Come So Far, Not Stopping

I am awful at them and the only place to do dips is in one of the 2 squats racks so i’ll be “that guy”, but I still plan to program them. Anything I’m terrible at is where the most progress can be made.

In what i’ve been putting together, I will have one main lift where I rotate rep ranges and then the secondary lifts will be rotated every 4-6 weeks to stave off adaption and keep things fresh. For example I might do Bench, Incline DB Press, OHP, CGBP for 6 weeks, but then Incline Press becomes a different percentage incline and CGBP becomes Dips, 6 weeks after Dips might then become one of Incline BP/Weighted pushups/something else. I haven’t got it all ironed out yet but I feel this kind of programming will allow me to keep moving forward.

I’ve had nothing to do today which has allowed me to embrace my overthinking. I know it’s bad, but in many ways I enjoy it. I can also type my thoughts out here even if no one reads them so I have them noted to refer back to.

I originally wanted to stay on a heavily Modified Push/Pull type split because I’ve always enjoyed no dedicated leg days and being able to do each Press and Back exercise fresh-ish. I looked at a lot of Upper/Lower splits and whilst they seem to be the most commonly used, I just can’t see myself enjoying days just hammering away on my lower body.

I also loved squats and hinges on opposite days meaning I could do RDLs fresh. I will for the first time be programming RDLs after Squats. I haven’t done this before.

I jumped through probably 2-3 dozen different 4-day training splits from ULUL, PHUL, and Modified Hatfield/PushPulls, all the way to ones that had dedicated arm days. I kind of mixed them all up and landed on something a bit more personal to me that is a mixture of all of them. It will allow me to train Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with exceptionally minimal overlap and if I for some reason need to miss a day/reorganize, it will have no effect on the program itself.

So here we go. There will be one main movement each day with 4 sets (except deadlift only 3) but different progression protocols and rep ranges will be utilized. Secondary exercises will be rotated out intermittently to avoid adaption, stave off plateaus, and keep it enjoyable. When and what I change the variation to will mostly be auto-regulatory, usually happening every 4-6weeks. This may very well lineup with the times I feel like a deload is neccessary. Most of the variations will stay at the same rep range, although they may change based on the variation used (such as isolation movements going up to 15 reps). Exercises are not necessarily listed in the order I will always do them.

Squats - 4 sets
RDLs - 3x8-10
Cable row variation - 3x8-12
Quad dominant variation - 3x-8-15
Random abs if I have time

Bench Press - 4 sets
Pressing variation - 3x8-10
Chin up variation - 4 sets (own progression protocol)
Biceps exercise - 3x8-12
Triceps variation - 3x8-12
Fly variation if time allows/feel good

Trap Bar Deadlift - 3 sets
Quad dominant variation - 3x8-15
One-arm row variation - 3x8-12
Leg Curl - 3x10-15
Leg Extensions - 3x10-15

Overhead Press - 4 sets
Pressing variation - 3-4x8-10
Pulldown variation - 3x8-10
Lateral raises - 3x12
Biceps variation - 3x8-12
Triceps variation - 3x8-12

This isn’t conclusive and is subject to change based on how I feel/how it goes. I have never done much single-leg stuff so hope to work that into the upper days at some point. The current leg stuff is there as placeholders. I have only ever done the main lifts for legs, so anything will work well for me at this point.

Face pulls and band pulls will happen regularly as will rotator cuff work.
Ab work will be added in when time allows.

I added a triceps variation to Wednesdays Upper but it’s unlikely i’ll do it. I find my triceps develop fast and if I push it with the volume my elbows flare, especially with overhead stuff. Development hasn’t slowed down only doing one isolation for them but it’s nice to know I can easily add back more volume back in if I feel like it.

4-5mile dog walks happen every other day
1 hour of football coaching every Tuesday evening

I believe this program will give me the flexibility I want in both the workouts themselves and for when life gets in the way.


Now I gotta figure out how I jump into it based on that haphazard first “Squat” day I did yesterday. I guess I should just skip the bench work tomorrow given that I already did some, or maybe just work up to a top set. I don’t want to interfere with the start of the program, but I was never going to skip yesterday when trying to figure it all out.

(first cycle is Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun due to Queens funeral bank holidays gym closure)

Based on what you wrote, wouldn’t the bench work be done today rather than tomorrow anyway?

I’d just start in the middle and count cycles as they come around. That’s what I did with 5/3/1 BBB Beefcake after coming back from vacation.

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Sorry I understand that was confusing. Due to the Queens funeral bank holiday it’ll be Tuesday, Thursday, Sat, Sun this week but I will remedy that within the next few weeks. In the long-term it will be on the days I’ve written out.

Does it all look decent enough to you?

I never comment on a program I haven’t personally run. There’s too much human element involved for me to just look at something on paper and say “oh yeah, that’s good”. If you look at what I write in my log, it’s absolute Looney Tunes, but totally works for me. If I write out Super Squats, you’d say “that’s not NEARLY enough work”, until you get to rep 16 of the squat and realize “oh THAT’S how it works”

In general, I think it’s hard to lift weights wrong. The key variables are effort, consistency and time. Programming is WAY down there, because most trainees screw up those 3 things first.

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Fair enough. Was just making sure there were no glaring errors.

I trust that this will allow me to continue with those 3 important variables, and believing in the program can be important for them all. Time to do.

I genuinely can’t tell that unless I run it. Some folks may have that super power, but I don’t.

Hell, people got big and strong picking up rocks, haha.

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As I walked to the gym thinking about my Tuesday haphazard work out and how I could jump into my program with little interference, I realized I could do a full hinge today, a vertical press and then the normal Upper on Saturday. Skip Sunday and then i’m straight to where I want and need to be on a Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat routine with one major lift a day.

117.5kg x 8
120kg x 8
120kg x 8

Seated DB Overhead Press
24kg x 8
24kg x 8
24kg x 10

Seated one-arm row 70kg
10, 12, 12

Leg curls 40kg
12, 12, 12

Hammer curls 20kg
11, 11, 12

15kg x 20
15kg x 20
17.5kg x 25

I’m going to try to think of a note or observation (no matter how obvious) into my log on most of my workout days from now on.

Note: Don’t get too attached to a certain variation of an exercise. Doing the seated dumbbell overhead presses today for the first time in a long time left me with the feeling that progress is going to be easy for the next 4-6 weeks. This has always been my experience when changing things up. Grinding away trying to add reps or weight for months on end with a secondary exercise will just lead to stagnation and potential overuse discomfort. Not just that, but it’s frickin’ boring!


I’ve done full body type routine/splits for so long I have no idea how my body is going to react to things like 2 pressing exercises on the same day. Hopefully, I don’t have to reduce weight much because that’ll be a new kind of mental challenge.

RDLs directly after Squats is going to be interesting considering I’ve always done them fresh. I’ll be completely stoked if I can continue near where I’m already at. RDLs are probably my favourite exercise right now. Would love to hear people’s experiences who have changed from RDLs on a separate day to doing them after squats.

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15° Incline DB Press
34kg x 10
34kg x 10
34kg x 10

BW Chin-Ups
5, 5, 5, 5, 5 (might have done another 5, got talking and lost count of sets whoops)

Overhead Press
53kg x 6
53kg x 6
53kg x 6
53kg x 6

Reverse grip pushdowns
20kg x 12
20kg x 8
20kg x 10

3x30sec sprints on bike, 1min rest

Lots of equipment was taken so did the low DB incline press first. After doing OHP 2x a week for a long time I don’t actually mind regularly doing it this way round. I actually gained a couple OHP reps doing the 4 (instead of 3) sets and I felt more connected to the movement a little pre-exhausted so i’m happy enough. 4x4-6 adding 1kg each time I get 6 on all sets will be my progression method for the next month (triple progression)

Chins are so weird, BW I can do a max of around 8, but I can also do 5-6with 10kg hanging. I must be cheating a little with them weighted -I’m going to go back to the counting reps method adding reps each week rather than worrying about a set number. I’ve been thinking whether it’s that important where I place my chins as the volume will get higher compared to other back movements. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

What are peoples thoughts on reverse grip pulldowns? Some people say all you’re doing is lowering the load used, others say its better because of less internal rotation, more peak contraction and less likely to cheat the rep. I thought i’d try them out today and don’t really know what to say.

Note: Don’t have something in your program you can’t 100% justify. As I prepared to do some lat raises I saw an epic shoulder pump from the 2 pressing exercises I’d done. My shoulders have always been decent and I’ve never thought “how can I isolate that delt to be bigger?”. Jumped on the bike for a couple of sprints instead.



130kg x 1
137.5kg x 5 (Rep PR)
120kg x 6
120kg x 6
120kg x 6

122.5kg x 6
122.5kg x 6
122.5kg x 6

One arm cable row
75kg x 8
75kg x 8
75kg x 9

Leg extensions
45kg x 12
45kg x 12
45kg x 12

Cable curls
25kg x 15
25kg x 13
25kg x 14

Went to watch Wales vs Poland (football) last night and afterwards the queues for the fast food were far too big to wait around and the one closer to home has stopped being open 24/7. Got back and tried to force in some of the calories I’d made room for but ended up quite a bit lower. Thought today would go poorly because of it but absolutely smashed it.

RDLs didn’t seem to be affected too much by squatting before them which i’d never done previously. A good day in all. My lower back doesn’t feel wonderful, not bad at all really, but definitely worked more than usual. Is this likely to be something i’ll adapt too quickly?

The last rep of my squat PR likely wasn’t low enough 'cause I farted at the top of the 4th and lost concentration. It happens occasionally to us all right? ahem I still counted it though.

Note: Love this top set and back off sets on squats using a different periodization for each. Top set dials in my form so much for the back off sets and it’s way easier mentally.


Will do a 3-4mile dog walk today and got football coaching later. My back is a little uncomfortable, I very rarely get back sensations after a work out. As I say, wondering whether it’s just the Squats and RDLs together on the same day is something I need to adapt to. Or maybe it’s a form issue… I guess even cable curls if leaning back could cause discomfort. I will have to be warier.

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Depends what part of the back is uncomfortable. If it’s the spinal erectors then that’s most likely a fatigue/ work issue having to be tense during both squats and RDLS which you will need to adapt to but also keep an eye out in case the issue causes injury before adaptation.

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Yeah. It’s hard to know right now but feel it could be the lumbar as its low and quite central. I know its very minor but best to nip it in the bud and figure it out before it becomes a bigger issue. I lazily pull my RDLs from the floor at the start of the set which probably doesn’t help. The couple of times I pulled from a rack to start, my form was way off and it felt heavier. Probably psychosomatic or losing tightness when taking a step or two back.

28-09-22 (yesterdays workout)

92.5kg x 6
92.5kg x 6
92.5 kg x 6
92.5kg x 6

Lat pulldowns
82.5kg x 9
82.5kg x 9
82.5kg x 10

Seated DB OHP
24kg x 10
24kg x 10
24kg x 10

Lying tricep extensions
17.5kg x 20
27.5kg x 15
32.5kg x 10

Cable flyes
25kg x 12
25kg x 9

Didn’t find the time to log yesterday.

Loving the pumps from Upper days! I haven’t benched properly for 3 weeks so was surprised that 92.5kg 4x6 felt so smooth. I hit 3x5 and 5x5 95kg at the beginning of the year but I’ve spent the last six months doing a lot more in the 8-10 range and cutting the frequency right down (also doing a lot of DB pressing). Pair that with being detrained from messing around with it essentially having no dedicated bench session since the 7th - I’m happy with my bench today. I expect it to start flying up spending some time in a lower rep range. I haven’t done less than 5 reps since before Christmas which i’ll be doing again soon. I do still care more about my DB stuff at the moment though

Gained 4 reps on both Seated DB Press and Lat Pulldowns. The exact kind of gains I expected when cycling these in.

I did some lying tricep extensions do see how my elbows felt and they were great. I feel DOMs in my triceps for the first time in ages so hoping I can start adding some more isolation work throughout the week now I’m on an upper/lower. I did some light really slow cable flyes at the end. Sure 2 sets won’t mess with recovery. Only gonna be doing these as a finisher if I have time.

Note: Banded tricep pushdowns for high reps really warm them elbows up for heavier isolation


Jumping on board this thread now :muscle:

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Great to have you aboard @rugby_lifting


185kg x 6
165kg x 8
165kg x 8

Leg Press
80kg x 20
110kg x 12
110kg x 12

Chest supported DB Row
24kg x 12
24kg x 12
24kg x 12

Leg curls
45kg x 12
45kg x 10
40kg x 10

Absolutely smashed TBDL today. Rep PR and the backoff sets were much higher than what i’d did previously when hitting this weight (and a full 10kg higher than my previous backoff sets). Feel like had some left in the tank too!

Chest supported rows. Wow. I was worried that having to do such a lower weight I’d feel a little underworked instead of my usual cable row variations. I felt like I had wings as I left the gym though, never have I felt such engagement. Hopefully the lighter weight won’t affect my strength on the big movements - I definitely feel i’m gonna get some growth from these though. Recommend them to everyone. Form felt easy.

Leg Press & leg curls just easing in. I’ve never done leg work other than the big movements so it’ll be interesting to see how they aid them.

I have to comment on my new gym shirts I got from Amazon too. It was frosty and foggy this morning so I don’t know whether the gym was abnormally hot because they had the heating on or if these shirts made me hotter! Hopefully the former because I feel so good in them otherwise!

Note: I never had back problems as such, but it feels so great since using a belt.


Is that 48kg DBs or 24kg DBs?

24kg. I’ve been a bit inconsistent with my tracking of whether to count both of them or not. I just write it as I think it in the gym. Will try to stick to the single dumbbell number from now on.

When I was doing close-grip cable rows I was able to rep out 90kg with what I thought was fairly strict, so the chest-supported ones are definitely much harder.

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