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  1. #1
    Registered User SD_13's Avatar
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    CNS Risk of Squat/Deadlift/Bench (3 x Week)

    I've been making steady gains for the last two months or so at a rate of one pound every two weeks while staying lean. This is exactly what I was planning on. I've been doing a full-body workout monday/wednesday/friday, whic consists of: shoulder press, deadlift, db bench press, squat, chest flies, barbell rows, and sometimes hammer curls and bodyweight dips.

    I'm working in the 6-10 rep range with a primary goal of adding mass while staying lean.

    My strength is increasing at an excellent rate, but I'm starting to worry that as these compound lifts get heavier, my CNS won't be able to take this every 48 hours, even with two days off on the weekends.

    I'm considering lifting heavy on monday and friday, while keeping wednesday lighter by lifting in the 12-15 rep range. Is this enough rest for my CNS to allow me to continue this program 3 days a week?

    If not, what else could I do? I'm about 150 pounds, so i want to stick to all compound movements and no machines. I don't think that any sort of 4-day split etc would work for me, because the squat and deadlift both work the full body so well, so I feel that if I do these exercises, I can't do any lifting the next day.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Registered User r_graz's Avatar
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    Lay out exactly what your program looks like, and what your progression scheme is, so people can get a better idea of the overall workload. Also list what kind of weights your working with right now on each of these exercises (there's a big difference in recovery between a 200 lb deadlift and a 500 lb deadlift).
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  3. #3
    Registered User NIguy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SD_13 View Post
    I've been making steady gains for the last two months or so at a rate of one pound every two weeks while staying lean. This is exactly what I was planning on. I've been doing a full-body workout monday/wednesday/friday, whic consists of: shoulder press, deadlift, db bench press, squat, chest flies, barbell rows, and sometimes hammer curls and bodyweight dips.

    I'm working in the 6-10 rep range with a primary goal of adding mass while staying lean.

    My strength is increasing at an excellent rate, but I'm starting to worry that as these compound lifts get heavier, my CNS won't be able to take this every 48 hours, even with two days off on the weekends.

    I'm considering lifting heavy on monday and friday, while keeping wednesday lighter by lifting in the 12-15 rep range. Is this enough rest for my CNS to allow me to continue this program 3 days a week?

    If not, what else could I do? I'm about 150 pounds, so i want to stick to all compound movements and no machines. I don't think that any sort of 4-day split etc would work for me, because the squat and deadlift both work the full body so well, so I feel that if I do these exercises, I can't do any lifting the next day.

    Thanks in advance.
    Excellent question... I don't know what you weights are like at the moment so you should post them along with sets and reps per sets, they type of sets etc along with how you feel the next day etc

    I will say though that continued progression is a good sign that you are not overtraining at the moment and I wouldn't change a thing until you find yourself hitting a plateu. Overtime however as the weight increases on all your lifts you will require longer to heal because the damage caused by heavier weights is much greater. At that point 3 times a week of heavy lifting will no longer become productive and you will have to actively manage your CNS fatigue.

    But heavy lifting is only a portion of CNS fatigue, stress, lack of sleep and numerous other factors such as heavy drinking all contribute decreased CNS profiency.
    Last edited by NIguy; 08-11-2009 at 05:46 AM.
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  4. #4
    Polski Bro mobikwa's Avatar
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    You know in Starting Strength it is advocated you Squat, Bench/Press, Clean/Dead lift 3x a week. Ive been doing it for close to 2 months now and I don't feel I am overtraining, but you are throwing in a lot more work so only you can decide if its too much.
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  5. #5
    Registered User r_graz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mobikwa View Post
    You know in Starting Strength it is advocated you Squat, Bench/Press, Clean/Dead lift 3x a week. Ive been doing it for close to 2 months now and I don't feel I am overtraining, but you are throwing in a lot more work so only you can decide if its too much.
    Intensity, volume, rate of progression, level of trainee advancement. Those are the things that determine whether you can do that workout 3x per week or not. Those are all the things missing from the OP's post, and no one can know whether his workout is too little, too much, or just right without it.
    Last edited by r_graz; 08-11-2009 at 08:02 AM.
    "Motivation comes from within. You won't get it from others or by seeking the approval of others." - jgreystoke

    "If it's your day to train, train. Unless you're coughing up blood, or the jagged end of a broken bone is protruding from a limb, do work." - ironwill2008

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  6. #6
    Registered User The_ScoTTmaN's Avatar
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    I used to do a 3 day split, but i felt like my body couldnt handle it once the weight started getting heavier. My shoulders would kill me. I put a full body into a 4 day workout. I go 4 days on one day cardio then start it all over again. I now throw in an occasional off day. Just so i can get extra sleep that night.
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  7. #7
    Veg can't get big lolwut? Mr.Runner's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by r_graz View Post
    Intensity, volume, rate of progression, level of trainee advancement. Those are the things that determine whether you can do that workout 3x per week or not. Those are all the things missing from the OP's post, and no one can no whether his workout enough is too little, too much, or just right without it.
    Yup, same questions that need to be asked every time, without fail.
    I only seem like I know what I'm talking about, because I only talk about things that I know about.

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  8. #8
    Registered User 1holegrouper's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The_ScoTTmaN View Post
    I used to do a 3 day split, but i felt like my body couldnt handle it once the weight started getting heavier. My shoulders would kill me. I put a full body into a 4 day workout. I go 4 days on one day cardio then start it all over again. I now throw in an occasional off day. Just so i can get extra sleep that night.
    This nails it. Your routine is dependent upon the weights, the % of weight to your 1RM, your diet and your fitness goals.
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  9. #9
    Registered User SD_13's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies!

    My current routine consists of doing two sets of each of the following exercises (3 x week): db shoulder press, deadlift, db bench press, squat, db chest flies, bb row, and sometimes bodyweight dips and hammer curls. I work in the 6-10 rep range, except for a few movements such as chest flies, which are 8-12.

    Not including the bar (not sure of the weight.. it's a standard 1-inch-diameter barbell), my deadlift is at 90 kg, and my squat is at 70 kg (I pushed out 12 reps today for two sets, so I can probably increase this to 80 for my next lower-rep workout). I weigh about 67 kg (approx 147 pounds).

    My deadlift has increased 20 kg (approx 44 pounds) in a month, and my squat has increased 15 kg (approx 33 pounds) in that same month.

    My other lifts are progressing very slowly because my deadlifts and squats are taking so much out of me during my workouts. I am not overtraining to the point of experiencing negative effects, but I do think that I am doing a little too much work to progress well on all of my lifts.

    Please let me know what you think about this proposed modification:
    1) I'm going to cut out the deadlifts on wednesdays, leaving it at two days a week for better CNS recovery.
    2) I'm going to make wednesday a high-rep day for all of my lifts. This should help me avoid future plateaus, improve CNS recovery, and recruit both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers in the same week.

    Here are my questions:
    1) Once I can deadlift 2 x my bodyweight, should I decrease to 1 day per week, or will 2 days likely still allow for enough CNS recovery?

    2)
    a) By including a high-rep day in the middle of the week, how will mass gains be affected? Will I not experience as much growth because I don't stay in one rep range long enough?
    b) If this is acceptable, what rep range would be ideal to compliment my normal 6-10? Is a higher rep range ideal for hypertrophy, such as 12-15, with my normal 6-10 providing the strength gains needed to accompany it?

    Thanks for the all the help guys, I really appreciate it.
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  10. #10
    Registered User bluedot's Avatar
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    I am surprised to say this but, having read your most recent post, you've got a pretty good exercise selection and you seem to be asking the right questions. This is fairly rare so you are one the right track... please be encouraged! The thing that everyone is going to tell you is that you are underweight and you are... the question you ask about gaining "mass" in relation to volume is immaterial because mass comes only with food and is going to require weight gain. Eat more.

    You mention that you work in certain rep ranges but you don't say how many sets you perform. That's a big piece of the puzzle. The idea you want to think about is 'volume'... that usually thought of as sets x reps, and 'intensity' is volume with how heavy (relative to your single repitition maximum) your working weight is. As a general guideline, the heavier a lift is, the lower you want your volume to be. Deadlifts performed once a week can stimulate growth since they're so damned heavy.

    My best advice is to get on a program. The forum member all pro has a good workout plan listed for beginners and Starting Strength also seems right up your alley. Like I said before, the lifts you've chosen to focus on are the right ones but some pretty smart dudes have put their mental energy into figuring out progression schemes and schedules so that you don't have to. If you hit the chow and stick to a good program you'll be solid as a rock in a few months.
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  11. #11
    Registered User SD_13's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluedot View Post
    I am surprised to say this but, having read your most recent post, you've got a pretty good exercise selection and you seem to be asking the right questions. This is fairly rare so you are one the right track... please be encouraged! The thing that everyone is going to tell you is that you are underweight and you are... the question you ask about gaining "mass" in relation to volume is immaterial because mass comes only with food and is going to require weight gain. Eat more.

    You mention that you work in certain rep ranges but you don't say how many sets you perform. That's a big piece of the puzzle. The idea you want to think about is 'volume'... that usually thought of as sets x reps, and 'intensity' is volume with how heavy (relative to your single repitition maximum) your working weight is. As a general guideline, the heavier a lift is, the lower you want your volume to be. Deadlifts performed once a week can stimulate growth since they're so damned heavy.

    My best advice is to get on a program. The forum member all pro has a good workout plan listed for beginners and Starting Strength also seems right up your alley. Like I said before, the lifts you've chosen to focus on are the right ones but some pretty smart dudes have put their mental energy into figuring out progression schemes and schedules so that you don't have to. If you hit the chow and stick to a good program you'll be solid as a rock in a few months.
    Thanks man!

    I probably should have made it more of a point in my last post, but I did say that I do two sets of each of those exercises. Doing this, my workouts last an hour.

    I had a quick look at some programs, and they appear to be very simple, revolving around the big three exercises, which sound great, BUT what benefit does 5x5 have over 2x 6-10? As long as my strength keeps increasing (which it should if I make the two modifications that I suggested in my last post), I don't see a need for any 5x5 work until I eventually plateau and need something to bust me out of it. I'm eating enough and making the exactly mass gains that I want (2 pounds a month, and this is LEAN, as my stomach fat actually appears to have lessened) as I've read that it's not realistic to gain more than this.

    I'm basically just trying to improve my CNS recovery.

    To others: please see my last post for my two questions.
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  12. #12
    Registered User SD_13's Avatar
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    bump (due to time zone differences)
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