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  1. #1
    john_solo's Avatar
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    Can Someone Evaluate This Routine? I'm Starting to Freak Out!

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    Okay, so I'm getting way up inside my head and going nuts with all the information that's available. Below is my lifting routine. Can you all provide your assessment and feedback? Good? Bad? Anything else? The majority of this is done with barbells as that's what I have available in my gym. I do this twice a week.

    Chest press 5 x 5
    Shoulder press 5 x 5
    Triceps 5 x 5
    Back (usually pulldowns or rows) 5 x 5
    Biceps 5 x 5
    Squats (bodyweight) to failure

    This wasn't intended to mimic SS or SL5x5, it just kind of evolved that way. I lift as much weight as I can for each exercise. Would it be advisable to reduce weight a bit and ad a few more reps in order to get the heart rate up (i.e. more intensity)? Or should I just calm down, keep lifting, and be happy about the whole thing?

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    RezH's Avatar
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    Need to know your goals. Volume looks a bit high. If you're trying to build muscle, you should be doing heavy squats and deadlifts. Find a program and stick to it, unless you are an advanced lifter.

  3. #3
    Primal Fist's Avatar
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    +1000.

    Check out 5/3/1 or maybe Starting Strength if you're willing to eat a ton.

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    it only looks like it is mimicking SS or stronglifts in the set x rep count...some of the exercises are a little different. i think you would be better off just doing one of those two programs...they cover the major movements, work the whole body (none of those isolation exercises like curls or tri extensions), and they are progressive, so the weight keeps getting heavier, making each workout more intense than the previous one.
    there's a reason those programs are popular...they are successful.

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    arthurb999's Avatar
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    Honestly, I think it's terrible.

    Heavy 5x5 for upper body and bodyweight squats???

    Monday - Barbell work... squats, bench, deadlifts, standing overhead press
    Wednesday - hill sprints
    Friday - barbell power clean and press, weighted dips, weighted pullups

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    First of all, calm down.

    Second, what do you mean by “triceps” and “biceps” what are you doing specifically? I’m assuming for biceps you’re doing curls and for triceps maybe skull-crushers? (since you mention you do everything with a barbell)

    1- If you do everything you mention in one session you’re probably not lifting all that heavy, your triceps and biceps should get most of their work from chest press and back work (heavy pull-ups, preferably) so you might be overdoing it with the isolation work, or not going heavy enough on the compound lifts.
    2- Do you enjoy squatting just your bodyweight to failure? I can’t think of anything else I hate more than that, maybe jogging. They’re great for building endurance, but not so much for strength (if you’re routinely doing 50+ reps in a single set, it’s time to leave that alone and do something heavier). Either start squatting for real (carefully!) with a barbell and some plates, or start doing box jumps, pistol squats, etc.
    3- Separate bench press and over head press, don’t do both on the same day. Again, you’re probably going light on these if you’re able to do both on the same session.

    Again, stating your goals would help us device a program for you. Strong lifts and starting strength are both great programs. If I was going to a gym I’d be doing Starting Strength.

    Lastly though, can you think of exercises you really enjoy doing? I’m not motivated enough to do something like SL or SS right now. I see their value, but I’m into other stuff currently that I can make just as challenging but actually enjoyable. This is what I do to give you some perspective, my workouts aren’t very structured but twice a week I do something simple like this:

    - Pull ups, 3 sets of increasing weight but decreasing reps: Bodyweight + 60lbs (backpack) for 3-5 reps, BW + 40lbs for 5-7 reps, BW + 20lbs for as many as I can get, I like to shoot for 10.
    - Dips, same scheme as above but weight is less, I start at 50lbs then 30 then 20. My reps in dips are slightly higher as well.
    - Pistol squats, 3 sets of as many as I can, currently I’m maxing at 3-5 reps, my pistols need work.

    Sometimes I substitute dips with handstand push ups, but I don’t add weight to those since my bodyweight is challenging enough.

    That’s it, my strength days are kept simple but heavy (for me, of course) and I’m constantly progressing and adding more weight. My goal is pull ups with 100lbs added, same with dips.

    The rest of the week I’m still active, but I “play” with other stuff. Static holds (working on front and back lever progressions, L-sits, planche progressions), handstands, more pull ups, more dips (sometimes with weight sometimes not) many push up variations, dragonflags, ab wheel rollouts, planks, etc.

    I work out almost daily, but more seriously on my strength days, the other days I may just do something quick being careful not to go overboard but as I become more conditioned I feel “fresh” enough to sometimes push it a little. I don’t take any supplements currently, but don’t feel all that sore unless I do something out of the ordinary.

  7. #7
    john_solo's Avatar
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    I'm not terribly interested in building muscle (i.e. getting larger). I am more interested in losing fat and gaining strength. Iniquity is right, I need to calm the eff down. I am thinking that I should just get back to basics and stick with body weight exercises. Do push-ups, pull-ups, military presses, etc twice a week until I can progress up Marks' progression.

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    tfarny's Avatar
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    +1 to iniquity's whole post as usual. Too much volume, no weighted squats (!) but a ton of overlapping weighted upper body stuff which you can't possibly do a good job of in one session. Terrible program.
    If you want to get stronger without getting huge, going heavy with barbells and low reps is the way to do that. Just do Starting Strength, that's what it's for. When you can't progress any farther without getting fatter than you'd like, (ie when it's not working), then try something else. But you can body recomp on SS for a while. BTW gaining muscle is pretty cool once you start to get some.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_solo View Post
    I'm not terribly interested in building muscle (i.e. getting larger). I am more interested in losing fat and gaining strength. Iniquity is right, I need to calm the eff down. I am thinking that I should just get back to basics and stick with body weight exercises. Do push-ups, pull-ups, military presses, etc twice a week until I can progress up Marks' progression.
    Those are my goals, you will only get huge if you eat huge, trust me.

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    arthurb999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_solo View Post
    I'm not terribly interested in building muscle (i.e. getting larger). I am more interested in losing fat and gaining strength. Iniquity is right, I need to calm the eff down. I am thinking that I should just get back to basics and stick with body weight exercises. Do push-ups, pull-ups, military presses, etc twice a week until I can progress up Marks' progression.
    Why wouldn't you want to build muscle... that's the fastest way to reduce bodyfat. Women like muscle. Muscle rules.

    Why aren't you working your legs... no one likes chicken legs. Working legs increases all sorts of hormone production to aid in muscle building, recovery, fat burning, etc.

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