T Nation

Program Critique

My program, please critique

Ok, background first: I’m a college student, I’ve only been training for about 3 months (before that I was very active so still in decent shape just no weights) Height is 5’10, wt is 170. I am training mostly for physique, and my goal in that department is closer to a men?s health cover model than a muscle and fiction cover.
Current program:
M/Th: Legs and shoulders,
db shoulder press: 4x15,10,8,5 at 35,40,45,45
lateral raises: 3x15,7,8 at 25,30,30
clean & press: 3x5,6,5 at 95(all)
squat: 3x15,13,6 at 225,275,300
leg curl: 3x10,10,7 at 180,195,210
leg press: 3x10,8,6 at 450(all)

Tu/F: chest and back,
flat bench: 4x13,7,7,5 at 135,155,165,145
incline press machine: 3x17,1,9 at 90,160,110
decline db press: 3x11,6,5 at 40,50,50
dead lift: 4x15,9,3,11 at 135,185,235,155
upright row: 3x20,10,5 at 45,65,115
wide grip lat pull down: 3x15,13,5 at 120,135,150
close grip lat pull down: 3x10,6,7 at 135,150,150

W/Sat: arms and abs,
medicine ball twists: 6x30
Swiss ball crunches: 6x30
flutter kicks: 6x30
preacher curls: 3x12,8,6 at 55(all)
parallel bench dips: 3x25,20,15 at bodyweight,10,25
triceps pushdown: 3x25,15,7 at 45,60,75

Currently I don?t do any cardio, but I just bought a weight vest and plan to start using it (suggestions on how to best incorporate it?)

I’ll put a follow up post on my diet in a second. Thanks in advance for your help.

To follow up here is my basic diet:

Breakfast: 1 bowl raisin bran and grape nuts OR 1 bowl oatmeal with blueberries and skim milk, green tea

Snack: large handful of nuts or string cheese and a piece of fruit

Lunch: smoked turkey sandwich on 12-grain, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, very light mustard and mayo usually a small melon salad

Snack: large handful of nuts or string cheese and a piece of fruit

Dinner: chicken breast and veggies, or beef and veggies. Usually a large melon salad with cottage cheese and 2 egg whites

Snack: hummus and pita or nuts or fruit

My goal is only 1 cheat meal per week, but I?m not there yet so that would probably be the biggest problem with my diet. Any suggestions would be great, thanks in advance.

WhoIsJohnGalt wrote:
“…my goal in that department is closer to a men?s health cover model than a muscle and fiction cover.”

I wouldn’t know the difference. :slight_smile:

As for the program, ooh boy…
Here’s the deal, if you’re trying to be skinny and cut, you’ll get there with a decent diet. Otherwise read on.

First of all you’re doing way too many reps. You can’t constantly work in that spectrum and expect results. 60 rep sets? Come on!! If you don’t like heavy lifting so much then at least include some 6 or 8 rep workouts at least once a week.

Second. Your exercise selection is very poor. Crunches don’t shred water compared to situps. Lat pulldowns are nothing against pull-ups and dumbbell rows. You’re doing flat, incline and decline bench presses in one workout…IN A ROW!!! That’s completely useless, especially with those high reps.

You were asking about cardio. With that setup you don’t need any, as your entire workout looks like a cardio session.

I’m not sure you read my program right, I’m not doing any 60 rep sets, the most reps I do in 1 set is 30 for crunches, usually I am doing about 3 sets with the first being x reps, the second y reps, and the third z reps. As for doing all the bench stuff on one day, how would you recommend splitting it up? Thanks for the comments.

And now that I see your diet… Again, IF you want to gain muscle you must eat more. Your food choices seem to be ok, but the quantities must be increased. Stick to lean meats, fish, eggs, rice, oatmeal, natural peanut butter…

Even the best breakfast cereals are processed junk with empty calories and unbalanced nutrient quantities. I’d dump them.

At 5’10 and 170 you should consume between 2900-3100 calories every day to grow. Try increasing gradually, like adding one full meal to your daily routine.

Eat more meat.
Do more legs.
Dont read MF or MH.

http://t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459525

http://t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459540

http://t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460275

These articles are all by Chad Waterbury. They will give you some solid guidelines to build your programs by. If you wouldn’t mind following a pre-built program, his ABBH program is great for building muscle and strength.

It’s here:

http://t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459341

This was the first program I ever tried after I started reading the articles here on a regular basis, and I blew up on it. It was a refreshing change from the type of training I was doing before.

As for the three types of bench in a row question, there is really no need to do all of those types of benching on one day, or even in one week, possibly even in one 4-6 week program. If you want to put on muscle, try sticking to the big lifts for a little while, and let the isolation exercises go until you need them(which may be never). ABBH will be a good start.

Before anything, read the articles at the top, they’ll help you understand why you might want to use lower rep schemes in place of the relatively high reps you have now.

Good Luck

Smallnomore gave you gold. I would only add that you take a look at Chad’s Total Body Training as an alternative to ABBH; however, both are exceptional programs.

Total Body Training
http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-073-training

I believe what w2097 is refering to is, for example, your chest workout:

flat bench: 4x13,7,7,5
incline press machine: 3x17,1,9
decline db press: 3x11,6,5

That’s a combined total of 81 reps targeted at your chest. Reading Chad’s articles should shed some light on why this approach is suboptimal.

As for cardio, I would suggest you look at CT’s Running Man.

Running Man
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459414

Good Luck!

The guys pretty much said it. Read up and devour the info. There’s no need for “attacking the muscle from all angles” that’s bull. Just do one bench and if you’re benching on another day of the week do an incline. Then after a month or so use decline and flat. Anyway, the articles will speak for themselves.

Is there any sense in doing incline bb and decline bd on the same day and flat on another? Incline and decline seem to be quite different…

[quote]w2097 wrote:
The guys pretty much said it. Read up and devour the info. There’s no need for “attacking the muscle from all angles” that’s bull. Just do one bench and if you’re benching on another day of the week do an incline. Then after a month or so use decline and flat. Anyway, the articles will speak for themselves.[/quote]

First: yes your current program will “work,” and depending on how much effort you put in, you might see incredible results. You have a lot more “wiggle room” for imperfect programs since weight training will be a completely new stimulus to your body. Try this routine for a month and see where it takes you. In the meantime, read some of Waterbury’s or Alessi’s articles and choose your next program from there.

Your diet: go out and buy a tub of protein powder (I know you’re on a budget so the 5lb “econo-whey” versions are ok) and have three servings a day. Your program will put an incredible amount of stress on your musculature and you need all the protein you can get. Eat more meat if you can.

My best advice is to stay the course…noticeable gains will come in a month or two but the real magic is seeing your body transform after a few years of consistent intelligent training and proper nutrition.

Good luck.