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Is This Program OK for My Goals?

Height: 174 cm
Weight 77 kg
Bodytype: Endomorph
Goals: Strength and healthy body

For past six years I train martial arts and fitness and I have been involved in really much types of exercises, except weight training. Year ago I teared meniscus in my left knee and because I can’t afford loosing a job I still didn’t fix it. Bad knee = no martial arts and no training I used to, intensive aerobics and plyometrics. However in that one year I gained lot of pounds and lost strength and agility.

So i decided to turn to weights because I believe I can make significant results without overusing my knee and because I believe it’s part of training being missed for past few years.

I created this plan for gaining strength, but if course I have nothing against bigger muscles.

I am limited by bad knee so until operation I can’t do best and most effective exercises (weightlifting).

Many experienced guys told me that it’s better to be untrained then overtrained, so I have involved small number of sets and exercises, and my doubt now is will it be enough?

Plan:

It’a 3 times a week training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Monday is chest and triceps, Wednesday is back and biceps and Friday is legs and shoulders.

I focused on low reps with big weights. Sets for all muscle groups look same:

For large muscle groups (back, chest, legs) three exercises:

1 preparation set: 12-15 repetitions with moderate strain
2 working sets: 4-8 repetitions with heavy weight (about 80% rmax)

And for smaller muscle groups the same, but two instead three exercises.

So here is how my chest / triceps training looks like:

Flat bench: 1 preparation set: 12-15 repetitions with moderate strain
2 working sets: 4-8 repetitions with heavy weight (about 80% rmax)

Incline bench: 1 preparation set: 12-15 repetitions with moderate strain
2 working sets: 4-8 repetitions with heavy weight (about 80% rmax)

Cable crossover 1 preparation set: 12-15 repetitions with moderate strain
2 working sets: 4-8 repetitions with heavy weight (about 80% rmax)

Triceps pulldown: 1 preparation set: 12-15 repetitions with moderate strain
2 working sets: 4-8 repetitions with heavy weight (about 80% rmax)

French press: 1 preparation set: 12-15 repetitions with moderate strain
2 working sets: 4-8 repetitions with heavy weight (about 80% rmax)

I would rotate exercises every two weeks maybe, to avoid do same exercises all the time, and I planned to add some weight when I see I can do more then 8 reps with current weight.

So is this enough for strength growth? Does this reps / sets / exercise numbers stands?

Thank you

First off, get your fucking knee fixed. You can’t just expect to walk around with a torn miniscus and everything be okay. Fix this first.

Second, get on a proven program. Don’t make one yourself. Strength coaches know a hell of a lot more than you. Read up on the following, pick whichever you like best, and follow it TOO A TEE. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING.

Starting Strength
Madcow Intermediate
Texas Method
Juggernaut method
5/3/1

Like Other-Chris said, you’re really not going to get far with a knee that damaged. Getting that back to 100% healthy has to be priority number one. Training as best as you can while it stays screwed up is just setting the stage for even more stuff you’ll have to correct down the line.

Also, yeah, the routine you laid out is pretty lousy. There’s nothing really wrong with a chest-tri/back-bi/legs-shoulders split, but it’s more appropriate when your goal is gaining muscle, not “strength and healthy body.”

And no way you should be doing the exact same sets and reps on every single exercise. Heavy sets of 4 on cable crossovers? Really? And heavy sets of 4 on french presses? Enjoy your elbows while you’ve still got 'em.

Any of the pre-designed routines already mentioned would be tons better for you, especially once you’re doing them with two healthy legs. In the meantime, remember that if your training can’t be all-out, you’ve got to be that much more nailed down with your nutrition, as you’ve already experienced, it’s easier to gain fat when you’re not training right.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
First off, get your fucking knee fixed.[/quote]

I agree. Maybe not the most polite way to put it… but there’s really no point tiptoeing around the issue.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
And no way you should be doing the exact same sets and reps on every single exercise. Heavy sets of 4 on cable crossovers? Really? And heavy sets of 4 on french presses? Enjoy your elbows while you’ve still got 'em.[/quote]

What would you do instead?

After doing a fair amount of bicep work to get blood into my arms, I’ve basically been doing these, but letting the rope come back further so there’s rotation at the shoulder too:

I’ve not had any elbow issues yet, but would you advise against these?

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
And no way you should be doing the exact same sets and reps on every single exercise. Heavy sets of 4 on cable crossovers? Really? And heavy sets of 4 on french presses? Enjoy your elbows while you’ve still got 'em.[/quote]
What would you do instead?[/quote]
Instead of which? With the two exercises he particularly mentioned (crossovers and french presses), I’d be more comfortable, and he’d probably see better results, working them in a more moderate rep range, say anywhere from 8-15ish. The french press/overhead extension is a funny thing, once things start to get “too heavy”, it’s easy to let the shoulders contribute more. That can be a good thing or a bad thing - good if you’re expecting it and do it intentionally (a.k.a. deliberately “cheating” to get more out of the exercise), bad thing if you don’t even notice it happening.

I’ve never seen relatively-heavy “cable crossovers” that don’t end up turning into standing cable presses, which might not be a bad exercise in and of itself, but gets away from the original purpose of doing crossovers in the first place - chest isolation.

If you want to go heavy/low rep with a triceps-dominant exercise, close-grip presses would be the obvious first choice, or maybe a lying french press (rather than seated/standing overhead) or PJR pullover where you utilize that deliberate shoulder extension to get the weight moving.

[quote]After doing a fair amount of bicep work to get blood into my arms, I’ve basically been doing these, but letting the rope come back further so there’s rotation at the shoulder too:

I’ve not had any elbow issues yet, but would you advise against these?[/quote]
They’re a pretty standard exercise and as long as you have no elbow issues and your shoulder mobility is fine, there’s no reason not to use them. As I’m sure you know, they were a favorite of Larry Scott, who supposedly preferred them kneeling with the elbows braced on a bench for even more strict movement. :wink:

Yeah, I’m just really vague on which tricep exercises are likely to cause injuries when done such and such way. Thanks for the insight.

“Vince” had both a standing and a kneeling version of that; the latter on a specially made V-shaped “cradle” bench. I’ve tried them both, and prefer the standing version. I don’t have much room for arm specialization right now, so I’m just experimenting here and there.

I will fix knee asap, of course. I checked this programs through search option on the site and they looks great, as soon as I fix knee meniscus I will stick to one of them (not now because I can’t do all the exercises, like squat).

Until operation (about two months) I will do my program, except somebody don’t have something better in mind.

Thanks

[quote]Passenger32 wrote:
I will fix knee asap, of course. I checked this programs through search option on the site and they looks great, as soon as I fix knee meniscus I will stick to one of them (not now because I can’t do all the exercises, like squat).

Until operation (about two months) I will do my program, except somebody don’t have something better in mind.

Thanks[/quote]

Follow one of those programs until then. Just don’t squat if you cant.

I choosed this one: Full-body workout plan by Chad Waterbury

( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/totalbody_training )

I think it’s most appropriate for me. Today I did incline bench press, military press, seated rows and good mornings from compound and from single standing calves and triceps pressdown.

Last time when I was in the gym I did exercises on trainers, and I see now I like free weights way better.