Author Topic: Intermediate Strength  (Read 26640 times)

JoRocka

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #150 on: April 22, 2016, 06:37:12 AM »
I haven't been working out for a while but recently started, but my #s seem very odd and I don't know why

I can currently bench 160 max, but my max two handed bicep curl is 110, and 55 with each arm - which seems like very odd numbers. When I went to a gym in my 20s, I would see guys repping 225 + with bench, and then couldn't curl 40 with one arm. So I either have ridiculously strong arms, or a ridiculously weak chest, or I messed up somewhere along the way and I need to get it correct before I continue down the wrong path

I'm not sure how those things are comparable at all... as pointed out- they use totally different muscles.

And typically one arm is significantly stronger than another.  that's not unusual.

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #151 on: April 25, 2016, 07:53:09 AM »
I started 5/3/1 in mid February of 2016. I'm a beginner, so currently my PR1 is 272# for squat, 177# for benchpress, 282# for deadlift and 111# for mil. press. My medium term goal is to have my squat + bench + DL PR1 = 1000#. So far so good, linear growth for everything except mil press... I'm doing the "boring but big" sets afterwards, and occasionally a bit of assistance work (chins, dips, dumbbell raises). Good luck with your intermediate strength goals Le Barbu!

Interesting Filliteracy, I really improved my general strength with loaded chins/pull-ups. When my back feel painfull, I skip the deadlift or the power-clean and do 3 sets with a load so failure occurs at 8-10 reps. For the chins, this means 45lb and 35lb for the pull-ups. Back extentions are great to! I workout at home and dont have any facilities for dips but I'm sure it would help a lot.

Did you began with Starting Strength before 5/3/1 ? I was told that 5/3/1 was more like an intermediate to advanced program?

I went straight into 5/3/1 skipping starting strength. I've been doing the occasional strength training (1 to 2, sometimes 3) times a week but with no true routine (just doing what I felt like doing at the weight I felt like doing) for the past 5ish years, sometimes not going for several weeks at a time, interspersed with forced military mainly cardio based workouts and a few years back, rock + ice climbing and now squash. So I would say that I am either a "high beginner" or a "low intermediate" and didn't feel the need to work up with starting strength.

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #152 on: April 28, 2016, 09:08:56 AM »
Week #12 completed on Texas Method, 4 weeks remaining.

Now here is what happen to my press and bench: on weeks #7-8, I was pressing 5x5x110 on "volume day" and benching 5x5x165. This was the most I could handle back then. On "intensity day" my PRs were 1x6x125 and 1x1x145 for the press. For the bench, I did 1x5x180 and 1x1x205. 4 weeks later, "volume day" now means 5x5x117.5 for the press and 5x5x172.5 for the bench wich mean I can now handle 7.5lb more for 5 sets of 5. I suppose I got stronger overall but I cannot improve my PRs for a single set of 5 nor my 1RM on both lifts.

Texas Method brings me a 15lb improvement for both lifts on volume day and a 5lb improvement on intensity day over 12 weeks and I will stick for another 4 weeks before swithching on a summer bootcamp based on 4x8@80%

Half way trougth week #14 now and I'm thinking -"Fuck it (the 4x8@80% plan), I just want to continue on TM" because I get stronger week after week! Even if my PRs are stalling on some lifts (bench, press) my overall strength is improving anyway. My volume day sets can handle more weight, I dont feel fatigue (like overtraining) and I recover very well. I may continue until I reach my goal to be at Intermediate level at bench and press...
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #153 on: June 20, 2016, 01:34:10 PM »
Week #12 completed on Texas Method, 4 weeks remaining.

Now here is what happen to my press and bench: on weeks #7-8, I was pressing 5x5x110 on "volume day" and benching 5x5x165. This was the most I could handle back then. On "intensity day" my PRs were 1x6x125 and 1x1x145 for the press. For the bench, I did 1x5x180 and 1x1x205. 4 weeks later, "volume day" now means 5x5x117.5 for the press and 5x5x172.5 for the bench wich mean I can now handle 7.5lb more for 5 sets of 5. I suppose I got stronger overall but I cannot improve my PRs for a single set of 5 nor my 1RM on both lifts.

Texas Method brings me a 15lb improvement for both lifts on volume day and a 5lb improvement on intensity day over 12 weeks and I will stick for another 4 weeks before swithching on a summer bootcamp based on 4x8@80%

Half way trougth week #14 now and I'm thinking -"Fuck it (the 4x8@80% plan), I just want to continue on TM" because I get stronger week after week! Even if my PRs are stalling on some lifts (bench, press) my overall strength is improving anyway. My volume day sets can handle more weight, I dont feel fatigue (like overtraining) and I recover very well. I may continue until I reach my goal to be at Intermediate level at bench and press...

Update: 4 weeks into a stretch of volume training. I actually do 4 sets of 8 @ 70-75% with 2 minutes pauses between sets. This is for press, bench, chin-ups and pull-ups. The squats are done @ 70% for 3 sets of 5 and the deadlift @ 85% for a single set of 5 once a week.

The weekly schedual remain about the same than usual and looks like this:
week A: monday, squats/bench/deadlift, wednesday, squat/press/chin-ups/back-extention, friday, squat/bench/power-clean
week B: monday, squats/press/deadlift, wednesday, squat/bench/pull-ups/back-extention, friday, squat/press/power-clean

BW keep increasing, 187 now (started at 175 last summer)

I feel like some minor problems (injuries/fatigue) are solving and I will be ready to go for Texas Method again this Fall. My load increases will be scheduled once a month instead of once a week because I am closer to my potential.
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #154 on: August 22, 2016, 07:07:58 AM »
I just found that with the lifts I suck the most (press and bench) my 5RM is not heavy enough to improve with 3-5 sets across. I cant handle more weight on the bar but I can do more sets per training day and still recover fine. Now, I schedule 6 sets of 5 reps across (instead of 5x5) on monday (volume day), 3x3 on wednesday (recovery day) and 6 sets of 3 reps (instead of 3x3) on friday (intensity day). I will just follow the TM again with this slight mode and see what happen!
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #155 on: August 30, 2016, 07:10:21 AM »
Update: third week into a customized TM (based on a lot more volume)

BW 185 (stable since 3 months)
Press 1RM 150 (target 155)
Bench 1RM 210 (target 225)
Deadlift 5RM 390
Squat (still recovering from knee injury) 3x5x240 every session 3x/week

For the press and the bench, I do 6 sets of 5 across @ 83% on monday, 3 sets of 5 across @ 80% on wednesday and 5 sets of 4 across @ 87% on friday. I will do this for 6 weeks then decrease weigth for 10% and increase intensity for 4-6 weeks

I am still confident to hit my targets for next spring!
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GuitarStv

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #156 on: August 30, 2016, 07:27:41 AM »
390 x 5 on your deadlifts is quite a respectable number.  Kudos!

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #157 on: August 30, 2016, 08:02:38 AM »
390 x 5 on your deadlifts is quite a respectable number.  Kudos!

Thanks GuitarStv!

I would say that the 1-4 reps were nearly perfect but the 5th was slow and exhausting. I will start using straps for DL heavy sets to avoid foreharm tendinosis down the road (because of the reverse grip)

I use to do the DL on monday (wednesday pull is chin-ups and friday pull is power clean) so I try for a new 5RM PB every 2-4 weeks when I feel for it. If not, I just do 5x340 or 5x360 wich is now "easy"

What do you think about increasing my press and bench volume (#sets)? The idea came to me after reading a Bill Starr arcticle about intuitive training.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #158 on: August 30, 2016, 08:10:02 AM »
I'm cautious about increasing volume generally as my tendency is to overdo things and then realize my mistake afterwards.  Arms are less of a concern for overtraining than legs though (it's just not as draining).  Watch your form, as exhaustion leads to sloppiness, and that's where injuries tend to come in.

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #159 on: August 30, 2016, 08:33:10 AM »
I'm cautious about increasing volume generally as my tendency is to overdo things and then realize my mistake afterwards.  Arms are less of a concern for overtraining than legs though (it's just not as draining).  Watch your form, as exhaustion leads to sloppiness, and that's where injuries tend to come in.

Thank you for the hints. I am just 1 year into strength training so, advices from more experienced trainees are welcome. I am looking for breaking plateau and noticed I never feel like I trained the day before. Let see what happen!
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #160 on: September 09, 2016, 11:58:10 AM »
Today, I did 6 sets of 4 across at 132.5lb and shot that video
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Lagom

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #161 on: September 09, 2016, 03:59:47 PM »
I'm cautious about increasing volume generally as my tendency is to overdo things and then realize my mistake afterwards.  Arms are less of a concern for overtraining than legs though (it's just not as draining).  Watch your form, as exhaustion leads to sloppiness, and that's where injuries tend to come in.

Thank you for the hints. I am just 1 year into strength training so, advices from more experienced trainees are welcome. I am looking for breaking plateau and noticed I never feel like I trained the day before. Let see what happen!

You can increase volume relatively safely through a variety of programs, but definitely don't just start doing more sets/reps willy nilly. Upper body also tends to recover more quickly than lower body, and you can usually get away with more volume on benching/pressing. That said, as you get stronger at bench, be careful with OH press, as you can blow out a shoulder. Periodization is one example of programming that can bust plateaus, although that is a complicated subject I barely understand myself beyond a surface level.

A more straightforward approach is to use rated perceived exertion (RPE for short. Basically, rate how difficult the set was on a scale of 1-10) and work up to a top set (~9-9.5 RPE) with backoffs for each movement, alternating main movements with accessories. I am on a high volume program myself right now and I love it. Took a couple weeks for my body to adjust, but I am making a lot of progress at what I would say is a high intermediate level at this point (powerlifting: 235 bench, 405 squat, 545 deadlift). Here is a generalized version of my current 8 week program, after which I am pretty confident I will put 10-30 pounds on each lift based on how things are going:

Day 1
Max effort squat (2-5 reps, varying each week) to a 9-9.5/10 RPE
-5% backoffs from top set weight, as many sets as I can until I reach a 9-9.5 again. I put a hard stop at 20 minutes if I'm not fatigued enough by then.
Accessory deadlift (e.g. deficit, paused, etc.) 5-10 reps
-10% backoffs from top set, same scheme as above
1 or 2 dumbell accessory movements (e.g. split squats & rows)

Day 2
Max effort bench, similar to above
Accessory bench 1 (e.g. close grip)
Accessory bench 2 (e.g. wide grip)
Tricep accessories (3-4 sets of 12-15)

Day 3
Accessory squat (e.g. safety squat bar, paused high bar, etc.)
-10% backoffs
Max effort deadlift
-5% backoffs
DB accessories (e.g. rows)

Day 4
Accessory bench (right now I'm using a duffalo/buffalo bar cycling between legs up wide grip, close grip, and regular wide grip)
-10% backoffs
Alternating weeks DB overhead press and flat DB press (8-10 reps @9-9.5 RPE. Backoffs at the same weight, but lifting to failure each set)
Various upper body accessories

I really like this approach. Tons of volume but all feel based so once your body adapts there is no real danger of injury as long as you are disciplined and have good form. Burnout might eventually be a problem, but hopefully not for a while as long as I deload/eat/sleep properly.
 

« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 10:33:22 PM by Lagom »

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #162 on: September 12, 2016, 05:39:20 PM »
Today was volume day at bench and I did 6 sets of 5 with 177.5lb

Tried deadlifting with straps for the first time (last warm up set and work set) and I understood why you should not use them all the time. Last set was 360 but felt like 130 for the hands. I also tried hook grip for the warm up sets. I will use all of the grip and straps in different situations.

Everything is fine now except for a little pop in the rigth knee wich I diagnosed myself as a inflamated plica (medial to the knee cap) now, I just RICE it to recover.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 07:17:29 PM by Le Barbu »
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #163 on: September 19, 2016, 07:26:22 PM »
Today, I did press 6 sets of 5 reps @ 130# and plan to do 6 sets of 4 @ 135# on friday

My plan to do more sets (5 or 6 instead of 3) finaly pays off!

My ultimate goal at press would be to lift my own bw. Meanwhile, 160# would be great
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #164 on: September 23, 2016, 11:58:51 AM »
Today, I did press 6 sets of 5 reps @ 130# and plan to do 6 sets of 4 @ 135# on friday

My plan to do more sets (5 or 6 instead of 3) finaly pays off!

My ultimate goal at press would be to lift my own bw. Meanwhile, 160# would be great

Did 6 sets of 4 reps @ 135# today wich is my best up to now. This brings my 1RM estimate in the 155# zone. This also means I am now intermediate for the press, my bench is the only lift lagging for the intermediate mark.
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #165 on: September 30, 2016, 03:06:23 PM »
Today, I did 6 sets of 4 reps @ 187.5# on the bench. This is a great session for me and it didnt felt so tougth. I eat more protein theese days and recover very well. No fatigue seems to build up. I will skim my linear progression for another few weeks then decrease volume while increasing weigths.
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dcamnc

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #166 on: October 01, 2016, 11:52:48 AM »
Congrats guys/gals! I used to be into Starting strength, oly lifting, westside, and whatnot. These days I just do bodyweight. Keep up the good work.

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #167 on: October 01, 2016, 04:17:00 PM »
Congrats guys/gals! I used to be into Starting strength, oly lifting, westside, and whatnot. These days I just do bodyweight. Keep up the good work.

Thank you dcamnc! I will keep you updated t'ill my goal is reached
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #168 on: October 14, 2016, 07:03:02 PM »
Today, I did 6 sets of 4 reps @ 187.5# on the bench. This is a great session for me and it didnt felt so tougth. I eat more protein theese days and recover very well. No fatigue seems to build up. I will skim my linear progression for another few weeks then decrease volume while increasing weigths.

Today was the end of my volume stretch. I did 6 sets of 4 reps @ 190 on the bench. Now, I switch for a 4 weeks intensity (more weigth, less reps) for new PB at press and bench. Lets see the outcome!
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #169 on: October 26, 2016, 08:19:39 PM »
New Deadlift PB with a set of 5 @ 395pounds :)
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #170 on: October 29, 2016, 10:06:47 PM »
Yesterday, bench press @ 195 for 6 sets of 3 reps! I am now ready for a new PB in 2 weeks!
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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #171 on: November 09, 2016, 03:42:15 PM »
New Deadlift PB with a set of 5 @ 395pounds :)

New deadlift PB with a set of 5 @ 400 pounds :)

Friday, I am supposed to hit a new bench PB
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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #172 on: November 10, 2016, 07:58:45 AM »
New Deadlift PB with a set of 5 @ 395pounds :)

New deadlift PB with a set of 5 @ 400 pounds :)

Friday, I am supposed to hit a new bench PB
  Good job!

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #173 on: November 10, 2016, 01:00:03 PM »
I'll join the fun.

First learned how to lift 5 years ago in high school. I've been on and off with lifting over the years due to various sports related injuries and periods where I lacked commitment. Long story short, I was sick of being weak and decided to set a goal for myself this year. Currently working on getting stronger and if I can drop my body fat percentage, that would be a bonus too. Due to a hectic life with engineering school, engineering internships, engineering club activities, and girlfriend, I certainly don't sleep as much as I need to sometimes. I'd say my diet is generally good but some days I just forget to eat if I'm working on homework all day.

I'm currently doing Stronglifts 5x5. I'm not sure if it's the best, but I definitely like it better than the isolation days I used to do that left me super sore for days. Now I squat three times a week with minimal soreness.

I don't know my 1 rep maxes because I never really max out. My current progress in the program is below. Some things like OH press and bench are progressing slowly. On the other hand, deadlifts and barbell have yet to have a failed rep and still seem really easy.

Bodyweight: 180 lbs
Squat: 5x5 @ 265 lbs
Deadlift: 3x5 @ 260 lbs
OH press: 5x5 105 lbs
Bench Press: 5x5 175 lbs
Barbell Row: 5x5 135 lbs

My goal is to hit 315 on squat and deadlift, 135 on OH press, 225 on bench, and whatever a good barbell row amount is. Then I'll probably switch to another program. I'm hoping to have more time to sleep next semester so I can make better progress.

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #174 on: November 10, 2016, 06:22:09 PM »
I'll join the fun.

First learned how to lift 5 years ago in high school. I've been on and off with lifting over the years due to various sports related injuries and periods where I lacked commitment. Long story short, I was sick of being weak and decided to set a goal for myself this year. Currently working on getting stronger and if I can drop my body fat percentage, that would be a bonus too. Due to a hectic life with engineering school, engineering internships, engineering club activities, and girlfriend, I certainly don't sleep as much as I need to sometimes. I'd say my diet is generally good but some days I just forget to eat if I'm working on homework all day.

I'm currently doing Stronglifts 5x5. I'm not sure if it's the best, but I definitely like it better than the isolation days I used to do that left me super sore for days. Now I squat three times a week with minimal soreness.

I don't know my 1 rep maxes because I never really max out. My current progress in the program is below. Some things like OH press and bench are progressing slowly. On the other hand, deadlifts and barbell have yet to have a failed rep and still seem really easy.

Bodyweight: 180 lbs
Squat: 5x5 @ 265 lbs
Deadlift: 3x5 @ 260 lbs
OH press: 5x5 105 lbs
Bench Press: 5x5 175 lbs
Barbell Row: 5x5 135 lbs

My goal is to hit 315 on squat and deadlift, 135 on OH press, 225 on bench, and whatever a good barbell row amount is. Then I'll probably switch to another program. I'm hoping to have more time to sleep next semester so I can make better progress.

Welcome HydroJim!

Stronglifts 5x5 is probably a good program, for a beginner (as most of us are) many programs works.

Practice good form, add weigth to the bar, eat well and try to sleep!
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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #175 on: December 13, 2016, 03:05:10 PM »
My best set for each lift and my ranking % compared to other lifters on Strengthlevel.com
I compare myself to other male lifters, adjusted for age and weigth.

Deadlift 1x5 @ 405 (89%)
Squat 5x5 @ 300 (72%)
Bench 6x3 @ 200 (46%)
Press 6x142.5 (53%)

The Intermediate level I aimed for when I first created this thread means I want end to hit 50% for each of these lift. Now, I deal with a painful shoulder but still think I will be able to recover and improve my bench to the 50% mark for next spring.
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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #176 on: December 13, 2016, 03:39:08 PM »
My best set for each lift and my ranking % compared to other lifters on Strengthlevel.com
I compare myself to other male lifters, adjusted for age and weigth.

Deadlift 1x5 @ 405 (89%)
Squat 5x5 @ 300 (72%)
Bench 6x3 @ 200 (46%)
Press 6x142.5 (53%)

The Intermediate level I aimed for when I first created this thread means I want end to hit 50% for each of these lift. Now, I deal with a painful shoulder but still think I will be able to recover and improve my bench to the 50% mark for next spring.

Cool site.

91% for bench
97% for deadlift
91% for squat

Not sure how accurate that is, but I'll take it lol.
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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #177 on: December 13, 2016, 06:23:28 PM »
My best set for each lift and my ranking % compared to other lifters on Strengthlevel.com
I compare myself to other male lifters, adjusted for age and weigth.

Deadlift 1x5 @ 405 (89%)
Squat 5x5 @ 300 (72%)
Bench 6x3 @ 200 (46%)
Press 6x142.5 (53%)

The Intermediate level I aimed for when I first created this thread means I want end to hit 50% for each of these lift. Now, I deal with a painful shoulder but still think I will be able to recover and improve my bench to the 50% mark for next spring.

Cool site.

91% for bench
97% for deadlift
91% for squat

Not sure how accurate that is, but I'll take it lol.

Men, that's impresive numbers! Accuracy is probably better in the mi-range. Do you weigth train for a while?
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Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #178 on: December 22, 2016, 02:29:37 PM »
While my press and bench are both staled actualy, I hit new PB at squat and deadlift.

On tuesday, I deadlifted 410x5 and today, squated 325 for 5

After 18 months of heavy weigth training, I recover a lot faster than the first 6-12 months.

"The real reason this blog exists, is simply to save the entire human race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its own habitat"

-MMM

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #179 on: January 13, 2017, 09:38:15 AM »
Deadlifted 415 for a set of 5 yesterday for a new PB!
"The real reason this blog exists, is simply to save the entire human race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its own habitat"

-MMM

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #180 on: January 14, 2017, 08:20:18 AM »
Deadlifted 415 for a set of 5 yesterday for a new PB!
  Good job!  Four plates and a 5 pounder on each side.

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #181 on: April 06, 2017, 09:19:56 AM »
Update

I decided to reset my numbers again, to improve form (squat and deadlift) and recover from a supraspinatus partial tear (press and bench). I am still confident to recover 100% from this injury in few weeks. This week training look like this:

Monday
Squat 275x5 for 3 sets
Deadlift 320x5, 345x5, 370x5, 395x5
Bench press 135x10 for 3 sets (pain level 4/10)

Thursday
Squat 265x5 for 5 sets
Press 80x0 for 3 sets (pain level 2/10)
Pull-up BWx10 for 3 sets

BW is 191.5 today for a new PB (same cloths fits even with 16.5# more on the frame)

Now I train only 2x/week and began running 1 mile few times/week. My first test ended with a 7:00 mile and I will test once a month. Pretty confident to hit the 6:00 mark by the end of the year. I choose 1 mile for many reasons. It's about the longest distance I could have to run in real life situation. It does not wear to much any part of the body. I do not want to hit my recovery etc.
"The real reason this blog exists, is simply to save the entire human race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its own habitat"

-MMM

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #182 on: August 04, 2017, 09:13:42 AM »
Today, I reached my 2yo goal to be at Intermediate Strength level!!!

BW 190#
Bench press 190# for 3 sets of 6. According to the Strength Level application, I am now at 51% across the lifters of my weigth and age.

Thank you to everyone here who helped me in any way!

I still aim to get stronger than I am now



"The real reason this blog exists, is simply to save the entire human race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its own habitat"

-MMM

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #183 on: August 12, 2017, 11:22:00 AM »
Congrats!  Keep at it!

I turn 50 next month, and I benched 295 for 11 reps my last chest workout.  Adding little amounts of weights add up over the years.

Le Barbu

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #184 on: August 12, 2017, 08:05:22 PM »
Thank you mate, I doubt I can hit that kind of # but who know?

Seriously, if I can someday bench 295 for 1 honest rep, that would be fantastic!
"The real reason this blog exists, is simply to save the entire human race from destroying itself through overconsumption of its own habitat"

-MMM

gerardc

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Re: Intermediate Strength
« Reply #185 on: August 12, 2017, 08:54:51 PM »
Congrats!  Keep at it!

I turn 50 next month, and I benched 295 for 11 reps my last chest workout.  Adding little amounts of weights add up over the years.

U natty brah?