T Nation

Training Plan, Big 3

Ok I’m pretty new to training (only in my 12th week). At the moment my primary goal is to get bigger across my entire body.
I’ve been doing a three day workout for a while that looked something like this:

Monday:

-Deadlift
-Chinups
-Rows

Wednesday:

-MP
-Bench Press
-Dips
-Curls

Friday:

-Squats
-Calf Raises
-Sit ups
-Crunches

I have had some gains but nothing amazing plus I found that I really struggle with deadlifts and squats.
I’m considering getting a training session to have a trainer look at my lifting technique but aside from that I thought focusing on the deadlift,squat and bench by doing them more often in my workout would be a good idea.

I’m also going to work out 4 times a week instead of 3. At the moment I’m thinking Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

Now I’m having a hard time puting togther a new training plan. My main concerns are

1)If I bench,squat and deadlift a lot what other lifts do I need in order to maintain a balanced physique and not get injured?

2)Is doing all three lifts each training session an overkill? (I’m use pretty low weight; 25-30 kilos with reps in the range of 6 and 3 sets). If yes then what is a better alternative? I’m more than willing to try out different rep/set ranges/weight etc. if you have any ideas!

3)What stretches should I include?

4)I find that I lose a lot of steam due to my weak cardio. I tend to get slightly light headed and my heart rate goes up a lot. I’m including one session of HIIT on my off day. is that enough to make a dent?

Thanks guys!

Are you struggling to deadlift or squat 25-30 kilos for six reps? Or did I read that wrong? How many squats can you do with no external loading at all?

Some things that can help improve back position on squats are Zercher squats, goblet squats and overhead squats. They look odd and you’ll have to keep the weight light but there is pretty much no way to do any of them with a bad back position. I’m doing overhead squats every warm-up with a light bar trying to improve my flexibility.

Something you can do to train these movements more often is variations. For example front squats one day, back squats another; conventional deadlifts and snatch-grip or Romanian deadlifts.

[quote]DSmolken wrote:
Are you struggling to deadlift or squat 25-30 kilos for six reps? Or did I read that wrong? How many squats can you do with no external loading at all?[/quote]

Well with the deadlifts I just have trouble executing the movement with more weight (my form goes downhill) but I do have a hard time squating around 35 kilos.
I think I did 15 dead lifts with zero weight once and just got bored.

Squats I’m not sure.

[quote]Some things that can help improve back position on squats are Zercher squats, goblet squats and overhead squats. They look odd and you’ll have to keep the weight light but there is pretty much no way to do any of them with a bad back position. I’m doing overhead squats every warm-up with a light bar trying to improve my flexibility.

Something you can do to train these movements more often is variations. For example front squats one day, back squats another; conventional deadlifts and snatch-grip or Romanian deadlifts.[/quote]

Thanks for the idea of more variations I think I’ll use some of those.

throw some more shoulder work in there to help with your bench, and try lunges after your squat workouts to get more power into your movements. Good mornings helped my deadlift numbers go up (from 405 for 6 reps to 475 for 6).

I’m also a big fan of olympic lifting, maybe make the 4th day a week strictly O-lifts to work on coordination and overall strength, or just throw one or two into your training sessin. Don’t bother with Bicep curls, they’re an overrated exercise (this is just my personal bias, its the one exercise I see people doing consistently with bad form, and for too many sets/reps).

Think of the 10 or 15 minutes it takes to do your Bicep curls, and move than to say hang cleans. I think my point is pretty self-evident.

Yes, bench/squat/dl 4 days per week is overkill. However you could try something like:

Monday:

-Deadlift
-Single Leg SLDL
-Rows
-Biceps

Tuesday:

-Bench Press
-DB Shoulder Press
-Dips
-Weighted Abs

Thursday:

-Squats
-Weighted Step Up or Lunge
-Chin Ups
-Calf Raises

Friday:
-MP
-Incline DB press
-Lateral Shoulder Raise
-Weighted Abs

If you’ve only been lifting for a few months, you will make gains pretty quickly with whatever you do, but you’ll need to switch up the reps sooner or later.

I like to keep the big three lifts under 6 reps, but you could go up to 8 reps if you want, and the others in the 6-12 range (6-8,8-10 and 10-12) for the most part. Stick with a rep range for 4-6 weeks, and then increase weight/decrease reps or vice versa to achieve desired rep range.