T Nation

New Training Program

Hi all,

I wanted to post my plan for my next 4 to 6 weeks of training to get some feedback from all you T-Forumers. I think sometime soon I’ll post some physique pics as well, because I guess I like attention and I have a hard time being objective about my own physique.

I’ve been training for around 7 years, only very consistently and intensely for 1. I carry about 215 lbs. on a pretty heavy 6’ frame. No small joints here. My bodyfat is around 14-16%. I’m pretty happy with my body composition, and am mainly looking to maintain or slightly increase mass and become “functionally” stronger.

I’ve found I respond much better to full body workouts, especially three individual routines spaced evenly throughout the week, with two days utilizing big movements, 5-10 sets of 3-6 reps, and a third day of still mostly compound movements and occasionally isolation, more generic 3x10 stuff. I use the same weight for all sets (haven’t gotten into changing load throughout set yet) and take 45-90 second rest breaks between sets. I put on a lot of muscle when I began training like this after doing lots of different bodypart splits. Jesus am I ever verbose. Here it goes…

Day 1 (3 sets of 10-12 reps)
-Overhead BB Squat
-Bent-over BB Row (pronated grip)
-Flat BB Bench Press (med. grip, using some bands to work on speed, lockout and whatever else I might get out of them)
-BB Step-ups using 24" box
-Seated Cable Face Pulls with tricep rope
-Glute/Ham Raises
-Weighted Dips
-Hanging Knee Raises with DB between ankles for additional resistance

Day 2 (varied sets/reps)
-BB Hack Squat (5x5)
-Decline BB Bench Press (8-10x3, med. grip)
-Sumo BB Deadlift (8-10x3)
-Flat DB Bench Press (4x6)
-Single-Arm DB Row (5x5)
-Hanging Pike (5x6, straight legs, toes touch the bar)
-Reverse-Hyper (5x6, using a back extension platform backwards, DB between ankles)

Day 3 (varied sets/reps)
-BB Back Squat (8-10x3, wide stance)
-Chinups (4x6, weighted)
-BB Overhead Press (8-10x3)
-Stiff-leg BB Deadlift (5x5)
-Incline DB Bench Press (4x6, pronated grip, a little less than 45 degree angle to give the shoulders a break after the overhead work)
-Lying Cable Pull-ins

So there you go. Assume I’m injury-free, pretty balanced as far as development goes, etc. Thanks in advance.

A good first go! Also, congrats on seeking the advice of others - sometimes it is the hardest thing to do, but one of the most useful. Here are my thoughts (as I am not a professional and this board has many experts, take my opinions as just that):

  1. Switch the rep scheme with Day 1 and 2. That way you have long rest period between heavier loads. In fact, I would consider a simple periodization of week 1 Heavy/Mod/Heavy week 2 Mod/Heavy/Mod, or Week 2 Speed/Heavy/Speed if you wanted to be more functional in approach.

  2. I see only one exercise that has you pulling across the vertical plane (chinups), 3 Horizontal Pushing movements, 3 Vertical Pushing Movements, and 3 Horizontal Pulling movements. I would try to balance that out for the upper body.

  3. volume: one of the days has you lifting as much as 44 sets, all in a 3-6 rep range which would indicated a high threshold in the 80-85% range for the weight. That is A LOT of volume - you know your body best, but I would consider cycling your volume and balancing throught the week.

  4. you are doing BB Bench and Flat DB bench within 48 hours. I would argue that is not a great enough differentiator to hit the muscle from a different angle. If you where intentially trying to improve your bench skill, you would be better to lower the intentisty and practice the exact movement.

  5. not nearly enough isolation activity like ‘upside down spider curls’. Just kidding. Howerver, CT wrote a great article on Beach body part training that you may want to consider as part of your program IF you have bodybuidling goals you want to wrap into your functional work.

Good luck.

Thanks for the feedback, CRisenhoover. As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I was thinking that I’m trying to do a little too much with each session–I seem to able to handle close to this kind of workload on a consistent basis but I would probably be able to get a little more intensity going if I backed off on overall volume. Just for the sake of comparison, this was my last training program, with loads (pardon my weakness) included. Assume full ROM (ass to grass squats, touching chest on benches, etc.)

Day 1 (3x10-12)
-Single leg DB Squat w/50 lb. DBs
-Overhead BB Press w/115 lbs.
-Seated Leg Curl w/85 lbs.
-Close-grip BB Bench Press w/125 lbs.
-Alternating DB Bicep Curl w/40 lbs.
-Rear Delt Fly w/30 lbs. DBs
-Low Pulley Chest Fly on a flat bench w/40lbs. on each stack
-Standing Calf Raise w/225 lbs. (I did this as a 6x4 and supersetted it with the next two exercises)
-Oblique Crunches hanging sideways off a back extension platform
-Cable Crunches w/160 lbs.(3 sets of 15 or more)
-Whew! I supersetted a lot of this and it still took me about an hour, creating small ponds of sweat around the gym as I went (always clean up well after myself though).

Day 2 (5x5)
-BB Front Squat w/240 lbs.
-Incline BB Bench Press w/215 lbs.
-BB Deadlift w/370 lbs.
-Decline DB Bench Press w/105 lb. DBs
-Glute/Ham Raise
-Seated Cable Row (wide, pronated grip) w/260 lbs.
-Hanging Pike

Day 3 (also 5x5)
-BB Back Squat w/350 lbs.
-Flat BB Bench Press w/240 lbs. (245 on a good day)
-Stiff-leg Deadlift w/280 lbs.
-Incline DB Bench Press w/ 90 lb. DBs or (gasp!) a machine incline press w/ 300 on the stack, depending on where I was training
-Seated Cable Row (semi-supinated grip) w/ 260 lbs.
-Hanging Pike or Hanging Knee Raise w/ 30 lb. DB between ankle

I’ve been doing that routine for 4 weeks or so, increasing poundages by an average of 5.34 lbs. on the bigger lifts from where I started. Also, looking at my new training plan, I think trying to get hack squats in on the same day as the sumo deadlift might overly tax my grip and traps. I’m training this afternoon so we’ll see how I feel then. Any more feedback from anyone is greatly appreciated!

No input from anyone else yet (I know this thread must not be that interesting) but I did do the proposed Day 2 workout yesterday and it went very well, aside from the BB hack squats.

I’ve only done these one other time, when a buddy of mine gave me Coach Davies’ Renegade Bodybuilding workout to do a few years ago. I didn’t much like them then, and now that I’m using heavier weights I like them even less now. They seem to beat up the back of my legs unless I almost “catch” the bar and pause slightly with it behind my knees. Then, by slightly straightening my legs, I push the bar back a little so it clears my calves as I set the bar down. However, I didn’t experience excessive fatigue in my grip and traps like I thought I would from doing both the hack squat and sumo deadlift in the same workout.

I think I will replace the hack squat, though. In my last workout I was front and back squatting each week. I want to use at least two different squatting movements in this training program. I’ll be doing back squats still on day 3, so I’m thinking about maybe lunging off a box or something like that for day 2’s squatting movement. I did really like the sumo deadlifts, and it was also good to hit the decline BB and flat DB benches heavy, which I haven’t done for a while. I’ve never done heavy single arm rows, which I alse liked doing. We’ll see how day 3’s workout goes.