T Nation

Is My Routine Balanced and Effective?


#1

Day I

Low-bar squat 3X5 (or) 8
Bench press 3X5 (or) 8
Pendlay rows 3X5 (or) 8

Chin-ups 3X8-10
Chest dips 3X8-10
Side-lateral raises 3X10
Barbell curls 3X10

Day II

Low-bar squat 3X5 (or) 8
Bench press 3X5 (or) 8
Pendlay rows 3X5 (or) 8

Deadlifts 1X5 (or) 8
Romanian deadlifts 2X8
Overhead press 3X8
Straight-arm pull-downs 3X12-15

Day III

Low-bar squat 3X5 (or) 8
Bench press 3X5 (or) 8
Pendlay rows 3X5 (or) 8

Pull-ups 3X8-10
Glute-ham raises 3X10-12
Face-pulls 3X12-15
Cable Overhead triceps extensions 3X10

5 (or) 8 reps is just my way of handling progression plateaus. Whenever a pleateau occurs, I adjust the weight and rep scheme until I plateau on that and then alternate to the previous rep scheme.


#2

No.

Look up Texas Method or Westside type of program. It will teach you what you are trying to do.


#3

It’s definitely a good start, but I would tweak your set and rep scheme.

Alternating reps between 5 and 8 to avoid plateaus is a little random. Sets of 5 are going to help build strength, while sets of 8 are going to help build size.

I would look for a quality program put together by an experienced coach. A good program will be proactive against plateaus, changing things up before they happen; as opposed to being reactive and changing set and rep schemes after already hitting a plateau.

I’m not a huge fan of squatting 3 days a week, but I know people have had success with it. I personally have found people make more consistent progress over time with 1 or 2 squat workouts a week and 1 deadlift workout.


#4

x2, similar but better


#5

I agree with this to an extent. Your Day 2 looks like a lower back injury waiting to happen.

Listen to the other posters re: Texas Method. If that doesn’t pique your interest, there are plenty of tried and true 3x a week full-body programs that we could also recommend. Let us know if you would like further suggestions.


#6

The only thing that makes me weary of texas method is that from everything I’ve read on it, it’s supposed to be an intermediate level program. I’m still really weak and beginner level.

Bodyweight: 170lbs

Squat: 185X5
Bench 145X5
Pendlay row 150X5
Deadlift 260X5

Deadlift number is approximated. Had mono, atrophied badly. Working back up with low deadlift frequency, but feel like I’m able to do more weight than I currently am repping at.


#7

Mmmm, well I must say your original post looks quite similar to Stronglifts 5x5 (did you get parts of it from that?), minus the assistance work.

If we were to stick with your original post as a template, I would change it up as follows (Edits marked with an *)

Day I

Low-bar squat 5x5*
Bench press 5x5*
Pendlay rows 5x5*

Glute-ham raises 3X10-12
Chest dips 3X8-10 (I changed the order of dips and chin-ups because you do your bench before your rows, your chest/tris/shoulders will be less fatigued than your back/bis)
Chin-ups 3X8-10
Face-Pulls 3X15*

Day II

Low-bar squat 5x5*
Overhead Press 5x5* (This needs to be a main lift, not just an assistance lift).
Deadlift 10x1* (I like using singles for deadlift better, even if you’re not lifting a lot of weight).

Face-Pulls 3X10*

Day III

Low-bar squat 5x5*
Bench press 5x5*
Pendlay rows 5x5*

Glute-ham raises 3X10-12
Chin-ups 3X8-10
Chest dips 3X8-10
Face-Pulls 3X15*

This is more of a variation of 5x5 with moderate assistance lifts. I took out the bicep curls and tricep extensions because you really just need to focus on the compound movements until you get your strength on those up; however, if you feel like you are recovering okay between workouts, you can add them back in. Personally I would do both of them on Day 3 since I assume you have a couple of days off after.


#8

Hmmmm okay.

Yeah it was more based off of starting strength, but I’ve run stronglifts before. I feel like progression is easier with three working sets instead of five. It was also inspired by a program I got off bodybuilding.com forums which was called viking’s bare bones series.


#9

Just curious, but how old are you? If you’re still young (<25) I would think sticking to any of those programs could get your strength up to the point where you could confidently run a Texas Method-type of program.


#10

32 years old and genetically weak.


#11

So, my muscles will begin to grow by adding three more reps? I usually stick to 6-7 reps… WTF am I training for? Am I wasting my time? :scream::scream:


#12

My condolences.

Seriously though, I think even with the more basic programs (e.g. Starting Strength), you should be able to get up to a more solid base of strength. Is your recovery on point? Nutrition? Any form of supplementation? It sounds like you have spent a fair amount of time in the weight room, just haven’t seen the results you would expect.


#13

I feel recovered as far as I can tell. DOMS aren’t really ever an issue anymore.

I spent all last year dieting atoning for a failed dirty bulk. I was running stronglifts at the time. I plateaued squat at about where I am now, 185-190lbsX5 (at 210ish lbs body weight.) My form has improved though.

My bench got up to about 170-175X5 before the cut. I had a pec strain toward the end of the cut that had me screwed as far as chest work for 3 months. This year I’ve been sick 4 times including mono that screwed me for 6 weeks and had a neck/nerve injury that set me way back, limiting bench press, overhead press, rows, and vertical pulls from feburary until early april when the mono cleared. I came back and could barely squat 135x5. On my 3X frequency program and with muscle memory I’m back to 185. I also amrap my final set of squats and bench when I can. Squats is usually good for about 3 labored reps after the 5th. I figure if I increase weight after I amrap 7-8 then I should be able to at least hit all 3X5 on the next increase.


#14

I aim for 18 cal per lb.

1-1.25g protein per lb
0.6 - .07g fat per lb
Remainder carbs.


#16

:wink:


#17

I guess one of the positives here is that you have lowered your bodyweight and have your strength back up to what it once was. The nutrition seems fine as well, assuming your intake pre/peri/post workout is okay.

Your approach to the rep scheme should work for progression as well. By all means keep it at that for when you do bench and squat.

In regards to the 10x1 deadlifting, could keep the weight around 85% and just rest from 60-90 seconds. Progression each week can be lowering the rest time (e.g. Week 1-90 seconds, Week 2-75 seconds, Week 3- 60 seconds, Week 4-deload) and then upping the weight for the next cycle. I would prefer this 10x1 approach with your program since you already are doing Pendlay Rows on Days 1 & 3. Everyone responds a bit differently with deadlifts, but overall I think (anecdotal evidence) more people tend to respond best to the 1-3 rep range. You can easily use the same weight (265lbs) you pull 1x5 for 10 singles instead. You’ll be able to better focus on your form and get twice the volume.

And sorry for the delayed response. This is a new account so was only allowed a maximum number of posts on my first day hah


#18

Awesome. Your posts have been really helpful.


#19

Of course, man. Keep at it. You’ve had a lot of hurdles thrown your way, and, within reason, your consistency can overcome all of them.


#20

I’ve revised my original split to this. What are your thoughts on this version?

Low-bar squats 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Bench press 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Pendlay rows 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Overhead press 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Pull-ups 3X8
Glute-ham Raise 3X12

Low-bar squats 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Bench press 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Pendlay rows 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Deadlift 2X3 + 1XAMRAP
Chest dips 3X8
Face-pulls 3X10-12

Low-bar squats 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Bench press 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Pendlay rows 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Overhead press 2X5 + 1XAMRAP
Chin-ups 3X8
Romanian deadlifts 3X8


#21

Overall looks good. For the second day, personally I would switch your order of BP and OHP. I think by the time you finish the Pendlays you’re gonna be a bit gassed, so you’re not gonna make as much strength gains with the OHP if you’re always doing it as your 4th movement. Also might be better to drop the weight and do a 3x8-10 for whatever movement you choose to do after the Pendlays (whether it’s a day where you do OHP/BP 2nd/4th). If that makes sense.