T Nation

Critique My Program...


After training with some guys for the first 4 - 5 months i decided to go off and start my own program. I didnt want to stick with theirs as i felt it was too narrow minded and monotonous. Creating my own program would help me realise how my body reacted to different exercises etc and see exactly what was out there.

Ive been on the following routine now for 2 months. I do 4 weeks on 7x5 (7 reps 5 sets obviously). Once completed i go to 4 weeks of 5x5 (upping the weights all around then when i go back to 7x5 i sustain that weight) . I however have a week between the change over where i try and shock my body, 4 days in a row of training (literally just to keep the body guessing and see how my endurance is doing). First of all id like some criticism as to whether you think that my reps/sets idea is any good or just a pile of shit.

Next is my typical work out:

Sunday - Legs:

Glute machine ( yes i know lets all laugh but i find it a good warm up for the rest of the session )

Leg Press

Lunges ( with dumbells )

Hamstring curls

Leg extension

Calfs (Done on leg press)

Major problem with this workout.. wheres the squats? Well i was getting stupidly bad cramp in both legs coming from hamstrings. I asked on here what it could be and was told its likely to be a imbalance (Used to do lots of mountainbiking so good quads.. and not much else). So layed off the squats for a while although id like some opinions on whether i should just do them and that will sort out the imbalance?

Tuesday - Shoulders and ab work

Seated Dumbell Press


Dumbell Lateral Raises

Dips - Now weighted (To hit anterior deltoid)

Another good day for you to criticise (critique?).

Wednesday - Formely Chest and Back day, now Chest and Biceps. Major thing ive noticed since this change ( on my 2nd week now ) Bench becomes really odd after working biceps hard.

Flat bench

Concentration curls, with elbow on an inclined bench, standing behind. Totally unsure of the technical name.

Incline bench

Cable Curls

Decline Flies

Standing alternate dumbell curls

Flat bench flies

Neutral grip chin ups - I used to do preacher curl but started getting bad pains in my forearms (along bone) so elimanted this exercise since for going on 6 weeks.

Friday - Triceps and Back


Lower back extension on machine - Should be swapped for deadlifts?

Close Grip Bench

Wide grip pull ups

Cable pushdown (With rope attachement)

Dumbell Bent over row

Lying Tricep Extension (barbell)

Lateral Pull down machine (plate loaded)

Saturday - Ab work

So there we have it and im fully prepared to have this all turned upside down and thrown out by the more knowledgeable members of the forum :). Since starting on this workout ive put on 5kg still a scrawny little runt but moving in the right direction...
eating everything in sight.


Where you from in England ? I feel like ringing you up and sorting this mess out.


Hang on, read in another thread you hate lifting weights ???? Maybe this won't work.


Too much isolation


thanks for the replies so far. How can i sort it out then if you say its such a mess. Why is it a mess? criticism usually comes with a form of explanation does it not?

What days have too much isolation and what should i swap these for? i posted this because i wanted to find out what was wrong and how i could change it for the better. Not to be told its shit without telling me why and how to rectify.


For the time being, check out one of Chad Waterbury's progs and do that instead.


Well i think the first thing is great work your trying to do something! That's more than most, and your obviously putting in a lot of effort...another essential. As far as your program, too much isolation someone else wrote...well they're right. And get off those machines! If you were one of my clients, I'd tell you to do 3 and progress to 4 full body workouts a week.

And put squats and deadlifts back in. Start squatting back onto a box, just search box squats on here. Your workouts should be based around 4 lifts: squats, benchpress, rows, and deadlifts or any of their variations. Since you said you had weak hams, add in some glute/ham raises, romanian deads, back extensions (1 legged if you can..but start with 2 for a while).

All the other stuff is really not needed. Your reps and sets sound ok...not perfect but you'll be fine with them. Oh and one other thing...your using the glute machine for a wamr-up? Look up the hip mobility exercises on here from Cosgrove i think...it's titled something like Uses for a smith machine. Warm-up with the hip mobility exercises in that and you're gonna feel muscles that you've never felt before. Good Luck


Don't forget pull-ups and dips. They belong on the list of core movements...and quite possibly overhead presses.


Back home now from university due to easter break, so i have a month of good diet and plenty of time to get my act together. Decided im going to start ABBH1 tommorow. Then move on to abbh 2 once im done. Whilst ive learnt a lot through designing my own program. Ive read countless posts lately about how people wish they could get their first year of training back. So time to stop fucking around and leave the program making to the professionals :slightly_smiling: thanks for the eye opening responses


Just want to say I think you made a great decision. Newbies have no business making their own programs. But spend some time doing workouts designed by people who know what they are doing not only will net you better results but also knowledge to start laying out your own programs in the future.


legs day, get rid of leg press and do squats, get rid of leg curls and do glute-ham raise, get rid of leg extensions and do split squats