T Nation

Routine Thoughts


ive just started going to the gym after a year or so of working out with dumbells ( 10s all the way to 30s, max of 55 on each hand when i held 25s and 30s and improv dips and chins) i started what i think is a decent routine. my goals are just really strength and performance, not that big on size ( meaning i want some but not priority right now)
days: usually 4 a week doing upper, lower, break, upper, lower, 2 days of break. its not strict though and kinda sporatic. i cant afford a car and my mom cant drive much due to medical reasons. my dad takes me but i usually have to be done around a hour. no exceptions.

deadlift 5x5
db bench press 5x5
chin ups wieghted 5x5
dips wieghted 5x5
bent over barbell row 5x5
close grip on smith if i have time
squat 5x5
glute ham riase on lat pull down 8x3
leg curls 8x3
sitting calf raise 15x2
standing calf raise 8x3
shoulder press 5x5
lateral raise 8x3
^ shoulders vary from upper to lower depending if i have time but always mamage to get it done one or another
im 16 and 160 lean
diet wise i try my best for healthy foods, milk after work outs


Looks like you're hitting all the key lifts.

I think you have the sets/reps inverted. Typically, it's standard to write (sets)x(reps), so you wrote 8 sets of 3 with 8x3, but I think you meant 3x8.

Anyway, in a given week are you doing each of these workouts twice then? I think it'd be good to put together 4 different workouts, sticking with your exact template, but doing different upper/lower workouts on your last two training days of the week. Like:
Monday: Upper A
Tues: Lower B
Thurs: Upper C
Fri: Lower D

That way you don't have to lump shoulders into your leg workout. They really should be a part of your upper days, while deadlifts should be part of lower day. With a focus on strength and performance, deadlifts are a lower body lift. If you start flirting with bodybuilding templates, then we can talk about doing deadlifts on back day, but I don't think that's where your head is.


DO 5/3/1


should i shuffel up the core lifts then and then add auxaliaries and shoulders each day? like for upper day one: dips and chins followed by something else? then later in the week on upper day 2: db bench press and bent over rows with something else? i had an idea on how to do the barbell bench today without a spotter so...
also if i do two different lower days should squat both days requardless?
531 looks complicated


Starting Strength??

   Only needs three days a week, can be done in an hour and is strength focused.


I'm not really sure what you're saying here. It's simple. Shoulders are part of the upper body. Make sure you have shoulder exercises on your upper days (and only those days). Put deadlifts on one of your lower days.

5/3/1 is THE simplest (effective) training template you are going to find. I would give it a second look. If it's still too complicated for you we need to start you with something much more basic than what you have outlined.


5/3/1 is very simple if you're capable of figuring out simple percentages with a calculator

then you have a clear focus and strength goals, and can structure your assistance work accordingly