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Old 02-04-2012, 07:10 AM   #1
Michael Soueid
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Help needed with programming for strength

Hi guys,

i could need a bit of advise. After doing virtually nothing for years i got into CF 3 month ago and i'm hooked, saw results pretty fast (shedded a bit of fat, put on a bit of muscle, got a bit stronger) and it's a nice bunch of people i train with. However i really feel that my lack of strength is limiting me most (my lift numbers are slightly higher than the untrained level) so i really want to put on more muscle and get stronger.

My problem is, that i my job requires me to be away from home for 3-7 days with some days free in between (flight crew in an exclusively longhaul operation). I have gym access downroute which are fine for metcons but you cant really do serious lifting there (hey your lucky if they even have free weights or a pullup bar). At the box where i train at home, i often miss the strength days (and on the weekends they have closed) so it can be that for something like 2-3 weeks i don't do any specific strength related barbell training, which is quite ineffecient for my goals. I got myself a pullup bar and rings where i can do some gymnastics work at home which helps a bit but my focus is now to get my basic lift numbers up.

So any ideas on how to structure my training to get the best out the time i have available? I thought about trying to do one Squat/Bench and one Deadlift/Press day within 10 days (i think i could manage that with my work), do the lift in a 3x5 fashion and simply add up a bit of weight each time until i stall, practise some gymnastics at home and do some metcon when i'm downroute. Any other ideas are very welcome :-)
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Help needed with programming for strength

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Originally Posted by Michael Soueid View Post
Hi guys,

i could need a bit of advise. After doing virtually nothing for years i got into CF 3 month ago and i'm hooked, saw results pretty fast (shedded a bit of fat, put on a bit of muscle, got a bit stronger) and it's a nice bunch of people i train with. However i really feel that my lack of strength is limiting me most (my lift numbers are slightly higher than the untrained level) so i really want to put on more muscle and get stronger.

My problem is, that i my job requires me to be away from home for 3-7 days with some days free in between (flight crew in an exclusively longhaul operation). I have gym access downroute which are fine for metcons but you cant really do serious lifting there (hey your lucky if they even have free weights or a pullup bar). At the box where i train at home, i often miss the strength days (and on the weekends they have closed) so it can be that for something like 2-3 weeks i don't do any specific strength related barbell training, which is quite ineffecient for my goals. I got myself a pullup bar and rings where i can do some gymnastics work at home which helps a bit but my focus is now to get my basic lift numbers up.

So any ideas on how to structure my training to get the best out the time i have available? I thought about trying to do one Squat/Bench and one Deadlift/Press day within 10 days (i think i could manage that with my work), do the lift in a 3x5 fashion and simply add up a bit of weight each time until i stall, practise some gymnastics at home and do some metcon when i'm downroute. Any other ideas are very welcome :-)
I made good progress last fall doing that same approach on a 7 day rotation, though in your case I'd recommend doing it GSLP-style and doing 2 sets of 5 reps followed by 1 set of max reps (except deadlift, only a single set of 5+). The 5+ sets will help drive strength and size gains a bit better, and given the spread out schedule you shouldn't see any recovery issues.

Throw in some basic stuff like hill sprints for conditioning and weighted pullups/dips once or twice a week, then frequency method pushups/pullups/burpees 3-4 days a week and you'll be fine given your situation.

Also pay attention to stress and sleep issues related to your job--if you've just worked a 20 hour day or a few back to back 16 hour days doing physically and mentally demanding work (like your job appears to be) then the world won't end if you skip a workout to get some sleep.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #3
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Help needed with programming for strength

Keep a good training log. I expect you will not be able to keep a scheduled. Instead of letting this stop you just design a flexible system. Simple A-B-C days. Work them in when you can. Just stick to the order.

Just this simple work will help you get stronger.

If you can't do the work at your Affiliate join a cheap gym with barbells that has good hours where you can get your strength work in quick and easily.

Probably want to squat twice for each 1 deadlift.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
Michael Soueid
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Re: Help needed with programming for strength

Thanks for the responses so far, much appreciated!

So combining everything i could end up with something like this:

Day A: Back Squat 2x5,1x5+//Bench Press 2x5,1x5+
Day B: Deadlift 1x5+//Press 2x5,1x5+
Day C: Front Squat 2x5,1x5+/Push Press 1x5+

Plan is to do at least A and B within 10 days, if time there is time for an additional workout, do C. This would ensure there wouldn't be to much of a gap between two Deadlift days, on the other hand if theres additional time, more emphasis is laid on squatting. The other days will be assigned flexible with rest (!), short high intensity metcons at my affiliate and some pullups/dips thrown in at my home.

Sounds any good?
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #5
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Help needed with programming for strength

Yeah looks ok, the only other stuff I'd look to throw in there is some weighted pullups/dips (those can go on A B or C) and maybe some additional hamstring work in the form of RDLs or good mornings.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
Walter Augustine
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Re: Help needed with programming for strength

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Originally Posted by Michael Soueid View Post
Thanks for the responses so far, much appreciated!

So combining everything i could end up with something like this:

Day A: Back Squat 2x5,1x5+//Bench Press 2x5,1x5+
Day B: Deadlift 1x5+//Press 2x5,1x5+
Day C: Front Squat 2x5,1x5+/Push Press 1x5+

Plan is to do at least A and B within 10 days, if time there is time for an additional workout, do C. This would ensure there wouldn't be to much of a gap between two Deadlift days, on the other hand if theres additional time, more emphasis is laid on squatting. The other days will be assigned flexible with rest (!), short high intensity metcons at my affiliate and some pullups/dips thrown in at my home.

Sounds any good?
This is good. The only thing I would do differently is replace the push press with weighted pull ups. You should be building a solid enough strength base with the strict press. You might consider moving weighted pull ups to workout B, and strict press to workout C so that you're not pressing two workouts in a row.
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