T Nation

Best Drug-Free Split?


This topic is at the attention of drug free powerlifter.
The question is simple, how do you split your workout week?
Because i think that doing squat and deadlift in the same week, looks to hard for the recovery when you are drug free. Mentzer said that legs need 12 to 15 days to complet recovery.
Need advise!


Ok, I'll bite on this one. Now, I'm not the type that's going to flame you for your post, but I warn you, you're probably going to catch some heat. I've used the 5x5 program and a westside based template. I'll tell you, the westside templete works, hands down. Read the articles by Dave F$^&^ Tate on this website and write your own westside templete. I promise when composed as his articles suggest, you'll never or should never turn back. Oh and by the way, I am drug free, always have been.


You ask a powerlifting related question and then quote mike mentzer ?! You've got a lot to read man! read eveything by Dave Tate, Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey...Even though their opinions vary, these guys really know a lot about powerlifting.


That is laughable. Mentzer was wrong about many things.


I have done a routines where I have squatted up to 3 times per week. The key is not to go balls to the walls, but rather to train within a percentage range. Have you seen the 3x3 program? You squat and pull each 3 times per week, but the percentages are low for the rep range you work in during the base phase. During the intensification phase the volume goes down as the intensity is increased.



So doing squats and DL the same week, looks too hard to recover from? have you actually tried it yourself? or are you going to sit there and talk about training and how it 'looks' and not bother making any effort.
If you DL and squat once every six months, you will be recovered between work outs.


I don't talk when i train, i'm alone in my basement with heavy music playing. And i red all the book of Tate, but when i follow his workout routine i get tired, very tired after a couple of week, i tought it was probably because i'm drug-free user, i'm not saying that Tate or all westside iron warrior are using drug, i'm just looking if some one have the same probleme of recuperation of me, and to have a good opinion i had to specified that i need a drug-free user to be able to compare my recuperation skill. thank you for all your answer it helps me, but i'need more advise on squat and dead in the same week vs drug-free user recuperation skill. thank you.


If you get burnt out after a couple of weeks, you can try a few things:
1. Eat more. Lots more. Insufficient food can lead to burn out rather easily.
2. Back off a bit. Start with slightly lighter weights. You might be pushing yourself too hard for your current level of conditioning.
3. Add some light GPP on your off days. The bit of extra work might help you with recovery
4. Sleep more.

I had similar problems last year. Once I upped my food intake, got more sleep, and added a bit of light GPP on my off-days I was fine.


Bullcrap. I'm drug free and I use the westside conjugate training principles.

It's one of the templates out there that IS able to be used by both users and non-users of performance enhancers.

Make sure you're eating right, resting enough, and deloading yourself and you should recover fine.


Just like the last guy said if you get burnt out after a couple weeks back off. And if that is the case you probably also need to up your work capaciy quite often i squat to a max and deadlift to a max in the same week. In fact here is what i did the last week and a half.

Last monday
decline bench to 3RM
overhead press- 3 sets
rows 5 sets
db press- 3 sets
upper back- 4 sets

saftey squat bar box squat to 1RM
rack pull to 3RM
glute hams- 3 sets
reverse hypers- 3 sets
abs 3 sets

3 board press to 1RM
overhead press 3 sets
pulldowns- 4 sets
pushdowns- 4 sets
upper back- 3 sets
curls- 3 sets

speed box squat- 8 sets
conventional deadlift- 1RM
farmers walks
atlas stone loading
(would have done more but had other priorites to handle that day)

incline bench to 3RM
split jerk- up to semi-heavy single
rows- 4 sets
db press- 3 sets
upper back- 3 sets
pushdowns- 2 sets
curls- 2 sets

parallel box squat- to 1RM
glute hames- 3 sets
reverse hypers- 3 sets
abs- 3 sets
(Also woulda done more here but school gets in the way)

So as you can see i do a fair bit of volume and ALOT of heavy stuff every week. And most of my assistance work either at failure or 1 rep short but only on the last set. The light assistance stuff like pushdowns and curls i never go to failure.

And i'm absolutely drug free, i can't even use creatine cause i'm too broke to buy it. So dont give me this crap about legs needing 12-15 days to recover. You just need to up your work capacity.


A LOT of it has to do with your level of preparedness. There is, admittedly, a lot of volume in the Westside program. If your body is not prepared for that then you need to build it up for it. Yes drugs are a quick way to do that but with out them you just need to organize your training in a fasion that will progress you to wear you can work out like Westside does.


I will agree i used to not do this much volume, but you just have to try and up your volume every week untill you feel run down. Then back off and maybe only do one main exercise. Then you will finally get to a point where you can just tell how much volume is right for you. People try and follow cookie cutter programs and it just doesnt work. You have to find out what works for you.


As long as you don't go crazy heavy every session, your body will aclimate to volume and training a lift multiple times a week very quickly. I am drug-free. At the beginning of this year, I started using more a Sheiko approach vs. the more-or-loss Westside split I used fro a couple years. This had me squatting and pulling three times a week and benching three or four times a week. While the it was hard for the first two weeks, I was fully adapted after a month.

Along the way, I got a lot stronger and packed on a good bit of size too. I'm not saying that Sheiko is best for you- nor WS for that matter- but as long as you regulate your intensity, increasing training frequency will probably make you stronger.


thank a lot, i will begin to increase my food intake, maybe it's a big part of the puzzle, and i'll go back a bit to re-increase volume.
Thank you guys, god bless you all