New, Critique My Workout

Hello all!!

This is my first time back in to the gym seriously since 98. I was looking to get some info on nutrition and training methods when I stumbled on to this site and I have to say this site is awesome.

Background: I am 31 years old 5’6 and 145 lbs. I haven’t trained hard since I got back from basic training right after high school.

Goals: Right now I just want to get a decent strength base and power. I am focusing on dead lifts, squats, bench press, and pull ups as my main lifts. I did my 1 rep maxes last week to gauge were I am at and I did the following:

Dead lift 275lbs Goal 300lbs
Squats 245lbs Goal 285lbs
Bench press 195lbs Goal 215lbs
Pull ups 13 consecutive Goal 20 consecutive

I have never done dead lifts before so I am still trying to get use to the form and technique. I think I may have been able to do a little more but my grip was giving out so it looks like I will need to pick up some straps.

Here is my work out program

Mon Squat 185x5, 195x5, 205x5, 215x5, 225x5
Leg Extentions 3x10
Hamstring curls 3x10

Tues Bench 155x5, 160x5, 165x5, 170x5, 175x5
Incline Dumbell press 5x5
Tricep cable pulldowns(rope) 3x10

Wed Rest

Thurs Deadlift 205x5, 215x5, 225x5, 235x5, 245x5
Military Press 5x5

Fri Wide grip pull ups 5x8
Close grip pull ups 5x8
T bar rows 5x5
Cable rows 3x10

Sat & Sun rest


I don’t have a pre planned nutrition program yet but I do eat 5-6 meals a day at around 3000 calories total. I eat my whole wheat carbs in the morning when I wake up and right after I work out. My other meals usually consist of veggies and some sort of protein. My proteins are eggs, salmon, and whey.

My plan is to do this for 12 weeks to see if I can reach my goal. I guess my question is where am I at as far as strength for my size? Please critique my work out. I guess I should mention that my other hobby is mma so like I said before I am looking for power and some explosiveness.

Please don’t be to harsh :slight_smile:

My two cents…

I think you are short changing yourself on the goals. If you really haven’t trained since 1998 then I would set your sights higher. For example, my deadlift went from 215x3 to 475x1 in my first four months of training (I was also new to deadlifts).

I had maybe a similar plan and goal set to you when I started in January, but mine was a little different in that I didn’t set strict poundages to do on my sets (I still ramped the weight though). It seems like you might do better with larger jumps in weight between sets. I’d also suggest doing some single leg stuff.

Take a look at my log and see if any of what I did may help you. I would also suggest you start a training log on here. Jakerz Log - Training Logs - Forums - T Nation

Remember also that I am new to this game, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I am also not so experienced that I have forgotten what works when you are new (pretty much anything works when you just start or just start again). Read the stuff on this site there is some really great material.

Uh… one tricep exercise?

No bicep exercises?

Goals that are attainable within a couple weeks?

I’m going to say your workout routine is pretty bad right now.

Also, don’t get straps because your deadlift grip is giving out at 275. Instead work on your grip. It will progress rapidly at first (or try an alternating grip when you go heavy, but double overhand on all other sets).

I agree with some of what SSC says above also. Think of some short and long term goals that you really want to attain and then do what needs to be done to get there.

Alright, I can’t help it… You said you want power and strength? Why on earth are you assistance exercises for squat day leg extensions and curls? Better choices would be, lunges, bulgarian split squats, good mornings, RDLs, rack pulls, step-ups, front squats, leg press, barbell hip thrust, barbell bridges, etc… Also on deadlift day same thing. You really need some more leg assistance exercises to help you get stronger there. Also I am guessing you are pretty strong at upper body pulling (you like these exercises as there are a lot of them in there), but you give nowhere near the focus you give these to your legs (see my point above). Legs are where power comes from work on your legs!

What others wrote (short changing yourself and poor exercise choice); why don’t you follow a proven program, like 5/3/1?

Here’s an article about it: 5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength

I appreciate all the feed back. I guess my goal here was a 5x5 on all my main lifts. My thinking was to go light the first 12 week cycle to build a base strength and get my body use to it again. I was going to slowly incorporate more accessory lifts in as progressed. Also the weights I listed were starting points, as I get stronger through out the 12 weeks I would of course increase the weight as needed. It’s my fault though I didn’t mention these things initially.

As far as short changing myself, I thought those were pretty decent gains. I will re-evaluate my goals as well. I just remember 10-15 lb gains in a lift when I use to lift were pretty good. I’m not to concerned about 1 rep maxes as long as I can see decent strength gains. I will work my ass off the first 12 weeks and go from there I suppose. It will let me gauge my gains and I will have a better feel for my body.

I looked at Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 workout and I must say that I like it, along with some of the exercises Jaker posted as well. I will change my routine to and post my new one reflecting the new 5/3/1. I will use 2-3 accessory lifts in a 4 day split. I will ride out my broken program for the rest of this week and begin on Monday. I will also start a training log as well.

Best of luck man, work hard, and eat a ton of protein!

I’ll let the other, more knowledgeable and experienced people chime in the routine and nutrition.

All I wanted to say is that it looks like you’ve got some good natural strength there. Pound for pound, you’re pretty strong. Here’s a chart that I found linked in another thread and it should help you figure out where you stand on your lifts and set goals. Basically, by these standards, you’ve got the strength of a man who’s been training for about a year or two.

I’m in kind of the same boat as you: I just turned 30 and hadn’t worked out seriously… well, ever, really… but I hadn’t spent time in a gym consistently since high school. Diet and rest can make all the difference, man! Good luck!

Also, I recommend looking up Christian Thibadeaux’s ebook. I got it and it’s full of great advice on how to figure out what your muscle type is (fast twich/slow twich/mixed) and tailor a workout to your individual needs based off that instead of just choosing a random program based on a few recommendations. It’s also good for identifying possible flexibility issues or limiting factors you need to address and workout around. That guy is awesome!

Thanks again all. Sorry it took so long to post my revised workout. Last week was crazy with work and finals.

So here it is please let me know what you think of this. All main lifts are based off a 5/3/1.

Front Squat 3x10
Bulgarian split squats 3x10
Seated calve raises 4x10

DB Incline Bench 3x10
Dips 3x10
Tricep pulldowns with rope 3x10
cable tricep kickbacks


Deadlift 3x10
Barbell Bridges 3x10
Calves Standing calve raise 4x10

Standing Military Press
Pull ups 4 sets to failure
Upright rows 3x10
Preacher curls 3x10
alternating db curls 3x10

Sat & Sun rest