T Nation

Idea on Workout and Reps


Hey I'm a beginner just really starting out previously done a little starting strength but not much else. Searching the internet I obviously found so many contradicting articles which makes it rather confusing. However I've come up with a simple programme which I would like to follow from little bits that I have heard from a bunch of people and articles. I'm thinking of doing Monday, Wednesday and Friday full body focusing on main lifts. I want to limit my lifts to just 3 exercises per workout. The exercises I want to stick too are:

high Pulls
Push press
Clean press
power cleans
front squats
Bench press
Military press
Pull up
Incline Bench

A Sample workout week for me would be something like:

Monday: Front Squats, Bench Press and High Pulls.

Wednesday: Squats, Power Cleans and Push Press.

Friday: Dead lifts, Incline Bench and Clean and Press.

That's just an example. I haven't quite figured out what exactly I would do yet but I'm just looking for a little guidance really. Another idea that I want to do and try would be doing around 7/8 sets of 3 reps increasing the weight each time, starting at a weight I know I can do and say adding 2.5 KG/5 pounds each set until failure or a rep just before failure. I would be interested in your thoughts of if I should push to failure cause I am still a little confused on the subject. I whey around 135 pounds and around 5'10 in hight. for my diet I'm looking to consume at least 3000 calories a day but not much more over 4000 unless other wise stated. just really looking for some feedback on what you guys think of this idea. Be as critikle as you like, obviously I only posted to learn more.

Kind Regards


A large majority of the lifts you indicated are technical. Do you have form knowledge and experience with all those lifts?


The only ones I don’t really have experience with are high pulls and my power cleans are definitely a work in progress, but I was going to get some personal training sessions just to help me go through them and practice them.


The only ones i don’t have much experience on are high pulls and power cleans, their still a work in progress i would say. However i’m going to get some personal training sessions to help me get the best form on those lifts.


Hey, I’m in a sort of similar situation (beginner, starting strengt-like training approach etc.) and I have greatly increased my Squat, bech and clean numbers in a month (they still suck though…). I have been doing stupid stuff in the gym for a couple of years and finally starting to do something right.

So don’t take my word for it, but what really worked for me is dropping out ALL the unnecessary stuff. I mean do you really need to do both front- and backsquats, incline- and normal bechpresses, powercleans and clean and press… you get the idea. Why not just squat, press overhead, deadlift, bech, do pullups and clean. Then when your presses stall (at least they did for me) add in dips and higher rep work with the same excercises. I tried to mix SS with calf raises, ab-work, biceps curls and some other stuff because I didn’t feel satisfied after just the main work in the beginning. However when the weight starts to get heavier I realized that they shifted my focus from the big movements so i dropped the small stuff.

I feel that I need to get good on the basics in order to grow strong, complexity just makes progression slower. But I’m in no position to tell you what to do, this is just my two cents.


maybe you should just follow as close to the template as possible? im a beginner myself, and having alot of different varieties of exercises to learn and adapt to in the early stage would be a bit too overwhelming for a beginner like me and yourself.

what i would do instead would be to just focus as much as i can three times a week on the basic lifts (back squat, deadlifts, press, bench, and cleans) you dont really need to progress to other exercises if you havent really mastered proper technique into each of those lifts, and atleast doing a 1 rep max of 1XBW shoulder press, 1.5XBW bench, 2x BW squat and 2.5 x BW deadlifts.

and i dont really think going to failure every week would be a good idea, your body wont be able to recover from that much heavy lifting, and it’ll just hinder your linear progress in your other lifts. sure, maybe you wouldnt feel it in the first 2 weeks, but when you’re rching the 4th or 5th week, trust me, your body will feel so beat up and you just feel like shit (tried and tested this myself lol) i dont know about your goals, but for me i wanna make steady linear progress for as long as possible, so sets to failure dont rly do me any good for a beginner lifter as myself.

but afterall this is just my opinion on the matter, there are tons of other people more knowledgeable than me in these forums, but i felt that i should just share this cause im a beginner myself, and i could relate easier to your current situation. good luck bro!


First off, good job getting started and asking for help. With that attitude I think you’ll do well.

If you are thinking about three times per week total body, why not pick a tried program with demonstrated results? Follow starting strength or try Waterbury’s Total Body Training. Beginners probably shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel as it were. Personally, I like Waterbury’s tbt

My 2 cents


Hey guys cheers for all the responses and advice, i think from what people have told me im gonna scrap my idea of making my own workout due to the fact of not really knowing anything but alas it was worth a try :). As ive had a break from training since doing starting strength due to exams and holiday ect ect im gnna go back to the programme as a mad good gains on it. Probably going to try to get back to where i was then progress.

Gambit_Lost my friend at home always rates basically everything Chad Waterbury’s writes as solid gold, so i think ater about a couple of months im gonna jump on the band wagon and give his 3 day split ago. I looks really good, but gonna get back everything i lost on starting strength. My basic short term goal i have is really to get stronger first then worry about size a bit later, i know some peolpe are probably kicking themselves when they read this saying you get stronger as you get bigger. but this is the path ive chosen to follow myself. again guys thanks for your feedback :slight_smile:

Kind Regards