T Nation

Another 'Critique My Program and Plan'


Height:183cm (6 feet)
Weight:86kg (189lbs) - Big ass and thighs. Most of my fat is held on my butt, upper thighs and lower abdomen.
BF: ~ 20% (need to get this checked)

I haven't checked my 1rm but will do so in the coming weeks - I train at home, alone and my housemates are rarely around to help spot me for a 1rm. I've got a bit of mass but I'm fucking weak. I've been traning seriously for about 3 months.

5x5 numbers are

B.P: 67.6kg / 149lbs
SQ: 82.6kg / 182lbs
D.L: 82.6kg / 182lbs

I've been starting low with both squat and deadlift and increasing weight each week and feel that my d.l and squat will be up by 20-30 pounds in no time. When dealifting heavy I can bust out at least 3 more reps and still feel something left in the tank

  • Long-term goal is to improve my soccer performance (I play as a center back and as a central midfielder) and drag my physique along with it. My skills have always been my strength and only really let me down as I get fatigued. My weakness has always been explosiveness, speed and endurance.

  • Currently off season. I have around 5 months before the season begins around Easter, with pre-season beginning around February which is s.s cardio, hiit and speed and agility work.

My plan is to build a basis of strength with mainly compound 5x5 movements and start phasing in some more explosive work and sprinting around January-February. Starting by implementing some power shrugs - I've read that the progression up to Power Cleans should begin this way - my wrist/shoulder/triceps flexibility does not allow me to rack Power Cleans without hurting my wrists (I'm working on it with static stretching).

Basically I plan the progression into the season as follows.

Strength - Strength/Explosiveness - Agility, speed and conditioning.

Monday: I play futsal (indoor soccer) 40 minute game with ~ 2 minute half time.

Tue: 5x5 Lower Strength work
- Box Squat
- Deadlift
- Core circuit (Planks, birddogs, etc)

Wed: Lighter Upper
- Military Press 3x8
- Bench Press 3x8
- Chins 3x8/max
- Floor Bench Press 3x8

Thursday: Rest or if I'm feeling up for it; run S.S ~ 45 minutes.

Friday: 5x5 Lower Strength work
- Power Shrug
- Squat
- Bulgarian S.S
- Core stability work.

Saturday: 5x5 Upper
- Bench Press
- Military Press
- D.B Row
- D.B Curls (just to balance out the elbow extension with some flexion)

Sunday: Off

So let me have it. What do you think about my program and plan?


Great way to start a post. A+

I'm a big fan of upper/lower splits. I'm currently doing one myself. If I were running a program like this I would really only change two things.

1) I would add more pulling exercises. On this type of split I would keep my total number of pulls equal to my total number of pushing exercises. I would also try to keep about an even balance between horizontal and vertical pulls. Maybe add in a pull down and a cable row or barbell row.

2) I would work in all rep ranges. I would set up something like this

Day 1 - Lower 3-5 reps
Day 2 - Upper 8-12 reps
Day 3 - off
Day 4 - Lower 15+ reps
Day 5 - Upper 3-5 reps
Day 6 - off
Day 7 - Lower 8-12 reps

So over the course of 8 days you have hit everything 3 times and worked a variety of rep ranges. You can then fit exercises to the day best suited for them. You can also work the same exercises twice in a week, say bench for 5x5 on the heavy upper day and speed bench for 1x15 on the high rep upper day. Lots of options.


Thanks for your input.

I'm definitely going to put a bit more time into the higher rep range with my upper work. 8 reps feels like a lifetime after only really working 5's.

After playing soccer for so long I can go heavy on lower, compound movements for 5 and dig deep and hit 8's or 10's without such a burn - my form just starts to drop off so I try to avoid it unless I'm really in the mood for some punishment.

Working in all ranges does seem to be a bit too general to me though. Isn't that more suited to a bodybuilder approach? I saw this vid of Cressey explaining the speed-strength continuum and what I took from that was that I have only ever really worked on the speed/strength side of the continuum and should be focusing on the other end with my lower work.


I've switched the floor press to d.b press as I really like them and the core work involved.


Coaches have to have something to talk about. Working in all rep ranges means a greater variety of stimulus for your muscles, I don't see how that could be a bad thing. It also means that you can play with the energy demands of a workout, for instance, my lightest days (15+ reps) are often my hardest, really burning out all of the reserves on nasty hard 2x15 sets. Alternately you can use a high rep day as a recovery day to get extra work in a few days following a brutal strength session.


Thanks man, I'll keep that in mind. I was planning to implement more specific de-loading weeks when I felt particularly trashed. I keep most of my assistance work in the high-rep range as it is.