Building High-Performance Muscle™
Powerlifting
 
Only Training The Big Three?
1
 

BigRedMachine87
Level 3

Join date: Nov 2010
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 338

I've been wondering what would happen if someone only did the big three.

If you got a healthy person that had never worked out before, showed him how to squat, bench and dead lift properly. And he only did those work outs.

Would he continue to progress? Would he end up getting hurt?

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flipcollar
Level 5

Join date: Feb 2010
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 2247

He would progress for awhile, and eventually reach a limit that would require him to add in assistance work to further progress. That limit would be different for everyone. He would likely stall on bench earlier than the other 2 lifts. He would obviously develop muscular imbalances, but not necessarily suffer an injury.

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T3hPwnisher
Level

Join date: Feb 2007
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2006

His shoulders would most likely get pretty jacked up as well.

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detazathoth
Level 3

Join date: Jan 2007
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 5384

The trainee would be fine, although the trainee would have to do some prehab work

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arramzy
Level

Join date: Feb 2011
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 1103

I have trained with 95% of my training sq/bp/dl. I have progress to a 305+kg squat, 227.5kg bench, and 272.5kg deadlift at 93kg single ply (currently down to 86kg and just as strong). I think that I agreee with detazatoth that the 5% of prehab work (and some upper back) really helps me but frankly I found that spending much more time on it didn't work for me personally.

There are a million ways to train and progress and training purely (or at least close to it) the big 3 is a viable option that can work very well. Perhaps not for everyone, but certainly should not be disregarded as causing injuries and having a distinct ceiling that cannot be passed without assistance work.

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Achilles of war
Level 2

Join date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1154

flipcollar wrote:
He would progress for awhile, and eventually reach a limit that would require him to add in assistance work to further progress. That limit would be different for everyone. He would likely stall on bench earlier than the other 2 lifts. He would obviously develop muscular imbalances, but not necessarily suffer an injury.


He would be training like a Russian/ Bulgarian.

These CMSI level PLers basically do that, they stretch and then lift the big three three times a week.

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renaissance
Level

Join date: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 5

Don't know about the big 3, but tons of people have success with the big 4. Sorry for the kind of irrelevant answer.

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Reed
Level

Join date: Jan 2010
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 3218

Are you saying you have a 500lbs bench from doing 95% of all your pressing volume from nothing but Bench Press with very little if any assistance...?

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sardines12
Level

Join date: Jun 2010
Location:
Posts: 1638

just add in rows and you're set

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BlueCollarTr8n
Level 1

Join date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 2708

For a two or three year period......probally few problems.
For a decade......??????

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NikH
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2011
Location:
Posts: 499

squat, bench, deadlift, chin up, row.

If I really had to choose the minimum amount.

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MattyXL
Level 1

Join date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 8918

Mike Tuscherer believes in very little assistance work if any, he explained that for him assistance made him very good at the assistance movement, he cites having a 500lb GM...but he had the most carryover from doing the big three in different forms. Im slowly breaking out of being an assistance movement junkie and following his programming based almost solely training the big three with very little assistance work

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arramzy
Level

Join date: Feb 2011
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 1103

Reed wrote:
Are you saying you have a 500lbs bench from doing 95% of all your pressing volume from nothing but Bench Press with very little if any assistance...?


I suppose I do some of my workouts with the grip in a little closer, but yes that is true. To be good at something, do it. A lot.

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Zerpp
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Join date: Nov 2011
Location:
Posts: 265

Of course he would progress. But shoulder injuries might occur since you would be benching and not doing any pulling. So adding in something to work the post delt and doing shoulder mobility would be necessary.

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T3hPwnisher
Level

Join date: Feb 2007
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2006

I posted a link to Korte's 3x3 but for some reason the post is gone. That said, it's an example of a program that only uses those three movements.

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RampantBadger
Level

Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 2053

yeah you're shoulders will be pretty pissed off, also among other things most people need direct tricep work to keep their bench progressing

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VTBalla34
Level 5

Join date: Mar 2009
Location: District of Columbia, USA
Posts: 7531

RampantBadger wrote:
yeah you're shoulders will be pretty pissed off, also among other things most people need direct tricep work to keep their bench progressing


that's weird...I have never done any direct triceps work...I must be doing it wrong

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RampantBadger
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Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 2053

VTBalla34 wrote:
RampantBadger wrote:
yeah you're shoulders will be pretty pissed off, also among other things most people need direct tricep work to keep their bench progressing


that's weird...I have never done any direct triceps work...I must be doing it wrong


Glad I could help :)

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shffl
Level 3

Join date: Dec 2007
Location:
Posts: 304

Check out Doug Hepburn

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smallmike
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Join date: Aug 2006
Location:
Posts: 662

I only did the big three for about a year and I had to stop due to injury. My anterior core became too weak compared to my posterior muscles, which affected my hips, and my shoulders began hurting a lot also. I'm sure some individuals could do this, but I couldn't handle it.

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Sutebun
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Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 521

smallmike wrote:
I only did the big three for about a year and I had to stop due to injury. My anterior core became too weak compared to my posterior muscles, which affected my hips, and my shoulders began hurting a lot also. I'm sure some individuals could do this, but I couldn't handle it.


Belt or beltless?

Did you do permutations of the big three?


Anyway, my answer is yes but why do it?

I'm sure you could make great progress by doing it beltless and including different permutations. Close grip bench, rack/deficit pulls, squat lock and walk outs, front squats, low bar, high bar. If its a front squat is it cheating then though?

But then that logic takes the point out of it. "Close-grip is still sort-of-a-bench and it helps my bench, so why not?" Well fuck, why not just do whatever movement helps your bench?

I disregarded direct tricep work and cables in general until I got a routine where it told me to do them. I Started doing cable push downs and found they hit my triceps in a way I've never felt before and made it easy to isolate, so I still do them now and then. And guess what? Now you can actually see my triceps.

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