T Nation

Will This Make Me Stronger?

Hi guys -

I’ve been browsing the site for a while, reading the articles and the posts, and finally decided to make a post myself.

I’m completely new to lifting and wanted to get a critique on the schedule I’ve been keeping for the past 2 months.

Some background: I’m 5’11" and weigh about 180lbs. A little over a year ago I started running to stay in shape. And it was great and helped keep me lean BUT recently I’ve found myself wishing I was stronger than very weak. So I decided to start lifting.

Okay, enough backstory, tell me, is this a good all around beginner’s workout to help me get stronger?

(I generally aim for 3 sets of 6 reps on most exercises so I’ll only specify for lifts where that differs)

TUESDAY
Deadlift
Pull-ups (ss)
Military press (ss)
Crunches (3 sets of 15)

THURSDAY
Squat
Incline Bench Press (ss)
Chin-ups (ss)
Decline crunches (3 sets of 15)

SATURDAY
Sumo Deadlift
Bench Press (ss)
Bentover DB Rows (ss)
Exercise Ball crunches (3 sets of 15)

SUNDAY
Triceps pushdown (3 sets of 12)(ss)
Standing BB Curls (3 sets of 12)(ss)
Wrist curls (3 sets of 12)
Calf raises (3 sets of 12)
Knee raises (3 sets of 15)

I rest for a minute between each set. Most of the workouts take about half an hour, maybe a little more.

Like I said, I’ve been doing it for 2 months already, so it’s good in that I am able to stick with it and enjoy it. I just wanted to check with the experts to see if it was actually effective.

Thanks, guys.

In all honesty it one of the better programs by a beginner ive seen simple and effectivew if put to use

?'s

is it working?

Are you progressing?? how??

why not drop day 4 and put those exercises a few after the core exercises on the three day split?

Why DL and Sumo DL?? Maybe consider something different lunges etc on that day

Are you working hard giving all you have and more??

Phill

Its not a bad looking program and seen as though your a beginner, anything will probably make you stronger for a while…if you put the effort in.

However, why not make your life easy and take the workouts from the coaches on T-Nation.

Then you dont have to worry about whether or not your program is sound…you know it will be! All your mental energy can then be directed towards lifting, not doubting!

[quote]bartbendt wrote:
Hi guys -

I’ve been browsing the site for a while, reading the articles and the posts, and finally decided to make a post myself.

I’m completely new to lifting and wanted to get a critique on the schedule I’ve been keeping for the past 2 months.

Some background: I’m 5’11" and weigh about 180lbs. A little over a year ago I started running to stay in shape. And it was great and helped keep me lean BUT recently I’ve found myself wishing I was stronger than very weak. So I decided to start lifting.

Okay, enough backstory, tell me, is this a good all around beginner’s workout to help me get stronger?

(I generally aim for 3 sets of 6 reps on most exercises so I’ll only specify for lifts where that differs)

TUESDAY
Deadlift
Pull-ups (ss)
Military press (ss)
Crunches (3 sets of 15)

THURSDAY
Squat
Incline Bench Press (ss)
Chin-ups (ss)
Decline crunches (3 sets of 15)

SATURDAY
Sumo Deadlift
Bench Press (ss)
Bentover DB Rows (ss)
Exercise Ball crunches (3 sets of 15)

SUNDAY
Triceps pushdown (3 sets of 12)(ss)
Standing BB Curls (3 sets of 12)(ss)
Wrist curls (3 sets of 12)
Calf raises (3 sets of 12)
Knee raises (3 sets of 15)

I rest for a minute between each set. Most of the workouts take about half an hour, maybe a little more.

Like I said, I’ve been doing it for 2 months already, so it’s good in that I am able to stick with it and enjoy it. I just wanted to check with the experts to see if it was actually effective.

Thanks, guys.[/quote]

Honestly, it looks like a pretty good beginner routine.

I would however agree with phil that you might be better off eliminating workout #4 and just spreading those exercises out through your other 3 workouts. For instance,

W.O #1 + Triceps pushdown

W.O #2 + Barbell curl & Wrist curl

W.O #3 + Calf Raise

There also seems to be a little too much rectus abdominus work (crunches) and not enough erector spinae work (lower back exercises). Really the only exercise you’ve got that really hits the lower back are deadlifts, while you’re doing crunches at the end of every workout.

Perhaps you might try doing something like this:

W.O #1 + Rope crunches

W.O #2 + Bridge/plank work (both normal plank and side plank)

W.O #3 + Back Hyperextentions

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]Phill wrote:
In all honesty it one of the better programs by a beginner ive seen simple and effectivew if put to use

?'s

is it working?

Are you progressing?? how??

[/quote]

I’m with Phill on this one. That looks like a very solid, all the bases covered, basic program. You can get strong on that.

BUT, I would say keep the 4th day in there. You need the ab work, and an arm day never hurt anyone AS LONG AS their other bases were covered (looks like yours are). It looks fine for now. I’ve used a similar program before (almost identical :)) with great results.

If you end up getting burned out/chronically tired or depressed, unmotivated, or if you just stop making progress and plateau for a while, switch up your exercise selection for a month or so. Do a different kind of squat and deadlift, maybe only squat/dl once a week and make up the other leg exercises with lunges/step-ups, etc. Same with bench–switch to dumbells, or switch grips, or whatever.

This is the biggest thing I have to say for advice right now–CHANGE UP YOUR REP RANGES! This is not necessary for your arms/ab day on Sunday though. Chad Waterbury is very fond of this. Either oscillate rep ranges every day (day 1: 5-6 reps, day 2: 12-15 or even 15-20 reps, day 3: 4-6 reps, continue the next week, etc)

or increase rep ranges through the week (day 1-4/5 reps, day 2-7/8 reps, day 3-10/12 reps). These methods will keep you fresher for your heavy days.

Keep making your own programs IMO. It’s the best way to learn what works for you. I think I progressed a lot faster by learning to plan and organize myself than just following written programs (though I have done so in the past with great results). Don’t be afraid to simply do a program written by Chad Waterbury or esp. Christian Thibaudeau though. They make some killer stuff. But, my money’s still on doing it yourself and learning a lot.

Besides what others have said, it doesn’t look like you have much hamstring/glute work in your routine. Perhaps replace Sumo deads with Romanian deadlift, and while you’ve got the rack to yourself after squats, do a few sets of good mornings.

Wow, thanks for all the feedback.

Just for the record, I cribbed the majority of this routine from a friend and don’t know where he got it. I can’t take any credit other than going with it because I knew I wanted something that worked compound movements.

For the most part, it does seem to be working. I’ve been keeping a journal and my lifts have generally improved between 20 to 30lbs since I began (though my pull-ups/chin-ups and DB rows have not improved). I wasn’t sure how much of that could be written off to beginner gains though, or how well-rounded the program was, hence my question.

I think I’m going to leave the 4th day for now. But I’ll to ditch the sumo deadlift for the Romanian deadlift and vary my reps some.

Would alternating between a week of 12 reps and a week of 6 reps be good enough?

Thanks again, guys.

[quote]bartbendt wrote:
Wow, thanks for all the feedback.

Just for the record, I cribbed the majority of this routine from a friend and don’t know where he got it. I can’t take any credit other than going with it because I knew I wanted something that worked compound movements.

For the most part, it does seem to be working. I’ve been keeping a journal and my lifts have generally improved between 20 to 30lbs since I began (though my pull-ups/chin-ups and DB rows have not improved). I wasn’t sure how much of that could be written off to beginner gains though, or how well-rounded the program was, hence my question.

I think I’m going to leave the 4th day for now. But I’ll to ditch the sumo deadlift for the Romanian deadlift and vary my reps some.

Would alternating between a week of 12 reps and a week of 6 reps be good enough?

Thanks again, guys.[/quote]

id still say going with a unilateral move IMO would be better for a 3rd leg day, your hams are getting hit by the DL HARD and squatting etc.

id suggest doing different rep scheme for each day like 4x8-10, 8-10 x 3, maybe 3x15-20. now try and progreessv on these either stick to the samew rep scheme for the same days for say four weeks then change them make 4x8 day 3-15 day for 4 weeks or rotate it weekly where every 4 weeks youd repeat the rep scheme and try and progress on the last effort

Phill

Alternating with 12/6 reps each week is fine. Generally as you become accustomed to your body you’ll start to be more in tune with what is actually working or what is becoming predictable to your muscles.

For pure strength gains, I stick to between 2-6 reps, and keep adding sets until I can’t do more then 1-2 reps. Anything past 8 reps generally turns it into more of an endurance set. Tho 10 is a magical number. Usually I’ll only do 10-15 reps if I’m trying to eek out the last bits of resistance out of my body or just working on just squeezing the last solid contractions with a lighter weight.

Also the concept of alternating between 12/6 rep sets is similar to the alternating the nickel and dime workout. 5x5 and 10x10.

Your workout looks pretty solid! I don’t believe you have included any good mornings. Great excercise for the lower back take your time with it tho!

But I think you could do fine with your current setup for at least 3 months straight.

Another thing is having a spotter helps - use them so you can pump out extra reps and help you lift heavier :slight_smile: - give your muscles a reason to Grow!

Just wanted to chime in and agree that your program looks more or less solid. I would make the changes suggested, especially eliminating the fourth workout (I’m not sure about throwing in hyperextensions, I’ve heard only bad things abou them).

At any rate, my advice to you is to realize that although your workout is solid, your best bet is to switch it around every couple months (or less).

I’ve found personally that my gains are best if I don’t stick religiously to a specific workout for too long. If you’ve been doing this for two months, switch some of the exercises around (free weights for barbells, etc.)

The best of luck to you.