T Nation

The Aimless Trainee

Tuesday 12.28.21 Chest/back
EMOM Strength Circuit
6 rounds of 6 each (18 min)
A1. Med ball chest pass into wall: 15 lb
A2. Bench press: 215 lb
A3. Neutral-grip pullup: +30 lb

EMOM Assistance Circuit
4 rounds of 8 (16 min)
B1. Low incline bench press: 200 lb
B2. Dual handle seated cable row: 160 lb
B3. Pec minor dip w/ 3 sec squeeze
B4. Rope facepull

EMOM Accessory Circuit
4 rounds of 15 (8 min)
C1. TRX pushup (rest-pause last set 12+3)
C2. Band pullapart


Thursday 12.30.21 Legs
EMOM Strength Circuit
6 rounds of 6 (18 min)
A1. Broad jump
A2. Snatch deadlift: 235 lb
A3. Power snatch: 110 lb

EMOM assistance circuit
4 rounds of 10 (12 min)
B1. Zercher squat: 175 lb
B2. BB hip thrust: 235 lb
B3. KB swing: 50 lb AMRAP 30 sec

EMOM accessory circuit
4 rounds of 10 (12 min)
C1. Seated calf raise
C2. Hip abductions
C3. Hip adductions

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Friday 12.31.21 Bis/tris
EMOM Strength Circuit
6 rounds of 6 each (18 min)
A1. Close-grip plyo pushup on bench
A2. Close-grip bench press: 215 lb
A3. Chin-up: +30 lb

EMOM Assistance Circuit
4 rounds of 8 (16 min)
B1. DB curl: 30 lb
B2. Lying DB tri extension: 35 lb
B3. DB hammer curl: 35 lb
B4. Rope pressdown

EMOM Accessory circuit
4 rounds of 0:20 AMRAP (8 min)
C1. Band curl
C2. Band pressdown
These were very fast, like 2 per sec.

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New year’s update:

I decided to break from the circuits. I’m only 1 week into a wave technically, but honestly this last week both my lower body days were past my threshold of comfort. After both
the main circuit and assistance circuit I collapsed to the floor and needed a good 5 min to go on. On top of that, even on the upper days I’ve been dreading going in and I’m just irritable the whole time watching the clock. I think I’ve more than attained my goal of getting my work capacity up and I’m going to write up a program inspired by Thib’s Athlete Lean Athlete Strong next. I’ll post it some time this week.

To kick off the new year I’ve decided to take a full week off to get back to the place emotionally where I’m excited to head to the gym. I never took any time off from lifting all of 2021. I’m also going to experiment eating the same amount of calories. I think it’ll be a good exercise for me to realize I’m not gonna become a fat slob skipping the gym for one week but eating the same amount. I’m sure my body will love the recovery.



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Alrighty, new program time. Somewhat inspired by Thib’s Athlete Lean Athlete Strong program, but I’m skipping the energy systems training days. I already walk a crap ton everyday and I’m not really trying to lose fat. The focus will be improving performance on every movement, while maintaining conditioning.

The 4 main workouts will use the following structure and progression:

A Speed-Strength 3x5 4x5 3x8 4x8
B Strength-Speed 4x5 75% 5x4 80% 6x3 85% 8x2 90%
C Strength 4x6 80% 5x5 82.5% 6x3 87.5% 3x6(1) 90%
D1 Hypertrophy Accessory 3x8 70% 4x8 72.5% 5x8 75% 3x8 77.5%
D2 Hypertrophy Secondary 3xAMRAP 0:30 4xAMRAP 0:30 5xAMRAP 0:30 3xAMRAP 0:30
E Met Con Complex (Upper) 2 rounds 3 rounds 3 rounds 4 rounds
Met Con Complex(Lower) 3 rounds 4 rounds 4 rounds 5 rounds
F Rowing (Upper) 2x500m 1x750m, 1x500m 2x750m 1x1500m
Sled push (Lower) 3x60:60 4x60:60 4x60:45 4x60:30

The 5th workout will be a strength-skill focused full body circuit day with some extra beach work. I’ll probably run these as EMOM circuits like I’ve been doing the last 3 months.

A1 Squat 5x5 75% 6x3 80% 6x5 77.5% 5x3 82.5%
A2 Upper push 5x8 6x5 6x8 5x5
A3 Oly pull 5x5 75% 6x3 80% 6x5 77.5% 5x3 82.5%
A4 Upper pull 5x8 6x5 6x8 5x5

Weekly split will be:
Sun: Upper 1
Mon: Lower 1
Tue: Upper 2
Wed: Lower 2
Thurs: OFF
Fri: Strength-skill circuit + beach circuit
Sat: OFF (Cheat day)

Exercises I’ll use for first wave:

Upper 1 Lower 1 Upper 2 Lower 2
A Speed-Strength Med ball push press throw Box jump Med ball chest pass Broad jump
B Strength-Speed Snatch high pull from hang Power clean from hang Push press Power snatch from hang
C Strength Overhead press Front squat Bench press Snatch deadlfit
D1 Hypertrophy Accessory Neutral-grip pullup Hip banded RDL Seal row Zercher squat
D2 Hypertrophy Secondary Straight-arm band pulldown GHR Band pullapart Box jump
E 1 Alternating DB press Bulgarian split squat (L) Battles ropes: alternating arms Power snatch from hang
2 Muscle snatch from hang Bulgarian split squat (R) Pushup KB goblet squat
3 Blast strap rear delt fly Power clean from hang Battle ropes: both arms KB swing
4 Med ball slam Inverted row
F Cardio Rowing erg Sled push Rowing erg Sled push

And for Friday’s circuits:

A1 Front squat
A2 Weighted dip
A3 Snatch high pull from floor
A4 Weighted chinup

Some important notes:

  • I’m only hitting one horizontal pressing movement on this program. I’d like to improve stability in the overhead position and I think this will help only help my mobility. Aesthetically I’d love to bring out my delts more since my chest already dominates.
  • I’ll be hitting many key compound movements at least 3x a week now, so I will start conservative and use a training max of 90% of my true max, which is about my true 3RM on most exercises. Ideally, these workouts will be pretty quick and won’t destroy me. The goal is to drill down performance and own every rep (except the met con stuff). Every 4 week wave I’ll probably bump every lift by 2.5%.

Well, my experiment was a success! I haven’t weighed in in 2 weeks, but

  • last weekend I did back to back cheat days to celebrate New Year’s on Friday and Saturday
  • I took the entire first week of the year off from lifting…I mean nothing. I just did my usual walking to and from work.
  • I didn’t lower calories at all.

And bodyweight only jumped 0.6lb in those 2 weeks! This was very much a mindfuck for me, but I’m glad I stuck it out and more or less convinced myself I can chill out a bit. I think I can slowly ramp calories even higher (particularly carbs) as I get into my new program.

@anna_5588 I think this would good for you, too. Same calories, take a week completely off and see firsthand it’s not gonna be the catastrophe you’re anticipating. I know I’ve mentioned how much my weight fluctuates just from stress levels before, and I really think pushing it too hard with training can alter my perception of how many I calories I really need.


Sunday 1.9.22 Upper
A. Med ball push press throw: 3x5 @ 20lb
B. Snatch high pull from hang: 4x5 @ 185lb
C. Overhead press: 4x6 @ 145lb
D1. Neutral-grip pulldown: 3x8 @+20lb
D2. Straight-arm band pulldown: 3xAMRAP 0:30

EMOM met con circuit: 2 rounds of 30:30 AMRAP intervals
E1. Alternating DB shoulder press: 20 lb
E2. Muscle snatch from hang: just the bar lol
E3. Blast strap rear delt fly
E4. Med ball slam: 15 lb

F. 2x500m on rowing erg

Note from today: Allow myself to rest more on main movement of the day. I think I only rested 2 min between sets and it wasn’t enough. I mean I hit the reps, but they weren’t as perfect as they should’ve been given I dropped to 90% for my training max. I grew accustomed to the circuit training and need to remember that C movement is strength focus!

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Monday 1.10.22 Lower
A. Box jump: 3x5
B. Power clean from hang: 4x5 @ 145lb
C. Front squat: 4x6 @ 235lb
D1. Hip-banded RDL: 3x8 @ 230lb
D2. GHR: 3xAMRAP 0:30

EMOM met con circuit: 3 rounds of 30:30 AMRAP intervals
E1. Bulgarian split squat left leg
E2. Bulgarian split squat right leg
E3. Power clean from hang: 95 lb

F. 3 rounds of 60:60 sled push @ +90 lb

Front squats felt solid today. I extended rest time to 3 minutes so all the reps were fluid.

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Tuesday 1.11.22 Upper
A. Med ball chest pass: 3x5 @ 25lb
B. Push press: 4x5 @ 155lb
C. Bench press: 4x6 @ 235lb
D1. Seal row: 3x8 @ 185lb
D2. Band pullapart: 3xAMRAP 0:30

EMOM met con circuit: 2 rounds of 30:30 AMRAP intervals
E1. Battle ropes: alternating arms
E2. Pushup
E3. Battle ropes: both arms
E4. Blast strap inverted row

F. 2x500m on rowing erg

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Wednesday 1.12.22 Lower
A. Broad jump: 3x5
B. Power snatch from hang: 4x5 @ 115lb
C. Snatch deadlift: 4x6 @ 255lb
D1. Zercher squat: 3x8 @ 195lb
D2. Box jump: 3xAMRAP 0:30

EMOM met con circuit: 3 rounds of 30:30 AMRAP intervals
E1. Power snatch from hang: 75lb
E2. Med ball goblet squat: 30lb
E3. KB swing: 50 lb

F. 3 rounds of 60:60 sled push @ +95 lb

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How’s the change feeling?

Awesome! I enjoy having my workouts segmented. It really staves off the boredom. I will say my appetite is monstrous this week. I’ve been hitting my daily calories by 8 every night and getting bad hunger pangs throughout the night (keep in mind I work nights until midnight and usually go to bed at 3). I’ll see how Saturday’s weigh-in goes, and maybe think about bumping calories again. I’m also curious how Friday’s full body circuit goes. I’ve never done a workout like that before.

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That’s rough on the food! That’s a tough schedule to eat so far from bed, or would be for me

It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the weigh-in.

I won’t really be surprised by anything. Sometimes when I’m hungry all week on a new program my weight won’t change or even goes up a little due to the new stressor only to drop drastically the following week.

Friday 1.14.22 Strength-skill circuit
5 rounds of:
A1. Front squat: 5x 220lb
A2. Dip: 8x +50lb
A3. Snatch high pull from floor: 5x 185lb
A4. Chinup: 8x +15lb

I decided to skip the beach work on this day. This was plenty! I decided every 5th week will be a “bro week” with minimal focus on BB work and more focus on the small muscles that aren’t getting hit on the main program. It’ll be a deload of sorts.


Sunday 1.16.22 Upper
A. Med ball push press throw: 4x5 @ 20lb
B. Snatch high pull from hang: 5x4 @ 195lb
C. Overhead press: 5x5 @ 150lb
D1. Neutral-grip pulldown: 4x8 @+25lb
D2. Straight-arm band pulldown: 4xAMRAP 0:30

EMOM met con circuit: 3 rounds of 30:30 AMRAP intervals
E1. Alternating DB shoulder press: 20 lb
E2. Muscle snatch from hang: 50 lb
E3. Blast strap rear delt fly
E4. Med ball slam: 15 lb

F. 1x750m, 1x500m on rowing erg