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Confused about My Program

Hey everyone. I have been in the gym for about 2 years now. I started with a goal to get fit and drop some weight but as I got more serious into it I found I had a focus on getting stronger. I do a career where strength is a good thing to have on your side in hard times. I have also used the gym and gaining strength to distress from my job. I had to take some time off due to surgery and when I got cleared I decided I was going to do the starting strength program to get my numbers up. I started reading the book and doing the program and my numbers went up and I broke PRs that I never had hit before.

I posted frequently on forums and tried to get my form correct but it seemed like I wasn’t getting it right. I had been told by many people I needed to find a starting strength coach and looked into it a few times but every time I looked into it I couldn’t get help without spending $800 or more. Felling I was getting scammed I asked around about my form on another group forum and was offered some free coaching advice. I spoke with the guy and he has been helpful and even built a program but im a little confused by the program and worried its too much and that ill burn out or regress.

I was doing the 3 main lifts every other day- squat press DL one day than Squat bench DL the next workout. Now the program set up for me is a 4 day program. Day one is a circuit of shoulder and upper body movements, day two is legs focusing on a heavy squats. Day three is bench focused and some arm\chest exercises followed by the last day which is dead lifts and speed squats followed by some ab work.

My issue is the set up is strange to me and the recovery is a bit rough. Its a mon, tuesday, thursday, Saturday plan. With my lifestyle and work schedule the workouts can easily last an hour and a half and I don’t always have that type of time to put into a workout. I hate to bail on a program but I also know a program only works if its something that the person can get behind and stick with it. Am I missing something?

If you don’t have time to do it and you can’t recover from it then don’t do it? If you look online (this website even) there is a ton of beginner powerlifting routines to pick from and probably some that are better suited for your life and recovery. Adding to that are you eating and sleeping enough to actually recover from your sessions because that may be the problem.

It would be helpful if you laid the exact routine for a better critique. Lay out of exercises, sets, reps, percentages, rest periods, ect

Sleep might be some of the issue but I am used to running on limited sleep. I have two kids under the age of 2 and I work a mid shift so sleep is kind of strange. I have been focusing on eating better and getting in my macros which before hand I just ate no moderation. I also gained weight quickly. The program is laid out like this

Monday
Bird dogs 10 x 10
Mcgill Crunches 10 x 10
10 round circuit of
10 Barbell shrugs
10 Cable rows
5 hammer curls
1 drop set Amrps curls
1 drop set amrps reverse curls

Tuesday
Bird dogs 10 x 10
Mcgill crunches 10 x 10
Squat heavy up to a set of 5 for RPE 7-8 adding 5lbs each week
Squat 80% of 5 rm for sets of 5 till form breaks
Leg press 3 x 50
hamstring curls 10 x 10
leg extensions 10 x 10
Calf Raises 10 x 10

Thursday
Bird dog 10 x 10
Mcgill crunch 10 x 10
Heavy set of 5 for RPE 7-8 spoto press
2 amrps bench press 60% add 5 lbs each week
Reverse grip incline dumbell press 5 x 15
10 round circuit:
15 tricep extensions
10 alternating front\lateral raises
10 face pulls
cable flies 6 x 25
rear lat flies 6 x 15

Saturday
Bird dog 10 x 10
mcgill crunches 10 x 10
Heavy dead lift set of 5s to RPE 7-8
80% Paused DL 3 sets of 5 add 5 lbs each week
Speed squats 60-65% 3 x 5
ab wheel\ab wheel 3 sets till failure

That program is stupid. If you don’t ever plan on competing in powerlifting I’d suggest looking into 5/3/1. If you do plan on competing there is a ton of programs free online that would be way better than this one, you’ll just have to look around a little. powerliftingtowin might be a good place to start. That website does a critique and general breakdown of a bunch of popular programs so you could scan through them and see which one jives with you and continue research from there.

I did 5\3\1 for a bit but stopped because I didn’t feel it was working and the weight wasn’t going up like I wanted. I would stall out and plateau easily. But I have had the pull to go back with more accessory work added in. I did the BBB and got hurt but after some rehab and experimenting I think I had an issue that was causing the “Injury” and a slight case of mild TOS on top of it.

I’m not sure what version you were doing but he has a ton of different challenges online and his newest book 5/3/1 Forever tweaks the program and gives you a ton of different variations to choose from and each has the goals listed at the beginning of the program so it’s easier to choose for whatever you’re focusing on (strength, size, conditioning, combination of two or more)

That program sucks. Way too much volume on assistance exercises and barely any benching. Almost anything would be better.

I second @Kamel. 5/3/1 would be a good option. If short on time, you can literally just do 3 working sets of one movement and call it a day.

And yeah, BBB could potentially cause an injury if you’re not careful - the high volume on squatting and the two types of pressing is a lot on the shoulders. (I don’t know if your injury was with the shoulder or not, but just saying.) It still works pretty good, you just need to be careful.

But you should check out his other programs. I’m going to be buying the book soon, as I hear it’s got tons of different variations that meet a lot of different goals. I bet you could find something in there.

I’ve done this before and really liked it:

Day 1: Squat and Bench
Day 2: Power Clean and Deadlift
Day 3: Front Squat and Press

Used the 5/3/1 progression method and got stronger. Did minimal assistance work - just some pull aparts between sets of pressing and chinups. It still doesn’t take too long - only 6 working sets a workout, plus some warmups, and no assistance movements are necessary, but your legs, hips, back, and shoulders will get plenty strong.

In the mean time, maybe you should check this out:

That’s pretty good. My girlfriend does it now that she’s in school and is working. I think the exact program is twice a week for 20 minutes (more like a half hour-ish), but it has options to go more often, or twice a day, and gives an idea for some “conditioning” at the end. I just think it’s good because it hits most muscles with some big compund lifts, and doesn’t take too long, while working strength and hypertrophy. You won’t squat 800lbs or look like a pro bodybuilder, but you’ll improve on it.

Look up the bridge program. It’s an intermediate/advanced strength program. Read the whole ebook there’s a lot of information in it. It’s a free book as well and easy to find.

I have looked at the bridge but was afraid of the rpe. Now that I have done some rpe I will take another look again. I have been considering grey skull lp as I don’t think I have maxed out on lp or a 5/3/1 4 day with one main lift and some bodybuilding accessories. Maybe the 5’s progression template

Yeah RPE takes practice but they do have a graph that kinda gives % and reps and what RPE it would be. It’s towards the bottom.

Here’s something to try that doesn’t involve a calculator.

Find a heavy but able to do on any day 5 and 3 rep weight. Usually you’re looking at somewhere in the 70-80% range but it isn’t etched in stone.

For six weeks follow this plan: 5-5-3-5-5-1. Week 1+2 are 5s. Week 3 is triple. Week 4+5 are 5s. Week 6 is a single.

Again, make it a weight you can handle each week without a problem and yet will challenge you. One heavy set. That’s it. When that weight begins to move easier or faster or your 1RM improves, bump the weight up a little for your one heavy work set.

On the sixth week that you work up to a heavy single, make sure its smooth. No grinding. Leave your ego at the door.

Above all make sure the weights you use allow for perfect technique. Do not use a weight that will compromise your form. This also an anti-ego thing. Do the movement correctly first.

Good luck. This allows you to just go in a get after it. Keeping the same weights and using speed and ease as a measurement of getting stronger is much better than always trying to increase by a little every week. Get the body to adapt to the weights you’re using so you can get stronger. If you’re always waving different weights back and forth its difficult to tell where your strength is.

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Yeah that plans a bit retarded, if want a tried and true linear approach try this Dave Tate template below or madcow 5x5(spreadsheet version) are good picks…

how can your weight go up doing 10x10 ?