This is an exactly one year long novice program I am going to run from 08/05/2023 - 08/05/2024. It is going to be an extremely detailed and maintained log. I joined a gym but after a week it has become clear a home gym is the way to go. I am just putting together everything now. Waiting on flooring and equipment.
The program is to be run 6 days a week. There will be changes such as adding in dips and chinups. It is a 6 day upper lower focusing on mainly compound lifts with accessories for aesthetics and well rounded physique goals:
My current most recent lifts before starting this program are:
Bench - 60kg 3x5
Press - 40kg 3x5
Squat - 70kg 3x5
Deadlift 90kg 1x5
Barbell row - N/A
Chinup - 0 unassisted/1 assisted yellow band
Dips - 1-2 unassisted
My goals are mainly to look better but I also want to have a strength focus and these are my strength goals for the year (6-12 rep range for working set). Volume is going to start low as frequency is high. My aim here is to get stronger and get the lifts down while doing the minimum amount of effective weekly volume. Splitting 6 sets for chest into three days gives me much better recovery than annihilating chest once a week. That is also two more days to practice the movement with the increase in frequency.
In the coming months volume can increase and frequency can decrease depending on how things go. There can also be some exercise changes, once I can do chinups and dips we can add those in over other stuff. My year long goals on the lifts are:
Incline bench : 100kg working set
Barbell row: 90kg working set
Incline shoulder press: 80kg working set
Dumbbell curls: 28kg working set
Lateral raises: 24kg workign set
Lying tricep extensions: 60kg working set
Squat: 120kg working set
RDL: 1200kg working set
Calf raises: 120kg working set
Barbell bridges: 100kg working set
Power shrugs: 180kg working set
Chinups: 20 total reps
Dips: 30 total reps
Decline crunches: 50 total reps
My starting measurements before starting this program are:
Waist 45 inches
Flexed right arm 14.6 inches
(odd my dominant arm is smaller lol)
Flexed left arm 14.9 inches
Neck 16.2 inches
Right forearm flexed 12 inches
Left forearm flexed 12.2 inches
Right calf flexed 16.5 inches
Left calf flexed 16.1 inches
Right quad flexed 25.5 inches
Left quad flexed 25.4 inches
Around glutes to pubic mound 43.2 inches
Around back shoulders to chest 50 inches
Goal body measurements for this year:
Flexed arms 17 inches
Waist 38 inches
Flexed quads 27 inches
Flexed forearms 14 inches
Neck 18 inches
This plan of yours, you got this from? I’m going to be as kind as possible and say it should be changed…drastically. Diet/macros should be a priority, and log everything there also. So conditioning and cardio are out…why?
You understand to gain muscle/strength in optimal fashion means to lose the body fat 1st, right?
Again, trying to be kind, but need to be blunt, a 45 inch waist is obese, the idea of “powerbuilding” is…not ideal.
There is a mountain of articles here to search, if you go that route. Obviously you have the money if you’re building a home gym, hire a trainer who specializes in weight loss, the more experienced with referrals, the better.
You need to lose quite a bit of weight, get in shape before thinking of “powerbuilding”, I’m not saying you can’t lift, not at all, but you need to get your diet and everything else in place 1st.
safety bars in hole 5
Rack hooks in hole 11
(used exaggerated slow form to make sure i didn’t aggravate shoulder, form will go to a regular tempo next session)
8x60kg work set
6x60kg to failure DECIDED TO GO TO FLAT BENCH FROM NEXT UPPER SESSION
High incline barbell shoulder press
Safety bars in hole 8
Rack hooks in hole 15
10x45kg work set close to failure
10x45kg work set close to failure
8x12kg work set 1 rep from failure
7x12kg 1 rep from failure
Dumbbell lateral raises
10x8kg to failure
7x8kg to failure
Low incline EZ tricep extensions
9x25kg workset hit failure
Barbell rows (hanging not from floor)
6x60kg work set to failure (was going very slow and maybe exagerating strict form too much)
8x60kg workset hit failure DECIDED GO TO NARROWER GRIP NEXT UPPER DAY AROUND DEADLIFT WIDTH AND ROW FROM THE FLOOR
Not sure about the form on these, or the rnage of movement, but I never seem to feel shrugs at all. I will play with form to see if I can make these feel ok.
12x115kg DECIDED GO TO STRICT SHRUGS NEXT UPPER DAY
Barbell wrist curls
10x35kg work set hit faiilure
12x35kg work set hit failure (thumbless grip this time felt better)
Hey I’m hoping to get some of that advice. I am struggling with a few exercises, one is benching at an incline and the others are barbell rowing and shrugs. I’ve found that benching at an incline makes my shoulder click really loudly, I don’t feel any pain but its very disconcerting as I have had bad rotar cuff injuries in the past. Everything I have read says benching at an incline is easier on the shoulders?
Second thing I am struggling with is the barbell row. How important is keeping tension on the back by having the weight hang and stretch the lats at the bottom of the movement? I have disc issues and I feel like not rowing from a dead stop is drastically limiting the weight I can row. But it seems like a Pendlay row won’t offer much in the way of hypertrophy as there is a much reduced amount of time under tension?
Lastly shrugs, I feel like I just don’t feel these, either going heavy and using momentum, or being ultra strict. Is there a way to “feel” the traps on these movements?
Sounds like it isn’t for you. I certainly wouldn’t do a lift you feel is risky. Maybe try a slight decline? Just throw a plate under the foot of the bench and go from there. Make sure you’re benching in the right “plane” - I’m finding folks that have trouble with this angle are usually touching their chest too high.
I think you’re fine to row from a deadstop - that’s not going to change your world too much (although I do really like a stretch on lats). I think you’re stuck with barbells because of your home gym - every consider a one-arm BB row to take some stability requirement off your spine?
For sure - shrug straight up and down and use a 3-second hold at the top for each rep for no fewer than 12 reps. I challenge you to not feel that!
Hey man thanks for the help. Yeah I tried from a lower incline but still getting that loud clicking. I think it must just be the way my body is set up.
Ive just finished my first lower and I had a question about volume. After really pushing hard on my two squat sets and then my two RDL sets, I had a crushing headache and felt really tired, the remaining assistance exercises took me forever to complete due to feeling crushed. As a result I couldn’t really push hard on anything and the waiting times got longer and longer.
Will it get easier as I get used to lifting or will that feeling always come after squats and RDLs? If so am I better off doing the calf raises, glute bridges, crunches and hyperextensions before I do the squats and RDLs?
1x65kg final warmup
12x70kg workset KEPT PERFECT FORM PUSHED UNTIL I FELT MY NEXT REP WOULD BE A BREAK DOWN IN GOOD FORM OR A FAILED REP, PUSHED EXTREMELY HARD
12x75kg workset DID HOOKGRIP FELT GREAT REALLY FELT THESE IN THE HAMSTRINGS
Barbell calf raises
12x75kg workset not that close to failure
12x75kg not to failure
barbell glute raises
12x55kg from floor not bench NOT SURE IF IM CONTRACTING ENOUGH OR GOING TOO HEAVY OR WHAT
Felt absolutely mentally crushed after the squats and deadlifts. As a result pushing anything hard was impossible and breaks between sets was much longer.
I guess to add to my own comment, none of the things you did after squats/ deads were “care about” lifts. Like nobody is getting hyped up for crunches or glute raises. That could be all there is to it.
Flat barbell bench (pinkies on rings)
1x65kg last warmup
7x75kg work set to failure
5x75kg to total failure missed 6th rep
High incline barbell shoulder press
1x45kg last warmup
(If i had gone for more reps I would have failed)
Barbell rows from second incline laying on bench
7x55kg workset These really fried my back and so its probably a good thing I dropped the weight. Only issue was my arms being too short to reach the bar so had to kind finger grip at first to get the weight up
EZ incline tricep extensions
7x35kg workset to failure
4x35kg to total failure these felt hard on my wrists, i think my forearms are a weak link that is stopping me hitting my triceps fully on this movement
8x16kg workset to failure
5x16kg to total failure
Trap bar shrugs with pause at the top
12x60kg Not to failure but not sure how exactly these are supposed to feel, just feel my neck shaking lol. Traps do feel sore today at half the weight i used last time though so must of done something.
7x12kg used a bit of momentum was exhausted by this point
6x12kg same for this set
Barbell wrist curls
Wrists felt like they were going to snap on the second set, I think wrists and arms are a defintie even weaker point for me. Need to work on these long term, or find a better exercise for them.
Went to see a lady so food was low fat cheese on a piece of bread i didn’;t finish as i was running about.
I think I was well hydrated, id had a snack about 40 minutes before I went to workout. Yeah i definitely feel more wiped after squats and RDLs than I do anything else. But my sessions are taking hours. I might strip the program down and have just the compounds and then one or two rotating isolation exercises.
I just really enjoy lifting but I don’t want to let me being over eager mess up progress, no harm in reducing volume a bit while I get used to that type of exertion from big compound movements.
Are you out of shape? I’m not being a jerk, because it’s certainly something I like to let slide. That can make a huge difference in how much volume you can tolerate. It’s popular on the internet to run away (pun intended) from cardio, but (in my opinion) that’s missing the forest for the trees.
Yeah I had about 2 years off my feet due to chronic back pain and disc issues. Im just now building up to walking 5km and things like that. I think my work capacity is in the toilet. But I am too out of shape to run or do anything more intense than walk right now.
It is definitely a work capacity thing because I am more exhausted from the lifting than fatuiged in the muscle. For squats I think my legs are capable of squatting double what I actually can, I just can;t do it without needing to throw up lol.
That’s totally fine. That’s actually good to be aware of that. We all just have to build from where we are now. I think building that up (sounds like starting with walking) and reducing volume to what you can handle (basically are you still recovering enough to progress session to session) sounds like a really logical approach!
I decided to go heavier today instead of adding more reps. I feel like there is a psychological barrier stopping me from progressing and that is fear of injuring my lower back again. Ive also decided after today to ditch the belt for working sets. It is forcing me into a position i don’t like and really hurts my left knee. Its also tearing the crap out of my stomach with friction burns.
6x95kg belted. work set felt close to failure
4x96kg knee was hurting due to the position I was being forced into from the belt. 26kg PR No more belted training
RDL (All strapped sets)
8x95kg work set
8x95kg work set 20kg weight PR Not sure how close to failure these were as I am super careful on them for lower back
Barbell calf raises
13x75kg work set slow tempo
11x75kg work set slow tempo
Stopped before the second set as I was feeling lower back agitation due to issues with foot palcement etc.
Overall very happy with the progress. Seeing as my volume will be dropping to 4 times a week. I will treat this as the last session of the week. I have marked a 5km route for walking as cardio too. So walk sessions willl be being added soon.
Not really tracking calories in these off days. Been seeing a girl and its taking up all my time to be honest. I think I might do a workout today I miss doing some lifting. I can’t imagine having half the week off when Ive got a home gym.
@TrainForPain Hey I just got back from tracking a 5km route and I am so out of shape conditioning wise, I don’t know how I am going to do lower days twice a week and this. If I wanted to prioritize fat loss and looking better would doing something like a traditional bro split and doing steady state conditioning 5 times a week be something to consider? Maybe something like a 3 day PPL and 3 days of cardio with one day a week off?
I wore shorts and tshirt and simply hiking 5km in the local countryside has completely drenched me through in sweat. Jogging isn’t even likely for awhile by the looks of things. As I got back completely wiped, imagining having to go try and do legs the day after and then in a couple days after that again seems unrealistic.