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I want to be stronger. For example...

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by gravityhomer, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    This is based on the weight I lift, which in general I think is not as heavy as most people I see in the gym who are a similar size as me and from reading on here.

    What do you guys think?

    Current weight 190 pounds, height 5'10"

    If you are looking for pics, check my signature and mentally add a little bit more muscle (~5 pounds) and a lot more fat (~15 pounds).

    This is my working weight for various exercises (the last time I did them). I generally do 8-10 reps for 3 sets. All exercises are the standard variation unless otherwise indicated. All weights are total weight in pounds (bar + plates, or both dumbells combined).


    Chest:
    155____BB bench press
    080____DB incline (30 deg) bench press
    060____DB decline (30 deg) bench press
    080____Cable fly for chest

    Back
    145____BB dead lift
    050____Bent over DB row
    090____Triangle cable row
    080____Cable face pull

    Legs
    145____BB squat
    145____BB stiff legged dead lift
    070____Standing calf raises in smith machine
    055____Seated calf raises

    Shoulders
    070____DB seated press
    030____DB side lateral raises
    030____DB bent over side raises

    Arms
    075____BB preacher curl
    050____DB curls
    025____Tricep rope pulldown

    The following is the number of reps to failure for various body weight exercises
    10_____pullups
    08_____chinups
    10_____dips
    30_____pushups

    Oh and I never usually like to cheat a rep. I try to have the best form possible.

    And I also believe I've answered every conceivable question about my weight lifting history down in Post #9.

    I have some opinions on what my weakness are, but looking at the above, any thoughts?
     
    #1 gravityhomer, Jan 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  2. Chameleon

    Chameleon Well-Known Member

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    how hard to you push yourself when you lift? do you go to failiure? what is your rep range? how many sets?

    it looks like you could push your triceps more... but without knowing how many reps/sets I could be wrong ;)


    oh... and everyone has a different level of strength... don't judge yourself against anyone but yourself ;)
     
  3. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Can you provide sets/reps info?

    For example, a set of bench press with 155x1 is one thing, but 4 sets of 155x15 is totally different. :)
     
  4. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    D'oh, excellent question, I'll go back and put that info in. I generally do 8-10 reps for 3 sets. There may be a warm up before that at much lower weight.
    Well, I know that, but, you know.
     
  5. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Looks like Tanisha beat me to it! :)

    Absolutely, excellent point here.
     
  6. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    Do you go to failure?
    Do you do rep progressions?
    Do you do set progressions?
    Do you do weight progressions?
    Do you try to progress aggressively?
    How often do you increase the weight lifted?
    What were your strength levels like when you started?
    How long have you been lifting? Consistently?
    What's your tempo like?
    Is your form good? Too good?
    How long have you been using those exercises?
    Do you switch up exercises often? Too often?
    Do you stick to your routines? Too long?
    Have you tried other rep ranges? Which ones?
    Have you tried other styles of lifting? Which ones?
    Do you use a split routine?
     
  7. gazza123

    gazza123 Active Member

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    Alot more weight then I'm moving :-)
    However that is most definatly a good thing as I only have a combined 100lb weight set haha
     
  8. droopy172

    droopy172 Active Member

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    What's strange is looking at what you do on incline db press you should be able to do more on your bb bench unless you just have much bigger upper chest muscles. Like stated above its not a matter how much you can lift you can still build muscle, i bet your stronger then some bigger guys at the gym. Another thing to try is a strength focus regimen maybe a 3x5 or 5x5 routine you'll still gain size as well.
     
  9. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    damn it chico, see below
    1) for the most part, I go to one rep before failure, I guess. In that I just barely get the last rep with good form, and I know that if I started the next rep my form would break.

    2) I do 8-10 reps each set.

    3) I use the same weight every set.

    4) I use the same weight every set. although I don't know the difference between 3 and 4

    5) in terms of progressing I try to use the method where, If I can do 3 sets of 10 reps, I will bump the weight and got 3 sets of 8 reps next time. I also keep detailed logs of what I did and how I felt afterward, along with notes on form and such. If I felt like I didn't work hard enough, I will note to bump up next time.

    6) I increase the weight lifted very slowly. I would say after a few months of lifting regularly I would increase 5-10 pounds depending on exercise.

    7) I was pretty weak when starting out, about 3 years ago, and I didn't do most of the exercises. But for example my BB bench press was maybe 115 pounds for 3 sets of 8.

    8) For the past 3 years My lifting went like this:

    Year 1: 5 months straight (Jan-May)
    Year 2: 6 months straight (Feb-Aug)
    Year 3: 4 months straight (Jan-Apr) then 3 months (Jun-Aug)
    Year 4: Just picked back up for the past month

    9) my tempo is like 1 second positive, 2 seconds negative.

    10) My form is good, I guess. Too good? I have no idea.

    11) These aren't the exercises I am currently doing exactly, I just listed these so people would have several exercises to see weights for. But I try to mix things up every few months.

    12) I do switch up exercises every few months.

    13) Yes, when I am lifting, it is for several months at a time. But then I will have occasional periods when I slack off. I do take a week break if I have been going for 3 months in a row.

    14) Currently the rep ranges are 8-10, and historically that has been what I used. I did go through a period where I used 6 reps, but that was only for a short time.

    15) I have tried another style of lifting see next answer. (although I'm not so sure what you mean by that).

    16) I generally do a 3 day split, where at first it was: chest/tricpes, back/biceps, legs/abs. But for more than a year I have switched to: chest/back, legs/abs, arms/shoulders. One time I did do an all compound routine twice a week, where I did squat, deadlift, bench press, and pullups.


    whew...

    Okay, so now what do you think?

    specifically what do you think about the relative differences between the various exercises?
     
    #9 gravityhomer, Jan 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  10. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    I'd say it's probably time to change up the set / rep scheme and probably a good time to switch to a different type of routine altogether -- upper / low split, full body, et cetera.

    Using the same weight on every set and stopping a rep before failure is fine. However, make sure you are aggressive with your increases. I try to aim for another 5-10 lbs on a lift or another 2-4 reps distributed over my sets everytime I go to the gym. You'll need to deload or take time off more frequently the harder you push -- instead of every 12 weeks, every 6 weeks, for example.

    As for relative differences, by mechanical advantage:

    1. You should be able to lift more on the deadlift than on squats or SLDLs.
    2. You should be able to lift more on decline bench press than incline bench press.
    3. Based on your flat barbell bench, I'd expect you to be incline and decline benching larger dumbbells.
     
    #10 chicanerous, Jan 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  11. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Some of the weights look good like the 075____BB preacher curl but then you wimp out on the 050____DB curls and 025____Tricep rope pulldown.

    So you should have the strength but you do use light weights overall. Why? I think it is mental, in the mind. What can you do? Set goals for progressing - "I will increase all lifting weights 30% by 1 april." , get more rest - min 8 hours sleep a day. Push yourself to increase reps in range then incease weight 5-10% when you reach max of range.:tucool:
     
  12. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    You might try going into the lower rep ranges. When I'm building strength, I shift into the lower rep ranges (3-5), take long rests between sets (often 5 minutes or more), and make each set as intense as possible. Doing 3 sets of 8-10 reps on every exercise with a 90 second rest between each set is fine for hypertrophy, but is not so great for building up strength.

    Another key is to focus mostly on compounds....even for assistance work. For example, if you want to build up your bench press strength, it is much better to increase tricep strength with heavy close-grips than it is with skull crushers or pushdowns.

    Also, just another random tip: ... avoid burnout sets (I don't know why so many people do these)....but they will kill your strength for the rest of your workout, and prevent you from overloading the muscles with as much weight as possible...which, from a strength perspective is bad.
     
  13. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    If i read it correctly, you been training for 3 years? If so i would definitely look to increase your relative strength.

    More weight recruits more motor units and muscle fibers IE more growth.

    I would take alook at Primed for Muscle by Waterbury. The best program i've use so far for maximal strength, i put over 20lbs on my 5RM back squat in only 4weeks. It uses supramaximal holds to trick the nervous system.

    It an upper/lower split.

    http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-082-training
     
    #13 bradh, Jan 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  14. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    I will look into routines that focus on strength, thanks.

    What do you think about my squat vs deadlift vs bench press? Not what you would expect at all.

    So the typical* person would be deadlift > squat > bench press right?

    I'm wondering about it being a mental thing. I am very use to dealing with pain mentally when it comes to long distance running. Often many people who just think they can't do it are physically no different than those that do it, the ones that do it are just more mentally comfortable with running through pain.

    How hard should a single rep be? I'll have to test this out.

    I will look into doing lower reps. This will naturally make the weight go up but hopefully it will allow for strength increases.

    Thanks for the recommended routine.
     
  15. George

    George Senior Member

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    Hey GH, has all of this been at a caloric deficit?
     
  16. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    Well, I have never usually counted calories but I can tell from fat loss. The periods in year 1 and 2 were while losing fat. The 4 month period in year 3 was the only intentional try to get bigger and stronger and so eat more period. And then the 3 month period was again losing fat.

    Right now, I guess I'm trying to lose fat.
     
  17. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    My bench press was equal to my squat for about the first two years that I trained and I didn't deadlift at all. :nod: It wasn't until I really worked on the squat and started hitting the legs a couple times per week that this changed.

    Keep at it and the weights will increase. :tu:

    The only other thing I could suggest is finding a training partner who will know how to push you. Friendly competition can do wonders for your level of strength.
     
  18. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    Thanks for the advice so far. Okay, so I'll give people my opinion on the numbers.

    The ones that are most noticeable for me are the big three, bench press, squat and deadlift. These are all much lower in comparison to others, even bench press, which is the highest. What would I think would be better? I'd like to be able to bench press my weight.

    I think my triceps may be the problem here.

    Now the squat and deadlift numbers are just ridiculously low. Most people have these into the 200's or even 300's for deadlift (I know why do I care, well, I want to improve). But I think I know the answer for these. My legs in general are weak. I have only been lifting with my legs for the last 2 years. The first year I had bad tendinitis in my ITB from running so I avoided lifting with them.

    Of my leg muscles, I think the hamstrings and glutes are the weak spots. IMO I feel the quads the most in the upper half of the squat and then when I get to the bottom that's when I feel it in my hamstrings and glutes. If I try to squat more weight I feel really unstable at the bottom of the movement and my glutes and hamstrings just don't feel right. like I am very close to breaking form and possibly pulll something in the process. When my legs get tired after set 2 and 3 it is my inner hamstrings that feel it way more than my quads.
     
  19. vatechguy

    vatechguy Elite Member
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    :nod:

    :nod:
    Challenging, but not impossible

    :nod: Chic has something here GH. I used to lift weights like you're lifting until I joined a group of two other guys who were lifting regularly - and lifting heavy. The pushed me a little at a time - and with each bit of success I realized I wasn't pushing myself anywhere near as hard as I could have been. Now when we go to the gym (and we're all relatively the same strength on most stuff now) we have a habit of 'checking' the amount lifted on a set and assuming you're up to it we make it a point to do one more rep or 5lbs more than the last guy. It's never forced and in good spirit - but it certainly helps push you forward.

    You've already said you haven't been pushing your lower body... time to get busy on that one. :D
    This was the one I was scratching my head over? How can you knock out 30 pushups and 10 dips with bodyweight - but struggle with the flat bench? (The main reason I ask is I struggle with chest - my greatest weakness - but I find my triceps compensating all the time for it)
    You ever ride a bike outdoors? I owe 98% of the legs I have to bike riding my fat ass around in my youth and probably some of the past 4 years too. Just a thought. I smoke my lifting partners in legs - it's the one area I have pulled THEM along in - which makes me feel useful in the group. :lol:
     
  20. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    GH, if it's any consolation to you, I am almost identical to you on all lifts. I'm doing a little more on deadlift and squat but less on bench and cable fly. I'm too embarrased to list my actual weights, especially in bench press. But if you can see muscle growth over time, who cares how much you're putting up? I don't have a lifting partner. Too bad we don't live closer to each other, sounds like we could encourage the other to do better.
     

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