T Nation

What Should I Do?



I have been training consistently for the past year and a half. Since I started working out, I always did basically the same thing that revolved around a 5 day split routine consisting of
1 Back
2 Chest
3 Legs
4 Shoulders
5 Arms

With abs and calf work spread throughout the week. This as lead me to good gains, well fairly 32 pounds of muscle mass and more than two inches on my arms

My training methodology consisted of doing sets with reps lower than 6, and lifting as heavy as i could. I would always favor "raw exercice" to normal gym rat exercice, or, in other word, i deadlift, squat, bench, military press, do chin ups, etc... and
I bust my butt everyday at the gym, and i overeat in order to gain muscle mass. Im still doing mass and strenght gain, but it has slowed down.

Now the question is, I believe it would be a fitting time to change my training routine, is there some sort of program out there who would be different than what im doing right now and that would allow me to make tremendous gain, particularly strenghtwise. I only wish to gain and other 8 pounds of muscle mass.

Here are my stats
5.11, 172 lbs with a bf% around 10
I dont know my 1rm, so here are my 5 rm
bench: 175
Front squat: 210
deadlift: 345
Military press: 120
Pull ups: 14 in a row

Seriously, I would like a program like rippetoe's, but i would rather be working out 4 days a week.
My focus is to gain strenght (in the pl lifts) , to reach a bw of 180, and to gain 15 inches with my guns (they are 14 and a quarter at the moment)

Any ideas about a new routine?

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Have a great, blessed day.


I cant recommend a routine because i created my own but for strength purposes that your after, W4FSB seems to be very good and people have said good things about it.

You dont necessarily have to try a new routine. You can do several things.
1) you have grown and gotten bigger. Therefore you burn more calories now. Try bumping up your calories. Experiment with that (what is your calorie intake like?)
2) switch evercises. Instead of front squat switch to back squats for some time. Switch to Incline Bench. Romanian deadlift. Standing military press/push press. You catch my drift. Keep the compound movements but change it up (dont know if you do that already)
3) Try experimenting with volume/frequency. You could try cutting back your number of exercises or add to it depending on what you are currently doing.
4) Try switching your routine around, legs, chest, shoulders, back, arms (dependant on your recovery abilities) or try a 3 day split try Day 1: Shoulders/Legs Day 2: Back/Biceps Day 3: Chest/Triceps. Be creative

You also have to take into account beginner gains. Your body learns to adapt its the nature of the beast. The trick is to keep adapting and stay ahead of the curve (stay consistent, only switch when you see your gains stall or slow)

good luck bro


Is there a reason you think so? Or are you just getting bored?


Your ultimate goal is to weigh 180lbs with 15 inch arms?



So... if you're thinking you want to do rippetoes 4x/week... what's stopping you from doing ripptoes 4x/week?


Is there a reason you think so? Or are you just getting bored?

-Well, I would like to get stronger on my pl lift, considering my bench press is pretty low. I feel like I could get much stronger, but somehow what I have been doing so far doesnt seem to help me progress as fast as it should be doing, particularly for my bench.

Your ultimate goal is to weigh 180lbs with 15 inch arms?


-I know that when I'll reach 180 lbs I will probably say screw that i want to get bigger, but by saying that, though I might have been a bit misleading, I mean that though it might not be big in the eyes of a t-man, the shape I have now is a lot bigger than average, and I am satisfaied with that. But my main reason is that working out is a real religion, and I don't want my life to revolve around the goal of getting constantly bigger. Bodybuilding is a sport for me, buts its not the end of my life. I like it, I enjoy it, but its not my main goal, and i estimate that the efforts that I would have to invest in order to get let's say over 200 pounds would be way to high in comparison to the importance that I give to it. TO desire having 15 inches arms here is gay, and indeed its pretty gay compared to a guy with 22 inches of arm, but, as a conclusion, bodybuilding is a sideline for me, I'd rather give more space in my life to my wife, to my God, to my friends and to my career. But that doesn't change the fact that I like muscle and strenght.


I don't think you'll find a single person on this website that got to a bodyweight of 200lbs and larger than 15 inch arms that had to revolve their entire lives around bodybuilding. You just eat more than most people, and get to the gym 4 or 5 hours a week for a few years.


... err, 15 inches flexed or unflexed???


You could try Wendler's 5/3/1, any of the numerous westside templates, beginner's sheiko... Also read Nate Green's latest article on Thibs' training methods.

Specialize in bench press for a bit. Work chest twice a week with a high-intensity, medium-volume program.


Actually it does take somewhat of a commitment to lift 4-5 times a week and to eat more often than most people. If his goal right now is 180 then that good because it's attainable in the near future, which will keep him motivated until he reaches his goal.
Now let's be honest he might just find that 180 is not quite what he expected once he gets there and he might set a new goal until he his satisfied.

Let's get real, not everyone wants to be 220+. If he's happy at 180, 190 or 200 well that's his prerogative.
The guy enjoy lifting, why do you feel the need to put him down?


To give an answer to those who critices my goal, lets say i'll try to go as far as I can with the reasonable amount of time I judge fine to give to bodybuilding. But on the other hand, you need to agree that working out is more than 7 hours of gym work. The 2 hours following your workout are, for me to say the least, useless cause they are unproductive. you also spend like 10 hours or more per week just to eat more than other people. You also have your mind always filled up with muscle stuff, and you seem to always derive from what you should be doing to reading stuff like T-Nation article. Anyways... I guess you get my point even if for some of you that might not me an issue.


I have been thinking "creatively" about what I should be doing as one of you suggested,and here is what I came up with. However, I'm by no mean an expert and this is where you, who are more experimented than I, come into play.
I feel like that this routine could work very fine with how my body functions (strenght-gain wise) however I'm not sure if this is going to be too much stress on my joints, cns or just too much for my overall recovery capacity. So here is the deal, tell me what you think about it.

Monday work set
Squat 3 x 5
Military press 3 x 5
Pull-ups 2 x Max
decline crunch 2 x max

Tuesday work set
Deadlift 3 x 5
Bench 3 x 5
Back Extension 2x 8-12
Dips 2x 5-8
Barbell Curl 2x 5-8

Thursday work set
Squat 5x3
Military press 5x3
Db row 3x8
Leg raises 2 x max

Friday work set
deadlift 5x3
Bench 5x3
Lunges 3x max
Skullcrushers 3x5
Barbell Curl 3x5
Shrugs 4x5

Exercices arent written in stone, they're more an indication of what should be worked, so there will be variations through the period of time i plan to do that.




Sorry my friend, but this looks really terrible for many reasons. Get on a program designed by a professional for now. Design your own after you've done some reading and have some experience. Not trying to be mean, I just know you're not going to make any progress off of this and I'd hate for you to waste your time.