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  1. #1
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    Honest Educated Critique of My Workout Scheme Please

    Hey everyone,

    Let me be very honest up front. I've avoided this forum for a long time. Why? Because the responses I read are sometimes simply uneducated, vague and frankly stupid. I'm 38 years old now; a grown man with a wife and an 11 yr old. I'm looking for mature responses from those of us who are looking for genuine fitness advice.

    Now, with that out of the way, like my title suggests, I'd appreciate an honest critique of my workout scheme that I've pasted below. These days, my main focus is on hypertrophy first then strength. That may even seem silly at my age, but as you all know, the older we get, focusing more on clean form to avoid injury is very important. That often means going with a medium load and rep range per set. There are obviously exceptions, on certain compound movements for example, but I believe this type of fitness mentality to be best, at least for me. Of course I stay focused on progressive overload, so when I achieve a given rep range on a set, the weight goes up.

    So, let me try to briefly explain the chart I've attached. I know, I'm a bit of a nerd, but I take my fitness seriously, as should you . It's pretty self explanatory, except for the "IF" sections, which I refer to Intensity Factor (I'll explain in a second). As you can see I do the traditional bulking and cutting phase, on a 7/5 month scheme (7 mo. bulking, 5 mo. cutting). I'm almost 6'3", and am currently right around 200 lb. I have this set up as more or less a "bro split". Why? I simply feel like I can focus better when I dedicate a day to a certain muscle group. I also simply like the feeling of fully exhausting a muscle group. With that said, as you might see, I do like to include a bit of extra work for other groups on certain days, to try and cover most areas twice per week.

    Now for the "IF" figure. This is a formula I've come up with that assesses the impact each workout has on the Central Nervous System (CNS) (I've struggled my entire life with anxiety/stress issues, so I try and keep my workouts under 45 minutes and as stated earlier, only lift heavy on certain compounds like deads and squats). The heavier the weight, the higher the "Intensity Factor", and stress on the CNS. For example, a heavy set may have an IF of 5, while a light weight "pump" high rep set may be just be an IF of 1. I hope that makes sense.

    I know this has been a bit long winded, so I apologize for that, but again, I would greatly appreciate it if I could get some good critiques of things like:

    - How I've spread out my volume
    - If my reps per given muscle group are too low/high
    - If my intensity per given muscle group may be too low/high

    I can also post an example workout sheet, if you all would like.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    -Andy
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  2. #2
    Registered User NinaB55's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    Hey everyone,

    Let me be very honest up front. I've avoided this forum for a long time. Why? Because the responses I read are sometimes simply uneducated, vague and frankly stupid. I'm 38 years old now; a grown man with a wife and an 11 yr old. I'm looking for mature responses from those of us who are looking for genuine fitness advice.

    Now, with that out of the way, like my title suggests, I'd appreciate an honest critique of my workout scheme that I've pasted below. These days, my main focus is on hypertrophy first then strength. That may even seem silly at my age, but as you all know, the older we get, focusing more on clean form to avoid injury is very important. That often means going with a medium load and rep range per set. There are obviously exceptions, on certain compound movements for example, but I believe this type of fitness mentality to be best, at least for me. Of course I stay focused on progressive overload, so when I achieve a given rep range on a set, the weight goes up.

    So, let me try to briefly explain the chart I've attached. I know, I'm a bit of a nerd, but I take my fitness seriously, as should you . It's pretty self explanatory, except for the "IF" sections, which I refer to Intensity Factor (I'll explain in a second). As you can see I do the traditional bulking and cutting phase, on a 7/5 month scheme (7 mo. bulking, 5 mo. cutting). I'm almost 6'3", and am currently right around 200 lb. I have this set up as more or less a "bro split". Why? I simply feel like I can focus better when I dedicate a day to a certain muscle group. I also simply like the feeling of fully exhausting a muscle group. With that said, as you might see, I do like to include a bit of extra work for other groups on certain days, to try and cover most areas twice per week.

    Now for the "IF" figure. This is a formula I've come up with that assesses the impact each workout has on the Central Nervous System (CNS) (I've struggled my entire life with anxiety/stress issues, so I try and keep my workouts under 45 minutes and as stated earlier, only lift heavy on certain compounds like deads and squats). The heavier the weight, the higher the "Intensity Factor", and stress on the CNS. For example, a heavy set may have an IF of 5, while a light weight "pump" high rep set may be just be an IF of 1. I hope that makes sense.

    I know this has been a bit long winded, so I apologize for that, but again, I would greatly appreciate it if I could get some good critiques of things like:

    - How I've spread out my volume
    - If my reps per given muscle group are too low/high
    - If my intensity per given muscle group may be too low/high

    I can also post an example workout sheet, if you all would like.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    -Andy


    When you said you read the uneducated, vague and frankly stupid responses, I assumed you were educated and intelligent enough to come up with a great post and this is what you came up with?

    You just wrote a wall of text without relevant information, and attached a chart showing parts of the body, number of reps and some made up intensity factor that only you understands and expect people to solve the mistery?

    How does one even begin to help you?

    This is a website where people give FREE advice to people. There will always be differences in opinions and people that are more knowledgable than others.

    Take the ones that apply to you and move on. You’re not paying for the services.

    If you had paid more attention to the lots of intelligent responses that members on here give and read the stickies, you’d have known even before making this thread that what you have written (including the chart) is not well thought out, vague and frankly stupid.

    Best thing to do is read the stickies and read responses to other people’s questions. Go back, think about the question you need to ask and make a more informative thread.

    Finally, some responses here are made in jest, meant to be sarcastic or made by people who are genuinely trying to help but are not very knowledgeable.


    All the best.
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  3. #3
    Registered User KidFreeze's Avatar
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    I'm with NinaB55 on this one.
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post

    Now, with that out of the way, like my title suggests, I'd appreciate an honest critique of my workout scheme that I've pasted below.
    Here is my "honest critique." Your thoughts are interesting though, in my opinion, a little all over the place. I don't think you have shared enough information to fully be able to access your "scheme." It would be helpful to see what your routine looks like. Based on your total reps chart, I suspect you have some programming imbalances that need fixing.
    David, a 55 year old pastor, husband and father.

    1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified

    Best Lifts - Squat 375lbs Bench 205 lbs Deadlift 470lbs. Goals in next year 400 Sq, 225 Bench, 500 DL
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  5. #5
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Here is a list of proven novice routines (the names are links) plus a brief note. However, before you read through this, know that any of these programs would be an excellent start for any novice trainee.

    Novice does not mean newb/noob, novice simply refers to the rate at which you are able to progress. You want to follow novice programming as long as possible, because it has the fastest rate of progress with the least training complexity. Novice applies to those coming back after a layoff just as much as it does to first time lifters. Don’t let the simplicity and relatively low volume fool you, linear progression full body three times per week routines can be grueling when the weight gets heavy. Following any of these as written with proper nutrition will get you places as quickly as any program can.

    Fierce 5
    Well rounded routine for novices seeking strength or muscular size written by one of our resident posters/mods. Lots of knowledge about the program within this forum.
    See also https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=162916931

    5/3/1 For Beginners
    Well rounded program with a lot of options once you have experience under the bar and learn a thing or two.
    Jim Wendler is a very smart guy with lots of experience as an elite lifter and a coach. Don’t let his hardcore four-letter-word persona fool you, he knows things. 5/3/1 has many templates and many variations to suit virtually any trainee at any stage and with any goal, and is currently one of the most popular and common programs, no matter what forum or federation or group you check with. If you are up for learning more and think you might be in this game for the long haul, I strongly suggest picking up a copy of 5/3/1 Forever https://jimwendler.com/products/5-3-1-forever-book . If you search for info on 5/3/1 you will find it everywhere...but there’s no better source than the book (Wendler’s own forum might come close)

    Starting Strength
    Starting Strength

    As the name implies, if you are after strength, this might be the best place to start. Author Mark Rippetoe has decades of coaching experience (and was strong himself with competition bench of 396 lbs and squats and deadlfits exceeding 600 lbs). I wrote the FAQ linked above, and answer questions as they arise. There are a couple variations included in that FAQ, including the Advance Novice routine, which saves you from having to do power cleans while still following the program to a T

    All Pros
    If you are an aspiring bodybuilder after looks much more than after strength, you may want to start here. all pro is (or was) a forum regular, and he left us this simple routine to help guide novices. There is a lot of knowledge about this routine in this forum as well.

    Greyskulls LP
    If you are after strength or are an aspiring powerlifter, this might be the program to start with. More explanation at the provided link.

    Training for Strength vs Training for Size
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=175493881

    Nutrition is at least as important as your routine. Check Nutrition Forum stickies. Track calories and carbs/fat/protein daily, as well as bodyweight. (www.myfitnesspal.com or www.fitday.com is popular for this) Eat in a daily calorie surplus to build muscle, eat in a daily calorie deficit to lose fat.

    Form is critical. The lifts must be performed correctly. The reference book for this is Starting Strength

    The best starting point (IMO) to learn about the nuts and bolts of programming…the why…is Practical Programming for Strength Training

    Free videos that are excellent can be seen here, use the suggested and related videos suggestion to find more





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  6. #6
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Posts like yours OP are exactly why we tell people to read the stickies and not to make up their own program. Your "scheme" literally tell us nothing, and you are essentailly re-inventing the wheel with your "IF", because it already exists in another form. Its called RPE (rate of perceived exertion), however beginners can't even begin to understand RPE in relationship to their own lifting, they just don't have the experience yet.

    Recommend you take the advice given above, and follow a proven and established program.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  7. #7
    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    You wrote your excuses in the post. As long as you're tweaking your pseudo science you have an excuse for subpar results. Guess what, fire has been invented and Einstein couldn't do it better. Put your mind to better use and manage your diet while you do a beginner program. Do that for two years then pick an intermediate program and do that for 3. Then maybe you can learn periodized, or conjugate, or velocity based training systems to busy your mind. I'm ocd too, and I learned with lost years that I can't do it better than millions of other lifters and the universal premises that comprise lifting.
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  8. #8
    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    WTAF!

    Interested to know how you train High delts and Low delts?
    Instagram - @dazlittle123
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  9. #9
    Registered User KidFreeze's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Here is a list of proven novice routines (the names are links) plus a brief note. However, before you read through this, know that any of these programs would be an excellent start for any novice trainee.

    Novice does not mean newb/noob, novice simply refers to the rate at which you are able to progress. You want to follow novice programming as long as possible, because it has the fastest rate of progress with the least training complexity. Novice applies to those coming back after a layoff just as much as it does to first time lifters. Don’t let the simplicity and relatively low volume fool you, linear progression full body three times per week routines can be grueling when the weight gets heavy. Following any of these as written with proper nutrition will get you places as quickly as any program can.

    Fierce 5
    Well rounded routine for novices seeking strength or muscular size written by one of our resident posters/mods. Lots of knowledge about the program within this forum.
    See also https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=162916931

    5/3/1 For Beginners
    Well rounded program with a lot of options once you have experience under the bar and learn a thing or two.
    Jim Wendler is a very smart guy with lots of experience as an elite lifter and a coach. Don’t let his hardcore four-letter-word persona fool you, he knows things. 5/3/1 has many templates and many variations to suit virtually any trainee at any stage and with any goal, and is currently one of the most popular and common programs, no matter what forum or federation or group you check with. If you are up for learning more and think you might be in this game for the long haul, I strongly suggest picking up a copy of 5/3/1 Forever https://jimwendler.com/products/5-3-1-forever-book . If you search for info on 5/3/1 you will find it everywhere...but there’s no better source than the book (Wendler’s own forum might come close)

    Starting Strength
    Starting Strength

    As the name implies, if you are after strength, this might be the best place to start. Author Mark Rippetoe has decades of coaching experience (and was strong himself with competition bench of 396 lbs and squats and deadlfits exceeding 600 lbs). I wrote the FAQ linked above, and answer questions as they arise. There are a couple variations included in that FAQ, including the Advance Novice routine, which saves you from having to do power cleans while still following the program to a T

    All Pros
    If you are an aspiring bodybuilder after looks much more than after strength, you may want to start here. all pro is (or was) a forum regular, and he left us this simple routine to help guide novices. There is a lot of knowledge about this routine in this forum as well.

    Greyskulls LP
    If you are after strength or are an aspiring powerlifter, this might be the program to start with. More explanation at the provided link.

    Training for Strength vs Training for Size
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=175493881

    Nutrition is at least as important as your routine. Check Nutrition Forum stickies. Track calories and carbs/fat/protein daily, as well as bodyweight. (www.myfitnesspal.com or www.fitday.com is popular for this) Eat in a daily calorie surplus to build muscle, eat in a daily calorie deficit to lose fat.

    Form is critical. The lifts must be performed correctly. The reference book for this is Starting Strength

    The best starting point (IMO) to learn about the nuts and bolts of programming…the why…is Practical Programming for Strength Training

    Free videos that are excellent can be seen here, use the suggested and related videos suggestion to find more






    That lower bar squat video is golden!! Thanks for that.

    "Point your nibbles at the floor"
    Last edited by KidFreeze; 10-16-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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  10. #10
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    So, first of all, I've tried to post since last night and it keeps giving me 404 errors. Apparently I'm not alone with this frustration, so hopefully this post finally goes through. I'm gonna try splitting it in half.


    Hi NinaB55, thanks for your post.

    Ok, first of all I want to apologize for the tone of my first paragraph. I'm not sure if I was grumpy or what, but reading it through a couple more times, I can easily see how it would have not been received well. For that I am sorry.

    I'm certainly nowhere close to a fitness expert, hence me starting this thread. If it is at all salvageable now, I will try to clarify my routine the best I can. First, I need to address your comments, as I do feel some of it is unfounded.

    "You just wrote a wall of text without relevant information"

    Sure, some of it seems wordy now, I agree, (I even admitted that to begin with) but I disagree that things such as my body stats, general fitness goals, CNS impact monitoring, average workout duration and explaining my Intensity Factor is irrelevant. I was trying to lay the groundwork for my method of fitness, to hopefully learn ways from you all to improve.

    "How does one even begin to help you?"

    If you look at the chart you'll see a trend. Larger muscle groups generally have a higher IF, and smaller ones the opposite (relative to volume). For example, working calves will not give you near the CNS hit as say, back, but there is only a 20 weekly rep difference. The reason for this is twofold. At least from what I've learned, most back muscles are more type 2 (fast twitch) fiber dominant, and calves are very type 1 (slow twitch) fiber dominant. And, there are multiple muscles in the back, while calves are pretty much one. This means the back can handle heavier loads because of more compound movements (deadlift, rows, etc). Hopefully you can see now where I'm going with this. Here is a good read on muscle fiber types, with charts near the bottom..

    (Search legionathletics and "muscle fiber types")
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  11. #11
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    "This is a website where people give FREE advice to people. There will always be differences in opinions and people that are more knowledgable than others."

    I agree 100%. I'm certainly not trying to get highly scientific expert advice on fitness from a forum. I suppose I used the wrong term by putting "educated" in the title. That may have presupposed something I wasn't expecting. I'm just tired of seeing replies like, "I don't know bro, that seems fine to me". And I know you know what I mean. Lol.

    And, for what it's worth, I'm a member of another forum that is all about lawn care (yes lawn care, lol) and I've received many professional replies on there from turf managers that were very much experts, without even a hint at asking for money (And they probably deserve it). So, maybe that site has spoiled me, or, I'm just not familiar with how advice is given in fitness circles.

    I won't respond to the rest, because it was clear what your opinion was long before that. I didn't mean to confuse anyone or post something that was too difficult to understand. I will go ahead and attach some pages of my workout guidelines and routine to hopefully further clarify. Feel free to critique or tear it apart. I don't carry my feelings around.

    All the best to you as well, and anyone else who may come across this post.

    Have a good one,

    -Andy
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  12. #12
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    Sorry for the multiple posts mods, it's the only way I could avoid the 404 error as stated above. To this one I've attached a sample of my workout program, as mentioned in the last post.

    Farley1324, Wow! I really appreciate your helpful post. There is some really good stuff there. This is exactly what I had in mind and was hoping for. Thanks so much.


    Let me also inform everyone that while I'm still certainly learning, I'm not a beginner by any means. About 9 years ago, our old pal Tony Horton got me thinking seriously about fitness for the first time. I was 220 lbs and puffy as a marshmallow. Yes, the Beachbody vids are, in my opinion, gimmicky and "muscle confusion" isn't a new thing, but it at least got me moving and I made real changes to my physique and overall health. Then, after doing Body Beast, I fell in love with weightlifting and seeing success from progressive overload. So I've been lifting now for the past 7 years. Also still do yoga once a week and meditation to try and deal with my anxiety, and it has helped a ton.

    I'm well aware that I get wordy, so I will respond to a couple messages in this same post...

    @dazlittle

    Sorry for not clarifying what the "High" and "Low" means on the chart. That is high volume and low volume. For example, I might add 2-3 sets of side laterals on chest day, then have another dedicated shoulder day devoted to delts only. I do this because I like to hit delts twice a week.

    @drudixon

    You're correct, I am OCD about certain things. However, I also simply enjoy being systematic in my fitness approach. It keeps me focused and accountable. I'm not one to go to a gym. I only ever workout at home. I have my sheets printed, my sets/reps written down in black and white and there's no excuses, no chatting with friends and no distractions. It's 45 minutes of burn. . And yes, I know my Intensity Factor formula is silly. But it is actually based on research. Most of which came on this very website! I'm sure it's not perfect, but so far has seemed to work, and I am seeing gains. It's not a "mystery" that the heavier the weight, the more intense the workout becomes, and more of a hit your CNS takes.

    Thanks again for all of your posts!
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    I was gonna help.

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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    ....Because the responses I read are sometimes simply uneducated, vague and frankly stupid.

    Goes on to post totally uneducated, vague and frankly stupid workout. Makes sense to me!
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    ... I've avoided this forum for a long time...
    Good work, keep on going
    Last edited by OldFartTom; 10-16-2019 at 02:10 PM.
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    Hi Andy,
    Switched to the pc to give you a thoughtful reply.

    First, I love gardening. Much more into tropical plants than grass these days, but having been around golf courses, owned a reel mower, etc, I can relate to loving it.

    Regarding your post, the problem is you're relating intensity to CNS and ascribing a relative scale called intensity factor to how your CNS "feels" after a given workout. The problem here is that your CNS is generally affected far more by non-workout related things than working out. Did you know a chess grandmaster burns 300-600 calories an hour just sitting there? Life, sleep, food choices, all play a role in how "intense" your day is. If you truly want to gauge how much your workouts vary from day-to-day, you need a much more specific way to track individual efforts.

    Two main methods come to mind - First, is the RPE method, popularized by Mike Tuchsherer. Relative Perceived Exertion means the weight you use is variable based on how you feel that day, given you hit a specified rep total, leaving 0-x number of reps in the tank. Simplified, if I'm doing a set at RPE 8, it means I have 2 reps left after I rack it before completely failing. RPE 10 means failing. Based on life, rest, food, stress etc, if I'm squatting on a given day, I might do 5 reps, with 2 to spare with 315, or maybe 275 on a crappy day. RPE based training allows you to have an off day.

    The second is much newer, and requires equipment to do. It's called velocity based training. The idea here is that independent of the traditional approach of weight x distance = work, is the true formula, force x distance = work. Force considers acceleration and speed. As you know, you can bench 135 slowly or fast. Fast naturally has more force. To lift it fast recruits more muscle fibers, will tax CNS more, but ultimately lead to better gains than the same weight, lifted for the same reps. Consequently, as RPE increases, it's expected that acceleration and speed will diminish. So, in velocity based training, workouts are measured based on acceleration and speed. You strive for an RPE within a given factor of acceleration or speed, or both (depending on the lift and the goals). When you can't hit the required speed, you lower the weight.

    While the two above methods are cool as phuk, and the science is great, it's really geared towards people with 5+ years under the bar. A novice doesn't have the right form, or consistency to know when he/she has two reps left, or 3, or 4... etc.

    The important thing is, learn disclipline. Just do something, over time, regularly, and when it stops working, do something else. The science of all this can be very distracting from the simplicity that is lifting and progressing. Truthfully, for the vast majority of us, the more complicated we make it, the more likely we'll fail.
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    Sounds like you have it all figured out already and nothing us mere mortals are going to be able to help you with.

    I am not a fan of a bro split but if it is working for you then have at it. Tracking sets per week makes more sense than reps per week.

    Good luck!
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    Looks like a bastardized version of Prilepin's table. If I were to choose one, I'd opt for the one based on the training logs of thousands of athletes.
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Hi Andy,
    Switched to the pc to give you a thoughtful reply.

    First, I love gardening. Much more into tropical plants than grass these days, but having been around golf courses, owned a reel mower, etc, I can relate to loving it.

    Regarding your post, the problem is you're relating intensity to CNS and ascribing a relative scale called intensity factor to how your CNS "feels" after a given workout. The problem here is that your CNS is generally affected far more by non-workout related things than working out. Did you know a chess grandmaster burns 300-600 calories an hour just sitting there? Life, sleep, food choices, all play a role in how "intense" your day is. If you truly want to gauge how much your workouts vary from day-to-day, you need a much more specific way to track individual efforts.

    Two main methods come to mind - First, is the RPE method, popularized by Mike Tuchsherer. Relative Perceived Exertion means the weight you use is variable based on how you feel that day, given you hit a specified rep total, leaving 0-x number of reps in the tank. Simplified, if I'm doing a set at RPE 8, it means I have 2 reps left after I rack it before completely failing. RPE 10 means failing. Based on life, rest, food, stress etc, if I'm squatting on a given day, I might do 5 reps, with 2 to spare with 315, or maybe 275 on a crappy day. RPE based training allows you to have an off day.

    The second is much newer, and requires equipment to do. It's called velocity based training. The idea here is that independent of the traditional approach of weight x distance = work, is the true formula, force x distance = work. Force considers acceleration and speed. As you know, you can bench 135 slowly or fast. Fast naturally has more force. To lift it fast recruits more muscle fibers, will tax CNS more, but ultimately lead to better gains than the same weight, lifted for the same reps. Consequently, as RPE increases, it's expected that acceleration and speed will diminish. So, in velocity based training, workouts are measured based on acceleration and speed. You strive for an RPE within a given factor of acceleration or speed, or both (depending on the lift and the goals). When you can't hit the required speed, you lower the weight.

    While the two above methods are cool as phuk, and the science is great, it's really geared towards people with 5+ years under the bar. A novice doesn't have the right form, or consistency to know when he/she has two reps left, or 3, or 4... etc.

    The important thing is, learn disclipline. Just do something, over time, regularly, and when it stops working, do something else. The science of all this can be very distracting from the simplicity that is lifting and progressing. Truthfully, for the vast majority of us, the more complicated we make it, the more likely we'll fail.
    So much on spread here!


    Still, morons like me prefer the primitive percentage approach.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Looks like a bastardized version of Prilepin's table. If I were to choose one, I'd opt for the one based on the training logs of thousands of athletes.
    BOOM!! Best post on the thread. Ever.

    And NOT just "thousands of athletes." We are talking "thousands of Olympic and World Championship caliber athletes.

    Prilepin's Table is the key ingredient in ALL types of programming - whether it's for brobuilders, PLers or WLers. None of the popular programs will work without it. I've been saying this for years. But nobody listens. Cuz in Mercah, it's all about marketing and fanciness and the appearance of being unique.
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  21. #21
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Hi Andy,
    Switched to the pc to give you a thoughtful reply.

    First, I love gardening. Much more into tropical plants than grass these days, but having been around golf courses, owned a reel mower, etc, I can relate to loving it.

    Regarding your post, the problem is you're relating intensity to CNS and ascribing a relative scale called intensity factor to how your CNS "feels" after a given workout. The problem here is that your CNS is generally affected far more by non-workout related things than working out. Did you know a chess grandmaster burns 300-600 calories an hour just sitting there? Life, sleep, food choices, all play a role in how "intense" your day is. If you truly want to gauge how much your workouts vary from day-to-day, you need a much more specific way to track individual efforts.

    Two main methods come to mind - First, is the RPE method, popularized by Mike Tuchsherer. Relative Perceived Exertion means the weight you use is variable based on how you feel that day, given you hit a specified rep total, leaving 0-x number of reps in the tank. Simplified, if I'm doing a set at RPE 8, it means I have 2 reps left after I rack it before completely failing. RPE 10 means failing. Based on life, rest, food, stress etc, if I'm squatting on a given day, I might do 5 reps, with 2 to spare with 315, or maybe 275 on a crappy day. RPE based training allows you to have an off day.

    The second is much newer, and requires equipment to do. It's called velocity based training. The idea here is that independent of the traditional approach of weight x distance = work, is the true formula, force x distance = work. Force considers acceleration and speed. As you know, you can bench 135 slowly or fast. Fast naturally has more force. To lift it fast recruits more muscle fibers, will tax CNS more, but ultimately lead to better gains than the same weight, lifted for the same reps. Consequently, as RPE increases, it's expected that acceleration and speed will diminish. So, in velocity based training, workouts are measured based on acceleration and speed. You strive for an RPE within a given factor of acceleration or speed, or both (depending on the lift and the goals). When you can't hit the required speed, you lower the weight.

    While the two above methods are cool as phuk, and the science is great, it's really geared towards people with 5+ years under the bar. A novice doesn't have the right form, or consistency to know when he/she has two reps left, or 3, or 4... etc.

    The important thing is, learn disclipline. Just do something, over time, regularly, and when it stops working, do something else. The science of all this can be very distracting from the simplicity that is lifting and progressing. Truthfully, for the vast majority of us, the more complicated we make it, the more likely we'll fail.
    @drudixon, Thanks so much for sharing this great info! It makes a lot of sense. Just a couple points in response:

    - I'm not sure I'm calculating my Intensity Factor according to feel, but overall load. If I'm doing a set of 5 on deadlift, the weight of course will be much greater than a set of 15 on side laterals. It's been well documented that the former exercise will tax the CNS much more. Do I feel the difference? You bet! But my IF is based on the numbers first.

    - I completely relate and agree with you about the CNS being more affected by stresses other than exercise. Not to be redundant, but anxiety has been a life long issue for me. So as you can imagine, I try to reduce it in all areas if possible.

    The RPE method you laid out sure does resonate with me. Man, it seems like the "up and down" days are much more frequent here in my late 30's, that's for sure. Sleep is a huge issue for me also.

    The velocity-based training is very intriguing as well, and I assume one would need to utilize some sort of timer to accurately track progress. I generally try to keep things simple when it comes to velocity, with normal reps being about 1 sec up and 2 down, and "eccentric" reps 1 sec up and 3 down (a goofy thing I picked up from Tony Horton, but seems to work).
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    So it's apparent I've offended people. However, I won't respond to other comments I see because I've already apologized and admitted my mistakes. Let's all try to learn from each other and improve.

    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Hi Andy,
    Switched to the pc to give you a thoughtful reply.

    First, I love gardening. Much more into tropical plants than grass these days, but having been around golf courses, owned a reel mower, etc, I can relate to loving it.
    That's awesome drudixon! We can chat about that stuff in a pm if you want. I'm in southern OH, and have had a Bulgarian Windmill palm growing outside in the ground for almost 3 years now. lol. I'm a landscape nut as well :P I'm a pretty avid golfer and will be hopefully purchasing a used Toro 3100D or John Deere 2653A Triplex this coming spring.

    Ok, sorry, I know this is a bodybuilding forum. Haha!
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  23. #23
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AndyMac499 View Post
    So it's apparent I've offended people. However, I won't respond to other comments I see because I've already apologized and admitted my mistakes. Let's all try to learn from each other and improve.


    !
    My thoughts. Beginner or novice lifters WAY overcomplicate things. This group does not need programs which are refined by elite strength athletes.

    Kinda like a guy with a 225 bench doing workouts with bands and chains.

    So before I can comment further on your 'program' I would need to know your current level of training.

    If your bench is under 315, squat is under 405, and dead is under 450-475, I would say stop wasting your time with programs much more advanced than you are. It is the equivalent of putting Pirelli P-Zero tires on your Camry.

    This is not being an elitist, but those are not high numbers, but they are where a novice might be when they start progressing to the point of using more advanced training methods.

    Also 6'3 and 200 lbs seem awfully light. You need to post a picture so people here can give you an 'intelligent' response.

    My gut tells me you still need a beginner program. But if you are 6'3 and 8%bf at 200lbs my advice might be different.
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    I'm with you except that novices rarely get to 405 squat and 315 bench. And those that do are probably either very gifted or very large
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    I'm with you except that novices rarely get to 405 squat and 315 bench. And those that do are probably either very gifted or very large
    Just rough numbers, but I am glad you got my point. One could argue and slide the numbers around, but the principle of guys who are barely trained, and not even very far down their fitness path, trying to run advanced programs is the main point.

    Without saying number, maybe years of QUALITY training would be better. I would think at least 2-3 years of REAL training. Maybe more. Even at the 2-3 year mark you are still consistently getting stronger and mass (should still be trackable). At 5 years in, if you have trained right, just about everything goes to a crawl and "progress" becomes very hard to see. So maybe min 2 years, and up to 5 depending on if progress is still coming and relative state of training.

    Easiest way to for the OP to post pics and give his lifts. I dont think anyone here gets off on picking on people, but I am a tough love type guy if the person really wants advice. I would want to hear it straight if I were asking. Lots of good experience around here. I am approaching 20 years of training experience, with my 10 year anniversary back just passing. Not sure if that makes me qualified to give 'intilligent' advice or not
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    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Just rough numbers, but I am glad you got my point. One could argue and slide the numbers around, but the principle of guys who are barely trained, and not even very far down their fitness path, trying to run advanced programs is the main point.

    Without saying number, maybe years of QUALITY training would be better. I would think at least 2-3 years of REAL training. Maybe more. Even at the 2-3 year mark you are still consistently getting stronger and mass (should still be trackable). At 5 years in, if you have trained right, just about everything goes to a crawl and "progress" becomes very hard to see. So maybe min 2 years, and up to 5 depending on if progress is still coming and relative state of training.

    Easiest way to for the OP to post pics and give his lifts. I dont think anyone here gets off on picking on people, but I am a tough love type guy if the person really wants advice. I would want to hear it straight if I were asking. Lots of good experience around here. I am approaching 20 years of training experience, with my 10 year anniversary back just passing. Not sure if that makes me qualified to give 'intilligent' advice or not
    Yes.

    Generally though when we get 25 posts into one of these and OP has given zero to go on regarding their progression, that means they are the noob kind of novice and this is all a complete waste of time.
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Yes.

    Generally though when we get 25 posts into one of these and OP has given zero to go on regarding their progression, that means they are the noob kind of novice and this is all a complete waste of time.
    The single best decision I ever made when I came back to my training after a decade off, was coming into the >35 AND LISTENING to advise rather than thinking I knew it all already.

    I had enjoyed a great deal of success in my earlier phase of lifting Aamazing after a decade off, my first workouts back still could bench 300lbs and my first squat sessions finished with a 405 single.

    Despite this, I came here and took advice like a newb. I soon realized there is more to training than the Arnold Encylopeida of Modern Bodybuilding, and bro-splits with pyramid sets.

    I threw it all out and most importantly, I learned to eat with a purpose.

    I have seen people with MUCH less experience and success than I had prior, yet they all come in thinking they know it all. They also seemed determined to want to write their own programs. I did not even start following my own programs until 6+ years in where progress was pretty much tapped out and what I do in the gym anymore does not matter much.

    You can lead a horse to water.......
    RAW lifts
    635 Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATRBZ0gwdg
    585x7 Dead reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yf2ZkdNNNQ
    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    545 Squat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qZZLnePFiI
    225 x 29 bench http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe68-LgD0jM
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  28. #28
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    Age: 38
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    Wow...

    Well, this has certainly been an eye-opening experience, that's for sure.

    I don't take pictures of myself, nor do I want to. I have a mirror. If have nothing to prove to anyone.

    I posted on this forum to get advice and guidance. Once again.... I came off in the wrong way and used wrong wording. I apologized.

    I have stalled out with my fitness in general, and am only making slight gains. My lifts are:

    Bench 220 X 5
    Squat 220 X 5
    Dead 320 X 5
    Body Fat 15.5%

    So yes, if the above numbers don't suite you, and you consider me a novice, so be it. Maybe you're right.

    Have a good one.
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  29. #29
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Squat 220x5

    You are way over-complicating this. Like...K2 out of a stepped on sidewalk ant hill
    Controlled Labs Rep
    nathan @ controlledlabs.com
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  30. #30
    Registered User AndyMac499's Avatar
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    Got it.
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