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working to a max set on WS4SB

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by LZD, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    I'm just curious as to how this should/could/would work.

    Assuming my last max effort bench day went as follows:

    (Flat Bench Press)
    10x30
    3x50
    3x60
    3x65
    5x70 (equal rep PR)
    1x72.5
    1x75
    5x65

    I only tested those singles (which were very easy) as I had already successfully completed the goal of the workout, being 5x70. Given this, what should I aim for next week?

    As many reps as possible with 72.5kg? How do I work up to it? Do I skip the 5x70?

    Something like

    3x50, 3x60, 3x65, 3x70, (attempt) 3x72.5 ? And from there do I just keep using 72.5 until I can get it for 5 reps and then up the weight again? Is this a suitable way to run things?


    How would you go from here? Do I do any back-off sets?



    Any help is kindly appreciated

    LZD
     
  2. Real_Mckenzie

    Real_Mckenzie Witty title

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    I'll give a shot at answering this as I've done a bit of WSFSB's. And if those aren't dumbells you need to stick to starting strength as your still a novice which will put weight on your faster than defranco's program.

    Defranco wants you to do at least 5 good sets before your max rep set to get proper volume.

    So skip the singles and stuff you're doing at the end and add more warm up sets for volume.

    Try using barbells so you can micro-load and try for 5 reps after adding 2.5lbs to the bar on your max set. Just something more than you did at the last workout. Constant progress. If you stall out and can't add any weight to your 5 rep max try going for a 3 rep max with heavier weight and see if you can make progress there.
     
  3. PCP

    PCP Guest

    Why are you doing 5 reps? Max effort is 100%, 5 reps is like 85%. At Westside, max effort day is almost always a 1-3RM, with a one rep max being heavily favored. The only time you would do 5+ reps is with a more risky exercise like illegal wides or the cambered bar, or if you are deloading.

    Here is how you work up to a max. Let's pretend you are working up to a 300lb bench:

    45x10x2
    95x3
    135x3
    185x3
    225x1
    245x1
    275x1
    300x1
    now if you feel pretty confident with 300, you want to try 305 or 310 depending on how you feel. always go for the most weight you can lift on that day. anything else is a waste of your time

    after that you can drop the weight down and do reps, or switch to a new exercise like dumbbell presses, or add some boards and continue working up in weight. Finish up with tricep, upper back, and rotator cuff work
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2010
  4. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Westside for Skinny Bastards - A modified lifting program for "Hardgainers"

     
  5. PCP

    PCP Guest

    I would still favor a 1-3RM, even for a beginner.
     
  6. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    It's up to the individual, but I think it makes a lot of sense. Crawl before you walk, right?
     
  7. Bennayboi

    Bennayboi Yellow Belt

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    Defranco recommends working up to one set of your 3-5 rep maximum with a minimum of at least 5 warmup sets as to aid in muscle building. If possible id just add 2.5 kilos to your previous max every week. If you cant youre not recovering adequately or are too advanced to make linear gains on the program. If youre gona do your five rep max id go with 5 reps on all your warmups.
     
  8. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm still a bit confused though.
    So does that mean next week I aim for

    A)
    ...
    60x5
    65x5
    70x5
    72.5x5 ??

    I think the 72,5 would be almost impossible after the 70x5. Or should I go:

    B)
    ...
    55x5
    60x5
    67.5 x5
    72.5 x5


    and so forth? I'm basically asking if I do the same as last week, minus the first one, plus an extra one, or if I up everything as in example B
     
  9. PCP

    PCP Guest

    I just don't see any particular advantages of using a 5RM over a 1RM. I find that maximal effort training is far superior for pure strength than using submaximal weights for reps.

    One reason is bar speed. The higher the rep max you perform, the less force you put into each rep. Instead of training explosively you instinctively conserve energy so that the next rep goes up smoothly.

    Louie has said before that a 1RM is always recommended on maximal effort day. He also said that doing sets of 4+ reps isn't true max effort training, but what he calls "the method of heavy weights". The highest I would go is with triples. Triples are good for teaching form.
     
  10. PCP

    PCP Guest

    No, this would be too much volume for a maximal effort day. If you are dead set of doing sets of 5 (which I don't recommend), start with 5s, work up with sets of 1-3
     
  11. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Ok, I will go for a triple as my top set next week. Does this mean I avoid the 70x5?
     
  12. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Sorry I didn't see this post. Can you give me a blueprint to do, with my numbers so I get it??
     
  13. PCP

    PCP Guest

    I had to convert all your shit to pounds because I can't work with KG, so here is my guess at what next week will look like:

    45x10x2
    95x3
    115x3
    135x1
    150x1
    170x3 (triple attempt)
    if you get it easily, attempt 175x3 or 180x3
    if you dont get it, try 165
    after this drop down to 115 and do 3 sets of 10, then do barbell skullcrushers for 3-5 sets, then 3 sets of rope face pulls

    after next week you must switch the main exercise. a rotation consisting of low-end exercises like inclines, floor press, 1-board press, 2-board press, and close grip bench (thumbs from the smooth) will work the best for a raw bencher. since you are benching less than 300, I would avoid minibands for now because the tension will just crush you
     
  14. Bennayboi

    Bennayboi Yellow Belt

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    You can do what pcp says, but defranco says to use the extra volume from warmup sets as a method for gaining more muscle. Cause you only do one set at maximal weight and his program doesnt entail any backoff sets. Something like -

    30 x 5
    40 x 5
    50 x 5
    60 x 5
    72.5 x 5

    Remember WS4SB is a muscle building program and isnt ideal for training maxmimal strength.
     
  15. PCP

    PCP Guest

    You don't use max-effort work to build big muscles, you use it to get stronger, and then you work on hypertrophy using high rep assistance exercises (repeated effort)

    All assistance work is RE
     
  16. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    DeFranco disagrees, and I would assume the majority of beginners who try 1RM training before they have even a rudimentary lifting foundation on which they can build would disagree, as well, if not before they injure themselves, certainly after :redface:

    I'm not saying you're wrong about the advantages of 1RM training in general, but specifically geared towards the noobs for whom the program is intended, I think you are.

    More advanced lifters are free to modify the template as they see fit, but beginners should follow it as written since it was designed specifically for them, the reasons behind the choices being highlighted in the link I provided in my previous post.
     
  17. PCP

    PCP Guest

    In my experience the idea that you need to make huge changes to a beginner's program is mostly a myth. Louie used to post on the StrengthMill forum and when questioned about how to change the WSBB template to suit beginners, he noted that at Westside Barbell everybody does the same kind of training, regardless of how advanced they are.

    I have had quite a bit of experience using the max-effort method, and I feel that it is completely safe for beginners, probably more safe actually, since it is pretty hard to hurt yourself with a 135 raw bench. When I started using this method I was benching around 250, and was able to add over 100lbs to my bench press in a little over a year, so there is your proof that it will work. Also, I have had zero injuries or problems.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2010
  18. Bullitt68

    Bullitt68 Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Everybody's different. If 1RM training works, even for a beginner, then do it. If it doesn't, don't.

    I'm just of the opinion that working your way up to 1RM training with 3-5 reps couldn't possibly hurt.
     
  19. enright3060

    enright3060 Brown Belt

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    What evidence do you have that max effort work is best for beginners? By your own admission, you did not use max effort work until you became a much more advanced trainee. I'm pretty sure that once you decided to become serious about strength training, you started off with Rip's program, and you did not start ME work until you added 100+ to your bench.

    I'm concerned that you are making the mistake of thinking what works best for you now works best for everyone in every circumstance. I'm not sure that you have enough evidence to support such an inference. Have you worked with a lot of untrained people? Have you studied this issue?

    This is not to say that ME work does not work because it does, but as Dave Tate stated many times, "you can't flex bone."
     
  20. PCP

    PCP Guest

    I think I did Starting Strength for three months then quit because I decided that I wasn't getting anywhere with it. Sure I made a little bit of progress, but I was a complete beginner and I could have made progress with anything. I switched to a bodybuilding routine and I made just as much progress with that as I did on Starting Strength (which wasn't a lot).

    And when I came to this forum and asked a few questions about how to set up Westside training, I was told that I "wasn't advanced enough", which turned out to be BS. There is no reason a beginner can't train next to an advanced lifter and do basically the same shit. Of course sometimes gear, equipment, genetics, drugs and other things come into this, but the same training principles can be used for both. It didn't take a long time for me to realize that if I wanted to lift weights like an "advanced" lifter, I would have to train like one. Pretty simple shit; if you always train like a beginner you will always lift like a beginner.

    Well, is there any specific evidence that beginners cannot do maximal effort work? I have seen beginners make very good progress with it -- and let's be honest, if I can add 100lbs to my bench in roughly a year doing ME work, why would you not expect a beginner to match that? The truth is, a 400lb+ bencher with perfect form is a lot more likely to blow a pec or tear some shit than a sub 135lb untrained beginner with shit form. A 900 raw squatter risks blowing out his knees every time he tries to walk the weight out. It's just the way the game is.

    I don't understand why size would be an issue, when not only are you doing high rep bodybuilding work after your main exercises, but you are adding extra workouts for high volume specifically to bring up critical areas. While Mark Rippetoe has you training 3x/week, I often train 5, 6 or even 7 times a week, with around 3 of these being extra workouts to get more volume in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2010

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