T Nation

Critique my workout

Hi all, first post. I’ve been hanging around over at IM, but I’m looking to see what you guys have to say.

First off, I’m 19 years old (20 in a couple weeks), 6’4" and weigh 200 pounds. I’ve recently revamped my workout and would like some opinions. So far I’ve only redone my Chest/tris day, it looks like this:

1.) Bench Press, 3 sets, 8-12 reps. Warmup was the bar, 10 reps.
1st set, 95 for 10, 2nd set, 115 for 9, and 3rd was 135 for 4, I might have been able to get 5-6, but no spot and didn’t wanna drop the bar on myself.

2.) DB Flys, 3 sets, 8-12 reps. Already warm. 15lbs in each hand for 10, 20 in each for 10, and then 25 in each for 8. Last set was a struggle, form somewhat degraded towards end.

3.) Incline press, 3 sets, 8-12 reps. 65 for 10, 95 for 5. Was dead at that point. Need to go lower I think.

4.) Skull crushers, 8-12, 3 sets. Using ez-curl bar. 35 for 10, 45 for 10, then 55 for 5. My elbows were going out on the last set.

5.) Seated dumbell tricep extension. 3 sets, 8-12. 1st was 25 for 10, 30 for 8, 35 for 6. Last set my elbows were going out quite a bit.


My goals are increased mass and strength. I wanna get big :slight_smile: I’ll post my other days later but I just wanna know if this looks okay first.

  1. For hypertrophy, rep range should optimally be 5-6 (Reference: Strength Training for all Sports, as reccommended by Poliquin). This range will also work very well for strength gains, whereas 8-12 won’t.
  2. I would do the flies at the end of your workout, since they are an isolation movement will not add strength or stimulate much hypertrophy (Some bodybuilders would recommend you add flies to the BEGGINING of your workout to pre-fatigue the pecs, but I would be wary of anything coming out of the mouth of a bodybuilder, and make sure there is truth behind what they’re saying)

You didn’t mention a thing about what you chow.

Diet is 80% of results.

If diet is 80% of results, can you just get your diet in order, not exercise and get 80% of your intended results?

I agree with diesel - do flyes at the end of any pressing movements. Also, get a spotter when you need it. Just tell that person how to spot you. Make sure you squeeze hard at the top of each rep.

If you want a better triceps move, try decline skull crushers. They put a lot more stress on the tri’s. Also, instead of doing dumbbell extensions, do rope pushdowns or v-bar pushdowns. You can do more weight in a more controlled manner and feel it more in your tris.

Goldberg, that isn’t how I meant it. You need to have the whole picture in order but results come with diet. 80% is an estimation/guesstimation.

I have been lifting since '90 off and on. Sometimes hard-core sometimes not. But never saw great results until I got my diet tuned in. Then after some time I began to see the results I wanted. Now if your genetically gifted then diet wouldn’t be all that important but I think that is a small percentage of people.

You need to have a 100% of the equation and I think most peoples workouts are pretty good but if you want to get lean diet is where the answer is.

Diesel, what was number 2? You skipped it and went directly to 3. :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess I’m just a shit-disturber today.


Poliquin’s recommendations are bang on when it comes to Hypertrophy of the high threshold motor units. This increase in ‘functional size’ is ideal for an athlete.

This T-bro wants to get big. Whole muscle hypertrophy is his goal. The 8-12 rep range is generally regarded as the best for this.

When a bodybuilder wants to get bigger, they generally don’t care how. So worrying about where the hypertrophy takes place (as you would with a power athlete) is over thinking it. You want the hormonal, metabolic and contractile effects of the higher rep training.

That said, it will always serve a body builder well to include Poliquin’s type of training periodically.

Different coaches will advocate different protocols. Poliquin and Berardi are known for recommending 8-12 reps for hypertrophy. Other sources swear by 5-6.

I personally saw great results on Poliquin’s protocol.

HOWEVER, given that the poster also wants to maximize strength, the 5-6 rep range will undoubtedly befit him better than the 8-12 rep range. While I believe 8-12 reps wis more appropriate for hypertrophy, the 5-6 will still yield good mass gains if coupled with an appropriate diet, AND very good strength gains - whereas the 8-12 rep range will serve more for hypertrophy exclusively.

I generally like to see movements like Dips and close grip bench presses in a triceps routine, but thats just me.


I agree. Poliquin’s protocols are my favoruites. I guess the thing that jumped out at me was when the poster said “I want to get big:)”.

If the poster had have said that he wants to maximize his functional mass in order to gain size that translates into an increase in performance, I would say Chuckie P. all the way.

If you’ve been doing 10-12 reps your whole life, then 5ish reps will provide the most hypertrophy.

If you’ve been doing 5 reps your whole life, then 10-12 reps will provide the most hypertrophy.

Isn’t this obvious yet?

“The best training program is the one you’re not on” and all that.

Nice feedback. My main goal is to get LARGER. Strength increase is deffinetly an added bonus (My 1RM on the bench is probably only 150-160). I’ve always done 10-12. Lately I’ve been experimenting w/ 8-10. So you guys think 6 is a good number?

Also about diet…at the moment, I don’t wanna get lean, I just wanna get big. I can cut later. What should I be eating, other than lots of protein and shakes, to achieve this. Keep it coming :slight_smile:

Read Massive Eating in the previous issues section. The new diet Manifesto is also a good read. It’s in the latest issue.

Dave makes an excellent point. Even if it seemed frusterated and arrogant.