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Barbell Easy strength/ next step

Gaputt

First Post
Hi all,



So I’ve been on the forum for a while now just checking through some of the really informative posts as and when time allows. Finally decided to add my own post as I have a couple of questions maybe someone could help with…



About me

I’m mid 30s male, been training since 13-14 yrs of age. I’ve done various contact sports to a decent level. Over the last few years my training has consisted of strength training in my garage and running on and off as injuries and my body will allow. The strength training element has been a bit of a mish mash of kettlebell work, powerlifting (5.3.1) and more recently body weight. I would definitely say I have been guilty of jumping from one to the other too much over the last 3-4years without reaching what I would consider a high level of mastery of any particular one.

I do have a young family and a job that can require very long hours on short notice. The job is mainly shift work but that will be changing to a mon-fri 8-4 soon.



The question

So the last few months of 2021 I primarily focused on jim Wendler walrus type workouts which I did 4-5 times per week.

While I enjoyed the training and made improvements I found the volume quite hight (especially on the chins). After some long shifts in work 20+)hrs on occasion, I would feel pretty beat up.



Since Xmas I have been doing easy strength 5 times a week. I have found the volume, frequency and the shorter lighter workouts perfect and have not felt better physically for a long time. I no longer feel sore and if I have a particularly long shift I can take the day as a rest day and alter the weeks training accordingly to make sure I still get the 5 workouts every 7 days.



My question is once I finish the 40 workouts should i find a new programme, stick with easy strength and rotate the lifts or just keep going until progress stalls?

I should add I’m also doing 1 long, slow (5-10mile) run per week and as much mobility as I can fit in 10 min sessions a few times a week.



I would usually think if it ain’t broke don’t fix but don’t want to undo any of the progress I feel I have made by taking it a week or so too far.



Any opinions/thoughts welcome.



My sessions currently are

Mobility/warm up

2x5 deadlift

2x5 pull ups (weighted)

2x dips (weighted)

1x5 ab roller

1x50 or 2x25 kb swings.



Cheers
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I am also in the midst of an ES style program. My thinking is that, like you said, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m waiting to see how my body and numbers are at the end of 40 days. If my progress is less than notable, I’ll probably change it up. If I’m making progress and feel great, chances are I’ll keep at it, maybe only changing out some of my chosen exercises. I also think the answer to your question depends a lot on what you want out of your training, given the constraints you have to perform it in.
 

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi all,

So I’ve been on the forum for a while now just checking through some of the really informative posts as and when time allows. Finally decided to add my own post as I have a couple of questions maybe someone could help with…

About me

I’m mid 30s male, been training since 13-14 yrs of age. I’ve done various contact sports to a decent level. Over the last few years my training has consisted of strength training in my garage and running on and off as injuries and my body will allow. The strength training element has been a bit of a mish mash of kettlebell work, powerlifting (5.3.1) and more recently body weight. I would definitely say I have been guilty of jumping from one to the other too much over the last 3-4years without reaching what I would consider a high level of mastery of any particular one.

I do have a young family and a job that can require very long hours on short notice. The job is mainly shift work but that will be changing to a mon-fri 8-4 soon.

The question

So the last few months of 2021 I primarily focused on jim Wendler walrus type workouts which I did 4-5 times per week.

While I enjoyed the training and made improvements I found the volume quite hight (especially on the chins). After some long shifts in work 20+)hrs on occasion, I would feel pretty beat up.

Since Xmas I have been doing easy strength 5 times a week. I have found the volume, frequency and the shorter lighter workouts perfect and have not felt better physically for a long time. I no longer feel sore and if I have a particularly long shift I can take the day as a rest day and alter the weeks training accordingly to make sure I still get the 5 workouts every 7 days.

My question is once I finish the 40 workouts should i find a new programme, stick with easy strength and rotate the lifts or just keep going until progress stalls?

I should add I’m also doing 1 long, slow (5-10mile) run per week and as much mobility as I can fit in 10 min sessions a few times a week.

I would usually think if it ain’t broke don’t fix but don’t want to undo any of the progress I feel I have made by taking it a week or so too far.

Any opinions/thoughts welcome.

My sessions currently are

Mobility/warm up

2x5 deadlift

2x5 pull ups (weighted)

2x dips (weighted)

1x5 ab roller

1x50 or 2x25 kb swings.

Cheers
What are your goals?

The easy strength style of programming is reminiscent of the deloads prescribed my Dr Bondurchuk of the USSR.

Depending on your end goals it could be VERY easy to manipulate your training to progress towards your goals, while not straying too far from the ES methodology.

And then if you stray into an overtraining state scale back to ES. Rinse and repeat.

This approach lead to the US and Canada closing the gap in throwing sports when Dr Bondarchuk came over.
 
Last edited:

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Depending on your end goals it could be VERY easy to manipulate your training to progress towards your goals, while not straying too far from the ES methodology.

And then if you stray into an overtraining state scale back to ES. Rinse and repeat.
I don’t know exactly what you’re thinking of, but this has my gears turning….

I am thinking: ES while gradually progressing volume and/or intensity until plateau or inability to recover, then cutting volume and intensity back to sets of 10 at a lower RPE and repeating…..
 

Gaputt

First Post
What are your goals?

The easy strength style of programming is reminiscent of the deloads prescribed my Dr Bondurchuk of the USSR.

Depending on your end goals it could be VERY easy to manipulate your training to progress towards your goals, while not straying too far from the ES methodology.

And then if you stray into an overtraining state scale back to ES. Rinse and repeat.

This approach lead to the US and Canada closing the gap in throwing sports when Dr Bondarchuk came over.
I don’t have any long term goals as such. I’m just trying to be the fittest, strongest and healthiest I can be while maintaining sufficient energy levels for family life and work.
As a note I would say im unlikely to see any pr’s with easy strength during this cycle as im still someway from my strongest. My pb was a 197.5kg dl. I would guess Id maybe struggle with anything over 170kg at the moment. Though I was also 15lb heavier body weight at the time of the pb- I do however feel great. My running is certainly better now than when I was hitting PB.

I like the idea of the increasing volume/load and mixing up the exercises.
I’m thinking maybe increasing the DL to a total of 12-15 total reps whilst and maybe changing to sumo or trap bar dl. Also change grip on the chins and swap dips for another press. Maybe a block of another 40 workouts of this and reassess. Rinse and repeat for a couple of blocks of 8 weeks? Any thoughts on this?
 

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
I don’t know exactly what you’re thinking of, but this has my gears turning….

I am thinking: ES while gradually progressing volume and/or intensity until plateau or inability to recover, then cutting volume and intensity back to sets of 10 at a lower RPE and repeating…..
How do you feel about increasing frequency instead?

So instead of having a single session taking more time you get a session in the morning before work and a session after work.

You could do your standard easy strength program both times or have an A and B workout. So A is performed in the morning and B in the afternoon.

If you have experience with the Olympic lifts then throwing in a variation at the beginning will take your workouts to the next level.

So you will essentially be doubling your exposure to good quality work.
 

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
I don’t have any long term goals as such. I’m just trying to be the fittest, strongest and healthiest I can be while maintaining sufficient energy levels for family life and work.
As a note I would say im unlikely to see any pr’s with easy strength during this cycle as im still someway from my strongest. My pb was a 197.5kg dl. I would guess Id maybe struggle with anything over 170kg at the moment. Though I was also 15lb heavier body weight at the time of the pb- I do however feel great. My running is certainly better now than when I was hitting PB.

I like the idea of the increasing volume/load and mixing up the exercises.
I’m thinking maybe increasing the DL to a total of 12-15 total reps whilst and maybe changing to sumo or trap bar dl. Also change grip on the chins and swap dips for another press. Maybe a block of another 40 workouts of this and reassess. Rinse and repeat for a couple of blocks of 8 weeks? Any thoughts on this?
I can't see why you couldn't exceed your old PR at a lighter bodyweight. 200kg dead isn't an elite number, so assuming your mainly lost bodyfat you could easily grow past that. It's just a matter of doing the work.

I had a guy doing A and B workouts. He would perform his A workouts every morning before work. Then his B workouts 3 times a week after work.

With running on the other days he wasn't lifting after work. This was a guy who acheived an overtraining state REALLY quickly, even when using restoratives.

Through doing this type of training he very slowly increased his strength to some very respectable numbers, while avoiding overtraining.

To put this into perspective he ended up with a 120kg push press at 70-74kg (which would be his weight fluctuations).

So an example workout and routine would be:
Workout A. • Power Cleans 2×5 • Push Press 2×5 • Front Squats 2×5 • Pull Ups 2×5 • Seal Rows 2×5 • Hanging Knee Raises 2×10 • Dips 2×10 • Reverse Lunges 2×10
Workout B. • High Snatch Pulls 2×5 • Bench Press 2×5 • Squats 2×5 • Chin Ups 2×5 • Seal Rows 2×5 • Ab Wheel 2×10 • Dips 2×10 • Reverse Lunges 2×10

If you aren't well versed in the Olympic lifts and variations then a heavy kettlebell alternative is a good swap.

If progressing your deadlift is a priority then swapping the weightlifting variations for a deadlift variation would be a smart substitution.

This approach has be used by Dr Bondurchuk to create some absolute monster throwers. Who were capable of deadlifting over 300kg, push pressing over 200kg. All with a brutally high box jump.

But specifically having a deadlift in there will get you your 200kg deadlift faster. Perhaps having your conventional deadlift in your A workout and sumo, Romanian or trap bar as your B workout (depending on your weaknesses).

If locking out is your weakness then high hand trap bar will have you handling heavier weights and make your conventional feel lighter. If its off the ground then sumo and squatting will increase your leg drive from the bottom. If it is the mid portion then Romanians will be the best tool for the job.

The above template was something I literally stole from Dr Bondurchuk. It has ample scope to be manipulated. Especially if you are aware of his pyramid method for SnC (something I have made a reference to a few times in my post).

Take it and make it yours.
 

Alan Mackey

Level 6 Valued Member
My question is once I finish the 40 workouts should i find a new programme, stick with easy strength and rotate the lifts or just keep going until progress stalls?

Once you finish your cycle, I would rotate the lift that progressed the most and the one that progressed the least.

I should add I’m also doing 1 long, slow (5-10mile) run per week and as much mobility as I can fit in 10 min sessions a few times a week.

Well done.
 

Gaputt

First Post
I can't see why you couldn't exceed your old PR at a lighter bodyweight. 200kg dead isn't an elite number, so assuming your mainly lost bodyfat you could easily grow past that. It's just a matter of doing the work.

I had a guy doing A and B workouts. He would perform his A workouts every morning before work. Then his B workouts 3 times a week after work.

With running on the other days he wasn't lifting after work. This was a guy who acheived an overtraining state REALLY quickly, even when using restoratives.

Through doing this type of training he very slowly increased his strength to some very respectable numbers, while avoiding overtraining.

To put this into perspective he ended up with a 120kg push press at 70-74kg (which would be his weight fluctuations).

So an example workout and routine would be:
Workout A. • Power Cleans 2×5 • Push Press 2×5 • Front Squats 2×5 • Pull Ups 2×5 • Seal Rows 2×5 • Hanging Knee Raises 2×10 • Dips 2×10 • Reverse Lunges 2×10
Workout B. • High Snatch Pulls 2×5 • Bench Press 2×5 • Squats 2×5 • Chin Ups 2×5 • Seal Rows 2×5 • Ab Wheel 2×10 • Dips 2×10 • Reverse Lunges 2×10

If you aren't well versed in the Olympic lifts and variations then a heavy kettlebell alternative is a good swap.

If progressing your deadlift is a priority then swapping the weightlifting variations for a deadlift variation would be a smart substitution.

This approach has be used by Dr Bondurchuk to create some absolute monster throwers. Who were capable of deadlifting over 300kg, push pressing over 200kg. All with a brutally high box jump.

But specifically having a deadlift in there will get you your 200kg deadlift faster. Perhaps having your conventional deadlift in your A workout and sumo, Romanian or trap bar as your B workout (depending on your weaknesses).

If locking out is your weakness then high hand trap bar will have you handling heavier weights and make your conventional feel lighter. If its off the ground then sumo and squatting will increase your leg drive from the bottom. If it is the mid portion then Romanians will be the best tool for the job.

The above template was something I literally stole from Dr Bondurchuk. It has ample scope to be manipulated. Especially if you are aware of his pyramid method for SnC (something I have made a reference to a few times in my post).

Take it and make it yours.
Thank you for this reply it is appreciated. I like the sound of the a & b workout spilt and with the new job on the horizon doing double sessions 3 days a week shouldn’t be a problem so think I’m going to give this a try.
Would you advise slowly increasing frequency so for example first week just the 1 morning session, then progressing to the 3x weekly or just get straight to it?
 

Starlord

Level 5 Valued Member
Thank you for this reply it is appreciated. I like the sound of the a & b workout spilt and with the new job on the horizon doing double sessions 3 days a week shouldn’t be a problem so think I’m going to give this a try.
Would you advise slowly increasing frequency so for example first week just the 1 morning session, then progressing to the 3x weekly or just get straight to it?
Jump straight in.
 
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