T Nation

Training Program


Hey All,

For a number of years i've used a fairly simple training program that consisted of day 1 upper body- bench 5 (reps)x5 (sets), db press 7x3, power cleans 3x5 and bicep/tricep curl/press 7x3, then day 2 squats 4x3 (below parallel), leg press 7x3 , pull throughs 7x3 and good morning 7x3 (and occassionaly deadlifts) and that was generally it and the rest of week of the week was essentially recovery as day 1 would usually be on a monday, day2 wednesday but then thursday i would have football practice and a game/training on sunday.

This routine has been fairly decent and as a result my stats from this are bench (1 rep max) 140kg, squat 180kg, deadlift 190kg.

However recently it was recommended to try the defrancos built like a bad ass routine which i've just started. However it doesnt seem like a program thats going to increase my overall strength... so what do you guys think is it better to stick with the defranco program or just tweak my existing program?

My main goal is to keep increasing strength that will help me become better at my sport.

Thanks in advance.

other information
i played american football (yes in the UK)
right tackle on offensive line
height 6.3
weight 108kg
age 25
been doing the above routine for around 3-4years.


If you want to test the waters on a new program, I recommend running it exactly as written for at least 6 months. I'm not familiar with that particular routine, but I think it's safe to guess Defranco's stuff will increase your strength. Whether it'll be better than your current program I can't say. Try it out as written, and see where you are at in 6+ months.


If something works that's all that matters. If you want to try some different stuff just change your routine slowly so you learn if it works for you or not. I almost wish I had just avoided all pre written programs when I first started lifting so I could have experimented and learned while getting stronger. Instead I ended up program jumping a lot.

That being said, Defrancos stuff does work, so if you decided to do it, stick with it for a while.


DeFranco is one of the BEST in the game at developing athletes, especially football players.


Do it. Its basically a twist on 5/3/1 which is one of the most proven programs out there.


Not trying to b an asshole, because I do understand your train of thought here, but: how can you know whether "it works or not for you" if you are not doing the program as written? Thats like trying Westside but not doing DE work. You aren't doing Westside. Or "trying" 5/3/1 but not pushing past the required 5/3/1 reps. You are not doing 5/3/1.

I feel like any of the well received programs out there will work, to some degree. I think it's more logical to follow them exactly, let them work, and try to learn why, and then apply that to future training, not the other way around.


I meant in terms of exercises and program layout. For instance, you are doing one thing and it works decently, but then you completely change it and it works even better. How would you know what it was that helped you so much? You would want to gradually shift your routine or add in certain exercises to see if they help you at all.

If you are doing a pre-written layout like WS4SB or 5/3/1 then you would want to follow it as written, but at some point you are still going to have to mix up some exercises to get past a plateau. Changing five of them may do the trick, but there is no way of knowing what helped most.


thanks guys