Intermediate Program Critique
Hey guys, I want to give a shot at writing my own program now that I consider myself "intermediate". I've made good gains on a 5x5 and 531 but I want to take those concepts and apply them to be optimal to myself.
I respect the opinions that I receive on this website, any feedback on this is appreciated.
My goal is to get over 190lbs. I started out at 135-140 and now am 182. Nutrition wise I eat 3700-3800 calories a day. After a big first year I'm going up around 1.5-2lbs a month, which I think is good.
A couple of things I considered:
- I have time to get 3 good workouts in a week lifting. When I trained 4 days I was rushed sometimes by life things.
- I like periodization. Rotating weeks of high/medium/low reps definitely spoke to my body.
- I wanted a clear form of progression in the program.
- Focus on the compounds (squat, deadlift, bench, press)
- Don't go crazy on assistance. I want to the correct rep work in, but having 4-6 assistance exercises felt like too much for me.
- Squats 3x8x65% 1RM
- Assistance: Leg Curl 3x10; GHR 3x10
- Bench 3x8x65% 1RM
- Assistance: Barbell Rows 3x8; CGBP 3x8
- Deadlift 3x8x65% 1RM
- Press 3x8x65% 1RM
- Assistance: Good Morning 3x8, Shrugs 3x8, Dips 3x10, Pull Ups
Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Press go to 5x5x75% 1RM
Assistance stays the same.
Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Press go to 5x3x90% 1RM
Assistance stays the same.
If I complete the required reps for the compounds I bump them up by 5lbs on upper body and 10lbs on lower body.
If I do not complete the required reps I keep the weight the same and fight for more reps. If 2 weeks pass by and the reps have not stalled I bump down by 1RM and reset.
I feel like I can handle the volume on the compounds, but maybe I need to adjust the %'s?
Is there something I have completely missed? I'm not perfect.
My only thought is the jumps between weeks seem a little large. I would start lower and build from there going up 2.5-5% per week.
Secondly the Cube does a pretty good job of waving intensity an volume without having to develop your own system
Are you looking to compete or simply gain size?
And lastly I always like to err on the side of light when developing percentage based programs. What I mean is like Wendler and others propose start at 90% of your max and make that your training max that you base your percentage on. You an always go up and if you're not interested in training to failure never stall throughout the program.
I'm making a lot of assumptions since the only goal I know of yours is body weight based. So take this with a grain of salt
I will have to check out The Cube method, I'm not familiar with it.
I am looking to gain size, but I do compete for fun.
Your point about % at 1RM is spot on. I didn't clarify that I was borrowing from Wendler's 95% of your actual 1RM as a working max.
You gave me some great ideas to think about.
Only thing I would add is that you might want to tame the deadlift volume.
--Deadlift 3x5x65% 1RM
--Deadlift 3x3x75% 1RM
--Deadlift 3x1x90% 1RM
You also never want to do that many reps at 90%. Periodization should involve a decreasing of volume and in increasing of intensity.
Check out the Prilepin table:
Percent..............Reps per Set.......Optimal.......Total Range
70 and below ............3-6 ................24 .................18-30
70-80 .......................3-6 ................18 .................12-24
80-89 .......................2-4 ................15 .................10-20
90+ ..........................1-2 .................7 ..................4-10
I believe both Louie Simmons and Dave Tate have commented that many of the injuries they have seen have come from pushing for too many reps on the 90% work.
Thanks, BTB. Huge help right there.
BTB hit it on the head. 90% for that many reps is not safe or really going to be a real 90%. I think you have good ideas though.
For the risk of sounding like an ass, you should check out my ebook. It fits what you are looking for. Take it, manipulate it to what you like.
:rolleyes::rolleyes:^^^^this guy :rollseyes lol just kidding JB :)
I agree with KCS, the jump from week 2 to 3 is huge. I would also do a bit more back work than you have in there, but that might just be personal preference.
I also agree that if you are looking to use something that cycles intensities like that, the Cube is a great option. I just finished two consecutive cycles of it before I went to a westside inspired split at my training partner's insistence. On the Cube I hit PR's consistently for every lift and definitely knew I was getting stronger. If I try the westside approach and am underwhelmed, you can bet money I will be returning to the Cube.
Thanks for taking the time guys. Going to take a look at everything this weekend... and JB's book.
I followed BIG for one cycle. Started it just after my first meet where my total was 700 lbs. After the 1 cycle, my next meet I hit 788 lbs....an increase of 88 lbs.
I ran another cycle after my second meet, next meet (2 weeks ago) I totaled 822 lbs, 34 lb increase.
122 lbs total in 2 cycles...I HIGHLY recommend it
(Ok JB, I did my part, send me the $20.00)
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