I’ve read, 5/3/1, Forever, Beyond and a bunch of other program books. I created the below program as a simple alternative for doing only main lifts. The primary reason for this was/is time. I am severely time crunched since january and will be for around another year. I am also new to barbell lifting and wanted more frequency of lifts for form reasons (my power clean still sucks, but getting better)
I can do the below sessions in about 30-40 minutes. Lower if I really squeeze rest time and feel good about it. I have been running this program for 5 months and it seems to work well for me.
Overhead Press - 5/3/1 sets/reps
Bench Press - 5/3/1 sets/reps
Barbell Row - 5/3/1 sets/reps
Squat - 5/3/1 sets/reps
Power Clean - 5/3/1 sets/reps
Deadlift - 5/3/1 sets/reps
Monday - Upper
Tuesday - Lower
Wednesday - Other/Barbell Complex (Think MRT/endurance)
Thursday - Rest/Active Rest (treadmill desk with weight vest. that can happen any day)
Friday - Upper
Saturday - Lower
Sunday - Rest
When I do have extra time, I like to jump rope or do ab focused TRX (rare for both)
I have been doing this for 5 months. I am getting to the point where I have difficulty setting PR’s on + day lifts consistently. Current calculation based 1RMs:
Overhead Press - 140lb (126 TM)
Bench Press - 215lb (193.5 TM)
Barbell Row - 215lb (193.5 TM)
Squat - 270lb (243 TM)
Power Clean - 155lb (139.5 TM)
Deadlift - 320lb (288 TM)
I have been using a 90% Training max. I try to deload every 6 weeks. Recently I took a deload after 3 weeks because it felt like continuing was not what my body needed. Came back strong.
My intent is/was to do this program for about a year or until I can do unassisted pull-ups and dips. Then move to a program with more traditional accessory work (I will also have a larger more capable gym at that point and hopefully more time). And, you know, be able to do pull-ups and dips unassisted.
So, now, constructively tear it apart. Why would this not work for a year?
I am definitely seeing the gains slow down. To the point where I started wondering if an 85% or even 80% TM or simply slowing down the weight additions every cycle makes sense. Or is the program simply too much now that my “newbie” gains are vanishing?
One note: My goals are not pure strength. I want a functional level of fitness. Putting a bigger number on the bar does not matter to me at all in and of itself. I am 38 with a 5 year old. I want to be able to keep up with him, and this program has already accomplished that. Eventually I want to be the dad at the playground that muscles up on to monkey bars with his kid on his shoulders. You get the idea. I am doing this because it makes me fitter to keep up with my son and invigorates. (I actually currently find rest days hard to deal with. which is another issue)