2x/Wk Routine, How Does It Look?

Hey everyone. I posted a similar thread over in beginners but figured I might get some useful input over here.

A quick background thing…
I’m currently training in TKD/HKD for 5-7 hours a week with my instructor. I also train 1-2 hours skills training by myself. I do 1-2 hours conditioning (HIIT, Punch-out style drills, skipping etc.)

I’m currently doing a slightly modified version of SS, and have made some decent gains. I only train weights 2x week, experimented with lifting more often but found it affected my skils training too much. I’ve managed to build up to-

approx 1xbw squat for 3x5
approx 1.5bw dl for 1x5
approx .8bw bench for 3x5

I’d like to get off SS and do a program with more DL’ing volume. I think that a high volume of back squatting coupled with my skills/condition has been rough on my back. I also feel that DL’s are a better exercise for fighters (when compared to back squats). I know several trainers feel the same way (pavel? sorry can’t think of names at the moment).

So here’s what I’m thinking of doing. Any (constructive!?) critisism would be greatly appreciated.

DL 3x5
Press 3x5
Front squat 1x5 at 80% of 5rm
Assistance work- chins or pull-ups, bridges or roll outs… 3x12-15

Front squat 3x5
Weighted push-ups 3x5
Rows 3x5
Assist- Hypers or GM’s, bridges or roll outs… 3x12-15

I have included front squats because of the feeling of wear and tear on my back that squats have given me. I feel that DL’s will strengthen my back and eliminate at least some of these issues. I also get the feeling that doing high volume DL+Highvolume Back squat=Death for me.

Weighted push-ups have been put in place of bench because of shoulder issues. I feel that push-ups are better anyhow because- closed chain > open chain, and push-ups are more a movement I will use in MA and everyday life.

Remember this is the whole plan for the week as far as weights go, not cycled for 3xweek like most a/b programs. I think doing this 3x week the DL volume would get to me pretty quick.

My main aim with this program is to take my DL up to 2xBW for 3x5.

Again, thanks for any input.

well, that looks pretty solid to me…

I almost think that this is a troll, just because the program makes too much sense for what the guy wants.

Thanks heaps guys,

I’ve been a (dreaded) lurker on this site for a while and read around, usually keep on eye on beginners/strength sports and this forum. I wanted to absorb as much info as possible before posting replies or starting my own threads. I knew better than to start posting with posts like “I wana get ripped and kick some ass, whatz a hardc0re program.”

I used the info that I’d absorbed and tried to make a program for myself. I was pretty sure that it was solid, but I know that there are guys on here with alot more experience than me, so I thought I better check.

Over in the beginners forum, and on stronglifts.com I copped alot of flack from people who just quoted Rip as saying “don’t mess with the f*cking program”. I think that although Rips program is solid, it has it’s drawbacks. I could start a whole new thread about my particular issues but I’m sure there’s been enough debate over the merits of the program. It’s certainly helped my strength more than previous muscle-mag inspired programs that I was using in the first 6 months of lifting weights.

As I just mentioned, the program idea got alot of flack, mostly from fanatic rip advocates, but also from Mehdi (the creator of stronglifts.com) and some guys who I think are generally good sources of information. They didn’t like the idea of switching back-squat with front squats as they felt that back-squats gave you more bang for your buck, and that the loss of posterier chain work would be hard to compensate for. I think I adressed these issues with the program but they weren’t really convinced. I know that I will not be moving as much weight with the front squats, but the overall volume of the program will be sufficiently high thanks to the extra DL’ing. Also the PC work will be taken care of by the DL and GM/Hypers.

sigh It’s just a shame that people who adhere to one style of training tend to be so close minded about different needs/goals/what-ever. I figured that at least here on this forum people would understand my reasoning for the program, and would be more sympathetic to my goals. Where-as most of the people on stronglifts.com are obsessed by getting their back squats as high as possible, as if it is the epitome of strength. I think that it can be a good yardstick, but it’s only one way of measuring things. The thought that someone would want to abandon the backsquat in favour of DL’s and Fsquat’s was just uncomprehensible to them.

Anyway I’ll end my rant there, thanks guys for giving me the thumbs up for the program, I’m really looking forward to DLing more than 1x5 a week!

I know what you’re saying. For their goals, that program is better. But if you’re a fighter that’s going to do any kind of grappling or close-in fighting, front squats and deadlifts are very realistic.

I love back squats, but unless you somehow pull off a fireman’s carry, the guy you have to move is in front of you, not behind you.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I know what you’re saying. For their goals, that program is better. But if you’re a fighter that’s going to do any kind of grappling or close-in fighting, front squats and deadlifts are very realistic.

I love back squats, but unless you somehow pull off a fireman’s carry, the guy you have to move is in front of you, not behind you. [/quote]

Agreed. Try adding in some good mornings and switch everything to 5x5. Fighting is all about muscle endurance and strength. The only way to get those things is through actually fighting and lifting heavy.

Thanks admbaum,

I’ll be doin good mornings as an assistance exercise on the B workout day, so 3 sets of 12-15. As I said in an earlier post, I think those along with the 3x5 DL will take care of my PC muscles, so I shouldn’t need the “less practical” back squats.

I might consider switching press, row and push-ups to 5x5 but recovering from 5x5 DL’s would be too much for me, I think. I did the 3x5 DL workout the other day and it was pretty brutal, I’m only use to doing 1x5 DL a week, maybe once I’m use to the increased volume I’ll make the switch.

@ fightinirish,

I personally have a very bad relationship with the back-squat, and will admit to wanting to drop it whether it was functional (for me) or not. Getting good form has been a real battle that has been disheartening at times. Anyway, I’ve been reading around and it seems that front squats are probably the go for me, plus doing a higher volume of DL’s plus back-squats would probably be abit too hard on my PC, especially my lower back…

I Like the lay out,and your set/rep scheme.
a few suggestions

Power cleans
unilateral work
shoulder health crap

I can not agree more on pres + push ups over bench, add 45 plate or two to the push ups when you can.
Front squats over back squats is also a sound move- are you using a “clean” rack or genie style?

If you are already having shoulder issues, you need to add in some shoulder pre/rehab
ytwli, scap pushups,facepulls, etx and int rotation more of these in volume then pressing.
and I would argue neutral grip DB pressing is likely healthier for you then bb.
Long term you will benefit from shoulder health work.

Unilateral work- is a must, more so for fighters- I still have leg imbalances after years of wrestling.
It will also really help with leg mobility- and knee health.

Lastly power, or full cleans , likely the best athletic lift. however form is an issue- so if you lack a coach or cant get decent form from video’s etc , or find them too hard to master,you can argue their place
alternate with deadlifts, or do both and prioritize a different one each week


Thanks kmc,

I was doing hang-cleans for a while, found them hard on the shoulder “dropping/catching” them from the racked position (i.e. as I flip my elbows back around). Was doing hang cleans trying to get the feel of that part of the lift with the view to progress to power-cleans later on.
Once I set-up my own gym (within the next year, hopefully) i’ll invest in bumper plates so I can just drop the weight from the racked pos.

At the gym I go to there is only the one squat rack and no cage, so when someone else is squatting I will dl then hang clean the bar up to the rack position for my press’s. This isn’t too hard on the shoulders “dropping” such a low weight but feel that I need much more weight for the actual clean to be doing much for me. I might just continue to hang clean the bar regardless to at least practice the form and get some benefit, however small.

I’ve read that a few coaches suggest doing a version of the clean where you don’t actually rack the bar, kind of like a power high-pull? I can’t think of the exact name at the moment. Seems like this might be a good alternative for me as I could lower the bar under more control vs. having the flip the elbows around in a racked clean. Also seems the technique would be much easier to learn as my trouble has mostly been in getting the bar racked. The other trouble I have is the transition from the first pull into the second pull…anyway that’s not an issue to be dealt with in this thread…

In front squats I’m using clean racked position, figure it’s a good stretch and helps with my press start position. Also I feel I have more control over the bar this way.

I will add external/internal rotator cuff work and face pulls to my assistance work at the end of my workout, 3 sets for 12-15 reps. I was doing this for a while when I was doing SS, seemed to help. Just dropping the bench in favour of push-ups has done wonders for my shoulders however.

I will consider doing DB pressing, but unfortunatley the gym only has 5lbs increment in DB’s, I stuggle adding that much overall let alone a side. Maybe once my press gets to a “respectable level” (bw or so) with the BB i’ll make the switch. As I said, I think alot of my shoulder problems were from benching and also probably from weighted dips, which I’ve also quit doing.

What would you suggest as far as uni-lateral work? Bulgarian split squats seem to be popular, or lunges/reverse lunges? Should I do these as an “assistance” exercise i.e. in the higer rep range? Or alternate between doing front squats and uni-lateral week to week? I fear that doing heavy (i.e. 3x5) single leg work in addition to the program as i’ve set it out would really make the program alot more taxing? My recovery isn’t great expecially for leg work, with tkd being a very kick-orientated art.

Once I get bumper plates, or research these “power high-pulls” abit more I would probably take out the rows on the 3x5 front squat day and add them in instead. I think I remember reading that this is a fair trade…

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts on the program and any other advice that you can give me as far as modifications go, look forward to your reply…

Forget about cleans snatches etc for the time being. They require high motor learning to be fully beneficial and shouldn’t be a staple of your programme regardless unless your in the lead up to a comp.

3x5 is not enough stimulus on its own IMO so you should increse this or lower the reps to 3 and bring the sets up to approximately 8 to maximise the neural strenght stimulus. Of course you should be cycling the rep ranges anyway every several weeks to keep gaining optimally.

Overall like the programme and the ideas behind it, not quite how I’d approach it but closer than most of the shit I see.

One question. What rest periods are you taking between sets mate?


Thanks for the post OMC,

For a while I was doing 5x5 (on squats, presses, rows, bench) instead of 3x5, made the switch after the first stall on squats (three workouts in a row didn’t make the 5x5). As I said in an earlier post I was only doing 1x5 DL’s so I’ll get use to the extra volume of 3x5 then consider the switch to 5x5. I have the front squat workout tomorrow and i’ll do 5x5 on that, at least.

Although in an earlier post I said I would consider doing presses/pushups rows 5x5, I don’t really know, my progress seems to be comming along ok without the extra volume. Maybe after my next deload I’ll go back to 5x5 but 10-15% lighter, just to mix things up abit.

So the plan is- Switch squats to 5x5 now, get use to the extra DL volume, then I’ll switch that to 5x5, then finally switch the other lifts to 5x5 at a lighter weight once i’ve stalled.

At the moment I take rests for as long as I feel I need it. Depends on how hard the last set was. Usually 1 minute-ish, but on DL’s and squats it can get up to the 4 min-ish mark. I know that alot of people might feel that this is too long, but I think for strength purposes this is ok? I’m only basing this off what was said in starting strength, and have to admit I haven’t really researched it much. I could see the argument for dropping rest times but again, seeing as I’m making progress the way i’m doing it now, why complicate things? I can always worry about challengeing myself by dropping the rest timesafter I hit that 2xbw dl for 3x5 goal.

Anyway, thanks again!