T Nation

Program Critique, Please


I'm posting here instead of my log, because I think this will get more visibility in the beginners section. I've been thinking for the past few weeks to start a 4-day split, and move myself off Rippetoes, because A) it's getting a little bit monotonous, and B) I feel that my body is no longer responding as well to the program. Time to change things up, and experiment for another couple months.

The split I've come up with is this:

Monday (Back/Biceps):
BB Row
BB Curl
Preacher Curl

Tuesday (Chest/Triceps):
Bench (flat/incline/decline - alternate two each workout)
Tricep extension

Thursday (Legs):
Squat (most likely back, but might alternate with front)
Standing Calf Raise
Leg Press

Friday (Shoulders):
Military Press
DB Front Raise
Rear Delt Row (or pull)
Rear Lateral Raise

The split for days was taken from one of ProfX's splits. I researched exercises myself, and picked ones that I am pretty sure cover everything (but I'm not so sure, which is why I'm posting this).

I'm undecided on rep/set scheme, but I'm thinking a progression would be best, with the working sets being low rep heavy ass weight.

I appreciate comments, critiques, and suggestions. I'd also appreciate if you can explain why something is out of whack with this program (as I'm trying to learn the reasonings behind things).

Thanks in advance!


There is nothing wrong with this split, but Prof is in it for bodybuilding. You want to enter a powerlifting meet. I'm not so sure your goals will be met doing this.

[whispering in a ghostly voice] [i]The Texas Method ...[/i]


The split looks all right but when I read your profile it seems like for where you are coming from (back from injury) that this split (given your set/rep progression/scenario) will overtax your CNS and cause performance degredation. I do not doubt that your muscles can handle it but the CNS will turn some things off for the sake of preservation.

When you decide on set-rep schemes let us know.


My only problem with the Texas Method is that it's not much different from Rippetoes. Every time I look at it, I get a sinking feeling.

And I know the split I outlined is not optimal for the powerlifting. But I've been stalling like crazy on my big lifts. I eat more, try to sleep more, and still seem to hit a wall. That's one reason why I'm thinking of moving in this direction, and see what new stimulation I can give my body over a few months.

And if that means delaying entering a comp, then I'm cool with that.


My back seems to be doing okay, considering my deadlift number (310#), but how would I tell if my body was shutting other things off?

I have been considering everything from 5x5 to 10x3, to linear regressions (12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1). I will be the first to admit that this is where I have no clue what would be best for a program like this. My body is currently used to Rippetoes, but I've been stalling, and one thing I'd really like to do is shock my system, so part of me is thinking that would mean a different rep/set scheme, no?

I appreciate the input so far! Thanks, guys!


I know. I'm just giving you a hard time.

I think these are valid points. I read an article by Shugart or Thibs about being able to make gains after switching to a completely different program.

I will post a HIT program I did last. I did gain strength, just not as quickly with Rippetoe. But I was drastically undereating (South Beach) as well. That definitely skewed my perception and results.


Repost from another thread:

TheDudeAbides wrote:


If your going to be doing a powerlifting meet in a few weeks; i'd start doing some stiff legged deadlifts, trap deadlifts, rack pulls, floor presses, front squats, zurcher squats and glute-ham raises.

that's just a "word bank" of stuff to do; but they are all amazing and will get your #'s up.

good luck!!!!


The powerlifting comp was an idea for fun, but with my faltering progress, I'm not sure if I want to subject myself to it. With this program, I've been entertaining the thought of shocking my body into more progress, and seeing where that takes me, and make adjustments as necessary.

Thanks to everyone so far on the input.

I'm still stuck on what the best rep/set scheme might be for this routine. I don't want to burnout, but I don't want to puss out, either. I'm thinking something in the 3-8 rep range, with 5 sets, possibly progressive.


How about an Upper/Lower working in the low rep ranges. Should be sufficiently different enough to stimulate progress without deviating too far from your strength goals.

In truth it is how I used to train for powerlifting; I just rotated the occasional TBT Day which was just the big three.


i think the chins will prob hit ur biceps good enough so u dont need to do 2 diff kinds of curls. also i think you prob wont need the leg presses if your doing heavy squats. i like to switch up between push/pull, upper/lower, and full body splits. that helps me keep gaining. me and you are around the same level, i pulled 295 earlier today and tried the 315 but just couldnt lock out the lower back. anyways the 6-8 reprange is what ive found to me most effective. keep it up!



West side for skinny bastards?



So, something like this, maybe? It's reasonably similar to my current program, but different enough that it might provide the new stimulation I'm pretty sure I need.

Again, thanks for all the helpful insight for a newb like me!


It isn't bad, but I don't know If I like the single lower body day per weak without back squats. It appears to be geared more for athletes and less for someone with strength goals in mind.

With that said, yes, it would provide a different training stimulus, and yes you should make gains on it.


The program does allow for a fourth day for lower body, which is what I would probably do.


Ok, I missed that. Give that program a try and see how you respond.


I think I will. Thanks for all the help and suggestions, everyone!



personal favorite wsfsb variant


Ha! I was going to mention that Darwin contact you about WS, when Zagman stated it was more for athletes (which is true) than strength.


I'll give it a try.