T Nation

Creating My Own Routine


So I have known about T-Nation for almost about 8 months now and I have been trying many of the programs, the only problem being I get on a program (I have tried WS4SB, Big boy basics, Superhero workout by thib, and ABBH) the problem is though i start one and then i switch quickly to another one. I used to be supermotivated when I was doing my own workouts (even if they were crappy isolation based ones because I was unknowledgeable) but I would like to get back to it with what I have learned, I was wondering if you guys/girls can see anything wrong with the one I have planned. My main goal is strength. I hope to switch up excercises every 4 weeks taking the 5th week as a semi resting week of 3x8 work before hitting the new set of excercises in week 6. SO with that said here is what my first week will look like:

Day 1, Chest/Tri's
A. 5x5 of a flat bar bench
B. 5x5 decline dumb bench
C. 5x5 of dips
D. close grip bench 5x5
E. tricep pushdowns 4x8
15 mins of jogging

Day 2 Legs
A. 5x5 of bar squat
B. 3x10 lunges
C. 5x5 of leg curls
15 mins of jogging, ab circuit

Day 3 Back
A. 5x5 deadlift
B. 5x5 bent over rows
C. 5x5 pullups
D. 3x8 seated rows
E. 5x5 shrugs (dumbell)
F. 5x5 bar curls
g. 3x8 overhead cable curls (standing)

Day 4
30 mins HIIT

Day 5 shoulders
A. 5x5 overhead press
B. 3x8 one arm side lateral raises
C. 3x8 machine reverse flyes
15 mins jog

Day 6 repetition full body
A. incline bench 4x12
B. lat pulldown 4x12
C. front squats 3x12
D. upright rows 4x12
15 mins HIIT

Day 7 OFF no cardio

then repeat! I am actually excited about this and I have really been working it at the gym with motivation. The cardio is also important to me as a put on weight fast (former fatty). But ya how does it look? I tried to incorporate all the different movements (vertical, horiz.) on the excerceises, any suggestions? is it too much? not enough?


If your goal is strength, ditch the split body part routine, and lower the volume. In my opinion 5x5 is crap for gaining strength. Want to gain strength? Work up to max triples and slam more weight on that bar every time you train, not wait 10 years to get 25 reps with one weight.


so your suggesting switching it to a 4 day workout, upper body max, lower body max, and repition days for both?


so if i were to switch to a style like WS4SB, a 4 workout a week (upper body max, lower body max, repition for each) what kind of set/rep scheme then? work up to triples for the max days? and 3-4x10-12 for the rep days? and how many excercises per body part for the days?


That's one way of doing it. You have to take into consideration what you just did in your last routine. Rep ranges? Exercises? I would never perform one exercise for more than 12 weeks (where I would then substitute it with a comparable exercise), and never in the same rep range for more than 4 weeks.

Keep your workouts short and intense. Work up to a max triple in the main exercises, and also use heavy weight in assistance exercises.


I trying this new fad called uh, jogging. I believe it's jogging or yogging. it might be a soft j. I'm not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It's supposed to be wild.


not to be rude man, but i have been jogging for 4 years now and it helped me lose 150 pounds, so i would hardly call it a fad i am taking part in.


Obviously you've never seen Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy.


i wouldnt deadlift the day after i did squats and other leg exersises.


-Too many sets, you need AT MOST 25 sets, 5-15 or 10-20 is better.
-Not enough variation
-Bad set/rep setup for strength training, and what the heck are you including tricep pushdowns etc if you're strength training for?

Solutions (in order):
-Read Waterbury's articles: The Set Rep Bible, Design Your Own High Frequency Program, and Waterbury's Top 10 Tips. Utilize push/pull, don't do chest/tri and back/bi. Horizontal push/pull and vertical push/pull will be much better groupings
-Use the set/rep bible to add different rep schemes within the week
-Investigate westside methods if you're TRULY interested in building strength, but why just strength? Are you going to be powerlifting? Again, drop the tricep pushdowns etc.

Finally, don't do squats the day after deadlifts!


This routine wouldn't be too terrible if you were looking for hypertrophy, but if you're serious that strenght is your main goal then you've got it pretty backwards. You have WAY too much volume, and your rep ranges are too high. West Side has probably the best template for strength specific training right now. Basically you need to remember that strength is mostly a CNS effect.

1) Train with a higher percentage of your 1RM
2) Train more frequently
3) Train with less volume
4) Rotate your max exercises regularly
5) Work on your weak points
6) Buy science and practice of strength training by Zatsiorski