T Nation

Program Structure Question

I’ll be wrapping up my current training block by the start of the new year, and have been thinking about what to do next, eventually settling on:

  1. Pursuing size gains. I’m 5’8 and have never been above 175-180 (my current weight) my entire life. I’d really love to push 200.
  2. Getting the biggest power clean and push press I possibly can. I’ve been a closet weightlifter for years, but I’m too much of a meathead to dedicate myself to it fully. The power clean and push press are probably my top two favourite lifts, and hit that sweet spot between weightlifting and brute-force for me.

I’m thinking of structuring things as loosely follows:

Day 1

  • Power clean (5x3 block 1, 5x2 block 2, 5x1 block 3, followed by 1RM tests)
  • Deficit deadlifts block 1, low rack pulls block 2, hang clean high pulls block 3
  • Front squat (3x3-5?)

Day 2

  • Push press (5x3 block 1, 5x2 block 2, 5x1 block 3, followed by 1RM tests)
  • BTN press block 1, military press block 2, pin press block 3
  • Back work (high-ish volume)

Day 3

  • Lower body hypertrophy (squat focused)

Day 4

  • Upper body hypertrophy (bench/arm focused)

I would probably run things in 4-week blocks — 3 weeks work, 1 week deload — as this is what I’ve found works best for me for recovery and motivation. A full cycle would run as 3 4-week blocks, plus 1 week of testing for new 1RM.

For sets and reps/progression, this is where I’m getting a little stuck; I’m not sure if I want to keep the same rep scheme week by week, and getting progressively heavier block by block, OR just change the set/rep/weight scheme week by week.

As you can see, I’m also torn on how to structure my sets/reps for the various pulls and presses I want to do. Possibly higher volume/lower intensity for the deficit deads and BTN presses, moderate volume/moderate intensity for the rack pulls/military press, and low volume, high intensity for the hang pulls/pin press.

I was thinking of keeping them the same for the whole block, and rotating them as I transfer between blocks, instead of week by week. But that could work too.

The lower body hypertrophy is squat focused because I enjoy squatting, and nothing has helped me put on leg size like lots of squatting. Upper body day has an arm focus because I have never cared about training arms up until recently, and they’ve lagged waaaay behind the rest of my body. I’d probably rotate special methods (drop sets, super sets, rest-pause, etc) block by block on the hypertrophy days, just to keep things interesting.

I’m probably missing something, but that’s all I can think of now. Any help from the T-Nation collective brain would be greatly appreciated!