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04-15-2012, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by newfr4u View Post
Bacon, all the programs you listed are at least intermediate level, except for WS4SB. they work, and will all support linear progressions, but IMO beginners should stick with a super-easy-to-comply program instead of doing fancy periodization templates. thus SS over those other ones.

also, SS 3rd edition is much improved in terms of squat and deadlift technique than SS 2nd edition. it's just edited a whole lot more clearly, with better language.
No. This is internet strength dogma. I don't know how it started but, in practice, it isn't true. Starting Strength is not the be all and end all of strength programming. While it is true that people have gained considerable amounts of strength using modified versions of 5x5 programming, there are significant draw backs that are under-discussed.

It is boring. When I started out, I did 5x5 for three months before starting to dread doing it. Many people feel the same way. I have had multiple people deviate from it, get bored and quit doing it, or just miss too many workouts. Also, unless you are able to sleep 8 or more hours a night AND get a nap or two in during the day, you also really can't do anything else when squatting 3x a week. This includes playing recreational hockey. If you aren't enjoying what you are doing, what is the point? If you are a weekend warrior, lifting is done in your leisure time. With free time so limited in Norther America, why waste it doing something you don't like? If you NEED to get stronger (maybe you are a professional athlete or something) you should probably see someone and get a custom program anyways.

There are negative side effects. When I did it, I ate a lot. I also got fat. Which sucked, because I had spent years losing over 60 pounds. However, the caloric requirements meant that while I put 100 pounds on lower body lifts, I got fat again. Starting a vicious cycle. Despite internet dogma, it is possible for the average person to gain lean body mass without "bulking." For instance, see Martin Berkhan's concept of "lean gains." I have found that the bulk/cut concept should be left to bodybuilders. While off-season athletes will and should invariably gain weight, it isn't anything like what happens to some on GOMAD and similar protocols.

There are other options. 5/3/1, "The Outlaw Way," and WSBB4SB are all suitable for the novice lifter. They also provide a much greater level of flexibility, especially when it comes to working around real life and beer league hockey games.

I clearly linked to a novice template for 5/3/1. Here it is again, this time in full:

Furthermore, I have a female athlete who went from 165x5 on the deadlift to 195x6 in under three months. She used a modified version of 5/3/1. She did two lifts at 5/3/1 and then 5 sets of 10 at 50%. Monday was Squat, rear elevated split squat, high bar back squat for 5x10. Tuesday = Bench and snatch grip pendaly row with bench being 5x10. Thursday, Deads and 1 legged romanian deads, 5x8 of deadlifts, Friday = Front Squats and Revse Lunges with front squat 5x10. She also only took the deload week if she needed it (or if she was traveling and didn't think she would get all 4 days in). She also did a lot of midline work either as a warmup or as conditioning. Her diet was pretty good. She did a 2 meal a day fasting protocol of 2200-2400 calories with higher carbs on workout days and ~1900 calories high fat rest days, plus a tub of hagendaz on Saturdays and six pieces of bacon on Sunday. Her macros were based off of ensuring 3g of protein per 1kg of body weight (~58kilo).

Rudy explicitly states that his programming works for new and deconditioned athletes:
Not at all. In fact, we have seen preposterous gains in the fitness of our “normal” clients for years using nearly these exact same WODs and programming principles [...] As a side note; we use the same “Games movement standards” and strength waves programmed here for our entire gym population. It works just as well with them.
This is also mentioned in the blurb I quoted previously where he states he tried 5/3/1 and his own version of the conjugate method with a group that included new athletes and found a greater success with his own programming. While Rudy isn't really well known outside of the Crossfit community, he is a very very smart guy and his principals easily apply to other aspects of strength and conditioning.

The internet is an interesting place. Someone says something and, for whatever reason, it becomes fact. Nowhere has Jim Wendler, the creator of 5/3/1, said his programming was for advanced lifters only - he states the opposite actually - yet everyone says it is an intermediate program. Same goes for the conjugate method, which probably offers the greatest flexibility as shown by Joe Defranco and Rudy Neilson. Perhaps most important for sport, 5x5 programs offer little room single leg movements - which are, as Mike Boyle has shown, critical for performance and injury prevention.

I highly suggest you read through the links I provided.

Last edited by BaconStrips: 04-15-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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