T Nation

Looking for Advice on My Program

 I have enjoyed reading all the training/personal info you guys have written, so I thought it was time for me to jump in.

  I'm 38, 5'9, 255lbs, married , 2 kids and a dog. I got back into training about 6 months ago.  Friday is the only day I get a chance to read T-Nation so I may not respond quickly. Please give me some input on my current program (good or bad). This program can vary quite a bit week to week . Most of this is done in my basement except Fridays.

Monday: Bench 295 6 sets of 5
1 arm DB military 80 6x5

Tuesday: box squat 315 5x5

Wed: clean 185 5x5

Friday(I get to go to the gym at lunch):
Deadlift 365 6 sets of 5
Stiffdead 275 6x5
some kind of row
chin up

Staurday:Bench 295 6x5
Front Squat 225 6x5

Right now I add a set when I can finish all the sets and reps until I can get 8 sets for 5 reps and then add weight and start back at 5x5. I also add in some sandbag training.


Well - whatever you're doing it seems to be working for you. You're miles stronger than me.

5x5 is a time-honored program. looks like you're using cleans and sandbag training as a kind of active recovery. Benching,squatting twice a week and getting back and shoulders assistance work. Got a nice double progression going as well.

Seems to be working. Ain't broke - don't fix it.

What are your goals?


I want to deadlift 500 and get back to a 400+ lb bench....I'm new to deadlifting.


Do you DL conventional or sumo? Have you tested your 1RM? Are you planning on competing? When you say deadlift 500/bench 400, are you talking a single or 5x5?


I deadlift sumo style because of flexiblity issues...my hip flexors are real tight. And just singles for the lifts...I wish 5x5. I haven't done any singles.


I like the idea using this as a training log.

Sat 4/26:A1. front squat 225 6sets X 5 reps
A2. bench 295 6x5
B1. 1 arm DB military 80lb 6x5
Mon: A1. clean 185 6x5
A2. leg curl 100 6x5

Also, I don't use a belt, straps...just chalk.


Do any of you have friends and family that think you're nuts because you want to lift a ton of weight and walk around the yard with 100lbs of sand? I've scoped out this big used loader tire in a sand pit I'm trying to get home...my wife thinks I'm a nut. Anyone else have this happening?


I tell my wife what I've lifted during the day and I usually get a long look and a head shake. THEN she says "That's nice for you, dear." LOL.

My friends think I'm obsessed. And I am, to a degree. It's the only hobby I have these days as not too much else holds my interest. However, it is just a hobby and doesn't get in the way of my responsibilities.

I'm determined to become as strong as I can before real old age sets in. I don't do max singles anymore since herniating a disk (bad form - nothing wrong with the weight) and seeing how that affected my family, but I can do many singles at less than 100% with much less risk and still become stronger. Nobody understands why I would want to do that, though. Hell - I'm not sure I do myself...

I don't use belt or wraps. I do use straps when needed, because my hands are not as strong as I need them to be for some lifts. I'd love to get a tire - for flipping and for sledgehammer work/conditioning.


Damn good lifting eco! Way more than me but as one of my favorite authors wrote in one of his stories "I am just an egg." And therfore I don't have much to suggest, you are looking good now!

Welcome to the group!


Welcome to the forum. My input. Throw in some heavy triples, doubles, and even singles. Some tricep work for the bench.


A nice economy of focus, with impressive results to match. Thinking about the 500 DL you want, and in view of your squat numbers, I would be interested in hearing about your satisfaction with the leg curl as an accessory exercise, even as I note that you are also doing SDLs. (Still using the leg curl myself, I am trying to determine what might offer better hamstring work for reaching my own strength goals.)


Tuesday: Bench 295 7sets x 5 reps

Thanks for your input. Up until I found this web site I was a Mike Mentzer and Ellington Darden follower. I did super sets, giant sets, benched incorrectly, developed terrible flexibilty, etc....I wished I'd have found this site several years ago.

1geech, I hadn't done leg curls in a while so I threw them in, I still like them.
Also, during the week nights I may only get 20 minutes to workout. So I often pick only 1 exercise.


Don't be's hatin' on the leg curl! Even the big powerlifters use band leg curls to strengthen the knee insertion end of the hamstrings.

Other good hamstring moves are Romanian and stiff legged DLs, Good mornings, Bulgarian split squats, deep lunges, glute/ham raises and reverse hypers if you got one. Dummbell swings and cleans are good too.

T'ain't either/or, it's both. Do the big moves AND the leg curls and work both ends. You'll need to at some point since the hamstrings cross the two leg joints.

Sorry to hijack.


Thanks Ecogenx and Skidmark: It is reassuring to hear from other experienced lifters that leg curls are (still) part of their program -- and to be reminded, again, that and why they are just a part along with other movements. (I have been wondering, probably excessively, if they were providing me enough 'bang for the buck', in terms of time and effort / results, and not finding adequate information with regard to programming.)


Would you consider working on your traditional deads during a de-loading week? Only practice will help you improve your mobility. My advice would be to focus on improving your weak points for a bit. Are you doing any overhead squatting? The improved mobility you should gain will carry over to your other lifts. Just a thought. Good luck.


I tried the overhead squats but I just cant do them, even with with just the bar. I don't know if its flexiblity or what.


monday 4/30
A1.neutral grip pull up BW 5 setsx5reps
A2.one arm DB military 75lb db 5x6

tuesday 5/1
box squat 405 8setsx3reps

I finally found some balls and put 405 on the bar. I haven't done that for a long time.


Great work -- looks like you have stepped it up a notch and are on your way.


friday 5/2-gym day

stiff dead 315 5x5
(quads a little stiff couldn't do regular deads)
1 arm seat row 80http://www.t-nation.com/moderateMessagesPrep.do 5x5
chin up body weight 8x3
db curls 3 sets
rev crunch 3 sets


Looking strong. Keep it up and you'll be looking for some meets soon.