T Nation

Need a Program Critic

Hey guys, just wondering if you could give me your opinions on this program.
I wrote this routine using Coach Thib’s article “How to Design a Damn Good Program”. I am 6’ 185lbs. I’m fairly muscular due to martial arts and some whole body routines, but I’m getting serious about my lifting now.

My goal is to gain strength and a little size. The program is an A-B split and I do it Monday, Wednesday, Friday. It’s divided into push/pull.

“A”
Barbell Bench
Front Squat
DB Incline Bench Press
Overhead DB Lunges
Ab exercise
Military Press
DB Curls

“B”
Deadlift
Pull ups
Barbell Rows
Hamstring leg curls
Obliques
Dips
Seated Calf Raises

I do 5 sets of 4-5 reps for one week, then 4 sets of 6-8 reps the next week. I alternate the set/reps every week like that. I just started this, so any advice would be great before I get too far into it. My supplementation and nutrition is pretty much in line for gaining.

Thanks

Looks pretty good.

IMO, overhead DB lunges are one of the most useless exercises ever, because you can’t use enough load to stress the glutes/hams, and you can’t use enough to isometrically strengthen the lockout for your shoulders.

I’d also sqitch the curls and the dips, because they’re on wrong days.

A different progression: Start with three sets of five reps, and slowly add reps to each set as you progress. Every week, add a rep. Once you’re doing sets of ten or twelve, up the weight and go back to five reps.

I say this not because it’s a particularly great method of progression, but because I ignored progression for years, and it wasn’t until I began to incorporate planned progression into my training routine that I began to get more t han just newbie gains. And switching between 5 and 8 reps isn’t as easy or linear a progression as it could be.

Sounds pretty good. I’ll switch to the different progression next week. I’m still figuring out my 5 rep maxes. What would you recommend as a switch for the lunge. Leg press, or maybe weighted pistol squats?

[quote]cmess wrote:
Sounds pretty good. I’ll switch to the different progression next week. I’m still figuring out my 5 rep maxes. What would you recommend as a switch for the lunge. Leg press, or maybe weighted pistol squats?[/quote]

How about barbell lunge? It’s unilateral, and you can use heavy weight (or… relatively heavy weight). I don’t like pistol squats because you have to invest a lot of time in mobility training before you can actually one, and as good as the leg press is… I’m a sucker for barbell work.

Just my opinion. Leg press is cool too. Your call.

Ok, thanks for the advice. I have a great deal of mobility and flexibility from martial arts so pistol squats are really no problem. I’ll try the barbell lunge out. Thanks again.

If you switched dips and curls, you would have barbell bench press, db incline press, military press, and dips on the same day as well as your leg work. That seems a bit much, esp. because you would only have two major pulling exercises on your “B” day other than deads.

If you are going to be doing 5x4-6 or 4x6-8, I think you have to reduce the number of major exercises to avoid stalling. Without changing your setup too much, I think making your program 3 days on, one off would work better.

I’d suggest something like this… You would do A, B, C on consecutive days, rest on the 4th day, and then repeat. If you are not progressing on the lifts, I’d add a second rest day or reduce the volume.

“A”
Deadlifts
Pullups
Barbell Rows
Curls

“B”
BB Bench Press
Military Press
Dips
Skull Crushers

“C”
Back Squat
BB Lunges
RDL
Calf Raises

[quote]chitown34 wrote:
If you switched dips and curls, you would have barbell bench press, db incline press, military press, and dips on the same day as well as your leg work. That seems a bit much, esp. because you would only have two major pulling exercises on your “B” day other than deads.

If you are going to be doing 5x4-6 or 4x6-8, I think you have to reduce the number of major exercises to avoid stalling. Without changing your setup too much, I think making your program 3 days on, one off would work better.

I’d suggest something like this… You would do A, B, C on consecutive days, rest on the 4th day, and then repeat. If you are not progressing on the lifts, I’d add a second rest day or reduce the volume.

“A”
Deadlifts
Pullups
Barbell Rows
Curls

“B”
BB Bench Press
Military Press
Dips
Skull Crushers

“C”
Back Squat
BB Lunges
RDL
Calf Raises
[/quote]

I like this too.

Mainly because there is at least a day between Dl & Squat, and your Shoulders (bench, military & dips to a degree) only really get beat on one day, instead of breaking them in two.

With ABC in straight days, make sure you eat a lot & get enough sleep. Your CNS should be conditioned to work given the MA back ground, but if you start to get a cold or Flu like symptoms, take a few days off, and eat more.

In your orginal post, i would put Squats ahead of Bench. Do what is most productive first, i.e. squat, deadlift, etc.

Also, like Otep said, 3x5 gradually increasing reps & weight, is probably better than weekly shifts between rep #'s. You’ll get the best of both worlds.

Hmm, I would really like to do it that way. It sounds pretty good, but my current schedule doesn’t allow me that. I am a student, but I go home on the weekend, so I no longer have access to a gym.

I will switch to the better progression though.