T Nation

Looking for a New Strength Routine - 20 Years Old 195lbs

Greetings everyone,

I’ve been lurking T-Nation for nearly a year now, but I finally decided to register and make my first post. My first language is french, so I apologize in advance if some of my grammar is off.

I’m 20 years old, 6’0, 195-196lbs in the morning at about 12% body fat. I started lifting at around 16, but I was a newb and only did upperbody, etc. I started deadlifting a bit after I turned 19, but only started squatting + benching in September 09, so I guess you can say I’m still a newb.

I lift at home and decided to start doing madcow 5x5, I religiously followed the program and I’m now on week 11, looking for my next routine.

I usually post on another site for this, but I find this website much more profesionnal and knowledgeable and I wouldn’t want to be heading the wrong way after madcow.

My current lifts are:

225 x 6 Back Squat (ATG)
215 x 3 / 230 x 1 Bench
375 x 5 / 420 x 1 Deadlift
125 x 5 Military Press
200 x 5 Bent Over Rows
3 x 80lbs + BW Chin ups

My shoulders are pretty weak because I’ve never directly trained them before a couple months ago, same for my legs. I’m always trying to have a solid form, I bought some heeled shoes to with my squats too because I was bending forward to keep my balance.

Here’s a pic taken a couple weeks ago: http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/4350/tnation.jpg

I know I’m still pretty small to most guys here, but I’m always trying to improve. Here’s my caloric comsumption since I started Madcow: (I don’t have the macros though)

Week Average Calories / Day
Week 1 3771
Week 2 3750
Week 3 3492
Week 4 3635
Week 5 3585
Week 6 3830
Week 7 3789
Week 8 3991
Week 9 3340
Week 10 4076
Week 11 3517
Week 12 4110

I went from around 180lbs to 195-196 in those 3.5 months.

So basicly, I’m done with school and I have unlimited amounts of food and tons of free time and I’d like to take my training to another level. My goal is mainly to improve my strength and get big, like 99% of the posters here probably.

Here’s a routine I made up and I would like some feedbacks if possible:

Day 1: Back Squats (x5-8) + Leg iso

Day 2: Bench (x6-10) + Chest/Triceps iso

Day 3: Deadlifts (x3-5) + Front Squats (x8-12)

Day 4: Military Press (x6-10) + Shoulders iso

Day 5: Back (x6-10) + Biceps iso

As for off days, I could do 2 days on / 1 day off.

Any feedbacks / critiques / comments / opinions will be greatly appreciated, thank you.

hi there, good work on the gains.
your new routine is similar to wendlers 5/3/1 and the order is more or less what im doing- even then dead+front squat(look it up and buy the e-book if you want). do you need the extra back day? i put in heavy DB rows 5x10/5x15 on the MP and bench days, with 50+ total reps pullups on the squat and dead day.

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
hi there, good work on the gains.
your new routine is similar to wendlers 5/3/1 and the order is more or less what im doing- even then dead+front squat(look it up and buy the e-book if you want). do you need the extra back day? i put in heavy DB rows 5x10/5x15 on the MP and bench days, with 50+ total reps pullups on the squat and dead day.[/quote]

Hey man, thanks for the reply.

I’ve read a bit about 5/3/1, but I can’t say I’m familiar with it.

As for your input for the back day, my reasoning for not puting it on either of the Bench or Military days is because I think it would be too close to the deadlift and it might affect the workout. Plus, I want to throw in some bicep work (which I haven’t done in almost a year) and I’m afraid it would be too much volume if I added everything to another day.

Do you think I should maybe reduce the back day’s volume and add it to the Deads + Front Squats?

As for the back day, I like DB rows as you mentionned, but I don’t have enough DB weights for them so I was thinking of subbing them for BB rows, like I’ve been doing. As for the back routine, if I keep everything as it is, what do you think of this?

Weighted Chin Ups (or 50 x pullups)
BB Rows
Lat Pulldowns
Bent Over Lateral Raises (Rear delts + traps)

I’m pretty much going from the hardest to the easiest, I’d be doing 4-5 sets per exercice and the reps going from 3-5 for the chin ups and 8-12 for the rest.

Also (I know, many questions) you mentionned the 50 pull ups, I know Arnold used that on his back day, but how do you go about the sets / rest / reps? Do you hit failure on each set and take as much time as needed and try and do less and less sets every week?

Thank you and have a good day.

Good job. Also good English. Also your military press is really lacking as you said.

Not enough volume. Not a terrible effort at making your own routine, but I wouldn’t do it. 2 days on, 1 day off is taking days off too often imo. Aim to train each muscle group every 5-7 days.

An example 5 day split might be

Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back + Bis
Day 3: Shoulders + Tris
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Tris + Bis

pick 2-4 compound movements for the muscle group you’re training on that day, plus 1-2 optional isolation movements (sometimes I don’t do isolations if I feel I’ve already done chest that day for example). Don’t worry about this rule for tris and bis, just do 2-4 exercises for each.

Pick around 2 “main” exercises for each muscle group, and focus on progressing in these movements. Example bb rows and rack chins for back. Substitute exercises out when they stall then come back to them in a few weeks (or when the substitute exercise stalls, up to you).

If you’re still unsure, post a routine following those guidelines and I’ll look at it for you.