T Nation

Starting to See the Forest Through the Trees


I have been lifting seriously for 4 years now, doing my fair share of forum and article trolling. I find the more articles I read the more similarities between them stand out over the differences, leading me to believe just following a set of principles will bring hypertrophy. Part of me believes I have stumbled upon the oh so secret auto-regulation everybody raves about, but who knows. So I just want to lay out the principles I have come to believe and have everyone tell me where i have the right idea and not.

Split: Legs, Chest and shoulders, Back, bis + tris, repeat

Exercise Order:
A. Heavy Compound, ramping 3s, purpose being to warm up and activate nervous system
B. Assistance exercises, ramping 10s, 2-3 exercises for bigger muscles, 1-2 exercises for smaller ones. Last set always to failure in the 8-12 range
C. 3 sets: Giant set, superset, partials, basically an extended set to get blood in the area with fascia stretching between sets

Rest: 1-2 minutes, playing it more by feel than time. make sure rest is enough so the next set will be strong

Tempo: controlled decent, quick reversal, explosive concentric. 3 second descents for compound exercises I want to emphasize. ie I want to work the upper chest I would do a 3 second decent on incline bench

Cardio: non panting steady state cardio 30 min a day

Exercises change after 6 workouts, so a little more than 3 weeks.

If I feel stagnation try a 12 week westside program or any credible strength program to bust through the plateau

Food wise I know everybody says to eat more, but at 200lbs and age 18 I easily put in 3000-3500 kcals a day w/o trying, so I figure going overzealous would just start to make me fat.

If anything was unclear, I'm sorry organized isn't my forte, just ask. Also If you are reading this and feel like screaming at the computer because this is what every knowledgeable person on forum preaches, that's what I was hoping for, please simply confirm I'm doing things right and move on. More importantly, if you see something you disagree with, PLEASE TELL ME!!!



I like it in general, however 3 exercises for chest/delts/arms is fine, but you may want to rethink that for back/legs.


Too complicated for no good reason.


So you just do your compounds to "warm up"?

I think that most would say this is a bit much, depending on your definition of "non-panting."

Where have you seen this advocated? Stick with exercises as long as you're progressing on them. The whole point of weight training for hypertrophy is progressive overload.

3000-3500 kcals is nothing. At 200, unless you're already fat, you should eat more. Real eating does involve "trying." If you're doing 30 mins of cardio, you should be eating more like 5k cals per day.


By this do you mean more or less? Also, remember Its 5 exercises once the ramp at the beginning and the pump exercise at the end is taken into account.


The Compound is a CT style ramp. I go a little past my max force point but try to stop before my Max Load point. Non-panting is walking on the treadmill with a 10 deg. incline and 3-3.5mph. I saw the 6 exercise thing here http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/a_simpletons_guide_to_poliquin_principles_ii though I have seen it in other places reading Poliquin. The reason I am hesitant to go 5000 Cals a day is that I have read many people from CT to STU say that it is detrimental to progress, especially the large cut that comes with. Now granted they are more advanced than me and differences in training age need to be taken into consideration for sure. If eating that much will get me significant gains that are worth it, I am all for it. I just waver in thinking it may get me a couple extra pounds of muscle which will be lost when more drastic measures need to be taken to strip off the fat. I'm sorry if I'm coming across as stubborn, I really am just trying to explain myself thoroughly. I really appreciate everybody taking time out of their day to help.


How tall are you and what's your body comp like?


My mistake I can see that now. I was getting at maybe 4-7 exercises for back and legs but I can see that now. So I think go ahead!

The best routine is one you'll stick too and believe in, provided you have both I actually really like this routine.

Its simple (ish), and has all the essentials I can think of...

When you say assistance exercises I hope you mean things likes stiff leg deads, db presses, dips, rows etc? In which case I like the idea of an activation compound exercise with low reps.


5'10-5'11 probably between 12-15% top 4 abs show well, the bottom 2 are hiding if that is any barometer


Yes assistance exercises are mostly compound with maybe 1 isolation. The "pump" exercise is going to be isolation more often than not


Shit, probably bigger than some of the people posting here lol me included. Keep doing what your doing.