T Nation

Twerking My Routine

I’m putting together a routine full body mwf and I tried it the other day, I got a great pump, finished in under an hour and felt great after so that’s a plus.

First off here it is. Keep in mind the load/intensity will be different depending on how I feel. I won’t be doing 5x5 every workout. Im think a heavy day and two higher rep days. Keep in mind I’m 155lbs, 5’6, lean and I’ve been working out for almost a year.

Squats 5x5
Dips 5x5
Pullups 5x5
Overhead Press 5x5
Bicep Curls 5x5

My first question is, with dips and Overhead presses do you think I would need any additional Tricep work?

Second question, the first two sets of each exercise I use as a warm up. Do you think I should still begin with a warmup exercise for legs/upper body? If so what are good exercises. Preferably 1 or 2 that will Warmup my whole upper/lower body because I like to keep it around an hour.

And of course if the whole thing looks wrong id appreciate input on that and actual reasoning. I don’t learn if someone just says it sucks, scrap it and do this cookie cutter workout. I firmly believe in everyone having their own custom routine because every body is different. Although I do use other routines as a base. Thanks in advance!

What goal are you wanting to accomplish?

Combination strength/size

I would do some kind of an alternating template like:

M: squat, dip/bench, pullups,
W: deadlit, press, chinups
F: squat, dip/bench, pullups

That way you don’t have to have lighter days, your workouts don’t take as long and you can really push yourself in each of the three lifts. As you are planning on alternating loads and intensity, you could try progression based on AMRAP-sets like GreySkull LP does for example.

You are correct in that cookie cutter programs do not work for every single individual but they do work for 95% of them if they are healthy and willing to do time-tested and proven programs and actually pushing themselves. Making a custom program from scratch that suits you better than some generally accepted program does requires knowledge you don’t have. I don’t know what would work better for me than many proven programs despite lifting for 5 years and competing for 3.

1 Like

Since these goals are so vague, I think you’ll be fine. As long as you lift weights, you’ll get both of these things. When it starts becoming things like “Deadlift 600bs, increase arm size by 3”, win strongman nationals", etc, then you need to worry more about the details.


No. This is exactly how you learn what works without wasting time doing shit that doesn’t.

Wrong. The best way is to give reasoning why something doesn’t work. For example. "Your routine needs more variety or you may develop muscle imbalances. "

Instead of “your routine sucks try this one” answers like this one leads me to believe that person doesn’t know much themselves.

1 Like

I would do bent-over rows 5x5 instead of pullups… That way you get some direct back work and also hit your biceps pretty hard. You don’t need to do a 5x5 just for curls. That’d allow you to replace the curls with skull crushers (for example) to get some additional heavy tri work, especially since you’re not benching.

1 Like

It’s pretty hard to reason with someone if their goals are as vague as yours are. You’d get bigger and stronger doing pretty much any program as long as you add weight to the bar. I’ll add my two cents into the pile anyway:

Your program doesn’t outright suck but it’s just a basic template of what you are going to do. It has absolutely nothing in terms of progression planning and the choice of movements is pretty much “I was told I need something for legs, back and a pressing movement but I want big arms”. You have zero work for your chest, 2x the arm volume vs leg volume etc.

1 Like

Wrong. How can you try to customize something for your own unique needs and not base this customization on your own results but, instead, ask people what they think you need? You are basically asking people to help create yet another generic program.

1 Like

[quote=“tbonito, post:1, topic:219576”]
My first question is, with dips and Overhead presses do you think I would need any additional Tricep work? [/quote]

Start without it and then add if you “need” it

If you add more volume (2 more working sets to 5 movements) then you’ll need to adjust intensity. So it depends on whether you want to push intensity or do more work.

Given your goal, choose which you prefer.

1 Like

The dips are for my chest. Something about my physiology makes it hard for me to get chest activation with traditional bench pressing, It hits my shoulders way too much regardless of how i position my hands, retract my shoulder blades, or where the bar lands at the bottom.

I started doing decline and i felt this a lot more in my chest, then i tried dips and became my favorite. I really feel my chest activate doing dips and i love the stretch i feel at the bottom. both my girlfriend and i agree my chest has gotten bigger in the past few months doing dips than all the months prior in the year ive been training. They hit my triceps a little but i thought an overhead press would be a good comprimise to include shoulder work and hit my tris that little bit more.

Also the exercises i picked are my favorite exercises based on multiple factors, not what someone told me.

Op… how long have you been lifting may i ask?

So heres the deal. I refuse to use someone elses program. It seriously takes half the fun out of working out for me. The idea seems so dull and im just going through someone elses motions.

Im trying to learn the art of creating my own routine.

My goalo with my routine is to find a simple routine comprised of mostly compound movements, and hit every major muscle group evenly. Heres my thinking behind the current routine.

Squats are hitting my entire legs, using full range of motion im getting good ham and glute activation at the bottom. Quads are obviously working too…i dont exactly have any area on my legs that over powers another.

Dips are my favorite, they really hit my chest and i was under the impression as well with all my research that they are superior or at least as good as bench. With good mind muscle connection i really hit my chest hard but feel less of a pump in my triceps.

Then i hit the next major group, my back. I have great mind muscle connect with my lats, and i really feel them with pullups, and again not much in my biceps. This is why later i add a bicep exercise.

Then you have overhead presses. This hit the shoulders and triceps where the dips did not as much.

Then as stated earlier i have bicep curls to hit the biceps more where the pullups did not so much.

So there is my thinking. With this combination of exercises it seems that im hitting every major muscle pretty evenly. The number of sets for me is just the right amount. Its enough load but not so much i cant recover in time by my next workout. I found that with 30+ sets i needed 2 days between workouts to recover, otherwise i actually slowly started to get weaker and constantly needed extra rest days.

I realize i left out info and didnt clearly state what i was looking for. Hopefully this clears things up. Its honestly too early for me to have such specific goals. It doesnt make sense to me to have any goal but to gain size and strength. Once ive been lifitng for a few years then i will focus on more specific goals.

1 solid year. I worked out years ago for a while when i was younger, but took about 5 years off for various reasons, one being i became a father. Now that my son is older and im settled in im back to lifting and its been about a year since i started back up.

I eat 3 square meals, get all my food groups. Plenty of whole wheat, protein from chicken, and eggs, fruit, milk, turkey usually for lunch, and various snacks between meals usually oats/nuts etc.

1 Like

There are several books on the subject that will help you out more than posting on a internet site.Unless you need more specific information from more experienced people.

This really depends on the level of the individual and their goals… Along with possible physical limitations.

This is can become tricky if you arent well read and dont have a complete understanding of yourself or the subject.

I myself have mixed feelings regarding “canned programs” But they have their value for most beginner and intermediate level guys. Until they get their feet under them.
Hell , i use canned programs if I feel it matches my own lifting philosophy and the system speakes to me. But Im a Lazy bastard when it comes to my own program design.
regardless , wish you Luck

1 Like

If anyone is interested heres a couple pics of me now after 1 year using my own programs with a full body routine 3 days a week. Im happy with my progress but i feel like i can do even better.

I mean, I did get to a 1535 total using others programs. I now have a damn good idea of what works for me.

But here’s some problems I see, in no particular order:

Doing 5x5 over and over without some sort of periodization or variation is a recipe for just stalling out.

You have no plan for how much weight you’ll be using or how you plan on progressing.

Rest times?

Your push/pull set ratio is off. You have 10 sets for pushing, 5 for pulling.

You’re lacking upper back work. Try some rows. Facepulls can also help with this. Shrugs?

You’re lacking lower back work. Try deadlifts or hell, even just back extensions.

You’re lacking lateral delt work. Facepulls would give you upper back and lateral delt work and some rear delt. I’m a fan of them.

And your intuition about not enough tricep work is probably right.

No calf work.

You only listed 1/3rd of your program. You vaguely mentioned two other “high rep” days.

That said, given your picture, I think you look fine for 1 year of work.

If you want to learn more about theory behind strength training/bodybuilding, I would check stuff out from Greg Knuckols, Mike Israetel, and Chad Wesley Smith.

1 Like

This poses an interesting philosophical question for me;

Are you opposed to doing someone else’s routine if you manage to come up with it independently of having known it existed? Essentially the random genius theory?

I ask, because the routine you’ve posted has been done many times before. It’s definitely someone else’s routine.

1 Like
  1. Refuse to do someone else’s program.
  2. Ask for tips for a program

Pick one. The majority of programs mentioned here and in general are just general layouts for planning progression and periodization and are fully customizable for your own personal needs. Take 5/3/1 for example, you don’t have to do bench, squats, deadlifts and military press. You can do incline/decline bench, front squats, trap bar deadlifts and push press instead and the assistance work is up to your needs and wishes as well.

I’m fairly positive the issue with your benching is form related. It doesn’t matter if the movement doesn’t “hit your chest” and it isn’t sore afterwards as long as you get stronger and there’s no pain in your shoulders. If you take your bench from 5x5x80,0kg to 5x5x110,0kg, your chest will be bigger and a shitton stronger. Dips are a great exercise and if they hit your chest as well, they are not a bad one to use. However unless you are going to add weight, they suck as your main upper body strength movement.

And no, it’s not too early to have a specific goal. It’s too early for you to say that you refuse to do programs written by other people who have done this shit for 20-40 years that have worked for thousands of people. As I said, most of the programs only give you the general layout and some kind of a plan to help progress for a long time and are still fully customizable. You can have a specific progression plan from any program you want and still do what ever you want as assistance work as long as it doesn’t interfere with the main work and you would still be following the program.