T Nation

OVT Questions


OVT Questions

Hi, I?ve done the CT?s ?OVT? program once before, but I think I messed it up a little bit, and would like to do it CORRECTLY this time around.

As a little background?

17 years old
12%bf-ish, but you know what, I want mass, and I don?t care about a six pack. Let the MH fitness models look pretty, I want to scare people (lol).

Last time, I went for 4 weeks at 5 supersets. I started the weight with something I could handle for 5 reps (say on the bench, 100lbs as an example). When I couldn?t hit 5 reps, I lowered the weight (so on my 3rd set of bench, I would use 95lbs, for example once again, these aren?t actual weights). As soon as the first 4 weeks were up, I went to the next 4 (phase 2), without any break in between.

Yikes, I?m dumb. I didn?t use the forum, just the article, so I think I made a lot of mistakes.

From what I?ve heard, what I SHOULD do this time around:

Phase 1:
Week 1: 3 supersets
Week 2: 4 supersets
Week 3: 5 supersets
Week 4: 5 supersets
Week 5: ??? I have heard differing things, like using a LOW volume 5x5 program. I was thinking of dropping the second isolation movement for each exercise (so after I bench, I wouldn?t do flies, just another set of benching 2mins later, etc), and keep the schedule the same otherwise.

Phase 2:
Week 6: 3 supersets
Week 7: 4 supersets
Week 8: 5 supersets
Week 9: 5 supersets
Week 10: completely off

Week 11: Chad Waterbury?s ABBH

Also, how should the set progression go? I thought I read (at one point) about having it be a progression, with the first 2 sets difficult but not too hard, and then reaching your 5RM on the 3-5th sets. So, for weeks 3 and 4, for example, I would go (if my bench 5RM was 100lbs)

Set 1: 85 x 5
Set 2: 95 x 5
Set 3: 100 x 5
Set 4: 100 x 5
Set 5: 100 x 4 (I would be unable to do 5 reps, for example)

Is this right, or what is the correct progression on the sets to use?

Also, is there ANY WAY I could adapt the program to a 5-day-a-week schedule? I was thinking either?

Monday: Chest/back
Tuesday: Legs/Abs
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Shoulders (or arms)
Friday: Arms (or shoulders)


Monday: Chest/Back
Tuesday: Legs/Abs
Wednesday: Shoulders (or arms)
Thursday: Off
Friday: Arms (or shoulders)

Because I used to do a lot of cross country running and road cycling, my legs are very very overdeveloped compared to my upper body. I was thinking of creating my own explosive/strength day for Tuesdays, starting off with power cleans followed by squats and deadlifts. Explosive strength is what I want on my lower body, the mass is unnecessary (for wrestling, powerful hips are a plus, huge quads add a lot of weight and make me bump up weight classes). However, if this would truly detract from the program, I?ll just do the leg day as-is.

I was hoping I could keep all of my OVT questions (many of them) compacted into this one thread. If anyone else had OVT questions (I know it is a popular program), they could put them here, too. There was a similar thing going on with other programs in the past, and I know I am going to have a couple more questions in the future (in a week or so when I begin the program).

Thanks a lot in advance, I love this board and all of the helpful advice I get.


Oh, supplements I am planning on using include:

Whey powder/dextrose PWO
Dead animals
More food
Dead animals
R-ALA (200mg PWO eating window)
Vanadyl Sulfate (20mg PWO eating window)


Not sure about your OVT Qs but it should be in the article.

As for ABBH, Chad talked about this in his guest forum. First, the whole point of the program is that you work a body part more often than once per week. Chad mentioned that was one of the keys to the program. If you really want to do arms, the article outlines a way to add them in. As for shoulders, remember that although ABBH requires training a body part 2x per week, you do not need to use the same exercise. So, your upper body day could be heavy bench one day and then military presses on the next day. Just think of "chest day" as "shoulder day."

As for the sets, reps, and intensities, I don't know where you came up with your numbers. It's much more simple than you have it. Heavy is 10x3 at 80% 1RM (the article states to use 80% but I think Chad mentioned you could use your 5RM which is closer to 85% - you make the call). The light day is 5x10 at 60% 1RM. Week 2, heavy day is 10x4 at the same weight, and light day uses 5x10 but you bump the weight to 65%. Week 3, 10x5 on heavy day, light day bump to 70%.


ok lets se if i can remember al the questions.

first of all you can use the principles found in ovt or any other program in your own split. i have a split that i prefer. when i try a new program, my split stays the same but the reps, sets, exercises, etc change.

as far as set progression i like to use a weight that i can handle for five reps all five sets. i find my working weight, if i can complete all five sets, i increase the weight by five to ten pounds on the following workout.



I just wanted to say one thing about the supps you are going to be using.

[quote}R-ALA (200mg PWO eating window)
Vanadyl Sulfate (20mg PWO eating window)[/quote]

Save these for the first real food meal post work out. Not befor your shake that is immediate PWO, at that point your body will allready be shuttleing all of what you take in to the muscle tissue. Wait a half hr and then take them, thenanother 1/2 hr or so and eat BIG and GROW.


Thanks, Phill, for the info on how to use the supps. They were cheap, I couldn't resist.

Mikethebear, all of the question on the # of sets, reps, and design layout were about OVT. I know how to do ABBH, but OVT still confuses me. And, sadly, the article doesn't cover all of the issues.

Thanks guys, keep the replies coming, you rule.


Has anyone used OVT with a split like this?:
Day 1: Quad Dom
Day 2: Hor Push/Pull
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Hip Dom
Day 5: Vert Push/Pull
Day 6 and 7: Off


The biggest question I have is regarding set progression. Although I'm unclear about a lot of things, this thoroughly confuses me.

Should I increase the weights going from the first to last sets? Start with my 5RM on the first set, and try to get 5x5 (only increasing the load once I get all 5 reps on all 5 sets), or what?


If I remember correctly, it was use 7 RM for the 5 RM for the first exercise of the superset, and you can wave the load up and down VERY slightly. The idea is to get 5 reps each set, no drop off, at high intensity. Do NOT decrease the load on the first exercise of the superset. You can, however, decrease the load on the second exercise to maintain repetitions and TUT.

That's if I remember correctly...


CT did a whole thread about substituting an OL-day for the leg day in OVT. There's no getting around his expertise on this matter. I would follow his advice to the letter.

To make the 5 day split, cut out the shoulder day and incorporate one high-intensity vertical pushing exercise into your arm day. I remember you had emotional difficulty with this alternative last time. Suck it up, you're relatively new to lifting and your shoulders will be worked fine with the chest and back.

For your shoulder exercise, you could tag on a tri exercise in an OVT-like superset. That might work, but you'd have to ask the man, CT.



So my weekly split would be something like

Monday: Chest/Back
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Legs
Thursday: Off
Friday: Arms/Shoulders
Weekend: Off



Bump for CT.


Okay, some more questions... sorry, but thanks in advance this is really helping!

I have changed some of the exercises a bit, because my gym doesn't contain the proper equipment. Does this look okay? I put astericks next to changed exercises, along with explanations (if needed). If you think different replacements would work better, could you suggest them?

Day 1: Chest + Back
Bench Press
Flat DB Flies
Incline Bench
Incline DB Flies
Chins in place of lat pulldowns
1-arm DB Rows
Bent BB Rows
Incline DB Rows no cable machine

Day 2: Legs + Abs
Power Cleans 6 x 3
Squats 5 x 5
Deadlifts 5 x 5

No supersetting this day. I want to work on my strength for lower body, in lieu of size. Would this be okay, or am I asking for overtraining?

Day 4: Arms
Barbell Curl
DB Curl
Incline DB Curl No preacher curl
Hammer Curl
Weighted Dips
Lying DB Tricep Extension no decline
Lying Tricep Extension
Cable Pressdown

Day 6: Shoulders
Military Press
Incline Lateral Raise
Alternate DB Shoulder Press
Cable Front Raise
Hang Cleans*want to work on traps with shoulders*
Upright Row*ditto*

How does this look?

Also, my plan is to do the week as outlined. The only difference I will make is IF I can't make it to the gym on Saturday (shoulder day), I'll just skip it entirely! No worries, shoulder are getting indirectly worked anyways.

Thanks for the help.


Did I read something incorrectly? Didn't you state that you don't want to build anymore muscle on your legs because you don't want to move up a weight class in wrestling? Then why are you trying to get "scary" big?


No, I don't need more mass on my legs because they're disproportionately large (long career of x-country and road cycling hollowed out my upper body).