Program Structure

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by FourOneDeuxFitt, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. So most of last year I ran the PHAT Program by Layne Norton and made great progress with the program. Afterwards I started running John Meadows programs up until currently (about 7-8 months worth) I’m more than halfway through The Gauntlet and my current blast as well. I’ve hit the point where I’m honestly just bored with it. It’s not really all that enjoyable. Yeah the workouts are tough and I can see the changes in my physique but it’s just not cutting it for me if that makes sense so I’ve decided to design my own program as @Necessary Evil suggested to me a little while back.

    What I’m looking for is everyone’s favorite intensity techniques (drop sets, rest pause, cluster sets etc) and how you utilize them in your own programs, exercises for muscle groups that you’ve utilized to really help weak parts or just your favorites. Days on vs days off. Etc...

    I’ve been looking a lot at John Jewett and his program design which I like a lot and remind me a lot of a Jordan Peters style program. It’s set up:

    Chest/Shoulders(front and side Delts)/Triceps
    Back/Rear Delts/Biceps
    Chest/Shoulders(front and side Delts)/Triceps
    Back/Rear Delts/Biceps

    Also stated that possibly an OFF day after the first 3 days depending on recovery ability and etc.

    Goal is to crush compounds movements without too many accessory movements and be able to hit more compound lifts for the muscle groups a second time in the week. Figure out the right amount of volume and intensity to be able to do so as well. I understand it’s trial and error. That myself will be different from others and etc.

    Just looking for opinions, suggestions, and everyone’s favorite movements and techniques.
    Necessary Evil and ickyrica like this.
  2. ickyrica

    ickyrica Member Supporter

    Subbed for knowledge.
  3. While I really like the structure of most programs by John Meadows and other big names, the programs they make aren't specifically for you. As I have said many times none knows your body better than you do. That's why, after I have experimented with many I decided to make my own and honestly the difference is night and day. There isn't a single exercise that I "hate" and I never get bored of it since I have programmed it to change some movements depending on the mesocycle as well as changing some periodization protocols to keep it fresh.

    My current favorite split is Lower/Upper/Full Body[Targeting mainly weak points and using some "unorthodox" movements to achieve it] and Lower/Upper. Basically, it's a 5 day split with two rest days. I have incorporated 3 types of periodization with it. Linear progression, DUP [Daily undulating Periodization] which in my opinion is the best since on average you hit all of the muscles fibers of a given muscle and lastly Block periodization; which I personally prefer to have two blocks; hypertrophy and strength. Lastly, I pretty much hit everything x3 per week, which is supported by the latest research as slightly more optimal. This is where I suggest you to start, first decide what kind of periodization works for you and then build from there.

    I, just like you, prefer to mainly do mainly compound movements. So Squat, Romanian Deadlift, Overhead Press, Barbell Bent Over Row and Bench Press are a must and then I fill out the rest with isolation movements opting to utilize metabolite techniques such as super-sets, giant-sets for maximum metabolic damage.

    Here is a guide that was written by Dr. Mike Israetel which helped me tremendously to build my own program. [1] Also, on video form [2]. If you have any more specific questions I will be happy to chime in and share my two cents.
  4. I was waiting for you to chime in and as always you come through with solid information. I just got done reading through most of the first part of the guide. It’s exactly information like this I was looking for. I think aside from myself a lot of members on here are going to benefit a lot from this thread when it’s all said and done.

    Thanks as always.
    AnTabolic73 and Necessary Evil like this.
  5. Btcowboy

    Btcowboy Member

  6. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter

    What’s your goal through this? Extreme hypertrophy, a bit of a powerbuild, not get bored?

    That goes a long way in determining structure of a program. Take my statements here from a pure bodybuilding perspective.

    2x a week programs are great no matter if you’re juiced or not. Regardless, I believe diet and sleep (ie rest) are required to be on point for this to be more than just be volume split into two days. Obviously geared guys can handle much more volume, but I’d be careful doing too much volume of the same heavy compound multiple times a week or for too long. They should ALWAYS be the staple of a program. Anyone building a program around isolations is nuts.

    My favorite 2x a week program looks very similar to yours with the difference being that each day has a primary muscle and a secondary muscle(s). Heavy/pump, mechanical/metabolic, however you want to make it:

    Heavy chest/shoulder Tricep pump
    Back/bicep pump
    Quad/ham pump/calves
    Shoulder and tri/chest pump
    Ham/quad pump/calves

    The secondary muscle doesn’t get a break, just more volume less load or less intense movementns. On a day like back/bis, my second back day would just be higher volume as opposed to second chest day where it might decrease and shoulders get crushed.

    If I go to a 4day split I tend to keep it straight as I find that’s enough time for recovery.

    Train hard, eat, and rest. The fine details can sometimes be minutiae that detract from the goal. Just my .02. Goodluck!
  7. My goal throughout this is growth. I figured the best way to do so is with a caloric surplus and repeating compound movements as frequently as my body will allow it to. I also keep a log so my plan was to pick two main compounds for each body part and week to week keep challenging myself with those lifts, if I can’t beat the previous week or at least meet the same to switch the compound (took a note from DC Training). But I agree with not stressing the body with the same compound week to week so for instance with chest like you have your program set up to have an upper focus first in the week and then later in the week focus on lower chest movements. Same for back early in the week focus on a pulldown or Row and later on in the week rack pulls or deadlifts and etc.

    I was more or less just seeing what the members here favorite intensity techniques were, how they set their programs up utilizing them and also with certain rep ranges as well and lastly just everyone favorite compounds they use that they feel benefit them the most in terms of muscle building and strength.
  8. ambulldog

    ambulldog Member

    @Necessary Evil id be interested to see your 5 day u/l/full workout laid out
  9. X2
  10. Sorry, just saw the message. I'm quite busy the last couple of days and I don't have that much time to follow any of the threads in here. I have it on my laptop and will post it probably when I get home.
  11. ambulldog

    ambulldog Member

    Appreciate it
  12. KetoMuscles

    KetoMuscles Member

    Following. Thanks for the info all.
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.
  13. First week of the new split is pretty much completed. Today was supposed to be Hams and Glutes but I just finished tiling a 2,446sq/ft house the last 10 days so my legs are in no shape to be trained at the moment.

    What I noticed from using the rest pause sets was a deep soreness the day afterwards. I’ve definitely put my muscles under a new type of stress. Also, lifting heavier with lower reps is a nice change of pace. My goal is to progressively get stronger over the next few months and in doing so I’ll be sticking with the same starting compound movement for each workout week to week until I fail to beat the previous week in either reps or weight being used for X amount of reps. For whoever gives a shit what my workouts look like they’re in my log. I’ll keep you guys posted and since I finished this job today I’ll be a lot more consistent with training and will also post diet when I figure out exactly how I wanna attack that. Split right now looks like this :
    PUSH (upper chest focus)
    PULL (vertical pull focus)
    PUSH (lower chest focus)
    PULL (horizontal pull focus)
    * may add a rest day after QUADS/CALVES
    ambulldog likes this.
  14. showstoppa

    showstoppa Member Supporter

    So @Necessary Evil is a really knowledgeable guy and is using mutiple progression models at once, he is much more advanced than most on here.

    Fourone, you have come a long way in your knowledge. So gonna ask you this...where are you personally at in the progression model?

    I.e. can you make substantial progress running a linear progression model with an amrap set thrown in? I.e. linear periodization. Can you do this running small amounts of volume i.e. minimum effective dose. Essentially can you make progress on a 5/5/5+ set model for the main lifts? I.e add 2.5lbs per session?

    If not can you do while rotating lifts and only progressing 2.5 lbs as the lifts come up? I.e. concurrent training like DC training. Can you do so without using intensity techniques like rest pause.

    If you can't then you will need to decide do I want to add volume slowly and surely until I reach maximum recoverable volume or do I want to use another progression scheme first that allows mutiple linear progression or do I want to skip straight to a intesity techniques.

    My advice is usually the following

    Linear progression model like greyskull lp with the amrap sets. Drop to one set all out amrap if need be to continue to progress. Use sub maximal bodyweight movements to really ramp volume without causing cns fatugue.
    Every other session progression in the same program after mutiple deloads setting rep records along the way. I.e. weekly progression
    Deloading and roatating the lift out and resorting back to the LP model. Do this twice the. Eventually go back to the main lift again. Run the main lift in the schedule starting from the beginning. Usually you can fly past your original numbers before you stall again.

    Once you stall again I suggest going to a rotating lift schedule similar to DC training without the intesity techniques. So over a two week period you have 1A,1B,1C and a 2a,2B,2C days. Progress linearly for as long as you can in the big lifts using intensity to drive progress as much as possible. I try and have people keep the volume at minimum effective dose as long as possible because once you reach the maximum recoverable volume point you are going to have to move into more and more complex progression models to continue to progress.

    The above will usually take the person thru the first 3 years at least of training and by the. The trainee should be damn strong and should have out on substantial muscle if that was the goal. If that wasn't the goal and fatloss was, well they should have receached that goal by now and plenty more gains can be had using the above model and eating shit tons of protein and being in a surplus.

    After this is compete I like to try and have guys milk the lp model for everything it is worth if size and strength is the goal using the madcow method of weekly progression and an under reaching to over reaching approach. I usually have people run atleast 2 mesocycles of this. We continue each meso cycle until we over reach to the point we can not progress weekly anymore even 2.5lbs and progress is going backwards. This is usually in the 9-12 week range. I have them rotate the lifts out and go to varients and repeat. My advice is to do another round with the main lifts again but by this point most people want to move on from this model is it's hard or they have reached their size goal.

    For the person who has maxed out the above I like to move them to a dependent model of reverse pyramid training as described by Martin berkham if they are looking for bodybuilding style goals. Set rep records along the way. This is the point I considerost an intermediate in the progression model. If the person's goal is strength I have them run two-three rounds of the Texas method or until they hate life because the Texas method sucks.

    The RPT model can continue for years rotating lifts in and out but routinely people bog down for some reason or another in less than a year.

    This is where I start encouraging volume for the sake of volume. I treat each lift independently except for when running mad cow. So as rpt starts stalling I have people do the following using the following set structure
    Set 1-4-6 reps
    Set 2- 8-10 reps
    Set 3- 10-12 reps

    We start week one doing the low end of the rep range even if we can do more. We add in 10*5 @60% for that lift right after.

    So for press it might look like this with a 200lbs max
    Set1- 175-4reps
    Set 2- 155-8 reps
    Set 3-140-10 reps
    Then 10 sets of 5@60% which would be 140.

    Progression model is we move up one rep each set on the rpt set weekly until we reach the top of the rep range after week 3. We the. Add 10lbs for upper body lifts and 20 lbs for lower body lifts to each set and repeat.

    On the volume sets we add 2.5lbs per session.

    The above usually drives progress for a long time especially switching for variants after stalls. But this will not always work for each lift. Use the volume scheme for each lift that you need to drive progress, might be 5*10 instead or 6*6 with short rest periods. Do the above for two main lifts at a time picking the areas you want to focus on whether it be strength or hypertrophy. Keep the volume on the other mainlifts to an acceptable level to allow full recovery.

    This is what I do for most that are not planning on seeing on stage and want to just look great, look jacked and are more recreational lifters in the fact they have families and no desire to be Mr Olympia. I do this same model for everyone, natural or not. The accessory and supplemental lifts are designed based on progress and goals.

    But by all means those that have aspirations of making a living so this, get strong but also ramp the volume to MRV levels. This will get you bigger faster, but has its own set of risk when injuries plus you plateau much earlier rushing it.

    Tomorrow I'll try to break down the above model further and explain how to use varients to focus on certain body parts while still staying within the above framework. This is if I don't get too busy at work.

    Later this week so will try to post some stuff where people should go from here especially using the power building side if things using westside varations if the concurrent model with supplemental and accessory lifts.
  15. I appreciate your time to write all of this and give me your input. Just like you’ve suggested the first thing that stuck out to me was the same thing @Necessary Evil said to me is that I’m trying to do too much with too many variations.

    I could absolutely progress with something much more simplified with out the rest pause and etc. I look forward to seeing the rest of your break down just know I take the time to read it all a few times over so your time isn’t going unwarranted.

    I appreate it all.
  16. showstoppa

    showstoppa Member Supporter

    No problem, I'll try and get some more typed up tonight but having some family things that may prevent that.

    Btw sorry about the spelling. I was typing on my phone.
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.
  17. Could care less about the spelling. Whenever you have some more free time I’d appreciate your opinion.
  18. Btcowboy

    Btcowboy Member

    I like your structure you set up. Infact I think you have done amazing to date and tend to follow your lead as you have done so well.

    That said I am planning my own for the new year and it will look something like this.
    3 - 4 week blocks each with an emphasis on a major muscle group.

    Block 1

    Block 2
    Back heavy
    Back more iso movements

    Block 3
    Legs heavy
    Legs more iso

    The layout is similar to program x as it works for me but changing the focus and will change up the movement selections. Trying to set up following Mike Israetel's guide.

    Right now this is my first draft and will be tweaking it over the next month before I start it. Just a start lol
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.
  19. I likenkt a lot. In fact I like your idea of various blocks. That hadn’t even crossed my mind. The guys had pointed out to me I was pretty much just trying to do too much all at once so I’m going to simplify things a bit. Just like I did with quads yesterday I’m gonna stick with that until I stall out. Now seeing what your doing I may also make a few chances. 4 week blocks for chest focusing on upper first and then lower and for back focusing on width and then density. Appreciate your input man can always learn something from everyone.
    Btcowboy likes this.
  20. KetoMuscles

    KetoMuscles Member

    Wow! I’m going to have to read that more than a few time to even pretend it made sense.
    Thanks for the info. There’s no doubt in my mind you get paid well for that knowledge and probably had to pay a lot to get it.
    FourOneDeuxFitt likes this.