T Nation

Program Advice from Experienced Lifters?

Desperately looking for some experienced advice about my programme as there’s a void of good quality trainers in my area that I could trustingly ask.

Current stats:
Age: 36
Height: 6’3"
Weight: 97kg
Years lifting: 10-15 but just general lifting, never competed or run with a bodybuilding programme etc.
PR Bench: 120kg
PR Squat: 165kg
PR Deadlift: 240kg

Generally increase strength and size in all areas whilst staying relatively lean

Current programme:
6 day split:-
Day 1: PULL
Weighted pullups 4 working sets (8-12 reps)
T-bar row 4 working sets (8-12 reps)
Seated row 3-4 working sets (10-12 reps)
Preacher curls 3 working sets (12-15 reps)
Hammer curls 3 working sets (10-12 reps)
Incline seated curls 3 working sets (10-12 reps)

Day 2: PUSH
Bench press 4 working sets (5-10 reps)
Incline DB press 4 working sets (8-12 reps)
PecDec flyes 4 working sets (10-15 reps)
Lateral shoulder raises 2 sets (25-15-10 reps, rest, 10-15-25 reps)
Weighted dips 3 working sets (to failure)
Tricep pushdowns 3 working sets (12-15 reps)
Reverse grip tricep pushdowns 3 working sets (10-12 reps)

Day 3: LEGS (Quads & Calves)
Narrow front squats 4 working sets (8-10 reps)
Hack squats 4 working sets (10-12 reps)
Leg extensions 4 working sets (10-12 reps)
Calf raises 5 working sets (12-15 reps)

Day 4: PULL
Deadlift 3-4 working sets (3-8 reps)
Barbell shrugs 4 working sets (10-15 reps)
Upright row 4 working sets (8-12 reps)
Reverse cable flyes 3 working sets (10-12 reps)
Concentration curls 3 working sets (8-12 reps)
Cable curls 3 working sets (10-15 reps)
Preacher curls 3 working sets (10-12 reps, slow concentric)

Day 5: PUSH
Military press 4 working sets (5-10 reps)
Lateral raises 3-4 working sets (8-12 reps)
Incline bench press 4 working sets (8-12 reps)
DB flyes 4 working sets (10-12 reps)
Cable flyes 4 working sets (12-20 reps)
Close grip bench press 3 working sets (8-12 reps)
Dips 3 working sets (10-15 reps)
Tricep pushdowns 3 working sets (12-15 reps)

Day 6: LEGS (Hamstrings & calves)
Back squats 5 working sets (5-12 reps)
RDL’s 4 working sets (8-12 reps)
Hamstring curls 4 working sets (10-15 reps)
Calf raises 5 working sets (10-15 reps)

Really sorry for the long post. Just wanted to give some decent detail. I enjoy this programme but feel like I should be making better progress than I am doing. I always give it full intensity in the gym, my nutrition is decent (3,500-4,000 calories per day).

Any thoughts would be gratefully received!

If progress isn’t happening then I suspect you are doing too much.

The routine above is pretty much wasting energy doing too many exercises for too many sets and also your doing it too often

something like this may serve you better

push session:
squa0t 4x10reps
bench 4x10reps
Press 3x8reps
front leg kick 4x10reps
close hand press up 3 sets to failure

deadlift 5x5
chin up 4x as many as possible
bent over row 3x10reps
ham curl 3x10reps
bicep curl 4x10reps

alternate these two work outs, training 3 times a week
Run this for 3 months to learn movements and hone technique. 4 second negatives on all exercises except deads. Increase weight when full rep target is are achieved without sacrificing formor tempo.

could even do this 4 times a week if you desire.

You may also wish to add the odd isolation exercise here and there but I feel you have a tendency to want to do them all! So maybe leave as is

Concentrate on your mind muscle connection and progressing on every lift.

more quality work, more rest and good nutrition and things may get moving.


I can imagine this workout getting results…

If you’re on the gear

However one thing really sticks out here

You’re 36 years old yet you STILL have time to do 6 of these workouts a week?

WTF am I doing wrong with my time and life?

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it reminds me of a program I did years ago (1992ish) that I got from M&F.

You guessed it. From a pro. On steroids. Lots of volume. Not for me.

I burnt out and was miserable.

Got on a 4 days a week with half the volume. I progressed to my best weight ever. Go figure.

Anecdotal evidence of one, I know.


@kd13 Thanks mate. I’ve taken that on board, trimmed things down a bit and I’ll run with that and see what happens. If I’m still not getting the results, I’ll give your routine suggestion a try

@ChongLordUno Haha I hear what you’re saying mate! It’s a rolling 6 day split so I normally take a day of rest after every 3 workouts, or depending on work etc. It works best for me as I don’t feel under pressure to for example hit legs every Wednesday and then feel bad if I miss it.
As for time, I just make the time however I can!

@JFG Again, thanks for the input. Maybe, at 36 years old, I should consider going on the gear! Never done it before, but lets face it my hormones will be working against me at this age!

Will definitely be doing less volume, more intensity, and see what happens.

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At the end of the day it comes down to what works for you, takes a bit of trail and error and sometimes it’s not the most enjoyable way that works best so it’s gotta be a compromise of what works and what you enjoy.

For all we know it could be your diet that’s the issue, also there may not even be an issue, progress is slow even if your getting everything right! Sometimes we expect there to be a faster way to get where we want.

Wise words, thanks. Yes you’re right - and because I’m not competing or anything it’s all about striking a balance between results and overall enjoyment.

Diet is a good point, I eat well and when I’ve logged my intake it all seems to stack up. I could really do with seeing a professional dietitian to get some more compelling answers but they’re in short supply round here.

Anyway I appreciate the feedback, will run with the new format for a few months and see what happens.

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Its not that unreasonable depending on other factors. I recently started going to the gym on my lunch break at work then weekends I can pretty much always make it both days. Last year I may have agreed with you.

Look at CT’s Best Damn Workout For Naturals as well as the thread CTs Frank Opinion on Using Hormones.

My man, I’m 39 am a single parent and manage 2 sessions a day… 5.am and 4.pm and hour a time (mixture of Muay Thai bag work, drill and sparring etc, conditioning, and weights)

Granted I’ve got an ace home gym and a nanny, but still (I live in Bangkok) ;0)

Happy days brothers and sisters

These work really well…

if reealy like bro splits this guys templates are similar but better…

Personally, I see too much volume, too much assistance and too many days of training.

6-3 and under 220? I would eat more and do less in the workouts.

If your problem is not gaining on your 1RM, which I assume is what you are referring to; its time to run a strength cycle.

Week 1 work up to a heavy 5. Week 2 up to a heavy triple. Week 3 up to a heavy double. Week 4 up to a heavy single.

Run 3 blocks this way and see where you end up at the end of 12 weeks. Each block try and break the previous block’s record by 5lbs or more.

If you are looking at how to make jumps during those sessions, use only 45/25/10lb plates unless trying for a record - then use the 5’s or 2.5’s to break the record.

It’s an easy way to train for strength that allows how the weight is moving that day to dictate what you will do.

The other thing I want to mention is cut back on assistance work. I would advise high rep very very light weight on any assistance you do. Keep it to a minimum. When you’re trying increase your lifts, you want as much strength in reserve and less to have to recover from.

Good luck.

Thanks all for the input.

This past week I’ve dropped the volume, stuck with 3 basic lifts per body part, and really concentrated on intensity. Getting some decent DOMS the next day so it’s clearly still pushing me, so I’m going to run with that for a few months and see what the effect is.

As for nutrition, I’ve taken the plunge and got in touch with someone who can hopefully advise on some kind of nutrition plan. Hopefully things are moving in the right direction!