Originally Posted by Coldsnap
5-3-1 with bodybuilding like assistance work is where it's at.
Is it really?
Don't you think 5 sets of 10 reps with squats are going to put more size and strength on you than the same volume in leg curls and leg extensions?
If I would do 5/3/1, I would def go with the BBB assistance on opposite days. That template seems to guarantee size and 2x per week per lift and muscle group is pretty optimal for naturals.
So something like:
4 times a week
- Bench 5/3/1 + OHP BBB + upper back, lats, arms, abs
- Squat 5/3/1 + deadlift variation BBB + maybe more legs and lower back
- OHP 5/3/1 + bench / db bench variation BBB + lats, arms, abs
- Deadlift 5/3/1 + squat / front squat + maybe more legs and lower back
Originally Posted by Cool The Kid
I have been thinking about stripping down to a real minimalist routine. Bench, shoulder press and 2 types of rows on upper days, squats, deads and calf raises on lower days. All that matters is putting more weight on the bar over time... and keeping workouts short = faster recovery and more frequency. I would try going back to the absolute basics and just adding on a tiny lil bit of accessory work to address weaknesses
My leg day now is just squats and deads. Im wiped after every session and making gains. Frequency > volume IMO.
I've come from a westside inspired IA SBPR routine and all the different lifts (a la the Westside method) just had me get better at lifts that don't matter. In my experience, stuff like tricep pushdowns and DB flyes have very little to no direct carryover to your main lifts. I much prefer to just do more volume on the big three. If I would do assistance lifts, it would be very close variations of the lifts, like pause squats, deficit DL and pin presses, not Tate presses.
In general, I think many people make the problem of not viewing lifting as a skill. For every other sport, practicing the specific skill as often as possible is the way you train if you want to get really good. Given that you can recover properly, practicing a lift more than once a week should typically lead to more strength gain through better confidence with the weights and reinforced technique. I think far too many lifters overlook that aspect and just see lifting as a form of muscle breakdown and recovery.
You often hear that you can't squat more than once or twice per weak or you'll get weaker or "overtrain". Yeah, maybe you do if you keep the intensity and volume very high and come straight into it without good work capacity. Olympic lifters are a proof that you can lift heavy very frequently. Everyone here would be able to hit a heavy single on squats every day, and if you gradually increase the volume you might soon be able to do just as much volume multiple times per week as you do on your "leg day" now.
I wouldn't say that frequency in itself is better than volume. That's not really the way it works. I would rather say that more frequency at the same total volume is better, so squatting 3 sets of 5 two days of the week would be "better" than one day of 6 sets of 5. By splitting the volume over more workouts, you will get more time to practice technique and the reduced volume in a workout will make you able to handle a heavier weight.
Norway did a study on their professional powerlifters called "the frequency project". They took their athletes and split them into two groups. They did the same amount of total volume, but one group split it over twice as many workouts. Both groups saw identical progress from workout to workout, but the higher frequency group made twice as big gains in the squat since they trained it twice as often.
If you look at how the best countries in IPF train, its generally very high frequency for the main lifts. Russia, bulgary and kazakhstan train like freaks with squatting and deadlifting up to 4 times a week and benching up to 6 times a week. Their volume can be insane and on par with the hardest Sheiko routines (say 15 bench sets in a workout) and lifting two times a day. For the lower weight classes, countries like Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia are very good and they sometimes DL every day of the week.
I think all of this applies more to powerlifting than bodybuilding, but generally, I very much think that for a given volume, higher frequency is better.
Protein synthesis is elevated for 48 hours so in theory, you want to train the muscle again after that for maximum muscle growth.
Btw, if your form is good and you lift more towards strength, I don't think you need to do a lot of assistance. Good form and some preventive stuff like upper back work, correcting muscle imbalances along with some active recovery methods should be enough to make you stay injury free.
Edited by conceptionist - 1/17/14 at 1:55am