T Nation

Trying My First Routine


Hey, first off, thanks for taking the time to read this, and apologies for the inevitable stupid, "oh yeah!" n00b questions, as and when they appear.

Basically, after spending ages reading, learning and trying, I'm starting my very first, home-made routine. Woo, go me, hooray. Anyway, I was wondering if I've made any incredibly stupid mistakes, or left anything out. You know, just could you make sure I'm on the right track? Thanks.

I'm about 5'10", around 154, and I'm mainly after strength, but hey, some size wouldn't go amiss either. I've taken this from some of what Thib has said, and some Waterbury too.

A - 8X3
Bent over row

B - 5X5
Pull ups super set with dips
Shoulder press

C - 5/3/1
Vertical row
Incline bench

Then after around 6-8 weeks of this, I'm swapping my routine around, so instead of ABC, it becomes BCA. The rep schemes are the same, just the exercises themselves rotate.

Any help, criticism or general thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Personally, I'd train my calves and arms. If you want to "get stronger" on an arbitrary set of lifts, you can do that. If you want to grow/get stronger all over, you have to train all over, and you will not be doing that on this program.


this looks like some crazy hybrid of 5x5, 5/3/1 and DC training. why not just pick one and stick with it? all three are strength/size programs anyway.

not for nothing, but it looks like you are trying to reinvent the wheel when there are already some really damn good wheels out there. I would know, having spent the last 12 weeks on my own "specially-designed" wheel with nearly disastrous results. just pick one program, maybe tweak it slightly allowing for your schedule and/or weak points/injuries and go from there.

and eat something ffs. I'm assuming you're not trying to stay in a certain weight class for any competitive reasons. 154# @ 5'10" probably looks somewhat emaciated even at 5% body fat or less..


Your periodization parameters are all out of whack. Vertical rows on deadlift day? Are you kidding? You'll demolish the intricate muscular circuitry that connects the upper and lower posterior chain to the core nexus joint on the anterior deltoid head. Not to mention the massive strain on the inner flambiggus that you're applying in every workout, while blatantly ignoring the value of the outer flambiggus, which actually accounts for 55/72 of the size of the trapezius major. And where's your deload at? Eventually your CNS will burn out and catapult you into a perpetual state of diminishing returns due to overtraining with this obscene workout program. Strength and muscle gain plan? More like catabolic weakness.

No, but seriously though. What I did was start out with SL5x5. I then switched to 5/3/1 the second a lift started stalling (was OHP in my case). I'm on my third cycle and I'm MUCH stronger since I started in March. (not to other people though because it's neural not muscular but w/e)


lol wtf i thought you were serious until i got to flambiggus


I didnt realize until 55/72 lol. But to answer the OP, you might wanna take a look at Wendler's spill about total body training


So, say, on day A, to Bi's, B do calves and C do tri's?

It sort of is, but I was aiming to do a massive, heavy set at the beginning of the week, a lighter one in the middle, and heavy again at the end, trying to mix up the rep/set schemes to activate things differently throughout the week.

I'm actually up from around 119, but yeah, still pretty thin.

Whew, wouldn't wanna do that!! Lol

Ummm, yes? Yes, it was a test. You passed. Well done!! Haha, I thought deadlifts were mostly lower back, whilst rows were upper back? Or have I got that completely wrong...... What would you suggest instead? I was aiming for a upper push, upper pull & legs type thing throughout. What about face pulls?

I was aiming to deload throughout the week, as per above sentence. Am I better off doing it every few weeks, or what?

Cheers, will do.

Nice one guys, didn't think it would be perfect, but now I know where to adjust. Time to re-read!!


stop doing crazy programs, get a solid one that you like and DON'T CHANGE IT


No offense, but you are obviously very inexperienced. There are splits laid out by coaches, and by more experienced members, throughout this site. Do one of those. If you want to look like you lift weights, follow a SIMPLE program suggested by a guy who looks like he lifts weights. There's a whole thread about it.


Stop doing stupid shit and copy successful people. Gotcha. Yeah, brand new to this, been wasting my time for the last year or so, and decided to stop fannying about and actually improve myself.

Been looking at the Wendler programme ( http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1316 ) but I don't get what he means by "deloading percentages"?


I just glanced at it, but I honestly don't know what he means. If you just want to get stronger on the "compound lifts," for whatever reason, just do Starting Strength. If you want to build your body (bodybuild!) train with a traditional bodybuilding split.


That thread would be a good place to start, for bodybuilding.


deloading percentages are 45%, 55% and 65% of whatever your working max is. these are used every fourth week as a CNS deload, as an opportunity for speed work, technique work and time off for your joints. depending on your schedule and your speed for a particular movement, sometimes you can take them out entirely but JW doesn't recommend doing that unless you really have to.

for instance, if you were only able to train once or twice a week then you'd skip deloads unless you were really burned out, or your lifts were getting slower or your technique needed work.

in my case I skipped deloads most of the time because of my work schedule. sometimes I'd have two weeks in between certain lifts.


good job on the weight gain so far. keep it up, hopefully your lifts will go up as well.


Hadn't heard of the Mark Riptoe one before, but I'm gonna go get it. Thanks for your help!


Cheers mate. It's hard work, I'm sure you know, but the results are slowly getting there!


Just do the 5/3/1 AS WRITTEN, its a proven program. 154 pounds = you're nowhere near the stage where you need to make your own program


can you point me in the direction of where the 5/3/1 programme is? I think I'll try starting strength for a few months, and move on. good idea or stupid again?


It's not a program I would ever do, but it's up to you. You were pretty vague with your goals. If you eat right and follow ANY "program," you're going to get stronger. If you have more specific goals than just "increased strength," lay them out here, and we can go from there.


ok, cool. How about this? I'm aiming to bench at least one and a half times body weight, and also really ramp up my shoulder press (not 100% sure of what's a realistic goal here...)

For squat and deadlift, I'm roughly just under 1.5 times body weight, so I'd quite like to get those to maybe double? Are these the type of specific goals I should be setting myself? Obviously I don't want to ignore rows, chins etc., but again I'm not overly sure on what's a realistic achievement for these either.


Oh, and if it helps, maybe get my weight up to roughly 182?