T Nation

I Made This Program Myself


In trying to make a program that couples strength and mass by formulating one to two compound movements with a handful of auxiliary movements. The program goes as follows...

Day 1:
Back Squat 5x5
Bench Press: 5x5
Dips: 5x10
Tricep Pull-Overs: 3x15
Lunges: 3x15

Day 2:
Deadlift 3x3
Barbell Rows: 5x5
Pull Ups: 5x10
Hamstring Curls: 3x15
Bicep Barbell Curls: 3x15

Day 3:
Squat: 5x5
Press: 5x5
Barbell Front Raise: 3x15
Tricep Pull-Overs: 3x15
Lunges: 3x15

Day 4: Same as Day 2, with the switch of chin-ups instead of pull-ups...

I'm 5'8" and 145 lbs(65.77 kg). If this program seems unreasonable than would you be able to point me in the direction of a solid and proven strength and hypertrophy program? Thank you.


I cannot imagine you will recover well by squatting and deadlifting twice a week for 3s and 5s. Also on day 1 you squat and and day 3 you back squat. What sort of squat are you doing on day 1?

I think 5/3/1 would work better for you.


I also meant back squat for Day 1, sorry. I don't doubt the potential strength gains in 5/3/1 at all, but will it give me substantial mass gains as well? I've also been looking at Amit Sapir's "Strong Bodybuilder Program" http://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/strong-bodybuilder-program


I would not have suggested it if I did not believe that it would accomplish this, so I am unsure if you meant this question to me specifically or someone else.

What do you believe is required to obtain hypertrophy and what do you feel 5/3/1 is lacking in that regard? It may help answer the question.


Yea, I was just clarifying though. I mean, I'm not expecting, nor do I want to look like a Ronnie Coleman or anything. I'd just like to build muscle mass with the numbers (weight) to show for it. But, I understand now. I'll start 5/3/1 tomorrow then. I might start a log on here. My only question is, how do I find my 1RM? I'm pretty new to barbell training, so I haven't done real heavy weight yet. Thanks, by the way.


Keep adding more to the bar till you miss; your max is the last weight you successfully lift before you miss.

Or you can hit a rep max and then estimate.


Let's take you out of the equation.

Let's say you have a world class coach, one who has been writing programs with essentially those goals for decades. They are well respected, have thousands of clients to test their results on. Has achieved results for themselves and others with plenty of glowing references, even writing pieces which get published.

Then you have someone who has a test bed of himself (and possibly his bros). Has been alive for less time that the previous guy has experience and probably hasn't achieved anything outstanding for himself or others and is recognised by no one.

Of these two people, who would you take your advice from?


Side note: That's a nice idea, but specific goals get reached.

Actual 1-rep maxes can be tricky, especially for beginners. Wendler has recommended taking a few sessions to work up to a 4-rep max in the four basic lifts, and then use that directly as the training max (so you'd work all the weekly training percentages off your 4RM instead of 90% of your 1RM).

Or, instead, you could work up to a solid, reliable 2-rep max, treat that as your "pretty-much 1RM", and then take 90% of that to treat as the training max. So you'd technically be underestimating your 1RM slightly, but "starting too light" is fine in this case.


I'm always amused (and amazed) how many people seem to think strength and hypertrophy must be accomplished through such different means. Sure, at the extremes a different approach is required, but the desire of novices to do a targeted "hypertrophy" program instead of simply doing "a program that will get you bigger and stronger" because they're worried they're not "maximizing hypertrophy" astounds me.


Loads of lifters squat/deadlift multiple times a week dont be stuck in the bodybuilding once a week stuff.

That programme looks fine, just stick at it for afew months


I was not offering that advice to those lifters, but tk the topic creator specifically. I apologize for any confusion. I also squat multiple times per week, and that is also an option on 5/3/1.


If you had a rest day between each of those days above, I think it would be a better program than what you have.

I think you'll find that 4 days straight alternating squatting and deadlifting will cause you to stall out on one or both of them fairly quickly, and/or find a major loss of motivation and energy both in and out of the gym.

I once ran a program that involved squatting 6 days a week, but in order to compensate for that, I was doing nothing but squatting during that program. The squatting took enough out of me that I wouldn't have been able to do much else without everything falling apart.

Based on what you're looking for, namely a mix of heavier strength-focused work on a core set of compounds, and some higher volume work on more "bodybuilding" lifts, that one of the 5/3/1 variants or one of the Greyskull variants would be a good fit. Greyskull is a bit more aggressive in its loading parameters, but it self regulates.


An off-topic question, but, why Ronnie Coleman? He hasn't been in the game for a very long time.

Do you know where you picked that up from? Pavel? Rippetoe? Mehdi? Just wondering.


As someone who doesn't follow Bodybuilding, Ronnie is probably one of the few names I could mention without going into the 70s, and when you go that far back most people aren't talking "Mass Monsters" anymore, so that could be the variable.


I know when I first started I had the same "I don't want to look like Ronnie Coleman" thought. He was really the only "modern" bodybuilder I'd heard of. I know somewhere in my reading I'd picked that up, possibly in Pavel's "bodybuilders are weak" schtick. (Which would somewhat ironic considering Ronnie was very far from weak.) But it could have been in StrongLifts or Starting Strength or something in any of those ecosystems. Or even BB.com reading.

I've seen "I don't want to look like Ronnie Coleman" a lot, but not Kai Greene, or Phil Heath, or Branch Warren, or even Jay Cutler or Dorian Yates. It's just interesting how he got singled out.


I'd have to disagree with this. The program as written is almost Madcow, in fact Madcow has a third "main lift" for each day. If he followed a very specific loading progression as is specified in Madcow he could certainly recover from session to session


Isn't Madcow a 3x a week program vs 4x? I feel that change alone would be able to have a significant impact on ability to recover.

And I am inclined to agree that if he changed the loading parameters from what he originally posted that the program could be very viable. I was commenting on the program as it was posted though when I made my statement.


That being said, I am unsure of the value of emulating Madcow for the TC's goals of size and strength. From what I have witnessed, the program is a viable method to continue strength gains after exhausted a linear abbreviated program like Starting Strength, but I have not seen many trainees make enviable size gains with the approach.


Well yes, but Madcow has squats on the deadlift day as well.

However, I recalled now that Madcow involves ramping to a top set instead of straight 5x5 sets so I retract my statements, OP's program would problematic recovery wise.


Much like 5/3/1, the size gains on Madcow will come with the assistance work, no?