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Stuart McRobert or Ian King

I was hoping I could get some input into which routine I should follow. The two I have narrowed it down to are one of the Stuart McRobert routines (20 rep squat) or one the 3 day a week Ian King routines. My goal is to put on a lot of muscle. No matter which routine I follow I will also follow the Massive Eating diet plan. I am an 27 year old ectomorph who works 40 hrs a week. My recovery ability is definetely below average.
Thanks for any input.

Jack: You’ll probably get a lot of “Ian rules!” posts – and deservedly so – but I actually believe that McRoberts’ approach is more favorable in cases of low recovery ability combined with full-time work and/or school (which obviously doesn’t help recovery any). In fact, my wife and I – as well as a few other people we know (okay, I’ve helped) – have used a McRoberts-type program for quite a while now and we have no complaints regarding our progression. In the end, though, both King’s and McRoberts’ programs are good, so perhaps you could give both of them a try over the next six months and decide which is best for yourself.

I agree with Bob. Most people will automatically say to go with Ian King’s routines. And I will not doubt that his routines are good. He has a lot to offer, and I like many of his ideas. Although, I’m making better progress following a 5x5 method of training with the basic exercises and less variety than Ian King proposes. I’m still using Ian’s ideas in my current training, but it is based on low reps, higher sets and longer rest periods.

I also have low recovery abilities, work full time, and don’t have great genetics. But I feel much better now, and am working hard. But like Bob said, give both programs a try. I think that if you are in the beginning stages of training, then the Stuart McRobert plan may be best right now. But later on, you may want to try one of Ian’s programs! Good luck.

I’d recommend you give Ian King’s programs from the Men’s Health February through April issues a try first. They’re 3 day a week workouts (Monday & Friday upper body, Wednesday Lower Body) tailored for beginners to intermediate users. The programs that Ian King has on Testosterone are amazing, but are tailored for Intermediate and Advanced users. I’m doing all phases of the Men’s Health Ian King workouts (5 altogether). They’re each 3 weeks long with one full week rest in between each phase. Then, I will do Ian’s 12-week Upper Body and Lower Body programs on Testosterone magazine, or from his Get Buffed! book.

Thank you Nate and Bob. I was leaning toward the McRobert routine. I will mix it up every now and then with a King routine. Just out of curiousity Nate what does your 5x5 routine include.

From personal experience, I am on King’s workout upper body and limping (11 weeks into it)and have gotten unbelieveable results. I went from 212 to 218 and my bench has gone up 20 lbs to 330. I work 40-50 hrs have 3 kids and workout 3 times per week. The only problem that you might run into with King’s workout is it is helpful if you have a partner for some of the exercises. It is helpful if the gym is not crowded because you switch from exercises every set in some stages of the 12 week workout.

cjack, do you do the 3 as a progression ie upper, lower, upper, then following week start with lower? what days do you work out? any other stuff in between, such as cardio? A real nosy bastard eh!! The reason I am asking is that I will start that program in about 3 weeks and don’t know whether to do 3 days or 4. Suggestions please.

Jack, currently I’m doing the following for five sets of five reps. I add 5-10 pounds each week as long as I make all five sets with five reps. Prior to training, I stretch, do abs and warm-up sets for all exercises. This is my current routine.

Monday: Close-grip benches, Seated rows, standing military press.

Wednesday: Deadlift, stiff-legged deadlift, dumbbell shrugs, standing/seated calf raises

Friday: Weighted pull-ups, bench presses, dips, barbell curls.

You will notice I don't have any quad-dominant exercises. That is due to a knee injury that has been reaggravated every time I do squats or lunges or other quad-dominant exercises. But, I will be switching my program around in two weeks. And I will be doing front squats. That routine will be as follows.

Monday: Deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, barbell rows, close-grip bench press.

Wednesday: Overhead presses, shrugs, barbell curls, seated/standing calves.

Friday: Front squat, weighted chins, bench presses, dips.

I will most likely only do three sets of five on the very last exercise for each day. I’ve noticed that I can do three exercises for five sets of five getting adequate rest and finish in an hour. If I try to do more, I can’t finish in an hour. I could also superset exercises to save time, and may try that. But that is what my workout will be like for at least the next couple of months. I will be adding weight whenever possible, and constantly forcing my body to get stronger. If I stall, then I will be switching things up, and do a different set/rep bracket. Or I may then switch to Charles Staley’s “Convergent Phase Training.” I have already tweaked the program so it is more suited to me, and look forward to trying it this summer.