T Nation

Is My Workout Plan Good Enough?



Because I like to train with heavy singles and basically low rep ranges, I've made this plan.

Deadlift 6x1 (Heavy Singles)
Dumbell Row 6x1 (Heavy Singles)
Cheat Curl 6x3 (Heavy Triples)

Close Grip Bench 6x1 (Heavy Singles)
Dips 6x1 (Heavy Singles)
Abdominal Work


Squats 6x1 (Heavy Singles)
Leg Curls 6x6
Abdominal Work

Push Press 6x1 (Heavy Singles)
Side Lateral Raises 6x6

I will do this workout while I'm cutting. My main goal is to gain strength, not mass.
Though I'm still wondering if you can gain a bit of lean mass if you work mainly with heavy singles?
The workouts take about 40-55 minutes.
I'd like some advices and critics, because I've never made an own workout plan before.


you still need to eat to gain strength. what are your numbers? you might want to expand the reps a little


What are your goals?

You said this is for a cut. Heavy lifting is good for preserving muscle, but I would be surprised if while on a cut you are able to execute and recover from 4 days of singles only lifting with any real degree of intensity in a single week.

The fact that you have two 'push' days for your single leg day is kind of weird as well and I'm not really sure on the point. This isn't a very balanced program and I personally wouldn't stand a chance with the programming you are using (singles only every workout) but I don't know your current condition or goals, so...


Current status:

Benchpress: 242 lbs
Squat: 330 lbs
Deadlift: 319 lbs
Push Press: 176 lbs

My goals are simple: Gain as much strength as possible while getting lean.
I'm not on a hardcore deficit, so I have enough energy for the workouts.

The point is, I gain the best strength with single reps. I've tried 5/3/1 while I was cutting and I became smaller and my max strength decreased.

MAX OT is also seducing, but is MAX OT for someone who wants to be strong? I've heared MAX-OT is a good mix of hypertrophy and strength.


I'd stick to 5/3/1 normal and do singles as assistance, eat regular, but throw in some hill sprints and you should be getting lean while getting stronger


I tried 5/3/1 already. It was a weird experience.
After two cycles I was able to squat 264 lbs 12 times (started with 7 replies)
According to calculations that's a new PR of 381 lbs.
But after the deload week I tried to see what my real 1RM is, and it was less than the 1RM I had before I started with 5/3/1.

So while the number of the rep for squats increased, my maximal strength decreased.
Doesn't make sense, does it?


replies? "reps" means repetitions. doing so many singles while cutting while might put too much strain on your joints, so pay attention to your body


Sorry, I mean repetitions. Corrected it.


Ok...I get what you're saying, but think about this. You are cutting. Don't expect to hit PRs while cutting and of course you are getting smaller, that's the point isn't it? On top of that, no program written for a general audience (and likely no program written specifically for you) is going to estimate your periodized progression to the lb ESPECIALLY NOT WHILE YOU ARE CUTTING.

You need to have your priorities straight. If max strength is your goal eat at maintenance, or better yet at a surplus. If fat loss is your goal, by all means try out your ideas but I think many people would agree that this is probably not an optimal set up for a cut and that you may have some conflicting goals at the moment.


Thanks for your reply.

I'm cutting for a while already and I hit personal records. But I'm still at a high bodyfat level, so I think that's why reaching PRs is pretty easy at the moment (20% bodyfat).
If you look at some weightlifters in the lower weight classes, they're cut to the bone and still strong as monsters.
That's what my goal is. I would love to have a bodyfat level of 6-10% and maintain it once I reached it.
I have a VERY slow metabolism and I gain fat very fast. With 2800 calories a day, I jumped from 176 lbs to 209 lbs within 3 months! Most of it fat of course. And I didn't eat trash food, I had a clean bulking plan.
Carrying lots of fat on a small bone frame looks horrible. I have an ectomorph structure.

Now I'm back at 187 lbs and I try to cut down till I reach a bodyfat level of 6-10%.
I was just wondering if a plan like I made would help me to reach the goal, but oboviously most of you don't think so.
I rather ask people here because I don't want to waste time doing a workout that wont bring me success.

If there is any system you know that would help me reach my goals, let me know please.

What about MAX-OT? I've heared alot of positive things about it, anyone had success with it while cutting?

I hope you people are patient with me, I'm still a beginner and need to learn some things.



My beef is that since you're a beginner, your form may be bad on some of those heavy singles.
In addition to that, even though you insist that you go "heavy", 6 reps total of an exercise is very little volume and intensity and not optimal for preserving muscle mass on a cut, lest gaining any.


Here's the thing, if you gained 30 lbs in a bulk and DIDNT put on a noticeable amount of muscle then you were not generating enough stimulus in the gym to trigger adaptation i.e muscular growth. I.E you weren't working out hard enough.

Without knowing exactly what you were doing diet and exercise wise it's impossible to say where exactly you went wrong, but the fact that you were gaining weight tells me the problem was more than likely in the gym.

So what makes you think that SIX REPS is going to generate enough stimulus to preserve or build muscle while on a cut? The main point here is that for six reps to equal the training response of say 2x15, 5x5, 3x8 etc. those 6 reps need to be HEAVY, and I'm just not seeing anything in your description of your failed bulk that tells me that will be the case.

If I were you I would probably eat somewhere very close to maintenance, i.e if you changed nothing day to day your weight would remain the same and put in a solid 4-6 months on any basic, beginners program that works in a moderate rep range or multiple rep ranges. See what you look like then before worying about 'bulking' or 'cutting'.


Ok I understand.
I did put alot of muscles on during that bulk aswell, but also very much fat.
I used to train with a beginner full body workout 3 times a week. That's a year ago though.
Since then I've been always training with a small calorie deficit.

I'm just afraid I will become fat again if I eat over maintance.

I have a waist of 92 cm, which let's my body look like a X.

I was over 47 inches before I started to lose fat.

I think I don't have alot of muscle mass at the momentan so probably cutting isn't the right decision...
But having a big waist isn't nice either. Or does your waist look small if you got big shoulders and a big lat?

"If I were you I would probably eat somewhere very close to maintenance, i.e if you changed nothing day to day your weight would remain the same and put in a solid 4-6 months on any basic, beginners program that works in a moderate rep range or multiple rep ranges."

Well I'm not a pure beginner anymore. Is MAX-OT something I should use while bulking?


daft. do 5/3/1 properly and do cardio. are you even making a sweat in the gym?


x2. 5/3/1 works because it was designed by someone who is smarter than us :wink: And don't say the system didn't work because you didn't hit PRs while on a diet.


x10000000000000, if i had 5/3/1 when i started two years ago, id be pulling 600lbs by now. i would actually wear a t-shirt with wendlers face on it this programme is so good


How close are you to your ultimate physique goal? If it's the same as most of the guys on here, lean, muscular and ripped I would guess pretty far off. You are a beginner. Get off the yoyo cycle and just spend a prolonged period of time WORKING in the gym and eating enough food to supply the energy and raw materials required to do so.

Pick any time tested body building or strength training protocol, the easier to follow the better and do it consistantly for months. Don't worry about PRs, they will happen but the further you get from raw beginner the rarer they will be. If you are eating at a caloric deficit don't expect them at all. Pick a goal and pick a workout and diet attuned to that goal, not at odds with each other.


I don't think 5/3/1 is necessary for someone who should be able to make big, weekly strength gains.
5/3/1 is about small & constant strength gains.

@ atg410:
I'm not very muscular yet. I'm also not very fat. Basically I'm far away from my goal.
Maybe cutting isn't the right time yet.
I've decided to eat a bit over maintance now to become muscular first, and then do a cut.
It's winter now anyways, so I take this time to bulk.

I think MAX-OT is the best for me to reach the goal of a strong physic and strength.
I like the simplicity of the program and I love training with heavy weights.

I will start a training log. You can check it out if you want.

Thanks for all your posts. I appreciate your advices.


So if you apparently have it all figured out already, why'd you come on here for advice? You seriously just tried to defend why 5/3/1 will not make you stronger, but low volume singles workouts should help you get cut. You were set on MAX-OT before you posted, and you're still set on it now, and nobody here said anything about it and it has nothing to do with your OP. What was the point of this entire thread?


What's a "weakly" strength gain?