T Nation

Feedback on My Routine


Yes I realise the topic title sounds kinda weird but bear with me.

For a few months now I've changed up my lifting a little and made some really good progress using my current routine and just wanted to know what people thought about it.

I lift 4x/week, deadlift, squat, ohp and bench day + assistance work afterwards. Similar to 5/3/1. I try hit a triple on the main lifts (working up to a 3RM) and if I get it I raise the weight by 2.5kg for the next week and try hit a triple on that weight, keeping the weight the same till I do and then I raise it again.

My assistance work for upper body, for example, would be 3 sets of dips, 3 sets of over-head press (high reps), high-rep pull-ups (50 reps in as few sets etc.) and then maybe some hammer curls thrown in there. It varies on either upper body days.

Now, talking to some people they've said that it's not really a good routine to get strong in due to the lack of volume (as I work up to a max set, so it's only one really heavy set that pushes me). However, many other successful routines such as 5/3/1 or WS4SB or Westside do that too - working up to heavy singles/doubles/triples on ME days and all.

Just wanted to get the opinion of others on this. Also, some may ask why I don't do 5/3/1. Well, I prefer what I do currently but I do want to find out if this is more of a "peaking" routine than actually getting stronger (which some people have told me). I mean, it has helped me gain quite a bit of strength but some are saying that it won't yield gains in the long-term.


If it's working for you and you are making progress, it shouldn't matter what others think of it. Keep lifting heavy and explosively and deload every couple of weeks and you will get stronger.


Just to add, for assistance work I try incorporate some kind of volume/high reps for the lift. So for example, on my Bench Day I would do 3x8-10 of OHP, and on OHP Day, I would do 3x8-12 close/wide-grip bench.

This is similar for Squat and Deadlift day - doing front squats and romanian deadlifts (similar way as above, front squats usually taken for a heavy 3x3 though).

Well it's because I require a deload that some have said it's not really going to last long etc. I went about 3 months of very good progress using this routine without a deload. That may have been a bad idea but I didn't feel I needed one.

Right now I feel I do though, which is why I am thinking about taking a light week and then jumping back into heavy work. Would you say that is a good idea? Or should I reset some of the lifts that are stalling a little and start from 90%, say, and work them back up.


I'm not sure exactly what kind of program or wave cycle you are doing but I would say to keep your main lifts to 5 reps and lower. If you wan't to do high reps on your supplemental work that is fine. Wendler prescribes a deload after three weeks, this may or may not be necessary for you.

Everyone will stall eventually but the idea is to deload before this happens. Three months of heavy lifting without a deload is way too long. But yes, if you stall just reset your numbers and start all over. I suggest reading 531 or Joe Defranco's WSSB.


I am doing what I said. It's my own thing, which is why I'm asking for some advice on it.

It is similar to 5/3/1 but I'm not too much of a fan of being constrained in hitting certain numbers etc. I much prefer going by feel, to an extent.

Err, yes, you're probably right in that I went quite long without a deload. But still, surely if I can make gains then I don't require deloading?


In my experience with deloading, the longer I put it off, the 'bigger' deload I need.

If I take em regularly (once a month or so), one light session or an extra day off does the trick. If I wait for three months, I basically need a week entirely off, sometimes more. So, if you look at that strategically/long-term, if I deload regularly I spend one session a month, if I wait longer, I may spend 2+ days a month.

This is specific to me, however. If you don't feel like you need a deload, well, short term you probably don't. Long term, it might be more efficient to take one anyways. Something to consider.