T Nation

Programming Advice


Here's what I'm looking at... Right now my weeks (8 days) look like this: I have access to a full gym for four days and then no gym for four days. What I have been doing is:
Day 1: ME upper
Day 2: ME lower
Day 3: Off/stretching/foam rolling
Day 4: Repetition/Dynamic upper
Day 5-8: Off - Sometimes I get a lower body plyo workout or sled workout in during these days.

My bench numbers are going up fine, but my deadlift/squat numbers have stalled over the past 4-6 weeks. I'm guessing this is probably due to only training lower body once every eight days. My schedule is going to stay as it is for at least the next six months, so I'm trying to program things to best suit what I have.

Here are a couple of things I have been considering and I'm hoping I can get some advice on which I should go with, or any better ideas.

  1. Go Day 1 ME upper, Day 2 ME lower, Day 3 Rep/dyn upper, Day 4 Dyn lower, rest for four days and do some sled/metabolic work when possible.
    -I know this doesn't allow for a lot of recovery time during the first four days, but I'm hoping the 4 days off would allow for enough recovery.

  2. Keep things as I have been doing them, but hammer my lower body during the one guaranteed workout knowing that I have seven full days to recover from it.

One other question I have is whether there is any issue with working squat and deadlift on the same day, just alternating which to use as the primary exercise and which to use as an accessory. I'm just looking to get more reps of both to help engrain techniqe.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give me!



I'm not sure what to advise on the prgramming so I shall leave that to others.
The traditional Westside Plan places the ME days 72 hours after the DE days.

However your question on using Squat and Deadlift on same day...

This is fine as long as you don't plan to use both as primary. Just use one a primary and one as accessory.

Squat ME - 1 to 3 reps
DL Accessory - 6 reps-ish

Deadlift ME - 1 to 3 reps
Squat Accessory - 6 reps-ish

Just out of interest, and hopefully not a personal question, but what is stopping you getting to a gym the other days?


Thanks for the advice on squats/deadlifts, that's what I was thinking as well.

I work four on four off and train on my four working days as my work has a full gym. As far as not getting to the gym on the other days, it's not a big deal and should only be short term. It's just a matter of work scheduling, finishing my basement, and having family time.

Once my basement's done, I'll be able to set up some equipment again and once the kid's are a little older (18 month old twins) I'll have more flexibility to drop them off with grandparents if I want to get to an actual gym. That's why I'm mainly looking for a plan to hold me over until the summer, 5 or 6 months. I'd do things differently if it was a permanent situation, but as it's only short term anyway, I'd like to keep from scheduling anything more on those four days off.


I don't think you should be trying to use WSBB with your schedule. You just have way too much downtime in a single meso to be effective. why not try something crazy like smolov and take advantage of your gymtime?


Here's what I would do in that situation.
Day 1- ME upper or lower
Day 2- off/stretching, etc...
Day 3- ME lower or lower (opposite of what you did on Day 1)
Day 4- Repetition/DE upper or lower (same as what you did on Day 1)
Day 5-8- outside the gym "assistance" work for the area trained on Day 3

It would depend on whether it was easier to do "assistance" work outside of the gym for the upper body or lower body. You could do DE or assistance work for whatever area you need the gym equipment for on your Day 4 and hit the opposite area during Days 5-8.


GaWd, thanks for the idea. I took a look at Smolov, but I don't know if I should, or maybe willing to focus only on one lift that much right now. I'm pretty new into powerlifting and all of my lifts are relatively low. Right now, I enjoy working on all three lifts and I'm even loving the process of trying to fine tune my technique. I think my motivation during a Smolov cycle would suffer right now without going heavy on deads and bench as well. I will keep it in my back pocket and as I get stronger, if I find my squat is lagging, I can pull it out. I appreciate the advice.

SRSS2000, that is pretty much how I'm setting things up right now, except day 2 and 3 are switched around. Is there a reason you have a day off on day 2 instead of day 3 like I have right now?

I did some checking around home last night and I think I may be able to make what I have set up now work. I should have enough of the basement done in a month to get some equipment down there and I can throw weight on my tire to do heavy sled pulls. I may have to get unconventional with what I use for weights (sandbags, filling up a garbage can with snow, etc), but with some ingenuity, I think I'll be able to make it work for an assistance day.


I separated the ME workouts by a day simply because with back to back days the second day's workout may be negatively affected by the previous day's work. Some people have absolutely no choice and have to make due with back to back heavy days, but you have the ability to separate those days so that's what I would recommend. Doing a repetition day or DE day after an ME day is easier than back to back ME days.


Excellent, thanks.