T Nation

Addressing Training Program Faults


Today when aiming for a new max, my workout went to shit; and as a result I decided to stop lurking and ask for some help in pointing out the obvious. I'm stubborn and even if I know certain things may be screwing me over, like too much volume, I acknowledge I definitely don't know everything and decide to keep going with it on a whim that its not the issue.

Any advice is appreciated.

Heres the general layout, it tends to vary at times considering I work 60-72 hours a week.

Thanks, Ryan.

Sunday -

Morning - ME Dead/Squat

Max Effort Deadlift and Shrugs (quantity of shrugs added on during Deadlift lockout)

5 x 50%
3 x 60%
1 x 70%
1 x 80%
1 x 90%
1 x 95%
1 x 100%

Max Effort Zercher Squat

5 x 50%
3 x 60%
1 x 70%
1 x 80%
1 x 90%
1 x 95%
1 x 100%

One Arm Row

Evening - Shoulders

Military Press / Behind the neck press - half of the set is MP, half is behind the neck.

Upright Rows

Monday - Bicep and Forearm/Grip

Warm-up / Volume training

- DB Curls		Preacher Curls
- Hammer Curls		
- Concentration Curls

All x 8 in a circuit repeated 3 times.

DB Curls

5 Sets

Hammer Curls

5 Sets
Preacher Curls

5 Sets

Forearm Circuit

- Wrist Curls		- Wrist Rolling
- Reverse Wrist Curls	- Plate Pinching
- Wrist Twists		- Farmers Walk

All x 8 in a circuit ran 3 times

Tuesday - Dynamic / Volume Bench

- DB Press 	- Incline DB Press		- Wide Grip Flat		- Incline Wide 
- Flys		- Incline Flys			- Mid Grip Flat		- Incline Mid
- Tate Press	- Incline Tate Press		- Narrow Grip Flat	- Incline Narrow

All x 8 in a circuit (essentially no rest) x 3

Dynamic Bench Press


Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - Dynamic/Volume Dead/Squat

Warm-up /Volume training -

	- Deadlift			- Good mornings			- Shrugs
	- Front Squat			- Military Press
	- Back Squat			- Rear Military Press

All x 8 in a circuit x 3 (Military Press and Rear Military Press variant)

Dynamic Deadlift


Dynamic Zercher Squat


Bent Over Rows

Friday -ME Bench


5 x 50%
3 x 60%
1 x 70%
1 x 80%
1 x 90%
1 x 95%
1 x 100%

Tate Press/Dumbbell Press

5 Sets


To failure

Saturday -Rest


I'm probably more novice than you, especially when it comes to programming, but that does seem like a whole lot of volume. Also, the intensity-all of the no-rest circuits, supersets, and great sets-might be hurting you some as well.

So maybe it's time to dial back the volume and intensity of your accessory exercises?

One thing that would help us out is letting us know the trend of your workouts...are you having more and more workouts like this? are you missing your lifts? Having a hard time progressing, etc.? I mean, if this schedule works for you, and you had one shitty workout-why fix what might not be broke?


Numerous workouts like this lately, and missing lifts frequently.
I guess it is pretty obvious. I need to drop the volume down. I might eliminate my volume/dynamic days all together and see where that takes me.

I think in reality its just a hard pill to swallow for me.
As it feels so good to lift frequently and have days where I just go to town without even really resting.


Maybe your workload is having an impact as well. The body can only endure so much stress before it begins to have performance issues. Sleep disturbances, hard, strenuous occupational exposure, poor/insufficient nutrition are some of the bigger issues.

Maybe just a few weeks or 1 cycle with less volume/intensity will be enough to get your edge back. Then you can slowly add more volume in until you find the tipping-point again.

I'm a lot like you: Once I have found a program and tailored it to my needs, I'm less inclined to modify it-even if there are some obvious reasons to make changes. Hell, I used 5/3/1 for a full 12 months before making changes (to a modified WSBB program) that I'll likely end up reversing anyways. I'm doing a lot of volume right now, and I'll have to drop it if I start missing lifts.

Good luck.


Why are you doing two Max effert movements in one day?
And what the hell are your goals?
Where the hell did this template come from?


x2. Two MEs in one day. No bueno bro. Sounds like you have a hefty schedule but this isnt doing you any good.


The two Max Efforts in the same day has been a part of my regime for quite some time. A friend of mine set that for me quite a while ago and I've always seen progress from it.
As for goals, I would like to compete PL and SM one day. Currently aiming to gain significant strength and mass.

A portion of this template was designed for me, and than other aspects have more or less transformed into what they are now through midworkout decisions and some warm ups that got out of hand and than became volume training. Regardless, its gotten out of hand, and now its hindering my progress. Time to take a step back and keep it simple I suppose.


Yep simple is what is needed.

You are training a freak of a Westside plan and also training twice on Sundays?

If you want to do Westside read up on it more, reduce the lifts to what are needed and rest more.

Have your lifts stalled and started going down? (I bet they have) This is a key indicator of trying to do too much.


How long have you been truly lifting consistently? A 5x5 template like Bill Starr's or Madcow's comes to mind as good programs that will focus you on strength and mass(mostly strength) without it messing with your recovery


How strong are you right now and how long have you been lifting? At first glance, Id cut all the volume stuff from the DE days and add some assistance work after the ME excercises instead. Also, you´ll probably be better off with one ME excercise instead of two on Sunday.


I'd try something simple like 5/3/1 triumverate, and go from there. Your body will probably thank you for the reduced volume, and you may see some nice gains. The 2 ME movements in one day would have me in a coma for the rest of the week. Congrats for being able to do it as long as you have!


Drop the ME, no use for testing strength every week, you need to build strength..

Drop the circuits, you need to focus on your important movements.

And then you need a whole bunch of volume and frequency.



My lifts started going up when I cut out a lot of stuff. I train 3 days a week. Each day focuses on one max effort lift; bench, squat, deadlift. Accessory stuff cycled in. A smart man once said; more is not better, more is just more. It felt 'wrong' to me to cut it back but boy did it work well.


Do you realy need a whole day devoted to arms and grip? That seems pretty useless.

If you are serious about competing in PL do regular squats. You need to develop your technique as well as your strength in that lift and the only way to do it is to actualy squat. Zerchers are great but there is just no substitute for squating.

I'd cut out the arm day and instead of doing two ME lifts on the same day I would do one in place of the Arm Day.

Most people start by following a template to the T, and then as they get more advanced they start making changes. You need to get on a program and just stick to it for a while. Don't try to get cute with the programming just yet. Do your main lift and maybe 3 assistance exercises.


Listen to the little lady ,she speaks the truth.


I overtrained just looking at your program. You only have a day separating your evening shoulder workout and your dynamic bench workout... which consists of 12 exercises done in a circuit fashion. Your max effort bench day looks doable, but once again, a sinlge day separates it from your Sunday evening shoulder session. I don't know any aspiring PLer or SM who trains like this.