Principles of Strength Routines

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by colby2152, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    My goal is to find a low frequency strength program that I can apply to my legs (Deadlifts and Squats) for an HST-Strength balanced Cycle. I have enough size in my legs.

    I have tried out 5x5 but it is higher frequency. I have also played around with old HIT methods and found them quite boring.

    Two programs that I have isolated seem like good ideas...

    Doggcrap Training
    1.5x/week frequency, static holds at end of sets
    Train to failure, clustering

    Westside
    2x/week frequency, alternate days between high volume, high rep speed workout and low rep high load strength workout

    Should I choose one of these programs, and are those principles correct? What else should I look at?
     
  2. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Nothing? [​IMG]
     
  3. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    If you want strength specifically, I would recommend lower frequency (2x/week or less) and high-intensity. Use 5 reps or less in your sets, and work close to your maxes. You won't gain size if you are dieting anyway.
     
  4. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div>
    (scientific muscle @ Dec. 26 2007,14:04)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">If you want strength specifically, I would recommend lower frequency (2x/week or less) and high-intensity. Use 5 reps or less in your sets, and work close to your maxes. You won't gain size if you are dieting anyway.</div>
    That's what I have been doing. I want to try something different.. any thoughts on DC or Westside training?
     
  5. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    They both require a training partner. Especially westside, you will need an experienced powerlifter to show you the ropes.
     
  6. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    DC will make you stronger, but I wouldn't expect a lot of hypertrophy IMO...and the true DC actually is individual specific, which you can't get from reading the website.
     
  7. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div>
    (quadancer @ Dec. 26 2007,17:31)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">DC will make you stronger, but I wouldn't expect a lot of hypertrophy IMO...and the true DC actually is individual specific, which you can't get from reading the website.</div>
    That is what I am looking for!
     
  8. QuantumPositron

    QuantumPositron New Member

    I would try Westside but there's learning to be done. It is a 4x week program but if you are doing it just for deads/squats maybe less frequency is necessary. One of the big things I took away from Westside, or what I read of it more specifically, is the use of higher speed lifting to train the nervous system for rapid force production. Another item I took away was that you cannot use maximum loads for more than 3 weeks without burning out the CNS. They had research to back that one up.

    Mike Menzter found that doing a static hold before a dynamic lift made for greath strength improvements, but this only seems to work for single-joint isolation type lifts. Someone on Max-Stim commented this phenomena is the same principle as observed in wave loading.

    There are other powerlifting camps out there besides Westside. Have a look at them as well. If you see a common element across well-reknown systems chances are the common element is worthwhile. Since its pretty obvious if your powerlifting routine isn't working I'd think that powerlifters know what works by now. Join the Dark Side and see what they can offer. Don't they have their own forums?
     
  9. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    Metal-militia are the among the best benchers in the world and I like their benching program better than westside. Something to look into.
     
  10. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Colby: I watched a Metal-militia DVD on benching technique about a year ago. I think you can buy them from their website. It was pretty informative and you have to respect their results; they have a lot of very strong lifters.

    In view of the other answers posted, I would like someone to explain to me how you can expect to hypertrophy certain muscles groups but just increase strength in others? If you are eating enough to build muscle in some parts of your body then just increasing strength elsewhere is going to be a tall order. Strength increases require overload training just as much as hypertrophy. Some strength programs require much more volume than HST would suggest is adequate for muscle hypertrophy. So what's a body to do? If you train it hard enough (loading and frequency) to increase strength and give it enough food, it'll grow (assuming hormonal factors are in your favour).

    Pure strength increases seem to come more from neural learning/improved lifting technique while not eating over maintenance (much, if at all).

    So, I think your best bet is to get the rest of your body to the size you want it using HST, 5x5 or whatever, whilst maintaining your leg size (reduced frequency with say 5RM loading) and then train your whole body for strength. That would make much more sense to me.

    Just my 2¢.
     
  11. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    And not to forget that there is sort of an equation out there that says if you don't develop wheels, your upper bod development will be limited. Although some of the trees you see at the gyms may defer one to doubt this hypothesis, there are some signalling factors in play. For instance, the amount of body size you have to gain in order to gain 1&quot; on your arms.
    Not many of us are gorrillas, and since my coccyx bone turns inward, I doubt that I came from some monkey with a tail.
     
  12. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    The strength of any individual muscle is proportionate to its cross-section-area. If you want your leg muscles to get stronger, they will have to get bigger.
     
  13. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    <div>
    (scientific muscle @ Dec. 30 2007,02:15)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">The strength of any individual muscle is proportionate to its cross-section-area.  If you want your leg muscles to get stronger, they will have to get bigger.</div>
    Yeah, that's true on an individual muscle level but I think we are all aware that for compound movements involving many muscles, like squats and deads, improving technique (neural learning) and improved neural conditioning to heavy loading can increase a persons strength in those exercises. There's also the fact that if some smaller muscles which aid in the movement (various stabilisers) are hypertrophied then their additional force output can allow more load to be lifted in the compound movement. So hypertrophied (and therefore more powerful) spinal erectors and abs could allow a heavier load to be lifted in the squat.

    Of course, these apparent strength increases are unlikely to amount to very much if the trainee is already well conditioned, so for bigger strength gains the prime movers (agonists and synergists) would need to grow as well.
     
  14. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Ahem, once again referring to my best friend Slapshot: he gained strength while cutting slowly down to lean mean city...and once there has managed to improve neural learning and gained even more strength - proving that strength can be attained without hypertrophy in a caloric deficit. But now I notice the gains have slowed and he's had to start eating a bit (he's determined to never gain fat again; it's his thing) as the body has it's limits, just as hypertrophy will eventually stall out genetically.
    I think the equations have to be leveled by how close your training has brought you to your genetic limits, within reason, since a true limit would only be hit if you lived in a gym lab fed by a dietician.
    If you've a lot of headroom in your training, anything is virtually going to work for you, making the results a bit muddied as to what is causing the gains.
    Well I hope I said that clearly; sometimes I can't see my thoughts, but know what I mean. Just read my mind, okay?
     
  15. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Lol, Quad, QP, and Sci... thank you for the replies!

    My legs are big enough as it is, so I really would like to limit the size in that area. Lol, you are right on concerning the diet, so that is unavoidable. The entire body will grow as it pleases, but if I don't ever train the legs, then they shouldn't grow at all (or put on fat?). However, if I train them with lower frequency, shouldn't the growth be limited?
     
  16. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I would simply limit volume. As Lol was saying, doing just enough for maintenance. I would stick to 1x5 with close to your 5 RM done a couple times a week for quads and hams, then hammer at the rest of your body with higher volume. I believe that 1x5 with your 5 RM is enough to maintain the muscle.
     
  17. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Well, limiting volume wouldn't do too much for strength would it?
     
  18. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    A heavy 3x3 would likely do the trick too. That's what I found to be the case a while back; though I was training to increase strength, if you kept the load static and near your 3RM AND trained at MOST twice per week, my guess is that growth would be restricted but strength maintained or even slightly increased. You know more than most of us about the diet aspect; for the lifting aspect, I hate to say it but this may take some trial and error.
     
  19. Martin Levac

    Martin Levac New Member

    Strength is neuromuscular in nature.

    With study and practice we develop, improve and maintain skill. Lifting an object is a skill. The more practice we have lifting the object, the easier it is to lift it. This implies that we can lift a heavier object for the same original effort. We would do well to consider the scale of practice we need to improve our skill at lifting an object.

    There is no substitute for repetition. We could be content lifting heavier and seeing our muscles grow but that is only part of our strength. The other part comes from our central nervous system. This one must be trained much more frequently to have any significant effect on our ability to lift an object. It takes a short time to learn to lift an object but it takes days, months even years to learn how to do it so efficiently that it requires so little effort. We need only look at Olympic weightlifters to see what it takes. These athletes are strong. Very strong. Yet don't lift heavier/heaviest/heavy every day. The bulk of their workout is composed of repetition and more repetition of the same few lifts over and over with a relatively light weight. Only do they lift heavier/heaviest/heavy when they want to gauge their progress or when they want to gain muscle mass.

    We could argue that the Olympic lifts are highly technical. I think so. I also think that the smaller stabilizing muscles must be proportionately strong or the bar doesn't stay up. Unlike weightlifting, powerlifting doesn't require so much finesse so heavier weights can be lifted. But this doesn't mean Oly lifters can't lift heavy. They can and they do once in a while, just not on a frequent basis.

    Whether it be light weight or heavy weight, the technique is the same. Consequently, for the CNS to learn the technique, it only needs to be light but lifted over and over. Lifting for strength as opposed to lifting for size requires one only to lift the object. Not to strain the muscles.

    The CNS can learn a method at any speed. It learns a different method much more quickly when executed slowly but the point is that it can learn the method regardless of speed of execution. In essence, speed of execution is irrelevant to learning the method of execution. Similarly, mass of the object implicated in the execution is just as irrelevant when it comes to learning the method to lift the object in question. What matters here is the method and the repetition.

    So for strength, instead of thinking &quot;volume vs load vs whatnots&quot;, think method and repetition and more repetition. After all, lifting a very heavy weight will tax the CNS and fatigue is a limiting factor in strength production. This means lifting a heavy weight for the purpose of learning to lift a heavy weight is self-limiting. The heavier the weight, the slower one learns.
     
  20. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    <div>
    (Martin Levac @ Jan. 03 2008,16:56)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Similarly, mass of the object implicated in the execution is just as irrelevant when it comes to learning the method to lift the object in question. What matters here is the method and the repetition.</div>
    When I was doing the Korte strength program a few months ago, the lifts were (relatively) light, only about 60+% of 1RM. But these (light) lifts were done 40 times for squats and deads, and 48 times for bench, three times a week!

    The resultant increase in strength was significant. Referring to Rippetoe and Kilgore's performance charts, my strength for both squats and deadlifts came well past the standard for &quot;intermediate&quot; lifters, though I was barely more than a novice. Even my bench press, which is weak due to a bad shoulder, at least attained the standard for a novice.

    Light weights lifted repeatedly in good form do indeed result in increased strength.
     

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