T Nation

Training Program for Strength and Size


Would you please take a look at my self designed training programme. I’m a beginner weightlifter and I know I would be better off chosing an existing proven beginner programe, but I wanna try it anyway as I feel the principle behind it supports my goal best. But as I don’t really have long wight training experience I might be completely wrong.

I’m 6ft1, 171 pounds. My goal is increase in strength with close second increase in bodyweight. Strength in terms of 5rep squatting and deadlifting max as the programe is based around these two lifts. So increase in what I feel is base (non-specialised) strength. Aesthetics is not my primary concern, I know I’m gonna get fat together with some muscle, actually I hope I do. I just wanna get big, like big powerlifter big.

See attached pic. Its basically a 4 day split with 2 rest days in the middle of the week. Two deadlift and two squat sessions per week. The idea is to have one session of 3 sets that works on 5 rep max, where weight goes (eg. squat) 200-210-220 lbs. And another session in the week is with 5 sets of 80%-90% of 5rep max, eg. 5x180 lbs. The second longer session is for getting comfortable with the lifts and progressed weight. The first one is all about breaking the max. The same for deadlift except the longer session is 4 sets instead of 5 cos I don’t wanna overdo it.

Both progress every two weeks by 5kg or 10lbs if all goes by plan. I calculated progression for each excercise but I didn’t attach it cos it might be too much unecessary infromation. Only progression on squats and deadlifts is important, the dips/pull ups/press are there only for upper body strength, which is weaker compared to my lower body. Only with press I added light progression, the others are just 3 sets of as much as I can do after the demanding compound.

Bench press is my weakness but I didn’t include it cos I feel strict press might be more beneficial for functional strength. The reason why I want to focus most on squats and deadlift is because I think you can’t go wrong with them. They will have most effect on my body getting bigger and stronger in general. I want to keep it simple but effective.

Question: Do you think I should take out one session of deadlift and add a session of bench press per week?

I’d welcome some comments, especially if you think I’m completely off on any point.

Much appreciated

I think your going to find a couple of problems with this set up when you try it. The first, is that the squat and deadlift work similar muscles. So, if you are to work the squats of a monday and tuesday’s deadlift session will be very difficult, and may take longer than two days to recover from.

The second, is that deadlift done for multiple sets of five can be very taxing (even if those are ramped sets terminating at 80% as opposed to straight set), and, again, if put a day after a 5 rep max squat, maybe done right brutal (In the very negative, “Why do my knees and back hurt so badly?” fasion) I think you very intelegnt to simplify the number of lifts as you have, and to focus on squating and deadlifting.

However, this plan might be a bit nieve. As in all things, I would try it, so you know, but if I were you I would try: mon: squat/dead, tues: dip/pull, wends rest, rinse repeat or mon: squat/dip, tues: rest, wends: dead/pull, thurs: rest, fri squat/press, sat: rest, sun: dead/chin, mon: rest ect. So, once again, I think your underestimating the amount of rest that you will need, and to quote Dan John, “there alot of things that work on paper, but when you try them in the real world…” By all means try it though, and if it doesn’t work figure out why and move forward.

Get on a proven beginner program (SS, SL 5x5, etc)

Do the See Food diet (you see food, you eat it)

Get plenty of rest.

Repeat at least 180 days.

Change to intermediate program (Madcow, Texas method, 5/3/1, etc)

Rinse, re evaluate, repeat.

Yes, that easy.

That’s absolutely horrible. There is no sense in squatting and deadlifting 2 days in a row twice a week and you will most likely fry your lower back.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say “absolutely horrible”…

Squatting and deadlifting for consecutive days will likely wear you down. If you were to alternate squats and romanian or stiff leg deadlifts, there’s a bit more rest to the respective muscle groups. But that’s not exactly ideal either.

I have a feeling you will overload yourself very quickly with the program as you proposed, especially if you’re trying to hit a 5RM every week.

However, I’m not trying to dissuade you. Just keep your form tight and be careful with your back. I think you’ll find very quickly that this won’t work for long, and you’ll be back here for more advice.

Either way, good luck.

Thanks for the comments. I think you are all right, it is too much of the same.

The reason I put them two days in a row is because I always get sore most the second day after excercise, so I thought the first day I’d still be able to do it, but I wont be able to keep that up for very long probably.

I’ll still try it out for 3 weeks cos I’m curious but yeah will probably end up switching to a standardised programme. Cheers

[quote]LoRez wrote:
I wouldn’t go so far as to say “absolutely horrible”…[/quote]

With these stated goals:

[quote]marinino wrote:
I’m 6ft1, 171 pounds. My goal is increase in strength with close second increase in bodyweight. [/quote]

It’s possible it could work for him, but I would be VERY, VERY surprised. He has pull-ups and dips for three sets of max reps once a week. Also, the lower back is getting hit hard four times per week.

OP, if strength is you’re first priority and you want to get “powerlifter big,” whatever that is, do a powerlifting style program. If you are not a complete beginner, get 5/3/1 and do the Boring But Big template as it is simple and will be more likely to get you to your goals than what you created.

Just my opinion, though.

[quote]marinino wrote:

I’ll still try it out for 3 weeks cos I’m curious but yeah will probably end up switching to a standardised programme. Cheers[/quote]

If you are determined to try it, really watch your form on the deads and squats as your lower back may fatique quickly. I know mine would, but I’m getting old.