T Nation

My Routine. (Dealing with Training ADD)


Over the past summer, I have gained roughly 25 pounds of muscle (6'3 19yo, from 160 12% to 185 7.5%) on a TBT program, consisting of one upper body push and pull, and one lower body quad and hip dominant exercise, plus to single joint vanity exercises. Using a modified rest pause idea I made lot of good progress.

So here's the situation: I have a problem with training ADD, as every shiny new program or article I read convinces me I need to be doing something fancy and new or I will become weak and small. Essentially, I decided to say fuck it, and train with a traditional bodybuilding split, as that is what it seems like the truly big guys do.

My specific training goals are purely body building related. I have no desire to powerlift, and dont worry too much about the amount of weight I can move, though strength gains are always fun. Mainly, I want to hit the big 200 by Christmas at the same bf % I currently am. My bulk starts tomorrow, with the general idea that being a college student will make my access to the food I need whenever I need it lol. And RTD 51's multiple times a day :slightly_smiling:

The program I have settled on is a simple four day split:
mon Chest/Abs
tues Backthickness/Shoulders
wed Legs/Calves
thurs Backwidth/Traps
Fri Bi's/Tri's/Forearms

with exercise selection following a simple idea:
3 Movements done in a 3x8-12 fashion followed by a fourth isolation FST-7 style pump set per bodypart.

My question is this: Is this what I should be doing, training wise? I keep getting distracted by flashy programs. Lately WS4SB has been peaking my interest (read: I just watched Strong, the movie).

Any advice?

Thanks guys!


My 2 cents: First of all, do Back all on one day. Better to get 1 balls to the wall workout that crushes your whole back than two half ass workouts. That's what your second one will be, because two days isn't enough for your back to heal. Instead of having two separate days for width and thickness, just alternate weeks. First week focus on thickness, next week focus on width.

Also, Traps are pretty easy to wreck if you use heavy ass weight, like you should, so there is no reason to put them on their own day.

Also, I would say 4 sets instead of 3.

Make sure you're eating a LOT. If you think you already are eating a lot, tack on another 1k calories, and you'll be better off.

Flash programs may sound new and exciting, but guess what, look back at all the old school, and new school bodybuilders. You know what their flashy programs consist of? Lifting heavy shit, properly, often, and consistently, and eating more in one day than small families do in a week. Flashy complex programs are a waste, especially when the basics of building a good physique are soooo simple.


Thanks hyena for the response.

What you said really confirms what I noticed over the course of the last few months. Its not hard to get where you want to get, it just takes discipline and the balls to do shit that's not always fun.

If I work back all on one day, would you suggest i just drop one day, and work on a four day split?

Two more quick questions: what is your overall view on cardio during a bulk? DC advocates eating like you are a 300 lb mass monster but doing as much cardio as an individual who is under 8% bf during a bulk, just trying to nail this idea down.

And lastly, I understand it is of the utmost importance that I continue to push some heavy ass wait around. What if I were to use heavier weights and train for a set amount of reps, i.e. using a heavier weight then I would for sets of 8-12 but still shooting for 40 total reps?



In most cases, strength gains equal muscle gains. So you SHOULD worry about the amount of weight you can move. No doubt about it, man.

If you want to shoot for high total reps + heavier weights... Try sth like 10 sets of 3 reps.
I personally like 5x5.

Good luck!


Back all on one day?

I agree for muscle size that 1 balls to the wall workout is better than 2 half arsed ones - but IME 2 balls workouts are better still - if you want to get the volume in there.


As a guy who is slimmer than many (genetically/structurally whatever) i find that i gain better on a higher frequency that a once per 6-7 days plan - as is so very common.

FWIW i am currently doing a 3 day split, 3 on, 1 off - so get the whole body in 2x over 8 days.

However - it should be noted that ANY intense program will work for a while - it takes years to learn how long a program you do (5x5 is different for one guy than for the next) will work for - but a general rule of thumb is around 4-12 weeks.

I do change my regime somehow at either the 4, 6 or 8 week mark or at 8, 10 or 12 mesocycles. This change is often a few different moves, adapted rep range or volume.

I too have been similar in wanting to try every program i write (i am a trainer and i have written hundreds of programs over the years, and this makes me want to change mine on a regular basis) - but i know that consistency IS key, and so i ignore the temptation.

Essentially the most tempting thing to do when on a program that works is not to keep it, but to make it better! Of course you cannot fix what is not broken and so you end up breaking it.

My advice? Stick to your program for 1-2 months then move on. Save up the programs you like the look of and edit them ready for when you can use them - maybe print them off and keep them in a file.

I personally use a split like a 5 day to increase volume per bodypart - so if you start at 9 sets per bodypart (on this program) then slowly progress that up over the next 2 months then walk away.



Yeah Brook this is going to be a first for me, I have never been able to train one body only once a week, as I usually want to do total body sessions three to four times a week. I figured that I could incorporate progression into the overall volume with the total reps performed with said weight increasing over the weeks before an increase in weight.

If i focus on getting 40 reps per exercise, I can use heavier weights and shorter rest periods still with a volume adequate for maximum hypertrophy. Or at least, that is what I am thinking. That way i could train heavier than 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 with the same muscle building stimulus?

Thanks guys,


Time Under Tension - TUT

So assuming that you are lifting a weight that dictates how many reps you can do (failure) - it is the TUT that is important rather than an actual number of repetitions.

If you focus on 40 reps an exercise - i fail to see how this means you train heavier than doing ~4sets of ~10reps? This is only the case if you choose a heavier weight than you would lift for 8 reps and then end up doing 5 or more sets!

I guess the way you have put it is a little 'foreign' to me.

You don't have to make it so complicated - and while i am fully aware of the excellent training articles on this site that teach you how to calculate volume and then create a variable volume periodised workout - for you it is simply not necessary to get this complex.

Just make sure that what you choose you can stick to - and add a little progression.
Make sure that whatever rep range you choose, you select a weight that does not allow you to surpass it.
Make sure that you train to absolute failure on a number of exercises a session.

For the future:

I like to do the following as a basic periodised macrocycle:

a) Wk1-4: TBT; 15-30 sets; EOD freq.;
Wk5: Deload

b) Wk6-11: 2 day split; 15-30 sets; EOD freq.;
Wk12: Deload

c) Wk13-16: 3 day split; 15-30 sets; EOD freq.;
Wk17: Deload

d) Wk18-23: 5-6 day split; 15-30 sets; 5-6x/wk;
Wk24: Off

The specifics are fabricated and i wasn't about to add rep ranges for all those anal posters to add up and question the volume - the point is it is a climbing volume workout over 6 months.
The volume intensity per muscle group increases, while the total volume per worjout stays the same.

The work in total will increase due to the load increases (rest manipulation) but not significantly, but as each mesocycle the volume each muscle has to work with to get through the session increases - it is sufficient overload.

I have found that with all variables considered, this type of plan can be used year round.


Thanks brook for the template, I'm going to save it to my computer and reference it in the future. What i was referring to with my 40 reps idea is essentially and autoregulatory form of training following an idea Chad Waterbury put forth. If we compare a tradtioional set rep scheme of 4x10 to this autoregulatory method, which implies that I use a weight that could be heavier than the weight I would use for the former strict pattern, with smaller rep sets bu shorter rest intervals, I would still achieve the same amount of volume and TUT, but with a higher weight than I could have previously have used. Follow?

Within the context of my previously laid out ruotine, is a simple volume progression model (3x8 or 24 reps one week, 3x10 or 30 the next, 4x8 or 32 the following, etc) sufficient for progression, or would you reccommend some other method?

And lastly, cardio while on a bulk... should i do none as certain people advocate? or follow the DC idea of doing a shitload?