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Critique My Program

Hey guys let me know what you think of the program. Basically it focuses on the big three lifts with some assistance work using linear progression. Main goal to increase strength. Looking to get a 275 lb squat, 315 lb deadlift and a 205 lb bench by the end of August.
Monday- Squat 3x5
Leg press 3x10
Leg curl or Romanian deadlift 3x10
Maybe some ab work

Wednesday- Bench 1x5
Dumbbell shoulder press 3x8
Incline bench press 3x8
Skull crushers or close grip bench press 3x8
Rear delt flyes 3x20

Friday- Squats 3x5
Deadlifts 1x5
Pullups/ weighted pullups 3x10/3x5 depending
Dumbbell rows 3x8

Basically starting light with sets
of five on the bench squat and deadlift then adding five pounds for squat and bench and ten pounds for deadlifts every consecutive workout
Current one rep maxes are squat 205 bench 175 deadlift 255

It looks a lot like the routine that I used when I worked out with a powerlifting club. The difference being that it was block periodized but at your level simple linear progression (keeping same sets and reps and just adding weight) will be fine.

Normally, this is where I say pick a routine like starting strength, westside for skinny bastards, or 5/3/1 but it looks like it could work. I’ll go ahead and give you the routine I did with the PL club I worked out with.

Monday
warmup and plyos
squat 3x6
olympic squat 3x6
goodmorning 3x10 emphasis on contraction and good form
barbell lunges 3x20/side
lots and lots of different bodyweight abs basically getting a conditioning effect

Wednesday
warmup and plyos
bench 3x6
3 board 3x6
close grip bp 3x10
delt raise tri-set (hit all delt heads in one tri-set)
abs like Monday

Friday
warmup and plyos
deadlift 3x6
goodmorning 3x10
barbell row 3x10
barbell rollouts 3x10
whatever the hell you have energy left for

Many of the PLers did extra work on Saturday or Sunday with lighter weights to bring up weaknesses. Some did these extra workouts all through the week in addition to the main workouts. I did a light shoulders and arm day on Sunday.

Assistance exercises were rotated and the reps for the main lifts changed according to Western Block periodization schemes peaking to a meet.

Yeah I’m looking to do a meet this year. Thanks for the response. Do you think good mornings and lunges would be better than the leg press and leg curls? Also do you think I should be switching exercises every few weeks like in the westside method or since I’m basically just a beginner should just milk it for all it’s worth until my lifts stop progressing and then moving on to something like Wendler 531?
Thank you

Personally, I’d switch the assistance exercises every couple weeks. Same muslce groups, just different lifts.

Yeah I think I’ll change exercises every month or two to keep thing getting stale and boring.

I would keep to the competition lifts for your main work at this level.

So basically the best thing I can do is just focus on the main lift for the day and do limited assistance work, just to hit the main muscle groups, prevent muscle imbalances and help the big lifts?

Come into the gym locked and loaded for your main lift. That’s the most important one, but the assistance exercises also serve a purpose. I wouldn’t say “limited” assistance work, I like the template you have laid out for your assistance work and I’d stick with something like that for the first couple months before re-assessing.

I’m not sure it makes sense to always be doing sets of 5 if you’re starting off light. Seems the first few weeks would be a waste. I’d just work up to something close to a 5RM for whichever of the squat/dl/bench you’re performing that day.

One way to program the main lifts could be working up to a 3RM or 4RM in the first week. Then keep at that weight each week until you can bang out 5 good reps (may only be a week’s time in the beginning) before jumping up 5-10 lbs. At your level, you shouldn’t really have any problems with your CNS burning out. But if you eventually find that happening, just take a deload one week.

A couple other thoughts:

  1. Do your deadlifts first on Friday. If you want to squat a 2nd time on Fridays, do that after the deadlifts. I wouldn’t work up to a 5RM on the Squats on Friday because it may take away something from the squats on Monday. Maybe just do some squats for reps on Friday after the DLs?

  2. Do the incline BP 2nd on Wednesdays. That’s the most important supplemental/assistance lift you have that day, so prioritize it. I’d also hit the triceps before I did the DB Military Presses (and if not doing extensions/skull crushers, consider JM Presses instead of the CG Bench Press – a lot of benching to do in one workout if you already did BP and Incline BP).

  3. DEFINITELY do ab work on Mondays. Consider throwing it in on other days. Your abs/obliques will recover quickly, and a strong core will definitely carryover to your squat/DL. Do ab work that will actually help your squat/DL though: hanging leg raises, standing sit-ups, DB/BB side bends, fallouts etc.

[quote]Zbujorian wrote:
So basically the best thing I can do is just focus on the main lift for the day and do limited assistance work, just to hit the main muscle groups, prevent muscle imbalances and help the big lifts?[/quote]

Yep. Based on what you’re saying and the routine you laid out it seems like you’ve done at least some reading or talking around about powerlifting.

The only way I would recommend a training methodology like Westside Barbell at your level is if you’re working with an individual or team who really knows their stuff and has lots of experience with the method.

Feel free to post videos of your form for the lifts on this site. I’ve done that on more than one occasion and have had great feedback.

As far as leg curls vs. GMs vs. RDLs, vs whatever I would simply rotate assistance exercises out every couple to several weeks. That way you’ll have all your bases covered. Since you’re not sure which assistance helps you the most I’d probably go with a month or more to see if it actually helps or not.

@Rock978 The only reason I’m starting off light is because I’m practicing my low-bar squat, and what you mentioned about doing deadlifts first on friday defenitely makes sense so I can focus on that lift more. I agree that core work is very important for a big deadlift/sqaut as I’m starting to now notice haha.

@Fletch1986 Yep, talking to some powerlifters at my gym haha. They use westside but they didnt recemend it until i got a decent level of strength(there 800 lb squatters so i didnt question them, haha) And i agree with i dont really know what assistance lifts help or not for me right now so I’ll keep for a month or two before switching.

I’m curious, on Wednesday did you mean to type out 3x5 bench or did you really mean 1x5? I would do 3x5 so you get more practice. Lighten the load on the assistance if you think you need to to get 3x5 instead of just 1x5.

Looks very similar to a Legs - Push - Pull split. If I were you, I’d have 3 workouts a week like you have now, and on one day, base your workout around the squat, on the next, base it around the bench, and on the next, base it around the deadlift. This will hit your entire body and is also a great way to get all 3 of your maxes up.

A sample might be:

Workout 1:
Pause Squat 5 x 5
Followed by assistance work of your choice, for example something like heavy partial squats and good mornings

Workout 2:
Pause Bench 5 x 5
Followed by assistance work of your choice, I’d definitely include some triceps work (Board Press, tricep extensions etc.)

Workout 3:
Deadlifts 5 x 5
Followed by assistance work of your choice, including direct back work and also hamstring and glut work (hip extension exercises).

Perform these 3 workouts every week, for example Squat on monday, bench on wednesday and deadlift on friday, and every week aim to up your weight by a small amount (5 pounds or so).

I meant 3x5 but eventually after I stall a couple of times I"ll move to 1x5 on bench and squat

@ChristNhero that’s kind of the idea I based it off of. Just hitting the main lifts three timesa week with assistance work for the muscle groups used In the lift. Thanks for the good ideas

[quote]Zbujorian wrote:
I meant 3x5 but eventually after I stall a couple of times I"ll move to 1x5 on bench and squat[/quote]
I’m curious as to why you would do just one set, as a beginner or at a more advanced stage? Number of sets tends to influence the rate of progression, and I can’t remember where I found it but I can remember reading a study in intermediate trainees that showed more sets allowed gains to continue for longer without a plateau - great for a powerlifter (less reason to have to rotate main lifts and make training less specific).

I find some of the methods of Pavel Tsatsouline quite interesting, such as only ever performing low-rep sets, and adding sets to increase volume, as well as sticking mainly to a few lifts with little assistance. Something to think about.

It sounds like you’ve done your homework, but make sure you keep a log so you have some idea of what does and doesn’t work for you. In addition to sets, reps, and weight you might want to record things like how you were feeling that day, how much sleep you got, and whatever else seems relevant. Heck, I need to get better about that last part lol.

@halcj I progress better with low reps because can add weight more often, recover faster, and not stall as easily than with something like 5x5

@Fletch1986 I’m keeping a log in a notebook right now, but for me getting my ass to the gym is the easy part because I like it, eating enough and getting enough rest for me is the hard part.

[quote]Zbujorian wrote:
@halcj I progress better with low reps because can add weight more often, recover faster, and not stall as easily than with something like 5x5[quote]

I see, I assumed that 1 x 5 was sets x reps.