T Nation

Help Designing My Program?

How does this look for a program?

Workout A:
Row
Squat 5x5
Bench Press 5x5
Clean and Press 1x5
Clap Push-Up 3xF

Workout B:
Row
Squat 5x5
The (Overhead) Press 5x5
Deadlift 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF

Week 1: Mon - A, Wed - B, Fri - A
Week 2: Mon - B, Wed - A, Fri - B

Anything else I should do? Something I should avoid?

As for weight/volume, how does this sound?

Row 1000 m - add 25 m - each workout, for how long?

Squat - 45 kg/99 lbs - add 2.5 kg/5.5 lbs - each workout, until I can’t. Then what? Try again? Deload?

Bench Press - 35 kg/77 lbs - add 2.5 kg/5.5 lbs - each time I do the exercise (every other workout) until I can’t. Then what? Same as with Squats?

The Press - 30 kg/66 lbs - add 2.5 kg/5.5 lbs - same as Bench?

Clean and Press - 40 kg/88 lbs - add 2.5 kg/5.5 lbs - same as Press?

Deadlift - 50 kg/110 lbs - add 5 kg/11 lbs - same as Clean and Press?

Clap Push-Ups - how many reps should I shoot for? What to do when I reach that number?

Towel Pull-Ups - same question as for Clap Push-Ups?

Any thoughts, comments?

(BTW, sorry, my spellchecker isn’t what it should be… >_>)

EDIT: Link to my training log here on T-Nation - http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/zerosleep_training_log

Diet and Supplements.

Supplements:
A quality “Gainer” which gives me 584kcal per serving, broken down into;
54.1g protein
80g Carbs of which 5.5g is sugars
4.8g fat of which 2.5 saturates
4.2g fibre
0.48g sodium
3g L-Glutamine
Also 3g of Creatine Monohydrate.
It also has a bunch of other stuff like vitamins and minerals.
I only manage half a serving a day though.

Also 2 fish oil tablets of 1000mg each, and a Ginseng/Guarana/Roseroot tablet.

My diet varies constantly though, but I get at least 2 eggs a day, and 1 liter milk. Also fruits of some sort, and nuts. Will start making a weekly meal plan this Saturday, and buy in (almost) all ingredients needed until next Saturday

Is there a specific reason you want to do a clean and jerk,
rather than just a clean?
Personally, I don’t see the reason for wanting the jerk,
as OHP should work your shoulders plenty, and I think that the jerk will become the limiting factor?

I would go with Rip’s recommendation, so long as you feel like your form is ok, add as much weight to the bar as you feel comfortable with, and that you can maintain good form with.

My personal choice of supplements, would be a good quality protein powder, and fish oil.

Since I’m doing this mainly for martial arts purposes, I was guessing the clean and jerk would help me develop explosive power more than say DL’s, clean and OHP? Though I’m doing those to maximise muscle and strength gain. I could be very wrong though, which is why I’m here asking questions.

Thanks. That was where I was leaning, but it’s always nice when someone else can confirm you’re not completely out of it.

Protein powder is a check.

No getting around the fish oil I guess. My girlfriend keeps complaining when I take them though, I guess I’ll survive without all the fun I could have. This weight-lifting thing is hard, and that’s before the lifting, lol.

EDITED the first post with my new program, any thoughts?

Your program looks pretty good. Personally I would add a “C” workout where you deadlift on that day and don’t squat, you’ll get more out of it. It isn’t abnormal or anything to have squats and DLs in the same day, but if you are training heavy it helps to have the extra rest over a period of time. I personally only deadlift once every other week, and I have progressed fairly well with them, but I hit the DLs HARD on that day, and I usually make sure I have a couple days rest before I do squats. Otherwise, I get a good deal of spinal compression which becomes uncomfortable as the weeks go by. In any case, I stay feeling pretty flexible and agile with this, instead of feeling stiff, sore, and slow. So, instead of doing DLs on your “B” session, do something like bentover rows, seated rows, shrugs, facepulls, etc.

Also, the clap push-ups, I would recommend doing explosive push-ups or whatever their called. So from the bottom of the push-up position you push yourself up all the way to your feet-- should be some articles on it. If you can’t do them from normal position, you can press off a bench or something. They are much more effective.

Towel pull-ups, just do as many as possible every set. Its the only way to train pull-ups. If you hit a sticking point (plateau), try doing offset pull-ups. Where one hand is lower than the other, this will put more emphasis on the higher grip. You can do this with your towel, grip the bar with one hand, grip the towel with the other. The lower your towel hand is, the harder the pull.

I am a firm believer in squatting multiple times a week, so squat as much as your nervous system/recovery/experience will allow. Switch it up with front squats every so often to keep it interesting.

Cleans and what not are good, don’t know why people hate on them. If you already know how to do them correctly, you should do them.

Otherwise, just keep it simple. People take this shit too seriously and make it too complicated. Just keep progressing, always do an extra rep, more weight, etcetera every time you get in the gym. Work your ass off and eat plenty. Be patient and persistant. Later on if you get bored with your routine, check out Westside for Skinny Bastards by Joe Defranco, its an overall solid program. Don’t go neck deep with supplements, they’re a waste of money. Just stick with protein, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin. Otherwise, eat a balanced diet, with plenty of food to fuel your acitivities and you will be fine.

Oh yeah, all of this is opinion. So, take what you want, leave what you don’t.

The new program looks ok to me, again, I would say that you’re better off doing cleans just as cleans, they are brilliant power-production exercise, no need to press/jerk afterwards in my opinion. Although at this stage it probably won’t be a limiting factor anyway, and shoulders tend to recovery fairly quickly in my experience, especially as a beginner.

I’d second the idea to just do as many reps as possible per set for push-ups/pull-ups, or you could try and shoot for a number that you know you will get on your first two sets, and then go all-out on the last set. Either way should improve your numbers- you could try both and see which one lets you get the most reps overall, or try either one for a 6 week period and see which improves your numbers most.

Personally I wouldn’t do a row on both days, I think in starting strength he doesn’t even mention them as being neccessary, especially if you are doing cleans? It’s not really going to be a deal breaker, though, in my opinion.

As far as deloading goes, I like the system SL came up with- if you fail at any given weight, re-try up to three times (in your next workouts), if you are still failing the weight then deload by 10%. Simple but effective. If you fail mulitiple times, then it might be time for a heavy deload (15-20%) or time to drop to 3x5 instead of 5x5. That being said, stick with 5x5 for as long as possible, your muscles will thank you for the extra volume, especially as a beginner!

That’s a lot of squatin’ are you going to be able to recover fast enough to do 25 reps of heavy squat 3 times a week? I commend you on wanting to squat that much and if you can handle it more power to you.

Evolv - How about I add that “C” workout every other Monday and Friday (Week 2), something like this:

Workout C1:
Row
Deadlift 5x5
Front Squat 5x5
Overhead Press 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF

or

Workout C2:
Row
Deadlift 5x5
The (Overhead) Press 5x5
Front Squat 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF
and change Workout B to:

Workout B:
Row
Squat 5x5
The (Overhead) Press 5x5
Bentover Rows 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF

Explosive Push-Ups sounds good. How about Push-Ups vs Dips?

How often should I switch up my Squats with Front Squats? Overhead Squats?

Thanks man. :slight_smile:

tassietaekwon - I was thinking about that. But it’s an exercise I find really fun, and something I look forward to whenever I go to the gym. If the press becomes a limiting factor, which isn’t unlikely, even at 1x5, I’ll re-evaluate if I should just drop the press or do the deloading thing. I think I’ll keep them for now though, as I still recover fairly quickly as a beginner with low weights.

I’ll try both, though I like the idea of shooting for something I know I can make the first two sets, and then going all out. I find going to failure set after set is much more demanding mentally than what it actually is physically. (In other words, I cave before my muscles actually reaches failure.)

The row in the beginning is one of those machine things, and I do that as my warm-up. I could skip it of course, but I don’t like the idea of squatting cold, and definately not cleaning while cold.

Yeah, that seems like a great system, thanks for reminding me.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

dday - I can do it so far, dunno how long I will be able to keep doing it though. Especially when I don’t get the sleep I should. But I’ll try for as long as possible, and when I can’t no more, I’ll re-evaluate and come back here for some more pointers.

Yeah I would say just choose one of your C1 or C2 workouts and go with it, they look good. As far as when to switch up different exercises, I play it by ear. If I’m consistently progressing in say front squats and I am enjoying them, I will do them for at least 3 weeks, maybe go up to 6 weeks. For me, it is helpful to switch it up every so often.

This helps me keep from burning out on one thing and always keep the adaptive response active. Because afterall, your goal in a sense should be for the exercises to be challenging and fun (well, you know what I mean.). If you are absolutely dreading something, you should change it, because you’ll not get the most out of that movement.

Samething goes for push-ups and dips, I would alternate them. They are both great. Maybe throw in a superset or something to keep it interesting and “new.” Be creative.

Good luck!

So the new program would be:

Workout A:
Row
Squat 5x5
Bench Press 5x5
Clean and Press 1x5
Dips 3xF

Workout B:
Row
Squat 5x5
The (Overhead) Press 5x5
Bentover Rows 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF

Workout C1:
Row
Deadlift 5x5
Front Squat 5x5
Overhead Press 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF

Workout C2:
Row
Deadlift 5x5
The (Overhead) Press 5x5
Front Squat 1x5
Towel Pull-Up 3xF

Week 1: Mon - A, Wed - B, Fri - A
Week 2: Mon - C1, Wed - A, Fri - C2

It seems like my triceps would be going through hell, but is it just me or does this lack in the biceps department? Should I add in something for calves and abs, or do they get enough work from the rest of the exercises? And though not as bad as most people, I do seem to have some posture problems, namely my shoulders. Should I toss in something like DB Reverse Flies to try to counter that?

Also, this doesn’t seem anything like a simple “Squat and Milk”-program for beginners anymore, more like a complex TBW-cycle for intermediate/advanced lifters. Is that better or worse for reaping the newbie-gain benefits? At least it won’t be boring, but I better not forget my training log or I’ll be lost, lol.

Thanks again for the reply. :slight_smile:

Don’t over analyze it, just go do it. Use common sense, read, educate yourself. Lots of articles here that can answer 99% of your questions. Have fun with it man.

I second the advice not to over analyse it,
but I would say the way you had it set up without the C workouts was just fine- I did starting strength and was dead lifting 1x5 once a week, and squatting every day.

I believe that the squats have a lot of carryover to your dead lift, not so much the other way around. Personally I would find 5x5 dead lift much harder to recover from than 5x5 squat+ 1x5 dl.
And you’re right, it makes it needlessly complicated. I really like SS’s simplicity, every day I could go into the gym and just hit the three exercises hard, and get out.

A lot of SS fan’s say not to add anything to the program-
Personally I think adding shoulder health stuff is a brilliant idea, add in some rear delt work at the end of your work out- flies/face pulls/ ytwl’s/black burns- any of these would be good choices. Just don’t go crazy on it. Doing things like dislocates, scap wall slides, push-up-plus’s as part of a warm up wouldn’t go astray either.

Doing ab work both workouts wouldn’t hurt either, I wish I had been more diligent with it- I kind of believed/hoped that just doing my squats/dl’s/press would be enough to work my core, now it’s a weak point and needs a lot of work. That’s just my personal experience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was common. Again, don’t go mad with it.

Personally though, I feel direct bi/calves work is something I would be conservative with in the beginning. Rows and pull-ups will hit your bi’s somewhat. I never work calves (unless you count jumping rope?), and they’ve grown proportionally.
I never trained arms directly (For the first 3-4 months, I work them directly now), and although they grew, they probably are a weak point, aesthetically speaking, now.

My advice is to just concentrate on the major exercises for the first couple of months, then re-evaluate your progress, and decide whether direct arm/calves work is needed at that point. The reason for this is simplicity, and as far performance goes- they are probably less important. Having bigger arms/calves won’t do much, if anything, to help your major lifts, which is where the emphasis should be at this point-

Overall, I think the really big thing with this program is to hit the squats hard and heavy and often. Eat a ton. Get into the gym, work hard, and get out within the hour. Eat eat eat. Sleep well and do it all again.

Keep photo’s and a training log. After 3 months or so, look back and decided what you need to add/modify/what you could do without.

Good luck!

[quote]tassietaekwon wrote:
I second the advice not to over analyse it,
but I would say the way you had it set up without the C workouts was just fine- I did starting strength and was dead lifting 1x5 once a week, and squatting every day.

I believe that the squats have a lot of carryover to your dead lift, not so much the other way around. Personally I would find 5x5 dead lift much harder to recover from than 5x5 squat+ 1x5 dl.
And you’re right, it makes it needlessly complicated. I really like SS’s simplicity, every day I could go into the gym and just hit the three exercises hard, and get out.

A lot of SS fan’s say not to add anything to the program-
Personally I think adding shoulder health stuff is a brilliant idea, add in some rear delt work at the end of your work out- flies/face pulls/ ytwl’s/black burns- any of these would be good choices. Just don’t go crazy on it. Doing things like dislocates, scap wall slides, push-up-plus’s as part of a warm up wouldn’t go astray either.

Doing ab work both workouts wouldn’t hurt either, I wish I had been more diligent with it- I kind of believed/hoped that just doing my squats/dl’s/press would be enough to work my core, now it’s a weak point and needs a lot of work. That’s just my personal experience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was common. Again, don’t go mad with it.

Personally though, I feel direct bi/calves work is something I would be conservative with in the beginning. Rows and pull-ups will hit your bi’s somewhat. I never work calves (unless you count jumping rope?), and they’ve grown proportionally.
I never trained arms directly (For the first 3-4 months, I work them directly now), and although they grew, they probably are a weak point, aesthetically speaking, now.

My advice is to just concentrate on the major exercises for the first couple of months, then re-evaluate your progress, and decide whether direct arm/calves work is needed at that point. The reason for this is simplicity, and as far performance goes- they are probably less important. Having bigger arms/calves won’t do much, if anything, to help your major lifts, which is where the emphasis should be at this point-

Overall, I think the really big thing with this program is to hit the squats hard and heavy and often. Eat a ton. Get into the gym, work hard, and get out within the hour. Eat eat eat. Sleep well and do it all again.

Keep photo’s and a training log. After 3 months or so, look back and decided what you need to add/modify/what you could do without.

Good luck![/quote]

Awesome advice. Thank you, Sir.

Both of you, of course.

Is there a +rep thing here?

starts re-writing the program again, replaying the mantra “keep it simple, keep it real”, over and over again in my head