T Nation

Advice on My Program


Been lifting for around 1 year, put on around 8-10lbs of lean muscle and reduced about 3-4% bodyfat so far! However recently i have hit a bit of a plateau, strength has decreased ect. Just incase it helps at the moment i 'm aprox 190lb, 5.9, 14-16% BF

So i decided to mix up my program, i 'm no expert what so ever, i composed this based on a 5x5 thinking that a 6x6 would bring better muscle gains (this is primarily what i 'm after) .. Here's what it looks like..

6x6 Incline Bench
6x6 Bench Press
3x15 Chest Flye

6x6 Barbell Bent Over Row
6x6 Lat pulldown
3x15 lat pulldown

6x6 Back Squat
6x6 Deadlift
6x6 Leg Press
3x15 leg extentions

6xF Dips

6x6 Bar Military Press
3x15 Machine Lat Raise

6x6 Skull Crushers
3x15 Tricep pushdowns

6x6 Seated Preacher Curl
3x15 incline Dumbell

The Idea would be to lift heavy and increase calorie intake! ( i 'm guess around 3,500 cals based on my weight 190lb). However I want to see what you guys think, i 'm not an expert and was worried this maybe a little too much volume? I thought the 5x5 was geared mainly towards strength gains; hence, i decided to add in an extra rep. The rest periods planned around 1.30-2 mins per set.

As mentioned above i 'm looking for muscle gain, your advice will be most helpful and i thank you in advance for all your suggestions, help and experience!!


Do you honestly think that one extra rep changes everything?


Have you thought about a 7 x 7 to really make some gains?


I understand your point but.. yeah, because it tips the time under tension and volume towards a more hydrophy specific workout apposed to a more strength orientated workout. This is 36 reps in total, not 25 therefore i thought the extra volume would provide a better stimuli no? As i stated i am a beginner and i 'm open to your suggestions.


Thats a really interesting point. Some people in the gym suggested that i cut the weight abit and add some extra cals, do you think say a 7x7 with one compound and 3x15 per muscle would lead to better gains without too much volume? Remember i have only been lifting one year.
Thanks for your feedback!

  1. The old model of "1-3 reps for power, 3-5 for strength, 6-12 for hypertrophy, 12+ for endurance" is a little ambiguous; it's more of a curve rather than rigid zones, i.e. it doesn't go straight from strength to endurance but more drifts through strength, strength-endurance, endurance-strength, endurance. So don't stick to that too closely.

  2. It's not that 5x5 is specifically aimed at strength, it's more a good basic beginner set/rep scheme that allows a balance between low enough reps to get a decent weight but high enough reps to get enough volume, more or less of one could negatively affect the other. But it's just a good starting place and once you're beyond beginner stage you should start personalising it for you. i.e. some will respond better to heavier weights, some to more volume.

So the key is finding that out for you, which is best, and developing your program that way. Your program should still contain some of the other though, so if you respond best to volume, focus mainly on that but still include some heavy training to maintain maximal strength, and if you respond best to training heavy, focus mainly on that but still include some higher reps to avoid sudden exertion the second you do something more than 3 times.

Either way, every aspect of your program must have reason behind it- why that exercise and not another, why that many sets/ reps, why split your body that way, why that many/ few rest days, etc? It should all come down to what your body responds best to, and the only way to find that out is to experiement. That make sense?


You should ask a mod to move this to the beginner's forum, do yourself a favor.


I think it's more
1-5 strength
6-12 size
12-15 depletion pump


I think he was kinda pulling your leg there...

OP, you're probably just not eating enough, especially if as you said you're actually losing fat. Get more calories (especially protein), or post your diet so people can see what you're eating and offer advice.


Yeah perfect sense! think ill go for a 5x5 and see how my body responds and then i guess gauge from that.
Thanks alot for your advice thats really helped!


Hahah dammit!!

Possible i 'm getting around 200-250ish grams of protein ( I weigh 190lb 14% ish BF) about 150-200 grams of carbs and try and get most of the good fats cod oil, E V olive oil, ect.
I tend to eat brown rice, chicken, stir fries, fried eggs brown bread porridge, SS milk, & supplementing protein whey & casein, and creatine.
I have not made a set nutrition plan but i don't eat shit.


Here's a good tip someone told me once upon a time. Train for strength, eat for size. You never saw a ridiculously strong person that was small.




OP, which seems more what you are after? Gaining as much size as possible, while taking any gains in strength that come along with it; or gaining as much strength as possible, while taking any gains in size that come with it?

Personally, I think total volume is much more important than how you divvy it up. In that sense, there is a notable difference between 25 total reps and 36, and I think your head was in the right place. It's definitely a game of tweaking things in small ways until you converge to the best possible path for you.

In any case, here's some food for thought. Take it as you wish. Leave yourself some wiggle room. In your training log, write something like 5-6x4-6. Then you can gauge your workout on how you feel that day, while sticking to a range conducive to your goals. And lastly, whether your main goal is size or strength, you should be hitting your legs at least two different times per week.


Again my statement remains. Doing 5 reps a set or doing 6 reps a set doesn't exactly turn something from a strength curve to a muscular endurance curve. It's focusing on details that don't really matter when really he just needs to focus on getting in the gym, training hard, and eating a lot.


Thanks alot for your advice thats really helped!

Thank you, I try to be helpful, rather than just take the pi$$ out of people like a lot on here do when someone is asking a genuine question, we were all beginners once


Yeah someone from my gym today recommended a week off from everything and then hitting the madcow 5x5 exactly with the assistance exercises, and eating tones! I've downloaded the workout sheet from the internet and it all seems really good, and works in a great progressive overload.

I think your right in the fact that the workout had too much volume, and i think someone else pointed out that it didnt hit legs well enough. I think the 5x5 will really help with the fundamentals! Just set my 5 rep max on bench which was 290lbs just got to workout the deads, squats, and bent over rows ( which i think are going to be considerably lower because i have real trouble with heavy lifts on my legs ).

I 'm 190lbs with between 13-15% BF i guess so i'm guessing i should eat around 3500cals to bulk up abit??


Thank you, I try to be helpful, rather than just take the pi$$ out of people like a lot on here do when someone is asking a genuine question, we were all beginners once[/quote]

Yeah your post was really informative!! Beginners come on here to seek advice; hence, typically clueless on 'basic' fundamentals, unfortunately some get a kick either humiliating or playing around..

Someone recommended following the 5x5 to the T, which i think is more sensible, building up strength and eating a ton will lead to good gains and also build a good base for my to work on. Unfortunately I have been a typical newbie and focused on chest, triceps, and back because i wanted as much mass in these areas as possible.. I took my 5x max for bench today and managed 290lb x5, i think my squat is going to be around 175ish... hence, the 5x5 will really benefit me overall!!

Cheers again for your posts and support i really appreciate it.