Routine Critique

Workout A
Squat: 5x5 first set 60%, second 80%, three sets across
Chin-Ups: 5x5 sets across
Bench Press: 5x5 first set 60%, second 80%, three sets across
Hang Clean: 5x3 sets across

Workout B
Front Squat: 5x5 first set 60%, second 80%, three sets across
Pendlay Row: 5x5 first set 60%, second 80%, three sets across
Press: 5x5 first set 60%, second 80%, three sets across
Deadlift: 5x5 first set 60%, second 80%, one working set

How does the original layout look? What would you change? Would adding an extra push AND pull movement at the end of each workout diminish this routine’s effectiveness?

Follow and existing pre-written program, you obviously don’t know how to write your own program. 20% jumps between sets is not good, and your program seems to focus on squats and rows more than anything.

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I should have mentioned that the first two sets are warm up sets. 60% of working weight then 80% of working weight. Not 60 and 80% of 1 rep max. So it’s really 3x5.

That might be even worse.

Like Chris said, look for a pre-written program on t-nation. There’s a ton of programs written by great coaches. You’ll definitely find one that suits your needs.

What are your goals? How many days per week do you train?

just do a classic Bill Starr/70s 5x5 template. They all work.
(Preferably one with ‘heavy-light-medium’ setup)

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Is there a routine based around the lifts that I mentioned? I’d like to get stronger and build lean muscle. I have no intention on becoming a professional powerlifter or anything like that. And the physique of a bodybuilder is too much. I’d much rather my muscles be smaller but dense than to look like that. I did Starting Strength, got pretty strong but started having achilles tendon problems due to carrying around too much weight on my frame. Maybe I should mention that I have a highly active job.

I based this routine around one that I saw by Reg Park. I just took out the calf and wrist work and added the hang clean, and took out barbell curls and use chin-ups over pull-ups and a supine grip when doing rows. Isolation movements bore the hell out of me.

5/3/1 can be easily based on what your goals are. Becoming stronger at squatting, pressing, and pulling doesn’t mean you have to be a powerlifter, nor do you need to do the volume (of lifting and eating) required to look like a powerlifter. If you just want to look strong and “dense” without being very large, pick a couple big lifts, progress on them using a tried-and-true method, and maybe do a lot of conditioning instead of more lifting. Provided you lift hard and recover well, this will probably give you the lean, athletic look you may want.

If you’re not interested in competitive powerlifting this is probably the wrong forum, since you’re just going to get answers from guys that are biased towards competitive powerlifting. Maybe try the “Bigger Stronger Leaner” forum.


Are you taking steroids, GH, and peptides? If not, then it’s highly unlikely you will ever look like a pro bodybuilder. Based on what you are saying, a generic bodybuilding program or 5/3/1 would suit your goals.

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As mentioned try 5/3/1. Also don’t do 5x5 chins. They will destroy your elbows. Just my $0.02

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