T Nation

Idea for Summer Training


Hey guys
I want to add muscle mass, and increase strength slightly, although i won't be getting hung up on the weight i'm lifting. I'm planning on doing an upper lower split, twice a week(thats 2 upper days, 2 lower days). Here's what I've thought of so far:

Monday, lower:
Squats 5 x 5
Deadlifts 3 x 10
Split squats 3 x 8
Lunges 3 x 8

Tuesday Upper:
Bench Press 5 x 5
BOR 3 x 10
Incline DB press 3 x 8
Pullups 5 x Skull crusher 3 x 8
Abs training

Thursday lower:
Deadlifts 5 x 5
Calf raises 3 x 15
Front squats 3 x 10
Split squats 3 x 8
Abs training

Friday upper:
Millitary press 5 x 5
One arm row 3 x 10
Decline DB press 3 x 8
Cable seated row 3 x 10
Dips (weighted) 3 x 8

Thanks guys for any comments, i've only been training a couple of years so i'm sure some experienced guys can find some faults, infact i hope you do. Thanks.


What makes you think you'll add muscle without getting stronger?


I actually had a friend tell me, when he wanted to train with me, that he wanted to get bigger without getting stronger. It was mind boggling. I mean, the notion that strength and size aren't correlated wasn't nearly as hard to understand as someone not wanting to be stronger.



Maybe i should have explained a little better, i am mostly looking for hypertrophy, i would hope that my strength does go up but if i could compare it to the bill star 5 x 5 workout, which is based on increasing weight lifted each week, i will be trying to progress, or else i would see no results, but i meant i am not expecting weekly linear gains in terms of strength. But if i could draw your attention back to the routine, whats your thoughts/improvements for that? Thanks.


You NEED to get caught up on the WEIGHT you're lifting. It's all about moving progressively heavier weight or increasing the reps/sets for a certain weight every single week for every single lift. If you aren't beating your logbook, you aren't gaining.

And your split sucks. Deadlift twice in one week? Have you ever actually deadlifted more than 135? If you DEADLIFT for real and not fuck around there's no way you can possibly do it twice in one week. Go to the Beginners forum and learn the basics first by reading the stickies and use one of the pre-made training programs by one of the experienced authors. Or you can spend the next couple of years training ineffectively. The choice is yours, my friend, but I HIGHLY recommend you read the stickies in the Beginners forum and learn more about the basics. Follow a pre-made program (i.e. Bill Starr 5x5, WS4SB), learn how your body responds to the weight and different exercises, gain some solid experience FIRST, and then, attempt to design your own program once you have a very firm grasp of the fundamentals and the fundamentals of your body. It does not need to be complicated.


Thanks man, atleast you told it straight. I have done the Bill Star routine, with some good gains(they were in my opinion atleast). Is there another routine similar that someone could send me a link to?


Why not continue with the 5x5 template till the gains stop? Even then, I;m fairly certain raising protein intake, timing carbs better and overall increasing calories will get them "flowing" again.

My personal opinion is to stick to the 5x5 (but add direct arm work), milk the template for all its worth and start feeling your muscles in the movements. As you gain a feel for your body you can make adjustments to the 5x5 (set-rep range, etgc), add/subtract main movements, add accessory work, etc...split and group exercises into specific days - and for all you know by the end of the year you could be doing a body part split (after all the cumulative adjustments).


Thanks, i think i probaly will judging from the response of what is now an apparently dreadful idea! What would you suggest as most effective arm exercises as i'm only going to be doin two or three each workout. The only reason stopped doing the 5 x5 because i injured my lower back, for which i am currently not working out while i let i rest, it was either, or a combination, of squatting, or deadlifting with poor form. So i will hopefuly get back to training soon and back to my original point most effective arm exercises and should i do them every workout ? thanks.


How about a regular 4 day split? Back, Chest and Biceps, Legs, Shoulders and Triceps or something like that. I can't comment on 5x5 because I've never done it..but I have done similar upper/lower, TBT splits in the past. I'm seeing faster gains (judging by the mirror) on a good ole 4 way split than I did on those past splits. Good balance of enough stimulation and rest.


Thanks a good idea man, like i said in an earlier comment, i'm out for a few weeks so i have some ime to reflect and think so that when i can train again, i'm doing training the most efficient way for my goals, and if you have never done 5 x 5, i highy recommend it.


Reference this list... http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/best_exercise or http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/the_best_exercise_for_each_body_part . It's a list of people's favorite exercises for each body part. Find a couple you like, stick with them for several weeks to months, progress on them each week till you've COMPLETELY plateaued, and pick a new one to replace it and repeat the process all over again. Just remember to keep it simple and beat the logbook, and you will see gains in accordance with a proper diet and rest.

Also, don't confuse a really sore back from having a weak back with being injured, but of course ensure you take all precautions to ensure you don't get injured. Read some of the articles on this site for proper form on squatting and deadlifting... Dave Tate has a good one for squatting (900 lb squat article) and Eric Cressey has a series of quality deadlifting articles.


Thanks, i will take all your advice on board, i'm only 16 and have a HUGE amount to learn, i very stupidly thought that after 2 years training, i knew what i was on about. But tonight has been a turning point for me i hope. Have your or anyone else got any other tips for building muscle? and i am currently reading the stickies in the beginners session by the way. Thanks.


I know i shouldn't take long off and thanks for the consistancy tip but this injury has been pissing me off for a while, and it doesnt feel like a normal muscle ache, i think i've torn something, so i just want to take abit of time off and see if it goes away, in which case i'll be training as soon as i can.


Well generally speaking if you focus on getting stronger and eating enough food to maintain growth you'll do fine. As you get more experienced you'll learn how good your recovery rate is and how often you can train and whatnot.


It all comes down to four things really... lifting, eating, resting, and learning.

Lifting - lift hard, heavy, and with enough intensity to continually beat your logbook from what you did the week before

Eating - eat enough to allow your body to grow, especially at 16, and implement some of the basics for proper diet ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/7_habits_of_highly_effective_nutritional_programs&cr= )

Resting - sleep and rest enough to give your body enough time to recuperate, but this doesn't mean you need to sit on the couch all day when you aren't lifting. it just means take care of your body and not run it into the ground by drinking excessively regularly or not allowing enough time for proper sleep.

Learning - learn from what your body tells you, and this means to pay attention to all aspects, including lifting, eating, and resting. the mirror tells all. learn from those who are more experienced and most importantly those who have proven results (i.e. big guys). however, never never never over think this and make it more complicated than it needs to be, so don't get caught up in changing your program around frequently or trying out this new exercise you saw in a magazine b/c it looks cool.

And above all else stay CONSISTENT with everything.


A bigger body moves bigger weight. Not sometimes the case but in my experience I'm moving slightly more weight now than when I was 187lbs


Ah yes, what's the like most quoted thing over at intensemuscle? Consistency x Time = Success I think.


what kinda weight are you lifting, and be specific. (1rm or 5rm, or 5x5 weights)


My lifts are nothing special, deadlift 120 KG x 5, Squat 92.5 KG x 5, Bench 77.5 KG x 5, Bent over row 65 KG x 5, Millitary press 45 KG x 5. I imagine these aren' even warm up sets for most you lot, but think back to when you started, i might be wrong, but i don't think they're terrible, and sorry they're in kilos i know americans tend to work in pounds.


Ya you need to increase your strength....