T Nation

Intermediate Lifting Routine


I found this online somewhere and I'd like to run it by you guys. Its super simple, yet looks like it would be quite effective. I may give it a go after I finish the program I'm on now. Workout three days a week, one day for bench, squat and deadlift. The goal of this program is to build strength, but there is enough volume to elicit hypertrophy.

Week1 3x6 (75%) 1RM
Week 2 4x5 (80%) 1RM
Week 3 5x4 (85%) 1RM hardest week
Week 4 3x3 (90%) 1RM this is a deload as total volume is cut by about half, but it is still challenging.

After a month, move bench up 5 lbs and squat and deads up 10lbs and start the cycle over.


Uhm... Going at 90% for 3x3 isn't a deload.


It's only a deload in the sense of volume is cut which I suppose is better than no deload.


90% for 3x3 is actually probably going to be the hardest week if you set a realistic max.... 3x3 at 90% or a real max should require like 10 minute rest intervals as 3 reps at 90% is very difficult! I think it looks like a reasonable program though considering its just each lift once a week you might as well just do 5/3/1 as it will allow you to lift based on how you are feeling which I think is a better way to train since 90% 3x3 or 85% 5x4 would be impossible with a bad nights sleep, poor diet etc.


There are many ways to deload people. You can deload by dropping DE work, dropping the volume, dropping the ME work.

That being said, OP, if you're deloading by keeping the heavy stuff in, that should be the only thing you do that week, no accessory or anything else. Personally I like dropping ME work for deloads to give the joints a bit of a break and I move my stance significantly in for squats that week to give the hips a rest.

Give the program a try, it may work, it may not. It's nothing special, just a basic linear periodization, which has been proven by many that it works.


I will drop the accessory work that week.


How do you know that is enough volume to elicit hypertrophy? How do you you know you have enough relative training intensity to build strength?

Go for it and see if you get stronger but don't say blanket statements with nothing to back them up. This is nothing orignial. It is just following the recommendations from Prelipins Table... which has absolutely nothing to do with hypertrophy.


Seems like a good compound program, albeit +5lbs/bench +10lbs/squat-dead per month is a very slow progression.

Be sure to go all out on each exercise to determine your true 1RM before beginning and dont be afraid to workout more like 3times/6days if you got the time/drive and/or put more than the requested weight every time you finish a cycle if you feel too comfortable; it wont kill you (but if it does, I reject all responsability) and will make you progress faster.


5 lbs/month on bench is slow? You do realize that at the end of the year that'd be 60 lbs on your bench and 120 lbs on squat/dead by your calculations (if things actually worked out that way).

I'd kill for 120 lbs on my squat/deadlift in a year and 60 on my bench.

OP: Ignore this moron.


For an intermediate that's slow, except if intermediate is your genetic limit or you're not going balls out (or both).


The more advanced you get, the slower the gains. Do yourself a favor and simply stop attempting to give advice. Learn.


I had some success doing something similar over the Summer for my squat. I started at 4 sets of 7, then 5 sets of 5, then 6 sets of 3, adding 20lbs each increment.

Each time through, I would jump the weights by 10lbs.

Liked it and got into a nice 13 week groove or so, constantly PR'ing.


juggernaut method- similar but better


Tell me what an intermediate is.


I would say between trained and strong in the relative strength standards.

Learn? Haha, I'm talking from experience. only thing im learning right now is how hopelessly poor standard can be in people's mind.

Thrive for more than you though you could at first though, this is a lesson worth learning wise guy.

Comfy linear progression is only good for beginners who are afraid to break a leg if they do more than the recommended weights!


How much would it cost for you to do my programming from now on? You seem like you know your stuff.


Oh I agree with STB here. You must really have some big lifts then....


What relative strength standards? Some people think intermediate is a few months. Others think it's years. Some think it's based on how much you can lift for your bodyweight.


I believe most people take it to mean weights based on body weight. http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/StrengthStandards.htm

I'll also look into the juggernaut method. Thanks!


"Comfy Linear Progression is only good for beginners" Wow can't wait for Wendler or someone to chime in here..
120lbs added to squats and deads and 60lbs added to bench in a year, with alot less chance of injury and still being able to maintain good form and not overtrain. I'll take that anyday, oh wait it is in fact what I'm doing now, yay for 5/3/1 !!