T Nation

Program Recommendation for Mass


#1

I'm a 6'1, 165 pound, 21-year-old looking to gain 20 pounds over the next 6 months. I have my calories and protein in check.

Through my own research and others' suggestions I have been pointed in a good direction for programs. The biggest mistake small guys that need to gain strength and size (outside of not eating enough) is jump from program to program. I want to stick with a program for a couple months and see my progress and then access again. The programs, that I think and that others' have suggested to possibly be beneficial to me are:

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
5/3/1 or Boring But Big Program by Jim Wendler
The Complete Power Look Program by Christian Thibaudeau
Greyskull LP by John Sheaffer
German Volume Training by Charles Poliquin
Westside for Skinny Bastards by Joe DeFranco

For my goal of gaining 20 pounds in 6 months while of course getting stronger, which program would be best for me to try and start first?

Thanks guys.


Beginner Template Recommendation
Beginner Template Recommendation
#2

Whichever one seems more likely you’d adhere to, they are all fine for your situation. Like you said just don’t program hop and follow it as written and you’ll be ok.


#3

Forget GVT as more a short term blast type routine. Texas method is a better Rippetoe program to do over 6 months than SS. Otherwise any of the others you posted are proven to get results


#4

I would go with the 5/3/1 plan. Instead of a forever program, its more like an adjustable frame work. You can start with one of the basic templates, like BBB or the Triumvirate.

In the future, you may want some variety in your lifting. Maybe you’ll want to try a new lift, like hang cleans, or a new technique for lifting, like Rest-Pause, or a new schedule, like full-body, 3 times per week. 5/3/1 already has “templates” designed, so you can slide right into a new plan. No guess work about what days to lift, or what weights to use.

Plus you can talk directly to Jim W.


#5

Do 5/3/1 for sure


#6

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Do 5/3/1 for sure[/quote]

This

Vary your assistance work (within reason) so you find what works best for you and your goals.


#7

WS4SB would be my 1st pick, being acquainted with West side philosophy would be ‘partially essential’ though. I find 5/3/1 's progression too slow for short term.


#8

I talked to Jim and he recommended the 5’s PRO + 5x5 FSL. Do you know where I could find the templates for those? If not, I’ll just go with a BBB variation for awhile.


#9

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
I talked to Jim and he recommended the 5’s PRO + 5x5 FSL. Do you know where I could find the templates for those? If not, I’ll just go with a BBB variation for awhile. [/quote]
They’re in the book. 5’s PRO is basically using the same %s for your main sets as per usual, but do 5 reps on all of them (ie. not 3’s and 1’s).

5x5 FSL means that after you’ve done your three main sets for a given lift, go back to the weight from the first set and do 5 sets of 5.


#10

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
I talked to Jim and he recommended the 5’s PRO + 5x5 FSL. Do you know where I could find the templates for those? If not, I’ll just go with a BBB variation for awhile. [/quote]

They’re in the book. The guys even take the time to answer your question personally, I’d say buying the book is the least you can do in return.

It’s also a really good read that will help you understand the philosophy behind 5/3/1, which is really useful to get your head around.


#11

eat more food.


#12

So for example, week 1 would look like this?

Set 1: 65% x5
Set 2: 75% x5
Set 3: 85% x5
and then…
65% for 5x5


#13

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
So for example, week 1 would look like this?

Set 1: 65% x5
Set 2: 75% x5
Set 3: 85% x5
and then…
65% for 5x5
[/quote]

The book will answer this question for you.


#14

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
eat more food.[/quote]

Surprised it took so long for someone to say this.

OP, DO THIS.


#15

I’m at school right now, I’ll be buying the book when I come for Christmas break. I get it. No free answers. But over the next month I want to go through a 1-3 Week with a deload to get a feel and I just wanted to make sure I’m not fucking it up with my %'s.


#16

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
I’m at school right now, I’ll be buying the book when I come for Christmas break. I get it. No free answers. But over the next month I want to go through a 1-3 Week with a deload to get a feel and I just wanted to make sure I’m not fucking it up with my %'s. [/quote]

it’s an e-book. If you have access to the internet (you obviously do) you can buy it today. Why wait?

As far as 'fucking it up with %‘s’, don’t worry about that. It won’t happen. Percentages in the context of a deload are not so essentially. Deloads simply exist for the purposes of healing, stressing your body less than usual. If you accomplish this, you’re fine. When in doubt, go lighter.

And a deload longer than 1 week is not a deload. It’s you being lazy.


#17

Spend the 3 weeks before Christmas just ramping up to a 3-4 rep max each workout. Work a little hard before your break.

Use the 3 rep max from week 3 sessions as your “Training Max” for the rest of the program.

Definetly try to rest and eat more! Think of this as an important phase to set up for your 5/3/1 program. 3 weeks to get that 3 rep max up!


#18

So would you suggest for the next 5 weeks before I head home for break to work a basic 5/3/1 and use my results there to set up my 5’s Pro + FSL or BBB as a long-term program?

The basic 5/3/1 programming out like:

Week 1: 3x5 @ 65,75,85% (starting today)
Week 2: 3x3 @ 70,80,90%
Week 3: 3x5/3/1 @ 75,85,95%
Week 4: 3x5 @ 40,50,60% (deload)
Week 5: Set new TM for my 5’s PRO + FSL?


#19

If I’m going 5’s PRO + FSL, can I still add Rows/Chins assistance work?

I’m performing 40 total reps in the main lift, 30 being in a lower intensity range. (65-75% because of FSL)

For legs I would like to leg press for 50 total reps. Maybe wave 20-15-10-5 reps?

On BP and OHP days either rows or chins for 50 total reps. Can I still do that if I have FSL work?


#20

Chins and rows are crucial!

If you want to gain 20 pounds, most of that is going to be on the backside of your body, between your ears and your knees.

Shrugs are cool too.

For the leg press, I guess try it out. You may not need them after all the squatting. Or you may get a lot out of the leg press. If it doesn’t mess with your squat/deads, or hurt your back or whatever, use it. If leg pressing causes problems, try something else.