T Nation

Program Critique

I just started this workout last week and so far so good. Just wondering what everyone thought of the weight training portion of this routine. My current goal right now is to lean down and keep / build a little muscle mass.

Monday

5x5 (Alternating between A1 & A2, etc)
A1. Squat
A2. Bent Over Barbell Row
B1. Bench
B2. Good Mornings
C1. Upright Rows
C2. Cable Tricep Ext

Wednesday
6x4
A1. Deadlift
A2. Overhead Press
B1. Lat Pulldown (supinated grip)
B2. Lying HS Curls
C1. Incline Cable Flyes
C2. Barbell Curls

Friday
A1. Front Squat
A2. Lat Pulldown (Wide grip)
B1. RDL’s
B2. Incline Bench
C1. Incline Curls
C2. Dips

Tuesday, Thursday, Sat

Usually some type of cardio. Mostly treadmill walking w/ incline for about 45-60 min. or a light run for no more than 20 min.

Everything looks good. err: Maybe change one Lat pulldown with pull-ups or chins.

Replace upright rows with Hang Cleans, And you’ll be better off.

Kind of an unusual routine. Here are a few thoughts.

I agree with the person that said lose the upright row, it is rough on the shoulders.

You are doing a tremendous amout of work for your lower back and only giving it a few days to recover (and it often takes a long time) so watch for overtraining that area.

Try to balance biceps and triceps better, should have an equal number of exercises for each

Finally, don’t do 5x5 forever, mix it up. Good luck with it

[quote]Mikeyway wrote:
Everything looks good. err: Maybe change one Lat pulldown with pull-ups or chins.[/quote]

I would love to do chin ups, but I am a fat bastard who can only muster about 3 reps on a good day. hence the supinated grip lat. pulldown.

[quote]chewie wrote:

No Mo’ Upright Row
by Eric Cressey

I don’t believe in contraindicated exercises, only contraindicated individuals. But if there’s one exercise that’ll ever push me over the line, it’s going to be the upright row. This is as internally rotated as the humerus will get, and you’re elevating the humerus right into the impingement zone on every rep.

For that reason, I’ll never write upright rows into a program. The dumbbell version is a slightly safer alternative, although I feel that there are still much safer ways to challenge the upper traps and deltoids. To summarize, if you’ve ever had a shoulder problem or are at risk, you’d be wise to omit upright rows altogether.
[/quote]

Yea, I read that article, but I have never had any shoulder problems, so that’s why I threw the upright rows in. I have shitty shoulder and trap development and felt that this was a good exercise for shoulders and traps w/o loading up on the pressing exercises.

As someone mention, I may add in hang cleans.

[quote]nptitim wrote:

Try to balance biceps and triceps better, should have an equal number of exercises for each

Finally, don’t do 5x5 forever, mix it up. Good luck with it[/quote]

I am not really looking for arm development, that’s why I short changed the isolation arm work.

As for the 5x5 and 6x4, I plan on switching the sets and reps around about every three weeks while keeping the same exercises. Any thoughts anyone?

I have heard some guys including upright rows, but only lifting to the nipple line.

[quote]BarneyFife wrote:
I have heard some guys including upright rows, but only lifting to the nipple line.[/quote]

yeah and use DBs

How long does it take you to do all of that?

What is your tempo/intensity/rest period between sets like?

Are you training with a partner?

Why are you doing lat pulldowns twice a week, and in successive training days?

Seems like you’re kinda doing a modified version of Meltdown.

Personally, if you’re doing romanians there’s no need to do laying HS curls, and lat pulldowns twice in one week is unecessary as well.

So, in my opinion, take out section “B” on Wednesday and replace it with perhaps some abdominal strengthening movements. That is one bodypart that is not addressed in your program at all. I know people contend that abs don’t need to be trained directly, if you tighten them during other movements, but if you’re overweight it may be worthwhile. I know that it helps me, especially with posture and so forth.

The upright rows for me have always been a problem. My shoulders are all fucked up from surgery and an AC separation so I stay away from them entirely. If trap development is what you’re looking for, shrugs work pretty well.

Good luck man, it’s an ambitious program you have layed out here. I hope you stick with it and suceed.

B.

5x5 and 6x4 is sort of an odd combo… both give almost the same exact volume and the load will be very similier. Pick one and run with it. Also some higher rep stuff won’t kill you. I really don’t think doing 6x4 flys and curls is the best way to use these exercises.

Another option is undulating periodization. Also look at Waterbury’s full body workouts they will give some ideas on verying the sets/reps throughout the week.

[quote]JNeves wrote:
5x5 and 6x4 is sort of an odd combo… both give almost the same exact volume and the load will be very similier. Pick one and run with it. Also some higher rep stuff won’t kill you. I really don’t think doing 6x4 flys and curls is the best way to use these exercises.

Another option is undulating periodization. Also look at Waterbury’s full body workouts they will give some ideas on verying the sets/reps throughout the week.[/quote]

I agree. Some exercises weren’t meant for low reps (flyes etc). Undulating periodization kicks ass.

[quote]bruinsdmb wrote:
BarneyFife wrote:
I have heard some guys including upright rows, but only lifting to the nipple line.

yeah and use DBs[/quote]

I agree with the DB’s for upright row. I had a partial rotator cuff tear, and later an a-c joint sprain from sports, and found I could not upright row without pain. When I switched to DB’s and rowed in a V shape, I was pain free.

I also agree that that you should pick a set/rep scheme and stick with it, or change it enough between days so that the loads aren’t so similar.

Any chance you have access to a gravitron or similar device for assisted pullups? If not, start with 3 pullups and work your way up from there (or get a spot on the last 2)

I think you’re doing waaaaaay too much volume. And I think someone already mentioned it, but what is the point of doing 5x5 and 6x4? Pretty much the same thing.

More is not better. Fatigue will always mask your true fitness. I think if you did this program for anything longer than two weeks, you will fry your CNS. I like the movements you selected. But it seems like you’re trying to do too much in a short time.