I am a PE/Health major, so I've taken some classes on weight training, but nothing very in depth. I've been lifting weights for 3 years. I've just been trying out different training routines every year trying to apply what I learned in class, and trying to find what works for me. I don't think I've progressed as much as I should though, so I wanted to talk to some people who've been doing this longer. So, I am going to summarize what I "know" about weight training, and explain what I've tried. I'm interested in all feedback and discussion about how to better reach my goals.
I'm a martial artist, so I've never been after the "hulk" look. Besides, I'm 5'5", and weighed 115 when I started. So, I'm trying to maintain a more wirey physique. Only other serious goal was that I wanted to be able to lift my girlfriend overhead. After three years, I weigh a consistent 117. I hit 122 once, but seeing as all people have 5 pound water wieght flux... I'm at 7% body fat. I never train at 1 rm, but I could deadlift 150 lbs for 5 reps. I could shoulder press 65 pounds while standing (at 5rm). So, I am the classic really strong for my size, but at my size that doesn't mean alot.
I did my first year on the gymns intro program (8-12 rep circuit training). Spent the second year doing what I was told was max strength work (1-5 rep, 2 min rest) And tried out the Body for Life program for year 3 (12-10-8-6 pyramid 1 min rest). I've played with different excercises throughout that time, but I've never seemed to progress beyond a certain point. So far, what I've been told, is 1-5 reps is fiber recruitment, 6-12 is for hypertrophy, and anything beyond that is endurance. After plateuing on that max strength routine, I thought I needed to add mass to be able to lift more (increase body weight, lift same percent weight=more strength) but, after a year on a pyramid plan, my body weight didn't go up (btw, I was training for one hour 4 days a week, eating every two hours when hungry)
So, now I'm trying to plan out a routine for the coming year, and was interested in any thoughts. The strongest guy I know trains using that Russian guy Pavel's stuff (no kettlebells, just the routines). Seems like there is a lot of hype around it though, and his advice is counter to the norm, I'm curious if anyone's tried it and found it successful.
Well, I've typed on long enough, can't wait to hear what people have to say!