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Paul Carter's Size Routine


#1

Hello guys,

in a few days I'll finish my actual training program and that's why I try to build my next program to continue fluently. At the moment I'm in my last week of this program:

http://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/strong-bodybuilder-program

I did this 4 split routine because my program before was a 2 split routine (Upper/Lower body) trained 2x-3x times a week and I wanted a different approach after this high frequency routine.
As for now I would say I accomplished better results with a higher frequency instead of a high split or had at least a better response in my muscles especially in my legs.

I always read the newest articles on this website and that's how I came across this suggested training program from Paul Carter a few days ago:

http://www.T-Nation.com/training/how-to-cure-smallness-with-pain-food

I guess I don't have to post his outlined routine in this post because you can read it easier at the original post. I tried to build a program out of this and this is what I came up with:

Day 1:

Decline Dumbbell Press - 50%
Pec Dec Maschine - Rest/Pause
Military Press - 50%
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - Rest/Pause
Close-Grip Bench Press - 50%
Overhead Cable Triceps Extension - Rest/Pause

Day 2:

Wide Pull-Up - 50%
Cable Pulldown - Rest/Pause
Barbell Row - 50%
Cable Face-Pull - Rest/Pause
Incline Hammer Curls - 50%
Reverse Close-Grip Preacher Curl - Rest/Pause

Day 3:

Leg Extension - Rest/Pause
Barbell Reverse Lunge - 50%
Lying Leg Curl - Rest/Pause
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift - 50%
Seated Calves - 2x20
Standing Calves - 2x10 (with 2s stop at peak and bottom, 20s peak contraction at the end and 45s loaded stretch after a few seconds rest)

Day 4: Off

Day 5:

Dumbbell Press - 50%
Dumbbell Pull-Over - Rest/Pause
Barbell BTN Press - 50%
Dumbbell Front Raise - Rest/Pause
Dips - 50%
decline Skull Crusher - Rest/Pause

Day 6:

Deadlift - 50%
Rack Pull - Rest/Pause
Cable Wide-Grip Row - 50%
Incline Dumbbell Reverse Fly - Rest/Pause
Incline Zottmann Curl - 50%
Preacher Curl - Rest/Pause

Day 7:

Leg Press - Rest/Pause
Front Squat - 50%
Seated Leg Curl - Rest/Pause
Barbell Romanian Deadlift - 50%
Standing Calves - 2x20
Seated Calves - 2x10 (with 2s stop at peak and bottom, 20s peak contraction at the end and 45s loaded stretch after a few seconds rest)

Day 8: Off

What do you think in general about it?
(I put in some unilateral exercises for my legs because my left leg lacks a bit behind my right one)

I have a few specific questions:

  1. How many sets would be adequate on each exercise?
  2. thought about 4 sets for the "50%" exercises and maybe 2 sets for the rest/pause one

  3. I put deadlifts and rack pulls as vertical pulling movements on Day 6, is this okay or completely wrong?

  4. Should or could I combine this Push/Pull/Leg program with the double stimulation program from Christian Thibaudeau?

  5. www.T-Nation.com/workouts/double-stimulation-training

I thank you in advance for you suggestions and ideas :slightly_smiling:
Best regards


#2

The number of sets is described in the article. You do 2 sets for the 50% work and 1 set with 3 rest-pauses for the rest pause work. Reread that part of the article so you understand how both of those methods work, since that’s a very important part of the program.

Deadlifts and rack pulls would fall under the “compound hamstring” portion. Vertical pulling exercises are chin ups, pull ups, and lat pulldowns.


#3

I’m not sure if the intention was to do “just” 1x 50% set (10-12reps to failure, 1min pause, again at least half the reps before) and 1x Rest/Pause set (12-15reps, 30s pause, again some reps, 30s pause, again some reps).
He talks abouts “Sets” and not “one Set” of each technique. For me this doesn’t make it clear. Or did I miss the exact phrase somehow? Read the article multiple times but I could have read over…
For me one set of each seems to less although the first set is done to failure.

Guess you’re right with the exercise suggestion. Just wanted to integrate the normal deadlift and rack pulls (began to like them quite well). As for now I’ll use these exercises instead:

  • Chin-Up (neutral)
  • Cable Pullover

#4

What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move


#5

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:
I’m not sure if the intention was to do “just” 1x 50% set (10-12reps to failure, 1min pause, again at least half the reps before) and 1x Rest/Pause set (12-15reps, 30s pause, again some reps, 30s pause, again some reps).
He talks abouts “Sets” and not “one Set” of each technique. For me this doesn’t make it clear. Or did I miss the exact phrase somehow? Read the article multiple times but I could have read over…
For me one set of each seems to less although the first set is done to failure.
[/quote]

50% method:
Work up to a top set of 8-12, and take it to failure. Wait 1 minute; do one more set to failure with the goal to hit half the reps you did in the first set (harder than you’d think, if you’re not sandbagging that first set and timing your rest). I suppose the idea is to not add weight until you can get half the reps on that second set.

Rest pause:
Work up to a top set of 8-12 to failure. Wait 30 seconds; do one more set to failure. Wait 30 seconds; do another set to failure.

They’re really the same thing – top set to failure, followed by additional sets to failure with short rest. The 50% method uses one additional set with 1 minute rest, the rest pause uses 2 additional sets with 30 seconds rest.

You should be absolutely busting your ass on these sets. Seriously. I would suggest waiting a bit between reps (1-3 seconds), if needed, to try and beat the previous week. Do more week to week; beat your rep totals. Add weight when the rep ranges starts getting high.


#6

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

@goochadamg

Thanks for your explanation of the methods. I understand how to do these but I’m still not sure if the training volume is enough (even though you take both to failure)
I don’t want to do more “sets” within eg. the 50% method, rather I want to do more “sets” of the whole 50% complex to increase the total volume.
That’s why I asked if I should do eg. 4 sets of the 50% method and 2 sets of the Rest/Pause. Do you get me? Or would you say the volume is too much because I’ll take each set to failure?


#7

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

[/quote]

Not that big a deal either way just pre exhaust like that is usually better to pump up the gunz. Also could just do straight sets like 5x10-15 especially as say wouldnt mind more volume


#8

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

@goochadamg

Thanks for your explanation of the methods. I understand how to do these but I’m still not sure if the training volume is enough (even though you take both to failure)
I don’t want to do more “sets” within eg. the 50% method, rather I want to do more “sets” of the whole 50% complex to increase the total volume.
That’s why I asked if I should do eg. 4 sets of the 50% method and 2 sets of the Rest/Pause. Do you get me? Or would you say the volume is too much because I’ll take each set to failure?[/quote]

The volume would be too high. Plus, I can’t imagine what your 4th (or third, or even second) set would look like after multiple sets taken past absolute failure with intensity techniques. Maybe you’d be able to grind out a 2 or 3 lousy reps with a weight that you got for 12 on your first set?

Paul has written some very accessible articles about programming before, and one of his principles is that you can’t push volume, frequency, and intensity all at the same time. You can only choose 2 of those variable to really push at a time. In this program, he’s pushing frequency (6 workouts a week) and intensity (drop sets and rest pause on everything). Throwing in a bunch of extra volume ruins the whole point.

I understand that it can be annoying for people to hear “just do it as written” when hey start asking if they should change things around in a program, but unless you feel like you know more about programming than Paul Carter, I think it makes the most sense to just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows how much volume one of his training programs should have. If not, why even do the program in the first place?


#9

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

@goochadamg

Thanks for your explanation of the methods. I understand how to do these but I’m still not sure if the training volume is enough (even though you take both to failure)
I don’t want to do more “sets” within eg. the 50% method, rather I want to do more “sets” of the whole 50% complex to increase the total volume.
That’s why I asked if I should do eg. 4 sets of the 50% method and 2 sets of the Rest/Pause. Do you get me? Or would you say the volume is too much because I’ll take each set to failure?[/quote]

You’ll have to experiment on your own. Those rest pause sets can be pretty challenging. If you’re not sandbagging that first set, and are truly busting your balls, those additional rest pause “sets” are very difficult. Again, it’s important to really push yourself. Don’t just go through the motions. I even do a little “intra-set resting”: waiting 1-3 seconds before trying to get another rep.

I’m actually giving one of Paul Carter’s splits a shot right now (I was previously doing a higher volume DC program). Just got back from the gym, where I got 155x15 on shoulder press, then 155x4 on my “50%” set. It’ll be a little while before I can do 155x15 & 155x7. (Ok, I did throw in a second set and got 4 again).


#10

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

@goochadamg

Thanks for your explanation of the methods. I understand how to do these but I’m still not sure if the training volume is enough (even though you take both to failure)
I don’t want to do more “sets” within eg. the 50% method, rather I want to do more “sets” of the whole 50% complex to increase the total volume.
That’s why I asked if I should do eg. 4 sets of the 50% method and 2 sets of the Rest/Pause. Do you get me? Or would you say the volume is too much because I’ll take each set to failure?[/quote]

The volume would be too high. Plus, I can’t imagine what your 4th (or third, or even second) set would look like after multiple sets taken past absolute failure with intensity techniques.
[/quote]

I can tell you what would happen to me: The 3rd set I’d get 1, then I’d fail to even get one rep on the 4th. It’s hard. It’s really only possible with dropping the weight IMHO.

Paul has written some very accessible articles about programming before, and one of his principles is that you can’t push volume, frequency, and intensity all at the same time. You can only choose 2 of those variable to really push at a time. In this program, he’s pushing frequency (6 workouts a week) and intensity (drop sets and rest pause on everything). Throwing in a bunch of extra volume ruins the whole point.

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:
I understand that it can be annoying for people to hear “just do it as written” when hey start asking if they should change things around in a program, but unless you feel like you know more about programming than Paul Carter, I think it makes the most sense to just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows how much volume one of his training programs should have. If not, why even do the program in the first place?[/quote]

I tend to agree. But, who knows, maybe OP has a double body weight bench at 200lbs, and understands what he needs? … probably not though, huh?


#11

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

@goochadamg

Thanks for your explanation of the methods. I understand how to do these but I’m still not sure if the training volume is enough (even though you take both to failure)
I don’t want to do more “sets” within eg. the 50% method, rather I want to do more “sets” of the whole 50% complex to increase the total volume.
That’s why I asked if I should do eg. 4 sets of the 50% method and 2 sets of the Rest/Pause. Do you get me? Or would you say the volume is too much because I’ll take each set to failure?[/quote]

The volume would be too high. Plus, I can’t imagine what your 4th (or third, or even second) set would look like after multiple sets taken past absolute failure with intensity techniques. Maybe you’d be able to grind out a 2 or 3 lousy reps with a weight that you got for 12 on your first set?

Paul has written some very accessible articles about programming before, and one of his principles is that you can’t push volume, frequency, and intensity all at the same time. You can only choose 2 of those variable to really push at a time. In this program, he’s pushing frequency (6 workouts a week) and intensity (drop sets and rest pause on everything). Throwing in a bunch of extra volume ruins the whole point.

I understand that it can be annoying for people to hear “just do it as written” when hey start asking if they should change things around in a program, but unless you feel like you know more about programming than Paul Carter, I think it makes the most sense to just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows how much volume one of his training programs should have. If not, why even do the program in the first place?[/quote]

Thank you very much for this outline! I totally agree with you :slight_smile:

As mentioned in my posts before I wasn’t sure if Paul Carters intention was one set of each complex and that’s it or if one should evaluate by himself how much sets of these intesity techniques he needs.

I understand that you can’t push every aspect to the limit and you have to concentrate on one or two to get good results in these. I never did a high frequency/intensity workout before, instead I mostly did high frequency/volume programs. That’s why it seemed additionally extreme low volume for me.

I like to do programs “as written” because these guys on T-Nation probably know all a lot more stuff about training than I’ll achieve in my whole life :smiley:


#12

[quote]goochadamg wrote:

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:
I understand that it can be annoying for people to hear “just do it as written” when hey start asking if they should change things around in a program, but unless you feel like you know more about programming than Paul Carter, I think it makes the most sense to just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows how much volume one of his training programs should have. If not, why even do the program in the first place?[/quote]

I tend to agree. But, who knows, maybe OP has a double body weight bench at 200lbs, and understands what he needs? … probably not though, huh? [/quote]

He might, but if so I doubt he’d be asking strangers on the internet how much volume his program should have.


#13

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]TrevorLPT wrote:

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
What you posted looks good. Dont frankenstein it with the Thib plan.

For triceps, reverse the order ie finish with a compound move[/quote]

Why would you change the order for just this muscle group? Also change the 50% and Rest/Pause schema?

@goochadamg

Thanks for your explanation of the methods. I understand how to do these but I’m still not sure if the training volume is enough (even though you take both to failure)
I don’t want to do more “sets” within eg. the 50% method, rather I want to do more “sets” of the whole 50% complex to increase the total volume.
That’s why I asked if I should do eg. 4 sets of the 50% method and 2 sets of the Rest/Pause. Do you get me? Or would you say the volume is too much because I’ll take each set to failure?[/quote]

The volume would be too high. Plus, I can’t imagine what your 4th (or third, or even second) set would look like after multiple sets taken past absolute failure with intensity techniques. Maybe you’d be able to grind out a 2 or 3 lousy reps with a weight that you got for 12 on your first set?

Paul has written some very accessible articles about programming before, and one of his principles is that you can’t push volume, frequency, and intensity all at the same time. You can only choose 2 of those variable to really push at a time. In this program, he’s pushing frequency (6 workouts a week) and intensity (drop sets and rest pause on everything). Throwing in a bunch of extra volume ruins the whole point.

I understand that it can be annoying for people to hear “just do it as written” when hey start asking if they should change things around in a program, but unless you feel like you know more about programming than Paul Carter, I think it makes the most sense to just give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he knows how much volume one of his training programs should have. If not, why even do the program in the first place?[/quote]

Thank you very much for this outline! I totally agree with you :slight_smile:

As mentioned in my posts before I wasn’t sure if Paul Carters intention was one set of each complex and that’s it or if one should evaluate by himself how much sets of these intesity techniques he needs.

I understand that you can’t push every aspect to the limit and you have to concentrate on one or two to get good results in these. I never did a high frequency/intensity workout before, instead I mostly did high frequency/volume programs. That’s why it seemed additionally extreme low volume for me.

I like to do programs “as written” because these guys on T-Nation probably know all a lot more stuff about training than I’ll achieve in my whole life :-D[/quote]

6 sets per workout doesn’t SOUND like a lot, but when you count the 50% sets and 3 rest-pauses, you’re actually doing 15 sets to failure. Add on 2-3 warm up/ work-up/ feeler sets per movement and you can see how the volume really adds up. Then you go and repeat that workout (or a similar one, at least) later in the week. Honestly when I think of it like that, it stops looking like a low volume program at all to me. haha


#14

This much volume, while training to failure will bury you if your sleep and nutrition and not on point. Please do not add anymore volume to this program. You will regret it!


#15

@TrevorLPT

Haha, if you look at it that way it really doesn’t sound like a low volume program at all :smiley: At least since now every doubt about the volume is gone.
Now I “just” have to train balls out at each working set :stuck_out_tongue: Really looking forward to it :slight_smile:

@rico11764

Don’t panic, I already threw this idea away!
I think my nutrition is quite good but sometimes it is hard to get enough sleep with work and other stuff…
I still wonder if I should increase my caloric intake or if I’m still not lean “enough”. Sadly I don’t know my exact fat percentage and till now I didn’t find an institution in my area where I could do a DEXA scan… but that’s another topic.

Paul Carter give a initial rep range for the 50% sets which is around 10-12 reps for the first set. For the Rest/Pause sets he just has an example with 15 reps on the initial set. Would the range be between 12-15 reps or more like 15-20 reps?
I find it a lot easier to increase weight over time if you have some room to play with.
Or should I keep the same weight the and just increase the weight if my second and third set get close to the initial 15 reps of the first set?
Additionally I saw that he doesn’t speak about training to failure on the Rest/Pause sets! He just say that one should always increase the reps done in the workout session before. So for me that means I don’t take the initial set of 15 reps to failure.
Any comments? :slight_smile:


#16

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:
Any comments? :-)[/quote]

Just do the damn program. You really think it matters if you do 12 reps or 15? Leave one rep in the tank. That’s pretty much implied. Missing reps is always bad whatever the program is, IMHO.

I used rest pause training to get to a 375 bench. It works. Just do it.


#17

[quote]goochadamg wrote:

[quote]Matze.P7 wrote:
Any comments? :-)[/quote]

Just do the damn program. You really think it matters if you do 12 reps or 15? Leave one rep in the tank. That’s pretty much implied. Missing reps is always bad whatever the program is, IMHO.

I used rest pause training to get to a 375 bench. It works. Just do it.

[/quote]

This. I just started this program as well, mostly because it’s so simple. To the OP, there’s no need to categorize a program as a “size” or “strength” program. If you take your bench from 225 for 6 to 255 for 10-12, I assure you that you’ll be both bigger and stronger. It all comes down to hard work. You put in the effort and I assure you that you will not need extra sets (I nearly passed on my last leg day, couldn’t walk right for three days).

Also, I PERSONALLY would use a lot more “big” movements than you have listed with this type of program. Pull downs, pull-ups, bent rows >>> cable pullovers.