T Nation

Feedback to Get to 3xBW DL by October 2011

I’m 24 years old, 5ft 10.5in, and 160 lbs, and I want to stay between 160 and 170. Don’t flame me for not eating enough, I eat lots of clean food, rarely eat any crap, and I have no need to be over 170lbs. Not to mention, I hate over eating because it gives me the mad shits.

Some of my goals are to get up to repping 3x body weight (bw) deadlift, 2.25xbw squat, 1.75xbw bench, 15%bw pull-ups, 25%bw weighted dips, etc. I’m looking for feedback on my volume, reps, exercise selection. Strength is most important, but I’d like to tighten up my physique too.

I obviously see my routine changing at some point, but I’d like to know if I’m on the right track.

Thanks.

Monday

Floor Bridge Barbell Press (5x5) 110; 130; 140; 155; 170
Incline Dumbbell Press 35x10 40x8 45x6 – should i change this guy to a 5x5 or 3x5?
Weighted Dips 10x10 12.5x8 15x6
Seated Dumbbell Press (3x5) 40; 45; 50
Front/Side Raises 15xMax

25 minutes of incline walking @ 70%maxHR

Tuesday

Seated vertical crunch machine 100x8; 110x6
Weighted horizontal crunch 25x8; 30x6
Landmine barx8; 10x6
Ab Wheel 3x15
Skull Crushers (plus very low weight bar) 30x10; 35x8 40x6

25 minutes of incline walking @ 70%maxHR

Wednesday
Off

Thursday
Smith Machine Squat --it’s all I have --(5x5) 90; 105; 120; 140; 165 (plus smith machine barbell; no clue what these weigh)
Deadlift (5x5) 180; 210; 235; 260; 300
Dumbbell Lunge 15x10x3
Glute Bridge (just read about this one recently, going to try it today)
Calf Raises 30x20; 30xMax; max<20

Friday
Weighted Slightly Wider than Shoulder Pullups 5x5x5 + max final set with no weight
Bent Rows (5x5) 30; 35; 40; 45; 50
Pullover Bridge 60x10x3 – I love pullovers but the highest dumbbell at my gym is 60lbs
Incline Curls (just switched to these)
Hammer Curls 35x6x3

25 minutes incline walking @ 70%maxHR

Saturday
Complex and maybe some pushups

Sunday
Play squash for an hour

Workout day nutrition -

Pre-workout = 1 glass skim milk, 1 scoop protein, 2tbsp natural honey (~30g sugars), cinnamon, 8 bcaa’s
Workout = water
Post-workout = 1 glass skim milk, 1 scoop protein, 2tbsp natural honey (~30g sugars), cinnamon, ~3g creatine, ~1g glutamine

Other Supps: Fish oil, Active Lifestyle Multivitamin

On the program; scrap the dedicated ab day unless you always head into the gym on that day for cardio. Not much bang for buck exercises there, and you could still spread it across the other training days.
You also aren’t doing any barbell exercises that will give a good carryover to the barbell benchpress.

As for the goals, I’m afraid I’m going to have to be “that guy”.
While it’s not impossible, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get up to repping all those weights at your height and bodyweight. Particularly given you’re working in the medium to high rep ranges, which really should lend itself to putting on some beef.
Unless you’re already a highly trained ball of muscle, the corresponding gains in strength your after are going to come with more than 10lbs of muscle. Period.
I’m not trying to shit on your goals, or call you an idiot. It’s just a fact that holds true for 99.999% of the training population. Hell, I’m 75lbs heavier than you, only an inch and a half taller, and I would struggle to hit those numbers for reps.

Holy shit thats alot.

Have you tried?

mon Dl

Wed Bench, pullups

Fri Squat

That worked for getting my first 3x bw pull.

As much as i love squatting and hate bicep curls, i would rather do three bicep days a week than do a single “squat” rep in a Smith machine.

[quote]smokotime wrote:
it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get up to repping all those weights at your height and bodyweight. [/quote]

Im gonna have to disagree with you here. As far as relative strength goes, he’s probably better off staying at his current weight. He’ll be able to reach a 3x BW deadlift much quicker than if he were to gain weight and go for the same goal. It would take him years to put on muscle and get his strength up to where it would need to be. But I agree he should gain some weight.

[quote]GripAndRip wrote:
Don’t flame me for not eating enough, I eat lots of clean food, rarely eat any crap, and I have no need to be over 170lbs. Not to mention, I hate over eating because it gives me the mad shits.

Some of my goals are to get up to repping 3x body weight (bw) deadlift, 2.25xbw squat, 1.75xbw bench, 15%bw pull-ups, 25%bw weighted dips, etc. I’m looking for feedback on my volume, reps, exercise selection. Strength is most important, but I’d like to tighten up my physique too.

[/quote]

Ok, I gotta respond to this. Your desired BW is your decision, but you say “i have no need to be over 170lbs.” You also have NO “need” to rep 3x BW on a deadlift. You dont need to do anything, you choose to do what you want. I cant imagine being 5’10" and 170lbs. I remember I used to think “if I weigh 185 i’ll be big” but then at 190 I started to think “i’ll be big when im 200+”, and now, im 210 and still thinking “220 is where its at”. I guess what im getting at, is whats the point of cutting yourself short on muscle. Eat in a caloric surplus, and train hard, and if you end up weighing 180, thats great. You dont have to bulk, but start eating more. I can tell you for a fact, at 5’10 170, you aren’t eating that much. I used to say the same thing, “I eat clean, and a ton, but dont gain weight, blah blah blah” The fact is, you dont eat as much as you would if you were weighing 180.

Enough of a rant on that though. Like I said, your weight is your choice.

As for goals. I wouldn’t hold yourself to a relative strength goal, like 3x BW. Because really, what would you rather have, weigh 170 and deadlift 510, or weigh 215 and deadlift 600? Thats up to you.

Also, you didn’t mention what your current strength levels are. And WHY are you setting a goal that is 2 years in advance? So much can change in 2 years. If you are currently repping 2x BW on the deadlift, why not set a 3 month goal of being able to rep 2.2x BW. Set some reasonable shorter term goals that are going to lead you toward the long term goal, but who knows, maybe by october 2011, you’ll be deadlifting 3.5xBW.

Your program doesn’t look very good IMO. Its way overcomplicated and not at all what you should be doing if your focus is purely relative strength.

Get your goals in order first, and then people here will be able to suggest a good routine.

Out of curiosity, why do you only have a smith machine?
If it’s a “this is all my gym has” issue then you need a new gym, imo. A place without a squat cage is not usually a place conducive to getting strong.

Ok, I just noticed you listed the weights that you use, so I can figure what your “repping maxes” are now.

So heres the deal. Your program sucks. For someone with your goals; or at least the ones you mentioned, and someone that is “a skinny bastard” that program is complete crap. No offense, but it is so. As Dan John always states, “do your behaviors match your goals?” or does your program match your goals. And IMO yours do not.

There are many options, but I’ll keep it simple.

#1 Go with a pre-made program. Starting strength would be a great point to begin. You can modify it if need be. Or you could go with some variation of 5x5, westside, or 5/3/1. (NOTE: im not saying normal westside so dont even start)

#2 The way you are doing your sets is NOT 5x5. Its fine to ramp up in weight, but generally you dont count something as a “working set” when it is considerably lighter than the final set. For example, your deadlift workout goes, 180,210,235,260,300. IMO, everything under 260 here is just a WARMUP. So really this is just 2x5. This is debatable, but you would get much more benefit from going like this: 135x5, 185x3, 225x1, 275x1 END OF WARMUPS then 275x5x5 OR ramp up, 275, 285, 295, 305, 315. But there needs to be MUCH LESS difference in weight on your working sets. What good does a set of 5 with 180 do, when you can do a set of 5 with 300?

#3 Having said all that, your best bet is probably dropping it down to 3x5 anyways or 3x3. Ramping would be a good idea, but thats just preferance.

#4 Cut out all the crap that has nothing to do with your goals. First and foremost, DITCH THE INCLINE TREADMILL WALKING. What is the purpose of this? You are already underweight and underfed as it is. You dont need to be wasting any extra calories on useless junk. Saturday is a complete waste of time. A complex and pushups have no benefit to what you are trying to achieve. Ditch the smith machine squats. If you cant do regular squats, then do front squats with whatever weight you can clean up to the rack position. Also, ditch the floor bridge barbell press. Its an interesting exercise, but your probably better off with just regular bench or floor press. And cut back on your number of exercises. You dont need to be doing bench press, incline press, dips, and db press all in the same day. Generally 2 exercises should get the job done, just go heavier and push harder on those two.

You can see that IMO you are way off from where you should be. That is why I recommend you just go with starting strength or something similar. Do it for a month, and then make some changes if you must.

I’m about 170-175 pounds and can do about 2.4xbw deadlift, 1.94xbw squat, 1.56xbw bench, 1.6xbw pull-up, 1.9xbw weighted dip. My goals are to get as extremely strong as possible while being to able to run insanely far. I realize these things mix like oil and water, but it’s what I like to do for fun – run and lift heavy.

I do a total body lifting workout about 4-5 times every 10 days or so. On my off days from lifting, I do calisthenics occasionally. I mix in running as well. When I lift, I focus on basic simple compound exercises and use low reps often working up to heavy singles. I focus on push-pull athletic movements along the vertical and horizontal plane ie pull ups and push press. Weighted pull ups, weighted dips, squats, deadlifts, standing overhead press or push press are a staple of what I do.

I think you should scrap a lot of your exercises and focus on the deadlift, squat, bench, pull up, and dips if those are your goals.

[quote]dankid wrote:
smokotime wrote:
it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get up to repping all those weights at your height and bodyweight.

Im gonna have to disagree with you here. As far as relative strength goes, he’s probably better off staying at his current weight. He’ll be able to reach a 3x BW deadlift much quicker than if he were to gain weight and go for the same goal. It would take him years to put on muscle and get his strength up to where it would need to be. But I agree he should gain some weight.[/quote]

For clarity, I meant reaching multiples of his current bodyweight or 170. As in repping say 510 (3x170) on the deadlift at whatever bodyweight he ends up doing it at.

He is doing a lot of exercises and reps geared towards hypertrophy as well, so it would be counterproductive to strength gains to deliberately restrict the effect of said training.

[quote]smokotime wrote:
dankid wrote:
smokotime wrote:
it’s extremely unlikely you’ll get up to repping all those weights at your height and bodyweight.

Im gonna have to disagree with you here. As far as relative strength goes, he’s probably better off staying at his current weight. He’ll be able to reach a 3x BW deadlift much quicker than if he were to gain weight and go for the same goal. It would take him years to put on muscle and get his strength up to where it would need to be. But I agree he should gain some weight.

For clarity, I meant reaching multiples of his current bodyweight or 170. As in repping say 510 (3x170) on the deadlift at whatever bodyweight he ends up doing it at.

He is doing a lot of exercises and reps geared towards hypertrophy as well, so it would be counterproductive to strength gains to deliberately restrict the effect of said training.
[/quote]

Agreed, I just think if his only goal is a 3x BW deadlift, 510 @ 170 would come quicker than 600 @ 200.

I myself had a much better relative strength before I gained 30 lbs. And if you gain it pretty fast, it takes some time for your strength to increase the same amount.

Also, your right. If his goal is to not gain weight, then he should not be training using hypertrophy schemes. It should be singles, doubles and triples, low volume and long rest breaks.

I’d almost go as far as to say this is a trolling attempt, but I think its really just the OP has things ass-backward. Like i said, your training has to reflect your goals.

Thanks everyone for your replies.

If I get what you’re saying this is too high volume too be a strength program. Since I’m enjoying this program, I hate program ADD, and I’ve been seeing gains on this for the last 3 weeks I’ll it up for another 5-6 weeks. However, since you guys are telling me this is more hypertrophy based I’ll take in a caloric surplus to gain about 5 or 6 lbs over that time. Hopefully that will make my diet and my program better aligned even if it’s not directed to my ultimate goal.

After the next 5 or 6 weeks I’ll take your advice to cut down the volume and simplify the program by focusing on lifts to build what I want to build.

When I started lifting 2 years ago I did Starr’s 5x5 for 4 months and saw monster (albeit mostly newbie) gains, but I got bored of it, so I started doing splits. My work and gym situation kept me away from the squat and deadlift for an entire year, so maybe it’s time to try a variation of that program or something similar.

Something I didn’t mention is that I do serious hiking, hence the incline walking. If I understand right, the incline walking should be fine, as should long, high incline hikes, as long as I make up the calories to keep my BW the same at a minimum. Is this right?

P.S. dankid, this is definitely not a troll post, haha.

[quote]GripAndRip wrote:
If I understand right, the incline walking should be fine, as should long, high incline hikes, as long as I make up the calories to keep my BW the same at a minimum. Is this right?

[/quote]

Yes, this is basically right. That type of work is for the most part “wasting calories” but if you replace those calories; AND SOME, it shouldn’t be a problem. But in the end, if your goals are similar to those of a powerlifter, then you should start thinking, acting, training, eating etc, like a powerlifter. I think your on the right track sorta.