T Nation

Critique This For Me?

[quote]TYPE2B wrote:
Oh, right, I almost forgot, what exactly are your goals?

If gaining raw strength is your concern, then your routine sucks ass. I’m not exaggerating.[/quote]

Buddy, your reading skills suck ass.

The second sentence the guy wrote says: “I’ve been lifting for almost 4 years now and want to go back to the basics and build more on to my frame.” Those 3x4, 4x4, and 5x4 schemes you were talking about will contribute practically nothing to size.

Lil Diesel, here’s how I’d tweak the program you wrote out:
Monday: Back
Deadlift 2x4-6, 2x2-4
Wide-grip rack pull 3x6-8
One-arm dumbbell row 4x6-10
Pull-up 4x8-12

Tuesday: Chest, Bis
Flat barbell bench 2x10-12, 2x6-8
Incline dumbbell bench 3x6-10
Incline dumbbell flye 3x8-10
Barbell curl 2x10-12, 2x6-8
Hammer curl 3x6-8

Wednesday: Shoulders, Tris
Standing shoulder press (clean the bar for the first rep of each set) 2x10-12, 2x6-8
1-arm lateral raise 3x8-10
Rear delt raise 3x8-10
Triceps dip 4x8-12
1-arm triceps extension 3x8-10

Friday: Legs
Back squat 2x8-10, 2x6-8
Lunge 3x8-10
Romanian deadlift 4x6-10
Seated calf raise 3x10-12

It’s not ideal, but since you have to train three days in a row, that’s probably what I’d try for at least a month or so. See how your strength and bodyweight improve, and then consider tweaking it if needed.

I’m also here to convince people to start being concerned more about their strength instead of their looks. I’m attempting to make the world a more hardcore place to be…

So yeah, there is an element of advertisement in my previous post.

LOL

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
TYPE2B wrote:
Oh, right, I almost forgot, what exactly are your goals?

If gaining raw strength is your concern, then your routine sucks ass. I’m not exaggerating.

Buddy, your reading skills suck ass.

The second sentence the guy wrote says: “I’ve been lifting for almost 4 years now and want to go back to the basics and build more on to my frame.” Those 3x4, 4x4, and 5x4 schemes you were talking about will contribute practically nothing to size.

Lil Diesel, here’s how I’d tweak the program you wrote out:
Monday: Back
Deadlift 2x4-6, 2x2-4
Wide-grip rack pull 3x6-8
One-arm dumbbell row 4x6-10
Pull-up 4x8-12

Tuesday: Chest, Bis
Flat barbell bench 2x10-12, 2x6-8
Incline dumbbell bench 3x6-10
Incline dumbbell flye 3x8-10
Barbell curl 2x10-12, 2x6-8
Hammer curl 3x6-8

Wednesday: Shoulders, Tris
Standing shoulder press (clean the bar for the first rep of each set) 2x10-12, 2x6-8
1-arm lateral raise 3x8-10
Rear delt raise 3x8-10
Triceps dip 4x8-12
1-arm triceps extension 3x8-10

Friday: Legs
Back squat 2x8-10, 2x6-8
Lunge 3x8-10
Romanian deadlift 4x6-10
Seated calf raise 3x10-12

It’s not ideal, but since you have to train three days in a row, that’s probably what I’d try for at least a month or so. See how your strength and bodyweight improve, and then consider tweaking it if needed.[/quote]

Thank you, I’ll give this a shot and get back to you in due time.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
LOL[/quote]

x2

[quote]lil_diesel90 wrote:
Chris Colucci wrote:
TYPE2B wrote:
Oh, right, I almost forgot, what exactly are your goals?

If gaining raw strength is your concern, then your routine sucks ass. I’m not exaggerating.

Buddy, your reading skills suck ass.

The second sentence the guy wrote says: “I’ve been lifting for almost 4 years now and want to go back to the basics and build more on to my frame.” Those 3x4, 4x4, and 5x4 schemes you were talking about will contribute practically nothing to size.

Lil Diesel, here’s how I’d tweak the program you wrote out:
Monday: Back
Deadlift 2x4-6, 2x2-4
Wide-grip rack pull 3x6-8
One-arm dumbbell row 4x6-10
Pull-up 4x8-12

Tuesday: Chest, Bis
Flat barbell bench 2x10-12, 2x6-8
Incline dumbbell bench 3x6-10
Incline dumbbell flye 3x8-10
Barbell curl 2x10-12, 2x6-8
Hammer curl 3x6-8

Wednesday: Shoulders, Tris
Standing shoulder press (clean the bar for the first rep of each set) 2x10-12, 2x6-8
1-arm lateral raise 3x8-10
Rear delt raise 3x8-10
Triceps dip 4x8-12
1-arm triceps extension 3x8-10

Friday: Legs
Back squat 2x8-10, 2x6-8
Lunge 3x8-10
Romanian deadlift 4x6-10
Seated calf raise 3x10-12

It’s not ideal, but since you have to train three days in a row, that’s probably what I’d try for at least a month or so. See how your strength and bodyweight improve, and then consider tweaking it if needed.

Thank you, I’ll give this a shot and get back to you in due time.[/quote]

While I like most of the changes Chris made, I personally don’t think some muscles get enough rest before getting hit again. I would prefer a split more along these lines with the the time you have to train:

Day One: Back/Bis
Day Two: Chest
Day Three: Legs
Day Four: Delts/Tris

The only way for you to know what is optimal is to try it. If you’re progressing nicely on a weekly basis, then keep it up. If not tweak it. With enough experience you’ll be able to tell what adjustments need to be made.

Unlike what Type2B said, your routine didn’t look bad at all.

Definitely go with the ramping sets. While i can’t speak for Chris, I’m assuming that’s what he had in mind also when offering his suggestions.

Good Luck.

[quote]Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
I personally don’t think some muscles get enough rest before getting hit again. I would prefer a split more along these lines with the the time you have to train:

Day One: Back/Bis
Day Two: Chest
Day Three: Legs
Day Four: Delts/Tris[/quote]

The only thing I don’t love about that plan, is that, since the dude said he could only train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’d be hitting legs after already training two days in a row, so the chance for cumulative fatigue is greater.

By tossing legs on Friday, you get a full day of rest before and two full days of rest afterwards, so you can go balls-out and try to destroy them thoroughly, and then recover completely.

And I’d rather have a day fully dedicated to back, rather than a day solely for chest, since it’s bigger and tougher (with deadlifts and rack pulls), but that’s not really a major deal-breaker.

Unless I missed something he mentioned along the way, I don’t know why we’re discuss “ramping sets.” That’s bound to add a bit of unnecessary confusion, though it seems to be the argument of the week around the forums.

Because I listed rep ranges, I’d expect each set to use a weight that allows those reps to be completed. For example, with [quote]Deadlift 2x4-6, 2x2-4[/quote], the first set would use a weight that allowed at least 4 reps with good form, but no more than 6 reps.

If you think you could’ve gotten more than 6 reps, increase the weight a bit, as long as you get those 4 solid reps. The next two sets would be a bit heavier, since you’re looking for anywhere between 2-4 reps.

If that’s “ramping,” then it’s ramping. I just call it “hitting the appropriate rep ranges.”

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Unless I missed something he mentioned along the way, I don’t know why we’re discuss “ramping sets.” That’s bound to add a bit of unnecessary confusion, though it seems to be the argument of the week around the forums.

If that’s “ramping,” then it’s ramping. I just call it “hitting the appropriate rep ranges.”[/quote]

No, this is not what “ramping sets” means on the forums…:slight_smile:

A little hijack on this thread: coach Colucci, would you mind give us (at least, me :slight_smile: your advice on ramping set vs straight set? Many big guy on the forum say that increasing the weight to an all-out last set offers better results than using the same weight through all the sets. It has worked for them, that’s sure, but do you use this approach with your trainees? Did they get results? Thanks!

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
I personally don’t think some muscles get enough rest before getting hit again. I would prefer a split more along these lines with the the time you have to train:

Day One: Back/Bis
Day Two: Chest
Day Three: Legs
Day Four: Delts/Tris

The only thing I don’t love about that plan, is that, since the dude said he could only train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’d be hitting legs after already training two days in a row, so the chance for cumulative fatigue is greater.

By tossing legs on Friday, you get a full day of rest before and two full days of rest afterwards, so you can go balls-out and try to destroy them thoroughly, and then recover completely.

And I’d rather have a day fully dedicated to back, rather than a day solely for chest, since it’s bigger and tougher (with deadlifts and rack pulls), but that’s not really a major deal-breaker.

Definitely go with the ramping sets. While i can’t speak for Chris, I’m assuming that’s what he had in mind also when offering his suggestions.

Unless I missed something he mentioned along the way, I don’t know why we’re discuss “ramping sets.” That’s bound to add a bit of unnecessary confusion, though it seems to be the argument of the week around the forums.

Because I listed rep ranges, I’d expect each set to use a weight that allows those reps to be completed. For example, with Deadlift 2x4-6, 2x2-4, the first set would use a weight that allowed at least 4 reps with good form, but no more than 6 reps.

If you think you could’ve gotten more than 6 reps, increase the weight a bit, as long as you get those 4 solid reps. The next two sets would be a bit heavier, since you’re looking for anywhere between 2-4 reps.

If that’s “ramping,” then it’s ramping. I just call it “hitting the appropriate rep ranges.”[/quote]

While I understand what you’re saying, Chris, my rationale is that under the split you gave, you directly hit biceps on the day after indirectly hitting them on back day. Then you train shoulders and triceps the day after chest. IMO that’s a two day press fest.

If the deads and rack pulls were eliminated from back day you wouldn’t need as much recovery before hitting legs.

The deads could even be put on leg day; then, switch back squats for front squats which won’t be as taxing on the back…or something along those lines.

As far as ramping I think we might be quibbling over semantics. Here’s what I meant, using your DL example for someone doing a top set with 455 lbs for 4 reps:

Set 1: 225x6
Set 2: 315x4
Set 3: 405x2
Set 4: 455x4

I simply meant using the early sets to “ramp-up” to an all-out top set on the compound lifts as opposed to performing straight sets.

[quote]fabiop wrote:
No, this is not what “ramping sets” means on the forums…:-)[/quote]

Geez, guess I’m outta the loop then, all this fancy new lingo popping up everywhere. :wink:

When training for hypertrophy, the rep range (and lifting to fatigue/near-failure) is more important than the actual weight you’re using. As long as you’re getting the intended reps per set, you may or may not need to adjust the weight from set to set.

But you can’t just single out the weight or reps. It all ties in to the sets and total volume you’re looking to use. Plus, the given weight you use could vary from workout to workout, depending on your recovery or energy for the day, but let’s say a workout calls for 3x8-10…

On set #1, use a weight that allows at least 8 reps, but no more than 10. If you feel like you could’ve gotten 11, 12, or more, then you’re going to increase the weight a bit. For that second set, again, make sure you get at least 8, but no more than 10.

If you picked the right weight, you’ll probably get just 8 or 9. For the third set, it’s your call whether or not to increase the weight again, but if you do, you better get at least those 8 reps.

On the other hand, if you’re having an “off” day and you’re barely grinding out 8 reps on that first set, you’re not going to increase anything and may need to decrease towards the end. Does that all make sense?

When you’re training for strength, the weight you lift (obviously) becomes much more important, but that’s a different scenario.

As far as what I use with people, I’ve done both depending on the situation, but more often than not, the weights are increased as the sets go on. Since (generally-speaking) the goal is always to progress to heavier weights, increasing them from set to set makes the most sense.

[quote]Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
While I understand what you’re saying, Chris, my rationale is that under the split you gave, you directly hit biceps on the day after indirectly hitting them on back day. Then you train shoulders and triceps the day after chest. IMO that’s a two day press fest.

If the deads and rack pulls were eliminated from back day you wouldn’t need as much recovery before hitting legs.

The deads could even be put on leg day; then, switch back squats for front squats which won’t be as taxing on the back…or something along those lines.[/quote]

I hear ya. As the philosopher Yoda once said, “Many ways to skin a cat, there are.”

Unfortunately, that’s often the case that a lot of people get into, and it muddles the info we’re trying to share. That part sucks.

[quote]Here’s what I meant, using your DL example for someone doing a top set with 455 lbs for 4 reps:

Set 1: 225x6
Set 2: 315x4
Set 3: 405x2
Set 4: 455x4

I simply meant using the early sets to “ramp-up” to an all-out top set on the compound lifts as opposed to performing straight sets.[/quote]

The only thing I don’t love about that, though, is that you’re seriously underperforming for those first three sets, or at least the middle two.

If you can handle 455x4, why not jump to it on the second, or at least third, set and adjust as necessary. Kinda like I just explained in my previous post, you want to hit the high-end of the rep range using the heaviest weight possible, but tweaking the weight as needed.

But again, it comes back to the versatile art of cat skinning, and all the gruesomely effective variations.

True dat.

Definitely more than one way to skin a cat. But I say that with one caveat. If you look at the habits of highly successful cat skinners, there are usually more similarities than differences.

Anyhow, thanks for the discussion, Chris. And good luck to the OP (whose program wasn’t that bad to begin with) with whatever he decides to do.

Thanks coach for your answer! Really clear and useful!

Wanted to add one more thing, coach.

The reasoning behind underperforming on the earlier sets would be to help facilitate overperforming or smashing PRs as often as possible on the top set. The earlier sets would be used to “grease the groove” so-to-speak.

Also, because the top set is the only one being done balls-out, I think it could potentially simplify things because it creates less of a need for wondering if too much volume is being performed? Should I deload? etc.

The goal becomes simply trying to beat your previous best through either using more reps or more weight, or even the same weight and reps with better technique.

…But, again, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

“When training for hypertrophy, the rep range (and lifting to fatigue/near-failure) is more important than the actual weight you’re using.”

I’m not sure I follow you here…The weight is extremely important, and if it’s not consistantly getting heavier, you’re probably not doing a great job at inducing hypertrophy. I think regardless of the rep range, you should train to get stronger and eat to get bigger. There are plenty of lifters out there who don’t focus the brunt of their lifting around accepted hypertrophy rep ranges, yet have gotten huge because they consisitently push to get stronger and eat to support growth.

[quote]Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
“When training for hypertrophy, the rep range (and lifting to fatigue/near-failure) is more important than the actual weight you’re using.”

I’m not sure I follow you here…The weight is extremely important, and if it’s not consistantly getting heavier, you’re probably not doing a great job at inducing hypertrophy. I think regardless of the rep range, you should train to get stronger and eat to get bigger.[/quote]

My main point is that, for example, if the workout calls for 3x8-10 and last session you used 150 pounds, you shouldn’t automatically try to use 160 pounds. Instead, use whatever you can lift to fatigue/near-failure for 8-10 reps on that day.

Ideally it’ll be 160 or more, but even if it isn’t, as long as it’s still more weight and/or reps than you got last time (maybe it was 150 for 8 last time, now it’s 150 for 10, whatever), then it’s a successful training session.

The underlying, long-term principle is pretty much always to lift more as time goes on, so that should be a given. But when it comes right down to it, and you step into the gym on that day, your goal is to get the reps in, even if it means not necessarily going heavier than last session.

I pretty much agree with this. The “accepted” hypertrophy rep ranges, good old 3x10-12, is generally inferior to multiple sets in, say, the 5-8 range (for most people, most of the time, with most exercises). But again, reps are only one page in the book. Total training volume (sets x reps) comes into play, but now that’s really another topic.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
“When training for hypertrophy, the rep range (and lifting to fatigue/near-failure) is more important than the actual weight you’re using.”

I’m not sure I follow you here…The weight is extremely important, and if it’s not consistantly getting heavier, you’re probably not doing a great job at inducing hypertrophy. I think regardless of the rep range, you should train to get stronger and eat to get bigger.

My main point is that, for example, if the workout calls for 3x8-10 and last session you used 150 pounds, you shouldn’t automatically try to use 160 pounds. Instead, use whatever you can lift to fatigue/near-failure for 8-10 reps on that day.

Ideally it’ll be 160 or more, but even if it isn’t, as long as it’s still more weight and/or reps than you got last time (maybe it was 150 for 8 last time, now it’s 150 for 10, whatever), then it’s a successful training session.

The underlying, long-term principle is pretty much always to lift more as time goes on, so that should be a given. But when it comes right down to it, and you step into the gym on that day, your goal is to get the reps in, even if it means not necessarily going heavier than last session.

There are plenty of lifters out there who don’t focus the brunt of their lifting around accepted hypertrophy rep ranges, yet have gotten huge because they consisitently push to get stronger and eat to support growth.

I pretty much agree with this. The “accepted” hypertrophy rep ranges, good old 3x10-12, is generally inferior to multiple sets in, say, the 5-8 range (for most people, most of the time, with most exercises). But again, reps are only one page in the book. Total training volume (sets x reps) comes into play, but now that’s really another topic.[/quote]

Thanks for the clarification. You were addressing session to session weight increases, and I agree with that 100%. As I said above, the goal should be to either increase weight, perform more reps with the same weight, or improve technique with the same weight and reps each week.