T Nation

What Do You Think of My Program?

Hey All

I’m looking for the most functional muscle mass. Meaning im not interested in gaining size. I’m more in a gymanstic/olympic lifter mentality/frame of mind. I want to be strong, but not necessarily big.
If i grow a bit bigger, then that’s fine. It’s just really really far down on my priority list.

This is what i came up with. It’s basically an alternation between max effort and max endurance.

I’m just curious if i’m doing anything wrong. I think my max effort upper body days might lead to some burn out/over training. Is it too much?

I’ve been doing exercise for a while now, but on and off.
My biggest problem is burn outs :stuck_out_tongue:

And i just came off of a small mental burn out.

These are my starting numbers. I’ve only been in a gym like 4 times in my life so my numbers are low. Up till now i was primarily an endurance/cardio guy.
Now i’ve decided to be more well rounded off to try for some strength.

The progression of the plan works like this:

Increase every two weeks by:

Weights: 5 pounds (anything max effort basically)
For pushups: 3 reps.
Pull ups: 1 rep
Jack knife: 5 seconds
Wall sit: 20 seconds
Plank: 10 seconds
Jump rope: 10 reps
Farmer�??s walk: 10 feet
Holds: 10 seconds
Everything else: 3 reps/ 5 seconds

Every 2 months reduce everything by half on last week
Then continue next week from normal schedule:

Arbitrary Example:
Week 1: 500 pounds total
Week 2: 500 pounds total
Week 3: 550 pounds total
Week 4: 550 pounds total

Week 5: 600 pounds total
Week 6: 600 pounds total
Week 7: 650 pounds total
Week 8: 275 pounds total
Week 9: 700 pounds total, etc

Also,

Notes: All power days: 2 minute break between sets

All Endurance days : 1 minute break between sets, pullups done with legs perpendicular to floor

Cardio is done 2 hours after final exercise. Cardio can consist of running (at least an hour), biking (at least 2 hours) or swimming (at least half an hour). Cardio only done on endurance days, never max effort days.

Day progression:

Day 1: Upper Body Power 1

Day 2: Upper Body endurance + cardio

Day 3: Lower Body Power 1

Day 4: Lower Body endurance + cardio

Day 5: Upper Body Power 2

Day 6: Lower Body Power 2

Day 7: Cardio

Upper body power 1: Warm up �?? 5 minute jog + 25 pushups + 5 pullups

Front dumbell raise - 3 sets of 5 - each weight 25 pounds
Lateral raises - 3 sets of 5 �?? each weight 25 pounds
Bent over lateral raise - 3 sets of 5 �?? each weight 25 pounds
Dumb bell flys �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? each weight 30 pounds
Bench press �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 150 pounds
Military Press �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 150
Barbell bent over row �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 170
Upright Barbell Row �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 170
Pullups �?? 6 sets of 5 (wide, chin up, pull up, alternate hand position * 2, towel) - total weight of 200 pounds
Dips �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 230 pounds

Half an hour break �?? eat and drink
Captains of crush number 1 hand grip �?? 3 sets of 5

Upper body power 2: Warm up �?? 5 minute jog + 25 pushups + 5 pullups

Front dumbell raise - 3 sets of 5 - each weight 25 pounds
Lateral raises - 3 sets of 5 �?? each weight 25 pounds
Bent over lateral raise - 3 sets of 5 �?? each weight 25 pounds
Dumb bell flys �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? each weight 30 pounds
Bench press with dumb bell �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 140 pounds
Military Press with dumb bell �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 140
One handed Barbell bent over row each hand �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 90
One handed Upright Barbell Row each hand �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 90
Pullups �?? 6 sets of 5 (wide, chin up, pull up, alternate hand position *2, towel) - total weight of 200 pounds
Dips �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? total weight of 230 pounds

Half an hour break �?? eat and drink

Captains of crush number 1 hand grip �?? 3 sets of 5

Upper body endurance: Warm up �?? 5 minute jog
50 normal pushups with 10 pounds
15 wide grip pullups with 10 pounds
50 knuckle pushups (palms face feet) with 10 pounds
15 chin ups with 10 pounds
50 knuckle pushups (palms face chest) with 10 pounds
15 pull ups with 10 pounds
50 wide pushups with 10 pounds
Captains of crush 1 squeeze for 10 seconds *10 each hand
15 mixed grip 1 pullups (one hand suppinated, one hand pronated) with 10 pounds
50 hands close push ups with 10 pounds
15 mixed grip 2 with 10 pounds
50 diamond pushups with 10 pounds
15 towel pull ups with 10 pounds
20 dips with 10 pounds
15 pullups with body parallel to floor with 10 pounds
50 military pushups with 10 pounds

5 minute rest

Hold 30 pound (each hand) dumb bells overhead for 2 minutes
Hold 30 pound dumbbells front at shoulder height �?? 2 minutes
Hold 30 pounds dumbbells to the sides at shoulder height �?? 2 minutes
3 minute break

Repeat dumb bell exercise but upside down

2 minute break

Flys hold, stomach down with 30 pounds for 2 minutes
Flys hold, stomach up with 30 pounds for 2 minutes

Lower Body Power 1: Warm up �?? jog 5 minutes and do 2 sprints (each sprint is 10 seconds)
Back squats �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 180 pounds
Deadlift �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 170 pounds
Romanian twists barbell �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 70 pounds
Dumb bell side bends -3 sets of 5 �?? 90 pounds
Hamstring crunches �?? 3 sets of 5

Farmer�??s walk �?? 200 pounds �?? 100 feet

Lower Body Power 2: Warm up �?? jog 5 minutes and do 2 sprints (each sprint is 10 seconds)
Front squats �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 180 pounds
Deadlift �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 170 pounds
Romanian twists barbell �?? 3 sets of 5 �?? 70 pounds
Dumb bell side bends -3 sets of 5 �?? 90 pounds
Hamstring crunches �?? 3 sets of 5

4 hours later �??

Sprints �?? 13 seconds full out sprints * 10

Lower Body Endurance: Warm up �?? 5 minute jog
Stomach Vacuum �?? 2 sets 20 seconds
Leg raises �?? 30 �?? 10 pounds to legs
Hanging pike �?? 20 �?? 10 pounds to legs
Knee raises �?? 20 �?? 10 pounds to legs
Plank �?? 3 minutes 30 �?? 10 pounds around mid section
Ab roller �?? 20
Wall sit �?? 7 minutes 30
Jump rope one leg �?? 160 each leg �?? 10 pounds to legs
Jack knife = 1 minute
One legged squat �?? 35 �?? 10 pounds to legs

Thanks

Wait, you’ve got over 120 posts and you’ve ‘only been in a gym like 4 times in [your] life’? You do know this is a weightlifting website, right?

I kid.
Kind of.

What do you mean by ‘max power’ and ‘max endurance’. I’M thinking max power means 1rm on squat/deadlift/benchpress/clean&jerk/snatch. I’m also thinking max endurance means ‘marathon/triathalon’

In either case, I’d advise you to ditch your current training program and do Mark Rippetoes ‘starting strength’. Your body will respond as a beginner, 120 posts notwithstanding, and so you should train as a beginner.

The endurance bit… I’m afraid you’ll have to check out runnersworld for that. I’d just advise you to eat a lot so you can continue to have energy to train and grow in the gym.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Wait, you’ve got over 120 posts and you’ve ‘only been in a gym like 4 times in [your] life’? You do know this is a weightlifting website, right?

I kid.
Kind of.

What do you mean by ‘max power’ and ‘max endurance’. I’M thinking max power means 1rm on squat/deadlift/benchpress/clean&jerk/snatch. I’m also thinking max endurance means ‘marathon/triathalon’

In either case, I’d advise you to ditch your current training program and do Mark Rippetoes ‘starting strength’. Your body will respond as a beginner, 120 posts notwithstanding, and so you should train as a beginner.

The endurance bit… I’m afraid you’ll have to check out runnersworld for that. I’d just advise you to eat a lot so you can continue to have energy to train and grow in the gym.[/quote]

Max power: the focus of that day is on pushing strength (max effort day basically). Basically high intensity low volume work.
Max endurance: same deal but endurance. So low intensity high volume.

I’m not really a beginner in terms of exercise. I’m just new at the “gym”.

Also, you shouldnt judge someone’s training log on the number of posts :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically i want to know:
-Are my upper body max effort days too intense (too many exercises, volume, etc)
-Is the exercise plan (in itself)doable?

Your program sucks.

You should pick a program (try Dan John, Ripptoe, or 5x5), and add or substitute in your endurance work.

Buy Rippetoe’s starting strength. You clearly know a lot about endurance, but don’t know much about strength training. You are over thinking things and not focusing on the important lifts. A basic rippetoe style novice routine is

Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press
5x3 Power cleans

Workouts A and B alternate on 3 non-consecutive days per week.

Add a little weight on the bar every time until you can’t. When that stops working you can develop more complicated routines and incorporate some more assitance exercises.

Rippetoe’s is good for developing strength. If you wanna call it ‘max power’, that’s cool- it’ll still boost your 1rm in the squat, bench, deadlift and clean, probably more so than most programs.

As far as your endurance goals are concerned, unless you’re passing a PT test or in a competition of some kind, there’s not really much point. No one cares if you can squat for 3 minutes straight with 135 on your back (unless, I suppose, you’re Oldfart).

More, endurance is specific- Lance Armstrong can bike six hours, but can’t run a marathon. So if you’re going for the kind of muscular endurance that allows you to do fifty pushups… it won’t help you running. I suppose that’s why you have running in your program.

So to answer your questions:

  1. Your max effort days have too many exercises. Do Rippetoe’s instead.
    2)Your endurance days lack focus. Come up with a goal, and then train for that.

for now do starting strength.

later you should reduce the number of reps and increase the sets. your CNS is most stimulated with higher weights. its also good to have muscles and that will come anyway just by eating enough. and after 2-3 years you can drop the body fat. depends on your goal weight

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
Your program sucks.

You should pick a program (try Dan John, Ripptoe, or 5x5), and add or substitute in your endurance work. [/quote]

Why does my program suck?
I’m asking for specifics here, not 2 word answers.

[quote]Otep wrote:
As far as your endurance goals are concerned, unless you’re passing a PT test or in a competition of some kind, there’s not really much point. No one cares if you can squat for 3 minutes straight with 135 on your back (unless, I suppose, you’re Oldfart).

More, endurance is specific- Lance Armstrong can bike six hours, but can’t run a marathon. So if you’re going for the kind of muscular endurance that allows you to do fifty pushups… it won’t help you running. I suppose that’s why you have running in your program.
[/quote]

Holy fuck.

And my body fat is very low. Why did anyone even mention body fat, i said i wanted it specifically for strength.
Those values are my starting numbers since i dont have the technique and proper form to start with weights i can lift. It’s just so i can get used to it and then move on as i get better.
Can people who actually know what the fuck they are talking about answer?
I’m not asking you for a program, i’m asking you for what’s wrong with MY program.

[quote]blazindave wrote:

Why does my program suck?
I’m asking for specifics here, not 2 word answers.

[/quote]

Your program has waaay too many exercises. There is a lot of good exercises, but unfortunately you can’t do them all in one day. Since you are beginning and I am assuming focusing on strength and not body building, you want a routine that is based off just 3 or 4 compound lifts. Compare the routine I showed earlier (Rippetoe/Starting Strength) with the one you proposed.

That could be why he said “in 2-3 years”. Just a wild guess.

If you are trying to get stronger, you have too many sets of too many exercises per workout. Also, you should take some days completely off: three or four days per week is plenty, everything else, especiallyt he endurance work, will just cause you to accumulate fatigue until you burn out.

Do Rippetoe’s Starting Strength or Stronglifts Beginner 5x5 if you want to get stronger. Your program will just wear you out.

Also, quit swearing and insulting people who are trying to help you, it makes you sound like a whiny kid.

Oh and before I forget, “functional muscle mass” is completely meaningless without specifying what function you want it to perform: functional for an Olympic lifter is completely different than functional for a marathon runner.

I’m guessing you meant ‘efficient’ (a word that an engineering student, by the way, should be very familiar with), which just happens to be a function of your CNS. The CNS is trained primarily by gaining strength at low reps, kinda like in the Starting Strength and 5x5 programs everyone on this thread has suggested.

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
If you are trying to get stronger, you have too many sets of too many exercises per workout. Also, you should take some days completely off: three or four days per week is plenty, everything else, especiallyt he endurance work, will just cause you to accumulate fatigue until you burn out.

Do Rippetoe’s Starting Strength or Stronglifts Beginner 5x5 if you want to get stronger. Your program will just wear you out.

Also, quit swearing and insulting people who are trying to help you, it makes you sound like a whiny kid.[/quote]

It’s cause ive been getting dumb answers.
This one is more to my liking.
The endurance is there because i need it to be there.
I’m trying to keep in my triathlon training to some degree.
More answers like this please.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
tom8658 wrote:
If you are trying to get stronger, you have too many sets of too many exercises per workout. Also, you should take some days completely off: three or four days per week is plenty, everything else, especiallyt he endurance work, will just cause you to accumulate fatigue until you burn out.

Do Rippetoe’s Starting Strength or Stronglifts Beginner 5x5 if you want to get stronger. Your program will just wear you out.

Also, quit swearing and insulting people who are trying to help you, it makes you sound like a whiny kid.

It’s cause ive been getting dumb answers.
This one is more to my liking.
The endurance is there because i need it to be there.
I’m trying to keep in my triathlon training to some degree.
More answers like this please.
[/quote]

Here is a good premier of the rippetoe/starting strength routine me, tom8658 and a few others were recommending

[quote]anoddparadigm wrote:
blazindave wrote:

Why does my program suck?
I’m asking for specifics here, not 2 word answers.

Your program has waaay too many exercises. There is a lot of good exercises, but unfortunately you can’t do them all in one day. Since you are beginning and I am assuming focusing on strength and not body building, you want a routine that is based off just 3 or 4 compound lifts. Compare the routine I showed earlier (Rippetoe/Starting Strength) with the one you proposed.[/quote]

Alright, thank you.
Will do.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
The endurance is there because i need it to be there.
I’m trying to keep in my triathlon training to some degree.
More answers like this please.
[/quote]

If you had said this originally, I think people may have been more understanding.

If you want to avoid detraining triathlon skills, you need to practice them. Run, cycle, and swim with some sort of progression: don’t do a bunch of general muscular endurance training. Needless to say, you should drop ‘Cardio’ from your program and replace it with your triathlon training. Not much sense in running on the elliptical.

Be sure to account for the calories you spend on the endurance work in your diet, and I think you will be OK, but IANAPT (I am not a personal trainer), so you should watch very carefully for signs of overtraining, I suspect its a very distinct possibility with that kind of workload. If you do begin to overtrain, you will probably have to drop serious triathlon training (in addition to taking a week completely off) and just run/bike/swim a couple times a week for cardio.

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
blazindave wrote:
The endurance is there because i need it to be there.
I’m trying to keep in my triathlon training to some degree.
More answers like this please.

If you had said this originally, I think people may have been more understanding.

If you want to avoid detraining triathlon skills, you need to practice them. Run, cycle, and swim with some sort of progression: don’t do a bunch of general muscular endurance training. Needless to say, you should drop ‘Cardio’ from your program and replace it with your triathlon training. Not much sense in running on the elliptical.

Be sure to account for the calories you spend on the endurance work in your diet, and I think you will be OK, but IANAPT (I am not a personal trainer), so you should watch very carefully for signs of overtraining, I suspect its a very distinct possibility with that kind of workload. If you do begin to overtrain, you will probably have to drop serious triathlon training (in addition to taking a week completely off) and just run/bike/swim a couple times a week for cardio.[/quote]

Haha. I dont touch treadmills and the like. I just put cardio so people knew i was doing cardio, but i didnt go in depth because i figured a “bodybuilding/strength website” would not have much to say about it.

As for the pushups/pullups “endurance” day, it was meant to be the dynamic effort. Do 50 pushups as fast as i can, then do 15 pullups as fast as i can, etc…it was meant to be more of an “active recovery” since i figured it focused more on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy than myofibrilar.

That being said…

Is it ok if i keep my “endurance days” (kind of a misnomer i guess) and change my max effort days to:

Rippetoe like people have been saying. Again, i specify that im not “that weak” (but also not that strong) but just figured i would start my plan with low weights to get my body in the “mood”.

If you guys know of any training plans for purely myofibrilar hypertrophy and CNS, it would be greatly appreciated.

My goals are basically increase in pure muscular mass and CNS developpment. I want to be strong, without looking strong…to put it simply.

Several thoughts

  1. Yes, there’s too much on upper body day. WAY too much. I’d advise you to think about movements rather than making certain each muscle receives stimulation. In other words, keep the bench, the overhead, the row and the pullups, cut out all the shoulder raises

  2. change the schedule so that upper body power isnt followed immediately the next day by upperbody endurance. I’d recommend UB power/LB power/UB endurance/lower body endurance, or some form thereof.

  3. I’m of two minds regarding the 6 day per week thing, and whether it’s too much. On the one hand, that is a heckuva lot, and since you’ll also have swim/bike/run training to get in, you may be overdoing it. On the other hand, since you’re new to lifting, it may be hard for you to overdo your weight room work. You’re going to go into the gym 6 days/week no matter what I say, because i can see that’s what you want to do, but I will say dont be afraid to back off of a day or two (or three) if you feel it would be beneficial

  4. upperbody is getting twice as much work as lower body, and that aint good. I know you’ll be running, but that’s completely different from squats, cleans, deads, stepups, etc. You’re talking about thousands and thousands of plyometric reps with rate of force development being key(running) versus a few dozen heavy reps with max force being the key. I’d switch this to 4 days of UB, 2 days of LB one week, then 4 days LB, 2 days UB the following week, or just 3 days UB, 3 days LB each week

that’s plenty to get you started, and there’s a lot of good advice in the posts above. So digest that, make a few changes to your program and we’ll see what shakes out from there. Also, you didnt ask what I thought about Rippetoe, but you DID ask my advice, so here it is - check him out. His plan is vastly different from yours, but there’s a lot of good things I htink you could benefit from

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
Several thoughts

  1. Yes, there’s too much on upper body day. WAY too much. I’d advise you to think about movements rather than making certain each muscle receives stimulation. In other words, keep the bench, the overhead, the row and the pullups, cut out all the shoulder raises

  2. change the schedule so that upper body power isnt followed immediately the next day by upperbody endurance. I’d recommend UB power/LB power/UB endurance/lower body endurance, or some form thereof. [/quote]

Roger.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
You’re going to go into the gym 6 days/week no matter what I say, because i can see that’s what you want to do, but I will say dont be afraid to back off of a day or two (or three) if you feel it would be beneficial[/quote]

Wrong. I just make sure to take everything with a grain of salt. Alot of people are self proclaimed this and that. I just want reasoning behind why i should change something. Saying “it sucks, do this instead” doesnt make me any smarter or make me understand why.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
4) upperbody is getting twice as much work as lower body, and that aint good. I know you’ll be running, but that’s completely different from squats, cleans, deads, stepups, etc. You’re talking about thousands and thousands of plyometric reps with rate of force development being key(running) versus a few dozen heavy reps with max force being the key. I’d switch this to 4 days of UB, 2 days of LB one week, then 4 days LB, 2 days UB the following week, or just 3 days UB, 3 days LB each week[/quote]

How about if i put in rippetoe’s for the max effort and do the rest as my triathlon stuff?

So monday, wednesday and friday would be the rippetoe program and tuesday, thursday and saturday i would do my triathlon training.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
that’s plenty to get you started, and there’s a lot of good advice in the posts above. So digest that, make a few changes to your program and we’ll see what shakes out from there. Also, you didnt ask what I thought about Rippetoe, but you DID ask my advice, so here it is - check him out. His plan is vastly different from yours, but there’s a lot of good things I htink you could benefit from[/quote]

I did. I like his plan. Or what i saw anyway. Are there any other training plans out there that are worth a look. I’m in it for the CNS and strength, not the look.

Thanks, you re being very helpful :smiley:

[quote]blazindave wrote:
KBCThird wrote:
You’re going to go into the gym 6 days/week no matter what I say, because i can see that’s what you want to do, but I will say dont be afraid to back off of a day or two (or three) if you feel it would be beneficial

Wrong. I just make sure to take everything with a grain of salt. Alot of people are self proclaimed this and that. I just want reasoning behind why i should change something. Saying “it sucks, do this instead” doesnt make me any smarter or make me understand why. [/quote]

I think this is funny because in the very next paragraph you provide a scenario wherein you do rippetoe’s program and THEN add in your other stuff to do to bring it to a total of 6 days/week in the gym. But I guess I’m wrong :slight_smile:

If me saying that you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do came across as an insult, I didnt mean it like that. Just that people in general do what they want, and I can see this is an idea you have in your head. I take you at your word that if I said “no absolutely not, 4 days/week max” you’d do it. But if anyone told you you’d kill yourself at more than 4 days they’d be lying, or thinking of something that I dont know about.

Plenty of very successful athletes spent a tone of time in the gym and somehow managed to avoid the overtraining bogey man. Not just bodybuilders like Ronnie and Arnold, but mma athletes like Forrest Griffin, and take your pick from the team sports in teh us, plenty of workaholics to choose from. So I like the rippetoe/bodyweight stuff. give it a try.

TONS of other training plans. One could argue that there are no bad plans, only poor applications of it. If you are in this for the long haul spend the $30 and buy “The Strength Coach’s Training Playbook” by Joe Kenn on Elitefts. That goes for everyone else reading this thread. I’ve recommended this book more times than you can shake a stick at. I havent used the straight program in that book in years, but theres a very specific reason for that. Nevertheless, his writing, and the principles he has culled for a variety of sources, have been enormously influential on my thinking with regards to training.

One piece of advice sounds very basic, but you would be stunned how often people forget this: always remember that you are a triathlete. Your first, last and only goal should be to improve your times. If your times (or distances, or whatever youre training at the moment) are improving, then stay the course with your work in the weight room. Do not fall into the trap of looking for the “perfect” program. Good enough is good enough and a little tinker here and a tinker there and soon youre doing a differnt prgram every week, with no way to gauge progress. You had better have a DARN good reason to change ANYTHING once you start.

On the other hand, if your times arent improving (or recovery from the running, biking swimming isnt improving) dont be afraid to cut back on teh weight stuff. Cut out what and put what in it’s place? I dont know and I doubt anyone else on here does either, because we’ve never trained weights while training for a triathlon. I’m willing to bet you’ll have to do a lot of figuring out on your own, but that’s not such a bad thing.

stimulating the CNS and increasing muscle, like i said and others said you should do rippetoe’s for a start, and then increase sets, reduce reps. meanwhile the best approach would be to eat until you reach your goal weight. after you do and have cut down you should be eating at maintenance.

if you eat at maintenance you wont gain any more muscle, though the muscle may “turn into” fat or the other way around. that highly depends on your diet and your training of you as an individual.

meanwhile your CNS though will continue to be stimulated and you’ll get stronger