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Bodybuilding Routines that Focus on Strength Progression??

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  • Bodybuilding Routines that Focus on Strength Progression??

    Does anyone have any suggestions for some good bodybuilding routines that incorporate or focus on strength progression? I tried DC training and even though I liked training that way and the ideas behind it, but my gains were not good. (And I was working with a "DC Trainer" for 3 months so its not like I didn't know what I was doing). I switched to a more moderate volume routine (6-9 working sets/bodypart per week) and got a lot better gains in both strength and size.

    I've been doing this same "moderate volume routine" that I came up with for almost 6 months and the gains in strength and size have stopped. So I think I need something new. I was thinking of trying a Dorian Yates routine but doing 3 working sets instead of 1 because thats what he recommends for beginners and intermediates. Anyone try his routines? Any other suggestions? I like having a log book and be able to measure progress by lifting more weight for reps instead of going only by the mirror. Plus lifting heavier weight is more fun.

  • #2
    I have many trainees (depending on the person) do an upper/lower split with 2 days beginning the week and 2 days ending the week. 1-2 exercises per bodypart with 2 sets to failure each. It seems to work pretty well.
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    • #3
      A while back I used a split something similar to this:
      Day 1: Upper body Max Strength (Chest, Shoulders, Bis & Tris)
      Day 2: Lower body Max Strength
      Day 3: Off from lifting
      Day 4: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps Hypertrophy
      Day 5: Back, Traps and Bis Hypertrophy
      Day 6: Lower Body Hypertrophy
      Day 7: Off from lifting

      For max strength days I used 3-5 work sets per body part. Some days I would do 3 heavy sets with one exercise then move to another exercise for the same bodypart and use a HIT principle like rest-pause, drop sets, forced reps, negatives...)

      For hypertrophy I did 8-10 sets for larger body parts and 5-7 sets for smaller body parts and kept the rep range above 8.

      This worked well for me but I have been enjoying DC training way too much since I started and I am making better gains now than I ever have using any other program.
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      • #4
        have you ever read up on Max-OT

        I'm not too keen on the rep range for all exercises, but it's a solid basic progression system
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        • #5
          I don't mean to hijack this thread, and I admit not having much knowledge about various routines, other than the ones I've done (5/3/1, 5x5 etc), but figured I would go head and ask this here, but I seem to be hearing a lot of talk about German Volume Training lately, and at first glance seems like too much volume for me, but OP mentioned doing "moderate volume" already, so maybe Bhman or someone else can give more insight into this in terms of its 10 sets of 10 reps etc, other than whats on the web of course.. I know Poliquin has written about it as well..

          Thanks, and again, apologies if this sort of hijacks the thread, just didn't think it warranted a new thread.


          MT

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          • #6
            ^ It's trying to do 10 X 10 with a weight you can do 20+ with, so the first several sets aren't even that hard. It's a good routine for a change, but seems to work better with some muscle groups/exercises than others in my experience.

            You should try it at least once on deads/squats. haha
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            • #7
              Thank you RedSkull for the information.

              Originally posted by RedSkull View Post
              You should try it at least once on deads/squats. haha
              perhaps I will

              MT
              Last edited by Michael Travis; 11-07-2011, 01:20 PM.

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              • #8
                Judging by your avatar, you are pretty advanced. You probably know exactly what works for you. Why not just draw up your own routine that relies on strength progression but add some volume to it? I am making awesome gains on a program I made for myself that borrows some concepts from 5/3/1 and DC training.

                I am training for PLing but also like advancing on my other lifts as well..

                The program is..

                M/W/F, upper/lower rotation. Every upper body day, I bench press for just one top set (5/3/1 rotation). Every lower body day, I squat for just one top set (5/3/1 rotation). For the upper body accessories, I do a DC exercise split. So even though I just benched, I still pick another chest exercise and start the accessories from there. I do just one main set for my accessories and then add in another drop set. But I only gauge my progression by the first set. I do drop sets because typical rest pause sets destroy my CNS. The drop set allows me to recover between workouts, but still get in some extra work. I could also just do a pure volume approach after the top set, like another 3x10 with the lighter weight, but I like short, intense workouts.

                So an example upper/lower for me would look like this.

                Upper:
                Bench (5/3/1)

                Incline bench: aim for 10 reps, max effort set. Rest 30 secs and do a drop set of 80%.
                DB Shoulder press :aim for 10 reps, max effort set. Rest 30 secs and do a drop set of 80%.
                Reverse Grip Bench :aim for 10 reps, max effort set. Rest 30 secs and do a drop set of 80%.
                Neutral Chins :aim for 10 reps, max effort set. Rest 30 secs and do a drop set of 80%.
                Pendlay Rows : For these I pick a weight I can get 6-8 reps on and just straight set it for 2 sets.


                Lower

                Squats (5/3/1)

                Incline DB Curls: Shoot for 10 reps first set, drop set @ 30 secs
                Hammer Curls One straight set of 20
                Leg Press Calf DC Style
                Good Mornings One set of 10, then a set of 20, straight setted.
                Leg Press Heavy set of 10-12, then a widowmaker set
                Ab roller

                That is an example upper A and lower B. Then I will simply add different accessories for Upper/Lower B and C, just like DC.

                In your case, since you want more volume, you can simply just make your first set your "progression" set and this can be the set you beat the log book with. Then just lower the weight and pile on some pumping volume....maybe 5x10 at 70% or something like that.

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                • #9
                  take basic powerlifting routine, switch bench w/ incline bench, add pull-ups/rows, front squats on DL days for hypertrophy reps and abs whenever you have energy. throw in some extra BB stuff like calf raises or shrugs... BAM. Emeril just cooked you up a routine. You also should do a bunch of cable exercises as a warm-up/cool-down, but only in front a mirror. If the gym doesn't have a mirror by the cables for you to see your manly facial expressions, skip that part (I joke... these are the kinds of people I lift next to *le sigh*)

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                  • #10
                    Keep it simple.

                    Set up a split that you like, pick the amount of volume you want to use each workout, perform your compound lifts at the beginning each session, log your poundages, then do more each time or at least try to.

                    Simple.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lock it Up View Post
                      Keep it simple.

                      Set up a split that you like, pick the amount of volume you want to use each workout, perform your compound lifts at the beginning each session, log your poundages, then do more each time or at least try to.

                      Simple.
                      Seriously.
                      "You can't be the fastest or the strongest but you can always work the hardest." - Jim Wendler

                      "Failing is nothing more than inexperience" - Jim Wendler

                      "You won't have to rotate squats and deadlifts, but do them both and thus get more fucking awesome every week" - cooltom

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael Travis View Post
                        I don't mean to hijack this thread, and I admit not having much knowledge about various routines, other than the ones I've done (5/3/1, 5x5 etc), but figured I would go head and ask this here, but I seem to be hearing a lot of talk about German Volume Training lately, and at first glance seems like too much volume for me, but OP mentioned doing "moderate volume" already, so maybe Bhman or someone else can give more insight into this in terms of its 10 sets of 10 reps etc, other than whats on the web of course.. I know Poliquin has written about it as well..

                        Thanks, and again, apologies if this sort of hijacks the thread, just didn't think it warranted a new thread.


                        MT
                        Expect more from yourself.
                        "You can't be the fastest or the strongest but you can always work the hardest." - Jim Wendler

                        "Failing is nothing more than inexperience" - Jim Wendler

                        "You won't have to rotate squats and deadlifts, but do them both and thus get more fucking awesome every week" - cooltom

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the info. The only problem I have with some strength routines (such as 5/3/1) is I'm not able to do freeweight squats due to a torn hip labrum. I can do other leg exercises that don't require any stabilization (such as leg press, hack squats, smith squats, etc.) but these exercises dont work that well for percentage based programs or westside style max effort.

                          I have read the whole Max-OT pdf and I like the routines they have in there, but I don't like the idea of using 4-6 reps on everything.

                          The split I was using was working pretty well, maybe I just need to keep it but just sub out all new exercises.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by punkguitarist View Post
                            The split I was using was working pretty well, maybe I just need to keep it but just sub out all new exercises.
                            Yup, you got it. If it's been working well for you, don't deviate too far from it. A few new exercises to keep things interesting should do the trick if that's what you're after.

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                            • #15
                              Just curious, but why were you specifically looking for a bodybuilding routine that focuses on Strength Progression? There isn't anything wrong with that I was just curious on your motivation. Do you want to compete? Or do you just want to look like a bodybuilder slightly off season? I was going to give you some advise, but it really depends on your answers.
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