T Nation

Program: Too Much/Not Enough Volume?

ok. i respect the knowledge of a lot of lifters on this site, so looking for some feedback, to much volume, not enough volume, etc.
workoutI

squats 5x5
2a bench press 5x5
2b weighted chinups 5x5
deadlifts 5x5
dumbbell pullovers 2x20
standing calf raises 5x5

workoutII
front squats 5x5
2a incline bb bench 5x5
2b weighted pullups 5x5
highpulls from ground 5x5
serratus push crunch(dont know actual name) 2x20
seated calf raises 3x15

workoutIII
squats 5x5
weighted dips 5x5
weighted wide-grip pullups 5x5
deadlifts 5x5
overhead press 5x5
standing calf raises 5x5

3x30 bicycle crunches on off days

i know ive been a member for a while with few post. its only because of job demands, just have time to read forums on normal schedule. just had surgery and have been laid up in bed for a week, and have three more weeks until strenuous activities can be resumed, so i have been tweeking with my program. thanks in advance

Depends on how much intensity (ie: perceived effort) you put into this program.

If you’re the type of guy who goes balls to the wall on every set, then yeah, I would guess it might be too much volume.

If you use ‘ramping’, or if you use the same weight for all sets but keep 1-2 reps in the tank - then you might be fine.

It reminds me of “old school routines” (Reg Park or Steeve Reeves ones)…If you’re not a beginner, and you use close to 2xbw on squat, volume can be too high. I’d add more horizontal pull, and avoid squatting and deadlifting twice a week. Here’s my suggestion (based on Bill Starr’s “The Big Three”, intermediate version):

Low-bar, wide stance (PL style) Squat 5×5
Incline bench press 5×5
Power clean 5x3 or Bent Over Row 5×5
dumbbell pullovers 2x20
standing calf raises 5x5

Bench press 5×5
High pull 5×5
Front squat 5×5
serratus crunch 2x20
seated calf raises 3x15

Deadlift 5×5
High bar narrow stance (aka Olympic) Squat 5×5
Military press 5×5
standing calf raises 5x5

3x30 bicycle crunches on off days

For each exercises, increase load every set, working to a max 5 reps; next time, try to beat your PR (adjust previous sets accordingly). Your two first set should be a kind of warm-up.
Feel free to add 3-4 set of bodyweight chins/dips at the end of your WO.

thanks so far for advise. ive been training on and off for years, but never for long periods of time. 4 months on 4 months off, type of deal. i based my program off old school guys. yes i go balls out in the gym, but 1st two sets of each 5x5 are somewhat warm-up sets. i plan to be completely committed this time around

[quote]mbdix wrote:
ok. i respect the knowledge of a lot of lifters on this site, so looking for some feedback, to much volume, not enough volume, etc.
workoutI

squats 5x5
2a bench press 5x5
2b weighted chinups 5x5
deadlifts 5x5
dumbbell pullovers 2x20
standing calf raises 5x5

workoutII
front squats 5x5
2a incline bb bench 5x5
2b weighted pullups 5x5
highpulls from ground 5x5
serratus push crunch(dont know actual name) 2x20
seated calf raises 3x15

workoutIII
squats 5x5
weighted dips 5x5
weighted wide-grip pullups 5x5
deadlifts 5x5
overhead press 5x5
standing calf raises 5x5

3x30 bicycle crunches on off days

i know ive been a member for a while with few post. its only because of job demands, just have time to read forums on normal schedule. just had surgery and have been laid up in bed for a week, and have three more weeks until strenuous activities can be resumed, so i have been tweeking with my program. thanks in advance[/quote]

Goals?

Experience training (seriously)?

Progress (in terms of strength and LBM gains) thus far?

Diet?

Without knowing where you want to go, it’s pretty tough to say if your routine is going to get you there.

One thing I did notice was that you have absolutely zero direct bicep work and only one possible direct triceps exercise (yet you have a serratus exercise). Might want to think about changing that.

my goals are to reach body part ratio in the “golden ratio” range with a 33" waist.
experience- i played football in highschool so did the off season strength programs, and season maintenance. i’ve lifted on off since then but never sticking with it longer then 5 months or so. but i do get in work every year.

im not the strongest in all my lifts 250 bench 300 squat 310 deadlift. those are estimates after last 5x5 circuit. that was before this lay-off because of surgery. only @195 bodyweight, but thats 25 lds on what i was in highschool with little gain in bodyfat if any(not that im scared). i’ve outlined a diet while in bed for the. my diet has never been my strong point. need to eat more. i didnt put direct arm work in yet i was figuring i should get to some strength goals on the base stuff first. but it was in some of my earlier routine drafts.

Depends on what kind of rest you’re taking.

My general rules taken from the various top strength/muscle coaches on this site:

  1. 60 minutes in the gym. No more. No less.

  2. Some sort of split routine. I’d say go with upper/lower if doing 4 days a week progress to chest/back, legs, off, shoulders/calves, off, arms…there are countless “right” ways to do a split. Do legs on the day after a day you really want to improve. Hormones released from leg work will make the previous day’s work better. IE: lifting legs on tuesday will make monday’s chest/back grow bigger…:slight_smile:

  3. Alternate a period of high volume with a period of lower volume. Doesn’t need to be equal. I’d say 2:1 ratio…say 8-12 weeks high volume, 4-6 weeks low volume.

  4. Change program every 4-6 weeks. So if you’re doing 12 weeks of high volume don’t do the same crap for 12 weeks. Go 6 then change it. Example: 4 sets of 10 on everything for 6 weeks then Poliquin’s GVT.

  5. Lift explosively, then return slowly. Up fast/down slow for most lifts. Shoot for 35-70 second sets unless you’re really hitting the intensity. So about 3-5s per rep. Compound movements will be slower, isolation movements will be faster just due to the number of muscles/joints involved.

  6. Eat, Eat, Eat. 20 x your bodyweight is a good starting point. So about 4000 calories for you.

  7. Protein: 1-2g per pound of weight. So 200-400g for you. I’d say start with 1.5 if you’re not already there.

  8. You can’t out train a bad diet. You can’t out train a bad diet. You can’t out train a bad diet. Got it? I know guys in the gym still benching 200 and weigh 200lbs after a year of solid training because their diet sucks. Then again there are genetic miracles who can grow on twinkies and dum-dums.

  9. Carbs: This depends on your insulin sensitivity, but I would say stay under 100g per day for 4-8 weeks then go into more of a cycling approach. Still, a lot lower than your typical carborific American diet.

  10. Weigh yourself on the same day and the same time of day each week AND under the same circumstances. If you decide to blow up and have a pizza the night before you’re going to weigh 5lbs more just due to water retension/glycogen storage.

I’m 5’6’ and was 145lbs 8.8% (7-site) in November and could barely bench 135 five times and squat 135 10 times. I’m now 160lbs and 1RM Bench 220 and Squat below parallel 235lb. I ain’t saying that’s outstanding I’m just saying it’s a decent progression for a noob.

If you do things right you will get results. If you do things wrong you will not get results. It’s as simple as that.

[quote]mbdix wrote:
my goals are to reach body part ratio in the “golden ratio” range with a 33" waist.
[/quote]

How close are you currently? Also, waist size has a lot to do with the bone structure (genetics), but 33" isn’t anything extraordinary, so it’s probably achievable.

Honestly though you’re probably best off to just try to add as much muscle as possible atm. Trying to focus on building individual body parts in relation to the “golden ratio” is fine, but until you have a substantial amount of muscle mass it probably won’t look the way you want it to.

[quote]
experience- i played football in highschool so did the off season strength programs, and season maintenance. i’ve lifted on off since then but never sticking with it longer then 5 months or so. but i do get in work every year.

im not the strongest in all my lifts 250 bench 300 squat 310 deadlift. those are estimates after last 5x5 circuit. that was before this lay-off because of surgery. only @195 bodyweight, but thats 25 lds on what i was in highschool with little gain in bodyfat if any(not that im scared). i’ve outlined a diet while in bed for the. my diet has never been my strong point. need to eat more. i didnt put direct arm work in yet i was figuring i should get to some strength goals on the base stuff first. but it was in some of my earlier routine drafts. [/quote]

Emphasis mine. At least you admit that you need to work on this. Get that up to speed and you’ll probably gain close to the same amount of muscle (quite possibly more) in the next year or two than you have since you got out of high school.

As far as the direct arm work goes… there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing direct arm work, even if your primary goals are to develop a strength base in the foundational lifts (bench, squat, and dead). It’s not going to slow down your progress or somehow interfere with your strength goals. In fact, it’ll probably help you out in reaching your goal.

And since your goal has to do with building a proportional physique, you definitely don’t want to be neglecting body parts.

[quote]BantamRunner wrote:
Depends on what kind of rest you’re taking.

My general rules taken from the various top strength/muscle coaches on this site:

  1. 60 minutes in the gym. No more. No less.

  2. Some sort of split routine. I’d say go with upper/lower if doing 4 days a week progress to chest/back, legs, off, shoulders/calves, off, arms…there are countless “right” ways to do a split. Do legs on the day after a day you really want to improve. Hormones released from leg work will make the previous day’s work better. IE: lifting legs on tuesday will make monday’s chest/back grow bigger…:slight_smile:

  3. Alternate a period of high volume with a period of lower volume. Doesn’t need to be equal. I’d say 2:1 ratio…say 8-12 weeks high volume, 4-6 weeks low volume.

  4. Change program every 4-6 weeks. So if you’re doing 12 weeks of high volume don’t do the same crap for 12 weeks. Go 6 then change it. Example: 4 sets of 10 on everything for 6 weeks then Poliquin’s GVT.

  5. Lift explosively, then return slowly. Up fast/down slow for most lifts. Shoot for 35-70 second sets unless you’re really hitting the intensity. So about 3-5s per rep. Compound movements will be slower, isolation movements will be faster just due to the number of muscles/joints involved.

  6. Eat, Eat, Eat. 20 x your bodyweight is a good starting point. So about 4000 calories for you.

  7. Protein: 1-2g per pound of weight. So 200-400g for you. I’d say start with 1.5 if you’re not already there.

  8. You can’t out train a bad diet. You can’t out train a bad diet. You can’t out train a bad diet. Got it? I know guys in the gym still benching 200 and weigh 200lbs after a year of solid training because their diet sucks. Then again there are genetic miracles who can grow on twinkies and dum-dums.

  9. Carbs: This depends on your insulin sensitivity, but I would say stay under 100g per day for 4-8 weeks then go into more of a cycling approach. Still, a lot lower than your typical carborific American diet.

  10. Weigh yourself on the same day and the same time of day each week AND under the same circumstances. If you decide to blow up and have a pizza the night before you’re going to weigh 5lbs more just due to water retension/glycogen storage.

I’m 5’6’ and was 145lbs 8.8% (7-site) in November and could barely bench 135 five times and squat 135 10 times. I’m now 160lbs and 1RM Bench 220 and Squat below parallel 235lb. I ain’t saying that’s outstanding I’m just saying it’s a decent progression for a noob.

If you do things right you will get results. If you do things wrong you will not get results. It’s as simple as that.[/quote]

thanks alot, some good advise in there

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
mbdix wrote:
my goals are to reach body part ratio in the “golden ratio” range with a 33" waist.

How close are you currently? Also, waist size has a lot to do with the bone structure (genetics), but 33" isn’t anything extraordinary, so it’s probably achievable.

Honestly though you’re probably best off to just try to add as much muscle as possible atm. Trying to focus on building individual body parts in relation to the “golden ratio” is fine, but until you have a substantial amount of muscle mass it probably won’t look the way you want it to.

experience- i played football in highschool so did the off season strength programs, and season maintenance. i’ve lifted on off since then but never sticking with it longer then 5 months or so. but i do get in work every year.

im not the strongest in all my lifts 250 bench 300 squat 310 deadlift. those are estimates after last 5x5 circuit. that was before this lay-off because of surgery. only @195 bodyweight, but thats 25 lds on what i was in highschool with little gain in bodyfat if any(not that im scared). i’ve outlined a diet while in bed for the. my diet has never been my strong point. need to eat more. i didnt put direct arm work in yet i was figuring i should get to some strength goals on the base stuff first. but it was in some of my earlier routine drafts.

Emphasis mine. At least you admit that you need to work on this. Get that up to speed and you’ll probably gain close to the same amount of muscle (quite possibly more) in the next year or two than you have since you got out of high school.

As far as the direct arm work goes… there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing direct arm work, even if your primary goals are to develop a strength base in the foundational lifts (bench, squat, and dead). It’s not going to slow down your progress or somehow interfere with your strength goals. In fact, it’ll probably help you out in reaching your goal.

And since your goal has to do with building a proportional physique, you definitely don’t want to be neglecting body parts.[/quote]

as far as how close i am. pretty much need to gain about 3 and a half inches on each bodypart, and lose about an inch in a half on waist. good point about neglecting body parts. just for the record i aim to achieve this first goal, and then adjust future goals based on mirror. i will probably do just that and add as much muscle as possible. thanks.

oh and i am looking to replace or add direct arm work to this plan, now. good input guys.

sorry for the hijack but sento - whos in your avatar? ive always wondered…

to the OP - those sort of old school BB routines are awesome, im doing them at the moment, volume should be alright if u can handle it but… if you want, try 3x5 to start and see how it is, then just up it to 4x5 and then 5x5 :slight_smile: GL

thanks pro-a

[quote]pro-a-ggression wrote:
sorry for the hijack but sento - whos in your avatar? ive always wondered…
[/quote]

It’s Rory Leidelmeyer. /hijack

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
pro-a-ggression wrote:
sorry for the hijack but sento - whos in your avatar? ive always wondered…

It’s Rory Leidelmeyer. /hijack[/quote]

That’s some good lines there.

What, no Bi’s and Tri’s?

with some good points from sentoguy ive added them back in.