"Old" newb needs help

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by JustJoe, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. JustJoe

    JustJoe White Belt

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    OK. Just would like a little help here. Ive been doing Starrs 5x5 for about 5 months... fairly by the book...mostly consistant. 2 or 3 times ive taken 1-2 weeks off to "reset" this ole body of mine. Ive made slow but steady gains...but not what i would like to see, really. Im looking for advice on weather or not to continue the 5x5, switch routines, or just go throw myself into the nearest city bus. My goals are simple:

    -increase my strength to that elusive spot where "im STRONG" (i really dont know, but a twice bodyweight in squats and deads seems a good first mark)

    - i need to be FIT.....and the bloody cardio machines bore me to tears PLUS ive got awful knees....BUT...i still do the elliptical a few times a week (am i bitching?)

    - flexibility is important to me, as is all around athleticism.

    - strong, happy, healthy, flexible. that about sums it up. oh yeah, how about wealthy?

    Anyways....tohse are my goals in a nutshell. Just a little background and ill sut up.

    - 37 years old -knees hurt!!
    - first time lifting since i was a teen
    - abused the livin shit out of my body for years...so this is kind of a mission for me to survive!
    - ive read all through the FAQ's and all kinds of stuff here and elsewhere...and i still feel kinda ignorant!
    - i work hard in the gym but have no partner
    - im committed (or at least should be)
    - i have about an hour per day, 4-6 days per week to workout
    - i get bored quickly!

    OK....im sorry ive rambled on a bit...but im just tryin to be thorough here!
    Thank you so much....all help is both appreciated and needed!
     
  2. Bubble Boy

    Bubble Boy Black Belt

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    When I was trying to add poundage I was referred to Coan/Phillipi.

    Here's some Dead Lift Coan/Phillipi stuff. It'll get you started. I set Dead Lift and Squat pr's after following the program. Worth looking in to.
    Tsampa.org: Coan-Phillipi 10 Week Deadlift Routine
    Home Page

    And 37? You're still a puppy dude!
     
  3. flak

    flak Guest

    Hi Joe -- Welcome to S&P. I don't know enough about Starr's 5x5 to tell you whether to stick with it, but I'm quite a bit older than you (46) so I can throw out a few thoughts that might help.

    Be patient. If you're enjoying yourself and making gains, that's what counts.

    Your progress (or perceived lack of progress) may be due to technique issues in your lifts. If you can make videos of yourself and post them you'll get feedback. Because you have bad knees, form is particularly important for squats and squat variations.

    Boxing training is a good cardio option that's easy on the knees. If you have any prior training you can do technique sessions, shadowboxing, etc. If there's a boxing gym in your area and you've got the time/money/inclination it can be a great pursuit. And at a lot of gyms, sparring and competition are optional.

    When you say you want to get fit, are you looking to lsoe weight? If so, diet has a lot to do with it. Check out the Sherdog Diet and Supplementation forum. For that matter, you should probably check out the Conditioning forum, too.

    Flexibility is a key issue. Do a lot of stretching.

    Training partners aren't essential, especially if you're self-motivated and can use a power rack.

    Do whatever it takes to stay motivated. If you feel like dropping the 5x5, then try something else. Try new lifts, try new cardio, whatever.
     
  4. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    Somebody call Social Security.
     
  5. fearfactory

    fearfactory White Belt

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    are you still able to add poundage fairly consistently? if so, I'd stick w/ the linear approach. otherwise it might be time for periodization.
     
  6. Brad Morris

    Brad Morris Green Belt Professional Fighter

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    That for me says good things about your training. We would all like to have quick gains in the gym. But the important thing is you are making gains.

    Your training goals appear to be achievable and you are dedicating solid time into your training. Stick with it. There is nothing wrong with researching various training principles and techniques (I strongly recommend you do that) but while you are making gains you have to ask yourself if changing now is really going to give you the extra you are looking for.

    One thing I would recommend if you have access to a pool is swimming, its great conditioning and gently on your joints (your knees you mentioned can be painful). Another option for increasing conditioning is barbell Complexes. They are also very time effecient.

    Best of luck with your training and if you have form questions post a video of yourself on here or seek out a good lifting coach.
     
  7. JustJoe

    JustJoe White Belt

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    this is excellent advice so far. thank you. i think ill try to post some video of my squat and deadlift form...but...though i can take video..im not sure how to upload it ( perhaps my son would)...anyways...im grateful for your help!....and did i hear someone say 37 is NOT old???... why, then does it FEEL old...huh?

    p.s. id like to some some body fat...but my main focus is health,strength,general well being!
     
  8. Bubble Boy

    Bubble Boy Black Belt

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    Hunto's here. That's 3 of us old farts. Somebody call hospice too.
     
  9. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    Yep. I'm 42. So you young-uns still in your 30s ought to be able to lift your ass off. :icon_chee

    Upload video at Youtube.
     
  10. flak

    flak Guest

    Dude, you said you'd been abusing your body for years and you're just a few months into your new fitness regimen, give it another year or two. I feel waaaaay younger now than I did a decade ago.

    And here's an ego indulgence that oughta help -- when you're 20, every other guy your age is in great shape. The herd thins out considerably after 30. If you stick with this, by the time you're 40 I guaran-fucking-tee you'll be in way better condition than most of your peers. And you'll feel a lot better about yourself for being that way.
     
  11. hunto

    hunto Brown Belt

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    what are your maxes on deadlift, squat, and BP?? Overhead press??
     
  12. JustJoe

    JustJoe White Belt

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    Right...ill try and remember that. What the hell happened to that old "with age comes wisdom" thing anywayy? Guess ive still got much to learn!
     
  13. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    T3

    Nothng better

    Keith
     
  14. JustJoe

    JustJoe White Belt

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    Bench- 245# 1 rep
    Squat - 250# 1 rep
    Deadlift - 265# for 5 reps was easy, never maxed on this one
    Overhead- 115# 5 strict reps
    bodyweight is about 194#
     
  15. JustJoe

    JustJoe White Belt

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    OK...but what is THAT???
     
  16. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    Timed Total Tonnage,

    do a search, I would type it up, but I am engrossed in Chef Ramsey calling someone a donkey at the moment
     
  17. thethirddiaz

    thethirddiaz vas a morir

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    Hahaha.
     
  18. Keith Wassung

    Keith Wassung <img src="http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4586/

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    My personal favorite squat (actually this will work well for the bench press or just about any compound movement) program is the T3 (timed total tonnage) routine. With this program, you have three workouts, 5x10, 5x5, 5x3, performed in a sequential fashion. On your first squat session, after a sufficient warm-up, you load the bar with a weight that allows you to achieve 10 hard repetitions, but not 11. The weight on the bar is then reduced to the highest possible poundage that you can still squat for 10 hard reps. This process is repeated for all five sets. The total tonnage for each set is then calculated by multiplying the weight x the number of reps. For example 225 for 10 reps would equal 2250lbs. If you only get 9 reps on a set, then multiply that accordingly. Add up the total weight lifted for each of the five sets. this is the total tonnage for the entire session. It might look like this.

    1. 225 x 10 = 2250
    2. 205 x 10 = 2050
    3. 195 x 10 = 1950
    4. 175 x 10 = 1750
    5. 160 x 10 = 1600

    TOTAL 9600lbs

    Record this number in your training journal. The next time that you perform squats, you will do the exact same thing except that you will do 5 x 5. Record all of the sets and the total tonnage achieved. The third squat workout is 5 x 3 and then you are ready to start over with the 5 x 10. Your only objective is to increase the total tonnage of the entire 5 sets. You do not necessarily have to increase the weight on all 5 sets to do this. My goal was always to increase the first and heaviest set by at least 2.5-5lbs and then to increase at least one or more of the remaining sets. You should also have a set time in which to complete all 5 sets.
    You are only comparing to the total tonnage of the 10's to your last workout with 10's, the 5's with the 5's and so on.

    The tens will usually require a bit more time to complete than the fives or threes. It does not matter what time frame you set as long as it remains consistent. The first time you attempt this entire cycle, you might find it a bit difficult in correctly selecting weights than you can get for the required reps. This is perfectly normal, just stick with it and eventually you will become very accurate at weight selection.

    In this program, the tens are the most physically challenging the threes are the most mentally challenging and the fives are somewhere in the middle. I have found that each of these separate workouts helps the other. After you complete the heavy triples, the weight used in the 10's feels light by comparison. After doing a grueling 10's workout the 3;s are almost like taking a break. The frequency of this program is an individual decision. I think that doing all 3 sessions in about a two -week time frame is a good starting point and then you can make adjustments as necessary.

    In all my years, I have never seen a better or a more consistent result producing program that the one described above ( 10-5-3) for developing a foundation of strength and development. It is heavily borrowed from Bill Starr with some modifications, mostly that you dont do it 3 times in one week. He also refers to it has heavy-medium and light days. I prefer high reps, medium reps and low reps, because trust me, the "light" day of tens, is anything but light and anything but easy and whe you rack the weight after the fifth set of ten, you are so relieved to not have to do that for at least two more weeks. Many years ago, I had a guy named Roy approach me, he was a recon marine, tough as nails, about 5'8", 170lbs, little or no bodyfat and he has been training for about 6-7 years and was stuck at a 500lb squat. He wanted to get his squat up to around 540 in hopes of going to the All-Marine PL camp. I told him about this program and he laughed at me saying the volume was way too low to produce gains, but he agreed to give it a shot. The first day we did tens-after the 3rd set he vomited, after the 4th set, he vomited really, really hard, I did not have him perform a 5th set, he recovered and came about 5 days later to do the 5's, after about 6 months on the program, he weighed a solid 185lbs and qualified for the PL camp with a 630 squat and other gains in the rest of his lifts.

    Its a great program, but certainly not "the" program, but I have always gained on it and anyone that I have ever know that has used it has raved about the gains. The guys that have struggled with it and then quit did not take the time (4-6 weeks) to really learn how to select the proper weights for each set-this takes some practice.

    There is nothing "magic" about the numers 10-5-3, you can use 12-6-2 if you like, they are just round numbers ( easy to multiply) but the idea is to gradually work at increasing your workload in each of the series of sets. Do not go overboard on this and use it for every single move you have-I would limit it to one or two exercises ( such as squat and bench) at any give phase in your training. I have used it sucessfully on a variety of compound and assistance exercises. You can add some variety-for example, I am currently doing the 10-5-3 for the squats where the first 3 exercises are full squats and the last two are front squats-and the weight is multiplied in the same way. Be creative, but be consistent.

    "Whatever you can measure you can improve"

    Keith
     
  19. ghostwipe

    ghostwipe Black Belt

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    After 5 months you'd almost certainly benefit from changing things up for a while.
     
  20. flak

    flak Guest

    I think I'm gonna try the T3 for squats.

    (buys puke bucket)
     

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