T Nation

Evaluate My Beginner Program


Hey....i'm 23 and started serious lifting 2-3 months ago, i'm 6'2", 187 lbs, around 18-20% body fat
Bench press 150 lbs, deadlift 205 lbs
here's my program, please evaluate it
exercise - sets - reps

Upper Body Push
Shoulder Press 4 "5-10"

Incline Dumbbell Press 3 "10-12"

Lateral Raises 3 "10-12"

Close Grip Bench Press 3 "5-10"

Bench Dips 2 "5-10"

Lower Body
Front Squats 5 "5-10"
Quad Dominant
Weighted Crunches 4 "10-15"


Pull ups or Pull Downs 4 "5-10"

Incline bench Dumbbell Rows 2 "10-12"

Seated Rows 2 "10-12"

Barbell Curls 2 "5-10"

Reverse Curls 2 "5-10"

Lower Body Hip
Deadlifts 5 "2-3"
Romanian Deadlifts 3 "10-12"
Plank 3
Side Plank 2

Next 2 days off


Not too shabby and far better than the other critique my program shit that has been popping up around here lately. I personally think that the rep ranges are a little high some of your compound movements, but other than that I think that it is ok.


Thanks man, I am a little concerned about glute soreness though, do u think I may be overtraining them, since my glutes and hams feel pretty sore after front squats as well as deadlifts


It took me about 3-4 weeks to stop getting sore after I took a summer off from squating/DLing. I would give it about the same amount of time and you should be fine. You don't do any bench presses? Why Not?


No, I don't think that you are over training them.

Did you ever read this article. Its all about push/pull workouts. I like the split you have now, but if you like push/pulls. It might provide you with some helpful insights and new ideas for future training endeavors.



He has dips, close grip, and incline db press. Thats pretty good coverage if you ask me. I would discount the bench press as a rotation or for his next split, but I don't think that it is necessary.


Hey....I've read that one, pretty useful, tho i designed this program from one of Christian Thibaudeau's push/pull articles..... I noticed that you deadlift sumo style, could you tell me why the preference, I read somewhere that sumo is better for lifters with longer femurs (which I do have) . So how does one decide which style is better


When I first started deadlifting, I had trouble keeping my back strait pulling conventional, but I had no problem keeping my back strait pulling sumo. Since then I have tried pulling conventional. I can do it just fine, but I have found that I get a bigger carry over to my squat pulling sumo probably because I squat with a pretty wide stance.


hmm....is there a difference in upper back overload/hypertrophy in sumo vs. conventional....i've found that sumo is more comfortable for me but if conventional overloads the upper back more....i'm ready to work on getting a good form on that


What's your goal? Strength? Physique?


Interesting question. I don't, but lets take a look at the different lifts. Sumo engages the hamstrings/hips and glutes more than conventional. Conventional puts more stress on the lower back. As far a the upper back is concerned, I think both lifts affect it the same. The only argument I could see for why conventional might be better for upper back size is the greater range of motion\time under tension. However, I don't believe that this really makes that much of difference


Maybe mix in some decline DB presses with the incline.


well...Physique is the goal here, but I also wanna enjoy my training to the max ( I guess tress busting is also a goal :slightly_smiling: ) and lifting heavy seems to be a lot more fun....would you suggest some changes based on physique as the main goal here?


hey....thats wat i was thinking about upper back loading in conventional.....more time in tension, I guess i'll alternate them each week for now.


Hey...please let me know your warm-up stretching routing before a deadlift workout, m really confused on this one..


I just ramp the weight over 3-4 sets until I hit my working set weight. So, if 365 was my working set weight, I would probably do something like this.

275x3 - Some people say you shouldn't go below your working reps range, but I like to drop it a little if I am warming up for sets of 5 or more.


ok...so, do u do any ham/glute/lower back stretches first? I deadlift giving 10-15 second break between each rep in my working sets, seems like my form is much better that way.....is it a good way to train or shud i change smthing
today my routine was

158 X 5
180 X 5
205 X 5
205 X 7


Sometime I will do some 45 degree back hypers or a bunch of bodyweight squats, but not much more than that. I don't take 10-15secs between reps, but I always put the bar down, stand up and reset between each rep. However, there is nothing wrong with the way you are doing it. If anything it makes it harder.


thanks for all the info dude....with all these articles contradicting each other...it helps to know wat sm1 is really doin! I have one more question....I read in many articles...by Pavel Tsatsouline and Charles Poliquin that back/biceps and chest/triceps is bad for bi/tri growth.....I had been avoiding direct arm work for sometime, but then one day just did a bunch of curls in the gym and really noticed sm increase in my bicpes size in the next few days....and that IS motivating :slight_smile: so shud i throw in an arm day there, alternating bi / tri work or work them on my lower body days.


I do some direct tri work because that is my weakness on bench. I don't do any arm work if it is not a weakness. However, I powerlift, so I don't care what my arm size is or what it looks like. I see no problem adding in some arm work if you feel like doing it.

The problem I see the most is that people will do like 10 sets for arms and 1 for the chest or back, or have 3 arm days and 2 days for everything else. This is just stupid.

I haven't really read any Tsatsouline or Poliquin. I have glanced through some of their articles, but nothing really stuck. I can guess on what they were talking about. If you do bi work right after back work or tri work right after chest work then those muscle will already be tired. This mean any work you do after will be less intense on the arm than had you done arm work first. Thus, your arm work might be considered sub-optimal.

I wouldn't worry about it for the time being. Just work hard and smart and you will see results.