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MikeM 03-26-2012 11:31 PM

Incorporating fullbody and speed, Mike's next routine
OK, time for me to figure out what my next routine is going to be, and I’m open to some suggestions/thoughts.

My goals by Dec.2012 are: Raise Squat, Bench, and Deadlift numbers in the main, but also I want to increase my C+P to BW or above. I also want to figure a way to add dynamic lifts to my squat and bench, because speed works well for me. When I get the bar moving, I am much better, so I need to incorporate that as it hides my inherent weakness in just flat out butt strength.

However, I don’t want to do straight up Westside template, because I want to squat 3 times a week and I want to do cleans pretty much every day too. Also, I want to work the lift itself more often and not isolation movements or variations so much. Not the least important is that I can pretty much only count on getting to the gym M-W-F for the forseeable future, maybe a Saturday, but even that’s doubtful. Four days midweek are out completely.

Anyway, my thoughts have led me to design a few routines based around fullbody which is what I want to go back to anyway, none of which are perfect, but I thought it might be fun to hash out the pros and cons of each and see where this gets us.

A few parameters: I want to base it around squats, 3 times a week. It’s my worst lift and I want to make it much better or die trying. I also want to work my back as much or more than my pushes as I think that is a weakness too. At minimum, a pull with every push and as often as possible they match row for bench, chinup for OHP, etc.

Also, most fullbodies avoid a max single, but I think at least once a week for each big 3 lift, you should hit a max single then backoff for the work sets. But, for me, deadlifting should maybe only be once a week as I apparently don’t recover from max efforts on those very quickly, although maybe that would change if I did them more often(?), nor do I want to do speed work with them as my form is suspect to begin with, and for the most part I think cleans handle the power aspect of that lift.

So, that said, here’s my ideas:
A fullbody w/ some Westside dynamics:
Mon Wed Fri
C+OHP 3x3 P. Snatch 3x3 C+PP 5x 3
Squat 1x1, 3-5 @90% Squat 5x5 ramping to 85% Speed Squat 8x 3
Bench 1x1, 3-5@90% DB bench or floor press 5x 10 Speed Bench 8x3
Row 5x5 across DB row 5x 12 Row 5x 10
BNP 5x 8-10 OHP 5x5, 1x 5 PP PP 2x1, OHP 5x5
Chinups 5x5 Pullups 5x 3 NG pull-ups 5x5
Deadlifts 1x 1, 10 in 10 min.
*Could shift speed bench to Mon and max to Fri. maybe?

Sort of an HLM Dan John type, every plane worked everyday, routine:
C+OHP (L) C+PP (H) C+OHP (M)
Squat (H) Squat (L) Squat (M)
Bench (H) Bench (L) Bench (M)
Row (H) Row (L) Row (M)
Chinup (M) Chinup(H) Chinup (L)
RDL (L) Stiff DL (M) Deadlift (H)

*H=100% singles or doubles +backoffs, M=speed workout for Squat and Bench, 90% for a few triples with no backoffs for everything else, L=75-80% 5-10 reps/set period, except SLDL and RDL which are 5 reps at most.

I also thought maybe a simple ABA might be best, but then putting speed in was sporadic and I don’t think I’m benching enough (3 times in 2 weeks).

High Pulls 3x 3 C+OHP 1x 1, 3x3 P Snatch 1x 1, 3x3
Squat 1x 1, 5x 3 Front Squat 1x1, 3x3 Squat 3x 20 rep goal
Bench 1x 1, 5x 3 Deadlift 1x1,10 in 10 m. Bench 3x 20 rep goal
Row 5x 8-10 Pullups 5x max Row 5x 30 rep goal
Chinups 5x max Dips 5x max Chinups 5x 5
OHP 5x 8-10 PP 3x 1, 1x 3

C+PP 1x 1, 3x 3 Front Squat 1x 1, 3x 3 C+OHP 1x 1, 3x 3
Squat 1x 1, 5x 3 Bench 1x 1, 5x 5 Squat 5x 5 across
Stiff Deadlift 3x 5 across Row 5x 10 Deadlift 5x 1, 3x 5 across
Pullup 5x 3 Chinup 5x 5 + weight Pullup 12 for time, 4x max
Dips 5x 10 + weight OHP 5x 5 ramping Dips 5x 5 +weight

All have a basic progression, you hit the reps, you add weight, or as your max increases, so does your backoffs by percentage.

Anyway, none are perfect. And I have variations of those as well, it seems I love to make workout routines maybe more than I actually like to do the work!  But I just feel like there’s a perfect routine out there, and I can’t quite grasp it. Anyway, I’d love to hear your ideas/criticisms regardless.

Yes, I could just do a tried and true method like Wendler’s, Westside, etc. But, I’m not sure I want to. A lot of those are purely about getting a big powerlifting total, and while I do want that, I also want to be all around strong and reasonably fit as well. Let’s face it, I’m not going to be setting records most likely, but I do have goals for being overall strong, able to do any major lift decently.

I have no interest in rocking a monster bench, but then I can’t do a pullup for example. I want to be strong front and back, minimize weaknesses as much as possible.

There you go. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of this.

Edit: I posted this from word, so obviously all my word columns got crunched. Hopefully, you can figure it out, or maybe some computer god can save me from myself and make this readable! Man, I am just not very technical at all!!

BendtheBar 03-27-2012 12:05 AM


Originally Posted by MikeM (Post 227716)
OK, time for me to figure out what my next routine is going to be, and I’m open to some suggestions/thoughts.

I love seeing big posts like this. Grabbing a big glass of milk :)


A few parameters: I want to base it around squats, 3 times a week.
Ok, how about:

Day 1 - Squats
Day 2 - Speed squats
Day 3 - Squats

Like this:

Day 1 - Squats 5x5
Day 2 - Speed squats
Day 3 - Squats Single

This allows more rest after the volume work to deal with DOMS and the physical demands of volume. It is basically how Madcow and the Texas method are structured, except you are adding speed work as your light day.

I like bench the same way...more rest after volume rep work. The single work is easier to recover from physically.


Squat 1x1, 3-5 @90%
Are you trying for a max squat each week? Or a max daily single based on how you feel?

The singles at 90% are off your daily single I assume? If so, good.

Now, regarding frequent overhead pressing - hard to do. Not a fan to be honest. I think 2x a week is a limit, and I wouldn't try 3. Mileage may vary. Your template has 5 OHP variations. I would drop some. Also perhaps drop the row on deadlift day. You have 5 back movements plus chinups. That's plenty.

This is one suggestion, simplified:

Clean and Press
Squats 5x5
Bench Volume

Power Snatch
Speed squats
Speed Bench
Chin Ups

Clean and Push Press
Squats Single
Bench Single
Neg Pull Ups

Friday is destruction day. You hit the gym and crush PRs.

I'm sure there will be other suggestions. Merely providing you with some food for thought.

MikeM 03-27-2012 01:41 AM

That never occured to me, allowing speed lifts to be "light" lifts. I assumed medium at least.

Definitly food for thought.

MVP 03-27-2012 05:37 PM

I like BTB's routine he gave you, but I'd opt for strict presses, weighted dips and some sort of single leg exercise as well. I always try to follow a double legged movement (squats) with a single legged movement (like step ups). I love the Olympic lifts being brought into the routine.

BendtheBar 03-27-2012 09:01 PM

Bumping for Mike.

MikeM 03-28-2012 01:02 PM

BtB, yeah I don't like the excess OHPing either. I can fix that though by dropping to just cleans on the heavy bench day.

MVP, interesting idea about doing single leg stuff after double leg. Have to give that some thought too.

OK, I like the basic format, now I'm wondering if there's too much volume per day, or if the reps scheme's are efficient enough.

For example is a lone single with some volume at 90% enough to stimulate 1rm growth?, or is it too much and same growth could be accomplished with less?

And what's some ideas about accomplishing volume day? 5x5 across? But the first sets are too easy and the last too hard, usually. Seems there should be something more efficient and less time consuming. Plus, I like the idea of competeing with yourself.

SOmething like 3 sets with a 20 rep goal, you make the 20 reps, you add weight. But it that enough volume? Certainly at first, but over time as you get used to the system? What are some other creative ways to do volume with little competitions with yourself, or doing volume so it's not just grinding relatively boring set after set?

Also, what about only deadlifting once a week? Is that enough? I have had trouble recovering from heavy deadlifts this past few months, but maybe if I did them more, that would get better? Or because the lifts would medium weights for repetition on the other day9s), they would just tax me somewhat uneccessarily and not be worth it in the end? The goal with deadlifts is to get to 405, I don't particularly think doing highish reps with deadlifts is that good for me, but I could be wrong of course.

Same with volume per day. The way we have it, there's one to two exercies per day that are truly max effort hard, then mostly higher rep stuff with the others. So, once this gets rolling, total volume seems manageable, but is it efficient? Once the weights start rising with this, I might be in the gym for 2 hours, even restricting rest times, so perhaps some pruning is needed?

Finally, I want to be refining form with this routine, but as this goes along, I may realize I need some tricep work for bench press, or leg presses for squats or something like that. Tough to work that stuff in an already jammed routine.

I actually wonder if it wouldn't be better to design something around what is best for each lift, then fit the pieces together. So, squat routine, bench routine, cleans, etc. Then shuffle them around to make them maneagble?

Sorry for the long post, but if you slogged through it, hopefully it was interesting. This stuff is fascinating to me. Just tons of different ways to skin the cat. :)

MikeM 03-29-2012 01:04 AM

Now this article I just discovered is pretty interesting considering what I am trying to do. I'd love to hear from this guy about how I should be handling volume. :)

Increasing Weekly Training Volume – Muscle and Brawn Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Muscle Building.

Only problem is that I think you can incorporate the some max effort singles along with a reasonable amount of volume per week and just stay with 3 days per week instead of increase to 4 or 5 days with switching exercises, etc.

I'm positive there's a balance between the two ideas. Always looking to crank out a max in the big lifts once a week, but also have an eye on the long term with good volume using increasingly better form on the lift itself rather always rotating variations of the lift.

That's my problem with westside, etc. Right now, when I am learning the basic core lifts, I should be doing the basic core lifts and only bring in alternatives when I have a clear weakness that needs attention.

For guys like me, right now the weakness is in the lift itself, I haven't done enough of any lift to say I have a weak lockout, or whatever that needs attention, etc.

I need to do the lift itself, often. Squats and bench for sure. Deadlifts, well jury is still out on that. C+P twice a week sounds reasonable, but even that is open to discussion.

And how many times do you need to do chinups for god's sake? :) Is all out once a week enough, or should you be steady with reps per day?

I feel like this is a puzzle to be decyphered. Perhaps I am being too ridiculous, but I can't help it. I love trying to figure this out.

austin.j.taylor 03-29-2012 07:02 PM

I have been squatting like this and it sucks, but yet awesome at the same time

Tu-light OH squat
W-4X5 working to 65%
F-4X5,1X3, 1x8
Sa-Events and front squats

MikeM 03-30-2012 12:26 PM

That looks interesting, Austin! Is that monday a ramping 5x5 or across?

The more I read, the more I am inclined to think I should hammer away at squats as often as possible, then bench, row, and clean twice a week, deadlift, OHP and Chins once a week.

I could do squats 6 days a week, too. 3 times a week at the gym, heavy, medium, and speed, then do sets of Squat jumps, Goblets, and maybe OH squats at home on the off days.

Squats are my biggest weakness, if I focus on that for a bit, then the likelyhood of all my lifts getting better seems pretty high even if they have a lesser focus. Squats are a big tide that should raise all boats! :)

Thanks, Austin!

I'm now thinking of something like this:

M- Cleans (85-90%), Squat (H), Bench (speed), Row (L)
W- C+P (to 100% of PP), Front squat (M), Deadlift (H), Chinups, Dips
F- P Snatch (L), Squat (speed), Bench (H), Row (H)

Then I could phase in BW, Goblets, etc. on the off days as I get used to the routine. This also allows for adding in some specific assistance stuff as it becomes obviously needed, because each day has fewer exercises. I could do squats first too. I'm only keeping it with a power move first as I like doing them first as you know you are warmed up fully by the time you start squats.

But, I still like BtB's idea the best. We'll see. Got a week to decide! Thanks for the help!

austin.j.taylor 03-30-2012 05:09 PM

I do ramping 5X5, sets across are very very boring and I feel the first few sets are a waste.

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