Seeking Training Input

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by SamHelsloot, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count


    I am seeking out the experience and/or advice of those in this forum to help me plan and streamline my training.

    My training history includes wrestling, baseball, running, and the tactical professions. I am currently a police officer.

    I have, as have we all, some training injuries in the past; however, all are healed and nothing currently impedes quality of movement save natural muscular imbalances that all hard charging individuals face.

    I am 5 feet, 8 inches tall and approximately 160 pounds. As far as body composition, I am between 12-14% body fat. My muscle definition is visible and has a degree of aesthetic; however, I am not as lean as a physique competitor or bodybuilder.

    My most recent and conservative one rep maximums are as follows. The number in parentheses represents my goal.

    Back Squat: 285 (405)
    Front Squat 245 (345)
    Deadlift: 365 (450)
    Clean: 220 (275)
    Press: 145 (185)
    Pull Ups: 18 (30)
    Dips: 25 (35)

    My conditioning regimen consists of daily relaxed, aerobic running of 5-8 Miles (per Al Ciampa's PT Manual), and I employ higher repetition calisthenics and kettlebell quick lifts for strength endurance.

    With my training background, I am fairly knowledgeable regarding aerobic conditioning, and I am comfortable planning my own strength endurance work with kettlebell lifts. My knowledge is lacking in pure, heavy strength training.

    My question, therefore, comes to this. How would the individuals in this forum organize the lifts lifted above to maximize strength gains achieve the goals listed above without gaining too much body weight? I understand that the goals listed above are long term goals, but I am having trouble creating a training schedule for the above lists that will yield slow, steady returns over the long run. I am not looking for, and would never ask for, a quick fix.

    I appreciate your time.
  2. Philippe Geoffrion

    Philippe Geoffrion More than 500 posts

    First off welcome to the forum! It seems your training goals are strength oriented yes? Pavel wrote a great program in Beyond Bodybuolding specifically for tactical operators called 3-5 method. I'd suggest checking that one out.

    Power to The People will surely be mentioned, as will Easy Strength. All are great options for increasing your strength while leaving you fresh for work.
    LukeV and SamHelsloot like this.
  3. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    My training goals are geared towards being an all around athlete- lifting heavy things, lifting relatively heavy things many times in a short period of time, moving my body efficiently, and covering ground quickly. That being said- I am most deficient in strength/strength endurance. I don't have any issues with push ups/pull ups, and I can run a sub 90 minute half marathon, so I feel like I'd become more well rounded if I were to become stronger, hence my arrival at the StrongFirst forum.
  4. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    How many days per week would you train with weights?

    My initial thoughts are 1) train the back squat and deadlift, and just check the front squat periodically to see if it is also getting stronger, 2) alternate deadlift and cleans; deadlift one session, clean the next, deadlift the next, etc., 3) GTG the pull-ups if you can, and 4) probably alternate dips and press.

    Would probably need to cut back a bit on the running and kettlebell lifting to prioritize strength gains for a few weeks or months, but not cease them completely.

    No rows or bench press?
    ShawnM likes this.
  5. LukeV

    LukeV More than 300 posts

    Yes, welcome! At 5'8", 160lbs, 12-14% bf, you cannot be carrying a lot of muscle and building some could benefit your goals. How about something hybrid strength/hypertrophy like Stronglifts 5x5? Very simple, very effective. I know you don't want to put on a lot of weight but a little bit more muscle could make a big difference. Good luck!
  6. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    I train 5-6 days per week. I was thinking of something along these lines.

    A. Back Squat/Press
    B. Front Squat/Deadlift (Clean from the floor for the front squats to maintain neural capability.

    I would also do dips/chins submaximally each session in a GTG style to round everything out.
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  7. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    Truth be told, I'm probably closer to 10% BF, but I'm trying not to overestimate my leanness. Either way, because of my small frame, you are correct, I don't have a lot of muscle mass- or mass period. I would be okay with 5-10 pounds of lean mass gain. I'll look into that as well. Thanks.
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  8. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    That should work. I have been doing something similar the last few weeks actually -- back squat on Mondays and Fridays, front squat on Wednesdays. Wouldn't recommend it for an inexperienced lifter as one pattern can mess with learning the other, but shouldn't be a problem for you. And your clean is lagging your front squat, but if it advances at the same rate, that would be do-able.

    So the next question is -- volume and intensity? What sort of reps/sets and % of 1RM did you have in mind? Heavy lifts are strong medicine that needs to be dosed properly...
    SamHelsloot likes this.
  9. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    I was planning on the following 6 week cycle.

    Week 1: 70%
    Week 2: 80%
    Week 3: 90%
    Week 4. 75%
    Week 5: 85%
    Week 6: 95%
    Week 7: Deload

    I’m planning on working in sets of 3-5 and for 5-10 sets, waving the volume throughout the week for a low, moderate, and high volume say for each lift. As far as the clean lagging my front squat- I would need to take it from the rack once I hit 90-95%.
  10. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    So on the first workout, you'd do 70% of 285, or 20o lb, for 5 sets of 5 or something like that? And then press 100 lb for 5x5? And then dips and pull-ups?

    Sounds reasonable, but if that's a moderate day, a high volume day would be a LOT of volume... and if you're doing 5-6 training days per week, you'd do this 2-3x in a week, (and the other days front squat and deadlift), which adds up to what may be too much to recover from. And recovery is where you get stronger, not lifting.

    I think 3-4 training days would be better than 5-6, and I think 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps would be a better sets/reps target with your given intensities.

    Your cycle looks decent as far as perecentages but I don't have a lot of personal experience with this type of cycle.

    And my advice is free forum advice from an apprentice programmer, just practicing... So take that for what it's worth. :)
    SamHelsloot likes this.
  11. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    Yes, that’s what I was planning. I guess I meant to say I’d train 5-6 days per week. Four days for Strength- allotting two days to each of the above pairings. The remaining two days would involve running and kettlebell work for fitness and strength endurance. Thanks for the input!
    Anna C likes this.
  12. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    Check out Tactical Barbell, it’s all in there.
    SamHelsloot likes this.
  13. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    I actually just picked up TBI and TBII and am reading through them right now. Thanks!
  14. SamHelsloot

    SamHelsloot Double-Digit Post Count

    Just a quick update- today I did my first session on this plan- 5x5 on back squat and press at 70%, superset with pull ups at 50% of my max. Finished up with some mobility, hanging, and neck bridges, all after a 5 mile run in the AM. This session felt better and more productive than I have in a long time.

    Thanks everyone for their input!
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @SamHelsloot, if you want to take a deep dive into the barbell, consider attending the one-day barbell course or the three-day barbell instructor certification offered by StrongFirst. You'll leave knowing what solid technique is, and both the course and the cert manual address programming.

    A few other thoughts in no particular order:

    Don't make an effort to add muscle if you don't need to be bigger. Strength training will likely put a little on you, anyway.

    There's no such thing as a free lunch. Have you considered what you might give up of your current training in order to add strength training, or are you confident that you have time and energy to spare in order to add strength training on top of everything else you do?

    IMHO, simple programs are much easier to adhere to, and my recommendation would be something like adding a few getups or deadlifts and leave it at that - see how you adapt before embarking on a full strength training program. You may find the sweet spot, given all you already do, is having just a little strength training in your regimen.

    SamHelsloot likes this.

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