T Nation

Need Programming Help Please

For the past ~6 months (I can dig out logs and get more exact dates if anyone cares to know) I have been doing
Pushing muscles - Chest, triceps, shoulders
Pulling Muscles - Upper back, biceps, forearms
Core/Legs
Off
Repeat

For the first ~4 months of this I would do a warm-up set or two and do 3 to 4 working sets in the 6 to 8 rep range on compound movements and 8 to 10 on isolation. I then moved into 8 to 10 on compound and 10 to 12 on isolation because I was starting to plateau a bit and my muscular endurance was getting pretty crappy.

As far as exercise selection I have a bank that I pick and choose from, usually doing 2 compound movements for a muscle group and 1 or 2 isolation movements if I feel up to it on the day.

Sample pulling workout would be.
Weighted pull-up (Vary the grip every session)
Pull down (Grip different than that used for pullups)
Seated Cable Row
Chest Supported Row
Shrug
Face Pull
DB Incline Curl
Reverse Curl
Grip Work

Sample Chest
DB Incline
DB Flat Bench
BB Decline
Pec Deck
Shoulder Press
Delt Triad (Supersets of side raises/front raises/shoulder press)
Tricep Rope
Underhanded Tricep Extensions

Legs/Core
Walking Lunge
Box Jumps
Heavy Cable Crunch
Cable Torso Twist
Gorilla Ups (Like a hanging knee raise but without the use of straps and with the incorporation of half a pullup into each rep)

For legs I am somewhat limited because I don’t do well with compressive loading because of a back injury I had roughly two years ago, but I’m open to suggestion.

As far as diet goes I’m not as strict as I should or could be, but I do pretty well and I’m not all that concerned with pretty abs to be honest so I eat big regularly.

I’ve been making intermittent progress with this in terms of strength, there seem to be periods about 2 weeks long that all my compound lifts just go up like air. I’ve seen some size increase in my lats and upper chest as well, not much in the legs but that’s understandable given the circumstances. What do you all think of this, what could I be doing better?

Constructive criticism is very welcome but please don’t be an ass about it… there’s no need.

I’m not sure I fully understand:

Are you saying that you might use a completely different exercise selection different days for body parts?

I don’t think that’s the best approach because you’re not really giving your body a chance to get better at a certain lift/movement pattern. Pick the exercises and stick to them for a few months before switching it up.

Also, are you gaining weight? Keeping track of body fat?

Sorry, reading over that again it doesn’t make that much sense in my own head even… Basically I’m just asking for input on the programming the way I have it at the moment. My exercise bank that I pick and choose from isn’t anything a whole lot different from what you see there now, just varying things up with different grips or doing it with DBs versus BBs or vice versa.

I’ve gone from 185 to ~200 depending on the day, in my opinion I appear leaner and I also track fat via buoyancy, I used to float at about eye level with the waterline with a full breath of air now I either sink or the waterline is very high on my head with a full breath of air.

If I’m going to advise you on programming, it’d benefit me to know how advanced you are. Can you post some weights for me? In terms of balance, it looks fine though. That being said, squeeze all the gains out of whatever program you’re on before you change things.

Prepare to be unimpressed - I had a very slow and uneducated start to my training career then when I finally started to see progress I messed my back up. Having said that, please be kind… haha

DB Shoulder Press - 60s
Flat DB Bench - 100s
Walking Lunge - 90s
Pullups - BW + 15 (215)
Chest Supported Row - 410 / 205 per hand

I don’t max out anymore because with the lifts I do it’s difficult to get a good idea of what my max would be even.

You need more leg work. Your body won’t let a big strong upper body be supported by small and weak legs.

Leg Options:

DB Squat
DB Split Squat
Bulgarian Split Squat
Gironda Sissy Squat (will blow your thighs up, use no weight, use a doorway for balance, go down DEEP)

Do you not have access to a leg extension or leg curl machine?

Alan

Also, you could try out belt squatting for your legs. Its a pain in the ass to set up for the movement, but it should allow you to work your legs well without that compressive loading.

All right, yeah, I’ve been experimenting a bit with different things to do for legs 'cause I knew I was a little light in the amount of work I’m doing for them… I’ll give some of those a try, thanks for the suggestions.