T Nation

Suggestions On My Training


#1

I am 17, and weigh about 155, and want to gain stength, but also some physique. I have been doing the following program for about six months, and have gained some mass and strenght, but was wondering if there was anyway I could improve my program to get better results:

Week 1: 70-75% of max (4 sets of 6)
Week 2: 80-85% of max (5 sets of 4)
Week 3: 75-80% of max (5 sets of 5)
Week 4: 85-90% of max (5 sets of 3)

Monday

Flat Bench Press (Cycle)
Power Cleans (Cycle)
Dumbell Shoulder Press (4 sets of 6)
Lunges (3 sets of 6)
Lats (Varies)
Leg Curls (3 sets of 10)
Hambacks
Abs

Tuesday
Incline Bench Press (Cycle)
Hang Cleans (Cycle)
Dumbell Bench (4 sets of 6)
Front Squats (Cycle)
Bis/Tris (Varies)
Leg Curls (3 sets of 10)
Hambacks
Abs

Thurday
Close-grip Bench (Cycle)
Leg Press (12/10/8/10/12)
Incline Dumbell Bench (3 sets of 8)
Lunges (3 sets of 6)
Lats (Varies)
Leg Curls (3 sets of 10)
Hambacks
Abs

Friday
Behind the Neck Press (Cycle)
Regular Squats (Cycle)
Dumbell Bench (4 sets of 6)
Calves
Bis/Tris (Varies)
Leg Curls (3 sets of 10)
Hambacks
Abs

P.S. I was wondering if anybody could give me some pointers on how to improve my front squat, becuase quite frankly I am just horrible at them and have a tough time doing them.
Thanks


#2

All in all I would say that is a pretty solidly designed routine coming from a beginner. Good work.

Aweful lot of movements and volume IMO with the isolation stuff etc. Are you truely giving you all,m unleashing the beast in the larger movemnets?? If so then good, but dont hold back on them because you know "man I still have to do leg curls later.

Try the program adjust as needed,or gpo with something similar along the lines of CW's TBT w/o cant go wrong there. All the thinking has been done for you. All you have to do is bust ass.

As for getting better at front squats???

Tabata Front squats once a week or once every two weeks. No better way to learn than just doing them. With tabata you will burn the movement into your mind.

Have fun hope that helps,
Phill


#3

How are you doing them? Arms crossed, or olympic style? What exactly seems to be the problem? Are you having trouble keeping your back straight out of the hole? another problem?


#4

Phill's right. Good, check that, great program design. I've seen "advanced" trainees that don't even have that kind of grasp on program design.

First things first, as they say. It is a well known principle that you can't do every thing at once, otherwise, you will burn out, injure, or plateau yourself.

IF YOUR TRAINING IS GOING FINE, then leave everything as is. However, if you are getting aches/pains, soreness in the ligaments, etc. You need to cut out isolation movements, and/or just back off for a couple weeks. As Phill said, volume looks incredibly high. Don't end up crashing and burning for a few months because you didn't listen to your body. I've done that and it's not pretty. Lesson learned (I think).

Look, if everything is working fine, then don't sweat it. If you start plateauing, burning out, etc., then go back to basics or back off and recuperate. Always remember, though, in general you should build your program "down in intensity"--in other words most demanding stuff first, isolation stuff, if at all, last. You seem to be doing fine.

And please, do myself and Eric Cressey a favor and ditch the behind the neck presses. Unless you're a competitive Olympic lifter, or training to be one. Even then, I'd be careful. Use a regular mil press or something. Just not behind the neck.

One major problem I see is the complete and utter lack of deadlifting. It'll help your form in front squats (stronger lower/upper back), and your strength in every other major lift (cleans, squats, etc). Ditch leg curls (if you want to do them one day a week, fine, but at least cut back a little), prioritize deadlifts. Check this site for technique.

Also, you need to row more, or at least some. Chin-ups too. Upper back work in general will help your front squat form.


#5

I do front squats with arms crossed, and the problem is that the bar always seems to move off my delts.

What days do you suggest I do deadlifts and rows?


#6

Not bad but I think most people would say cut down on the number of exercises you do per session. I think you'd be better following something very similar and doing 4-5 exercises 3x a week. Cut out the isolation and do something like one push/one pull for upper body each day along with a squat//dl variation and something else.


#7

I would learn to do it the olympic way. I haven't seen many who can support more than 225 with the arms crossed variation, and from the sounds of it you'd like to become a big strong dude who will be front squatting way more than that. If you lack the wrist flexibility:

A. Stretch.
B. You can rig up this thing using straps that works pretty well. I've seen pictures on here somewhere.

If I were you I might look at Chad Waterbury's Total-Body Training for advice on program design-- very similar to what you are doing now.

One thing I'd like to point out is that you start each workout with an upper body pressing movement. Rotate your exercises so that you move between starting with an upper body push, upper body pull, lower body hip dominant, lower body quad dominant.


#8

Unless if by "(Cycle)" you mean you shuffle the exercises around.