Strength training: advice required.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Werewolf, May 5, 2009.

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  1. At the moment, I only have two days(Wednesday and Sunday)when I can use the free weights gym; the rest of the time it's on restricted opening hours because of the fcuking students doing their exams... :x

    Unlike studants, I have to work for a living, so these are the only two days a week I can use the FW1 gym for the next month.

    Since I only have two weight training days, I was considering trying the 5X5, to get maximum benefit for the time I have.

    I would welcome the advice/opinions of other weight trainers as to wether the 5X5 is suitible for two days a week, or if I should try another program.

    Thanks. :)
  2. if you only have 2 days to train than train upper body one day,lower body another.each workout should last 45-60 mins longer is a wasteo f time to the body,try and emphasize on upper body day more the back,chest and shoulders in that order rather than going for showy body part such as biceps this will not help you come training and having a stong back will set you apart from the rest of the pack who will never have traine there's,

    if you want more info contact me or visit
  3. Thanks, Andy.

    Yeah, I'm training for strength/power rather than appearance, so whatever program I use, I'll concentrating on the major compound lifts. Low reps and heavy weights...
  4. 5x5 periodisation system is fine (sometimes I only did programs using doubles & triples for my dead lift sessions as it's pretty hard going on the hands / grip), I was making strength / power gains with it training each "main lift" (e.g. deadlift, squat, bench press) only once every 7-8 days.

    Just alternate days with "Deadlift" (Wednesday) & "Squat" (Sunday) routines plus relevant assisted exercises for each movement. You can do a "Benchpress" session either one or both days, or do a heavy session one day, light session the other.

    Sample of "core-lift" set up (I've just lifted it from one of my previous posts - you're probably familiar already with periodisation methods):

    Squat day - Regular Squats 5x5, Good Mornings 5x5, Power Snatches 3x3 or jump squats 3x3 or Lunges 3x8and Sit - Ups (weighted if possible) 3x10

    Bench Day - Flat Bench Press 5x5, Bent Over barbell Power Rows 3x8 (Instead of the bar being in your hands the whole set, bar starts on floor, pick it up overhand grip with as much power as possible up to just below your sternum, then lower it to the floor and let go, and repeat), Dips 3x5 (weighted if you're strong enough), Lat pulldowns 3x8 or pull ups/ chins 3x8 (depends on your strength), and lastly skull crushers 3x8.

    Deadlift Day - Regular Deadlift 5x5 or 8x3, High Pulls or Power cleans 3x3 (do a google search on them if you don't know the exercises), Push Presses 5x5 (Strict military presses are for bodybuilders. Use your knees/ some leg power to force that bar up!), and another deadlift movement, such as romanian deadlifts 3x8.

    Move the sets/ reps on your bench and squat to 5x5, increase the poundages to an amount that you can do with moderate ease for this set/ rep range. There is no point in being able to do this weight "15 times", as you are training for explosive power and strength, not endurance. make 2.5kg incremental increases on they two lifts weekly until you struggle to complete 5x5 for that given weight. Attempt 5x5 with the weight a couple more times, you may adapt, and try another 2.5kg increase. When it becomes impossible to complete 5x5 for the weight, move the bench/ squat to 5x3, and increase the poundage by 5-10kg (triples are alot easier to do than 5 straight sets), and take the 5x5 as far as you can, just like you did with the 5x5. When you can do no more, go to 3x3, take it as far as you can, then 8x3, take that as far as you can, then back to 5x5. You should find that you have made a strength increase of between 20 and 25%.

    Deadlifts should be trained with doubles and triples. I use the above program for squatting and benching. For deadlifts I train 8 sets for three reps and 3 sets for 2 reps. The 8 sets are usually progressive to about 80% and the 3 sets I use one weight at approx. 90 to 95%. I have found more then 3 repetitions is hard on your hands and shins.
  5. Would some second-hand weights from e-bay or similar be in your budget?

    If so, you could fit all the exercises (i.e. deadlifts, standing press with heavy dumbells, chins), which you don't need power racks or spotters for into a single 'home' training day, and then use the two days in the gym for the stuff you want racks/other people around for for safety (e.g. heavy bench, heavy squats).
  6. A good idea, mate, but I don't have the space for a home gym.
  7. Looks good, Ian, but it's a 3 times a week program. I might try it when the gym returns to normal opening hours.

  8. Whilst that is true from that link, I intend on doing it twice and I know a few guys who mix a pushing exercise and squat one day and deadlift and a upperbody pulling exercise another with some assistance work in there as well.

    They do this because they drill technique and cardio work a lot, so they can work on the strength on a low volume basis that won't interfere with their recovery.
  9. Annoying. Maybe if you aren't getting the results you want out of 2 gym sessions you could try some hard bodyweight stuff like one-legged squats and one handed pushups (w/feet elevated if you're very strong) at home?

    I don't know how strong you are, but even somebody with a really good strength-to-weight ratio can get these down into the 'struggling for 5 reps' range by adding a modest amount of weight like a weight vest or summat.
  10. Hi werewolf

    one thing I found is that I was capable of lifting lots of metal but wasa crap at press ups, in the time which you can lift weights why not do press ups, sit ups, pull ups, squat thrusts, burpies etc

    not to mention swimming and running are actually great for your strength, fitness will help your strength a lot, sure you might be able to do a lot of weight lifting but all that muscle burns a lot of oxygen so if you find yourself doing something active you might end up knackered very quickly.

    hope this helps, your probs know all of this already so dont think im taking the piss
  11. Not as strong as I want to be! :D

    Good point, mate; I could always load up a bergan and wear that while doing press ups.
  12. No worries, Jubbles. I asked for advice and appreciate people taking time to post. :)
  13. sweet jesus, you are insane
    but i bet it'd work

    if i want extra weight i get the 3yr old to stand on my back
    its hard doing them slowly so she doesn't fall off
    (not loaded bergan hard) but its fun till she does