T Nation

Just Wondering About This Program

It's weird.  Very weird.  I designed it because I'm new to weightlifting and I want to add some stability, control, and weight to my core lifts (bench, bent-over row, chin-up, dip, squat, and deadlift).  I want to do a total body work-out every day, but I also don't like the idea of doing squats and deadlifts in the same day.  All set/rep schemes will be 3 x 8 for 4 weeks, then 8 x 3 for the next 4 weeks.  I don't really know what I'll do then, restarted the program?

Bench Presses
Barbell Bent-Over Rows
Calf Presses
Knee Tucks

Calf Presses
Knee Tucks

As if it didn’t look odd enough (or at least to me), because of my schedule, I’ll have to do it like this:

AxBxAxx - BxAxBxx

How’s it look? I need to keep my workouts as short as possible, I can’t be doing too much each day…

I like it.

However the only thing I would change is by doing your deads on Day A and squats on Day B first.

Just personal preference, because those movements involve so many muscle groups.

As well, You want to include some supersets into future workouts. They are very time efficient, not to mention very effective


It looks ok for starters.

I do think there are better workouts. Why are you so adamant about a total body workout? Why does it have to be the same two workouts?

I think you can still do total body and concentrate on one “core lift” a day.

Additionally, the “core lifts” you listed(bench, rows, chins, dips, squats, and deads) are somewhat related. Increase your bench and you will likely increase your dip. Increase your squat and your deadlift may rise.

I think you can use this to “economize” your workouts. Group your proirity of the day by body part or by push/pull or whatever.

I also very much dislike using the same set/rep scheme for the entire workout. If for no other reason than it just gets boring and stale to do 6 or 7 exercises all for 3 sets of 8 or whatever.

I could go on, but I think your plan needs some tweaking, but don’t take my word for it. Go lift, try it for a couple weeks. See what is working and what isn’t and make changes.

Experience is a good teacher,

You may want to add a shoulder/overhead movement on one or both days.

I agree with malone. You should try it out and see what works and what doesn’t. Morph your program over time and it will continue to be effective.

I just want to add a little more to what I said earlier. As a newbie, you can afford to make some “errors” and still make gains. You do not need a complicated program to make gains. Just about anything you do will produce some results.

Don’t overthink this weightlifting thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using your first month or two with 3 sets of 10.

I also think if you’re going to repeat the same two workouts over and over, make them as different as possible. No need to repeat exercises. Both workouts begin with an upper body pressing exercise. Switch it up. You don’t even hit lower body until the third exercise. What if you are winded by then? Half your body is upper body, half is lower–make your workouts look like this.

You have the right idea, just work with it. I’m not trying to blow you off, but I’m not going to spell it out for you either. Experiment. I expect you will make gains with your plan, but I also see things I would change. Just take it and run with it.

Just think about what your goals are and make sure what you are doing has a part in reaching those goals. Don’t ignore muscle balance and injury prevention. If physique is important to you, do not neglect your diet.

If this is too much to swallow at one time, fuck it all and just go lift. If you do that and stay committed to gaining and learning, the rest will come to you.

Weightlifting should be fun,

Not wierd , just basic. I would almost say to simple, but then again, for a beginner, simple is good. Think about including reverse or hammer curls with workout A, Overhead presses with B. Also, I’d rotate calf presses between seated (bent leg) and standing (straight leg).
Something else to keep in mind is a transition from 3x8 to 8x3 is a few weeks of 5x5 between. This will let you adjust to increased volume and heavier weights. Sure, shocking your system is good, but injury and excessive soreness is not.
Others here may state ab work is not neccasary, but I feel it is a must for a stable core. A few sets of situps and crunches (mix up the types) at home on off days will do the job.

Thanks a ton for all the help, guys, I’m trying to take in as much as I can, and I’ll incorporate the information as I go along, as needed. Thanks again!

I recommended something similar to friend who was starting to workout. He was a beginner to weights, but active with playing soccer, bodyweight stuff etc.

Day A

  1. Back Squat
  2. Bench Press
  3. Barbell Row
  4. Hyperextension, Triceps

Day B

  1. Deadlift (conventional or RDL)
  2. Military or Push Press
  3. Chinup or Pulldown
  4. Abs, Biceps

3x a week, like you wrote: ABA, then BAB.

I find it hard to Bench after Deadlifting so the order of exercises is changed compared to your setup. Pairing of push/pull exercises in the same plane is a good strategy.

As for the sets and reps, this is my recommendation for the main (first three) lifts:

Weeks 1-2: 2x10-12
Weeks 3-4: 3x6-8
Weeks 5-6: 2x4-5

Use 2-3 light warm-up sets. Volume is low, given that you’re a beginner. You change the scheme after 2 weeks or 6 workouts, where first pair of workouts should be quite doable (2x12), but for the 5th and 6th workout add weight so you can barely make 2x10. Then use that weight for the first two workouts of 3x8…

Over the course of 6 weeks, weights will increase steadily but volume will fluctuate. That way the first two workouts in weeks 3 and 5 will be easier and allow for brief unloading. It’s one simple way of periodizing.

Whatever workout you chose to do, stick with the basics and try picking weights which will make you work real hard. Even for an intermediate trainer, something like 3x8 with 9RM is quite challenging.

Instead of thinking about more complicated scehemes, try “owing” that simple routine. In other words, keep doing it until you really feel it’s a breeze. Then add a work set or two to each exercise and repeat :slight_smile: This mindset is something that has helped me the most with my own training.

Hope this helps.