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4 out of 4 Warriors say "Lift MOAR"


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Earlier in the week, I posted in the "Ask A Warrior" thread asking for tips on bulking up as a skinny guy.  Evil Midnight Bomber, CoreyD, Choronodon, and MirGSS all said "eat more, lift more, quit running!"  So, I dropped my one running day and want to replace it with another lifting day, but the program I'm currently following only has two "strength" days and two "conditioning" days.  I'm here to ask for suggestions on what to add on my 3rd lifting day or if I should scrap the current program and try something like StrongLifts 5x5.  Here are my deets:

 

Fitness Goals
Put some meat on my skinny bones.  I'd like to go from 150-something to 175 or 180 with a mid-teens BF%.

Exercise Preference

  • GPP

Current Physical Stats

  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6'-1"
  • Weight: 154#

Previous Training History

  • Started exercising/lifting consistently about a year ago after buying the Rebel Strength Guide 
  • I have a bad habit of program hopping.  I tried the dumbbell division for about 6 weeks, but have a limited supply of dumbbells.  I tried a variety of bodyweight and sandbag lifts for about 6 months, changing the program every 6 weeks.  Since March, I have been trying to focus on squats, deadlifts, push press, OHP, and pull-ups.  I followed the Barbell Battalion for 6 weeks, but I used sandbags since I work out at home.

Current Training

  • My current program is a 10-week beginner program from The Complete Guide to Sandbag Training.  It's a mix of power lifts, olympic lifts, and bodyweight with some short runs and CrossFit style conditioning.  I'm also doing 100 push-ups a day.
  • I started it at the beginning of June, so I'm on Week 4.  Here it is in a google spreadsheet if you want to see it all typed out.  I like it because of the variety it provides, but I always hear I should just stick with the basics while I'm building strength.  I'm thinking of adding 5x5 bench press and 5x5 bent over rows on my 3rd lifting day.
  • Current working weights: 5x5 Deadlift 110#, Back Squat 5RM 130#, Push Press 5RM 85#, 5x5 OHP 60#, 10 consecutive pull-ups

Current Diet

  • Normal IIFYM
  • Daily Calories: 3,000
  • Daily Macros: 20P/30F/50C, about 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight ~ 160 g/day

Current Resources/Limitations

  • Gym Access: work out at home with homemade sandbags, currently have 150# of sand, planning to get another 100# soon.
  • Work Schedule: 8-5 M-F, work out at 5:30AM to 6:15 AM more or less
  • Time Allowed 45 minutes (could stretch to an hour with warm-up/cool-down)

 

  • Like 1

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Guest Dirty Deads

Remember K.I.S.S.

The more you have in your routine, the more you have to recover from. It does seem like you're doing a bit much. At your size I would probably keep conditioning to once a week and lift 3-4. Some 5x5 would work.

 

Lift heavy, Eat Heavy, Sleep Heavy = Grow heavy.

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Remember K.I.S.S.

The more you have in your routine, the more you have to recover from. It does seem like you're doing a bit much. At your size I would probably keep conditioning to once a week and lift 3-4. Some 5x5 would work.

 

Lift heavy, Eat Heavy, Sleep Heavy = Grow heavy.

 

He's saying he wants to lift 3, he's asking what to do. He already got the second paragraph advice.

 

I'd say pick and choose from the 2 workouts what you like or what you think needs more work and do that. Or just repeat 1 and have a 2 week cycle that goes ABA on week 1 and BAB on week 2.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Thanks to you both.  I liked the simplicity of the Barbell Battalion: DL, Chins, Squat, Push Press, but one of the issues I ran into was being able to get the sandbag on to my shoulders for the squats when I started getting to heavier weights (>100#).  That's one of the reasons I went with a program designed for sandbag use.  I also figured if I throw in some cleans and high pulls, that might help me build the strength necessary to shoulder the bag for squats.  

 

Is my reasoning sound or should I maybe substitute something like bearhug or zercher squats for the back squats?

 

Thanks!

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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The sandbag stuff is beyond me, but my initial thought would be that as long as you are going down below parallel while maintaining good spinal positioning, do whatever form is most comfortable. Getting the weight to the shoulders for squats will always be a limiter if you don't have the weight starting at shoulder height, that's just how it is with squats being one of your heaviest exercises.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Guest Dirty Deads

Maybe tie a couple lighter bags to a rope and use the rope to drape over your shoulders? The weights would hang at your sides, but it might help. Also, maybe you can get some old tires or pallets off craigslist and use them to put the weight up higher.

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The sandbag stuff is beyond me, but my initial thought would be that as long as you are going down below parallel while maintaining good spinal positioning, do whatever form is most comfortable. Getting the weight to the shoulders for squats will always be a limiter if you don't have the weight starting at shoulder height, that's just how it is with squats being one of your heaviest exercises.

 

After my last post about bearhug squats and zercher squats, I did some digging and found this article on Rough Strength and this on MyMadMethods.  I think the zercher squats could be a good alternative to heavy back squats when I can't get the weight up to my shoulders.

 

Maybe tie a couple lighter bags to a rope and use the rope to drape over your shoulders? The weights would hang at your sides, but it might help. Also, maybe you can get some old tires or pallets off craigslist and use them to put the weight up higher.

 

I don't know why I didn't think about splitting the weight into two bags and yoking it!  Thanks! That might be a good alternative, too.  I should at least try one bag on each shoulder.

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Just make sure you aren't rounding your upper back on the zerchers.

Sent from my iPhone- please forgive length and autocorrects (yes, I'm blaming it on the phone).

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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Reviving this thread based on a threadjack over in Waldo's battle log.

 

I have dumbbells from 5-50 lbs and 300 pounds of sand.  I tried SL5x5 with sandbags last fall and got to a point where I struggled to get the 100+ lb sandbag up to my shoulder even though I could squat it without problem.  

 

I'm currently working through the Engineering the Alpha program in order to reset my insulin sensitivity and boost my testosterone and growth hormone.  I'm on week 2 of 4 in Phase 3 of 4.  Seven weeks to go and then I want to get back to the basics of strength training and adding mass.  

 

Because of my aforementioned struggle with squats and sandbags (and because my chest has always lagged behind my back and legs) I was planning to modify StrongLifts to do bench press 3x a week instead of squats.  My modification looks like this:

 

Bench Press

Sandbag Clean and Press

Weighted Pull-ups/Dips

Sandbag Deadlift

Some as-of-yet-undetermined squat exercise

 

Any ideas?

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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whoa+another+dude.jpg

 

Buy a barbell and plates off craigslist. Build or buy a rack. You did not say why you could not do these, please explain. There is only one rule to lifting. One must squat.

 

Once you explain the above, I'll actually give you a better answer.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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I knew I should have clarified.  It's not that I can't or don't want to squat.  I am trying to put together a program that works with the equipment I have.  I went to Waldo for advice on pistol squats as part of a 5x5 program and was educated on why that doesn't work.  He suggested I make a strength building program using what I have.

 

The problem I ran into was not having the upper body strength required to get the bag from the floor to my shoulders to do the damn squats once I got over about 125 lbs.  Squatting 125 pounds was not the problem.  So now I'm looking for a way to continue to build upper body strength without abandoning the high and mighty squat.

 

I've also considered keeping the same weight with the squats, but increasing the reps.  Thoughts?

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Thanks, CK. That book looks interesting!

And I don't mind Gainsdalf. I'd be grumpy too if I left a pound of chicken at home and then came across some guy who looked like he was trying to find a way out of squatting.

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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You still didn't tell me why you can't get a barbell or build a rack. That or I over looked it.

And I just did cardio, so I'm even grumpier.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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You still didn't tell me why you can't get a barbell or build a rack. That or I over looked it.

And I just did cardio, so I'm even grumpier.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

See that's your problem. Cardio should be soothing. A meditative time to either get some quality thinking done or rest the mind and go with the flow.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 21,20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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You still didn't tell me why you can't get a barbell or build a rack. That or I over looked it.

I concede that buying/building a barbell & rack would allow me to squat the traditional way. No argument there.  If possible, I'd like to save the money and space in my man cave that a barbell setup would take.

I am looking for ideas on how to best progress with the equipment I already have.  I've seen Waldo get ripped with bodyweight exercises plus dumbbells and a weight vest.  That's why I feel like I can build respectable muscle without barbells.  My original intent was to add an alternative squat exercise into a 5x5 barbell program, but it sounds like I need to find another way.  Rather than taking over Waldo's thread, I came here for ideas.

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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See that's your problem. Cardio should be soothing. A meditative time to either get some quality thinking done or rest the mind and go with the flow.

 

I do HIIT right now, gives me something to get progressively better at. And cardio is very rarely soothing for me unless it's a beautiful day out and I'm just doing an easy paced jog. Aint nobody got time for that (in my household right now).

 

I concede that buying/building a barbell & rack would allow me to squat the traditional way. No argument there.  If possible, I'd like to save the money and space in my man cave that a barbell setup would take.

I am looking for ideas on how to best progress with the equipment I already have.  I've seen Waldo get ripped with bodyweight exercises plus dumbbells and a weight vest.  That's why I feel like I can build respectable muscle without barbells.  My original intent was to add an alternative squat exercise into a 5x5 barbell program, but it sounds like I need to find another way.  Rather than taking over Waldo's thread, I came here for ideas.

 

Gotcha. Just wanted to know that to get myself away from the "get a rack and weights". A barbell and 225 in weights can be had on craigslist for $100-$150, a squat stand can be built for anywhere from $30 to $200 depending on the complexity you want.

 

Anyway, you may not need barbell work to build strong legs, but it's the simplest and most sure fire way that I've seen. Sure, doing pistols and weighted pistols will probably get you there, but it will be slower. These other guys will know better about which direction to go with that. All I know is that until you get more weight and a way to get it on your shoulders, that you are correct that squatting with the weight you have won't get you very far.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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I concede that buying/building a barbell & rack would allow me to squat the traditional way. No argument there.  If possible, I'd like to save the money and space in my man cave that a barbell setup would take.

I am looking for ideas on how to best progress with the equipment I already have.  I've seen Waldo get ripped with bodyweight exercises plus dumbbells and a weight vest.  That's why I feel like I can build respectable muscle without barbells.  My original intent was to add an alternative squat exercise into a 5x5 barbell program, but it sounds like I need to find another way.  Rather than taking over Waldo's thread, I came here for ideas.

Ditch the 5x5 barbell program and make one for the equipment and exercises you have at hand.

It doesn't make sense to start with a round holed pegboard if you have no round pegs.

Muscle and strength can be built just fine without a barbell and it is built just as fast, if not even faster (at some point strength <=> size, size gains are rate limiting for strength gains, you can evaluate the speed of your strength gains by the muscle:fat gain ratio when bulking).

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 21,20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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Just out of curiosity.

 

If you can't get the weight onto your shoulder, why can't you do bear hug squats (BTW I loved those when I was still doing sand bag training, it keep my back and everything in line so easily)

 

Also have you tried to look around and see what exercises you can do with sandbags? I remember when I was doing it (now mind you, I didn't stick to it long and that was 2 years ago) there was a lot of different exercises to work on strength and power. I remember one that was a pain was just picking it up and hoisting it on your shoulder than putting it back down.

 

The whole concept of a sandbag that its supposed to stress the stabilizers a lot more than barbell or any "hard weights" can. Would sound to me that treating it like a barbell substitute may just defeat the purpose of using a sandbag.

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"Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional; they are placed there for the enjoyment of those who like to point them out"

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Ditch the 5x5 barbell program and make one for the equipment and exercises you have at hand.

It doesn't make sense to start with a round holed pegboard if you have no round pegs.

Muscle and strength can be built just fine without a barbell and it is built just as fast, if not even faster (at some point strength <=> size, size gains are rate limiting for strength gains, you can evaluate the speed of your strength gains by the muscle:fat gain ratio when bulking).

 

 

Just out of curiosity.

 

If you can't get the weight onto your shoulder, why can't you do bear hug squats (BTW I loved those when I was still doing sand bag training, it keep my back and everything in line so easily)

 

Also have you tried to look around and see what exercises you can do with sandbags? I remember when I was doing it (now mind you, I didn't stick to it long and that was 2 years ago) there was a lot of different exercises to work on strength and power. I remember one that was a pain was just picking it up and hoisting it on your shoulder than putting it back down.

 

The whole concept of a sandbag that its supposed to stress the stabilizers a lot more than barbell or any "hard weights" can. Would sound to me that treating it like a barbell substitute may just defeat the purpose of using a sandbag.

 

I did try bear hug squats and zercher squats, but still got to a point where my arms gave out before my legs.  I guess that's my real desire - to get my upper body strength to catch up with my lower body without neglecting my lower body.

 

I've found some sandbag-specific exercises over the past few years and I need to go back and look at them to see what I can scrape together.  My other reason for trying to modify an existing program is I tend to trust and stick to someone else's program more than my own, even if it's not specifically tailored for the equipment I have.  Unfortunately, most of the sandbag programs I find are for strength and conditioning, without much promise of bulking up.

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Ah ok,

I was just curious. I was following a DVD when I was doing it.

Lvl 3 Half-Orc Warrior Assasin

Male, Age: 30

STR 4 - DEX 2 - STA 5- CON 2 - WIS 4  - CHA 3

Intro Post --- Current Challenge

 

"Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try" Jedi Master Yoda

 

"Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional; they are placed there for the enjoyment of those who like to point them out"

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I did try bear hug squats and zercher squats, but still got to a point where my arms gave out before my legs. I guess that's my real desire - to get my upper body strength to catch up with my lower body without neglecting my lower body.

I've found some sandbag-specific exercises over the past few years and I need to go back and look at them to see what I can scrape together. My other reason for trying to modify an existing program is I tend to trust and stick to someone else's program more than my own, even if it's not specifically tailored for the equipment I have. Unfortunately, most of the sandbag programs I find are for strength and conditioning, without much promise of bulking up.

Modify an existing program that already fits with your equipment and interests. That's the best way for you to come out on top here. Doesn't sound to me like a 5x5 program is your bag, no offense to the many warriors who have helped you out so far.

Bodyweight training does not mean you need to build your own routine from scratch. On the contrary, you've got a lot of resources at your fingertips.

Check out ElDiablo's website Start Bodyweight. Or check out Waldo's website Strength Unbound, especially his two articles on how to set up an effective routine. Both of these are "existing routines" that you can modify by plugging in whatever exercises you're interested in getting better at. It will take maybe an hour to read them and pick out a few exercises, and you'll be ready to go a lot sooner than if you decide to wait around until you have the savings to pay for a weight room.

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I'm mostly here to learn vicariously through Tenacious, but because Infinite Intensity came up, it's worth mentioning that Ross's other book, Never Gymless, has been my fitness bible for a long time. Lots of great exercises, solid programming advice and no barbells.

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Thanks for the tips, all! I ended up buying Infinite Intensity because it wound up being only $10 after getting a discount. I haven't finished it yet, but it does seem intriguing even if I'm not training for an MMA career.

Not to offend the barbell enthusiasts (I would use them if I had them), but this excerpt really hit home for me:

ydegyvy4.jpg

Lean? Mean? Tenacious? I'll take it!

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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