T Nation

Recommend Me a Routine


With all the differing opinions out there, I thought a good way of finding a balanced, well-suited program for me was to ask the good people of this forum. Given the information below, what do you guys reckon would be a great workout routine to follow?

Age 18, Height 177cm (5’10"), Weight 73kg (160 lbs)
Bench 5RM 80kg (176 lbs)
Squat 5RM 110kg (242 lbs)
Deadlift 5RM 110kg (242 lbs)
Pullups 8RM
Chins and dips, roughly a 14-15RM

My goal: get more functional strength (part-time labouring atm), but also get a fair bit bigger! Genetically more built chest/ass/quads in comparison to narrower shoulders/neck/back/calves, so would be nice to build these lagging body parts up, while still gaining overall mass to my frame.

I’ve farted around with weights during high school, of course doing bench press, pecdeck and side raises majority of the time. Have stopped for long periods losing any of the little progress I did make.

But more recently, I’ve become aware of the importance of a balanced body. So a bit over a month ago, I made my own full-body workout using all the staple moves (rows, presses, pull-ups, squats, etc) and I’ve built up the big 3 to the admittedly still unimpressive numbers above - but hey, there’s always room for improvement.

So now I’m in search of a proven workout program that is well-aligned with my goals of size and functional strength. I realise that there is no miracle routine that will make me like Arnold, I’ll have to put in the hard yards. But any routine that is more balanced than the current one I use, and will reap greater gains will surely set me on the right path.

I like the idea of full body workouts, but I am open to upper/lower or even body splits. Preferably I’d like to go to the gym around 3-4 times per week.

Any suggestions?


Please for the love of all that is holy don’t use the word “functional” it doesn’t mean anything anymore. If you insist on using it, you will only further insult the Gods of the Holy Iron. Use “specific to goal X”

At your height/weight, you just need more overall mass, no need to over focus on specific body parts at this point.

Also, did you gain any mass recently. How much/since when?

Have a look at:

Wendler’s 5/3/1

x2 on the negligable need to build up “lagging” bodyparts,
just gain over-all mass.

To gain over-all mass, eat more. Use fitday or something to count calories, add +250-500ish a day until the scales start moving, a reasonable goal would be +1lb a week. If you need help with diet, check the articles, then post up your proposed diet and goal, people will be helpful.

As mentioned-
ws4sb’s is good,
wendlers has gained a hell of alot of popularity lately,

Texas method is more “old school” but still a very solid way to program- plus it’s full body which you said you liked.

EDIT- I thought I better get this in before someone else does- Read the damn stickies! :wink:

Good luck!

Hahah my apologies, didn’t realise the term ‘functional strength’ would be irksome. Just came back from a workout today and hit 120kg squat on the 5th set =D And 16 reps for chin-ups/dips.

Well since I started training again (around a month and a half ago) I have gone from around 69-70kg to 73kg, which is around 9 lbs in 6 weeks? But 6 lbs of that gain came during a really good 2 week period.

I have had many looks at WS4SB III, and it definitely looks appealing. However, one thing that concerns me is that there doesn’t seem to be much back work in comparison to chest? In terms of heavier weights for lower reps that is. The back work that is included seems to be in the higher 8-12 rep range. I realise that this is a great program that has worked for many people, and it is athlete-based hence the focus on bench press, but is this balanced in terms of muscle growth? Once again, I’m not badmouthing this program, but rather this is just a query that my uneducated self has.

I’ll be giving the Wendler’s link Nyral posted a good look soon. By the way, props on an awesome avatar! Hahaha.

And Tassie, cheers, point taken on the all-over mass gain thing. Tasmanian boy aye? I’m sure your boy Ponting will lead us to glory come 2013. Also, I’ll definitely give the old school Texas method a look-in as well. And I do read the stickies, but there’s so many of them I get confused easily lol.

Also just a quick question - would a Pendlay row to lower ribs or a palms down bent-over row hit the lats harder?

Yeah, tasmanian through and through, I did live in new south for a while (about 5 years), but I always planned to come back and settle down here.

In ws4sb’s, it’s up to you to choose your lifts. For an upper body ME lift you could choose weighted chin-ups, then do db bench as assistance in the 8-12 rep range. (or what-ever, I’m sure you see the point)
It has been one of my quibbles about “prescribing” the program to absolute beginners, because there is the chance that you could build a program that is very unbalanced. Luckily most people display some kind of intelligence, so if they choose a chest ME exercise, they choose back supplements, or vice-versa.

Congrats on hitting 120kg sqyats at 70kgBW, by the way, that’s quite impressive, for a “beginner”.

I like texas method because it’s simple. If you’re not familiar, basically it’s just a total body plan utilizing heavy, medium and light days.

As far as pendlay vs bor, I prefer pendlay, because- it forces me to be explosive, it has a greater ROM, and I tend not to cheat as much. Although I peronally am switching to DB rows, because my lower back has been giving me hell lately.
If you really want to widen up your lats, keep hitting those pull-ups! Do 'em with the widest grip you can manage.

And yeah, poor old ponting, he’s getting abit of a rough rap lately. So he has lost the ashes… So what? He is still one of the best, if not the best captains had, as well as being a bloody good batsman.
2 world cup wins, the most ODI wins of any captain and the highest percentage (over 75%), equal highest consecutive test wins (16!), most test runs by any australian (now over 11270), higest ever test score on a losing side (242), most test centuries by an australian, most test centuries in a year by an australian, equal best times scoring 100 or more in both innings of a test. The list goes on and on.
But despite all this, unfortunatley, I don’t see him being captain in 2013. He’s turning 35 this year, and I just don’t see him being captain for 4 more years.

Sorry to all the americans who must be saying “ponting? who’s ponting?” Cricket! You know?
“cricket?? What’s cricket??”

[quote]tassietaekwon wrote:
Sorry to all the americans who must be saying “ponting? who’s ponting?” Cricket! You know?
“cricket?? What’s cricket??”[/quote]

In the immortal words of Raphael,

‘You gotta know what a crumpet is to play cricket!’

Hang on…
American’s don’t eat crumpets??