T Nation

Workout Advice

I’m looking to start a very basic routine setup for four days a week and would like some feedback on what I have already. I’m primarily going for strength here and am basing alot of this off of the Different Directions article.

Hyper Extension

Power Clean
Military Press

Good Morning

Power Clean
Decline Bench

I will alternate this routine 5x5 one week and 6x3 the next with 3-5 minute rests the first two weeks and about 60-90 sec rests the next two weeks, etc. Also, every four weeks I will swap the exercises out and change the order they are perfomed during the week. For example, I will replace the Decline Bench w/ Dips and the Deadlift w/ Romanian DL and do my DL workout on Tues, etc.

Here are some of my concerns:

  1. Is it necessary to have a rowing exercise? I hope I will get my back well enough with what I have listed, but I don’t know if the row strengthens areas that I will otherwise be missing.

  2. Will I be working my back too much? I have some kind of back exercise every day, but not really any that consistantly hit the same muscles. I want to work my back because it has always been one of my weak points. My back fatigues way too easily when doing various activities.

  3. Is the potential for burnout too high? Burnout is the primary reason that I will rotate exercises every four weeks, but I’m worried that there might still be a chance for CNS exhaustion.

  4. Am I missing any major body parts? Remember, I’m not shooting for visual appeal here, but useable strength so I’m not really concerned about working my calves or biceps independently. I just want to make sure I don’t develop dangerous imbalances.

Thanks for checking this out,

seems ok… what about some hanging pikes for some explosive ab work.

go with it, if you feel like it is starting to beast you, tweak it a bit,

That’s a pretty good basic program you have there. Is there any special reason that you do not want to do a pre-created program?

In any event, about the rowing exercises: Yes, you should do them, but not neccessarily all the time. If you substitute a row for one of the back exercises after you change your program, that should be fine. One thing a row works very well are the scapular retractors (sp). You also might want to add some chest work from a different angle (dips and decline bench work from primarily the same angle).

It’s a solid program, and covers the basics. Burnout will have a lot to do with your nutrition. Lifting all five days while on a maintainance, or subcaloric diet will lead to faster burnout than with a bulking, or higher than maintainance diet. If you want to avoid burnout, take a week’s break after each 4 week cycle.

Hope that helps,

That’s a good basic strength and mass building scheme. But when you say visual appeal, that kinda throws off the logic a bit. Depending on your frame, with only those exercises…there will be visably noticeable imbalances. I wouldn’t worry much about burnout, thats not a big training routine at all. Good Luck bro.

Thanks to everybody for the feedback. I will probably also add another exercise at random to the end of each workout to cover those muscles I don’t otherwise hit. Thanks again.

Check-out Today’s Cool Tips. I would add a rowing exercise. Don’t train imbalance.

I assume you’re a true beginner. If so, do you have good enough technique in the power clean to express your strength was decent weight? If not, maybe you should substitute pulls or heavy deadlifts. Also, think about some GPP/work capacity exercises on the “off” days.

Ok, I’m going to replace the Hyper Extension with a row. I think that the HE is unnecessary considering the other exercises in the workout.

I do consider myself a beginner since I just seriously got back in weightlifting in the last few months and when I used to do it I just followed other peoples routines. This is also a reason why I want to try my own workout: so I can experiment and try to actually understand the details.

As far as my powerclean goes, I’m guessing most on this board would cringe to see it, but my form gets better every week. Plus, it’s an enjoyable exercise that really keeps me motivated. When I know I’m doing cleans on a day, I get even more excited about going to the gym. I think this is reason enough alone to continue doing them.

I will also be doing cardio/intervals at least 3 times a week plus I snowboard so I didn’t want to go overboard with the weightlifting until I decided I could handle the volume. While not my primary goal, conditioning is a close second for me. I miss the days when I could run a 5k in 20 minutes. I probably couldn’t even make 25 now.

Thanks to everybody for the suggestions.