T Nation

Going Back to Full Body


I have been doing a 5x5 type routine for the past 2 months out of 3, and while I saw myself shoot up from 173 lbs. to 180 lbs., I haven't really made any size gains in the last month. I think I'm going to change it up for a couple of months, how does this look?:

Squat 3x10
Bench 3x10
Deadlift 3x10
Military Press 3x10
Widegrip Pullup 3x12
Dips 3x12
Skullcrushers 3x10
EZ bar curls 3x10

Tuesday: HIIT

Squat 3x10
Bench 3x10
Powerclean 5x5
Military Press 3x10
Dumbbell rows 3x6
Closegrip Pullup 3x12
Cable Crossoverx 3x10
Skullcrushers 3x10
Barbell curls 3x10

Thursday: HIIT

Squat 3x10
Bench 3x10
Deadlift 3x10
Military Press 3x10
Widegrip Pullup 3x12
Dips 3x12
Skullcrushers 3x10
EZ bar curls 3x10

I really love to sprint and run, so is it alright that I run around on the field (doing sprints & plyos) on the off days? I plan to do stretching everyday, and incorporate ab work also.

My goal is to bulk for the next 6-7 months, then cut during the summer.


how heavy do you go on your squats and deadlift? i've been thinking about switching to a full body type of workout as well but i feel like i would overtrain, where did you get your template, or did you create it yourself?


I just through that together in my head last night. I'll probably go as heavy as I can while making sure I can complete each rep. I don't think it's over training since I will have a day off from lifting (sans 45 mins. of cardio).


I would cut back the volume a bit.
by not deadlifting on squat days and less pushing exercises.

I'd follow something like TBT or something
but thats just me


Sorry, but what is TBT? How can I get all three in (dead, squat and bench) better?


Total Body Training by Chad Waterbury.



I've gone back to TBT myself as I feel it works better for me. It also works well with my current set/rep program.

Here is the thing though that you may wish to consider, don't feel you need to do everything in a workout + change each up a bit. Lets say you do three TBT workouts a week, here is a sample of chest for each day:

TBT 1 = flat bench
TBT 2 = decline bench
TBT 3 = DB incline press

This way you've worked chest each TBT day, but you've changed it up a bit and hit the angles/fibers differently.


TBT 1 = squat [front or back]
TBT 2 = deadlift [plus a small amount of additional quad work like a thruster etc]
TBT 3 = some type of lunge

Again, you've worked legs [and of course back with the deads] each workout, but given your legs a different stimulus.


TBT 1 = T-bar or bent row
TBT 2 = seated row
TBT 3 = pull up or chin up

Thats the idea. Provide differing stimulus while still working the muscle groups.


TBT 1 = curls [BB or DB]
TBT 2 = hammer curl
TBT 3 = reverse curls

Just some thoughts that will control the overall workload yet still provide one heck of a workout.


I really think all you need is:
1 lower body compound
1 upper pull compound
1 upper push compound
1 shoulder (compound preferable- or prehab)
2 isos for bis, tris, calves
+ ab work

doing that 3 times a week should be enough


There is most likely nothing wrong with your current 5x5 routine. I'd just up your caloric intake and stay with it. There is really no need to change routines every 2-3 months if you're following a good well balanced program (like most 5x5 routines are).

Once again, the problem most likely has nothing to do with your program, it lies with your nutritional habits.

6-7 months is nothing in the grand scheme of bodybuilding. It's most likely going to take you at least a year and a half (and to be honest unless you've got phenomenal genetics or your goals are quite average, then it'll most likely be more like 2-3 years) to reach the amount of lean mass that you're after.

On the other hand, getting "ripped" (and by that I don't mean contest level leanness, that's not a healthy state and shouldn't be maintained for any length of time) will probably take you at most 3 months.

Make up your mind to dedicate some serious time to this and focus on building up that muscle until you reach your desired level of lean mass. Then go ahead and cut. You'll make it a lot easier on yourself if you do, and it won't take you decades to get there.


end of thread



I don't understand why someone who "shot up" in weight from a routine needs to change that when it worked. You will hit a point of diminishing returns. You don't need to change your program.

If we all gained 10 lbs each time we swithched up we would be HUGE byond belief right? Stick to what works and vary the wieght rep schemes and 2 seconds up/4 down, resistance training etc. if you need a change and shock.


I trying to get up to 190-195 lbs. and still have an acceptable BF% (not so high that it'll take a LONG time to trim it away). So I should stick with my 5x5? I was doing that M-T-Th-F...

I was wanting to switch it up because I haven't really seen any changes in size (and only moderate in strength).


To simplify what detaztoth said even further, check out MRT or the 25 Method by Chad Waterbury. You just can't get any simpler than that. I made SICK size gains on it, and your strength will shoot through the roof too.

IMO, best program published on T-Nation. It is simple, distilled, and really gets down to brass tacks...none of this "do three supersets per session, no more than 22 exercises per week, and be sure to use a 4-0-4 tempo" shit. I will say that EDT touches it though; they're pretty similar actually. BB EDT is less strength-focused. I'm currently experimenting with an A-B split of EDT and MRT. And IF you have dedication and time, HFT (high freq training) is great. But for a 3x week TBT for size, you can't beat 25/MRT.

You will get badass results no matter what you use on it if you go heavy. Olympic lifts, power lifting compounds, strongman stuff, and compound "bb" exercises will all work. Here is what I used on both of them.

Narrow-grip chin
Tucked-arm dip
Front squat

Palms-up chest-supported row
Pistol squat
Close-grip bench press

Neutral-grip incline DBBP (steep)
Bent-over supinated row
DB Hack squat, DBs on plates
Stiff leg good mornings

25 Method:

Slight incline CG BP
DB High pull/jump squat combo (this one will fry calves and traps...just do one rep then another, and that's one complete "rep")
Pronated-to-neutral grip "strongman" row - AKA back extension bent over row hybrid

Hang clean and press (one of each)
Bent-knee good mornings (go heavy)
Close-grip pull-ups (pronated)

Floor press (BB)
Machine supinated row


I'll give that a look! Thanks!


Those are both fine programs Conwict. The thing is though that there is most likely nothing wrong with Droogan's current routine. He himself said that this program had been giving him good results up until recently. I myself find it hard to believe that he has truly progressed to the point where this routine has indeed outlived it's usefulness.

His lack of size (but continual increases in strength) gains most likely points to a problem with diet (caloric intake). My guess is if Droogan ups his calories then the routine will "magically" start producing gains in size once again.

My point is that while having him switch to a new routine (no matter how good that routine is) might result in some size increases, it'll still mean that he is overlooking the real problem (his diet). So, the routine might add a little size, but then it'll stop working and he'll have to switch routines, and then switch again, and again, and again, and he'll wind up constantly searching for that "magical" routine that will get him to his goal. All the while failing to realize that most likely many (if not all) of the programs that he's tried were effective programs. It was his diet that was holding him back all along.

Droogan, stick with the routine and just up the calories (also make sure that you're getting enough protein, at least 1g per lb of bw, if not more). Don't worry you're not going to one day wake up a fat pig. If your bf starts to get out of hand just up the cardio a little, or decrease the calories a little.

That'll be a much more beneficial lesson for you to learn in the long run than jumping to a new routine. Diet really is as important (if not more in many cases) as resistance training when it comes to building muscle. The sooner you learn that, the better off you'll be.

Good luck.


I agree that it's important, but how important depends on whom we're talking about.

He should probably give his diet a going-over, and it wouldn't hurt to up cals if he isn't gaining.

But, wouldn't hurt to switch programs if he is interested, either.


Two months on a program isn't all that long of a time. Checking the diet as mentioned above is a valuable tip. Diet has a crucial role in the overall scheme of things. Healthy supplimentation may also be missing key factor.

As I posted above, you may just need to alternate a few of the exercises as well. 5x5 is great for strength gains, perhaps throw in a compound or tri set at the end of your last set on some key exercises in the high rep range. That could also promote some growth.


True, but the people who can gain weight easily don't usually ask questions about gaining weight. :wink:

Really, if you're not gaining weight, you're not eating enough. If the weight you are gaining isn't in the desired form, then you're either not stimulating muscle growth, or you're eating too much. It's pretty much that simple, regardless of who you are.

True, but once again, there is nothing wrong with his current program, so switching programs now would just overcomplicate the issue/take emphasis off of the real problem.

Now later on down the road, when he's learned how to eat to gain muscle, then sure he can go ahead and switch to a program that looks interesting. But if he never learns the importance of diet, then no program is going to be as effective as it could be.

As Tiribulus said in a different thread:

"Even halfass work will bring some results if you're eating, but you cannot outgrow the food no matter how hard you work."



You've stagnated on 5x5, so you think that even more volume will get you going?! AND you play soccer?!!

Sorry dude, but your planned volume is way too high. Cut back to 5 or 6 exercises per workout and no more than 2 sets of each.

If you hit this balls-out for a while you should do quite well. I predict that even then, you will start to stagnate after 2-3 months. When this happens, drop back to two whole-body workouts a week, with maybe 7-8 exercises per.

Whatever you do, believe me that the answer to a halt in gains is almost never More Volume.

Take Care,


I would just stick to the 5x5, even better, this routine: http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm#INTRO: