form. Once loaded, I didn't have to worry as much about positioning etc so it allowed me to "just lift".

                          I'm leaning more towards this type of program that avoids training to failure because it seems training to failure almost requires a spotter(?) unless I've misunderstood something about both approaches. I don't mind the small jumps in improvement in the long run (though I'm still in the magical newbie super gains period). Mass would be nice but I think I'll focus more on strength and consider the former a bonus if it happens.

                          Starting Strength (and the DVD) answered a lot of my questions, particularly in regards to form and also imbalances from my previous strength training (I currently bench more than I squat). Will this imbalance eventually work itself out or is it not that big of a deal?
                          Last edited by pacificBeef; 09-18-2011, 04:03 AM.
                          Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
                            Got the DVD thanks for the recommendation. It cleared up a lot of my form which I spent last week tightening up during my warm up on an empty bar.

                            I have a question regarding power cleans:

                            I've both read and been told that I should drop the bar from the shoulder rack position rather than catch it in the hang position and lower it to the floor controlled a la dead lift. However, in the video, I see people do both. Did I miss the explanation as to why and the differences? I'm asking because I believe 24 hour fitness won't let me drop their weights (my friend was warned numerous times). I'd like to do them safely instead of doing the bent over rows I subbed in for now.
                            Catching the weights just means more fatigue, and eventually the weights will be too heavy to catch -- though you're looking for a while before that happens. So catch it in the clean, and do 5x3 if you were doing 3x5 on the power cleans.

                            Originally posted by pacificBeef View Post
                            Thanks for this, really helped out a lot since the warm up sets on empty bar and the subsequent percentages of the work set poundages got me to think more about my form. Once loaded, I didn't have to worry as much about positioning etc so it allowed me to "just lift".

                            I'm leaning more towards this type of program that avoids training to failure because it seems training to failure almost requires a spotter(?) unless I've misunderstood something about both approaches. I don't mind the small jumps in improvement in the long run (though I'm still in the magical newbie super gains period). Mass would be nice but I think I'll focus more on strength and consider the former a bonus if it happens.

                            Starting Strength (and the DVD) answered a lot of my questions, particularly in regards to form and also imbalances from my previous strength training (I currently bench more than I squat). Will this imbalance eventually work itself out or is it not that big of a deal?
                            It'll work itself out. If you're adding 10lbs on your squat every workout and 5lbs to your bench, you're looking at +60lbs squat and +15lbs bench every two weeks. Even if it's 5 and 5, that's still +30 and +15 since you squat twice as much as you bench.

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                            • #15
                              Lots of good advice in this thread- I love it!
                              Lifting Journal

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