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Display Name Post: Just using big plates        (Topic#37212)
Chris Adams
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Total Posts: 13
04-25-20 01:32 AM - Post#897288    



I sent an email through Dan's website, but thought others might benefit from this as I doubt many people have trained with just the big plates for a long period of time.

Years ago I read Dan talking about how some people would be better off throwing away all the small plates and just using the big plates. I honestly thought it was silly and ignored it. A few years later I saw it again and read a thread on this forum. I then decided to started training with just the 20kg and 10kg plates for the lower body.

I stuck with it for 4 or 5 years (I need to check) just working on increasing the reps I could do. I started with 120kg x 7 squat. Towards the end of last year I did a 230kg (507lbs) squat after 220kg flew up. I have also done 180kg x 10 and 200kg x 7. With the trap bar deadlift (low handle) I did 232kg (511lbs) x 7. The trap bar weighs 32kg.

I have only used the big plates for all but 4 or 5 training sessions.

Dan knows what he is talking about, and training doesn't need to be complicated.



 
lucktree
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Total Posts: 860
Re: Just using big plates
04-25-20 06:56 AM - Post#897292    



Interesting. In the lockdown, my godson has only a barbell and some 20kg plates. I will be delighted if he is able to make progress.
Power is nothing without control!


 
Dan John
*
Total Posts: 11646
04-25-20 11:11 AM - Post#897298    



It's something that just keeps coming back to me. Here at the house, I just don't have a bunch of small plates so, with the virus, people who train with me are getting the lesson of "buckle up" when they go up.

Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
DanMartin
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Total Posts: 20265
04-25-20 11:25 AM - Post#897299    



During my salad days I had a couple of magazines that showed some homemade equipment. I looked at them and figured I could do the same.

I made some squat racks out of pipe and bolted them to the wall and floor. Now I needed a bar to squat with. I went to Jack Delinger's store and bought a 300 pound exercise set with a 7 foot bar.

I put a 50 pound plate on each side and set up to do my first set of squats. Oh boy...a neon experience. I went down and came back up. A set of 1!

As more reps happened I obviously was getting stronger. When I was able to do a set of 5 for a few sets I decided I would add weight to the bar. It had never dawned on me to make a small jump like 10 pounds...I added another 50 pound plate to each side. I was so fired up I had two of my friends over to watch my prowess.

I backed out of the rack, set up, and crashed. I was rock bottom and stuck. I couldn't bail, not with my buddies there. So I gave it a go. It happened, but good god it was ugly.
Practice what you suck at.


 
Eric_
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Total Posts: 44
04-25-20 11:44 AM - Post#897302    



For what I call his "Nestle's Quik routine," Dr. Ken had big plates and truck flywheels, but few smaller plates. The big plates forced him to use mostly "big" basic exercises. Employing six main exercises for 1-2 work sets each he gained 41 lb of muscular weight in five months. He included running too.
 
Justin Jordan
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Total Posts: 617
04-25-20 01:49 PM - Post#897310    



Honestly, I've not found just the big plates to work super well for me. Basically across the board high reps just don't translate very well to, so working up to like 135 for 10 or 15 or even 20 and then going up to like 185 just stalls me.
 
Jordan D
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Total Posts: 293
Re: Just using big plates
04-25-20 05:23 PM - Post#897313    



  • Chris Adams Said:
I sent an email through Dan's website, but thought others might benefit from this as I doubt many people have trained with just the big plates for a long period of time.

Years ago I read Dan talking about how some people would be better off throwing away all the small plates and just using the big plates. I honestly thought it was silly and ignored it. A few years later I saw it again and read a thread on this forum. I then decided to started training with just the 20kg and 10kg plates for the lower body.

I stuck with it for 4 or 5 years (I need to check) just working on increasing the reps I could do. I started with 120kg x 7 squat. Towards the end of last year I did a 230kg (507lbs) squat after 220kg flew up. I have also done 180kg x 10 and 200kg x 7. With the trap bar deadlift (low handle) I did 232kg (511lbs) x 7. The trap bar weighs 32kg.

I have only used the big plates for all but 4 or 5 training sessions.

Dan knows what he is talking about, and training doesn't need to be complicated.




That is impressive. Any chance you’d be willing to describe your general training template over the last few years? When did you know it was time to jump up 20kg?
 
Chris Adams
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Total Posts: 13
04-25-20 11:30 PM - Post#897320    



I either trained full body twice a week, or upper/lower four times a week.
I either did squats and TBDL once a week, or squats twice and then loads of stuff like RDL's, GHR's etc

I normally would train two(sometimes three) weights for a long time. For example when I could squat 140kg x 14, I could squat 160kg x 7. Once I could do 160kg for 8 reps, started adding in singles at 180kg. I did so many singles at 180kg that by the time I had built up 160kg for over 10 reps, 180kg felt easy and the jump wasn't a problem.

I then did the same with 160kg and 180kg while doing singles with 200kg. I spent so long just doing these weights that 200kg became an easy single even on my worst day.

I'm going to start doing it with my bench press, but also use 15kg plates as well so I go up in 10kg jumps. I think 20kg jumps would be too big for the upper body lifts.
 
iPood
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Total Posts: 1942
04-26-20 04:01 AM - Post#897326    



  • Chris Adams Said:
I either trained full body twice a week, or upper/lower four times a week.
I either did squats and TBDL once a week, or squats twice and then loads of stuff like RDL's, GHR's etc

I normally would train two(sometimes three) weights for a long time. For example when I could squat 140kg x 14, I could squat 160kg x 7. Once I could do 160kg for 8 reps, started adding in singles at 180kg. I did so many singles at 180kg that by the time I had built up 160kg for over 10 reps, 180kg felt easy and the jump wasn't a problem.

I then did the same with 160kg and 180kg while doing singles with 200kg. I spent so long just doing these weights that 200kg became an easy single even on my worst day.

I'm going to start doing it with my bench press, but also use 15kg plates as well so I go up in 10kg jumps. I think 20kg jumps would be too big for the upper body lifts.



This is, quite probably, the best message I've seen posted here in years.
"I think we often spend too much time focusing on max fitness
and not nearly enough on maintaining our minimums.
It seems we need to think sustainable rather than obtainable.
Meaning whatever we do today, we can do it again tomorrow.
Never taking so much from ourselves that we can't."

Dan Martin


 
Jordan D
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Total Posts: 293
04-26-20 09:22 AM - Post#897332    



  • iPood Said:
  • Chris Adams Said:
I either trained full body twice a week, or upper/lower four times a week.
I either did squats and TBDL once a week, or squats twice and then loads of stuff like RDL's, GHR's etc

I normally would train two(sometimes three) weights for a long time. For example when I could squat 140kg x 14, I could squat 160kg x 7. Once I could do 160kg for 8 reps, started adding in singles at 180kg. I did so many singles at 180kg that by the time I had built up 160kg for over 10 reps, 180kg felt easy and the jump wasn't a problem.

I then did the same with 160kg and 180kg while doing singles with 200kg. I spent so long just doing these weights that 200kg became an easy single even on my worst day.

I'm going to start doing it with my bench press, but also use 15kg plates as well so I go up in 10kg jumps. I think 20kg jumps would be too big for the upper body lifts.



This is, quite probably, the best message I've seen posted here in years.



Haha. Right? I think I might have to give this a go.
 
Ville
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Total Posts: 2351
04-26-20 12:51 PM - Post#897336    



Very impressive!

What was the max reps you would do with single weight? What I mean is the number of reps you’d think was “enough” and no more was to be gained from that weight?
My workout log


 
Chris Adams
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Total Posts: 13
04-26-20 03:37 PM - Post#897341    



  • Ville Said:
Very impressive!

What was the max reps you would do with single weight? What I mean is the number of reps you’d think was “enough” and no more was to be gained from that weight?



I never went above 20 reps. 20 rep squats are hard.
If I could do one weight for 14 reps and another for 7 reps, I would prioritise the heavier weight.
 
Old Miler
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Total Posts: 1344
04-26-20 03:55 PM - Post#897342    



My dumbells and small plates were borrowed by my son and in his university house basement. So we're stuck at home with a barbell that goes up to 110kg in increments of 10kg (by juggling 10kg and 15kg plates). I want to hit 150kg in the deadlift when gyms open, so currently alternating between (a) lifting 110kg quicker and quicker, and (b) duct-taping pairs of 2+3kg dumbells on the end to get up to 120kg, and hoping the tape lasts the set. The latter are actually pink, by the way!
 
Eric_
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Total Posts: 44
Just using big plates
04-26-20 04:31 PM - Post#897344    



For some trainees, methods like this can be less mind-numbing than adding 2.5 to 5 lb to the bar at a time over a long, long cycle. A big plates system like this adds some variety, physically and psychologically.

Edited by Eric_ on 04-26-20 04:32 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Justin Jordan
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Total Posts: 617
04-26-20 07:29 PM - Post#897347    



What I have found works well for me is work with a weight until I can get 5 * 5, then add ten pounds, work back to 5 *5, add, etc
 
Jordan Derksen
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Total Posts: 33
04-26-20 07:50 PM - Post#897348    



Chris, the last few years I’ve found 2 day per week programs work best for me. Even if the workouts are easier, when doing 4 days per week I always end up missing one or two workouts a week.

If you would work with two weights, one lighter higher set and one heavier how did you program those? Alternate the heavy and light days every other week?
 
Chris Adams
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Total Posts: 13
Just using big plates
04-26-20 09:17 PM - Post#897351    



I've always done well when doing two days a week training as well.


If I was doing a lift only once a week I would mostly do the heavier weight until I felt I needed to change. The heavier weight would still be something I could do 7 reps with, so not very heavy.

To be honest, very little thought went into programming. By little, I mean none apart from I knew what exercises I would be doing. I didn't plan anything else in advance. I'm not claiming this is smart.
If I wanted to peak for a certain event like a powerlifting comp, or I wanted to test a one rep max I would plan my training more.

There's nothing special about just training with big plates. It just kept things simple and I enjoyed training like this.

I focus more being consistent, nutrition, recovery outside the gym (sleep, stress etc) and actually training hard. When I'm not making progress it's usually because I'm slacking on one of those.

Edited by Chris Adams on 04-26-20 09:58 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Ricky01
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Total Posts: 547
Re: Just using big plates
04-27-20 05:16 AM - Post#897360    



Great Chris

Back when I used to use DC training (rest/pause) training....I would do a set of roughly 12 in the deadlift followed by a heavy set of roughly 5-6 ). That was it.

I had the luxury of small plates to make progress, but the 2 main sets work.

There is a slight Power to the People feel to it, but obviously unique to you, your situation etc.

Richard

Edited by Ricky01 on 04-27-20 05:24 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Chris Adams
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Total Posts: 13
Just using big plates
04-27-20 08:24 AM - Post#897364    



I was always bad at sticking to a program before this. I think the reason why I enjoyed training like this was I never actually had a plan to follow, but by using just the big plates it limited my options and kept me focusing on hitting rep pr's and volume pr's as there wasn't any other options.

I think I'll try something different once gyms are open again.

Edited by Chris Adams on 04-27-20 09:36 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
iPood
*
Total Posts: 1942
05-03-20 02:21 AM - Post#897588    



  • Justin Jordan Said:
What I have found works well for me is work with a weight until I can get 5 * 5, then add ten pounds, work back to 5 *5, add, etc



I did almost the same thing (increasing 5 kg. per side) for a while and, guess what? It worked so well I stopped doing it.
"I think we often spend too much time focusing on max fitness
and not nearly enough on maintaining our minimums.
It seems we need to think sustainable rather than obtainable.
Meaning whatever we do today, we can do it again tomorrow.
Never taking so much from ourselves that we can't."

Dan Martin


 
Ramtrick Swayzbo
*
Total Posts: 138
05-20-20 08:46 PM - Post#898271    



Hi Chris,

Noting your weight focus and reps to hit prior to shifting gears to the next weight, what would a typical session look like from a sets / reps point of view?

3 sets? 4 sets? 5 sets? Hit 8 reps and then move up?

Thanks.
"A sunset fixes everything"

www.activelifeandlive.wordpress.com


 
Kyle Aaron
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Total Posts: 1706
Re: Just using big plates
05-21-20 05:41 AM - Post#898276    



  • Chris Adams Said:
I stuck with it for 4 or 5 years



I don't think the plate sizes or sets and reps used are the most important variable here.

Consistent effort over time gets results. Your efforts were consistent. Well done, keep going.
Athletic Club East
Strength in numbers


 
Dan John
*
Total Posts: 11646
05-21-20 09:43 AM - Post#898286    



I had a long talk with the Late, Great Terry Todd and he noted that "this" was the way people trained for most of the history of what we do. Dan Martin's story is exactly what he described.

There are a few Lost Gems (where is Indiana Jones?):

Fixed Weights
Big Plates only
No squat racks, bench racks...you pulled it up and/or over
Multiple variations of DLs and Presses
Saturday Heavy day...other days prime to that day
Daniel John
Just handing down what I was handed down...


Make a Difference.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Balance work, rest, play and pray (enjoy beauty and solitude)
Sleep soundly. Drink Water. Eat veggies and protein. Walk.
Wear your seat belt. Don’t smoke. Floss your teeth.
Put weights overhead. Pick weights off the floor. Carry weights.
Reread great books. Say thank you


 
Chris Adams
*
Total Posts: 13
05-22-20 05:43 PM - Post#898355    



  • Kyle Aaron Said:
  • Chris Adams Said:
I stuck with it for 4 or 5 years



I don't think the plate sizes or sets and reps used are the most important variable here.

Consistent effort over time gets results. Your efforts were consistent. Well done, keep going.




Yep. That's my point. Programming isn't what will make or break most peoples training, but it's what people worry about a lot.

  • Ramtrick Swayzbo Said:
Hi Chris,

Noting your weight focus and reps to hit prior to shifting gears to the next weight, what would a typical session look like from a sets / reps point of view?

3 sets? 4 sets? 5 sets? Hit 8 reps and then move up?

Thanks.



Normally I just did one top set. I tried to get it to 12 to 14 reps. That was the target. Very rarely did I every do more sets for squats and deadlift.
 
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