Christian T's OVT Program

Hey all,

I’m not new to lifting weights, but I am new to many of the exercises prescribed in the OVT program. Problem is, the past two years I’ve been training upper body (I’m sure you guys know how common this idiocy is). Lately though, I had an epiphany I guess you can say, after reading many of the articles on the importance of training legs here and seeing my gains slowing down (I see absence of leg training the biggest culprit here). I guess one can train “what he sees in the mirror” only for so long. Anyways, BIG rookie mistake I guess. I love lifting though, and I figure I’m gonna do it at all, I better do it right. I started TC’s chanko diet this week and so far have not broken it (one week, what a pussy right?) So here’s the question: For someone whos got minimal experience in deads and squats (I’m more worried about my deads), is the OVT a good program to start with? (Given that it incorporates sumo deads, Romanian deads) Or do you advise I adopt a more basic program and incorporate some squats and deads into it. Remember, I just started a new diet too (chanko). Before that, I would basically eat anything and everything. Some basic stats (which may or may not be helpful):

Age 20
Weight 178 (I was 185 heaviest while lifting; seem to lose weight when I take time off)
Height 5’11.5"
Not sure about fat %
Weak Points: Back, Legs (serious lacking in calves)
Strong Points: Chest, Arms, don’t consider my Shoulders strong or weak

Oh, also I’ve taken much of the summer off from lifting (what a pussy, again right?), so basically this has been my first week back.

I welcome all kinds of feedback from you guys, very eager to learn.

i could probably find a few webcam pics i took during the summer, if that would help…

One more question, in the 3 days off, I would really like to do some kind of “cardio”- be it jogging, sprint/jogs, stadium climbs, something bc i feel I could be “out of shape” (what’s the criteria for “in-shape” anyways??) Gimme all your suggestions guys, thanks in advance.

I think i forgot to mention…im trying to gain MASS MASS MASS

I’d say to read up on form as much as possible and apply it to your training. Box squats might not be a bad idea either, although you sound like you’re probably comfortable with squats. Regardless, I think you’ll be alright and should be pleased with how much less a pussy you’ll be after a few hard months of serious leg training :slight_smile:

Cardio might want to take a backset for now while trying to gain some mass.

Tyler thanks alot dude. Yea, back squats I am ‘comfortable’ with (i don’t want to be flamed for saying this, im still a rookie). Also, I tried front squats today following the form closely outlined by Coach Davies Bodybuilder?s Front Squats. I liked them alot, felt great…you don’t wanna know how pussy of weight I was doing, but hey I don’t give a shit…i too think I’ll make serious progress after leg training. ChrisT’s OVT program doesn’t call for Box Squats, and I’m not familiar with those at all YET, so i’m going to hold off. I guess I’m gonna give the OVT program a go, starting monday.

BTW what are “1-leg back extensions”? I tried to search but came up empty, flame on if i overlooked.

No cardio!

Also, OVT is a hella tough program! Maybe use some mag10 or tribex to help out, but I doubt you’ll be up for much sprinting, etc. although some light GPP days might help w recovery.

Make sure to read up on the movements and practice them first, and make sure that everything feels right. More importantly be cool w the weight, movements like squats and deads can really mess you up if not done correctly, drop the weight and get the proper form and execution down, especially before doing OVT with them.

what is the usual ratio of back squat weight - front squat weight lifted? Front squats seem much harder, but it could be because i just started them.

If you’re trying to gain MASS MASS MASS, you shouldn’t do much, if any cardio (cardio cardio). Is there an echo in here?

OVT is an intermediate or advanced program. I would start with the Beginner’s Blast Off Program to try to get your legs caught up a little with your upper body. Another option to build a solid base of strength that doesn’t take too much brainpower is 5x5. After (and ONLY after) you’ve brought up your strength some would I go for a mass building cycle.

Just my opinion,

Dan “Barbody” McVicker

you guys keep saying no cardio, which I will probably have to adhere to anyways,since OVT is pretty brutal already, but I’ve always wondered how one can lift weights without first being conditioned (cardio/endurance/flexibility/etc).
My roomate is a soccer player and he is always pointing out how I may bench more than him, but i dont have his ‘wind’-he’s 100% right and that concerns me (no, Im not saying i even “should” be as athletic as a college soccer player).
Wouldn’t it be more ideal if a person FIRST got “in shape”, THEN hit a serious weight program. i mean i’m not in horrible shape, . But i also don’t consider myself athletic from just lifting weights.
Again I really want to blow up, but I was wondering if anyone could shed light on what I mentioned

Honestly McDicker probably right. OVT is real _uckin hard and the 5X5 program would probably be a much better choice to help you concentrate on form while building a solid leg foundation.

I thought OVT is 5x5?

tryin’, you have a serious case of conflicting goals.

Here’s a cheat sheet for you:

Goals that go together:

  1. Getting bigger and stronger.
  2. Getting leaner and in better condition.
  3. Getting leaner and stronger (see 5x5).

Goals that don’t go together:

  1. Getting bigger and leaner (in general).
  2. Getting bigger and in better condition.
  3. Getting fatter and weaker. (Wait, they DO go together–they’re just not goals.)

If you want MASS MASS MASS you have to give up conditioning to a certain extent. Ian King wrote a mass gaining program on T-Mag at one point (do a search or check out Shugs’ articles in the last few issues for a link) where he talks about the lifestyle issues that should be in place for a mass cycle. Thousands upon thousands of calories, something like 14 hours of sleep a day, and no extra movement. “The only cardio you should do is walking back and forth from the fridge to the couch and to bed.”

If you’re concerned about having “wind” you should work on your conditioning. But don’t try to go both ways at once–all you will do is frustrate yourself and burn yourself out from too much training.

Think of it in a periodization model. First I do A, then I maintain A and bring up B. Then I do C while maintaining A & B. etc. You can’t do everything at once.

Dan “Talky Talky, no more Talky” McVicker


OVT is 5x5 PLUS an isolation exercise of 5x5. The kind of 5x5 type training I’m talking about would be something like:

M: 5x5 Deadlift, 5x5 Bench
W: 5x5 weighted chins, 5x5 hanging leg raises
F: 5x5 Squat, 5x5 Bench

Or something about like that. I actually have a lot of luck just having people do 5x5 bench and 5x5 deadlift on M/W/F. (Super-simple push/pull split). Seems to work pretty well. But, since you’re trying to learn both the deadlift (and deadlift variations) and squat technique, you should figure out a split that lets you work each of them at least once a week. If your recovery allows it, twice. Keep the volume low (2x5; 3x3; 5x5; 5,4,3,2,1; 6/1; etc.), the intensity relatively high, and you can train quite a bit. (3-4 days a week on a single kind of lift is not uncommon).

Think of your workouts as “practice sessions” where you’re trying to master the technique of deadlifting or squatting heavy weight. You have to teach your nervous system to move heavy weights first… then you can bump up the volume and we can welcome you to the realms of the hyoooge.

Dan “Listen to Chad Waterbury” McVicker

Nicely done Mc.

Thanks mcvick. BTW my ass and hams are burrrrnin right now, feels great. I honestly can count the number of times i’ve had this feeling in 2 years of “lifting” on two hands. i’m fuckin ready guys!!!

Hey, i got another question- can i cheat on the chanko diet, since you said max calories…i just ate a whole box of little creme puffs at mom’s house and now taking a healthy helping of perogies :wink:

the program that you outlined,
M: 5x5 Deadlift, 5x5 Bench
W: 5x5 weighted chins, 5x5 hanging leg raises
F: 5x5 Squat, 5x5 Bench

seems the volume is a little low, i can’t imagine getting enough from just that. Plus I really don?t want to do chest twice since my chest seems to be strongest

McVick, Any ideas on how to split the beginner’s blast off…
Monday: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Quads and Hamstrings
Friday: Shoulders, Calves, and Abs
Saturday and Sunday: off

…into 2 leg days (separate hams and quads), or is the present scheme ok?

So I guess the general consensus is for me to hold off on OVT, fine…seems smarter

i dont think i can post pics here


The sample program I outlined was just a super-quick sketch of a program. You’ll notice that I later pointed out that you should split your workout so that you squat and deadlift 2 times a week each, so that’s clearly not exactly what I was talking about.

Here’s maybe a better example.

Modified Beginner’s Blast off Split:

Rep Range: 3-6 reps, 2-5 sets.

Monday: Back and Biceps (Deadlift Day)
Tuesday: Chest and Triceps
Wednesday: off
Thursday: Quads and Hamstrings (Squat Day)
Friday: Shoulders, Calves, and Abs
Saturday and Sunday: off

Monday workout: Heavy Deadlifts, Weighted Pullups, Light Squats, Rows (optional)

Tuesday: As per the original Chest/Triceps workout

Thursday: Heavy Squats, Light Deadlifts (or light Deadlift Variation)

Friday: As per the original Friday plan.

I’d use this split for 4-6 weeks. You should feel nice and confident with both your squats and deadlifts before you decide to move on to something else.

Remember, with the calories, it matters what you’re eating, too. That’s why there’s a section in the “Beginner’s Blast-off Program” about keeping a food log, which is incredibly important for either gaining mass or losing fat.

I hope you find this useful. I bet you’ll get a lot stronger in the next 4-6 weeks.


weighted pullups might be out of reach for me, i can barely do 3 sets of 6 regular ones

do you recommend I try the Mag-10 Plan for Success?

the prices at the store here seem a little outrageous, even with the buy 2 egt two free, no? forgive me for poiting this out, im a broke college student!!