Program Critique

hi all. i lurk here quite a bit and finally decided to bite the bullet and ask for opinions about my current program. I am 29 y/o and currently weigh 187# at 5’9" (I was 169.5# 3 months ago at the end of a 16 week diet phase). my short term goal until about mid-september is to gain mass until i restart 16 weeks of 5/3/1 (this phase started about 5/24/11). the target areas in order of descending priority were shoulders/traps, arms, chest/back then legs. my work schedule is pretty irregular so some weeks i’ll have as many as four days to train, while some weeks i only have one. all training days except arms are usually separated into morning and afternoon sessions unless i’m tight on time, then i just trim some movements and do one big session.

basically i work with my 5RM for compound movements until it feels like i’ve reached technical failure. after some trial and error, i’ve pretty much stuck to doing 40 reps for the first movement, 30 reps for the second movement, then 20 reps for the third. each of these reps is performed as explosively as possible with a <1 second hold at the top of the movement. if the next rep feels like it’s gonna grind, i rest. i take about 1.5-2 minutes of rest between these sets, then less rest (30-60 seconds) as i move to compound movements with machines and then isolation movements. if i can push the 5RM to a 7 or 8RM, i go up in weight.

sample chest:
incline dumbbell press (4 levels of incline, starting with the most vertical around 60* down to maybe 20*). i’ll do 10 reps at each incline.
weighted dips 30 reps. i’ll throw in a few non-weighted dips at the end to try and regain some explosiveness.
smith machine flat bench 20 reps. yes, pathetic, but at this point i’m way too fatigued to bench unassisted, and i’m giving more priority to my lower pecs atm.
incline/flat/decline press on hammer strength machines 3 sets of 10 reps each movement with rest pauses.
incline/cable/pec deck flyes 9 total sets of 15 reps. i go with a 2-1-X-1 tempo to try and get some lactic acid buildup and throw in some rest pauses and reps from dead stop with the pec deck.

pause in wall of text


since i go to the gym in the morning, breakfast is my preworkout meal. i’ll usually have 6 whole eggs, 3-4 pieces of fruit, a bowl of cereal with a cup of whole milk and a glass of 100% fruit juice. then i’ll bring three servings of protein/carb drink at the gym and knock half a shaker cup back every 20-30 minutes. each serving is usually two servings of protein (whey hydrolysate atm) and two servings of carbs (vitargo s2) with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

postworkout i’ll have something like two cups of cooked white rice, a cut of lean meat and a glass of juice. i’ll eat until i’m full, then eat until i have trouble breathing, then choke down a few more mouthfuls. the rest of the day i try to cut carbs a bit and eat non-lean meat with whatever vegetables, whole grains or nuts i have. on non-training days (ie at work) i only eat carbs until noon, so that’s usually something like three whole eggs and a banana or two twice before lunch. the rest is meat and nuts until i’m not hungry anymore.


3 scoops of con-cret
6g citrulline malate (primaforce)
3 scoops jack3d

same except for jack3d. occasionally i’ll also do this for my intraworkout shake if i think lactic acid buildup/DOMS will be an issue.

vitamins/minerals are divided in a day and night dose: two caps GNC mega men sport MVI, four caps Flameout, vit d3 800 IU (the MVI has an additional 1600 IU), four caps GNC glucosamine 500/chondroitin 400, GNC ZMA before bed.

5/18/11 (end of 16 week dieting down for trip to Dominican Republic)
ab 17.5 mm
chest 7.5
thigh 9
169 lb
10.18% body fat

ab 18
chest 7
thigh 8
180 lb

7/20/11 (at this point i realized i should probably do circumferences if i’m trying to measure mass gain…)
ab 20
chest 7
thigh 9
182 lb
left arm 16 1/8"
chest 38 1/4"

ab 27 (wtf)
chest 9
thigh 10
left arm 16 1/4"
chest 39 1/8"

since it seems like i gained some body fat, i’ll try to cut some carbs out of meals after my postworkout meal this month and replace with some calories from fat.

any constructive thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

did the wall of text scare people away…