T Nation

Summer Plan for Getting Stronger


I'm attempting to put together an effective focused plan for the summer that will get me stronger (and hopefully bigger but I'm more concerned with strength). I'm 19 years old, 160 lbs, been lifting for a couple years on and off, but not too seriously. I just want to make sure that it's balanced in terms of enough lower body work plus enough pulling to balance pushing. It's a 5 day rotation, with a rest day after I go through the rotation twice. I plan to do 10 sets of 3 reps for each exercise for half the summer (about 5 weeks) and then do 5 x 5 for the next 5 weeks. Let me know if you guys think this is a good program.

Day 1: squats, weighted Dips or Decline Press, upright rows (with dbs), lunges

Day 2: military press, weighted chin-ups/pull-ups, one-leg calve raises, barbell bicep curls.

Day 3: deadlifts, lateral raises, front raises, good mornings, step-ups

Day 4: bench press, bent-over rows, db shrugs, db lying tricep extensions

Day 5: Decline weighted sit-ups, hanging leg raises, wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, 1/2 mile jog.


So, you're going 10 days in a row? And doing 10 x 3 for each exercise?

Umm, this just creams overtraining if you ask me. I think it would be a good idea to go the full body route with you being 19 and only weighing 160lbs but not for 5 days straight.


yeah brutal design...refer to some of Waterbury's programs instead.


nice day all in all. Leaving the gym feeling good

another good one but man the shoulders front delts mainly are really feeling it now from two days.

WOW!! ok first two days were perty good leg still ok today low back is feeling the compounding load of the days and MY GOOODNESS the shoulders are now very pissed at me

OK very sub par workout the bench presses were crap for some reason it felt like my shoulders werent up to the presssing they hurt and were just wore out. That and my tri's felt like butter. The DB shurgs I just could get the intensity I wanted Im thingking it may have something to do with all the heavy deads yesterday HMMM?? we'll see.

Boy didnt sleep great had pain in my whole damn body, my temp was up I was sweating all night. But hey dragged my butt outta bed and did my running etc today.

Fast forward a few weeks, Over trained in totality, shoulder injury, tendonitis on severrqal joints, Im weaker smaller and now have to take time off the gym and the docs talking surgery to fix the shoulder.

In short.

Not the best plan.

Rethink it check out some great plans on here. get a base of training anmd how you react then make your own program from what you learn under the bar.

Hope that helps,


do CW's Quattro Dynamo

the first time I did this things really clicked. I threw in GPP or sprints on one or two days a week. It was amazing.

Oh yeah, eat a lot. At your size, you should be putting back 3500-4500 kcals ever day. Don't worry about 'getting fat' if you're doing the gpp. If you eat enough, you'll gain strength and size. They'll complement eachother synergistically as well too, and your gains with be that much better. Diet is just as important as your training. You'd be surprised how much a little extra food can go in making strength gains.


Ditto the recommend for a Waterbury program.

If you're still going to insist on writing your own, think about adding some Olympic lifts (specifically the clean and snatch). They are really fun to perform and develop components of all-around strength that you might benefit from. Check out some of Dan John's articles.


alright so I guess i was a little too ambitious or maybe just stupid. Anyway, I appreciate the replies. What if I made it a 7 day rotation, with a day of rest after days one and two, and then another day of rest after three and four? I also made a few other changes, I took out the run and moved a couple things around. The new plan looks like this:

Day 1: squats, weighted Dips or Decline Press, DB upright rows, lunges

Day 2: military press, weighted chin-ups/pull-ups, one-leg calve raises, barbell bicep curls.

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: deadlifts, lateral raises, front raises, good mornings, DB Shrugs

Day 5: bench press, bent-over rows, , db lying tricep extensions

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Decline weighted sit-ups, hanging leg raises, wrist curls, reverse wrist curls.

I know you guys will still probably tell me to do one of the programs on the site, but I think if I just added in those 2 days of rest I would not overtrain. I think I'll try it out, and if I start to feel the effects of overtraining I'll do one of Waterbury's programs.


Ok. The problem is the following. You are doing 10x3!! That means heavy ass weights!!.. and you're doing that 5 times a week... Now imagine your shoulder taking a pounding 5 times a week for 5 weeks...

I did something similar quite some time ago, I was training 3 days on one off, heavy, 1.5 weeks into my program my left shoulder gave way, had to stay out the gym for 2 weeks, after I couldn't do several exercises and it took me 1.5 months to fully recover!

Basically, you lack the knowledge to design your own program. This is not to be taken as an insult, it's more of a constructive criticism.. If you really want to build your own high frequency training program then read this:


It will teach you how to create your program. If you cannot be bothered then stick to a given program...

Phill described it perfectly. That's what will happen!


Seriously consider what you are reading here... We are not experts. Our names are not Waterbury, Thibs, Shugs, etc.

There are a lot of subtleties to workout programs, which go beyond lower body vs. upper body or push vs. pull. You have to worry about CNS recovery, and joints/ligaments, among other things.

Believe me, the best move I ever made was to stop trying to make up my own routines (and recover from sore joints), and just use the knowledge here on T-Nation. I have been injury-free ever since, and have made the best gains in my life.

Good luck, and take our advice. Its free (just like all the programs here).