T Nation

Fine Tuning Home Workout


I have started my second week of lifting. I posted a program a couple of weeks ago. Now that I have gotten the feel for it a little bit I am trying to fine tune it. I have an hour per evening to dedicate to lifting. Having two kids to raise I am lucky to get that. I am 35 years old, 6' tall, weigh 178lbs.

Sunday evening:
Bench Press: 3x8
Barbell rows: 3x8
Skull Crushers: 3x8
Calf Raises: 3x15
Full Squats: 3x 8

Monday evening:
Barbell Shoulder Presses: 3x8
Barbell Curls: 3x8
Lat bar: 3x10

Wednesday evening:
Bench Press: 3x8
Incline Press: 3x8
Skull Crushers: 3x8
Deadlift: 3x5
Calf Raises: 3x15

Thursday evening:
Barbell Shoulder Presses: 3x8
Rows: 3x8
Barbell Curls: 3x8
Lat bar: 3x10
Full squats: 3x8

I increased my sets from 2 to 3 just because I feel like I can handle it. Only thing with that is it adds time to workout. I was told in my first post to work legs more so I am doing squats twice a week instead of once.

I have a questions about the squat, which by the way is my least favorite. Should I squat as much weight as I can handle and do few reps or squat what feels comfortable and do more reps. I personally prefer the second. Also, when going down should I bend my knees or stop with my thighs parallel to the floor then stand? Which is better for a beginner?

I need to add some kind of ab work out since I am soft in the middle. Can I do an ab exercise using my bench which can decline? Or is that not a good idea? Situps or crunches is always an option.

Please make suggestions on my program. Adding, replacing or rearranging?

I am not able to do dips or pull ups here at home.

I would like to somehow work in 20 minutes on the treadmill but not sure if time will allow. I was thinking treadmill time before lifting would not only give me a little cardio but warm me up for lifting? Agree or disagree?



If you spend too much time and want to keep the volume you currently have, you need to manage it more efficiently. Try supersetting the presses and rows for example (this is called an antagonist super set).

If you're not sure about squatting for reps or weight, you're not alone. Currently, there are several articles about the values of high-rep training of squats, while the "new traditional" model would be to go heavy. Why not simply do both once a week?

As for abs training, the current position would be: Don't. Read some of the "core training" articles to form your own opinion. Squatting and deadlifting train abs isometrically. As does the "plank" exercise. I'd do the plank on non-squatting days if I wanted more development and a simple exercise.

As for your program: I guess you're quite fixed on your training time and the selection of exercises. So, since you're only in the second week: Stay fixed on the setup for 3 to 5 more weeks. Then change. Every program needs a chance.

After that, think about putting the compound exercises in front, balancing push and pull, work in all three dimensions...

But for now: Hit the weights.


Great advice, Tierlieb! Much appreciated!


I just sat on the end of my bench facing the squat rack and lat bar. I had the barbell on the rack chest hight. I did a set of barbell shoulder presses. Couple seconds after that did a set with lat bar. Then back to shouler presses and so on, not having to move from my seat. That accomplishes a superset and push, pull, correct?

Great advice! I will put it to use with bench press and rows as you suggest.


Yes, that is an antagonist superset. There are also pre- and post-fatigue supersets (working the same muscles, not those opposite of each other), but those are not meant for time saving but to up the intensity.

Good to hear. I hope you're successful with your training.