T Nation

Help Me Create/Pick a Program


#1

Hey everyone,

I am 20 years old, 6'2" tall about 213 - 220 pound heavy. I have no idea about my bodyfat percentage... guessing I would atleast say 20%, maybe up to 25%. I have been training for 3-4 years although not that serious until maybe 1,5 years ago. Other than that I played sports all my life.

My focus has shifted to powerlifting specific training, most of my training career I did not have a solid program and I was often skipping between different things. That changed first when I did Johnny Candito's linear strength program. After that I started Jim Wendler original 5/3/1 (Triumvirate), which I am still currently doing. I am not quitting this until I have to but I want to plan ahead and have the next step layed out.

The squat is the movement I want to develop the most, just because it is awesome. In order to do that I want to try high frequency training. I thought about doing something like two times a week low bar, one time front squat + deadlift, 3 times bench pressing. Does anyone know a four day program that matches these conditions or could you help me create one? I was unsure of how to fit my ideas 1) in a four day program and 2) how I could manipulate volume and intensity so that I am able to recover from such a high frequency.

Sorry for the long introduction and explaining and thanks for any suggestions in advance!


#2

That sounds a lot like the RTS Generalized Intermediate program. Find the site, look in the articles for the program. It’s all autoregulated so that volume is based on your work capacity. Just keep GPP work to a minimum in the beginning. There is no reason why you can’t do several full body workouts every week as long as you don’t do too much volume in any single session. The first couple week won’t be so easy, but eventually it’s no big deal. Most weightlifters train at least 4x/week and both the comp. lifts are full body, plus squats and whatever assistance work.


#3

I don’t know of a four day program that matches that, but I’m sure there is one somewhere. I think the real question is: is it a good idea?

If you just want to hit your squat super hard, try Smolov or Smolov Junior, but be aware that from reports of people who’ve done it you will most likely have a horrible experience made worth the pain by a much bigger squat.

All that being said, I did something a little similar for a short period between meets to bring my bench up. You could do something like:

Day 1 - squat, speed work
Squat against bands- ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 60% (bands should add about 20 kg of tension at the top)
Pause squat - 6 sets of 2 at 60% with pauses of about 2-3 seconds in the hole
Bench press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 8-10 at 75%
Barbell rows - 6 work sets of 8-10 at the same weight as bench press
(you could even alternate the bench/row sets. I like doing that)

Day 2 - bench press and deadlift
Bench press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 60% (bands should add about 20 kg of tension at the top)
Deadlift - ramp up to clusters at 90%, aim for 5 or more (in case you’re not sure about clusters: singles with 30 second breaks)
Pull ups - 3-5 sets of whatever is comfortable but still a challenge

Day 3 - Front squat
Front squat - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 85%
Press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3-5 at 75%
Kroc rows - 3 sets

Day 4 - Squat and bench press, heavy
Squat - ramp up to 6 works sets of 5x80%, 5x80%, 3x85%, 3x85%, 1x90%, 1x90%
Bench press - ramp up to 6 works sets of 5x80%, 5x80%, 3x85%, 3x85%, 1x90%, 1x90%
Close grip bench press - 6 work sets of 6-8 at 70%
Pull ups - 3-5 sets of whatever is comfortable but still a challenge

You could do that for a while adding 2.5% every two weeks. I did something similar (like I said) for bench press over a three week period, so I increased by 5% every week. It worked, but I wouldn’t advise increasing at that rate over a longer period.


#4

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
That sounds a lot like the RTS Generalized Intermediate program. Find the site, look in the articles for the program. It’s all autoregulated so that volume is based on your work capacity. Just keep GPP work to a minimum in the beginning. There is no reason why you can’t do several full body workouts every week as long as you don’t do too much volume in any single session. The first couple week won’t be so easy, but eventually it’s no big deal. Most weightlifters train at least 4x/week and both the comp. lifts are full body, plus squats and whatever assistance work. [/quote]

Looked into it and you are right! Did you run this program yourself?


#5

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
I don’t know of a four day program that matches that, but I’m sure there is one somewhere. I think the real question is: is it a good idea?

If you just want to hit your squat super hard, try Smolov or Smolov Junior, but be aware that from reports of people who’ve done it you will most likely have a horrible experience made worth the pain by a much bigger squat.

All that being said, I did something a little similar for a short period between meets to bring my bench up. You could do something like:

Day 1 - squat, speed work
Squat against bands- ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 60% (bands should add about 20 kg of tension at the top)
Pause squat - 6 sets of 2 at 60% with pauses of about 2-3 seconds in the hole
Bench press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 8-10 at 75%
Barbell rows - 6 work sets of 8-10 at the same weight as bench press
(you could even alternate the bench/row sets. I like doing that)

Day 2 - bench press and deadlift
Bench press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 60% (bands should add about 20 kg of tension at the top)
Deadlift - ramp up to clusters at 90%, aim for 5 or more (in case you’re not sure about clusters: singles with 30 second breaks)
Pull ups - 3-5 sets of whatever is comfortable but still a challenge

Day 3 - Front squat
Front squat - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 85%
Press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3-5 at 75%
Kroc rows - 3 sets

Day 4 - Squat and bench press, heavy
Squat - ramp up to 6 works sets of 5x80%, 5x80%, 3x85%, 3x85%, 1x90%, 1x90%
Bench press - ramp up to 6 works sets of 5x80%, 5x80%, 3x85%, 3x85%, 1x90%, 1x90%
Close grip bench press - 6 work sets of 6-8 at 70%
Pull ups - 3-5 sets of whatever is comfortable but still a challenge

You could do that for a while adding 2.5% every two weeks. I did something similar (like I said) for bench press over a three week period, so I increased by 5% every week. It worked, but I wouldn’t advise increasing at that rate over a longer period. [/quote]

If it is a good idea will be seen when I try it. I am not sure but I want to find out. Thank you for putting in the time and effort for writing out your suggestion and experience.


#6

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
That sounds a lot like the RTS Generalized Intermediate program. Find the site, look in the articles for the program. It’s all autoregulated so that volume is based on your work capacity. Just keep GPP work to a minimum in the beginning. There is no reason why you can’t do several full body workouts every week as long as you don’t do too much volume in any single session. The first couple week won’t be so easy, but eventually it’s no big deal. Most weightlifters train at least 4x/week and both the comp. lifts are full body, plus squats and whatever assistance work. [/quote]

Looked into it and you are right! Did you run this program yourself?[/quote]

I’ve based my programming on this concept for the past year or so and am quite pleased with my progress. I really like autoregulation and simple periodization.


#7

[quote]kgildner wrote:

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
That sounds a lot like the RTS Generalized Intermediate program. Find the site, look in the articles for the program. It’s all autoregulated so that volume is based on your work capacity. Just keep GPP work to a minimum in the beginning. There is no reason why you can’t do several full body workouts every week as long as you don’t do too much volume in any single session. The first couple week won’t be so easy, but eventually it’s no big deal. Most weightlifters train at least 4x/week and both the comp. lifts are full body, plus squats and whatever assistance work. [/quote]

Looked into it and you are right! Did you run this program yourself?[/quote]

I’ve based my programming on this concept for the past year or so and am quite pleased with my progress. I really like autoregulation and simple periodization.
[/quote]

Were you able to recover from this? Did you do additional “GPP” work - meaning things like pull ups, face pulls and stuff like that? Do you think it is possible to recover from this being in calorie maintenence state or even a small deficit?


#8

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
That sounds a lot like the RTS Generalized Intermediate program. Find the site, look in the articles for the program. It’s all autoregulated so that volume is based on your work capacity. Just keep GPP work to a minimum in the beginning. There is no reason why you can’t do several full body workouts every week as long as you don’t do too much volume in any single session. The first couple week won’t be so easy, but eventually it’s no big deal. Most weightlifters train at least 4x/week and both the comp. lifts are full body, plus squats and whatever assistance work. [/quote]

Looked into it and you are right! Did you run this program yourself?[/quote]
Yes I did, currently I use the 4 day template that you see in the first 4 weeks but with my own adjustments - different exercises and rep ranges. It definitely works, my bench in particular has gone up quite a bit. Personally, I don’t really like the second half of the program where you only train 3x/week and Wednesdays have 4 exercises, but if you are peaking for a meet or test day it makes sense. I just wouldn’t use that template for my regular training, but it works for some guys.


#9

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]kgildner wrote:

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
That sounds a lot like the RTS Generalized Intermediate program. Find the site, look in the articles for the program. It’s all autoregulated so that volume is based on your work capacity. Just keep GPP work to a minimum in the beginning. There is no reason why you can’t do several full body workouts every week as long as you don’t do too much volume in any single session. The first couple week won’t be so easy, but eventually it’s no big deal. Most weightlifters train at least 4x/week and both the comp. lifts are full body, plus squats and whatever assistance work. [/quote]

Looked into it and you are right! Did you run this program yourself?[/quote]

I’ve based my programming on this concept for the past year or so and am quite pleased with my progress. I really like autoregulation and simple periodization.
[/quote]

Were you able to recover from this? Did you do additional “GPP” work - meaning things like pull ups, face pulls and stuff like that? Do you think it is possible to recover from this being in calorie maintenence state or even a small deficit?
[/quote]
There is no reason why you can’t recover from it, it just takes a couple weeks to adjust if you don’t currently train full body. That is why there are no down sets the first week. Mike also recommends not adding GPP work in the beginning for that exact reason. There are rows and a lot of deadlifts in the program so don’t worry too much about your upper back, and your conditioning level won’t drop right away. Once you get used to the workload you can add a GPP day - basically just lats, abs, conditioning. Once you adapt to that, you can add another GPP day. Keep conditioning light if you are training the next day. I do 2 GPP days a week, sometimes I might skip one if I feel burnt out but it is rarely an issue. Just don’t bite off more than you can chew and you should be fine. You fit the description of the person this program is written for, so I see no reason no to do it. As for cutting weight, it might be an issue in the beginning if you are used to low frequency training, but I’m sure it can be done.


#10

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
I don’t know of a four day program that matches that, but I’m sure there is one somewhere. I think the real question is: is it a good idea?

If you just want to hit your squat super hard, try Smolov or Smolov Junior, but be aware that from reports of people who’ve done it you will most likely have a horrible experience made worth the pain by a much bigger squat.

All that being said, I did something a little similar for a short period between meets to bring my bench up. You could do something like:

Day 1 - squat, speed work
Squat against bands- ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 60% (bands should add about 20 kg of tension at the top)
Pause squat - 6 sets of 2 at 60% with pauses of about 2-3 seconds in the hole
Bench press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 8-10 at 75%
Barbell rows - 6 work sets of 8-10 at the same weight as bench press
(you could even alternate the bench/row sets. I like doing that)

Day 2 - bench press and deadlift
Bench press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 60% (bands should add about 20 kg of tension at the top)
Deadlift - ramp up to clusters at 90%, aim for 5 or more (in case you’re not sure about clusters: singles with 30 second breaks)
Pull ups - 3-5 sets of whatever is comfortable but still a challenge

Day 3 - Front squat
Front squat - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3 at 85%
Press - ramp up to 6 work sets of 3-5 at 75%
Kroc rows - 3 sets

Day 4 - Squat and bench press, heavy
Squat - ramp up to 6 works sets of 5x80%, 5x80%, 3x85%, 3x85%, 1x90%, 1x90%
Bench press - ramp up to 6 works sets of 5x80%, 5x80%, 3x85%, 3x85%, 1x90%, 1x90%
Close grip bench press - 6 work sets of 6-8 at 70%
Pull ups - 3-5 sets of whatever is comfortable but still a challenge

You could do that for a while adding 2.5% every two weeks. I did something similar (like I said) for bench press over a three week period, so I increased by 5% every week. It worked, but I wouldn’t advise increasing at that rate over a longer period. [/quote]

If it is a good idea will be seen when I try it. I am not sure but I want to find out. Thank you for putting in the time and effort for writing out your suggestion and experience.
[/quote]

Sounds logical to me - try and see is the only way to find out if it works for you. My pleasure, hope it helps.


#11

Thanks for your help everyone. Once I can no longer make progress with 5/3/1 (with changing the template) I will change over to the RTS generalized intermediate program. For now I try to increase work capacity by adding gradually more volume on my main assistence work, so that the change to a full body training program won’t be as big.