T Nation

Strength Program; Opinions?


Okay i've been training since i was a freshman in high school, now im a junior almost a senior. I have put together a strength training program for myself; im am trying to increase my strength, power and size. I would like to hear your opinions on it.

1. 4x[5-7]/ Bench [ 80-85% max] <**>
2. 3x5/ Incline Dumbbell Press <**>
3. 3x5/ Close Grip Bench <**>

1. 4x3/ Cleans or Hang Cleans \ 5x1
2. 3x5/ Dumbbell Rows\ <**>
3. 4x5/ Pull Ups with weight <**>

1. 3x3/ Military Press <**> [ Iso-Hold 20 sec. ]
2. 3x3/ Plyo Pushups [ Iso-Hold 10 sec. ]
3. [ 15-20 ]/Wrist Curls

1. 4x3/ Squats
2. Abs

1. 1x1 or 1x2 or 1x3/ Bench
2. 3x3/ Incline Dumbbell Press <**>
3. 3x3/ Dips with weight <**>

Note: I ONLY HAVE ABOUT 40 MINUTES TO WORKOUT, and i have about 2 to 3 minutes rest between sets to ensure my muscles are a peak strength.


Is pressing 3x a week REALLY something you want to pursue?


Yes, I really have a bad bench press compared to my other lifts so i built my workout mostly around the bench... wednesday is a deload for recovery


Well, are you training for a sport? Bench press isn't everything. You have three days devoted to bench pressing movements, but only one day of squats and deadlifts. Squats and deads are the lifts which put muscle on your frame. You should be squatting and dead lifting more than once a week (cleans do not count....). I would replace one of your press movements with either military press, push press, or jerk. Also, there is a complete lack of pulling movements--seated rows, pullups(lat pulls), bent over rows, etc.


Thanks for the info. i might change it.. I do weight lifting for the school and our only two lifts are bench and clean and jerk.. so i want to incorperate much of that/// well what would you recomend me replacing military press with- Incline dumbbell press or the Bench press 3x3 workout on Wednesday? I like incline because it adds good thickness and makes my chest look more even.





back and arm work


...I suggest you to do full body every session, such as:

-An olympic lift, their power variations, or their hang variations (70-80% of max for sets not exceeding 6 reps)

-A type of squat (HEAVY!!)

-(I don't care what else you're gonna do at this point. YOU NEED TO INCLUDE THE FIRST TWO EXERCISES THAT I JUST SAID!!... Or you can also sub the oly lifts with box squats, for sets of 3 reps at 50-60% of max... Refer to the Prilepin table for volume guideline.)


Training should be 3 times a week, with a heavy day, a light day, and a medium day... And once you advance, move on to a more advanced programming like the Texas Method or whatever.


If you want a bigger bench, dont train it 3 times a week. I would recommend something more like this:
Day 1: Bench
Day 2: off
Day 3: Upper Back Work( Pull ups, Rows)
Day 4: Shoulders(Heavy) OR DE work once in a while.
Day 5: off
Day 6: off
Day 7: off

Those are just the days dedicated to your bench. Do the rest of your body on the off days.


who's the dude in your avatar? straight up beast!


I'd just not get fancy and stick to a program that many people have had success with. For me, WS4SB3 (West Side for Skinny Bastards 3) has been the best. Paired with a good diet, I think it's great for gaining size and strength. I personally went from 145lbs to 170lbs in 9 weeks. Bench went from 170lbs for 4 reps to 230lbs for 4 reps in that amount of time. Just stick with it, don't mess around with it, and eat. Sounds simple, but people have a hard time just sticking to a program.


Don't you have a back?


you NEED to include an oly lift and a variation? in every workout? really? common now, olympic lifts have there place but they aren't neccessary to a good training program.

I agree that squats should be there, but they don't need to be in every session, I'm also curious as to how you're gonna squat "HEAVY!!" 3 days a week if you have a medium and light day...


What is your reasoning for suggesting this?

Did you just piece together from your own theories or is this a tried and tested system that's been used by successful athletes in the past?


These rep ranges are based off of Bill Starr's/madcow programs. Good programs if the proper lifts are included AND the trainee follows the rep/set/progression parameters.

@ op your program is too much volume with a lot of carry over.
I would suggest Wendlers 5/3/1 or WS4SB for your needs.


Both... It's pretty consistent with what alot of experts believe:

(these are not actual paraphrases!)
Charles Poliquin: Always recruit the motor units that are the hardest to recruit FIRST in your workout.
Glenn Pendlay: Nothing puts more mass than heavy squats.
Fred Hatfield: Speed is king!
Galabin Boevski: I snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat in that order...
Taner Sagir: I snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat in that order...
Bill Starr: Always do the complicated exercise first.
Invictica: I am the most awesome dude here in T-Nation!

...and many more that I don't have time to post...


When I said heavy, I meant heavy only one the "heavy days". Sorry, I should've been more specific.


You really need to add some type of direct back and shoulder work at least two times a week. I bet your shoulders are rounded foward, if not it is going to happen with that much pressing and no back or shoulder work. Try something like this.
Monday 1. Squat variation Back or Front squat Tues 1A. Bench press varaition flat or incline
2. Single leg variation something done on one leg 1B. Pull up vairaition pull up or chin up
3. Romanian Dead Lift or Pull through 2A. Row variation hands wide narrow
4. Abdominal work 2B. DB bench press varaition different 1A.
3. Shoulder work
Thurs 1. Power Clean variation Power Clean, Clean Pull, ect... Fri or Sat 1A. DB Bench press variation
2. Single leg variation 1B. Inverted row variation
3. Dead lift variation 2A. Push ups
4. Abdominal work 2B. Row variation
3 Shoulder work
There is no need for curls. You will be getting plenty of bicep development from pulling exercises like pull ups, inverted rows, and different row varitions. You can actually leave out the deadlift on Thurs. if need be. Thurs, and Fri should not be as high in volume to allow you to recover for the next weeks training session. You might like my program or completely hate it.


Its a bit too complicated for me, I think i will add some weighted wide grip pull ups instead of cleans and take away the hammer curls, Today i am going to try and get my single rep max from last week and try and get it as my 2 rep max.. Im exited, and this time im not going to spend 5 minutes of serious stretching because i read that it takes away your strength.



Not a bad attempt at creating a weight program. Alot of us did what you're doing which is overtraining. At first it works because any type of weight training beats nothing. No problem. However, you're ready to start going to the the next level. You didn't say what your goals were and thats crtitical information.

Odds are you are either training to improve other sports or training to compete in strength sports. I could easily throw a couple programs down but I don't feel thats the best help I can give. I will pass on some information for you to check out. When you're done reading, and this will take awhile, come back to this forum and ask more specific questions.

Sports Training Info: Go to www.Defrancostraining.Com Joe Defranco trains many High School, College and Professional athletes. His site gives you the actual programs without joining anything or paying a membership. Give this a careful look.

Strength Sports Info: Westside-Barbell, and EliteFTS are two of the heavyweight sites for current info. There are others.

So Clevelands23, right now you don't know what you don't know. Get advice from experts before you go for "peer" advice which is what is available here. That is not a knock on T-Nation but it is there niche. And an important one. Best of luck.