T Nation

How's This Program?


I've recently fulfilled a bit of a 2 year long dream since I got my first set of dumbbells. I've got my gym in my garage set up. This to me means a few things.

1.) I have the room to perform compound lifts.
2.) I can get bigger.

My stats are:
Height: 5'7
Weight: 144lbs
Approx BF%: 12-16% No idea.

Bench press: 1RM 75kg
Deadlift: Unknown
Squat: Unknown
Clean and press: Unknown.

My goal: To continue to gain lean muscle.

My new program is basic.

Bench press 6reps x 4sets
Squats 12reps x 2sets
Deadlifts 6reps x 4sets
Clean and press 8reps x 3sets.

3 Days weekly.

Yes the rep scheme isn't the same on all of them, if this is a major cockup please let me know, and why.

I've gained some decent weight recently so I am gaining muscle but I think a program of all compounds should stop me from hitting a plateau.

I am now keeping log books for each facet that I incorporate for bodybuilding. Weights, Calisthenics, Diet.

I worked out my BMR is 1893kcal with my activity level it works out at 3028kcal. For optimal mass building I need to take in 3482.2 kcal a day. I have been doing this for a long time but mostly being carbs I haven't seen the best return. So I'm going for 1.875g of protein per lb of bodyweight on high(er) days and 1.125g of carbohydrates per lb of bodyweight and a steady 99g of fat per day.

If there is anything wrong with this program or anything I've missed please let me know.

I have creatine monohydrate pure german micronized stuff or something anyway - I take 5g of this per day only on workout days. With protein I take 1.5 scoops as post workout also only on workout days. I use maximuscle cyclone, I struggle to find Biotest stuff in the UK. The fish oils I have are Eye-Q omega 3 and 6 liquid version - Can't swallow the pills >pussy<


Are you one of the guys from your avatar? :slightly_smiling:


I wish.


I can't see you being able to keep that routine up for long, as you lift heavier it's going to become very taxing. As you have a home gym, you really have all the time in the world, so if I were you I'd just do a basic 4/5 day split. Pick 3-4 exercises you like for each major muscle group (chest, back, legs, shoulders), and do them. You can add in some extra bicep/tricep stuff when you want, depending on how you plan it out.

If anything is going to make you plateau, I'd imagine it's doing the basic compounds without any work for accessory muscles.

As for your rep ranges, I would personally stick to traditional ranges for now

Sets x Rep Range

5 x (4-6) // strength
4 x (6-8) // size + strength
3 x (9-12) // size

then start tweaking and see what you respond to best


But seriously...
1) congratulations with your new DBs, but can't you simply hit the gym?
2) if you insist on training in your garage, choose the exercises carefully.
For example:
back - pull-ups with DB between your legs
chest - if you have a bench - DB press; if not - push-ups with DB on your back (partner needed)
delts - DB press
lower body - lunges + hyperextensions (if your DBs are really heavy go for deadlifts)
3) you MUST progress
4) forget fancy calculations with you diet - just eat, till you can't see you balls because of the stomach :slightly_smiling:
5) don't buy any supplements just now - save the money for new plates for your DBs

Best of luck!


You wish to be one of the guys in your avater?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPIP_cVtwUI check out this vid there in it lol


When it comes to rep range, go for intensity. Forget about volume right now. You can try sth fancy, e.g. 8 x 3 reps with the same weight.


I don't really understand the rationale behind the differences of rep range in the OP program...Plus, lower body exercises are somewhat redundant (DL, Back Squat and Clean). If you have a barbell, you can give a try to The Southwood Program (to be performed on three non consecutive days a week):

Power clean
8-6-4 reps

Military press
8-6-4 reps

Front squat
8-6-4 reps

Bench press
8-6-4 reps

Short rest intervals (1-2 min between each set), keep the same weight for the three sets, and add weight when you complete all the 18 reps.

Reference: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/lessons_from_southwood&cr=

Read the recent article about creatine; if I can recall correctly, the author suggests that 3 gr each day is the best way to go.

EDIT: you can probably do the program with DBs


8x3 is used for speed work

Choose weight you handle with for high reps and do about 3/4sets slowly also add cardio after your weights or on non-lifting days.


Actually I run a few Waterbury program, and 8x3 with your 5RM, 60-75 sec of rest, is a serious strength/functional hypertrophy protocol, although the author doens't recommend it for beginner.


Rogers, are you serious with the cardio? This guy is 144 lbs.


Actually I run a few Waterbury program, and 8x3 with your 5RM, 60-75 sec of rest, is a serious strength/functional hypertrophy protocol - that's what I always thought :slight_smile:


Well he said he wants lean mass so to get that you have to do cardio aswell.


Well I havent seen that program yet i'll probs check it out but like that author said not recommended for begginers so give this dude something simple.


Not at all. I'm afraid adding cardio will result in no lean body mass at all.


Well It wont stop him from getting mass but it will probably make his gains slower or faster its depends on the person actually.

Well he should think about bulking and once he has decent muscle gains he then should start trying to get lean.


I don't want to get into silly debates such as cardio yes or not, full-body vs splits, etc...but if a 144 lbs beginner get into a x3 week full-body like routine, I have a hard time figuring he's going to need any cardio...as long as he pushes himself in the gym...ops, in the garage :slight_smile:


I don't just have dumbbells.I should have been clearer about this. I had dumbbells two years ago. Right now I have the same dumbbells, barbell, tricep bar and around 140kg of plates. I'll try this Southwood thing. I just want to work on strength with the best results possible. I've done 5x5 on bench press since I got my bench in January. Gone from 55kg 1RM - 75kg 1RM. I'm 144lbs so I'm lifting a fair bit more than my bodyweight. If I've been doing anything terribly wrong then I can't wait to see the results when I'm doing things right.

Not meaning to sound offensive, but I stay better motivated working out somewhere I feel comfortable. The gyms in my area are full of 160lb guys who are lifting 50kg on bench press max. I've been there, I've watched them. Are they really people I should be taking advice from?


Read the whole article, as you may find some interesting variations. Another good program to do in a home gym is the One Lift A Day, always by Dan John (but you've better run Southwood for a couple of months). Here's the link to OLAD: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_one_lift_a_day_program