T Nation

Program Critiques Requested


The title pretty much speaks for itself. I’m designing my own program that’s very different from anything I’ve done in many years so I just want to run it through to see if it might need some tweaking or even a total overhaul.

It’ll be whole body 3 days a week and heavily auto-regulated to accommodate my physical laborer type job. So some days might be easier than others and whether I go heavier or higher volume will depend on how I feel.

I find that when its harder to sleep and I start feeling a little too keyed up during the day after going heavy on stuff, a higher training volume and density is best and when my muscles start getting stupid sore it tends to be better to start going heavy in weight and do more CAT and speed work. So I won’t be posting any rep schemes and rep styles since it will be highly variable and unplanned.


Power Clean to Front Squat- that is, I power clean, stand up, then to a rock bottom front squat, set the bar down.

Push Press- power clean the weight up to start each set.

any extra work if I have the time and energy like isolation work and pre/re-hab exercises.


Power Snatch


Bulgarian Split Squat

any extra work if I have the time and energy like isolation work and pre/re-hab exercises.


Box Squat

Push Ups (plyos and/or weighted)

Chin Ups

any extra work if I have the time and energy like isolation work and pre/re-hab exercises.

And when I get to pushups, I’m going to try a certain way of loading them and see how it is. I’ll let ya’ll know how that one works out. Here’s the vid of what that loading method looks like:

If the push up thing works out, I may even choose it over bench pressing and its variations for the sake of shoulder health and general athleticism.


I think it looks good. A nice break from the power lifts.

I used a similar routine last summer, and loved the results. After a few weeks, I felt more “athletic” and light on my feet.
I used the giant cambered bar for my box squats. Looking back, the cambered bar really took a lot of stress off my shoulders. I think this paired really well with the snatches. My shoulders never felt beat up. Also, I had to stay really upright, which I think carried over well to front squatting and lifting overhead, where you also stay upright.

As far as rehab/isolation exercises, bust out the blast straps! You can do rotator cuff and rear delts and Face pulls, inverted rows, straight arm pull downs. If you want, you can do them all within the same set. Then you can do all kinds of ab fall outs, planks and pushups with the same set up, no switching equipment or walking across the gym.


You will run into problems with your idea of auto regulation. You would be better off programming deloads instead of going on how you feel. Heavy, moderate and light days are also beneficial.


I was trying that for some time, but with the job I have I don’t really know which days are going to be brutal and which ones will be easy days.

If I go heavy at the gym just because I wrote it down as part of the plan after busting ass on a brutal day at work is something I’ve found to be a bad idea. It’s better for me just to do some moderate weight, low-moderate volume using CAT principles after a day like for just one example.

But there’s other days that are a bit of a cakewalk and then I go hard and heavy and even do some back off sets for more volume.


Day 1 is Heavy, Day 2 is light, and Day 3 is medium, just by the lifts you picked.


i have a fast paced manual labor job also
i train 4 days
first day off from work rest day 2nd day off is my hardest workout first workday i workout before work last 2 workouts after work


You do have a point FlatsFarmer. I did set it up that way on purpose.

I think I could go a step further and do weekly undulating periodization. I could set up a minimum of what I want to achieve and lay out options for days I can do more.

Like workout1 on the reps week for example:

I could do 6x3 @ 60% bare minimum (low end of Prilepin’s Chart), and for options I can do more sets, triples every minute on the minute, or a high rep cluster set.

Now that I think about it, I will do it like that. On the fourth week, I’ll do a reps week at the bare minimum and only do main lifts.