T Nation

Sports and Overall Fitness Program


#1

Hello T-Nation forums :slight_smile:

I read the articles and decided to create my own program.
Goals are: overall fitness improvement, gaining some muscle and better performance at sports (ice hockey, tennis, soccer - all played recreationally but currently it's hockey 3x a week)

I have 3 days a week to go to the gym and have choosen to go with a FBW.
Got also slightly bad posture (slight APT and rounded shoulders) - some of the articles on the site say it's good to have a 3:1 ratio of pulling to pushing and glute to quad exercises in this case, so i have sticked with it, but don't know if i haven't made my volume on exercises too big.
Going to the gym since August. Currently 170/62.5kg/21% bf, female

Anyway here are the exercises:

1#

10min warm up

Goblet Squat 4x8
Dumbbell Bench Press 4x8
Sumo Kettlebell Deadlift 4x8
Seated Cable Row 3x12
Glute Bridge 3x10
Chest Supported Row 3x12
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3x12
Face Pulls 3x10
Side-lying Hip Abduction 3x10

+
Waiter's carry
dead bug
plank
push ups

few minutes of skipping rope and stretching.

2#

Goblet Squat 4x8
Half-Kneeling Landmine Press 3x10
Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift 4x8
Lat Pulldown 3x10
Split Squat 3x10
Chest Supported Row 3x12
Back extensions 3x10
Face Pulls 3x10
Lateral Lunge 3x10

+
Rack walk
Side plank
dead bug
push ups

few minutes of skipping rope and stretching.

I'm going to perform those workouts alternately, 3 times a week. 1 day will be for resting, other 3 ice hockey/other sports. Also, going to replace these squat and deadlift variations with barbell RDLs and front squats when i get the movements down.

Anything i could do different? Reps, exercise selection, volume, exercise order? Any critique and feedback highly appreciated.


#2

I know you’ve probably put a lot of thought into this, but it isn’t great and I don’t see it helping you much. You’ve picked a larger number than necessary of exercises for one. Second, there doesn’t seem to be a progression for anything. That’s a real issue.

I would suggest picking a known, proven program that will fit most of your goals. There’s a ton out there.

Now, with your goals, I’d also recommend narrowing your focus to getting stronger and faster. You’ll build some muscle doing that, and it will definitely improve your sports performance.

As to what program, well, something that has you working three times a week at most and focuses on big compound movements. I strongly suspect there’s a 531 variant that would help you. I’m pretty sure Jim wWendler is very keen on making sure you so conditioning, so if you use something like prowler sprints or hill sprints for that you’ll get faster. Getting stronger won’t hurt your speed either. Plus, that kind of conditioning is a very good way to improve your ability to recover from and repeat short bursts of high intensity work. That’ll suit your sports.

There are also a couple of Dan John articles here where he sets out some really nice two day a week approaches which may suit you too. From memory, they’re very simple and wouldn’t take so long per session.

Above all, don’t feel you need to tiptoe gingerly towards squat, bench, DL and press. As long as you work hard to learn the technique and keep the loads realistic you will probably find you progress better than waiting to get the ‘pattern down’. Largely, a kb sumo pull is going to be very different yo a sumo pull with barbell. Same for goblet vs squat.

After all, you’re obviously very active and in at least decent shape so I would suspect you are capable of much more than you think. Back yourself.


#3

This is what I would do:

Day 1:
Clean
Squat
Overhead Press

Day 2:
Clean variation
Push Press
Deadlift

The third day, I would head to a park and do (10-15 mins on each of):
Jumps/Throws/Agility work
Chins/Dips
Sprints/Carries/Prowler work


#4

I think you’d be much better served by something like Chad Waterbury’s total body training or Joe DeFranco’s Westside for skinny bastards. Both can be found on this site.


#5

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
I think you’d be much better served by something like Chad Waterbury’s total body training or Joe DeFranco’s Westside for skinny bastards. Both can be found on this site.[/quote]

Another vote for WS4SB


#6

[quote]jkm93 wrote:
I have 3 days a week to go to the gym and have choosen to go with a FBW.
[…]
I’m going to perform those workouts alternately, 3 times a week. 1 day will be for resting, other 3 ice hockey/other sports.[/quote]
The program you wrote is very busy, not quite efficient. Especially if you’re going to be doing sports practice on the non-lifting days, your workouts need to be much more dialed in. Not to throw in another confusion suggestion, but I’d consider Dan John’s Southwood program. 4 exercises per workout, 3 days a week: https://www.t-nation.com/training/lessons-from-southwood

Ratios can be helpful, but you don’t want to overanalyze them to the point of tripping over them. The general concept of “more push than pull” is a good, basic start for most.

If you have bad posture, work on it during the day by simply standing/sitting straight. Pretend you’re wearing a cape and try to make sure it flows whenever you’re walking. Posture can be corrected by skill and habit just as much as by physical training. If you can do pull-ups, include them in your general warm-up. If you can’t do pull-ups, work up to doing them.

The biggest thing that jumps out is that there’s a lot of redundant exercises. If you’re trying to do “full body workouts”, you don’t really need to hammer the same movement pattern with multiple exercises in each session. For example: Workout 1 has two kinds of rows plus face pulls. Workout 2 has squats and split squats and lateral lunges.

And doing the exact same exercise for the exact same sets/reps each session is unnecessary, like the goblet squats and chest supported rows. With full body sessions, you can maximize efficiency by using similar-but-different exercises for the same sets/reps or keeping the exercises but changing the sets/reps (like both for 4x8 in one session and both for 3x12 in the next).


#7

Hi again.

Thank you all for the detailed and insightful answers

True, i always tend to read a lot and overthink things too much when iâ??m new into something haha

So Just picking a lighter weight on the big exercises and learning the proper form instead of doing progressions would be a better approach? I tend to have really, reallyyy bad form on exercises and I want to be carefull to not get injured.
As far as conditioning goes, I did sprints on our local track and field stadium in the summer, but now the weather in my country doesnâ??t allow it anymore. We do suicide sprints and some other conditioning during hockey practices. I also skate a lot and do a few minutes of jumping rope at the end of gym sessions. Would it cut it?

Im currently working on this one

Wasnt aware of this. Good point

The programs you have mentioned are all great and written by professionals who know their job and I might get bashed for being stubborn, but:
I insist on creating my own program. It might be not as great as those above but makes me motivated to hit the gym and learn more about the lifts. But if my next thought is equally wrong I think I will just stick to Westside for Skinny bastards.
How about something like this?

1#
Back Squat 4x8
Dumbbell Bench Press 4x8
Seated Cable Row 3x12
Glute Bridge 3x12
Face Pulls 3x12
Dead Bugs, Side plank, Waiters carry

2#
Romanian Deadlift 4x8
Split Squat 3x12
Military Press 4x8
Chest Supported Row 3x12
Lat Pulldown 3x12
Back Extension 3x12
Pallof press, Plank


#8

[quote]jkm93 wrote:
Hi again.

Thank you all for the detailed and insightful answers

The programs you have mentioned are all great and written by professionals who know their job and I might get bashed for being stubborn, but:
I insist on creating my own program. It might be not as great as those above but makes me motivated to hit the gym and learn more about the lifts. But if my next thought is equally wrong I think I will just stick to Westside for Skinny bastards.
How about something like this?

1#
Back Squat 4x8
Dumbbell Bench Press 4x8
Seated Cable Row 3x12
Glute Bridge 3x12
Face Pulls 3x12
Dead Bugs, Side plank, Waiters carry

2#
Romanian Deadlift 4x8
Split Squat 3x12
Military Press 4x8
Chest Supported Row 3x12
Lat Pulldown 3x12
Back Extension 3x12
Pallof press, Plank
[/quote]

If writing your own program is a significant motivator for you, that is an important consideration. Plus, your second iteration is a vast improvement.

Allow me to make a couple of suggestions:

1#
Back Squat 1x8@60%, 1x6@70%, 1x4@80, 1x2@90%, 1x10@50%
Glute bridge 3x12
alternating sets dumbbell Bench Press/Seated Cable Row 3x12
Face Pulls 3x12
Dead Bugs, suitcase carry, waiters carry

2#
Deadlift 1x4@60%, 1x3@70%, 3x2@80%
Bench press 1x8@60%, 1x6@70%, 1x4@80, 1x2@90%, 1x10@50%
Alternating sets db military Press/chest Supported Row 3x12
Lat Pulldown 3x12
Back Extension 3x12
Pallof press, Plank

For progression, for the squat, bench and DL add 5-10lbs every couple of weeks. For the other work don’t worry too much - add weight or time when they are no longer particularly hard.

Yes, it is important to learn correct technique to avoid injury but you often do that best by practicing the movements.

If you look at the main movements, you do very little over 80% so you’re spending a lot of time at loads which will let you work technique. But, you will do enough heavy work to get strong.


#9

Yes, i like to do everything on my own even if it’s not perfect. Learning through trial, error and feedback tends to work better for me than following others people work which I don’t completely believe into, even if it’s superior

@MarkKO

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ve got a couple questions:

You are listing percentages of 1RM for the bigger lifts. How can I test it if I don’t know the proper form of those exercises yet? Do I actually need to perform it or just estimate somehow?

What about some single leg exercises? Can I throw in one? Or it would be overkill? I performed lunges and single leg squats in the past and feel that it helped my skating stride. Would throwing in one weighted variation
or some bodyweight ones in warm ups be ok? I love training legs haha

Why two bench variations and conventional DL instead of RDL? I thought this variation would be safer to start with but correct me if I’m wrong.

I like your exercise order. When I think about it deeper it makes me run less around the gym seeking for equipment.

Oh and one general question: can someone explain me to like an idiot how to brace and keep the core tight? I don’t get the cues of being punched in the belly and pushing the stomach out. When I push the stomach out I seem to just make my best impression of Donald Duck


#10

[quote]jkm93 wrote:

Yes, i like to do everything on my own even if it’s not perfect. Learning through trial, error and feedback tends to work better for me than following others people work which I don’t completely believe into, even if it’s superior

@MarkKO

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ve got a couple questions:

You are listing percentages of 1RM for the bigger lifts. How can I test it if I don’t know the proper form of those exercises yet? Do I actually need to perform it or just estimate somehow?

What about some single leg exercises? Can I throw in one? Or it would be overkill? I performed lunges and single leg squats in the past and feel that it helped my skating stride. Would throwing in one weighted variation
or some bodyweight ones in warm ups be ok? I love training legs haha

Why two bench variations and conventional DL instead of RDL? I thought this variation would be safer to start with but correct me if I’m wrong.

I like your exercise order. When I think about it deeper it makes me run less around the gym seeking for equipment.

Oh and one general question: can someone explain me to like an idiot how to brace and keep the core tight? I don’t get the cues of being punched in the belly and pushing the stomach out. When I push the stomach out I seem to just make my best impression of Donald Duck[/quote]

All good questions.

  1. I would think you would be better off working up to as heavy a single as you can safely manage and using that as your training max. You could even use 90% of that as a training max just to be doubly safe. Video your attempts so you can see if they’re ok or not. Give yourself some simple rules for them like for squat getting your hips below the knees, bench touching the chest and not bouncing off it and not lifting your butt and deadlift locking out the pull without hitching (lots of little tugs as you come up). Since you’re worried about safety and technique don’t push to an absolute maximum. For the moment something that makes you work hard with maybe one more rep available if everything went perfectly will do. That won’t be a max, but it’ll be close enough for training calculations.

  2. Absolutely you can throw in single leg stuff but I’d use it to replace something rather than add it in. The reason I didn’t put any in is that I didn’t find them useful when I was starting out. If you do pick one, I’d say to use reverse lunges and maybe swap them for the glute bridge or something. Having found single leg work beneficial to your sports I’d Dee definitely include it.

  3. I put in two bench variations along with the military press because I’ve found volume to be the main driver for presses of any kind. Also, my understanding is that women tend to find it harder to grow their presses (on average) and as a guy who has had difficulty in the past building my bench, I figured a similar approach might work. You could easily swap out bench for incline bench, but I’d keep the db bench and db military press again because I’ve found db pressing can drive bench nicely.

  4. With the deadlift I figured you may as well learn the full movement. There’s absolutely no reason you can’t do RDL instead, I just figure you’ll probably get more out of the conventional DL. You could try sumo if you wanted, but it is much more technical. If you have access to a trap bar, do trap bar DL instead. That is arguably much easier to learn than either conventional or sumo.

  5. With getting tight, this is what I’ve found works best. Breathe into your belly and back, using your diaphragm. If your shoulders move up as you inhale, you aren’t using your diaphragm. To get a feel for it, I’ve found placing a hand flat on your stomach below the sternum and pushing it away as you inhale useful. Once you’ve filled your belly with air, squeeze down on it very hard. This is a slightly gross description, but imagine you are very constipated. Same deal. You’ll feel a ton of pressure on your midsection and also travelling into your head and down to your butt. That’s when you know you’re right. Keep that tension during the rep. Breathe between reps.


#11

Thanks for all the help. I’m after my first day with this plan today :smiley: my body hates me

  1. for now i threw in some bodyweight lunges in warm ups, and left the glute bridges. i’ll see how this will work out. i heard those and hip thrusts are great for glute gains and mine could really use some work. i fail to do hip thrusts properly so decided bridges would be better.

  2. that’s true, im bad at any upper body work in general. i will try your version. just need to figure out how to press without ****** up my shoulders. the trainer at the gym said that my pressing makes him wanna cringe. i can’t retract the scapula properly

  3. unfortunately only basic equipment at my gym :<

  4. this is going to be a weird question, but i tried to practice that and it feels almost like an apnea with a pushed out stomach and i want to breathe through the nose immediately after that because i think i’m left without air. is it supposed to feel that way or i’m doing it wrong?


#12

[quote]jkm93 wrote:
Thanks for all the help. I’m after my first day with this plan today :smiley: my body hates me

  1. for now i threw in some bodyweight lunges in warm ups, and left the glute bridges. i’ll see how this will work out. i heard those and hip thrusts are great for glute gains and mine could really use some work. i fail to do hip thrusts properly so decided bridges would be better.

  2. that’s true, im bad at any upper body work in general. i will try your version. just need to figure out how to press without ****** up my shoulders. the trainer at the gym said that my pressing makes him wanna cringe. i can’t retract the scapula properly

  3. unfortunately only basic equipment at my gym :<

  4. this is going to be a weird question, but i tried to practice that and it feels almost like an apnea with a pushed out stomach and i want to breathe through the nose immediately after that because i think i’m left without air. is it supposed to feel that way or i’m doing it wrong?
    [/quote]

  5. Sounds like a good plan. You could also try kettlebell swings, but for the love of your chosen deity don’t go overhead. Chest height is fine. I should probably have mentioned them before.

  6. As another person bad at pressing, volume often seems to be the remedy. My approach to pressing (like bench, unless you’re a powerlifter) is that if it messes up your shoulders, do something else. Incline presses, for instance. Dumbbell presses, EZ bar presses, anything vaguely similar that doesn’t hurt you.

  7. That’s no issue in the slightest. I was talking ideals, as long as you have a bar and plates you’re sweet. Just learn the deadlift and be conservative with loads and limit your pulling to triples and below. Much less chance of problems then.

  8. It can take a while to get used to. It definitely isn’t comfortable, but you get used to it. Focus more on filling your lungs by pushing your diaphragm out. That’ll kind of naturally push into your stomach, and then squeezing your midsection down on the air will create a lot of tension to hold you stable. Try to resist the temptation to breathe out, at least until you’re well and truly getting the weight up and if you do have to exhale, do it very forcefully to maintain as much tension as possible.