T Nation

New Program - Gym & Home?


I was hoping for a little help planning my next program for my husband and myself. He just started working out with me in December and is starting to really get into it (yay!) We go to the gym 3 days a week and would like to start doing some workouts from home, too. I just bought a used pullup/dip/hanging leg raise thing and Concept2 rower and am hoping to slowly put together a home gym and eventually phase out the gym membership (hoping to find a power rack on craigslist!)

We've been doing a very basic 3x10 full body routine for the past 6 weeks just to get him going, using compound lifts and some unilateral exercises, too. He has dropped some fat and now just needs to focus on getting stronger and a little leaner, same as me. He had knee surgery almost 2 years ago and that leg is weaker, but the split squats (along with everything else) are helping.

Just a few questions...

When is it time to go heavier? (get away from 3x10)

Any ideas on a good next program to try? (there's so many good ones...)

Any ideas on mixing 3 lifting days with 2-3 bodyweight days? How can I best arrange these?

Thanks, as always!


That IS good news; weren't you afraid he wouldn't take to it?

Sounds good!

What a great riposte to all those people who claim squatting will damage your knees!

Whenever you feel like it! Or...whenever you feel you are no longer making progress with 3x10-12. But seriously: if you want to try heavier, nothing stands in the way of deciding to add 10-20% and dropping the reps, and therefore...

It sounds like you are ready for a few weeks of 5x5. Increase the weight to the point where you can just manage 5 sets of 5 reps. If you don't quite make the last 1-2 reps of the last set, that's okay: it means you judged the load right. A few weeks of that and you should find your strength has increased when you go back to 3x10-12 for hypertrophy.

I'm sure others have more interesting ideas, but I'd say just alternate them. The bodyweight days could really help to stretch you out after the full-body lifting days, especially if you increase the load on lifting days.

Good luck with what you do!


I'd say to start going heavier as soon as technigue is pretty good and then use gradual increases to ensure the knee doesn't become sore.

As far as programs, if you both want to follow one, then there are lot's here (but stick to the beginner/intermediate ones)- I know not much help! :slight_smile: Personally, while getting back into lifting, I liked pulling pieces from many different programs, although they were all typically either full-body or a upper/lower split.

I find this gives me a good variety and allows me to find my strengths, and more importantly exposes my weaknesses.

As far as mixing the weights and body weight, I say go for it. Your family life may dictate it moreso, but I have found that doing bodyweight and/or GPP on days between weight training works best from a recovery stand point. It may just be me, so play around with it and find what works best for you.

As an aside, I have found your personal transformation/progress motivating...hey if a girl can do it...! (kidding)


Hi Jillybop!

I don't know if it counts as a beginner/intermediate program, but I really liked doing Waterbury's TBT when I first started. There was a lot of exercise variety and you get to change the sets/reps frequently. I didn't get amazing results but I did learn an awful lot and tried many new exercises. Hack squats and front squats and good mornings and cuban presses, stuff that challenged me to step outside of my beginner mentality.

Ehh, my 2 cents.


Thanks, yes I wasn't sure how it would go since he has a physical job and is tired when he gets home, but he's starting to see some results and I think he's getting hooked (hehehe...) I like doing 5x5, so maybe I'll set something up with that in mind.

What about doing 3 days of lifting push/pull/legs with 5x5 and putting a bodyweight day between each session, trying not to work a bodypart just worked or about to be worked? I'd also like to throw in some stuff from NNM, too.

Hmmm, I have some figuring out to do... I'm still open to more ideas if anyone already setup something similar. Thanks!


If the 5x5 isn't to intensive for him then go for it, just be sure to add in a deloading week every 3-4 weeks or whenever it feels like too much.

As far as the body weight stuff, actually do a little of whatever you did the day before (ie. if you were doing a push workout, then do a few push-ups) it will be great active recovery, obviously don't overdo it.

As far as a program, just keep at the training and play around with programs as you go.

It's great you get to workout with your husband, does he enjoy it as much as you?