T Nation

12 Wks to Your Biggest, Strongest and Leanest


#1

As a strength coach at a commercial gym I see way too many people on a daily basis using wimpy exercises and girly workouts. Every T reader knows that a solid program will be based around squats, deads, chins, dips and presses, not an hour of planking, crunching and aerobic classes with an overweight fitness instructor teaching you terrible technique.

There are also plenty of guys who are coming to the gym each day and slogging away on all these lifts I mentioned earlier, which is a lot better but the problem they face is a lack of planning and programming so results will come very slow. "Not planning is planning to fail", are wise words I've heard time and time again from some of the best in the industry. Set some goals, put a deadline on them and then map out a plan to get you there.

As I compete in amateur strongman competitions and am crossing over to powerlifting next year, I need to plan my training to reach new strength levels constantly. As well as being as strong as I possibly can, I love to look good while throwing big weights around so I train for aesthetics too, which is most people's goals, look great and lift big. I'm a big advocate of undulating periodisation, basically alternating between accumulation and intensification phases every 3-6 weeks.

Here's my current 12 week plan to get bigger, stronger and leaner. Preferred training days are:
Mon - Upper
Tues - Lower
Wed - Upper
Thurs - Rest
Fri - Lower
Sat - Upper
Sun - Rest/

The upper days will be alternated between Chest/Back 1 and 2 and Shoulders/Arms 1 and 2, the Lower days will be swapped from Lower/Abs 1 and 2.

Weeks 1-3, Accumulation 1:

Chest/Back 1
A1) Incline BB Press 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
A2) Elbowing DB Rows 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
B1) Flat DB Press 3210 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 10 sec
B2) Flat DB Flys 2110 - 3-5 x 10-15 rest 10 sec
B3) Chest Dips 2010 - 3-5 x 15-20 rest 60 sec
C1) Neutral-grip Pulldowns 3012 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 10 sec
C2) Straight-arm Pulldowns 2011 - 3-5 x 10-15 rest 10 sec
C3) Wide-grip Pull-ups 2010 - 3-5 x 15-20 rest 60 sec

Chest/Back 2
A1) Chest Dips 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
A2) Wide-grip Pull-ups 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
B1) Incline DB Press 3210 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 10 sec
B2) Incline DB Flys 2110 - 3-5 x 10-15 rest 10 sec
B3) Incline BB Press 2010 - 3-5 x 15-20 rest 60 sec
C1) Neutral-grip Cable Rows 3012 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 10 sec
C2) Rope Face Pulls 2011 - 3-5 x 10-15 rest 10 sec
C3) Elbowing Cable Rows 2010 - 3-5 x 15-20 rest 60 sec

Lower/Abs 1
A1) Back Squats 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
A2) Seated Leg Curls 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
B1) Sumo-stance Good Mornings 3210 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 10 sec
B2) Calf Press 2110 - 3-5 x 10-15 rest 10 sec
B3) Duck-stance Back Extensions 2010 - 3-5 x 15-20 rest 60 sec
C1) Petersen Step-ups 2020 - 3 x 15-20 rest 10 sec
C2) Standing Cable Crunch 2121 - 3 x 8-10 rest 10 sec

Lower/Abs 2
A1) Deadlift 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
A2) Wide-stance Standing Calf Raise 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
B1) Medium-stance Leg Press 3210 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 10 sec
B2) Bulgarian Split Squats 2110 - 3-5 x 10-15 rest 10 sec
B3) Leg Extensions 2010 - 3-5 x 15-20 rest 60 sec
C1) Seated Calf Raise 2121 - 3 x 15-20
C2) Garhammer Raise 2121 - 3 x 15-20

Shoulders/Arms 1
A1) Floor Press 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
A2) Neutral-grip Chin-ups 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
B1) DB Shoulder Press 3210 - 4 x 8-10 rest 60 sec
B2) Incline Hammer Curls 3012 - 4 x 8-10 rest 60 sec
C1) Incline Tate Press 2110 - 3 x 12-15 rest 10 sec
C2) Incline Leaning Lateral Raise 2121 - 3 x 12-15 rest 10 sec
C3) Incline Cobra Raise 2020 - 3 x 15-20

Shoulders/Arms 2
A1) BB Push Press 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
A2) Close-grip Preacher Curls 2010 - 5 x 1/1/1/1/1 rest 120 sec
B1) Triceps Dips 3210 - 4 x 8-10 rest 60 sec
B2) DB Lateral Raise 3012 - 4 x 8-10 rest 60 sec
C1) High Cable Curls 2011 - 3 x 12-15 rest 10 sec
C2) Cable Pulldowns 2110 - 3 x 12-15 rest 10 sec
C3) Reverse Cable Flys 2011 - 3 x 12-15 rest 10 sec

Weeks 4-6, Intensification 1:

Chest/Back 1
A1) Incline DB Press 4011 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
A2) Pendlay Rows 4110 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
B1) Flat Neutral-grip DB Press 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
B2) Flat Pronated-grip DB Flys 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
C1) Behind Head Pull-ups 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
C2) Decline DB Pullovers 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
D1) External Rotation 3030 - 3 x 8-10 rest 60 sec

Chest/Back 2
A1) Flat BB Press 4011 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
A2) Lean-away Pull-ups 4110 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
B1) Incline BB Press 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
B2) Incline DB Flys 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
C1) Neutral-grip DB Rows 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
C2) Reverse Flys 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
D1) Trap 3 Shrugs 3030 - 3 x 8-10 rest 60 sec

Lower/Abs 1
A1) Sumo-stance Box Squats 4111 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
A2) Lying Leg Curls 4110 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
B1) Calf Press 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
B2) Seated Calf Raise 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
C1) Seated Good Mornings 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
C2) Incline Back Extensions 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec

Lower/Abs 2
A1) Deficit Deadlifts 4111 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
A2) Close-stance Standing Calf Raise 4011 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
B1) Single Leg Press 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
B2) Lunges 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
C1) Decline Crunch 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
C2) Hanging Leg Raise 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec

Shoulders/Arms 1
A1) Triceps Dips 4011 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
A2) Supinated Chin-ups 4110 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
B1) Behind-head OH BB Press 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
B2) Lateral Raise 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
C1) BB Curls 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
C2) Preacher Curls 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec

Shoulders/Arms 2
A1) DB Push Press 4011 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
A2) Incline Hammer Curls 4110 - 9 x 3/2/1/3/2/1/3/2/1 rest 180 sec
B1) Decline Close-grip Press 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
B2) Decline Triceps Extensions 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec
C1) Upright Rows 5010 - 3-5 x 4-6 rest 10 sec
C2) Reverse Flys 2010 - 3-5 x 8-10 rest 90 sec

Weeks 7-9, Accumulation 2:

Chest/Back 1
A1) Incline BB Press 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
A2) Incline Neutral-Grip DB Row 3012 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
B1) Flat BB Press 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
B2) Wide-grip Pull-ups 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
C1) Flat DB Flys 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set
C2) Straight-arm Pulldowns 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set

Chest/Back 2
A1) Chest Dips 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
A2) Shoulder-grip Pull-ups 3012 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
B1) Incline DB Press 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
B2) Elbowing DB Rows 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
C1) Incline DB Flys 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set
C2) Reverse Flys 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set

Lower/Abs 1
A1) Front Squats 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
A2) Seated Single Leg Curls 3012 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
B1) Calf Press 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
B2) Good Mornings 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
C1) Seated Calf Raise 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set
C2) Back Extensions 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set

Lower/Abs 2
A1) Rack Pulls 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
A2) Standing Calf Raise 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
B1) Wide-stance Leg Press 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
B2) Cable Crunch 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
C1) Leg Extensions 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set
C2) Garhammer Raise 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set

Shoulders/Arms 1
A1) Rack Lockouts 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
A2) Neutral-grip Chin-ups 3012 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
B1) OH DB Press 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
B2) Incline Hammer Curls 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
C1) Lateral Raise 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set
C2) Reverse Preacher Curls 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set

Shoulders/Arms 2
A1) BB Push Press 3210 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
A2) Supinated Preacher Curls 3012 - 10 x 3 rest 180 sec
B1) Decline Triceps Extensions 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
B2) Lateral Raise 2010 - 3 x 6-8 Triple Drop-set
C1) Overhead Triceps Extensions 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set
C2) Reverse Flys 2121 - 3 x 10-12 Triple Drop-set

Weeks 10-12, Intensification 2:

Chest/Back 1
A1) Incline DB Press 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
A2) Pendlay Rows 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
B1) Incline BB Press 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec
B2) DB Rows 3012 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec

Chest/Back 2
A1) Flat BB Press 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
A2) Wide-grip Pull-ups 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
B2) Flat DB Press 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec
B2) Behind-head Pull-ups 3012 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec

Lower 1
A1) Front Squats 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
A2) Lying Leg Curls 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
B1) Back Squats 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec
B2) Seated Leg Curls 3012 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec

Lower 2
A1) Deadlifts 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
A2) Standing Calf Raise 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
B1) Sumo-stance Deadlifts 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec
B2) Calf Press 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec

Shoulders/Arms 1
A1) Triceps Dips 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
A2) Incline Curls 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
B1) Triceps Pulldowns 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec
B2) Preacher Curls 3012 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec

Shoulders/Arms 2
A1) BB Push Press 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
A2) Supinated Chin-ups 5010 - 8 x 1 rest 180 sec
B1) Overhead DB Press 3210 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec
B2) BB Curls 3012 - 5 x 5 rest 120 sec

After your 12 weeks of hard earned gains, give yourself a deload week or 2 of just full body workouts 3 times a week. In these 12 weeks your 1RM on all lifts would of increased by at least 10% and you should of added a minimum of 4kgs of lean mass assuming you're a natural lifter and ate well (if anabolically gifted, you can expect a hell of a lot more)


#2

Ahem...

I thoroughly, thoroughly disagree with a lot of your tempo, sets, and reps for some exercises.

You're using 4 and 5-second negatives on deadlifts. There's no increased benefit, just increased risk.

You've got 5 sets of singles for things like dips, seated leg curls, calf raises, and preacher curls. 8 sets of singles for more calf raises and incline curls. And Incline hammer curls for 9 sets of 3/2/1 waves. Many isolation exercises are inappropriate for lower rep work like that, especially higher-risk exercises like dips and preachers.

I would also very much disagree that the routine you described sticks to basic accumulation-intensification guidelines. You're using plenty of intensity-boosting techniques during some "accumulation" phases and you're using a fair amount of volume and moderate rep ranges during the "intensification" phases.

Maybe I'm just hanging around weak dudes, but I can't think of a lot of guys that can knock out 15-20 pull-ups after pre-exhausting with two exercises.

So the entirety of your nutrition advice for three months is basically "assuming you eat well". Don't you think diet plays at least a big enough role in gaining size that it should warrant, oh I don't know, a full paragraph or two?

In short: Welcome to the site, but you made a shitty first impression. Good luck in your competitions and best of luck with your training business, but don't try advertising by way of a mini-article/post here again.

Ask questions, chip in info when you can, but don't try to preach. We don't know you yet.


#3

You won't be getting that much "bigger, stronger and leaner" if you plan to do it all in only 12 weeks.


#4

Ohh I thought this was a cycle recommendation. I Is disappoint.


#5

Trainers hate him.


#6

I appreciate the feedback guys, although negative it's always good to get others inputs, especially from great trainers.

As for tempo, rep and set prescriptions, I have found that everything I have posted above works (injury free) with clients and myself many times. A 5 second eccentric Deadlift can be dangerous if you can't stay tight and therefore you would be using too much weight, it will most definitely be a weight less than if you were to have a 2 second decent. A lot of strength can be made with long eccentrics in my eyes. As for all the single joint exercises and dips with single reps, same goes, if you can't do the exercise safely it goes without saying you need to lighten the load. If you can manage good weight on isolation exercises than you can most definitely throw it on with the compound movements.

Alternating between accumulation and intensification phases in this program is based solely around total volume (reps) of each phase. I do agree I have gone against the grain using intensifying techniques in an accumulation phase such as the clusters in the first phase. Regarding total volume, you don't need a major in mathematics to see phase 1 has a total of around 500 reps/WO, phase 2 - 200 reps/WO, phase 3 - 400 reps/WO (depending on drop-sets), phase 4 - 70 reps/WO

Wide-grip Pull-ups can be assisted with a partner or assist machine, if worse cones to worse, change the exercise for wide pulldowns. I wouldn't expect too many people to manage 15-20 wide-grip pull-ups (myself included) when they are fresh, let alone at the back end of a tri-set for back.

As for diet, that's a whole other post. Even a paragraph or 2 wouldn't cut it to help build the size and strength on a program like this while leaning out.

This is by no means an advert for my business, if it were I'd be throwing contact info and actually trying to market myself on here.

All this in 12 weeks shouldn't be a problem for anyone who has a decent background in training and a diet tailored to their needs.

Again, thanks for the feedback


#7

You seem like a decent guy and are new here so I don't want to be too tough on you.

i'll say this in the most politically correct and nicest way humanly possible: 5 second negatives on dead lifts and curls/dips for singles is absolutely idiotic.

Welcome to T Nation Mate!


#8

Lol Thanks for sugar coating it. I use to have the exact same impressions for such slow eccentric phases on those lifts until reading up on a lot of Poliquin and putting things in to practice and seeing great results, I follow the rule of not knocking it until you try it and try it more than once. Big, big gains can be made and in the end that's what we are all aiming for so there is nothing idiotic about it.


#9

Things that I will go ahead and knock without ever trying:
Squats on an exercise ball
Meth/heroin
Eating poop
Gay sex
Dead lifts with 5 second negatives
Vegetarianism


#10

I'm sure this will change with so many witty MFers on here, but to date .... That is the best response EVER


#11

Haha 100% agree on the rest of that list but when it comes to training, a very open mind is best. We all have our opinions.


#12

5 second negatives on any move that doesn't involve the risk of squirting your disc through your skin and into your Underarmor seem a little more reasonable.


#13

I have made big gains and I would and have never done 5 second negatives on deadlifts.

No offense my man, but no point in doing that.


#14

Yeah, but there's also the big picture, and at 24 years old you have a limited view of it. Gains are always a good thing, but big big injuries can also happen, no matter how careful you try to be, and that's why I imagine most of the posters that have chimed in have done so. :slight_smile:

S


#15

I'm not saying 5 second eccentrics on deads are a must but I've found them very beneficial, with zero injuries in fact I herniated my L5, S1 a few years back using much faster tempos (and bad form) and personally I don't have any issues with a raw 5 second eccentric Deadlift. There are plenty of ways to better your Deadlift and if you want to avoid a long eccentric phase then that is fine.


#16

Lol at this thread. Welcome to T-Nation!

Btw, post some pics plz... If you are big, it'll quiet a lot of folks... 'Course, if not...

Edit, is your profile right? 5'6" , 155. Lbs @ 13% bf?


#17

Yeah, because you are probably using very light weight, which for a deadlift, makes not alot of sense.

Same can be said for 1 rep curls. Sure if you dont go heavy enough to risk injury you are ok, but then you really arent doing a 1 rep curl, just weight you can do for multiple reps only once......


#18

Fool.


#19

I would bet a very large amount of money that you are not very good at strongman! What are your best lifts? (at any speed)


#20

Best lifts at 70kg body weight:

ATG Squat - 155kg
Deadlift - 205kg
Bench (power style) - 140kg
Power Clean - 105kg
Push Press - 97.5kg
Can also chin and dip for singles with 70kg hanging from my belt. Not the most impressive numbers, will try have photos and post some vids in coming weeks just to show some evidence of this program working.