T Nation

How's This Workout?


OK, it's my first post and I'm gonna do the infamous "is this workout OK" thing. I started lifting about 3 months ago, and did a pretty simple 5x5 to get started. I was doing 2 days a week, bench, rows, and squats on Monday and pullups, dips, and deads on Thursday. I want to start adding more volume now, and make sure I'm not totally screwing things up. This is what I have:

Mon: flat bench(5x5), incline pec machine*(4x7), back squats (5x5)

*the pec machine is like a bench, but the motion is up and in, kinda like a cross between a bench and a flye.

Tues: chin ups(5x5), supported bent over row(5x5), dumbell row(4x7)

Wed: Machine crunch(4x12), oblique machine(2x12 each side), hanging pikes(4x12), back extensions(4x7)

Thurs:Dips(4x7), standing dumbbell press(5x5), leg press(4x7)

Fri: pull ups(5x5), seated cable row(4x7), deads (4x5)

Sat: rest

Sunday: Machine crunch(4x12), oblique machine(2x12 each side), hanging pikes(4x12), back extensions(4x7)

So is this OK for the next few months, or am I screwing it up. It gets me in and out the weight room in about a half hour, which I need because I'm a single Father and don't have much time to spend in the gym.


Welcome aboard, man. Just strap in and enjoy the ride. :wink:

What are your training goals? Why are you working out? You said you want more volume. Meaning, you want to be doing more work overall? Or you just want to work each bodypart more? Usually, there's a tradeoff between volume and intensity. The old "You can run fast, or you can run long, but you can't very fast for very long" analogy. The more volume you do, the less intense (weight) you'll probably need to do. So, it depends alot on your goals.

::round of applause:: An awesome start. Nice stuff.

You get through these workouts in about a half-hour? That's a pretty quick clip. The exact details will depend, again, on your general goals, but right off the bat, I can say that you probably don't need 2 days dedicated just to ab/core training. If you're hitting the big lifts, like you are, you should be able to toss 1 or 2 exercises in at the end of another day or two, and be just fine.

Also, you're still using alot of 5x5 work, which is fine, especially if it gave you results. But if you've been doing 5x5 for the past 3 months, switching to a different set/rep scheme could prompt more results. Maybe 8x4 or 10x3. Of course, doing more sets of each exercise makes it important to choose the "right" exercises.

The big basics are never a bad choice. I'd try to learn some new movements, that you haven't used before. Maybe sumo deadlift, push press, close grip bench press, front squat, things like that.

I can totally appreciate that. I'd recommend looking into Dan John's One Lift a Day routine:
It's, um...just one lift a day. So, you're lifting 5 days a week, but each session is brief. Could be right up your alley.


I guess a mixture of size and strength. To start, I'd like to have a 5x5 of 225 for bench, 275 for squat, and 295 for deads strengthwise. Let me get that and I'll reevaluate. I'm currently at 165 on bench, 200 on squat, and 200 on deads. Size wise, I'd like to get another 20 pounds or so on me. I started around 173 and at around 181 now on a thin, 6'1" frame. At least I'm not 'skinny' anymore, so it's a start.

Well, I used to do MMA, and I'm doing Judo now, so I'm a timer junky. I set my timer for 1 minute rest between sets. I don't want to rest too long, because I want some muscular endurance to go with the strength. So 3 exercises w/ 1 minute rests equals about 8 minutes per each exercise. As far as abs, I'm a core junky (again being an old MMA guy) I'm just used to doing literally thousands of reps on ab work. I switched to the weights cause I want some hypertrophy there too. Do you think it's too much?

I'm still making progress on the 5x5, so I didn't want to give it up. If you notice, myold workout is hidden inside of my new one. I started noticing some weak points, so I added things in to try to fix that. My chest is my weak part, and bench hits my delts more than anything, so I added the pec machine after to toast my pecs. My tris are weak, so standing press after dips to raost those once a weak. Squat hits my hammies more than my quads so I added in the leg press. My back was coming along nicely, but I want a big back dammit. I've always been skinny so my size will come form that. If you notice, I have 2 push days, 2 pull days, 2 leg days, and 2 core days. I use 2 exercises for everything but back where I use 3. I figure there's so much more muscle in myback I should hit it more. That's my idea anyway, I'm asking youguys to make sure it's on track. The 4x7 is to get a litlle more hypertrophy, but still make decent strength gains. I dunno, made sense to me.

I've tried some of those. After this cycle, I want to do a couple months od Olympic lifts to mix it up, see how that goes. I just need someone to show me the lifts, or spend some time with just the bar to get them down. Right now, I'm doing pretty much all compound lifts that I stole from this site, lol!

Mebbe I'll try that too. So far, I seem to be responding well to more volume. I figure I'm in this for years, so I'll have time. I just don't want to waste time. I started lifting at 31 and just turned 32.


Your new workout looks good. Another way to keep your old work out and increase the volume is working out 3 times a week. Just go from: workout A mon, workout B tues. To: week 1: A, B, A, week: B, A, B, etc.