T Nation

Looking for Critique on My Routine

First some useful stats
Age: 44
Height: 6’4"
Weight: 268lb
weightlifting since 18, last 10yrs the most focused, work related travel though keeps me out of the gym for a couple weeks a yr, though not inactive, I manage with body weight routines and running during those periods.

OK, up till last month my typ routine was 3~4 days a week, 2~2.5 hrs hitting the plates with each on day. Decided I wanted less time in the gym and re-structured for 6days a week and trying to limit to 45~60min each time. less volume as well as I really wasn’t seeing any changes with the high volume brutal sessions. I’m really looking to drop body fat, for whatever reason getting back to 245lbs is not happening. I think it’s metabolism related, I know I don’t eat enough, or at least I wasn’t for a couple yrs, last yr I counted at tallied my daily caloric intake and found it to be on avg 2k a day. I somehow managed to reduce or kill off feeling hungry, seriously I forget to eat or simply don’t want to be bothered. That started about 10yrs back when I was heavier and not as active as I had been, moved, new business start up etc… hit the gym again and changed the diet. Dropped back to 240lb and then after about 4yrs the weight started creeping back up even though food intake was low and work outs were still on. Long story short, I have to work at hitting 3k calories a day and that’s the bigger struggle.

So current routine I made is based off a large amount of reading here and yrs of feeling how I adapt to specific lifts.

All days include a min of 45min of cardio, biking, running, etc… For brevity I exclude the warm up phase being listed. it’s usually singles and triple reps working up. nomenclature is reps then sets

Monday: Alt A & B
Bench press:
3 x 3
3 x (5,4,3)
3 x (5,4,3)
(A) Bent over row:
4 x 5
(B) DB incline press:
4 x 5
(A) BB close grip press:
4 x 8
(B) Pull ups:
3 x amrap

BB squat:
3 x 3
3 x (5,4,3)
3 x (5,4,3)
DB squat:
4 x 5
Ham curl:
3 x 10

Wed: light but brutal
Circuit of 5 reps, 4 times, 45 sec rest between sets.
box jumps
hand clap push ups
rocket jumps
pull ups
ball slams

BB bench, Heavy singles:
6 x 1 last set should be 95% 1RPM
BB bench:
85% of 1RPM 3 x 5
BB close grip:
75% of 1RPM 3 x 9
BB bench:
75% of 1RPM 3 x amrap
Band rear delt fly:
3 x 15
DB lateral & front raise superset:
3 x 15

Friday: Alt A & B
(A) BB Deadlift:
3 x 3
3 x (5,4,3)
3 x (5,4,3)
3 x 10 @ 80% 1RPM
(B) Trap bar squat:
6 x 3
3 x 8 clusters
3 x amrap at 75%
(A) Goblet squat:
3 x 10
Sissy Squat:
3 x 10

BB strict press:
3 x 3
3 x (5,4,3)
3 x (5,4,3)
Pull ups:
5 x amrap
Band rear delt row:
4 x 10
DB incline row:
4 x 5 pause hold for 2 count at top
Banded reverse fly:
3 x 15

Unless your goal is specifically strength related and even at that you might want to reconsider doing singles in the 90 plus range of your 1 rm.

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Ok, any particular reason? I ask as I’ve oddly found that the heavy singles are not anywhere near as taxing as I thought they’d be. It’s almost like a de-load day. But if they are going to cause problems down the road then an adjustment is fine by me.

This brings up another question, deloading… Historically in the past I’ve simply taken a couple days to a week off and then resumed. I don’t really feel like going that route, now granted I think I went too far between rest cycles, typically being 10~12wks then a week off, the next week on was a struggle to get back into the groove.

I’ve been on the above routine for 4wks, this is week 5 and I feel like I need to deload a bit, in tracking the rep time and rest cycles along with strength gains I feel the slow down. So do I go with low volume or low weight? Volume already seems low to me, low weight feels just odd, at 60% it feels like I should be going for the burn with high reps, otherwise it’s a zombie walk thru the lift, as in zero effort. Would a cut back to say 85% and limited to 4x3 or 3x3 be enough to count as deloading for the main lift?
OK take today…
Monday: my 1RPM for bench is 365
Bench press: single rep
warm-up 135 x 5, 215 x 5
DB press: 50lb
3 x 15
DB incline press: 50lb
3 x 15
Pull ups:
3 x amrap
Band rear fly:
3 x 15

It’s kinda light I think, or is it still too heavy?

For me, deloads need to feel like warmups and almost like a waste of training time in the moment. I go low volume and low intensity at around 60% of said lift. Some guys do get away with higher intensities though. Also I’d never do any amrap sets on a deload week.

Agreed with the singles being too heavy. Also seems like quite a bit of work considering you’re in the gym nearly every day. And there’s 45 minutes of cardio on top of that? Doesn’t sound sustainable imo

I figured I could get away with amrap on body lifts, pull ups, push ups, etc…

Maybe just one set?

I’m not familiar with deloading oddly enough. Prior to this 6day routine I had been doing every other day with a two day break after 4 workouts. The sessions were long but I had no problems maintaining that pace for 12wks at a time. What dove tailed nicely is my travel schedule, I usually have to travel every 12-14 wks for a week or so at a time. That was my forced down time. So historically I’m used to going for 12-14 wks at a stretch.
I do and don’t like the 6day routine. It’s shorter, seems to be easier and I’ve managed to increase some lifts, granted were only talking 2-5 lbs and my speed is up. All great things… Downside? It’s every day! As a business owner for those that are we know that the answer to how many hrs do you work is, yes all of them! So scheduling 6days of training is tricky at times.
I’m not getting younger, I’d like to drop the extra fat while maintaining strength… Who doesn’t want it all? Prior routine was ok, kept up strength just not really gaining and body fat stayed static. Time for a change.

Give it a try and see.

Still plugging along… Strength increasing a bit across all lifts, nothing huge as I’m on the backside of youth. Going more for endurance strength if that makes sense. Example, I have no real need of benching over 400lbs anymore, so back down and do volume in the 300’s. Same for all the big lifts, risking injury is not on the table. Honestly just looking to cut the body fat… And is for some reason nigh impossible… Getting stronger, yeah not that hard… getting leaner… Stupid hard. Biggest problem I have is eating enough, you’d think a constant calorie defect would have some body fat loss…nope. here’s the truly odd thing, if I eat when I feel hungry and only eat till I feel satiated, I’ll only manage to consume ~1500 kcal… yeah nowhere near enough, but I’m just not hungry. I have to stuff myself to manage 3k a day… My metabolism must be at a near stall, I don’t drink…ever… zero eating out… just fruits, veggies and meat.
6wks so far… 5 days a week lifting… Weight unchanged.

Another week down… zero weight change.
Strength gains as expected, mostly 1-2lb increases, increasing mid set weight. Example…
Let’s say a rep/set went like so
Etc… upto
Then the new change is
So the starting and mid weights are increasing to get closer to the final weight, final max weight moves up very slowly.

Thinking of adding in interval sprints in the late afternoon, 20sec sprint, 2min walk, etc… for 4~5 sets.

Mornings are still 3.5 miles of cycling in the hills. Some days my legs hate me.

You are lying about food/drink intake and or your workouts. Simple as that. You weigh 270#s, workout hard for 90 minutes 6 days a week, eat 2000kcal/day, and don’t see weight loss? GTFO.

Weight lifting workouts are 45-60 min. Cardio is cycling, I’ve been cycling for decades so it’s not balls out, but more steady state with couple bursts of hill climbing.

And yeah, calories rarely top 2500. I’ve got no reason to lie, just noticed that once I passed 40 my appetite dropped off, weight climbed up a bit and parked. Metabolism is not black and white, it’s fairly complex.

Oh man, If I had a dollar everytime someone made BS diet/lifting claims on this website and then used the exact quote above in defense, I’d be able to buy a rundown trailer in Oregon.


What method are you using to measure how much food you are eating?

Old school pencil and paper…
oh and a food scale.

I’ve always had a problem with remembering to eat, very very common to miss lunch, most mornings I have to push myself to eat breakfast. Irritatingly though when I do eat what would be considered a normal amount of food for breakfast at around 8am it’ll be 3 or 4pm before I recall that I should have lunch, but then dinner is around 7 and why bother so I might have a snack because if I do eat lunch, then I’m not hungry till the next day.

I am always amazed at how people confuse “record” with measure when I ask this question. Like, if you said “this track is 400m” and I asked “how did you measure it”, you wouldn’t say "I wrote it in a word doc.

Food scale is a good way to go. More accurate than measuring cups. Make sure you measure and record EVERYTHING. People will sneak bites of food here and there not realising that they add up.

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Well, it’s wk 9 and zero change to the scale… still sitting parked at 270lb. some changes to composition though, shoulders, traps and arms are more defined, added almost a 1/2" to the quads, glutes also as pants no longer fit like they did and I blew out a pair squatting down the other day to pick something up! waist though is the same.

I used to snack thru the day 20 odd yrs ago, was also at my fittest then too, 230lb these days I tell myself I should eat something or snack on some fruit or nuts and I forget…

I do all the cooking here at home, have a couple food scales on hand. volume measurement doesn’t always make sense, odd american way of cooking I suppose. It’s ironic that I help my wife meal prep on the weekend for the week for her meals but since I have the luxury of being semi-retired I can cook when needed, and then forget to eat or don’t eat enough.

so far today:
1 tortilla = 150
3 large eggs = 210
60g peanuts = 342
2 slices dark rye = 160
2 oz turkey = 50
1oz chedder = 120

so today so far is 1,032 calories, and that’s with a concentrated effort of eating.

I would seek immediate medical attention.

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