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awhites1
04-07-2011, 03:02 PM
1)I know the program isn't intended for dramatic increases in strength but rather consistent incremental increases- having said that I have been in much better shape before. Right now I can probably one rep max for example bench 175-180. But less than a year ago I was repping at 200's and max at 225. So should I wait til I get back into better shape to start the program? I don't mind taking two steps back if it means 10 fwd. But w/ the numbers I'm supposed to run it could take me a few months to get back to repping at 200 w/ this plan.

2)The "im not doing jack sht" version where it's just the 4 core lifts and no other exercises is what I'm planning on doing. 30 mins or so at lunch at our work gym- however I've already started b/c of a promise to my wife to do p90x :suicide: with her. What kind of problems might this present to my goal of increasing strength while not increasing size, if any at all?

Hell
04-08-2011, 02:00 PM
If you think it is too slow just use straight sets until you plateau out. My first 3 months on cycle were pretty much all straight sets of 4-6 and I was going up around 10lbs a week on each till I finally got stuck. Since then I have switched over to 5/3/1 and its great. My only difference is that I add 10lbs after each 3 week cycle for upper body instead of 5.

Phineas
04-08-2011, 02:12 PM
Why wait to start? It doesn't matter if you're not lifting what you USED to. You lift what you lift now. Start the program and you'll start to get stronger.

Don't use your maxes from before. Use what you can do RIGHT NOW.

Don't know much about P90X (for a reason) but I don't imagine it would interfere much as long as you're not doing too much volume with it. Especially if you're doing the jack shit variation of 5/3/1. If you do 5/3/1 3x a week on jack shit that's plenty of rest time.

P90X might improve your conditioning, which is good and all, but it's not going to help you add 50 lbs to your squat.

Gazhole
04-09-2011, 11:21 AM
Agree with Phineas. It's a strength program - it will get you stronger. Doesn't make sense to wait to get stronger before starting it. That would be like saying "Oh, i don't want to do cardio untill my cardio is better."

Like he said, doesn't matter what you use to lift. What matters is what you do lift.

juggernaut
04-10-2011, 08:22 AM
P90X is stupidly overpriced, waaaaay overrated and very easy to perform on your own. Don't let their marketing bullshit tactics fool you. Google Javorek Complexes. Similar concepts and very easy to do either with bodyweight or a barbell.

And Phineas is on the money with what he said.

Gazhole
04-10-2011, 04:33 PM
What is with people these days just branding complexes and circuits and making them seem more than they are? Crossfit, P90X...its just fucking circuit training thats been around since the barbell!

awhites1
04-11-2011, 01:13 PM
agreed on the starting 5/3/1 now instead of waiting. if i have i find after a couple of weeks that the weight is easier than it should i'll just bump it up.

on the p90x thing... trust me im embarrased to admit it but it was largely in part the only way i could get the wife to start working out with me. she swears she'll start going to the gym with me then every damn day i get home shes says shes too tired and tomorrow then complains when i go to the gym with out her.

anyways thanks guys, i'll start it monday after we test out our maxes this week at lunch.

juggernaut
04-11-2011, 01:39 PM
What is with people these days just branding complexes and circuits and making them seem more than they are? Crossfit, P90X...its just fucking circuit training thats been around since the barbell!

Because some douche realized that some people are gullible and fucking retarded. And made money off his thought. Cant say that I blame him. Not everyone wants to study this stuff the way we do.

Phineas
04-11-2011, 01:42 PM
agreed on the starting 5/3/1 now instead of waiting. if i have i find after a couple of weeks that the weight is easier than it should i'll just bump it up.

on the p90x thing... trust me im embarrased to admit it but it was largely in part the only way i could get the wife to start working out with me. she swears she'll start going to the gym with me then every damn day i get home shes says shes too tired and tomorrow then complains when i go to the gym with out her.

anyways thanks guys, i'll start it monday after we test out our maxes this week at lunch.

You don't necessarily have to test your 1 RM. In fact, in the book Wendler mentions that always going by a 1RM is pretty stupid (which I agree). There are so many logistics with a 1RM that make it difficult to accurately test. And the point of the program isn't to improve your 1RM necessarily; it's to make you stronger. If you start squatting 200 for 5 and end up squatting 230 for 8 you've gotten stronger.

I used various maxes to calculate my lifts on 5/3/1. Most were 5RMs but one was a 3RM. Use whatever you feel is your "best" max. I feel 5 RMs are good to use because they're heavy enough that they're considered submaximal but they're not so heavy that they're as logistically complicated to perform properly (foot positioning, flexibility, etc, isn't quite as much a factor as it would be on a 1 RM). This is why I feel a 5RM is probably a more accurate measure of strength for the novice lifter who doesn't have years of experience properly testing and performing max singles.

Wendler also gives a formula for calculating your "estimated 1RM". Formulae for maxes can't be seen as true measures, as there are many factors that are unique to each person, as some people are better at lower reps and others at higher reps. Also, I've noticed the formula favours higher reps versus heavier weights at lower reps, even if the heavier weight at those reps seems relatively more challenging. For intance, according to his formula, to improve on my 12 x 240 lb squat on a set of 250 lbs I have to get 11 reps. That to me seems a bit ridiculous, as the 10 lb increase with only 1 rep decrease is a bit much. I would think 8 or 9 reps tops would suffice.

Here's the formula though, just to give you a rough idea:

Weight x Reps x 0.0333 + Weight = "Estimated Max"

So, if you benched 200 for 5 it woud look like this:

200 x 5 x 0.0333 + 200 = 233.3 lbs

Hell
04-11-2011, 02:41 PM
In the book he says if u dont know your 1 rep max, to use your 4 rep max as that is about 90% of your 1 rep max and use the percentages off that number.

juggernaut
04-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Rep calculators are pretty decent these days. Google the wendler spreadsheet and it includes one.

Gazhole
04-11-2011, 04:02 PM
Good call on starting it now. It really is the right decision. You can always bump a weight up if it's too easy, but its shit doing it the other way around.

I agree with Phineas about the rep thing. Get your 5rm or something, calculate a rough 1RM, drop it by 10% and go for it. To be honest, though, your way by just using a 4rm would probably work just as good.

Pick a weight you know for a fact you can do easily for a few reps, and run with that. Err on the side of caution and choose something lower over something higher. Few cycles and you'll be repping with what you consider to be heavy right now.

awhites1
04-28-2011, 07:57 AM
Pick a weight you know for a fact you can do easily for a few reps, and run with that. Err on the side of caution and choose something lower over something higher. Few cycles and you'll be repping with what you consider to be heavy right now.

i have been. i've had tendonitis issues before, especially in my elbows. its working out great though. going up slowly and building my strength up definitly. should have a nice foundation to build on when im up in higher weights in a few months.

btw gazhole- HOLY SHIT MAN YOUR GETTING HUGE

juggernaut
04-28-2011, 08:47 AM
Gaz....synthol??

JerBear1980
04-28-2011, 11:01 AM
What is with people these days just branding complexes and circuits and making them seem more than they are? Crossfit, P90X...its just fucking circuit training thats been around since the barbell!

x2

DEVILtrainer666
05-21-2011, 05:54 AM
in this article T NATION | How to Build Pure Strength (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength)Jim W. says on Squat day also use leg press. i have a squat rack and leg ext./curl only so i wonder if front squats in rack would be good to replace leg presses?

juggernaut
05-21-2011, 07:31 PM
i have a squat rack and leg ext./curl only so i wonder if front squats in rack would be good to replace leg presses?

Stick with the front squats. Leg press machines are less superior. You'll need a second job to buy more pants because the legs are going to GROW.

juggernaut
09-14-2011, 04:08 AM
Gaz just posted this on FB, but I thought it would be great to have on this thread:

blackironbeast.com :: 5/3/1 Calculator (http://blackironbeast.com/5/3/1/calculator)

Gazhole
09-14-2011, 04:46 AM
Can't believe i haven't seen that thing before. So useful.

juggernaut
09-14-2011, 06:44 AM
It is. I cant believe it either. How the hell did you find it?

Hell
09-14-2011, 07:37 AM
Sweet!! i am starting a bulker this week and was going over my book and figuring out my plan. Thanks!!

juggernaut
09-14-2011, 08:37 AM
Hell did you pick up the Powerlifting 531 yet?

Hell
09-14-2011, 10:54 AM
Hell did you pick up the Powerlifting 531 yet?

I have the original E book printed out and got it put in a spiral so its just like a real book. I did 5/3/1 for a good while this year and it worked great. Is the Powerlifitng a different version?

juggernaut
09-14-2011, 02:08 PM
Yes slightly