Strength Training (In the Shed)

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2012 at 14:01


One of my passions is strength training, and I have followed a more traditional ‘power-lifting’ regime which comprises all the basic compound lifts. Squats are the foundation, and it includes dead-lifts, bench-press, and shoulder-press. There are often many variations on what can be done, but it really comes down to simply doing the basic lifts, ensuring there is progression. Rarely, if ever, do I undertake isolation type exercises as there is usually no need to if you do all the big lifts, and have found (from experience) doing them can often lead to tendonitis type injuries. After all, the muscles in our body are designed to work together, not in isolation, so why train that way?

The program I follow was put together by one of the great lifters, Bill Starr and is a 5x5 format that is progressive. I also combine this with a push-up / pull-up routine which has been referred to as the Armstrong technique. Links to both of these programs follow. I’ve also included a spreadsheet I use for the 5x5 program, which is just a ‘tidy-up’ of the spreadsheet linked to the 5x5program. Additionally, there is also a record sheet for the Armstrong program.

I usually do the programs on alternative days, and find that with the right diet, and sleep, that I have no problem doing this. But noting, I keep a fairly high protein intake to assist recovery.

I often find that many people are concerned that doing large lifts will lead to developing muscles like the ‘Hulk’ and is often cited by women as a reason to avoid this type of training. The reality is quite different, that type of development is usually limited to those who have a body composition that lends itself to it, or they are using drugs or steroids to assist. And I pass no judgement on those who choose to go that way, but there are many ways to achieve similar outcomes without the need to resort to performance enhancing substances. Diet, the combination of foods, rest, and a program that works, and you can stick with for long periods of time works the best, almost all the time.

There is a lot of information out there, and sometimes it is difficult to sort through all the chaff to get to the meaningful stuff. But if there is one great example of how simple it really is – take a look at the people who are carting around cement bags or the like, day in day out, usually they are very lean, strong and muscular. Carting cement bags around makes them squat, dead-lift, shoulder press, and to a lesser extent bench-press. No further proof needed really.

A website that has a lot of useful information can be found at the Intense, it is worth a visit.


Bill Starr 5x5 Program

The Armstrong Pull-up Program

Armstrong Pull-up Program - Training Sheet


Cheers, Baz (The Landy)
Cheers, Baz (The Landy)
Winning is an internal game, if you fall, get back up
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