T Nation

For Review: Adjusted 20min Muscle Builder


#1

I'm low on time, and I want to try this: http://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/20-minute-muscle-builder

I wanted to change out exercises, while leaving the set/rep scheme, and this is what I came up with. Limiting factor for me on a lot of exercises is my spine and joints. I make progress on bench/dead/squat, then stop when I aggravate something and I'm going to try something different this time.

My criteria for exercise selection was as follows:
-Covers most muscles
-No compression on the spine, limited shear
-No overhead pressing
-Mixture of open and closed chain exercises
-Balanced antagonists
-I've never screwed up and hurt myself with the exercise
-Max is high enough that I don't have to screw with the loading parameters in the original article.

Four exercises:

Workout A (1 scoop plazma, 1 scoop MAG-10, maybe micro-PA, definitely I3G):
Leg press (max 990)
Reverse Hyper (max is ~240)

Conditioning: Sled dragging (not sure on loading yet)

Workout B (1 scoop plazma, 1 scoop MAG-10, maybe micro-PA, definitely I3G):
DB Pullover (max is ~100)
Chest supported Row (max is ? haven't done these in a while, but at least sufficient for the program)

Conditioning: Battle Ropes (20/10 for four minutes)

If I miss a day because life, this is the replacement workout:
Workout C (no carbs, too easy)
Gripper work
Band pull-apart
Band-resisted glute bridges/clams

Conditioning: Burpees

Any feedback is appreciated!


#2

The exercises you’ve chosen aren’t very good for incremental, progressive loading, or high-intensity (% of 1RM) lifting. Doing heavy singles with a DB Pullover, for example, is a pretty bad idea. There is a reason the program uses 4 barbell lifts. You also don’t seem to have replaced the OHP and Bench Press with anything, i.e. no work for the upper body pressing muscles.


#3

Thanks for the feedback!

The loading issues are a real concern, I don’t have a good answer there. I think I was overly focused on the finisher set, as all of these exercises are good candidates for large sets at 60%.

My choice of the pullover was based on this: http://www.T-Nation.com/training/pullovers-bodybuildings-most-controversial-exercise I think the first workout with it (80x5, 90x1, 95x1, 60x?) will go fine, but after that, it could be dumb for those heavy singles.

I’m not anticipating issues with progressive loading on the row or the leg press. I’m tall enough that the leg press is an awesome exercise for me, and I want something to take care of the parts of my low body that are not quads/glutes–I’ve seen a lot of programs including ‘leg press, superset with hamstring curl’. Reverse hyper seems to fit the bill, but it may have some issues with loading, as I’ve never heard of anyone serious doing heavy singles with it, and there will definitely be the temptation to cheat with an incomplete RoM because of the nature of the exercise.

Switching bench back in for pullover is probably the right thing to do.

Do you have any other suggestions?


#4

If you want to do a program, but can’t do ANY of the prescribed exercises contained within…I don’t think the answer is just choosing different exercises and trying to do the program. I think the solution is picking a different program.


#5

[quote]JoinInTheChant wrote:
Thanks for the feedback!

The loading issues are a real concern, I don’t have a good answer there. I think I was overly focused on the finisher set, as all of these exercises are good candidates for large sets at 60%.

My choice of the pullover was based on this: http://www.T-Nation.com/training/pullovers-bodybuildings-most-controversial-exercise I think the first workout with it (80x5, 90x1, 95x1, 60x?) will go fine, but after that, it could be dumb for those heavy singles.

I’m not anticipating issues with progressive loading on the row or the leg press. I’m tall enough that the leg press is an awesome exercise for me, and I want something to take care of the parts of my low body that are not quads/glutes–I’ve seen a lot of programs including ‘leg press, superset with hamstring curl’. Reverse hyper seems to fit the bill, but it may have some issues with loading, as I’ve never heard of anyone serious doing heavy singles with it, and there will definitely be the temptation to cheat with an incomplete RoM because of the nature of the exercise.

Switching bench back in for pullover is probably the right thing to do.

Do you have any other suggestions?[/quote]

Leg Press and T-bar row are ok replacements for the deadlift and Pendlay row (though the leg press is really not the same as a deadlift, it is a lower body lift that doesn’t load the spine).

The other two lifts in the program are Overhead Press and Bench Press. Reverse Hyper is not an appropriate substitution for either of these. It really depends on your injuries but you could do seated overhead press if you want to minimize the load on the spine, or even seated smith machine press if joints are also an issue.

The leg press isn’t really going to hit your posterior chain (which is why the program uses the deadlift), but it will hit your hamstrings. But if you still want to do Reverse Hypers I’d just add them as another exercise, and do 3x8 or something (not for heavy singles).

That said, I think ActivitiesGuy has a point.