T Nation

Mass Made Simple

I read the article, decided to give it a try. Basically: complexes to warm up, 5/3/1 for two major lifts, and then high rep squats. This is only for two days a week and today was the first workout, so I’ve got until Friday to figure out what my third day should be like. Dan John recommends complexes on day 3, but nothing else specifically. I want to work on my core stability and my back, both of which need work compared to the rest of my body. I don’t trust myself with program design so I took a core strengthening circuit and a complex from Alwyn Cosgrove. So my third day would look like this so far:

Complex (5 times for 3 reps)
-Romanian deadlift
-Bent over row
-Front squat
-Push press
-Back squat
-Good morning

[3 times, with a minute in between]
-Side Plank (60 seconds each side)
-Overhead Lunge (60 seconds)
-Asymmetrical Farmers Walk (60 each hand)

I’m unsure of what to add for my back. I know chinups are very effective and I like Chad Waterbury’s 25 reps idea. I doubt this is enough but I’m not sure. If not what else should I add? Or would you recommend something else completely? Comments or recommendations for the rest of the plan are more than welcome. I want to be sure that there isn’t anything important I’m missing, and that I’m not doing anything counterproductive.


That Dan John program, like most of his programs, is based on doing basic work and letting the results come as you recover. So don’t overthink the plan too much.

Waterbury’s 25 Method is a solid idea. But that third workout is also a chance to hit some muscles more directly than they were hit earlier in the week. So, you could do something like:

A) Some kind of row 3-5x5-8
B) Some kind of dumbbell chest press 3-5x5-8
C) Shoulder isolation exercise 1-3x8-12
D1) Biceps isolation exercise 1-3x8-12
D2) Triceps isolation exercise 1-3x8-12

Also, at your height and weight, you’ve got to absolutely make sure you eat plenty, every single day. The advice in the MMS article is fine. Also check this for more ideas about planning your food:

My concern is that before this program I wasn’t making much progress with my front squats, and after reading http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/why_you_arent_getting_bigger_and_how_to_fix_it I’m pretty confident that it’s a core strength issue. I want to get rid of that limitation so I can squat to my full potential. My back situation is basically the same. Since I know imbalances like these can be problems in the long run (as well as making my torso look kind of girly) I want to use the third day to balance myself out, so to speak. My arms could definitely use some work, but I think I’d rather focus on that once I have a balanced strength base. Is that reasonable, or will it happen automatically with the program?