T Nation

Program Staples - Opinions


Here is my background:
Age: 43, 5’9", 170 lbs. Been at it awhile, but my focus has been on skill/strength/sport although I have done plenty of progression programs.
Stats (I’m strongest at BP and pull ups): BP: 2x275, DL 1x385, Pull ups 2x BW+115lbs. Mostly front squat or weighted pistol squat, but don’t go heavy (Example: 5x185 on my FS).
Goals: keep my strength up or even improve it, while maintaining athleticism and explosiveness as long as possible. I box and play sports with people in their 20’s and want to keep competing. I’d love to get stronger (I’ve never hit 300 lbs on BP or 400 lbs on DL, but not at the expense of packing on very much weight).

What are your thoughts on starting every workout with:
Muscle ups (3x5), box jumps (3x5), and back bridge holds (3x20s). And rotate either SG HPs or SG muscle snatches (3x3). Then moving on to my workout. I use combinations of BB lifts, DB’s, but a reasonable amount of BW. For example, I’ll do 1A push ups, HS push ups, or pistol squats often in place of the BB version one lift of the week (I try to hit muscle groups 2-3X a week). I often do full body or a full body push/pull split if I’m doing back to back days.

I find I am somewhat afraid of not doing MU’s and back bridges, because I’m worried if I stop I won’t be able to do them anymore. But is it too much volume to add them at the front of a workout? Also, I don’t do a lot of assistance exercises. Are these more important as you get older? I will do DB lateral raises and front plate raises at least once a week, but that’s about it for isolation work.

Typical TB workout:
A1. Muscle ups (3x5)
A2. Box jumps 3x5
A3. Back bridge 20s hold
B. SG High pulls 3x3-4
Then start:
BP (reverse pyramid) 4x245, 6x225, 8x205
Weighted chin ups 4x BW+90, 6xBW +45, Max set with BW
Front squat: straight sets 5x155
Front levers/HLR: 5 sets
Finish with:
Band pull aparts

Or, TB BW focused
A1. Muscle ups (3x5)
A2. Box jumps 3x5
A3. Back bridge 20s hold
B. SG High pulls 3x3-4
Then start:
2x8e 1 arm push ups, then…1A push max reps, go right to decline push ups, right to push ups (drop set style)
Towel pull ups 3x max
Pistols 3x5e leg, explosive
Roll outs 3x8 or so
Finish with:
Band pull aparts

Or (Shoulder/DL)
A1. Muscle ups (3x5)
A2. Box jumps 3x5
A3. Back bridge 20s hold
B. SG muscle snatches 3x3-4
Then start:
DB OH press: reverse pyramid: start with 70’s and work on down
DB rows straight sets: 5xwith 90’s
RDL: 3x6 with rest pause on third set (not very heavy, like 205 maybe)
Front levers/HLR: 5 sets
Finish with:
Plate raises/DB raises

How does this seem as a program for someone at my stage? Of programs on here I’ve tried, I liked 6 weeks to super hero best, but go back to something like this as a staple. Looking for critiques or ways to improve my set up. Thanks.


not to give you a useless answer, but if that’s your favourite way to train and you always go back to it, then it’s the best routine for you.


Fixed it for ya, @Yogi1–including, you will notice, your inexplicable misspelling of the word favorite. (Why on earth would it have a u in it?)


because that’s how the English people who invented the English language intended it, although I suspect you knew that already you swine


No need for a paddy; I certainly don’t want to get into an argy-bargy over it. If I do say so myself, I know my onions on this topic, having read about it in a penny-dreadful outside a theatre.


Well shucks, pardner. Us folks round these parts don’t need any hootin’ and hollerin’ so I’m much obliged to ya fir not puttin’ up yer dukes!

Y’all come back now, y’hear?


a lot of info there, but i synthesized it down to “strength” and then “explosiveness and athleticism”. I’d say if you’re already boxing and doing other stuff, why not just do jim wendlers 5/3/1 and hit those PR’s you’ve never hit before? You can still do your favo(u)rite exercises once or twice a week and it not interfere with his program IMO.


Lmfao your knowledge of the southern American dialect is about a hundred years outdated, you haggis eating, kilt wearing Nancy boy


If you only knew how accurate this sounds for some of the smaller towns around here lol.


i guess it depends on what your definition of what you think a assistance exercise is?
As a older guy myself… what I find most guys over 40 need to keep tabs on maintaining lean muscle mass which will require hypertrophy work in a program somewhere along with keeping tabs on joint mobility

which is?


Thanks, Bulldog. I consider assistance things like curls, pull downs, leg extensions, face pulls, etc… I just don’t really like them. I’m trying CT’s “Best damn…” right now, and it’s been a struggle to do these. It’s probably good for me to mix them in sometimes.

As for “skill/strength/sport”, I guess you’re right that it’s a bit ambiguous. I mean I typically get conditioning from boxing and boxing drills, soccer, and track work. Also, I tend to practice things like front and back levers, back bridges, hand stand push ups, OL’s, and ring exercises which I consider to be skill as much as strength. After spending years monitoring progress by “weight on the bar”, it’s been fun for me to gauge progress by the difficulty of the move. Like repping out muscle ups, decline 1 arm push ups, etc… Just a different mindset that I’ve enjoyed.


I’m the nancy boy? We all know what you rednecks get up to in the woods


That’s just in Arkansas. They’re kinda like the anus of America. Us southerners don’t really claim them. Similar to how northerners all hate the state of Ohio and anyone in/from it