3 Day PPL Program Critique?

Hello, everyone!

I am currently 19 years old, 6’1(185cm) tall and weigh 203lbs(92 kg)(I have just ended a 8 week cut from 220 lbs - 100kg).

Training history:
I have been training consistently for 4 years. My first two years were spent doing a bro-split(chest and biceps, back and triceps, shoulders and traps, legs and abs, arms in a 5 day split) but I wasn’t using progressive overload, as people were telling me lifting weights is dangerous and I could get injured lifting heavy weights(anything over 100kg basically) so I was doing the same thing over and over only increasing the weight for the accessories, but not for the compounds.

Two years ago, I discovered powerlifting and I started training for strength. This is where the paralysis started, trying a myriad of programs when seeing progress stop. Over time I started concluding that the high volume approach that many programs are using now is quite time inefficient(doing 6 sets of paused squats rpe 7, 8 and then 401294814 for bench leaves you only tired) and looking through my notebook, I can see that I’ve made progress only on programs with AMRAPS where I could really push it. It’s very hard to truly gauge RPE and it is very easy for me to overshoot it and do 20 sets to failure, wrecking myself in the process. I discovered Mr. Carter’s work and saw that his approach is similar, pushing intensity on lower volume.

My 1RMs are:

  • Squat : 140kg(308lbs)
  • Bench : 100kg(220lbs), but was 240 before the cut
  • Deadlift : 150kg(330lbs)
  • Overhead Press : 65kg(143lbs) estimated now, was around 5kg higher before the cut

While ultimately pursuing strength, I believe I should first get as jacked as I possibly can, because there’s no strength without a solid foundation. You can learn powerlifting technique later and focus on big weights after you’re jacked, so you actually have an engine to work with.
While reading through Mr. Carter’s articles and his blogspot, I made the following program. It is a 3 day per week PPL(I cannot train more frequently until the summer comes, I can add time to a session though):


  • Bench Press 8-12-8 principle
  • Dips AMRAP in 10 minutes
  • Incline DB Press 8-12-8 principle
  • Seated DB Overhead Press 8-12-8 principle
  • Cable Flyes 350 method
  • Triceps Pushdowns 350 method

I think it might be a little too chest-oriented


  • Barbell Rows 8-12-8 principle
  • Chin ups AMRAP in 10 minutes
  • DB Row 8-12-8 principle
  • Supinated Lat pulldown 8-12-8 principle
  • Seated Row 350 method
  • EZ Bar Curls 350 method


  • Squat 8-12-8 principle
  • RDL 8-12-8 principle
  • Leg press 8-12-8 principle
  • Leg curls 350 method
  • Leg extensions 350 method

My back and biceps are a little smaller than I’d like them to be able to call me proportionate.
For cardio I run a session of 30 minutes/week and do hill sprints(also a session per week). I wonder if when I stall I should reduce the rep-range for compounds and the number of accessories(peaking) and then start all over with hopefully increased weights.

Thank you!

Looks decent to me. I don’t like the AMRAPs though. I’d either take them out or just do 1 set at the end of the workout.

Knowing what I Know now if you want to do push, pull legs at your age keep it basic, 2 maybe 3 exercises per body part,
My opinion is you have to much going on especially back and leg day!
But the main thing is keep it simple and just progress. Good luck my man

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Check out Paul’s book base building for powerlifting.

On leg day I’d tweak it a little

  1. Leg curl 8-12-8
  2. leg press: 8-12-8
  3. weekly rotate between hacks and leg ext (350 method or just a higher rep set with a added 50% set
  4. RDL 8-12-8

Unless you just enjoy squats. High bar smith squat is more quad focused, could do that instead of hacks.

How long have you been training?

This is it. Thank you for your interest!

So basically you’ve not done anything really consistently the whole four years…more or less.

So for two years, I did bro-splits.
Then, for six months, I did Stronglifts 5x5.
Afterwards, three months of 5/3/1 for beginners.
The gym got closed for one month, I could only do chin-ups, push-ups and bodyweight squats. I did plenty in that month not to lose weight/size.
I did another one more month of 5/3/1, my lifts started going down.
Switched to nSuns, saw great progress for two months, but I started college so I couldn’t go 5 times a week.
Switched to Greg Nuckols 28 free programs beginner for 4 months. Stalled.
Switched to GZCLP 4 days in winter vacation, saw great progress, but college was starting back soon so I couldn’t continue.
Switched to Sheiko beginner for two months, saw technique progress, but no weight on the bar.
Switched back to GZCLP 4 days and did it all summer, again great progress, loved it, but fall came and college started again, so no time.
The last two months, I’ve been doing some barbell medicine stuff, but I started going to the gym for 2.5h per session, way too much.

And here I am now. I KNOW, I KNOW. It is all my fault, because I didn’t think for myself. This is the biggest mistake I’ve done, not thinking for myself, trying to be “smarter” by following cookie cutter ass programs, I KNOW. I’m trying to change that, I’m trying to think for myself when it comes to the gym, to find reasons for every movement and exercise I do. I have run a week of the program that I wrote here and I’ll try to milk it, I’ll try to make small changes when I stall, I’ll try to think for myself when it comes to this stuff.

Cookie cutter programs work FINE so long as they are grounded in good training principles.

Why not just run my push, pull, legs split and read that article?

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I know the article. If you refer to the 3 day PPL(I can’t do more than 3 days right now), I don’t really know what to do for “periodized work” (and of course, I don’t expect you to tell me as I know you need to get paid, too, absolutely normal).
I know you like over warm-ups so maybe:

  • Bench: hit a over warm-up, substract 15% and do as many sets of 7 as possible, then when sets fall under 8 reps, substract another 10% and continue, looking over time to push all sets(5 maybe) to the first “substract 15%” category
  • Squat: same but sets of 5
  • Deadlift: same, but sets of 3

After all sets are moved to the first category, increase the single. This is what I thought, I’m not sure if it works or not.

If you don’t mind, what is wrong with the program I initially posted? Thank you.

Dude holy crap…do you usually suffer from this much over thinking in everything you do???

Honestly, yes, i know it can be annoying.

Yeah I don’t work with that because eventually it becomes a question about a question about a question about a question. Samuel on here had the same issue.

You need to settle on 4-5 movements per session and just get progressive stronger and stop worrying about all the f’n details. I write this EVERYDAY to intermediate guys.

This is what I’m trying actually, listening to you. This is the program I made. I’m trying to think for myself, incorporating what I read and melding it into my own principles. I really liked the 8-12-8 and the 350 and here they are. This program is why I made the topic in the first place.

Then just use it and see what happens. Stop needing a co-sign from someone else to try a routine.

Just go try it out for 6-8 weeks.

Will definitely do, I just didn’t want to do a stupid mistake. It’s just until I learn more about my training needs. Thank you again!