T Nation

Help, Please Critique


#1

Hello my name is Alexander, I'm 17, lean at 135 pounds(bw) and 5,9(height). I've been working out for 2 years and during those 2 years I've ran into a bench plateau, im really struggling and I don't know what to do.

My routine: (My goal is strength)

Monday-Pyramid Bench 8,6,4,3,2,1,Failure//Dips To failure(max 175)
Tuesday-Back Squat 60%x5/70%x5/75%x3/80%x2 (max-210)
Wednesday-Incline Bench/Push press: Still a beginner (Max:In-145/Push-125
Thursday-Front squat 10x3 (max-155)
Friday-(repeat of Monday)

I don't know if im overworking myself, or im not doing enough, or I just need to drop my workout completely and if anyone experienced has any advice like taking supplements or Creatine anything would be helpful.
Much Appreciated- Alexander~


#2

Check out this topic. It should be helpful.


#3

Here’s what you need to do: Go deload for a week (just stretch, go to PE, walk, etc), then come back to lifting.

I’d then say follow this program: (adjust as gym access allows, but give 2 days of rest between lower and upper body days)
Monday: Heavy squat/deadlift day
Wednesday: Rep bench day
Thursday: Speed lower body day
Saturday: Heavy upper body day

Now I am going to go give you a training cycle. I want you to follow it to a T if you run it.
Week 1 heavy squat/deadlift day
Squat up to a heavy set of six (leave one rep in the tank, or when you start to grind very hard. Never miss a rep on this day)
Romanian deadlift/SLDL (go pick a type and stick to it) 3X6-10 either pyramid up to the heaviest set or do straight sets. Add weight/reps as you can. Either add weight, or reps not both.
front rack reverse lunges 3X10 per side (ask if you don’t know how to do these)
back extensions 4X12 add weight as you need. You should be keeping an arch in your back, and moving through the hips. The spine should not flex or extend as part of the motion
Dumbbell side bends or suitcase deadlifts (pick one and keep it in) 4X6-8 add weight and reps as possible. The suitcase deadlift you should brace your abs and arch your back and should not bend to the side at all

week 2
squat to heavy rep of 5, leave one rep in the tank
same assistance/accessory exercises. Increase weight and reps as form allows

week 3
squat to a heavy set of 3

week 4
deadlift (conventional or sumo pick which style and keep to it) to heavy set of 6
front squats 3X8
one leg DB romanian deadlift 3X12 per side
back extensions keep the same, or do them off of a 45 degree hyper bench instead
do side bends if you did suitcase deadlifts for the past 3 weeks and vice versa. Keep reps same
week 5
deadlift to heavy set of 5
same assistance/accessor as week 4
week 6
deadlif tot heavy set of 3
same assistance/accessory as week 4

week 7
No main lift of the day
do 3 sets of lunges staying away from failure, 3 sets of back extensions, and 3 sets of hanging leg raises then go do whatever you need for recovery. This is mostly just to get a pump and recover

week 8
repeat what you did on week 1 except add weight. So if you did 200X6 on your squats then you would try to do 215X6 or 220X6. Be mindful of form, and only do what you can lift without your form going bad. This is to ingrain proper form while increasing strength
assistance/accessory work should be from the weeks 1-3 and just increase reps/weight from where you stopped off at on week 3

After this week, just repeat the training cycle

Rep bench
week 1
Max reps with 95, or 115 on bench. Do three sets, and rest 3 minutes inbetween
laying strict tricep barbell exensions, or dips 4X12 stick to whichever one you pick for the first 3 weeks then switch to the other. Focus on the reps for the tricep extensions, and the form. Stay honest, or you can fuck your elbows up.
go do 50 reps of chin ups/pull ups broken into as many sets as you need to do this
bent over rear delt raises 3X20 or db seated cleans 3X15 focus on proper form for the seated db cleans or feeling the rear delts for the raises
3X10 barbell curls
week 2
beat what you did last time
week 3 beat what you did last time
week 4
Do three sets of max reps with a set of dumbbells and rest 3 minutes in between
pick the (or) exercise and go work on it
keep the chins/pull ups in. If you want, go change to a different grip. Once you can get them in 3 sets go try to get 75 reps in as many sets as needed
week 5
beat last weeks
week 6
beat last weeks
week 7
do light dips, three sets of chin ups, two sets of curls, and 2 sets of rear delt raises. This is to get blood in the muscles and to rest so don’t hit failure on anything.
week 8
go repeat weeks 1-7 try using 115 or 135 for the bench for the max reps

Speed squat/deadlift day
week 1
12X2 squats 60% of max keep rest 45s-1 minutes
10X1 deadlift 60% of max keep rest 15s-25s
strict good mornings 3X10 move through the hips, keep chest up, and get a stretch in your hamstring. Never go above 50% of your squat max. You’ll want to start at about 30-40% of your squat max. This exercise has more benefits with strict form than it does with bad form, and is much safer strict.
calves do whatever, no more than 5 sets. This work doesn’t matter
hanging leg raises (weight them as you are about to) 4X10 or ab rollouts 3-4Xas many as you can. Start weighting the ab rollouts/do harder variations as you get stronger. Start with the variation with your knees on the ground.
week 2
10X2 squats 65% of max
10X1 deadlift 65% of max
increase weight/reps for assistance/accessory
week 3
8X2 squats 70% of max
8X1 deadlift 70% of max
increase weight/reps of assistance/accessory
week 4
restart the squats/deadlifts with percentages using the same sets/reps and weights
switch to the (or) exercise
week 5
same
week 6
same
week 7
50% of squat 8X2
50% of deadlift 6X1
leg curls 3 sets 10-20 reps

Heavy bench day
week 1
floor press up to heavy set of 6
overhead press or high incline bench press 4X6-8
pendlay rows or strict bent over row 3X8
DB strict shrugs with holds at the top or trap bar shrugs 3X20
bicep and tricep super set pick two exercises of each and superset them. Keep exercises the same and increase weight and reps while keeping rest low. No more than 4 super sets
week 2
floor press up to heavy set of 5
increase weight/reps of assistance and accessories
week 3
floor press up to heavy set of 3
increase weight/reps of assistance and accessories
week 4
close grip bench press up to heavy set of 6
switch to the or exercise
week 5
close grip bench press up to heavy set of 5
increase reps/weight
week 6
close grip bench press up to heavy set of 3
increase reps/weight
week 7
Do whatever you want as long as it is upper body, you keep the sets under 12 work sets, and you don’t miss any reps
week 8 repeat

After you do two cycles that I outlined, and you have been eating to grow you should be about 10 pounds heavier, and benching about 20 pounds more and squatting/deadlifting 30-40 pounds more. I’ll get some videos up later for form.

For eating: Just add 500 calories from protein/carbs/fat to what you eat. Get a mix of carbs/fats and get at least 1.5Xbw in grams of protein. You want to gain 1 pound of body weight a week.

Also, what exactly did you eat yesterday/today?

I hope you take this advice since it took me about 40 minutes to write that program for you.

By the way, I was also your weight and had similar lifts (I squatted and deadlifted a lot more though) when I did something like this for 12 weeks (this type of training can be done year around, and should be) after getting plateaued hard. I gained 25 pounds on my bench, 30 on my squat, and 30 on my deadlift and 5 pounds of solid body weight when I did it. This works very well.


#4

You are 135lbs at 5’9"… You are not lean you are scary skinny… Eat that is your problem and don’t try and say you do because you don’t eat near what you think if you even think that.


#5

Dude you posted this exact same question in the other thread. 10 People telling you to eat man!


#6

Thank you for the lifting Advice, I plan on using your bench with a few changes if that’s alright.
My strength coach said don’t dead lift on the same day as squat, but i have amazing leg endurance, I don’t have pain in my knees after and i feel slight burn in my quads but I just started squatting this year,(September). What’s your opinion on what he said?
Also how close is Close grip bench press for you like standard grip right above shoulders or like skull crusher grip.

p.s.-Thanks, I appreciate all your help and time you took for writing your program i defiantly need a leg & arm routine, and i plan on following your through for the 12 weeks.


#7

No acknowledgment of your nutrition being your problem. Go ahead and follow that way overcomplicated routine to break past your 175 bench plateau.

Or you know…you could eat food and just run something like 5x5. Your diet sucks and your training is irrelevant until you comprehend this fact. You do not have 2 years experience lifting. You have 2 years spent wasting your time. When you realize this, then you can start learning and progressing.


#8

Check the forum I posted before I know my diet sucks, if you check near the bottom comments Ive already acknowledged the fact that I have a shitty diet but if my routine is shit it doesn’t matter to. I don’t need to get 30 pounds heavier in 3 months to lift more weight, aka i said strength training not bodybuilding thanks for your time.

-Alexander Shoemaker


#9

[quote]goolox123 wrote:
if you check near the bottom comments Ive already acknowledged the fact that I have a shitty diet but if my routine is shit it doesn’t matter to. I don’t need to get 30 pounds heavier in 3 months to lift more weight, aka i said strength training not bodybuilding thanks for your time.
[/quote]

You’re flagrantly disregarding advice from two of the most knowledgeable lifters that post on this forum and actually like to help people.

No you don’t need to get 30 lbs heavier in 3 months to lift more. You need to get 60 lbs heavier in 6 months to lift more.

If your diet is shit, you’re shit, to put it bluntly. The best routine in the world isn’t going to do anything if you aren’t eating. You eat to recover. You recover so that you become stronger. I mean it isn’t rocket science.

I believe I said strength training, not bodybuilding.


#10

Eat more
do more upper back work
work on bench form


#11

[quote]goolox123 wrote:
but if my routine is shit it doesn’t matter to.[/quote]

Nope.

Diet>routine.


#12

[quote]UnknownPerson wrote:

[quote]goolox123 wrote:
if you check near the bottom comments Ive already acknowledged the fact that I have a shitty diet but if my routine is shit it doesn’t matter to. I don’t need to get 30 pounds heavier in 3 months to lift more weight, aka i said strength training not bodybuilding thanks for your time.
[/quote]

No you don’t need to get 30 lbs heavier in 3 months to lift more. You need to get 60 lbs heavier in 6 months to lift more.
[/quote]

Aw come on man! 60lbs in 6 months? Why would you tell anyone to do something stupid like that unless you are certain he has George Leeman’s genetics?


#13

I promise you if your nutrition is dialed in and your recovery is spot in you can follow a very simple program and make great progress. However the same is not even remotely close in the opposite situation. You can follow a rediculusly thought out and looks all fancy on paper like the routine above but continue to eat like a little bird and you will continue to look and lift like a little bird. How do you expect to grow if you do not give your body what it needs to grow… I don’t understand how or why this concept is so hard to grasp for people. There is no program that is going to help you progress at this point.

This is all I will say as obviously you either honestly don’t care about progress or are to weak mentally to fix the problem you have.


#14

[quote]goolox123 wrote:

My strength coach saidâ?¦ [/quote]

Why don’t you ask your strength coach how to improve your bench? Also eat more. Do you want to stay 135 lbs for some reason?


#15

Alexander,

You are much like many, many beginners who come here for advice. And the simple answer to your qualms are that you are over complicating things. Just because you read it and can regurgitate information does not mean you are doing it properly in the field.

I suggest you search for some of Colucci’s articles regarding beginner training.
Simple and effective.

And as I said before, it’s likely your technique sucks ballsacks.


#16

[quote]Reed wrote:
I promise you if your nutrition is dialed in and your recovery is spot in you can follow a very simple program and make great progress. However the same is not even remotely close in the opposite situation. You can follow a rediculusly thought out and looks all fancy on paper like the routine above but continue to eat like a little bird and you will continue to look and lift like a little bird. How do you expect to grow if you do not give your body what it needs to grow… I don’t understand how or why this concept is so hard to grasp for people. There is no program that is going to help you progress at this point.

This is all I will say as obviously you either honestly don’t care about progress or are to weak mentally to fix the problem you have. [/quote]

This is good.

Most are deathly afraid of getting fat. To the point of being obsessed about it like a woman.

Couple that with general ignorance about how fat is gained, how muscle is built, and the necessary nutritional ingredients of both… and you get guys that WILL work hard but simply won’t eat enough. Or due to their ignorance, they think 300 calories more than the 2000 they used to eat when they were only lifting their cellphones or videogame controllers is enough to grow ‘without getting fat’.

Rippetoe used to blame Joe Weider and his magazines for the unrealistic expectations of young male lifters. Nowadays I don’t know what to blame. Crossfit? Justin Beiber? Who knows.