T Nation

My Program - Advice Wanted.

First off i am obviously a beginner despite having been lifting for three years i still consider myself a complete newb expecially looking back when i see how stupid what i was doing was.

So i am 6’4 and play rugby league to a reasonable standard. I currently weigh 90kg (200lbs)- this is the problem, obviously. So i’ve sorted out my diet with thanks to Berardi and here is what i’ve come up with for my lifting program with my main goal being fuctional hypertrophy:

I worked out and agonist split which looks like this:
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Recovery
Day 3: Biceps/Triceps
Day 4: Quads/Hamstrings
Day 5: Recovery
Day 6: shoulders
Day 7: Recovery

and in more detail:

Chest/Back-
bench press 6-8 x 3,
(DB) Incline Bench press 8-10 x 3,
DB Flies 8-10 x 3.
Bent over barbell rowing 6-8 x 3 ,
fat man pull-ups 8-10 x 3,
Straight-Arm Pulldown 8-10 x 3.

Biceps/ Triceps-
Standing barbell curl 6-8 x 3,
Hammer Curl 8-10 x 3,
concentration curl 8-10 x 3.
Close grip bench press 6-8 x 3,
Reverse Grip Bench Press 8-10 x 3,
Overhead DB triceps extension 8-10 x 3.

Quads/ Hamstrings-
Olympic back squat (hip width stance, upright torso) 6-8 x 3,
Lunges 8-10 x 3,
leg extensions 8-10 x 3.
Romanian deadlift 6-8 x 3,
Glute ham raises 8-10 x 3,
ham curls 8-10 x 3

Shoulders-
military press 6-8 x 3,
Arnold press 8-10 x 3,
Lateral raise 8-10 x 3.
front raise 8-10 x 3

I would like to superset these exercises aswell to increase the intensity but i am unsure of possible pairings?

I appreciate any advice that you can give me…either to do with this routine or general tips that will help me to achieve functional hypertrophy.

PS. I ALREADY HAVE THE “EAT. SQUAT. REPEAT.” AND THE “SLEEP EAT EAT SLEEP EAT EAT AND CONTINUE” DOWN TO A T THANKS.

Your program looks solid overall. Your rep ranges are appropriate, you probably wont want to go 10 reps, only because you will tap into more hypertrophy at that point. 6-8 reps is the best compromise. You dont need to train legs as often, only because of all the running you are doing. When I played football in college, we would go 10 days between leg workouts.

To clarify, do you mean 3 sets x 6-8 reps?

oh and drop the unnecessary leg curls and front raises. Where’s the trap work? you could add it on the shoulder day. Maybe switch the RDL’s for Good Mornings as I saw you didn’t have any direct lower back work/deads

EDIT: Almost forgot. concentration curls blow monkey balls for a “beginner”, try reverse/zottoman curls

EDIT2: why bent-over rows AND fat man pull ups? really similar movement, try some chin ups instead of the fat mans.

…An entire day of arm isolation?

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Your program looks solid overall. Your rep ranges are appropriate, you probably wont want to go 10 reps, only because you will tap into more hypertrophy at that point. 6-8 reps is the best compromise. You dont need to train legs as often, only because of all the running you are doing. When I played football in college, we would go 10 days between leg workouts. [/quote]

Thanks for the advice. So do you think i would be best to change all of my rep ranges to 6-8?

[quote]daneq wrote:
To clarify, do you mean 3 sets x 6-8 reps?

oh and drop the unnecessary leg curls and front raises. Where’s the trap work? you could add it on the shoulder day. Maybe switch the RDL’s for Good Mornings as I saw you didn’t have any direct lower back work/deads

EDIT: Almost forgot. concentration curls blow monkey balls for a “beginner”, try reverse/zottoman curls

EDIT2: why bent-over rows AND fat man pull ups? really similar movement, try some chin ups instead of the fat mans.[/quote]

Yes i do mean 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

In that case what do you think about swapping the front raises for shrugs? As for the leg curls i needed an auxillary movement and my gym does not allow for hyperextensions or pull throughs.

I could substitute shrugs in for one of my shoulder exercises but i am not sure what movement shrugs are? primary, seconday or auxillary? so i know which to substitute them in for.

I would substitue good mornings in for GHR’s but i feel these are more beneficial to my personal aspirations. Though i am open to hearing your argument as to why i should have them.

Good idea. I will put chin ups in instead of the bent over rows though as they’re both primary movements.

Also i will look into zottman curls instead of concentration curls.

Thanks for the detailed post. I appreciate it.

[quote]colonelquack wrote:
…An entire day of arm isolation?[/quote]

As i say i am a beginner. So the idea is to point out what you think is so bad about that. Please expand on your argument against this.

Thank you.

[quote]-ironman- wrote:
colonelquack wrote:
…An entire day of arm isolation?

As i say i am a beginner. So the idea is to point out what you think is so bad about that. Please expand on your argument against this.

Thank you.[/quote]

From your response, you sound as if you know better.

[quote]-ironman- wrote:
First off i am obviously a beginner despite having been lifting for three years i still consider myself a complete newb expecially looking back when i see how stupid what i was doing was.

So i am 6’4 and play rugby league to a reasonable standard. I currently weigh 90kg (200lbs)- this is the problem, obviously. So i’ve sorted out my diet with thanks to Berardi and here is what i’ve come up with for my lifting program with my main goal being fuctional hypertrophy:

I worked out and agonist split which looks like this:
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Recovery
Day 3: Biceps/Triceps
Day 4: Quads/Hamstrings
Day 5: Recovery
Day 6: shoulders
Day 7: Recovery

and in more detail:

Chest/Back-
bench press 6-8 x 3,
(DB) Incline Bench press 8-10 x 3,
DB Flies 8-10 x 3.
Bent over barbell rowing 6-8 x 3 ,
fat man pull-ups 8-10 x 3,
Straight-Arm Pulldown 8-10 x 3.

Biceps/ Triceps-
Standing barbell curl 6-8 x 3,
Hammer Curl 8-10 x 3,
concentration curl 8-10 x 3.
Close grip bench press 6-8 x 3,
Reverse Grip Bench Press 8-10 x 3,
Overhead DB triceps extension 8-10 x 3.

Quads/ Hamstrings-
Olympic back squat (hip width stance, upright torso) 6-8 x 3,
Lunges 8-10 x 3,
leg extensions 8-10 x 3.
Romanian deadlift 6-8 x 3,
Glute ham raises 8-10 x 3,
ham curls 8-10 x 3

Shoulders-
military press 6-8 x 3,
Arnold press 8-10 x 3,
Lateral raise 8-10 x 3.
front raise 8-10 x 3

I would like to superset these exercises aswell to increase the intensity but i am unsure of possible pairings?

I appreciate any advice that you can give me…either to do with this routine or general tips that will help me to achieve functional hypertrophy.

PS. I ALREADY HAVE THE “EAT. SQUAT. REPEAT.” AND THE “SLEEP EAT EAT SLEEP EAT EAT AND CONTINUE” DOWN TO A T THANKS.
[/quote]

My own personal opinion- chest/back shouldn’t be given equal billing to bis/tris. I would pair chest with bis and back with tris and shoot for 4 total chest/back exercises (all at 3 sets of 8-12) and 2 total exercises for bis or tris (at 3 sets of 8-12). So, around 6 total sets for each arm part rather than 9 and around 12 total sets for the major muscle group. You need another back exercise, and I would add regular deadlifts. For that I would recommend having 2 higher rep sets (12 or so reps) and 2 sets in the 3-5 rep range (assuming a 2 set warm up). I think this is a good way to promote hypertrohy and back thickness. Do the deads first on back day.

Add traps to shoulder day. Remove the front raises from shoulder day and add face pulls (w/ rope and pulley) so you hit the rear delts with something.

On leg day, drop the RDLs and replace with high foot position leg presses. Go for higher reps on this and really squeeze your glutes and engage the hams.

Make it 3 days on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off if possible.

Only do supersets every other week if at all…otherwise have 60-90 sec of rest between sets. The loads should provide the intensity you need.

This is my advice. Good luck.

I agree with trextacy. Your chest and back muscles, combined, represent MUCH more muscle than your bi’s and tri’s, so I’d suggest you try this split if you don’t want to change your chest/back day:

Day 1: Chest/back
Day 2: Biceps/triceps/shoulders
Day 3: Legs

If you feel this ain’t enough working days (I know I would), you can use the classic chest/triceps and back/biceps setup as suggested, or do one of the workouts twice.

Also, I would add one more exercice and one more set to every move on both your chest and back. Because unless you really go to complete failure on every set, 9 sets a week for the chest and back seem a bit minimal to me.

I actually dedicate an entire workout to my back (same for chest), and perform around 16 sets for each (including big moves like DL’s, bentover rows and weighted pullups). You seem to be in good shape and you’ve been lifting for awhile, I’m sure you can jack up the volume safely to get more results.

So i am 6’4 and play rugby league to a reasonable standard.

my main goal being fuctional hypertrophy

The two things aren’t mutually exclusive but what you have outlined isn’t that functional persay.

You do not have any unilateral movements. I feel that is a mistake.

You do not have any external rotation movements - you may be well balanced but if you aren’t and neglect these you will pay for it later on in life.

I would like to see split squats instead of lunges - consider bulgarian splits.

IMO dumbbell bench press is superior to barbell bench press for sports specific functional strength.

Too much arm stuff relative to the rest of the body.

Do rear shoulder laterals or facepull with external rotation on back day - it’s movement specific.

Replace DB flies with pull-overs for the first 6 weeks.

Add neck stuff - not just shrugs but neck extension (both sides, front and back) on a stability ball. Also lower trap work like T3 raises and scapula retractions.

What you have come up with isn’t bad - it’s pretty good actually as is the advice that you have been given so far. It’s kind of funny the number of different opinions there are with threads like this. Everything works for a short so you’re not likely to go wrong with you cycling your program every 6 to 8 weeks.

I appreciate the advice from everyone and i have just spent the last hour doing some research and working out ways to incorporate the advice that you have given me. Heres the new look version:

Day 1: Back/Triceps
Day 2: Recovery
Day 3: Chest/Biceps
Day 4: Quads/Hamstrings
Day 5: Recovery
Day 6: shoulders
Day 7: Recovery

My only query with this is if i would be better to swap my legs and shoulder days around?

Back/ Triceps-
Deadlifts 6-8 x 3
Chin ups 8-10 x 3 ,
Bent over barbell rowing 8-10 x 3,
Straight-Arm Pulldown 8-10 x 3.
Close grip bench press 6-8 x 3,
Overhead DB triceps extension 8-10 x 3.

Chest/Biceps-
bench press 6-8 x 3,
(DB) Incline Bench press 8-10 x 3,
DB Flies 8-10 x 3.
Pull overs 8-10 x 3
Standing barbell curl 6-8 x 3,
Hammer Curl 8-10 x 3,

Quads/ Hamstrings-
Olympic back squat (hip width stance, upright torso) 6-8 x 3,
Lunges 8-10 x 3,
leg extensions 8-10 x 3.
Romanian deadlift 6-8 x 3,
Glute ham raises 8-10 x 3,
ham curls 8-10 x 3

I would have replaced lunges with Bulgarian squats but from previous experiences my balance with Bulgarian squats is awful so i wasn’t able to use any decent weight or conduct with proper form.

Shoulders-
military press 6-8 x 3,
Arnold press 8-10 x 3,
Lateral raise 8-10 x 3.
Shrugs 8-10 x 3
neck extension (both sides, front and back) on a stability ball 10 x 3

The changes (from what i can remember):

  1. Replaced fat man pullups for chin ups.
  2. Changed my split to Back/ Triceps and Chest/ Biceps rather than the original Chest/ Back.
  3. Cut down the volume of arm work and added volume to chest and back with one extra exercise each.
  4. Added neck training.

As far as i can remember those are the main changes, stupidly i didnt take note of what i was changing as i did it do its a bit of the spot the difference.

My only concerns now are: Do i have enough volume for my arms to grow? this is probably just my desire to have big arms outweighing any rational thought, but i want reassurance.

Also, should i be adding any core work? abs?

Thanks again for all your time, in particular: Daneq, Trextacy, Kataklysm and patrick whos advice has all been put into my second attempt- which i hope is an improvement!!

Your split sounds perfect to me, you have 3 days between back and legs, which is always safer and more efficient when you perform both squats and deadlifts.

As far as abs go, I always do a little ab work after each workout, focusing on one section of the abs instead of always trying to do every angle (you know you don’t want to after a tough workout). Since your shoulder workout features less volume than the rest of your training, I’d suggest performing
4x12 Hanging leg raise and
4x15 Decline Crunch
to stimulate your rectus abdominis.

On chest and back day, you could do some Internal&External obliques with 4 sets of Medicine Ball twist for example (I really like this move for core strenght) and a couple sets of the Plank to work your Transverse Abdominis.

good luck man hope it helps

Looks better.

I think I would sub out one of the supplementary chest exercises for decline bench (so 3 big movers and 1 supplementary exercise=4 total). I just don’t think pullovers AND flies are a good use of your chest sets. If you don’t want 3 pressing/bench movements, look at some Gironda dips. This is a great selection because you get a more vertical plane-- just be sure to contract the pecs if you are dipping on chest day.

If you are worried about arm growth, I would also add in a couple of sets of closer grip dips (weighted, if you can) on triceps day. Do that before any extensions or push downs or whatever. Triceps are bigger than biceps so you would get more bang for your buck there if arms are a concern.

For bis, look into incline DB hammer curls-- the angle and stretch you get on those is far superior to any other biceps movement and necessary for complete development.

ETA: I still don’t think RDLs are a great ham movements on leg day. If you want a ham exercise in there, I think SL DLs are better.

Here ya go man, if I changed anything, these would be the changes. Looks good overall.

[quote]-ironman- wrote:
First off i am obviously a beginner despite having been lifting for three years i still consider myself a complete newb expecially looking back when i see how stupid what i was doing was.

So i am 6’4 and play rugby league to a reasonable standard. I currently weigh 90kg (200lbs)- this is the problem, obviously. So i’ve sorted out my diet with thanks to Berardi and here is what i’ve come up with for my lifting program with my main goal being fuctional hypertrophy:

I worked out and agonist split which looks like this:
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Recovery
Day 3: Biceps/Triceps
Day 4: Quads/Hamstrings
Day 5: Recovery
Day 6: shoulders
Day 7: Recovery [/quote]

This looks completely fine, and if you like it then stick with it. I like to have 2 days off at some point in the week, so if I did this split it’d look like this.

1: chest/back
2: Bi/tri
3: recovery
4: quads/hams
5: shoulders
6: recovery
7: recovery

I think that resting the body for the 48 hrs like that allows your body to recover better than just one day of rest.

[quote]and in more detail:

Chest/Back-
bench press 6-8 x 3,
(DB) Incline Bench press 8-10 x 3,
DB Flies 8-10 x 3.
Bent over barbell rowing 6-8 x 3 ,
fat man pull-ups 8-10 x 3,
Straight-Arm Pulldown 8-10 x 3.

Biceps/ Triceps-
Standing barbell curl 6-8 x 3,
Hammer Curl 8-10 x 3,
concentration curl 8-10 x 3.
Close grip bench press 6-8 x 3,
Reverse Grip Bench Press 8-10 x 3,
Overhead DB triceps extension 8-10 x 3.

Quads/ Hamstrings-
Olympic back squat (hip width stance, upright torso) 6-8 x 3,
Lunges 8-10 x 3,
leg extensions 8-10 x 3.
Romanian deadlift 6-8 x 3,
Glute ham raises 8-10 x 3,
ham curls 8-10 x 3

Shoulders-
military press 6-8 x 3,
Arnold press 8-10 x 3,
Lateral raise 8-10 x 3.
front raise 8-10 x 3 [/quote]

I’ve found the best rep range for what you want is between 6-8 reps or so, going no higher than 8 for your “heavy” exercises and no more than 12 reps for your “light” exercises.

I like to do my first few exercises with the 6-8 rep range and then finish with my last exercise in a 12 rep range focusing on strict form. Some call that exercise the “finishing” move.

I think that supersets will be fine to use, but I wouldn’t do them until you reach a plateu with this workout. I will superset occasionally but I personally like Giant Sets and Strip sets better than just a few supersets.

When doing supersets, I prefer to combine a heavy lift with a lighter or easier lift.

For example: military press/lateral raise, squat/leg extensions, Dumbbell bench/flyes…something like this.

[quote]I appreciate any advice that you can give me…either to do with this routine or general tips that will help me to achieve functional hypertrophy.

PS. I ALREADY HAVE THE “EAT. SQUAT. REPEAT.” AND THE “SLEEP EAT EAT SLEEP EAT EAT AND CONTINUE” DOWN TO A T THANKS.
[/quote]

looks good tho man. Good luck

Gerdy

Great advice from everyone and i really appreciate it…However, i have decided to save this workout untill i am abit more advanced. After reading around i have decided to give Chad Waterbury’s program TBT a go due to the large number ofcompound movements and the fact that- why not use a pro’s programme?

Thanks again everybody.