T Nation

Guidelines On Making Your Own Workout That's Good?

What’s a good guideline on making a good workout plan? I loved this workout from T-Nation but got tired of it after 10 weeks (The Best Damn Workout Plan for Natural Lifters). Helped me a lot on gaining weight and mass. I like to change things up every 8-10 weeks to grow and also keep things enjoyable to do, I get bored if all I do is the same thing every week after week.
I like doing PPL routines or something like this:
Monday: Chest & Biceps (Push)
Tuesday: Legs (Push)
Wednesday: Back & Triceps (Pull)
Thursday: Legs (Pull)
Friday: Shoulders & Traps

I know I can just find a workout that is good for me but a lot of them seems to be geared for pro bodybuilders that do steroids. What do you guys do for making your own workout or how do you pick a workout that is good for you? I don’t want to be the guy who keeps changing routines because its tiresome or not working out and doesn’t get any progress.

This was recommended by a guy on here I read a lot of and would trust.

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Curious how you can tell which programs are the ones for guys on steroids and which ones aren’t?

Dave Tate and Jim Wendler talk about it here

But basically, you’ve got 2 guys that have trained for decades and also used steroids, and neither one of them have ever seen a program built for athletes on steroids. How could you ever write such a program? Is one the deca program and the other the tren program? Steroids have different effects.

For making my own training, I just steal from other programs and take the things that have worked for me. My current approach is a combination of 5/3/1, Deep Water and ROM progression.

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To be honest, I don’t know. I have done workouts from like Kris Gethin which has worked for me. His DTP workout is quite effective. I get told by people online like “oh, most workout programs you see online are for pro steroidal bodybuilders only”. So I get misinformation and sometimes don’t know what to believe…

Yeah, true how would you make a program for only people on steroids lol.

I find that going back and forth on low reps for a couple of weeks then high reps for a couple of weeks helps. I really like how the workout I mentioned in the post above have the legs be every day and there’s no legs day which I always get tired of for some reason. I actually like legs day but every leg workout I’m tired. But that workout which does one leg exercise every day, it has been amazing honestly. What’s the 5/3/1 program? Is that the one where you do 5 reps then 3 then 1?

I’ll check it out. I think I saw this but I haven’t tried it yet.

It isn’t, no.

Here is a VERY basic primer on the subject, ghost written about a decade ago

The system has massively evolved since then, and Jim has his own forum on this site that discusses it.

Thanks for sharing. I will check it out and try it. Is any workout good for any goal? Like right now, I’m trying to lose body fat. Can 5/3/1 or any other workout be fine wither it’s fat-loss, muscle gain, or strength gains?

Fat loss is primarily a function of nutrition.

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I mean if we’re talking geared vs nongeared programmong I think the biggest difference is recovery. Namely how much damage you can do on a muscle and it recover and adapt properly. I’m not talking about just mr Olympia level or gear either but if you were, look at the amount of volume they do. If a natty does that much hard volume at same relative intensity is he going to recover? Is he going to be functional in time for his next workout? most importantly is his body going to adapt to the stress and him grow? I think there’s a difference in what’s most effective for geared and nongeared absolutely but I think it varies lifter to lifter too.

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What about if we take a lifelong coach potato and give him 1g of test a week and compare his ability to recover from workouts to a lifelong multisport athlete?

Will we assume the former will recover better from training than the latter? Or will steroids only aid in recovery, and instead we realize that recover and work capacity are ALSO trainable qualities?

There are natural athletes training with volume that would blow away gym rats on gear.


I completely agree with you. That’s why I said it varies person to person. However I think if you’re comparing 2 very similar athletes or 2 average gym rats all of similar strength, age size etc. then add gear to one of them and don’t the other we would see a difference in strength recovery etc. comparing couch potatoe to elite athlete though I mean of course there are genetic freaks of nature or can smoke almost anyone. But add someone the same genetics and geared

If juice made everyone elite athletes my town would be full of them.

Absolutely true. It’s a variable, just like anything else. It’s just why the idea that some programs are for steroid users and some aren’t is silly.

Yeah that’s true. Like any cookie cutter programming isn’t perfect for everyone. No matter what variables apply to each person, find what works for you and make changes where needed.

JTS (and therefore RP) cater for PED use by prescribing more volume. There are other factors they consider, so a naturally gifted athlete could end up with more volume than an athlete who recovers terribly but is on PEDs.

Other than that, I haven’t encountered a drug and drug free program. My gym has people who are on and not on gear and we all run more or less the same programming.