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Weight Training

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:34 pm
by Acepitbull
We have lost many great posts on strength training/weight training recently. Many of the old guard that made so many great posts on this forum are no longer with us. In light of this, I thought that I'd try to post something on weight training. I'll also give a little of my own advice, for what it's worth.

I use two programs in my training that I will share with you. Bill Starr's 5x5 is my favorite program. It can be worked by beginners through advanced lifters. There are various modified programs, but the basics of it include 5 sets of 5 reps of key lifts. Deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press, power cleans, and barbell rows make up the core of the program. The most popular version of this program (in my opinion) is doing the heaviest weight possible that challenges you do get 5 sets of 5 reps. On the deadlift, you may do 5 sets of 3 reps. (I do this quite often.) When you can get all 25 reps then it is time to add 10lb to the barbell. Continue adding weight every time you achieve all 25 reps.

There is no definitive answer as to how long to stick with a program, but I like to switch it up about every 4 months. The other program I use is one I was introduced to by a coach in high school. It's a 3x3 ramping/ascending program. It uses the same core exercises as the Starr program. The first set will be around 75% of your max and ascending up 10% each set. (1st set 75%, 2nd set 85%, 3rd set 95%) It’s okay if you only get 1 rep on your last set when you first start out. Do some assistance work to help out. If you complete all 9 reps then it's time to add some weight.

You can work any assistance exercises into the above programs that you wish. When doing assistance work start with dumbbells, then barbells, and lastly use machines. Do your assistance in that order. (It goes without saying that all exercises in the program are preformed with barbells.)

There are many lifting programs out there, but I like these. The Starr program can also be done with ramping sets instead of sets across (same weight every set). You could do a 3x3 with sets across also. The key is to use heavy weight. If you want to gain strength you shouldn't be doing high reps. Low reps and heavy weights make you stronger.

Don't neglect deadlifting and squats. Front squat and back squat, not just one. Try doing front squats for 4 months and then do back squats for 4 months. (Stay away from Smith Machines too.) These exercises basically make your whole body stronger. They are not fun, but they are worth it when you are stronger than your opponent.

Warm up before you begin your work sets. Do some light weight stuff before you get into the programs listed here. I usually warm up with 135lb then I get into my work sets. You don't want any injuries.

I also end some of my workouts with the 135lb warm up weight. I will do one set of as many reps as I can until I achieve failure. Some call this a burn out set, others a failure set. Some do not like lifting to failure but I do. I don't always do it, but I often do.

Make sure that your form/technique is correct before you attempt to lift heavy weight. Correct form is of the utmost importance. You will hurt yourself and make a fool of yourself at the gym if you topple over when squatting or throw your back out deadlifting. Do yourself a favor and learn the proper techniques before attempting one of these programs.

Recovery is very important when weight training. You will need to feel your body out and decide how many days a week your body can take lifting. I lift four days a week, but other guys I know can only lift three days a week. Some men lift five days a week, but I would suggest no more than four. Rest and recovery is essential.

Having a deload week is also very important. A deload week is simply a week spent recovering from exercise. Rest is not just a break from going to the gym. It’s an absolutely essential part of training! The older I get the more necessary it is that I take a deload week from time to time. Some like to deload once every four weeks. I like to take a deload week once every 6-8 weeks. Again, feel your body out and decide what works for you. Take a deload week every so often. It will help!

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:34 am
by Fearless6691
Good write up bud, looking forward to more topics from you.

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:10 am
by JacobMaybe
Acepitbull wrote:You can work any assistance exercises into the above programs that you wish. When doing assistance work start with dumbbells, then barbells, and lastly use machines. Do your assistance in that order. (It goes without saying that all exercises in the program are preformed with barbells.)


Maybe I'm just horrifically ignorant, but why does that go without saying? Why are barbells better than dumbbells? Also, using machines period seems to be counter to the 'old guard' on here (pretty sure timber would crucify you for suggesting machines are a valid option). I'm sure it all 'goes without saying' for many, but let's just assume I'm an ignorant dumbass for a moment, and enlighten me..please?

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:01 pm
by Acepitbull
I would love to enlighten you, but I can only do so much. :-)

The Starr 5x5 program is a barbell program, as is the 3x3 program. Barbells allow you to go much heavier. We want to lift heavy to gain strength. We are not lifting to have definition and to be pretty. Because of this, barbell exercises should always be done before dumbbell moves. You can do squats and deadlifts with dumbbells, but eventually the weight you use will get too heavy or cumbersome to hold. I'm deadlifting 495lb right now. I can't hold that much weight with dumbbells. Maybe you can, but I can't. A barbell lets you use a big weight more comfortably. Barbells are necessary for explosive exercises such as power cleans and snatches. You won't be able to generate the same power with a dumbbell. We are seeking explosive strength.

By using free weights first in your workout, you are making the best use of your stabilizers by asking them to help you lift when they are fresh. After you have completely exhausted your stabilizers, and your muscle groups are pretty fatigued, (this would be when you've finished the core of your workout) then you can focus on isolating the muscles with machines as you conclude your workout. Machines lock you into a set range of motion and help you to stabalize the weight, making them much easier. Since machines are easier to do, they can be done after you have tired a great deal on the free weights. Machines should only be used LAST after you have exhausted yourself with barbells and dumbbells. Machines are not to be used in the place of free weights, only as a small part of your workout, to supplement your workout. Free weights are essential to strength training.

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:21 am
by Fearless6691
I agree with what you say for the most part. For a MMA fighter though, your strength training should not just end at the barbell. There is a lot of stuff you can do.

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:08 pm
by JacobMaybe
Great explanation, thanks Ace. I'd gotten into following that order inadvertently, but didn't articulate why.

Another question, if you care to indulge me: The access I have to equipment varies through the year. Sometimes, the heaviest things I can lift are attached to a cable machine. Opinions? I feel like it's a step above nautilus machines (or whatever they're called) but I dunno..

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:42 pm
by Acepitbull
Use what you have. Working with cable machines is better than not working at all. I don't know what cable machines you have exactly, but in general........You can't do very many compound exercises with cable machines, mainly just isolation stuff. They pretty much lock you into a range of motion and they don't work your stabilizers nearly as well. However, cable machines require constant resistance throughout the lift, so that's good. I use cable machines to do leg curls, leg extensions, and various triceps exercises, but I only do this after the barbell and dumbbell exercises I do or some days in between them. Pushups, pull ups, and other body weight stuff are good options too. Single leg squats can be done with less weight too. Hope this helps...

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:57 pm
by JacobMaybe
Sweet, thanks. Just for interest sake, or whatever: It's one where the pulleys can be slid vertically from floor to about 7', and the two pulleys are about the width of a doorframe apart. I can do a little bit of squatting with it, but I've just been using that as part of a warm-up so as not to ignore my legs entirely; the max feels equivalent to maybe 220 lbs. One legging it is a good idea I think. I like throwing punches with lots of weight too; seems kinda like a one-armed bench press. And yeah, pulls/chins are a big part of my routine.

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:24 am
by timbercutter
well done...good basic advice...sucks that all those good posts are gone thanks to some disgruntled douche.

my workout is something I started about 10 years ago...wanted to get stronger and stay strong through a long workout...eventually it turned into this beast...I do 20 sets on the bench. I started with a weight, lets say 160. When I could do 1o reps for the first ten sets I would move up 10 lbs...my gains were very fast and I got up to 220 in about a year..I used to stop at 220 because I just didn't want to go higher...so I'd take 30 days off, go back to 205 and work back up(adding 5lbs) to 10 reps for 10 sets at 220....just recently I jumped up to sets at 230...holy fuck that feels heavy and I can currently only do 4 sets of 10 reps before I fade to 9's and 8's....by the 20th set I'm down to six reps....I try to go one rep short of failure because I lift alone, no spotter.....I know that workout sounds whack, but the results are sick!....haven't done a BP tourny for about 5 years, but I'm gonna do a state event on June 2nd where I plan on setting a new state record for age and weight..it helps that I'm an old fuck 8)

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:14 pm
by MirFan
timbercutter wrote:sucks that all those good posts are gone thanks to some disgruntled douche.


What exactly happened? I missed out.

Also I've been meaning to ask you, have you had back problems by not doing anything but benching?

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:14 pm
by timbercutter
MirFan wrote:
timbercutter wrote:sucks that all those good posts are gone thanks to some disgruntled douche.


What exactly happened? I missed out.

Also I've been meaning to ask you, have you had back problems by not doing anything but benching?


I'll fill you in soon.

oddly enough my back is better than it was 15 years ago...my previous fulltime and current part time gig is logging, cut and skid Timber, so I always got a sick full body work out... I while back I decided to try to get even stronger ..after a little research, my conclusion was that the bench hit the most muscle groups, smalls, bigs, mediums etc...so that was why I started doing so many sets...to work out these ancillary groups (even hammy's and calfs get a little somethin during the bench)..and I just went from there.

because 20 years ago I was lifting all kinds of heavy shit at work I fucked up my back...Dr. said I had more bad disks than good ones. It really fuckin hurt. Started benchin about 12 years ago, after about 3-4 years I noticed how good my back felt...and today it feels better than ever even though I'm that much older?.....My theory is that benching (I am a arched back lifter) over time with my arched back (being the opposite spinal action compared to bending over) has kinda smooshed the disks back into place a little.....all I know is my back feels good

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:10 pm
by Fearless6691
I think he was asking why all those post went away. I'd like to know as well.

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:49 pm
by Acepitbull

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:08 pm
by MirFan
timbercutter wrote:Started benchin about 12 years ago, after about 3-4 years I noticed how good my back felt...and today it feels better than ever even though I'm that much older?


Good to hear, reason I was curious is that being chest heavy can put stress on the lower back resulting in pain and what not, kinda like girls with big tits :P Glad its not a problem for you.

Acepitbull wrote:http://www.mmalinker.com/forum/post2123000.html#p2123000


Who was the mod that went apeshit? And what was the pount of deleting everything? :?:

Re: Weight Training

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:24 pm
by Acepitbull
Acepitbull wrote:http://www.mmalinker.com/forum/post2123000.html#p2123000


Who was the mod that went apeshit? And what was the pount of deleting everything? :?:[/quote]

I think I know who it was, but I'm not sure. I don't want to mention any names since I don't know for sure. I think the person was just trying to "damage" linker in any way he could.