T Nation

Program for Triathlete/Weak Powerlifter

Greetings all.

I am trying to bulk up a little bit (from 155/160 to 170) mainly by adding some strength to my posterior chain, core stabilizers, and a little to my upper body. I am a US Marine and I prefer to have a leaner look and musculature whereby I can be an effective runner and obstacle-negotiator kind of guy. Before all you bulk-monsters rail me for it, that is not completely my goal. I understand that I will have to eat more (seen those discussions) so spare me that lecture. Instead, I ask that you feel free to criticize this program. Bear in mind that I have a gluteus medius weakness and I have thus included a good amount of unilateral leg exercises.

Also, how often should I do cardio? I was thinking maybe 4 days x 20 min or 3 days x 30 min. I know I will burn calories in doing so but I still must maintain some semblance of my endurance/lung capacity for my specific sports.

I have a pinched nerve (L5/sacrum root) causing drop foot. I cannot dorsiflex my left ankle very well so exercises that require good peroneal coordination (clean/jerk, snatch) are currently out of the question.

Also, I did not put weight, sets, or reps. I am just trying to get a high-level understanding of what exercises to do, how frequently, and in what order. I did not enumerate my upper body workouts as my upper body is currently much stronger than my lower, at least in terms of explosive power. I am less concerned with those workouts.

–Monday–
Walking lunges w/ overhead plate
Squat
Good morning
Step ups w/ close box
Step ups w far box
Glute ham raise (if I can even perform it)
Glute isolation exercises (taking suggestions)

–Tuesday–
Push exercises for upper body (focus on bench and shoulder press, will fill in later)

–Wednesday–
Rest
Simple neck, gluteus medius, rotator cuff activation exercises

–Thursday–
Single leg squats
Stability ball reverse hypers
Squats
Deadlifts
Hypers
Negative glute ham raise
Adductor isolation exercises (weaker than my abductors)

–Friday–
Pull exercises for upper body (row, pullups, and curls, nuff said, will fill this in later)

–Saturday–
Abdominal, oblique, rotator cuff work.

–Sunday–
Same as Wednesday.

honestly? Good choices of excersises, however there is too many of them.

for lower body I’d try:
one knee dominant llift
one hip dominant lift
one unilateral
reverse hyper OR ghr

I’d try:
day1:
squat
deadlift
step ups
ghr

day 2:
boxsquat/squat
good morning
single leg squats or lunges
reverse hyper

or even just:
1:
squat/boxsquat
step ups
ghr

2:
deadlift/good morning
lunges
reverse hyper
as far as cardio, I wouldn’t do any more then you have to for PT. Keeping your volume lowerish, and intensity high with moderate frequency, and lots of weight progression will probably give you the results you’re looking for. If you stall out eat more food and switch lifts, bench press to floor press, deadlift to good morning, etc, etc.

out of curiosity, it’s easier to give advice for people if you know maxes.

It got suggested in another thread and I’m following this program right now :

Westside For Skinny Viking Bastards

It’s pretty good, have a look! :slight_smile:

Hey hi zephead, you didn’t reply yet when I was writing my own message. I got the program from one of your post! :stuck_out_tongue:

Zep, I can only give estimated maxes. I say this because I never have a damn spotter in my gym, I intend on correcting this soon. After all, failure to complete a squat or bench press and not having that extra 10-20 lbs of assistance could be not-cool. Thanks for the input, I will take it into consideration. If I find myself unable to keep up the volume which I suggested I will probably cut back.

Did deadlifts for the first time yesterday morning. I did 5x10 w/ 120 lbs just to get the motions and form correct. Yes, it hurt like a mother. No idea what my max is.

Squats: Usually rep 175 about 7-8 times at the end of a set. Could probably do 200 ish? I know I need to cut down on the reps and increase the weight to see more strength increases.

Bench: At the end of a set, I rep 175 maybe 3 times. This is after 3x30 pushups that I use for warm up.

As you can see, with a squat nearly equal to my bench, something is wrong :slight_smile:

Welcome to the i can bench more than i squat club. I’m a member too. So does everyone at my gym appear to be. Benching more than you deadlift though… that’s elite.

Your squat will go up alot faster than your bench though.

Elite? No pride in that! It just means that I am an outstanding swimmer and I have not run in awhile … plus I was cursed with lower body injuries :slight_smile:

I guarantee within a month both my squat and deadlift will far surpass my bench. My whole posterior chain hates me right now and I intend on keeping it that way.

Like I said, I am going to focus more on putting more weight up on that squat bar instead of reps.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
Zep, I can only give estimated maxes. I say this because I never have a damn spotter in my gym, I intend on correcting this soon. After all, failure to complete a squat or bench press and not having that extra 10-20 lbs of assistance could be not-cool.

Thanks for the input, I will take it into consideration. If I find myself unable to keep up the volume which I suggested I will probably cut back.

Did deadlifts for the first time yesterday morning. I did 5x10 w/ 120 lbs just to get the motions and form correct. Yes, it hurt like a mother. No idea what my max is.

Squats: Usually rep 175 about 7-8 times at the end of a set. Could probably do 200 ish? I know I need to cut down on the reps and increase the weight to see more strength increases.

Bench: At the end of a set, I rep 175 maybe 3 times. This is after 3x30 pushups that I use for warm up.

As you can see, with a squat nearly equal to my bench, something is wrong :)[/quote]

I’d do the squats like a normal ME day, work up to a heavy single, double, or triple then do assesory lifts.

I did my monday workout, except I did negative GHR’s because to do the normal ones is damn near impossible (no equipment, and I am weak). Holy shit, I can barely walk.

I think my major posterior chain weakness has a detrimental effect on squats. I squatted 7x185 today, which is my best. This was pretty hard, but I felt most of the stress on my low back. I EASILY performed step-ups with 115, but for the sake of balance and my already tired body, I kept those lighter as I have never done the exercise before. If I can easily step up 115, one would think I would be able to squat 200+ without a problem.

Good mornings really wrecked me too. Could barely even do them after the squats. I think tomorrow will tell just how brutal it was. More soon…

As a competitive cyclist I will tell you a few things I have learned.

1 - You will not get big if you do not eat to get big. Do not worry about lifting heavy and getting huge because if you do not eat you won’t.

2 - Since you are new anything you are doing is going to increase your strength for some time to come. Stay consistent and track progressions. Weight, volume, rest etc. Gains come down to your CNS and you will adapt.

3 - body part splits have a place in every program but usually come toward the end. Complex movements will help your athletic performance more than any single thing you are doing in the gym

4 - be HYPER careful with any energy systems training post-weight training. New stress on muscles and tendons effect balance, coordination and recruitment patterns. Not being aware can lead to injury. I am not saying do not train your energy systems, just respect that things will be different.

You will be shocked at how you can improve from weight training. I will be working on my thesis around these principles for endurance athletes and how they have been misaligned in the racing community.

The focus now should be on learning the movement patterns correctly, increasing volume (weight, reps, sets, or decreasing rest) and keeping a log to know the numbers you will need to hit in order for the CNS to be stimulated.

Good Luck

ps - read Chad Waterbury - he was a great place for me to start. I am faster, leaner and stronger on the bike than I have ever been and I am only 1 pound heavier than I was at my previous competition weight.

Thanks much, I have my log going. I have actually been lifting for years as supplementary to my running and swimming. Just did not focus on many of the basic exercises until recently.