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Detrained, Starting Fresh(ish)

Hey guys, just looking for some hive-mind input.

Just moved, lots of life stress (mostly good stress, but still), and working around not having an oven for about a month. Also detrained for about 4 weeks now, and getting used to some massive weight loss. I was balls deep in a personalized powerlifting program from a friend, was going extremely well until both of us had some outside stressors that made us lose track, plus I was starting to feel beat up.

I want to start a pretty significant volume block focused on slabbing on some muscle that I lost, maybe several blocks honestly… that will also transition smoothly into proper powerlifting again when I feel ready/time permits.

Any programs worth looking at, or even just some set/rep schemes you like that are fairly low mental effort? Honestly something fun, but productive is what I’m looking for, as I start to ween back into the good shit.

edit* for the love of god, not anything 5/3/1, I cant do it to myself any longer

You probably lost less muscle than you think but either way I’d probably go Conjugate in your situation.

The assistance work can be heavily focussed on hypertrophy and the max/dynamic effort stuff autoregulates pretty easily for someone who has lost strength and isn’t quite sure where to start. I also find that rotating the lifts gives a good break before focussing on specific lifts.

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It’s hard for me to say with muscle loss, I dropped from 270 to 220 over a few months, involuntarily at first, then I capitalized on it because my body felt way better. My squat and bench both seem to be… relatively on par with where they were, just feels like a bit more work.

But yeah, that’s more or less exactly what I’m looking for, some general auto regulation for comp lifts but a heavy focus on building. Right now my schedule is fucking nuts, so I need to try to find something enjoyable enough to get me in there, but also not killer if I can only bang out a 30 minute workout, or miss a day.

Conjugate is awesome, but the weekly structure is pretty strict. Trying to work upper/lower around your schedule can be stressful.

In my opinion Push/Pull/Legs is the ultimate split for flexibility. The structure builds in the rest(minimum 2 days between same body parts), so if you need to go 3 in a row, it’s no problem. If you need to take 2-3 days off in a row you don’t need to worry about throwing off your week. If you have a light week at work you can squeeze in 4-5 training days easily.

It’s also good for building muscles because you can make your workouts kinda like a body part split.

If you need some set/rep schemes I’ve got a few that fit pretty well.
If you need set and rep

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Definitely interested. Sets and reps for sure, and what are your thoughts on supplemental lifts, frequently, changing week to week? Or keep comp lifts in regular schedule?

I might be the wrong guy to ask about powerlifts or powerlifting stuff. I’m not really into prioritizing the comp lifts.

So I think supplemental lifts are great! And if you’re trying to build muscle supplemental lifts (focused compound lifts?) like close grip bench, stiff leg deadlift or squatting in non - low bar comp style may be more useful than comp style lifts where you maximize leverage and minimize ROM.

Also if you’re in a hurry, or working out at a strange time or whatever, it can be stressful to try to get a “good workout” in the comp lifts. Like you know what you can bench press, so in your mind it’s not a “good workout” unless you surpass 285 x 6 (for example). It can be a pain in the ass to live up to that. But you probably have no idea what you can close grip pause incline, so ramping up to any tough set is a “good” workout.

I think mixing up lifts week to week is cool and fun. And it less stressful because you’re not always super fixated on beating last week. Any easy way to keep a little consistency with the variety is to keep track of sets.

Like a “heavy” workout could be 6 bust ass sets of 6 reps. Any combination you like, maybe working up to two 2 sets of 6 in bench, dips and incline bench. Then “light day” could be 10 sets of 10 reps of any combination of exercises. Maybe 3 sets of close grip bench, 3 sets of incline flies, and 2 supersets of side raises and Arnold press. Next heavy day, do the same lifts, or some other combination of 6 tough sets of 6 reps. Whatever allows you to have a great session without stressing about the actual numbers.


Awesome write up dude, for sure. Sounds like a lot of fun. I’ll probably lean into this route, if nothing else, just for a change of pace. I’ve been nailing comp lifts for ages at this point, aside from a small volume block my friend wrote up for me a while back, which I had a blast on. I think that’s exactly what I need currently.

I hope you get some use out of it.

I started messing around with this setup in the spring when access to equipment was inconsistent and the flexibility of lifts was perfect for bouncing between gym and home workouts.

The bonus was that it actually Worked and I gained some weight and the lifts I did regularly went up.