T Nation

Could Use Input for Custom Program


This makes me come off as a demanding noob, I guess I am one, my bad.

The lifts I'll be focusing on are squats, deadlifts, incline bench (35 degrees) and bent over rows. I'll lift Monday Wednesday Friday, ABA every single week. I'm going to alternate lifts each set so that my rest periods are shorter and my second lift gets the same lack of fatigue as my first lift.

A will be squats and rows.
B will be incline bench and deadlifts.

How many reps and sets should I be doing? My goal is size and I definitely prefer lighter, longer sets except maybe on deadlifts. Squats and rows are more important to me than bench and deadlifts, hence ABA every week. I want my B day to have a little bit more volume than my A day since I'll only be hitting those lifts once a week.



A little confused since you claim to know exactly what you want and how to do it anyway.

Have you been doing this routine? If not, what have you been doing? If nothing, then why this routine, and why these lifts, in this specific ABA pattern?


Would it be possible for you to prioritize your goals?

Something like

1: Gain size
2: Use deadlift, squat and incline bench
3: Train 3 days a week
4: Alternate lifts each week
5: Use lighter, longer sets

With 1 being the highest priority. As it stands, I feel like you are greatly limiting your ability to reach your goals by putting in too many restrictions.


I don't get what the question is? Other than why you wouldn't pick a proven routine written by a professional?


It sounds like you're trying to optimize things before you know anything.

The basic ideas you seem to have latched onto:
1. cutting down rest times is good for size, so you want to superset each lift because that's what you've seen
2. you need adequate rest for deadlifts, so only once a week
3. compounds will give you more bang for your buck than isolation exercises, so you're sticking only to compound movements
4. you're convinced squats are really important, so you want to get good at them
5. you realize recovery is important, so you're only lifting 3x a week
6. you've read stuff about how its important to have a good upper chest and/or that flat bench causes shoulder injuries, so you want to do incline bench instead of flat bench

But you seem to be stuck on the rep ranges, since 5x5 and 3x5 is probably what you're seeing for those compound lifts... but you're also probably seeing stuff about how that's not good for size. You've probably also seen stuff like 3x8-12, but usually where people only do that with isolation work. So you're stuck.

At least that's how I'm interpreting what you said.

As far as pre-existing proven routines, Greyskull LP is probably a good fit for you.




Dead lift first. You'll be able to pull heavier in your desired range and get more muscle stimulus that way. If you're going for sheer size I'd also recommend considering snatch grip dead lifts because they will really help your middle and upper back fill out. Maybe something like 10 sets of three for dead lifts, whichever variation you choose. That'd give you a strength rep range so you'd pull reasonably heavy, but still get the volume you want for hypertrophy.

I think its all down to how your body responds, too. I lift in low rep/heavy weight ranges (one to five between 80 and 95% mostly, unless I do speed work and then I drop to 60 to 70%) and use five to six sets for everything apart from dead lifts (usually 10 sets of one or two reps) and three sets for high pulls and cleans (one to three reps again) and I've still put on a decent amount of muscle.