T Nation

Program Change


#1

I keep reading a lot of posts about how people change their lifting program every 4, 6 or 8 weeks.

I've been doing a program for about 5-6 weeks now. Should I change to something new?

Thanks.


#2

You should change SOMETHING. It doesn't necessarily have to be your program depending on what your doing. The reason people change program is because they adapt the exercises etc. You adapt to the rep range first and I think the exercise second. So make sure those get changed fequently.

If you're doing a T-Nation routine it's probably a good idea to switch to another one for a while.

But then again I don't know what your doing. Is it working? If so, don't fix what ain't broken.


#3

It is working, i'm adding weight to my max on all of my exercises almost weekly.

Thanks for the reply. I'll take a look around at some other exercises/programs and see if maybe I can substitute.


#4

Joker,

To be honest, if you are continuing to set new PR's, I would say that you should definitly NOT change your program. Don't over-complicate things just because other people are doing it. When your gains start to plateau, change things up. In my opinion, this easiest way to learn how to change things up is just to cycle through strength, power (explosive strength, strength-speed, etc) and endurance.

Right now are you primarily focusing on max strength (1-5 reps with high weights), explosive strength (1-5 reps with sub-max weights or oly lifts), or strength-endurance (8+ reps)? Obviously there are a few other qualities that can be trained, but those are the ones that most lifters focus on. If your maximal strength numbers have leveled off, you probably need more explosive strength (to speed through that sticking point), or strength-endurance (to strain through it).

Other things to consider that are fairly easy to change are your "method" of lifting. Do you usually use a traditional bench press? If you start to level off with that, try some pause-reps where you bring the weight down and hold for 3 seconds on your chest and lift (hint, use less weight!) or some heavy eccentrics where you slowly (3-9 seconds) lower a supra-maximal load. Finally, make sure you switch up the movements themselves.

That is, try close-grip benches, snatch-grip deadlifts, close-stance or powerlifting stance squats, hammer or reverse curls, etc.

But to summarize, you always want to be addressing your weaknesses. As a beginner, it will be hard for you to do that because you're most likely weak at EVERYTHING. In my opinion, if you just keep switching up at random, you will never really learn your body and learn your weaknesses and how to address them.

When your gains start to stop, think about why they did. Do you have trouble fighting through a sticking point (not enough strength-endurance) or are your lifts slow, even at 85-90% of your max (not enough strength-speed).

That's just my .02


#5

Thanks for that reply, JT, I appreciate it.

First off, what is a PR? :slightly_smiling:

My goals for lifting are to get faster, be able to jump higher and lose some fat. I'm using 4 sets of sub-max weights and then 1 set of my max on all exercises.

(I'll post my program below so you know exactly what i'm doing.)

Monday:
Squats - 5x5
Power Cleans - 5x5
Good Mornings - 5x5
Calf Raises - 5x5
Dumbell Press - 5x5
Lying Tricep Extension - 5x5
Weighted Hypers - 2x15
Weight Sit-Ups - 2x15

Wednesday:
Deadlift - 4x5
High Pulls - 4x5
Incline Dumbell Press - 4x5
Calf Raises - 4x5, 1x10 (max)
Weighted Dips - 3x8

Friday:
Squat - 4x5, Triple
Power Cleans - 4x5, Triple
Calf Raises - 4x5, Triple
Dumbell Press - 4x5, Triple
Weighted Dips - 3x8
Lying Tricep Extension - 3x8
Dumbell Curls - 3x8

Note: Triples are done with 5lbs added to previous weeks max.