T Nation

Is This an Effective Program?


I am 21 years old, I have been training for 7 years, I'm 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weigh 210 pounds.

Current numbers
Back Squat: 445 pounds for 5 reps
Deadlift: 530 pounds for 5 reps
Bench (BB): 285 for 5 reps
Overhead Press (BB): 195 pounds for 5 reps

My current routine is
Back Squat
DB Bench

Front Squat
Overhead Press BB
Power Clean

3 sets of 5 for everything except power cleans where I do 5 sets of 3. I train 3 days per week alternating workouts A&B. On two of my days off I like to hit the mats and get in some wrestling practice.

My question is do you guys think that this is an effective training program that will allow me to continue to improve? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.



Personally I wouldn't try to full deadlift and squat on the same day, but if you can do it, fine. I also probably wouldn't power clean after front squatting, or at all!


Dude, this is not a good routine. There are much better routines out there. First I would choose either westside or periodization, both work, you'll just have to find out which one works best for you. If you put in Ed Coan's name as a search you'll find a number of his work outs, or others like Ed who do periodization; or you can go to the elite fitness systems web site or Westside barbell and find numerous articles that will put you on the right track.

The best advise I could give you is to find a good powerlifting coach in your area and start training with him or her.



You've been training for seven years, post those numbers, and you come here asking if that's a good routine? Come on, you know what works for you and what doesn't.


word! I'd kill for those numbers


There two questions you should ask:
1. What are my goals?
2. I am meeting my training goals?


add some back work, and maybe a close grip or dips for tri's chest and shoulders with the db


man, is this for real? you should be telling us!

has that sort of thing worked well to get you to where you are?


Thank you all for your responses.

As anyone can tell you the first 4-5 years that you lift weights you have no real idea as to what you are doing, unless of course you have a great mentor or coach.

In high school after 2 years of lifting without any sort of fixed program, I began to follow the traditional bodybuilder split style of training, working out 4-5 days a week focusing on individual muscle groups each workout. By my sophomore year of college I realized that I was not lifting the kind of poundage that I would like and I was spending way too much time in the gym, so I experimented with Dr. Darden's and Arthur Jones HIT. I trained 3 days per week doing full body workouts of 8-12 exercises, 1-2 sets per exercise. This helped increase my lifts some but eventually I began to feel that I was performing too many movements and I needed to do more than 1 set since I did not feel that I could go to absolute failure safely with the weights that I was starting to use. In the last year or so I have began to do workouts similar to the one that I have described. I try to base them on how men such as John Grimek, Reg Park, and other old school hard working powerful men trained. These workouts have helped me to develop a substantial amount of strength. I have considered trying power lifting workouts that involve specialization on the big lifts but I think that those programs take too much time, are more complex than they need to be, and require the use of bench shirts, wraps, or other types of specialized equipment that I have no interest in using.

My goal is to be as functionally powerful as possible. I like feeling strong and being able to use that strength on the wrestling mat (wrestling helps me get aggression and rage out of my system and in my opinion helps put a person into that warrior state of mind, something that all men should experience). I have participated in bodybuilding and lifting competitions and in my experience both of these activities feed ego and vanity, two things that if they go unchecked can really mess you up. (This may not be so for other people but they have that sort of negative effect on me so I choose to stay away from them.)

So you guys are right that I do have an idea as to what works for me. It is mostly due to straight up trial and error. I wrote my previous post because I have mainly walked this path (of trying to improve myself physically) alone. I don't know any people that have any real training knowledge, that are much stronger than I am, and are able to intelligently discuss training. So I was just curious as to what other guys that have developed a considerable amount of strength are doing.

Thanks for listening,


Hey, I am have been at this for over 30 years and I can tell you straight up that if you want to be the strongest you can be you must get on a good powerlifting routine either periodization, or Westside. One of the other or a mix of both is the best way there is to become your strongest. The second is to ask the strongest men in the world for their advise. I number among my friends some of the strongest men on this planet, and everytime I get the chance I ask them for their advise.

You can find alot of them on the Fortified Iron forum or you can ask my good friend Big Chad Aichs for advise and he'll be glad to respond to your questions. I am currently the head strength coach at Reno High school and I have competed in the last 6 WABDL worlds, so If I can help further just let me know.



wow(to above post), i always find it very cool when some of the great s trong people we look up and work towards reaching similar goals to are right here among the rest of us,,,its much appreciated everytime you guys write anything, and dispite some not listening, many people do appreciate all the help you guys offer and advice you extend for no charge, even if its not always what we wanted to hear

sorry to be a little off topic, but it just struck me that no matter how far you get (talking about the OP) sometimes you'll still have second thoughts....everybody needs help sometimes, but look to the past for what works, both with your training and in general, and to those already where you want to be and its just time, good luck OP, let us know what you decided on


Well - it seems to be working pretty well for you so far... That seems to fit the mold for "effective."

Just goes to show that a minimalist program worked intensely gets results.

Any program becomes ineffective once you stop progressing on it and then requires tweaks, retooling or a complete overhaul. But if you're still progressing on it, why change anything?


Yeah if its not broke why fix it.