Getting stronger and fitter

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by ibumchavs, Mar 26, 2009.

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  1. I've always been your typical lanky streak of piss but after i turned 18 the welcoming scent of the pubs and kebab houses was too much to bare so i've finally reached a point where i look more human than my old skeletor-esque self.

    I'm looking to join the army next year so in the mean time would like to get as physically strong and fit as possible while maybe putting on a few extra pounds.
    I brought a book by a renowned strength coach called Starting Strength and it's a really good read, here is the routine just wondered if this would be a good option to gaining functional strength and a little weight, i'm not interested in looking like a thong wearing greased up gym queen though :)

    Workout 1:

    3x5 Squats
    3x5 Bench Press
    1x5 Deadlift
    3x Max Pullups

    Workout 2:

    3x5 Squats
    3x5 Standing Press
    5x3 Power Clean (but im changing this to 3x5 Barbell Row as i'm a mong)
    3x Max Bar Dips

    Performed 3 days a week mon/wed/fri so:
    Week 1: 1/2/1
    Week 2: 2/1/2 etc

    The focus is adding 2.5-5kg each lift each time.
    I also hike about 5-8 miles a day with the dog and on my off days run with two 3-5 mile runs and 2 timed 1.5 mile runs.

    So if any experienced blokes could have a gander would be much appreciated.
    Cheers. Josh.
  2. Josh, I don't think that lot is balanced enough for what you need. It seems to be mainly legs with some core strength exercises. Why squats 3 times in 5 days? How would you recover? Squats are a power exercise, done properly training them to 5 reps would suggest very heavy weight. If so then once per week (per body part as well) is all you need. If you train lighter (and therefore lose sight of your goal of increasing 2.5kg per week) you will also fail to add the desired bulk. Be careful of using the term 'max' as with dips, training this way regularly may lead to fatigue. Max out once per week, other days just sets of 4x8 and increase reps as you would with weights for example.
  3. If you are looking for a good book specifically to get you in trim for the Armed Forces then you could do a lot worse than this little number.
  4. Here is a link to the online guide for the program, there's alot of info to read but it explains the frequency and loads etc.

    The basic concept for squatting 3x per week is that novice lifters don't have the neural conditioning and can't use intense enough loads to be able to disrupt homeostasis enough to require a full week recovery before training the lift again.

    The reason squatting is used 3x per week is because it is deemed by the author to be the most effective exercise in terms of muscular and skeletal loading and getting in terms of using heavy loads mentally and physically.
    Once they begin to stall you take them out of the middle workout.

    The dips and chins i wrote to max because i'm not sure how may i can do yet so i will progress till i can do 3x10 with good form then slowly start adding weight.

    I know this program may seem a little unorthodox compared to the usual mens health routines etc but the main emphasis is getting a novice to the weights stronger at the most effective compound lifts in the shortest time span.

    I'm not going against your wisdom as i'm sure you know more about fitness than me but the book is a pretty compelling read with alot of scientific research into strength training, the author is also a successful former powerlifter and a top level strength and athletics coach.

    Would be interested in any other opinions you may have as i'm always keen to learn from more experienced individuals.
  5. That is probably not true but you asked the question, doesn't make me any more knowledgeable, maybe it seems that way because I provided an answer.

    You seem to have all areas covered and are seeking confirmation on here but often you get conflicting opinions which leads to confusion. In the end who do you beleive? Those that write the loudest?

    I understand what you say about squats, it is probably the most important of all BB exercises.... so I'm lead to beleive. It used to be my favourite of all exercises but I train at home now and don't have the weight or safety in place.

    Am I right in saying your 3x5 reps three days a week are performed well withing your ability, i.e. at a weight you could perform 8 reps but choose not to because you must recover?

    This next suggestion may seem basic/obvious/not what you want to hear but I would concentrate on running, building an endurance base then gradualy introduce weights into a walking program. I'd forget squats until after basic trg and do Squat Thrusts, Star Jumps and Burpees etc. These will get you where it hurst and build stamina too. This added to upper body stuf in the gym would be just fine. You may not gain any bulk but you'll be very fit and you don't need to be big and powerful to carry weight. When you pass basic and get to your Unit then concentrate on bulking up for self esteem.
  6. Thanks alot mate. The only reason i asked is because i've already been using the program for 5 weeks now and still going good. What you do with each exercise is you start with the empty bar and perfect the form then slowly add a little weight til form or bar speed slow down then thats your working sets for the first workout then each subsequent workout you add weight, keep in mind this program is for the untrained weight room novice so recovery isn't too much of an issue providing volume isn't too much.

    Perhaps i'll ditch the squats for the time being then or just perform them once per week.
  7. Get some supplements into your body, try some high protien low carb shakes after your workouts, will speed up your recovery and help you muscles grow. Introduce some creatine to your training programme, this will increase your body strength and help recovery.

    Deadlifting is a fantastic compound movement, builds up your whole body. I recently hit a pleatau in my training, increased my deadlifts and that has helped me through.

    keep banging away at it and you will be successful!
  8. Nothing wrong with carbs after training.

    Unless you're a fatty.
  9. You're welcome.

    If you really like an exercise such as squats then performing them is a positive thing just as long as it's part of a balanced program. Have you considered Squat Lunges with moderate weight? Seb Coe used these as part of his strength conditioning and he was quite a good runner!
  10. Josh,squats are a great exercise but so are deadlifts and cleans. The latter two have a direct relevance to physical testing at Army selection.

    Panda's point about lunges is a good one. These will help strengthen your legs individually and have a great deal of relevance when you note how many times you get up from the prone using one leg to push you up while the other supports.

    Panda have you thought of doing squats with weight in a bergan? Step ups and lunges hit the legs just as well as a squat. If you hold proper form when stepping with a weighted bergan can help strengthen your upper body too.
  11. No I hadn't actually. I live in a 3 storey house and had considered walking up and down the stairs with a bergen but I have a new carpet and.... oh where the fcuk am I going with this excuse?

    I shall join a gym soon which will allow me to include all exercises and then I'll be 'rolling back the years'!

    Thanks for that excellent advice ostvic.