T Nation

Program,opinions,help

Greetings t-folk. Here’s my problem, i need a good 3 x a week program. I followed John Mccallum’s chp 1 routine in his Keys to Progress series and it basicaly boosts muscular endurance (i needed it after coming off a HIT program). What i’m lookin for now is a program i could do 3x a week so i get adequate recovery. My lowr body is also far and away better tahn my upper so i need to stress the upper body a bit. I was thinking supersets chest w/back on Mon and throw in some shoulder work. Wed-legs Fri shoulder and back with a couple sets chest. I want to include the deadlift and squat in the program but i’m not sure how(the front squat also…but i know one of those lifts will probably hafta go)…no more than 12-15 sets per program. i do some light cardio and also some HIIT cardio so i’m hoping 1 day of legs is good. Whattya think …suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mike

Good to see that your getting away from HIT, Mike M. Well, as your probably aware, there are countless choices for program design. A good choice that many people reading t-mag are familiar with is something like: Monday- chest and horizontal pull, Wednesday- legs (I’ll get back to that later), Friday- Shoulders (focus on some type of overhead press) and vertical pull (I suggest pull ups or chins). This is basically an Ian King setup. This would work great for hitting your entire upper body and since your legs are so much better than your upper body you would have no problem doing them once a week. I am doing an Ian King arm program right now so I’m only doing legs once a week. I work quads (concentrating on my front squat) one week and then hamstrings the next (concentrating on the stiff leg deadlifts or romanian deadlifts). I think it is a great idea to work on your muscular endurance coming off of HIT training. I would be happy to post some ideas on training on specific days if you think it would be helpful.

BTW you still have more options than the above for setting up a training schedule. For example; you could do chest and back on Monday and then, if you feel they need more work, Arms with Shoulders on Friday. Of course as I said before, there are countless variations. Just look at what you consider your weak parts to be and try to prioritize those parts on a separate day. Good luck.

Thanks fro the info Bjaffe, I have looked into Ian King’s programs and they interest me because of the mid point he seems to hit between HIT and volume…i guess you could call them sensible…or optimal…I’d love to hear some specific ideas like u mentioned…also as far as vertical and horizontal pulling go. Hang cleans…and deadlifts…vertical? anyway thanks for the help…others thoughts appreciated too . Thanks Mike

Hey Mike M…I consider vertical pulling a pull up and the variations of pull ups. These movements would move in the opposite direction in the same plane of movement of a shoulder press. A horizontal pull would be a row with the opposing movement being a bench press. A hang clean or deadlift would still be a vertical pulling movement, just initiated from the opposite direction…I suppose the opposing movement would be a dip or decline bench press.

The point of this stuff, as you probably know from reading Ian King, is to promote muscular balance. I have found this approach to be very successful. Alternating between antagonistic movements allows me to take advantage of the nervous systems response to each movement (classic Poliquin stuff).

When I put together a program I generally choose a movement or muscle group that I want to focus on first. I make that movement and its variations the main movement in each stage. I usually alternate between 2-3 weeks of hypertrophy focus and 3-4 weeks of focus on relative strength. When focusing on hypertrophy I choose a pre-exhaust movement to do prior to my main movement. I usually do two supersets with the antagonist movement in between. I also change the main movement the second superset to adjust for fatigue (ex. 1st set- d-bell flyes supersetted with d-bell incline press, 2nd set- d-bell flyes supersetted with flat barbell bench). I follow these supersets with some drop sets of another movement (ex. machine flyes- set of 4, drop weight, set of 4, drop weight, final set of 6-8). Antagonistic movements would follow the same foremat...I would probably use a pullover supersetted with a seated row or chest supported row then drop sets with a reverse fly on the machine.

When changing over to a relative strength phase I focus on a particular movement doing multiple sets of lower reps. If doing four weeks I might alternate 5 sets of 5 (my personal favorite) one week with 6-7 sets of 3 the next. I can post my personal periodization scheme and maybe more on my leg training if your interested...this post is way too long already.