T Nation

Confused on All the New Info


Firstly I apologise if my question seems basic. I've been back into training for the last 10 months and I've been away from serious training for approx 3 years before then due to injury, work, family and other lame excuses (also weak mental attitude)

I feel I can now apply 100% commitment to training and need some program advice.

T-Nation was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say it's really got me inspired to get back into shape again. However, everything I read on here seems new. New ways to train, eat, supplements. Either it's all new or I've forgotten a lot of stuff. I come from the 3 sets of 8 reps training, and training to failure era.

I read a hell of a lot, and I aint one of those forum members that constantly ask things they could have easily found out themselves, but I think with this overload of new ideas on how to train, the principles etc its getting a little overwhelming, so I really do appreciate your help.

I've just read Poliquin Principles and really want to structure my program the way Charles Polquin recommends. But I really don't 100% understand the supersetting exercises thing (e.g. A1 and A2 etc) and how to choose what exercises

Anyway, please take a look at my plan below, and any additions, pointers will help greatly. Also I really would love someone to point out how many sets and reps are needed if I'm following a CP style program.

Goals: Build Lean Body Mass and loose fat

My Stats:
30 y/o
16 st
18% Body Fat (electronic scales)

Heaviest - 18 st @ 22% Body Fat
Leanest - 8% @ 14 st
Started Training Age 17
Power Lifted for 2 years
Martial Arts 5 years

I believe that I have got Kyposis from years of training my chest and not my back etc

I have quite large lats (well they stick out a lot) but no trap development or inner back. A physio therapist said it looks like I've overdeveloped my chest and front delts in comparison to my traps, and inner back.

What my plan is, is to train my back twice in 7 days, to try and balance my physique, here it is

Monday - Chest, Shoulder, Triceps
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - Back, Biceps
Thursday - Legs & Abs
Friday - off
Saturday - Back, Biceps
Sunday - off

I would do this for 3 weeks then change the exercises around, but keep the scheduling the same (I have work commitments etc)

Flat Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Flys
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Dumbbell Skull Crushers
Cable Push Downs

Bent Over Rows
Pull Ups
Cable Rows (rope to bridge of nose)
Preacher Bench Dumbbell curls
Incline Seated Hammer Curls

Back Squats
Calf Raises
Swiss ball crunch
Leg Raises
Cable crunches

Bent Over Rows
Pull Ups
Cable Rows (rope to bridge of nose)
Preacher Bench Dumbbell curls
Incline Seated Hammer Curls

I am extremely good at keeping a strict diet (if I do say so myself) and in taking my supplements religiously, I get a little obsessed (gets my girlfriend complaining on a regular basis)
I really just need a solid training program that I can get stuck into, knowing it's gunna do the job

Thanks in advance people


Id try and vary the back days both reps set and exercises. Hit them from even a slightly different grip, angle etc and it will not compound quite as much assure better recovery growth etc if you are hitting the back hard twice a week.

also generally with a specialization program you UP the volume and intensity on that part (BACK) and you need to put the rest in a maintenance program.

You might look at some of the specialization programs by CT the HSS-100 series etc



What's the hard part about the supersetting thing?

If the physio says you have an over-developed chest and you say you have kyphosis - you might not want to bench press on the first day.


thanks Phil, ok I will add the changes to the second back workout as you said.

Do you think I should also do biceps a second time in a week?

Hi Danger-kelly, I mean, what exercises should I combine in the A1 & A2 style. Should it be the same muscle group or not, and what exercises are good together i.e. Press and Flys (I maybe being stupid here, I think I just need clarification)


Poliquin usually has antagonist muscle groups in A1 and A2, if I remember correctly. You alternate between them. 1 set A1, then 1 set A2. repeat till complete. I like doing this with bench and rows or overhead presses and pullups. Sometimes I rest a minute between the push and the pull. Sometimes not.

They aren't supersets though. Supersets are sequentially organized and work the same muscle group. You do a set of the first exercise (say overhead presses) and then do a set of the secondary exercise (perhaps lateral dumbell raise). then another set of presses, another set of laterals, etc.

Hope that helps...


ah i see, well it doesnt appear that I can build a program to work that way if I am trying to work the back 2 times per week. Am I correct? Do you have any ideas on what scheduling would work well for this?


The first thing that came to mind when you said traps and inner back was Deadlift! Are you dead set on the split you've devised? It sounds like you're trying to even out your body after a period of over-specializing in your benching. Why not try a program that's total body or an upper lower split?

Also, compound exercises will even you out faster than anything else will, and be great for your strength to boot. Ditch most of the isolation stuff.

If you do something like Waterbury's TBT, you could put more emphasis on your back since you get to pick all your exercises anyway. If you have a serious imbalance, you probably want to minimize your benching for now - maybe once a week.

You could even try WS4SB since it is 2 upper days and 1 lower with a GPP day. Since westside is bench oriented, switch your main upper focus to the back (instead of bench) and hit it from all kinds of directions like Phill suggested.

Lots of ways to go about this.


Carnak, thanks for the post, but you've just opened the door of even more info with the WS4SB. Ive never seen this type of training before. Very interesting.

Shame there isnt a pre-made training program I can follow which emphasises back, mainly inner back. I think when I believe that they program Im following is tested and proven and works, then I train harder (maybe Im just weak minded)


No problem man. I completely understand where you're coming from wanting a pre-made program - it makes things easier sometimes. I don't think any of the programs on this site specifically focus on the back, but like I said you could easily tailor one to suit your needs.

Don't just think about upper body exercises, there are plenty of lower body exercises that hit the back such as deadlift (any variation), good morning, cleans, snatches, front squat, etc. Makes a total body or upper/lower split routine very promising for strengthening your back also.


Phill mentioned CT's HSS-100 series. He has a back specialization program in that.


Arioch, I am just reading the HSS-100 stuff now. This seems perfect.

Its hard for me to judge at this stage how much volume I will need on my back, so I'm thinking of increasingthe volume over a few weeks, and try and read if my body is recovering from it.

I have to admit that its hard trying to change the way I think about training, after many years of doing the same stuff. T-Nation has really made me feel like I know nothing about training, its quite a shock to the system. The whole idea of powerlifting exercises and strength training seems to go against evrything I have ever done/read.

Thanks for your help guys. Ill keep you posted on what program I follow, it may help others like me


Keep it simple. Your idea of gradually increasing the volume is smart.

Don't get overloaded. You need to think of weight training as a life long pursuit. Sure, new things are coming out all the time but you have plenty of time to try them out. Write down some goals and then write program ideas underneath each phase for your goals. Then, when you get there, you have plenty to choose from.

And, as a bonus, you get to keep learning while working toward that next phase of your goal. Its like a win-win in my book.