What Program Is Right for Me?

You’ve got the right instinct! The way to fight the paralysis is to Try Shit Out! If you read about something that looks cool, plan a month or 2 to give it a shot. Put some weights in your library and get that experience!

The plan you mentioned, about pushing 3 sets of 4 into 3 sets of 6 ( or 3 sets of 8 into 3 sets of 10) before adding weight is called “Double Progression.” It’s been around for a long time, used by lots of lifters. That counts as “smart.”

Here’s a real short article about it.

Here’s a longer one with a few

How much accessory work to do is pretty individual. Some dudes like a bunch, and some dudes do better with less. Are you getting the chest mass and shape you want with the 3 sets of flies? If so, it’s enough, Carry On.

You can add more accessory stuff if you want, just keep in mind that it may throw off your main lifts. It’s OK if that happens, just be conscious of the reason. Don’t flip out and abandon the whole program!


Cheers! I haven’t been consciously checking mass or shape, just focusing on progressing in whatever way I can. I just wonder if my time could be spent on something more fruitful without interfering with the main movement - I guess it’s a try and see!

Awesome though, i’m going to get started on double progression this week. I don’t see anything saying that you can’t use it twice on the same movement in a week on different rep ranges. Everywhere just seems to use different weeks as an example so I had the belief I couldn’t. I thought a “light” day had to mean less effort.

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Different guys have used different combinations of work. Generally if you do more of 1 thing, you do a little less of the other stuff.

Some routines do the main lifts once a week, with lots of accessories. Maybe this would be best for getting a balanced physique. Or if you had specific weak points to work on with the assistance work.

You remember the Daily Undulating routines with the main lifts 3 times a week, and very little assistance. Maybe this is the best way to drive up the main lifts in the shortest time. Like a performance or “strength” approach.

And in the middle, main lifts twice a week with some accessories. The middle road, combined approach.

For “Light Days” you still need to put in the effort, it’s just different effort. Like sprinting vs running a mile. You still try hard on the mile, you’re just pushing at a different pace. Or like doing dips or doing pushups. If you go to failure on pushups you get more reps than you would on dips, but it’s not less effort.


Great stuff - hopefully i’m in for a good few months of progression with these little changes I’ll be doing. I’m glad I can finally put a name to the kind of split I do, too.

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If you really want to get into the weeds, there are a few different ways to make the lighter day challenging.

Not everyone wants to grind themselves away with intermediate weights.

Sometimes dudes use lighter weights on light day, and really push the pace with short rest periods. Or grouping lifts together in Super Sets or Circuits. So instead of less heavy day it’s like conditioning challenge day.

Another controversial way is to use light weights and actually push the bar faster to make the workout hard. If it feels too light you just explode harder.

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For a while I was doing a sort of 5x5 @ 75-80% on my “light” day as I was preparing for switching to a 5/3/1 style setting.I was advised to not worry about the total on the bar, but moving the weight faster. Even doing that made me feel like left too much in the tank. Maybe that’s the correct way to be, but i couldn’t shake the feeling that just doing 3 of those sets at 75-80% and pushing to 8 reps made me feel like I did more (even though in my head it’s one less total rep and my form would be better on 5s). This could all be to do with my reading on changing my rep range though as i’ve been in the 5s for around 8months now!

The more I learn, the more I realize that most things will probably work until they don’t. When that happens figure out a way to make subtle measurable changes to continue moving forward. And in that, moving a bar faster than you did last week is still taking a step closer to wherever you want to be. This or that answer may be right for you but it might not be right for someone else. I now see why “training history” is constantly banded about.

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If you plan on doing a heavy - light day split I’d consider:

Heavy lower
Full body conditioning
Lower body heavy
Full body conditioning

You could of course swap any / off your off days for conditioning.

By conditioning I mean any high rep high intensity weights stuff. Think “cross fit”. Fran and Grace are pretty assessable. And can be scaled down to be easier. Either with lower weights or using inverted rows in place of pull.ups.

But there are lots of other things you can do. Just search complexs. Some personal favourites of mine:
Squats & press up. 10 reps of each. Either race to 100 or each or sets in 5-10mins. Use a lighter weigh than you think necessary.
Thrusters for time. Use 40kg. It’s harder than you think.
Push press / front squat combo. Against use say 40kg.
Burpees - using different number of press ups per burpee.
Messing around with all that sort of stuff at high enough intensity will add size.

I’m off my deload and a few days into my updated “Hatfield” split. Really looking forward to the next few months of training. I just wondered one thing in terms of the “no full range hinge” on the second workout B (Saturday). On my heavy day i’m doing Trap Bar Deads with the high handles but stood on a plate (i had an issue with leaning and placing my grip right with the low ones). It’s not a full range of motion but still pretty decent I believe - and saves my lower back a little.

I just wondered what would be the best movement to pair with that late in the week on the “no full range” day. For a long time i was doing RDLs on the second day as everywhere i read says that if doing Trap Bar Deads you should get some RDLs which probably does count as full range though. Would this be okay? On trap bar i currently do 5-6 heavy reps, be that, 2,2,1 or 3, 3…3,2,1 etc. On RDLs i would plan to do 3x8 until form breaks down. I wonder if that’s too much deadlifting and clashes with the full range thing though?

I am using Trap Bar deadlifts now at the end of each training week, and I will often utilize the RDL as a hamstring/lower back supplemental movement for similar sets x reps as you mentioned (3x5-8) on another day earlier in the week (usually on my squat day). I think it has been working well for me, and don’t think it is too much.

Like you seem to be implying, your trap bar lift is for lower volume / higher intensity while the RDL will be a sub-max lift for moderate volume. In my opinion, for whatever that is worth, these would be well-balanced that way in such a program.

I focus on progressing with the trap bar deadlift as the priority (main lift). For me, the RDL always comes after doing a main lift and I just give it whatever I have got left in me for that day in terms of intensity. Usually the supplemental work will also tick up in load, but some days I may need to pull back on the RDL or sub in a good morning, nordics, etc…nothing wrong with that imho. Not every day is your best day, but work still gets done.

Seems to me like your idea for a Hatfield Program with trap bar and RDL on same day would also work. Auto-regulating the RDL would be the important part if you ask me.

Awesome, thanks for the reply. So just aim for the 3x8 but not really worry too much about it in terms of progress, just give it what I can. Some days I may even end up doing just the 2 sets, or taking weight off.

How much back volume do you do on top of this? I will be squatting 2x a week as well as chinups one day, pulldowns another, and then a row variation on different days also.

This is a basic layout of what I’ve planned for myself:

Workout A1 (Monday)
2-4 sets of triceps

Workout B1 (Wednesday)
Trap Bar Deadlifts
Overhead Press
Cable Rows
Rear Delt Fly
2-4 sets of biceps

Workout A2 (Friday)
Overhead Press (just some heavy singles to nail form)*
Lat Pulldowns*

Workout B2 (Saturday)
Romanian DL
1-arm row

I put the * next to OHP and Lat Pulldowns as depending on time/how i’m feeling I can sometimes move one of the movements to Saturday. I feel like how I’ve set the program up gives me the freedom to do that, whilst also letting me sometimes take it a little easier on a Saturday if i’ve got things planned, or maybe add some quick conditioning/mobility/another isolation exercise.

After going back through the thread and reading back over the modified Hatfield program I see now more about what you were referring to:


** Monday: Workout A*
** Tuesday: Off*
** Wednesday: Workout B*
** Thursday: Off*
** Friday: Workout A*
** Saturday: Workout B (no full-range hinge, just Prowler pushing or rack pulls)*
** Sunday: Off*

This article was written by Christian himself and if you are intending to run this program I would say you are better off doing it exactly as he has it written (just prowler pushing or rack pulls….not RDLs). No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel here. What I have personally done with my training is irrelevant. I think you at least owe it to the program creator to run their program verbatim at least once before attempting to modify / experiment with it.

Fair enough. Perhaps I viewed it as more of a template than a workout to follow, just as “Upper/Lower split” could mean many different things. I saw in another post that Christian himself said Trap Bars Deads don’t create as much adrenal fatigue as conventionals, and as most places would tell you to add RDLs to your workout if doing them for that little bit extra posterior/hamstring work. I thought it would be the smart move, especially as i’m pulling a 2-4inches from the low handles.

In the article The Very Best Split For Your Goals the author makes a few more statements about the reasoning for no full range hinge movement in the Saturday workout.

In this option, we skip the full-range hinge pattern on Saturday because we did squats the day before. We want to minimize muscle damage to the quads because squats are coming back on Monday.”

So it appears to be related to your weekly frequency of workouts and how you are approaching the training split versus rest days. If you were instead using the EOD (every other day) split then it is mentioned in the article that you can use full range hinges on the B workout again.

From my experience, you want to apply the maximum dose of training that YOU can recover from (what you can get away with in terms of pushing yourself) without negatively impacting the next training sessions. If you can lift heavier weights for more reps more often over a long period of time you will be bigger and stronger. This is the only axiom in lifting I have found to be true for everyone.

Recovery ability has a lot of individual variation in terms of what one person can recover from versus another. If you try adding in things later on or manipulating a program/workout structure (which I think is a good thing long term) it is important to use YOUR own recovery ability as the barometer of success. In this way, you won’t need to ask someone’s “permission” to modify a program as the success and failure is and always has been on YOU.

A bit of a rant there at the end, but on the internet we all see people asking permission to do something with their training…give it a try. If it doesn’t work you will discover that in less than 6 weeks usually, and now you have some useful / powerful information that will assist you years into the future. Not a bad trade if you ask me so long as you are smart enough to avoid injury/harm to yourself. Your body will tell you what is good training stimulus, by reacting, and when you are over-doing it (stagnation/pain/stress).

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Great post dude. I think i’ll keep them in but just stay 2-3 reps from form breakdown on 3 sets. I don’t think that RDLs work the quads very much anyway, or at least they aren’t supposed to if just focusing on the hip hinge. Not just that but I probably won’t go as low with them as some people do. It seems to me from all the form videos i’ve watched that people will often do it wrong, going beyond their hinge and dropping their back for more range of motion. I won’t be doing them that way so don’t consider it “full range”.

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