T Nation

Feedback on Program


Hey guys, I've recently got back into the gym, been training consistently for about 10 weeks and I've sorta run into a wall. My goals are primarily increasing strength on the big lifts and secondary mass gain. (I'm convinced that stronger= bigger after reading all the articles on T-Nation anyway)

Would really appreciate if you guys could give me some input and advice! Before I go any further, here are some of my stats:

Body weight: 70kg (~155lbs)
Bench: 75kg (~165lbs) 3RM
Squat: 105kg (~235lbs) 3RM
Deadlift: 140kg (~315lbs)
Press: 55kg (~120lbs)

So my workout goes like this-

Back squat - 3-4 warmup sets working up to 5 sets of triples, sometimes 7 if I feel I'm up to it

Bench press - same as squat

Incline dumbbell press - 5x10

Power cleans - same as squat

Deadlift- 4-5 warmup sets working to 1 set of triples

Barbell rows- 5x5

One arm dumbbell rows- 5x10

Press- 5x5

Arnold press- 5x10
For the big lifts, I use a linear basic progression, adding 2.5kg on upper body and 5kg on lower body lifts every workout.
I perform workout A on Saturdays, and workout B on Sundays. As you can see it's pretty much similar to Mark Rippetoe's starting strength, but I adapted it as I can't squat 3x a week. I've been wanting to start on the 5/3/1 BBB program, but I believe that I still have room to exploit the basic linear progression for awhile.

Now before my ass gets busted for being lazy and only working out during the weekends, I'm currently 20 and enlisted into the military. I have to stay in base throughout the weekdays, so training is kinda impossible for me.

Right now, I've stalled on every single lift, have tried a deload week but just can't seem to increase on any of these lifts anymore. Here are some of the problems I've identified so far.

1) Heavy squatting and benching on Saturday really puts a lot of strain on my lower back and delts, thus I feel like my deadlift and press on Sunday are compromised.

2) Nutrition wise, I have to eat anything the army throws me, but according to the nutritional information they display (if it's even any fuckin accurate) I'd say I'm getting about 3500-4200 cals a day which is sufficient...ish?

3) Rest. This is the biggest problem which I feel hindered my progress. 7 hours of sleep is a luxury, on good days I get roughly 5 hours.

So as you guys can see, these problems are largely out of my control and I know my lifestyle is really not ideal for lifting at all. Rather than giving it up totally, I'd really like for some advice to mitigate these problems, and to continue progressing in terms of my strength gains. Sorry for the extremely long post, would appreciate any kind of feedback :slightly_smiling:


That’s too much volume to recover from and do 2 days in a row, especially with your recovery issues. You need to dial it back and do less if you want to progress, given your schedule limitations. Check out the “weekend only” options here:


So you are only training on Saturday and Sunday? Then I would say your program is completely fine.

You are training a lift once a week, that gives you seven days to recover. If you are sore on Sunday from your lifts on Saturday, no big deal, just take that into consideration. I think you have a good set up considering the time available for lifting. I assume you are active during the week with training/ field work, so keep your calories high. I think 3500-4000 should be plenty.

I would also suggest, you might not be able to add weight every session because of your training frequency, so don’t get frustrated with yourself

As far as\ rest, I spent three years only getting about 3-4 hours of sleep every night because of my job and I made good progress. I would of rather gotten 8-10 every night and I felt like shit a lot, but it was that way it was then. Things can still happen even when you’re not doing everything technically right from all the stuff we read, just do what you can and be positive about your situation.


Something that might help you in having to go so long between workouts is to do some bodyweight (or weighted with backpack) strength work during the week. It will keep you lose and allow for extra stimulation. For a leg day, say Tues or Wed, do squats, paused squats, paused squat jumps, etc. On Wed or Thurs for push do pushups, plyo-pushups, hand stand pushups. Treat it as a heavy day on the weekend, and a light/speed/volume day during the week.


^^^ This is a great idea!