Newbie Here - Programming Help
My name is Kevin and I have been lifting more or less strictly from my cellar and garage since I was in college. Now at age 39, I have made some gains of course and currently stand at 6-3, 230 lbs but I am still seeking more. I am not afraid to admit that I am still fairly weak. For the most part, I have done things simple and basic because I started training following the advice of Brooks Kubik and especially the late John Christy from the old Hardgainer newsletters. As a result, I`ve made progress over the years but I always seem to get so confused and bogged down in the details and many variations of the different 5x5 routines.
For example, John Christy advocated doing the 5x5 with 3 top sets, Brooks Kubik recommends 1 to 3 top sets, Wendler (5,3,1), which I am trying to follow now has me doing only one top set. What happens is I always switch from one style to the next or mix and match programs and lose faith in whatever current method I am doing. It seems like a nasty cycle for me.
My goals are simple, I just want to get a lot stronger in the big compound lifts, namely the squat, trap bar deadlift, bench and seated thick bar press from rack which I love doing. My other lifts are basic such as one arm rows,close grip bench, barbell curl, weighted sit ups, side bends, thick bar timed holds, and chin ups (band assisted) and pushups. I have a family and do not compete and my lifting goals are just personal in nature and I want to lift and eat well as a lifestyle for many years to come. I just want to look better and be stronger !
One of my biggest questions is my programming? Currently, I cycle my workout over a 3 to 4 week wave or mesocycle. Week 1 is 85% for sets of 5, week 2 is 90% for sets of 3, week 3 is 95% for singles. Then I repeat but microload weight for next wave or I take a deload in the 4th week first periodocally. Basically I am doing the Wendler program but feel the two sets prior to the top set do not contribute anything but tire me out for my top set. As a result I have been doing the same programming but just doing warm up sets with 1-3 reps and then hitting my top set for 2-3 sets. Then I saw Primal 5,3,1 on this site and this is similar to what I am doing but it calls for 5 sets across which seems like too much for me unless you are a beginner?
Lastly, I am not sure if I should even be programming my lifts like this and instead should be doing straight 5x5 week to week using microloading and or double progression to progress week to week. That is what I had done for many years and recently I just switched to the wave programming.
I am so confused.....Any help would be appreciated ....