T Nation

Routine For Strength Goals

Been on T-Nation and lifting for just over 5 months now.

Vitals: 22yo, M, 165lbs, 5’10"

I’ve mixed up my routine several times. Right now I’m living in Hong Kong so my diet isn’t perfect (lots of white rice and some fried rice and fried noodles, hard to get alot of veggies).

I can find time to hit the gym for a 45 minute weight routine 3 times a week so that’s what I’ve been doing although at home I would be going 4 times a week for sure (I’ll be home in August and I’ve got 1 month of kung fu training and 1 month of touring china between now and then so I’ll probably lose alot of muscle over that time).

Goal: Major in strength and minor in size.

Should I be doing full body 5x5’s for most lifts or 8x3s or a mix up 3x8s and 8x3s or 5x5?

I’m lifting heavy and to failure on the last set. I also pyramid the weights for every lift. I’m currently doing full body every workout (some selection of these lifts and never squat and DL on the same day; never incline BP and flat BP on same day). Planning on adding shrugs for trap development.

Lift selection now:
DL (3-5 sets, never more than 6 reps)
back squat (5x5)
barbell bench (5x5 or 3x8)
incline barbell bench (5x5 or 3x8)
one arm rows (5x5 or 3x8)
standing OH dumbbell press (5x5 or 3x8)
standing OH tricep extension (1 set, 8-12 rep range)
standing barbell curls (1 set, 8-12 rep range)
chin ups (low and slow reps)
rack pull ups (10 rep range and/or slow reps)
single leg calf raises (3-5 sets, 10-20 rep range)

Thanks for the advice!


Do a 5x5 program if youre looking for good strength gains. Make sure you add in Compound Exersices like Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press etc.

  • Dallas

thanks for the advice, pretty standard., got any insights into 5x5 vs 8x3 or 3x8

and which lifts should I be doing which rep ranges for?

If you are using the 8x3 set/rep scheme remember to accelerate during the movement. You aren’t going to want to be going to failure, keep the weight a little lighter but emphasize the acceleration.

Move your Pull/Chin up further up in your workout. Also, rack pulls may not be that necessary especially when you are deadlifting on a regular basis.

The standing overhead dumbell press is less necessary on the days where you do incline bench press. Also, to make your Total body training more effective you may want to add dips, as they will be far more efficient than the tricep extensions.

Also, you appear to only have 45 minutes, so I would avoid going to failure, work on acceleration, and keep shorter rest intervals while sticking to the big 5 in order(My Opinion), deadlift, squat, pull/chin up, dip, bench.

I just finished 8 weeks of Rippetoe’s Starting Strength with pretty good results (my log is in the Beginner section):

This is 5x5 version of the above. Essentially two extra sets.

This is an intermidiate 5x5 routine that yields good results as well. This could be done after option 1 or 2.


[quote]Dallas_15 wrote:
Make sure you add in Compound Exersices like Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press etc.

  • Dallas[/quote]

Those are always part of any good strength program. No need to ‘add’ them in.

To misquote Dave Tate, size will be a side effect of these strength programs. He believes you train for size or strength. Train for strength, side effect is size. Train for size, side effect is strength.

Yes, definitely look into madcow 5x5. It’s a great program for mass and strength.
At 5’10 165, i’m going to assume you’re a novice so you should grow fairly quickly.
Good luck!