T Nation

Program Critique

Hey everyone,

This is my first post here, though I’ve been a reader for a long time. Lots of great info here!

I’ve been away from the gym for two months and now I’m getting back into training. I’ve decided to go with 2 workouts/week for the first two weeks, to make it easier to organize to start with.

I haven’t seen any such programs here, though, so I’ve decided to try writing my own. I plan to follow this with TBT.

A bit of background: Training for about 1.5 years, but I still feel like a beginner. Bodyweight 140 lbs, max bench around 100 lbs, max squat around 187 lbs, max deadlift around 165 lbs.

My goal here is to gain strength and size and restore my performance in both low and medium rep ranges. I also went with supersets and relatively short rest periods to improve conditioning for more difficult work later, as well as to save time.

Well, here it is:

Workout 1:
All 10x3, 60s rest, 85% 1RM.
Week 2: increase load to 87.5% 1RM.

A1 BB Back Squat
A2 Chin-Ups
B1 Deadlift
B2 Standing BB Military Press
C1 BB Bench Press
C2 BB Bent-Over Rows

Workout 2:
All 3x10, 60s rest, 72% 1RM.
Week 2: add 1 set, so it becomes 4x10.

A1 DB Decline Bench Press
A2 Snatch-Grip Deadlift
B1 Seated Cable Rows
B2 BB Front Squat
C1 BB Upright Rows
C2 Tricep Dips

So whadda ya think? I’ll be glad to hear any constructive criticism.

Thanks!

I think the balance of exercises looks pretty good.

However, there is no way in hell I could get fired up for 60 sets of 3 reps on day one.

Personally, I prefer to train much more frequently, but you may not have that option.

Regardless, if I were going to do something resembling this program, I would probably switch out one superset that is 10x3 for one that is 3x10. i.e.:

Day one:

A1:10x3
A2:10x3
B1:3x10
B2:3x10
C1:10x3
C2:10x3

Day two:

A1:3x10
A2:3x10
B1:10x3
B2:10x3
C1:3x10
C2:3x10

Then switch exercise order so that you are hitting each movement once per week 3x10 and once 10x3.

It’s just a thought, but I know I would absolutely dread day one if I kept it the way you have it.

Keep in mind I’m not usually TBT, so someone else may have more useful input than I do.

Have you looked at Chad Waterbury’s 10X3 For Fat Loss?

It may help give you an idea.

I agree with the above post, that many exercises for that many sets would burn me out after 1 week.

You are weak, and I think you could use something even more simple than what you are proposing. Maybe something like Bill Starr’s 5x5 program or something from Hardgainer or Stuart McRobert’s Brawn workouts.

At 140lbs and your current strength levels, you shouldn’t worry too much about doing 10x3 with 85% of your 1RM. You should focus on gaining strength every single week through more reps, more weight and just more hard work!

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
You are weak, and I think you could use something even more simple than what you are proposing. Maybe something like Bill Starr’s 5x5 program or something from Hardgainer or Stuart McRobert’s Brawn workouts.

At 140lbs and your current strength levels, you shouldn’t worry too much about doing 10x3 with 85% of your 1RM. You should focus on gaining strength every single week through more reps, more weight and just more hard work![/quote]

I would even go more simple. how bout a program where you work with more singles and doubles. at one and a half years of training and you still cant bench your body weight shows that you have been working out too much on maybe “feeling the pump” and all that uneseccary shit. Get your strength levels up as fast as you can.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459290

Thanks for your replies everyone!

Good point about too many sets. I’ve looked at Art of Waterbury. It has a very similar setup, but even so it’s 4 compound exercises and 2 isolation, versus 6 compounds here, so this is even harder! I remember Chad saying that it’s best not to train in different rep ranges on one day so as not to confuse the nervous system, so that’s why I designed it this way. Do you think it’s still too much to recover from if I do 2 workouts/week?

Nate, thanks for the names - I’ll look that up. Is geocities.com/elitemadcow1/table_of_contents_thread.htm the Bill Starr program you’re referring to? Also, do you think that Chad’s TBT would be good at my level? I’ve had good results with ABBH in the past.

ThatOneGuy: Ironically, I’ve been doing a lot of low rep work! I think the problem is that I like it too much! In the past I would push really hard and burn myself out in 2-3 weeks. Then I’d get frustrated about my lack of gains and push even more! I think I’ll have to hold myself back. I guess this applies to this program as well - I can see now I’ve been overzealous here too.

When I started out, I could only bench 64 lbs. When I last trained (two months ago), I benched 110 lbs for doubles. Believe me, it’s frustrating to see new guys just walk into the gym and bench more than me. But I know I just have to suck it up.

Chad says that SC is for advanced trainees in his book, so I didn’t consider it for now. Do you think it would be a good idea for me to do it at my level?

[quote]ChainsawCrusader wrote:
Good point about too many sets. I’ve looked at Art of Waterbury. It has a very similar setup, but even so it’s 4 compound exercises and 2 isolation, versus 6 compounds here, so this is even harder! I remember Chad saying that it’s best not to train in different rep ranges on one day so as not to confuse the nervous system, so that’s why I designed it this way. Do you think it’s still too much to recover from if I do 2 workouts/week?
[/quote]

Yes, this does look like an Art of Waterbury variation. I hadn’t read through that article.

I haven’t read where he said you can’t train different rep ranges on the same day, but I would like to see the article and the reasoning behind it.

In my mind 10x3 for six exercises is a lot of work, especially if its all compound movements at 80-85% 1RM. It’s fairly advanced, and while it will produce great results, it will only do so if you don’t burn yourself out.

I’ve had plenty of success in the past with training different rep ranges on a given day. I almost never train a single joint exercise with fewer than 6 reps, often working up to 12 reps depending on where I am in my program. Conversely I may be training my big movements on that same day with singles and doubles or maybe 5x5’s.

But I have done so through trial and error. You have to listen to your body. If you do this program and limp through it, you will realize it’s too much for you. If you can go 100% and stay focused, and see results, then it’s the right program. There is no single best program.

I don’t think recovery is the issue, so long as you get enough food and sleep, two days/week certainly isn’t overdoing it. More likely it’s the short rest between sets and the sheer volume of sets in such a short amount of time.

[quote]ChainsawCrusader wrote:
Hey everyone,

This is my first post here, though I’ve been a reader for a long time. Lots of great info here!

I’ve been away from the gym for two months and now I’m getting back into training. I’ve decided to go with 2 workouts/week for the first two weeks, to make it easier to organize to start with.

I haven’t seen any such programs here, though, so I’ve decided to try writing my own. I plan to follow this with TBT.

A bit of background: Training for about 1.5 years, but I still feel like a beginner. Bodyweight 140 lbs, max bench around 100 lbs, max squat around 187 lbs, max deadlift around 165 lbs.

My goal here is to gain strength and size and restore my performance in both low and medium rep ranges. I also went with supersets and relatively short rest periods to improve conditioning for more difficult work later, as well as to save time.

Well, here it is:

Workout 1:
All 10x3, 60s rest, 85% 1RM.
Week 2: increase load to 87.5% 1RM.

A1 BB Back Squat
A2 Chin-Ups
B1 Deadlift
B2 Standing BB Military Press
C1 BB Bench Press
C2 BB Bent-Over Rows

Workout 2:
All 3x10, 60s rest, 72% 1RM.
Week 2: add 1 set, so it becomes 4x10.

A1 DB Decline Bench Press
A2 Snatch-Grip Deadlift
B1 Seated Cable Rows
B2 BB Front Squat
C1 BB Upright Rows
C2 Tricep Dips

So whadda ya think? I’ll be glad to hear any constructive criticism.

Thanks![/quote]

This program looks pretty good although with personal experience, ive found that squats and deadlifts together in the same workout will fry my lower back, not to mention overhead presses and bent over rows.

This is very similar to what I was planning to start up sometime this spring (without the squat and DL together) although I was thinking of doing something along the lines of 10x3 3 days a week TBT. I know, ive heard it before that im going to burn out like mad.

So then what could I do with the other 2 workouts of my week if I did 10x3 on the first day?
P.S. I would like to keep reps low, weight high.

bump

Just like I would prescribe basically any beginner that needs a drastic increase in strength; do Defranco’s WSFSB II. It works great for strength, it’s a fun workout, and you’ll gain some size. Triples with longer rest (ME day) are a much better option than repeating 10x3 at 85%.

Look up Defranco on here and do that. It’s a fun workout that works great for your goals.

My two cents.