I am a 40+ year old lifter who has been active with lifting regularly for the last 6 years. I must admit that I have plateaued over the last 2 or 3 years in strength levels. My goal is strength for its own sake, and whatever byproduct improvement in physique that goes with it.
A lot of my programs during this time period of course required 8 or fewer reps per set and usually I took 3 minutes between sets, although on program had me switching from 1 minute to 2. I find that my lift maxes and working weights are stagnant. Also, I find I end programs after a shorter number of weeks than I really should. I do well half way through the projected term and then start reaching failure often and realize I need time off.
Not that it always yields symptoms of overtraining, but maybe you see. I am between programs now and noticed an improvement in BB bench press ability over 2 days ago. 215lbs X 4 reps which approximates 235lbs, short of what I could do 6 months ago. I will test again on Sunday, but maybe you see my frustration.
The other relevant factor is my left hamstring strain. I was learning to do cleans, an explosive power move, at a time I was pursuing a vigorously periodized program and started a minute strain. I was gung-ho anyway with my deadlift targets and buggered it. I have tried to rehab it with various professionals but find I still reaggravate it.
So, what I am getting at is I decided to radically shake things up with Chad Waterbury's Quattro dynamo program. The intensity and within week variation in goal reps I hope will help. I might also mention I have been doing flat BB bench press in one program or another for a year straight, so dummbbells are in order. I of course set the leg work to something apart so as to treat my hamstring appropriately. Other variations are to do with equipment limitations as a home user. Barbell is paired with dumbbells because I have no option. My chinnning bar is wrecking a door frame and I am not the landlord, so i switched to pullovers. My suggestion therefore is this:
Day 1 - Maximal Strength
squats 5 X 5 90 sec
B1 DB bench press 5 sets of 3 @5Rm 60 sec
B2 BB bent rows
C1 DB hammer curls
C2 Bb lying triceps
Day 2 endurance strength 2 sets of 25 @ 27 RM 90 sec
A1 Standing DB shoulder press
A2 BB bent arm pullovers
Day 3 cardio
Day 4 hypertrophy/strength
deadlifts 5 x 5 90 sec
B1 DB incline press 3 sets of 8 at 10 RM 75 sec
B2 Bb upright rows
C1 BB reverse grip Bicep curls
C2 DB triceps
Day 5 Cardio
Day 6 explosive strength 6 sets of 3 at 18RM 60 sec
BB bench press
day 7 off
I will start this sometime next week as stated and keep this thread as an ongoing journal. I just want to bench test again on Sunday and figure out starting weights.