T Nation

Road to Strength and Speed


My name is Asoss, I'm 18 years old and I live in Sweden. I've been working out for about a year now with decent results. I currently weigh 205 lbs at 6' 3" with 23.8 % bf. I've been training most of my life, competing in various sports: basketball, soccer, American football, swimming, ice hockey and martial arts.

I have sought to allow myself the time to carefully consider my motivations. Staying loyal to my studies I was forced to end most of my activities. However, this of course led me to the gym where I plan on undergoing most of my future training.

This isn't my first post on T-Nation and probably not the last. If you look at my previous posts you'll probably agree on the fact that I have a hard time making up my mind. However, when I finally find something that suits me I'll probably stick with it for some time.

My ambition in life is to strengthen myself in any physical and non-physical way. Becoming stronger, faster and smarter requires a great deal of commitment to the iron game; any game in fact. Furthermore, I know as a fact that most of you guys probably feel about the same way. That's why I think I should benefit from your experience by asking you guys for advice since a vast majority of T-Nation members consist of +25 gym goers.

I am aware of the fact that there is no perfect "Ultimate program" however I believe you can perform perfection within a frame of imperfection. That's why I would like to ask a couple of questions and any answers are welcome.

-What approach should I use if I mainly want to become as strong, fast and functional as possible? I don't want to get ugly big but something that allows for agility and endurance yet strong as a monster. Of course I don't mind looking ripped=)

-What nutrition articles do you recommend for someone with my ambitions? I guess I'll be needing a lot of food to recover from this kind of hardcore training.

-Don't hold back just because I'm a beginner, give me the best you have no matter how advanced it might seem. I'm used to working hard in order to get something out of it.

// You're favorite Swede=)


The best approach is going to be one that you will follow. If you let us choose a program that beats the shit out of you, and demands a whole hell of a lot of work and you don't stick that that, then it's a worthless program for you. Search for TBT or the push/pull split -- these are decent programs, TBT takes a little less out of you, you're in and out quicker, and you can get really good results as long as you stick with it. The push/pull is great also, but takes more time and is a bit tougher in my opinion on the body overall.

As for nutrition, click Articles, then browse around for something you like. Obviously where this guy or that guy has the time and money to eat 8 meals a day, you may not have the time or money. Search around for something that catches your eye...

If you want me to blindly suggest a workout program and nutrition article, I can do that, but trust me, it's much better if you take your time, read through them, understand them and their differences, and pick something that really stands out to you, something that you read and are like "oh holy shit this is badass, I can do this, and I totally understand how this works and how this is the best method for me."

Anyway, that's just my opinion. Hope that helps.


I've been doing some research of my own lately on much of CT's and CW's training strategies. So far I've basically written four different programs: Nutrition, Speed and conditioning based on WS4SB and Renegade training, A split program based on much I've read and a Total-body program based on CW's articles.

Here's the Speed & conditioning program that I plan on following together with some swimming. (It's been copied, haven't changed anything yet)

Speed and Conditioning:

Strongman Conditioning:
A. Overhead Keg or Medicine ball toss - 5 tosses, rest 30 seconds between tosses
B. Tire Flip �?? 3 sets of 5 flips, rest 3 minutes between sets. Or 3 sets of 30 seconds, rest 3-4 minutes between sets. (In the timed set variation, the athlete performs as many tire flips as possible in the given timeframe.)
C. "Zigzag" Farmers Walk �?? Perform 3 sets of 50 yards around cones. Rest 3-4 minutes between sets.
D. Backward Sled Drag �?? 2 sets of 40-50 yards. Rest one minute between sets. This is a great "finisher!"
E. Tug-of-War

Speed Training:
A. General Warm-up / Movement skills (5-15 minutes) bodyweight squats, jumping jacks, skipping, back pedaling.
B. Ground-based mobility (5-15 minutes) roll-overs into V-sits, fire hydrant circles, mountain climbers, groiners.
C. Frequency drills (2-3 minutes) these drills should only last 5-10 seconds, and I recommend 2-3 sets for each. (Example: low pogo jumps, wideouts, ankling.
10-yard sprints �?? 10 sprints with 1 minute rest
20-yard sprints �?? 6 sprints with 2 minutes rest
40-yard sprints �?? 4 sprints with 4 minutes rest

Renegade Training:
GPP (non-weighted): 30 seconds each exercise, 4 total sets
A) Jumping jacks
B) Shuffle splits
C) Burpees
D) Star jumps
Explosive/Jump Training
Barrier Jumps x 10 sets
Strength Development, weighted
A) Snatch �?? Split Lunge with Overhead Squat, 4 x 3
B) Kettlebell or Dumbbell Snatch, 3 x 30
C) Medicine Ball Scoop, forward throw, 3 x 3
D) Medicine Ball Scoop, backward throw, 3 x 3
E) One-legged Squat, 3 x 10
F) Box Squat, 6 x 3 (50% of 1RM)
G) Glute-Ham Raises, 5 x 20
H) Reverse Hyper, 3 x 5-7 reps
I) Towel Chins, 3-5 x 10
GPP (weighted)

Wheelbarrow Stroll, 300 pounds, 5 minute walk (increase time as you progress)

Chinees, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 5 minutes

SPLIT Program:

Day 1
Bench Press 3 x 10-12 reps
Flat Dumbbell Fly 3 x 10-12 reps
Bench Press Incline 3 x 6-8 reps
Incline Dumbbell Fly 3 x 6-8 reps
Dips 3 x max reps
Close-grip bench presses 3 x 12-15 reps
Pushdowns 3 x 12-15 reps

Day 2
Back/Biceps: Pull-Ups/ Chin-Ups 3 x max reps
Lat Pull down 3 x 10-12 reps
Deadlift 4 x 12 reps
Bent over Row 3 x 6-8 reps
Seated Rows 3 x 12-15 reps
Barbell Curl 3 x 6-8 reps
Dumbbell Curl 3 x 12-15 reps
Preacher Curl 3 x 10-12 reps

Day 3
Military Press/Clean and Press 5 x 5 reps
Seated Dumbbell Press 4 x 6-8 reps
Lateral Raises 1 x 100 reps
Rear Deltoid Raises 3 x 10-12 reps
Shrugs 5 x 5 reps
Squats 4 x 12 reps
Lunges 4 x 12 reps
Leg extensions 3 x 10-12 reps
Leg Curl 3 x 10-12 reps

Wrist curls (forearms on knees) 3 x 15 reps
Reverse barbell curls 3 x 12 reps

*Abs: Alternate between these two:

Workout 1
Abs-circuit: sprinter sit-ups, V-ups, toe touches, hip thrusts 3 x 15

Workout 2
Kneeling cable crunch 3 x 12-15 reps
Machine crunch 3 x 6-8 reps
Swiss ball crunch 3 x max
Serratus Crunch 3 x max

Total-body Program:

Day 1
Bench Press 3x10
Pull-ups 5x5
Military Press 5x5
Front Squats 4x12
Triceps Pushdowns 3x15
DB Biceps Curl 3x12
Lat Pull down 3x10
Shrugs 3x12

Day 2
DB Incline Press 3x10
Bent over row 3x10
Push press 3x12
Clean and press 3x12
Squats 4x12
Decline skull crushers 3x10
Seated leg curl 3x12
Chin-ups 5x5

Day 3
Deadlifts 4x12
Good mornings 3x12
Bench Press 3x10
DB row 3x10
EZ curl 3x12
Side/Front Raises 3x10
DB Rear delt raise 4x15
Dips 5x5

Wrist curls (forearms on knees) 3 x 15 reps
Reverse barbell curls 3 x 12 reps

*Abs: Alternate between these two:

Workout 1
Abs-circuit: sprinter sit-ups, V-ups, toe touches, hip thrusts 3 x 15

Workout 2
Kneeling cable crunch 3 x 12-15 reps
Machine crunch 3 x 6-8 reps
Swiss ball crunch 3 x max
Serratus Crunch 3 x max

Nutrition Program:

Plan 1:

Breakfast: Egg and cheese omelet, Oatmeal, Metabolic Drive Complete Snack
Beef jerky, handful of mixed nuts

Midmorning snack: Tuna, boiled egg

Lunch: Chicken breasts, mixed veggies

Midafternoon snack: Pre and post-workout drink

Dinner: Steak, Salad

Evening Snack: Cottage cheese, Metabolic Drive

Plan 2:
Breakfast: 2 eggs, some "good" fat like a spoon of almond butter or slice of avocado, and 1 cup of oatmeal with applesauce
Midmorning snack: protein bar
Lunch: albacore tuna wrap or chicken and salad
Midafternoon snack: protein shake (whey and water), protein bar, or apple and almonds
Dinner: broiled fish or chicken, brown rice, vegetables, and salad
Evening Snack: protein shake

Plan 3:

Breakfast: Big bowl of porridge with blueberries and honey, a banana and mango smoothie.

Mid-morning snack: A sandwich, rye toast, or nuts and seeds.

Lunch: Large piece of grilled chicken or fish, with mixed roasted veg and a bowl of brown rice or couscous.

Afternoon snack: Banana, berries, apples or pears.

Dinner: Healthy risotto or brown pasta.

Supper: Baked or steamed fruit.

I am currently following CT's Superhero program and I'm on the second phase (week 5-8). But as you can see I plan on doing both a split and total-body, however I haven't planned the amount of weeks before switching between the two.

It feels like I have most of my training down on paper, any comments would be appreciated.


But what if you find yourself in a situation were you only have a month off season and you really need some people that would like to make you kick your ass in the gym..

i am in this situation in December and would really like to have some people guiding me on what to do because i plan on it to be my first planned off season...

So how do you go about that kind of stuff here at T-Nation ? i think mostly it will be questions about how my technique is in the difrent lifts and such ?


You obviously have done a lot of research and that's great.

Its good that you seem to have picked a plan. Now stick with it long enough to see if you are getting the results you need and adjust as required. At this stage, it doesn't matter what you do as much as it matters that you do something. Change things once they no longer work. You seem to be over-analysing it.


You should start your own thread asking for assistance. Explain your goals for that off season. Coming up with the goal is half the battle. You need to know what you want to achieve during that off season and where you want to be when you get back to your sport. The person that's going to kick your butt the hardest is you so start now on defining what you need to do.


Has anyone tried this approach

Week 1 - Total-body
Week 2 - Split
Week 3 - Total body
Week 4 - Split

and so on..

I'm thinking of trying this method by switching between my two programs (written above).
Has anyone actually tried something similar?



Would anyone recommend my suggestion? (written in above comment)

If not, what is the recommendation for switching between split and total body workouts?


Do total body for 1-2 months then do split for 1-2 months if you feel it meets your needs. You could create a program where the focus changes from day to day:

Day 1
Heavy Squat
Light Press
Medium Pull

Day 2
Light Squat
Medium Press
Heavy Pull

Medium Squat
Heavy Press
Light Pull

This will give you recovery time, build conditioning and allow you to hit everything hard once a week.



stuward: thanks for your feedback, will definitely try your total-body approach. Sorry if I'm asking for too much, but are there any special exercises you would recommend on press and pull days. Thanks again.


In another post today to someone wanting to focus on shoulders I suggested:

"Rotate your Pressing exercises, bench on heavy days, incline on medium days and overhead press on light days is one way to set it up.

In a similar way, rotate your Pulls, say deadlifts on Heavy, bent rows on Medium, cleans on light days. Another way would be heavy high pulls, medium squat cleans, light power cleans or snatches. "

This was my interpretation of an idea from "Practical Programming" by Kilgore & Ripptoe.

You might want to work in chins and dips somewhere.

For squats, you might do Back squats on heavy squat day, front squats on medium days and overhead squats on light days.

You can also just do the same exercises, say Bench, back squats and cleans and just vary the intensity, focusing on speed and technique on the lighter days.

Follow up with whatever isolation exercises you feel you need to address weaknesses.