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  • Considering barbell programs

    So as some folks here know, I've been doing Crossfit for a couple of years, but I've had to make the decision that I can't afford the fees right now--my partner and I can both join a good facility here for less than we'd pay for CF for one of us, so we've decided that's the way to go at least for now.

    I have been considering different programs but would like a bit of advice. In some ways, a novice program seems like it might be good since I'm coming from a CF background, not a strict strength training one. However, my gym was pretty strength focused, so I have done quite a bit of lifting over the last couple of years and have developed reasonable strength in some of them. My one weak spot is the bench press since we almost never did them. I'd consider myself pretty much a newbie there (1RM of just 88 pounds) but doing pretty well on the other big lifts for a woman my size (not competition level weights, but respectable).

    Ideally, it would be something my partner and I could do together. I've been doing barbells more often than him in the last couple of years because he's been marathon training, but he's got way, way more experience and history with lifting than I do for sure.

    Anyhow, suggestions?
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

  • #2
    I don't know what to recommend to a woman but I will suggest that you switch out bench press with weighted pushups to avoid shoulder injuries. You will still increase your chest strength and you won't need to ice yourself before bed.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    • #3
      You might check out reddit.com/r/fitness, and their FAQ in the right column.

      The most popular barbell programs are probable "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe, and stronglifts.com.
      Both should work OK.

      Both include the big lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press, power clean or pull-up etc).

      I have done Starting Strength, myself. I noticed that my gains in strength have not been significant, presumably because I am still trying to lose weight, so I am not eating enough calories. But I have done what they call a "recomp", that is gained some muscle and lost some fat.

      Regards
      Johan

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      • #4
        I'm using Stronglifts 5x5 currently, and I plan to eventually switch over to Starting Strength or another more advanced program. Those seem to be the most often recommended here, and I can confirm that Stronglifts is a good program that is yielding results for me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
          I don't know what to recommend to a woman but I will suggest that you switch out bench press with weighted pushups to avoid shoulder injuries. You will still increase your chest strength and you won't need to ice yourself before bed.
          I'm assuming since programming at my gym was not gender differentiated that the rumours are true and women's uteri won't fall out if we lift heavy. I'm looking for a program for a beginner/intermediate lifter, not a program with pink sparkleprincess weights.

          I'm willing to consider weighted pushups as an alternative if I find I'm having shoulder issues, but I'd want to do the program as written first and then adjust if I found I was having problems.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by David Garner View Post
            I'm using Stronglifts 5x5 currently, and I plan to eventually switch over to Starting Strength or another more advanced program. Those seem to be the most often recommended here, and I can confirm that Stronglifts is a good program that is yielding results for me.
            I looked at both those and am leaning toward Starting Strength out of the two since I have some lifting experience and the SS wiki seems to offer some options for transitioning to intermediate programming. Both seem well reviewed, though.
            “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

            Owly's Journal

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Owly View Post
              I'm assuming since programming at my gym was not gender differentiated that the rumours are true and women's uteri won't fall out if we lift heavy. I'm looking for a program for a beginner/intermediate lifter, not a program with pink sparkleprincess weights.

              I'm willing to consider weighted pushups as an alternative if I find I'm having shoulder issues, but I'd want to do the program as written first and then adjust if I found I was having problems.
              I snickered. I have to admit it. Well said

              What kind of training are you looking for? My wife is doing a program fairly similar to starting strength to just get, well, her strength up. But her goals, long term, are to improve how she looks. Which is fair, as that is one of the primary reasons I lift weights also

              You are obviously way ahead of her in raw strength, but what do are you looking to get out of your trianing? Do you want to be healthy, avoid osteoporosis, alzaheimers, etc? Do you want to be the worlds strongest, yet strangely svelt woman? Do you want to nosh on roids and have the body of Ahnold?

              What I mean is that there are plenty of programs you and our partner could do together, but they may have different purposes. And maybe your partner may want pure power training while you want more bodybuilding (or vice versa).

              --Me

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
                I don't know what to recommend to a woman but I will suggest that you switch out bench press with weighted pushups to avoid shoulder injuries. You will still increase your chest strength and you won't need to ice yourself before bed.
                Originally posted by Owly View Post
                I'm assuming since programming at my gym was not gender differentiated that the rumours are true and women's uteri won't fall out if we lift heavy. I'm looking for a program for a beginner/intermediate lifter, not a program with pink sparkleprincess weights.
                Translation for Alex: I'm looking for a program for a beginner/intermediate lifter, I'll jerk your pink sparkleprincess weights out of your hands and beat you with them.
                If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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                • #9
                  I'm definitely more into lean and strong, not bodybuilding. I weigh 149 pounds at about 20% body fat. I can already deadlift 250 and would like to hit 300 as my next goal on that, I back squat 180 (1RM), etc. In those lifts I am getting past the point of straight-up linear gains although I was still making new PRs reasonably often, just not every time.

                  Partner is also primarily interested in strength and also mass (but not necessarily bulk), a very strong guy already who does very physical work that includes stuff like moving appliances. He did some bodybuilding when he was younger. He's recently been quite ill and dropped about 30 pounds, both fat and muscle, and he didn't have that much fat to lose. He's better now and wants to put muscle back on but would prefer to do that with a strength focus. Feeding him a ton of food is also in the plan.
                  “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                  Owly's Journal

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by justyouraveragecavemen View Post
                    Translation for Alex: I'm looking for a program for a beginner/intermediate lifter, I'll jerk your pink sparkleprincess weights out of your hands and beat you with them.
                    Wow, you're good!
                    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                    Owly's Journal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you're serious about barbell training (and it sounds like you are) I would consider purchasing your own weights & cage as a sound investment.

                      SS is a great program, but after a few months I found having to squat every other day extremely punishing! You are expected to eat huge quantities of food & drink tons of milk in order to build muscle as quickly as possible (regardless of fat gain) so if you are unwilling to do that (as I was) you might also struggle after a while. I moved onto a LeanGains style RPT program (although I find the rippedbody.jp website more accessible) which I actually find a harder workout than SS but it gives you longer to recover.

                      EDIT: to reply to the post you made whilst I was typing this, both SS and Leangains RPT are focused on building strength rather than building size (bodybuilding)
                      Last edited by zilog; 09-10-2012, 07:22 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Zilog, that's an option down the road but right now we are renting and don't have enough space. We have a garage but it's too cold in winter here to use it as a gym space. Hopefully when we buy a house we will have room for a good home setup. For now there are a couple of facilities we're considering (we are doing drop ins to try them out and see which we prefer).
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The weight gain thing sounds good for him since he's an ecto-meso type (was a hard gainer when he was younger, age and years of training have helped). He doesn't put fat on easily.

                          Not so much a desirable aspect for me. More muscle, sure. More fat, not so much.
                          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                          Owly's Journal

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                          • #14
                            I did this program Maximum Strength: Get Your Strongest Body in 16 Weeks With the Ultimate Weight-Training Program: Amazon.ca: Eric Cressey, Matt Fitzgerald: Books and found it to be excellent - it starts from the ground up, includes a foam rolling protocol, addresses most common weaknesses and also was great for increasing strength. Going to start a second round of it soon.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Owly View Post
                              I'm assuming since programming at my gym was not gender differentiated that the rumours are true and women's uteri won't fall out if we lift heavy. I'm looking for a program for a beginner/intermediate lifter, not a program with pink sparkleprincess weights.

                              I'm willing to consider weighted pushups as an alternative if I find I'm having shoulder issues, but I'd want to do the program as written first and then adjust if I found I was having problems.
                              About half of any program is progression and that won't happen as quickly without more testosterone.
                              In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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