T Nation

Few Quick Q's on W4SB


Hi All. I never seriously looked into the W4SB routine (in particular the modified routine which can be found here at T-Nation and on De Franco's website), but I am considering it to try some variation and as a form of self-experimentation. The program looks great but I just had two questions which I am still not sure of.

  1. How many sets do you utilize to work up to your max effort? I have seen some cases where people only do 3 sets, some cases where people do 7-8 sets before reaching ME. I believe you should pick a weight, do 5 reps, go up, 5 reps etc. until you hit the set where you come to failure on the 3rd-5th rep, correct? But how many sets should you allow? I believe this also determines the jump in weight between sets too.

  2. How has this program been for any of the intermediate lifters out there in terms of hypertrophy and strength?



Two more quick questions:

  1. has anyone done the program with two upper and two lower days? Do you structure a lower body repetition day similar to the upper repetition day? Is there any reason not to have a second lower day and stick strictly to one lower and two upper days?
  2. is there a way to periodize the program?



I'm in my fourth week of WS4SB and have modified it so that Wed. is for squats and Saturday is for deads. This way gives me enough rest just in time for the start of a new week. For these days I stick to low-rep, like a 5x5.


Thanks for the tip. What is the rest of your 2nd lower body day?



This is dependent on the individual. Some people like to do a short number of warm up sets before getting to the heavy weights. Others like to do more sets before the working sets. Find what works for you.

For me, I do some big jumps in weight early and then start to slow it down as I get to the heavier weights.


Thanks for the replies. I have done a lot of reading up today so most of my questions are now answered. There are 2 which am not sure of at the moment though:

  1. for the 1st exercise of the repetition day, which is 3 sets max reps, do you do any build-up or warmup or just the 3 sets straight?

  2. if doing leg-related cardio on off days, is it still OK to do a 2nd lower day (I am not involved with any sport or other activity). Also for those who have a 2nd lower day please post up your plan for that day. Can you structure it like an RE day for legs?



1) For the repetition days you will want to do a few light warmup sets before your main work se ts
2)Yes cardio is fine as long as the intensity is kept in check, doing high speed sprints several times a week might not allow you to recover from doing two intense lower body days.

Mr Defranco has posted a sample lower body repetition day on his website but its basically a unilateral movement done for high reps 12-15 followed by posterior chain training grip and weak point work(abs hips whatever). You can probably modify this to be a more traditional hypertrophy plan if you wish, its really up to you


Thanks for the info. Yup, I saw his template for the 2nd lower day, but as you said it is mostly PC and weakpoint targeted. I was thinking of making it a more traditional hypertrophy day, perhaps structured like the RE upper day. I just wanted to check if that is OK or if tinkering with the program would not be good.

Cardio wise it is 30 minutes low-medium instensity in the morning. Sometimes I do HIIT on Saturdays but that's about it.