Yet another "Routine Advice" thread!

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by Beefster, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    Looking for input on my current routing.
    For me...5'11", 235 lbs, BF~15%. I don't do 1RM very often, but.....Bench~345, Squat~455, Dead~425.
    Weighted dips heavy set-135x6
    Bent rows heavy set-255x6

    BB goal oriented but recently did a 6-week stint of the 5x5 with good strength results. I generally like alternating sets of opposing muscles. My current routine looks like the following. The following are pretty intense working sets and don't include warmups.

    Incline BB Press - 4x10,8,6,6
    (alternating sets with)
    Weighted Pullups - 10xBW+25,8xBW+35,6xBW+45

    Weighted Dips - 10xBW+90,8xBW+115,6xBW+135
    (alternating sets with)
    Bent BB Rows - 4x10,8,6,6

    Biceps - 3 sets of BB curls supersetted with DB hammer curls

    BB Squats - 5x12,10,8,6,4
    (alternating sets with)
    Standing overheard BB presses - 4x10,8,6,6

    Stiff leg DL - 2x10,8
    (alternating sets with)
    DB lat raises - 2x10

    Flat BB or DB Press - 4x10,8,6,6
    (alternating sets with)
    Weighted Pullups

    Weighted Dips
    (alternating sets with)
    Deads - 4x10,8,6,4

    Triceps - 3 sets of Skullcrushers supersetted with rope pushdowns.

    BB Squats
    (alternating sets with)
    Standing overheard BB presses

    Leg presses - 3x10,8,8
    (alternating sets with)
    Upright rows- 2x10

    I also fit in calves on leg day and hit a few sets of heavy shrugs once a week. I'm not in the gym for more than an hour per workout....most times it is 45-minutes.

    Any input appreciated....especially concerning volume and frequency.
  2. AnimalMass

    AnimalMass Junior Member

    Honestly, it looks a bit scattered, and is really just a typical pyramiding reps workout. However, that being said, you are working each muscle group twice per week, so the frequency is good and the volume looks about right. It's actually better than 90% of the routines I see posted on here.

    My biggest problem with it is daily muscle selection. I'm confused as to why you chose those specific muscles to be worked on each particular day...

    Right now you have:

    Monday: Chest, Lats, Biceps
    Tuesday: Legs and Shoulders
    Thursday: Chest, Lats, Erectors, Triceps
    Friday: Legs, Shoulders

    I'm assuming you do abs at some point as well.

    So my biggest question is why are you working shoulders and legs on the same day? Those aren't opposing muscles. Not only that, but your front delts have to be getting killed with this workout, since you are benching on two days and overhead pressing on the other two.

    I think a four day program is perfect. I think that hitting each bodypart twice per week is perfect. I think your volume is about right.

    However, I think pairing up Legs, Lower Back, Abs, and Calves is a good way to go. Then pair up Chest, Shoulders, Lats, and Arms on the other day. If you want to work opposing muscles, then you would need to do horizontal lat work with bench pressing and vertical lat work with overhead pressing.

    If your goal is to gain size, then I believe the split I just mentioned is optimal, because it allows the largest number of MUs to be recruited and fatigued in a given workout.

    Finally, I'd seriousliy consider ditching the pyramid reps. Pick a certain rep number and stick with it. Maybe right now you want to work on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. If that is the case, pick a weight and do 4 sets of 10-12 with the same weight. Your last set should be really, really hard. If you want hypertrophy of the myofibril, do 5x5. If you want strength and Neuromuscular efficiency, then do singles and triples for a couple weeks.

    I honestly believe that the success of any program is based upon just a few things...

    1) A wise approach to daily muscle selection (i.e. - an upper/lower split, push/pull type split, or full body 3x per week split.)

    2) A combination of heavy compound movements in both the neuromuscular efficiency range (1-3) and the "gut busting" range (5x5 or 4x10).

    3) A wise approach to volume and overall stress of entire periods of training. (i.e. - learning when to push yourself, how to push yourself, and when to back off.)

    Hope that begins to point you in the right direction.

  3. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    Thanks for the response AM. Yes, I do abs.....but probably don't target them as often as I should. In saying that, however, I don't use a belt and feel like my abs get some work with the heavy squatting. I won't go into my thinking behind my workout, as it is probably full of holes. I will say that I tend to pyramid so I can build up to heavier weights in a workout. I just find that warming up, and then immediately doing heavy sets, without working up to it, is a little unnerving. Guess it is just a confidence thing.
    As far as your suggestion:
    Day 1: Legs, Lower Back, Abs, and Calves
    Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, Lats, and Arms

    Day 1 Questions:
    Would I be squatting and DL 2x/week or squatting one day and then DL the other? If doing both, which do you suggest doing first in the workout? Not sure if my lower back could handle squatting, DL's and stiff-legged DL's in the same workout. Also, stiff-legged DL's 2x/week or 1?

    Day 2 Questions:
    The exercise mix to use seems like a lot of volume?
    How would this sound:
    Incline BB press or Flat DB press
    Standing overhead BB press
    Weighted Dips (form targeted @ chest)
    Weighted pull ups
    Bent BB rows
    One exercise each for bi/tri like BB curl, hammer curl, skull crushers.

    Thanks again AM.
  4. Freddy

    Freddy Junior Member

    AM gave you great advice.

    One thing I'd like to add...if your raw squat is 30 pounds over your deadlift, you probably aren't doing ass to the grass oly squats, which are probably the ideal squatting style for recreational bodybuilders.

    Unless you're exceeding 25% bodyfat, I don't think you could oly squat more than your deadlift. My training partners and I all deadlift about what you do, but our olympic style squats are only around 250-300. That means ass to grass, no wraps, no belt, no suit, no briefs, and a medium/narrow stance.

    Now, when I put my suit and briefs on, widen my stance, and only squat to parallel, all of a sudden my squat jumps to 455 too (did that just the other week actually). I'm talking REAL, competition parallel here, no quarter squatting.

    Now, I'm not trying to be a dick here. My point is this. If you want to squat a ton of weight in competition, you squat like I just described.

    BUT, if you want to build thick, musclar legs (which I assume you do), AND remain healthy and injury free (again, I assume you do), you train with oly squats.

    Medium stance, ass-to-floor (one of my training partners can touch the floor with his ass), high bar, raw squats.

    If you make the transition I bet you'll be pleased.
  5. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    Thanks for taking the time to inject your imput Freedy. oly?

    As I said before, my 1RM's above were ballpark numbers. The limiting factor for my DL is grip. I quit using straps some time ago and have yet to get to the working weights that I did with them.

    When I squat, I have a narrow-to-medium stance and carry the bar on top of my traps and go below parallel. Now, for me to touch my ass to the ground, or anything close to it, would required something of my body that isn't possible. Not sure if it is my age (36) or body structure, but my body just won't do that. I have been squatting for years and it is still somewhat uncomfortable for me. And yes, I have good form when squatting. As far as "raw" or not, the only thing I may use is a belt when I am feeling good and go for a 1-3RM. Also, FYI, I had surgery early this spring to repair a torn miniscus but feel I am nearly 100% recovered this some slight soreness after a hard day of squatting.
  6. Freddy

    Freddy Junior Member

    So you're saying that your deadlift is way down because of your grip?

    Ok, I can handle that. I just get suspicious when guys claim to be squatting ass to grass and its way more than they can deadlift. For most efficiently trained athletes, this is just impossible unless they're bodyfat is greater than 25%.

    I've competed and trained with a huge variety of athletes, and the only time this is possible is with huge, superheavy lifters.

    But if your deadlift is weak right now, that could make sense.
  7. Grizzly

    Grizzly Member

    Do you stretch your calves? It might help with your depth. I used to say the same shit. "Oh, I can't get down far. My body doesn't do that" and then I stretched my calves and dropped the weight to 135lbs and worked my way up.

    I now squat ass to calves without a problem. I don't know if my ass actually touches my calves, but, as far as I can discern, my body is at the utmost bottom position.
  8. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    Look, I am not on here to exaggerate my lifts. I could really care less how I stack up to anyone other than to myself. Also, I started this thread to get advice on my routine....not to determine if I am squatting "properly" by some peoples account. I'm not trying to be a dick either, just feeling like I have to explain or justify something that I didn't intend for this thread. Thanks for you input though.
  9. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    I never used to stretch them until I read on here some time ago you stating this. I now stretch them, along with warming up my abs and lower back, before stepping under the bar. Has it helped? I think, but it has only been a couple of months.
  10. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    Ok, so this thread has taken a turn. I appreciate any feedback concerning my routine, but lets go ahead and talk about squatting depth even though it probably is an exhausted subject.

    What is the difference, from a muscle stimuli, between going just below parallel and going ass-to-ankles? The way I see it is when you are coming from deep in the whole, you recruit mostly glutes and hams. Do your quads get tasked appreciably by going ass-to-ankles?
  11. kasper2133

    kasper2133 Junior Member

    Could a split hitting all of these aspects look lihe this:

    Benchpress 5-10 heavy singles + 5 x 5
    Dumbell shoulderpress 4 x 8-12
    Weighted dips 4 x 8-12

    Squat 5-10 heavy singles + 5 x 5
    Bent rows 4 x 8-12
    Barbell curls 4 x 8-12

    Military presses 5-10 heavy singles + 5 x 5
    Incline benchpress 4 x 8-12
    Close grip benchpress 4 x 8-12

    Deadlift 5-10 heavy singles + 5 x 5
    Chins 4 x 8-12
    Dumbell curls 4 x 8-12

    Maybe some additional legwork on Friday in the 8-12 rep range.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2004
  12. Freddy

    Freddy Junior Member

    Ok, Beefster, just relax now. You're taking offense to my comments and you shouldn't.

    You misunderstood my point. I wasn't trying to lecture you, I just saw what appeared to me to be indicators of a problem.

    Now, I can't train with you. I don't know what you're capable of. All I can do is identify problems based on what you post.

    Now, under normal circumstances, when I see numbers like that, I think "quarter squats".

    But your deadlift is down which explains why its disproportionate to your squat. If you were quarter squatting, you would be limiting yourself and setting yourself up for an injury. From your disproportionately stronger squat, It looked like you were, so I pointed it out.

    Now, as for your next question. Olympic squats, or squats in general, aren't fantastic quad exercises. They are excellent for building muscle all over your body, particularly your back, quads, and most noticibly (as you noted in your last post) your posterior chain (hams and butt).

    The fact is, olympic squats are an extremely efficient way to gain muscle all over, while staying injury free. By squatting past parallel, you protect your knees. But, as you noted yourself, you'll need to do additional quad work. Its up to you to accomplish this, but the best ways are leg extensions, leg presses, or front squats.

    Again, you took unnecessary offense to my original posts, which was not my intention.
  13. Beefster

    Beefster Junior Member

    No offense really taken Freddy...It has been a long day at work. And I understand your point as a lot of people do the "quarter" squat thing. I have seen what you are talking about (ass to the grass) but really, even with no weight, I can't get that low. Today, I braced myself and squatted down with no weight to see just how low I could go. I think my hams touched my calves.....I think! LOL It was like my knees just wouldn't bend any more? I will pay closer attention the next time I squat.

    Now concerning my questions, any suggestion on the following?
    Day 1 Questions:
    Would I be squatting and DL 2x/week or squatting one day and then DL the other? If doing both, which do you suggest doing first in the workout? Not sure if my lower back could handle squatting, DL's and stiff-legged DL's in the same workout. Also, stiff-legged DL's 2x/week or 1?

    Day 2 Questions:
    The exercise mix to use seems like a lot of volume?
    How would this sound:
    Incline BB press or Flat DB press
    Standing overhead BB press
    Weighted Dips (form targeted @ chest)
    Weighted pull ups
    Bent BB rows
    One exercise each for bi/tri like BB curl, hammer curl, skull crushers.
  14. AnimalMass

    AnimalMass Junior Member


    No. You mis-understood my post. You woudl never want to do heavy singles AND 5x5 in the same workout. I meant that you pick a rep scheme and do that for a few weeks and then move to a different rep scheme.

    Also, I think EVERYONE should squat at least 2x per week. Period.

    If you want to see a program that covers all aspects of this training than look at DFHT revisited or JS's 5x5 program (which eventually leads to 3x3 and then singles to peak strength).

    I have to go to a Christmas party, but soon (sometime this weekend) I will post one thread with all my favorite routines, and you'll see that everyone one of them are basically a variation of the same thing - but tweaked differently here and there for different needs.

  15. AnimalMass

    AnimalMass Junior Member


    The fact is, unless you are a competitive powerlifter, EVERYONE should squat ass to ankles. If you can't get that low with your current stance, then bring your feet in. If you still can't get down, then it's a flexibility issue, which can and should be corrected.

    It will save your knees.

    For hypertrophy purposes, range of motion is everything. Not going all the way down is like not touching your chest on a bench press. More muscle fibers are recruited and fatigued when the greatest range of motion is used.

    As for your quads, front squatting is, IMO, almost as good as back squatting. If you back squat heavy once or twice per week and front squat once per week, that's really all you'd ever need to do for your legs, except for calves.

    As for day one, you definintely won't be deadlifting twice per week. However, you definitely will want to squat twice per week. Always squat first, then either deadlift or do straight leg dls, or goodmornings, or weighted hyperextensions. I mentioned to work the erectors. While deadlifting is the best way, it isn't the only way. Deadlift one day, and do something for the other.

    As for the upper body day, look at DFHT revisited thread. That should give you a good idea of how ot set it up.

  16. kasper2133

    kasper2133 Junior Member

    Isnt that phase training or western periodization? I thought it was found ineffective. What i have understood from reading stuff about wsb, you should train for all qualities at the same time?
  17. AnimalMass

    AnimalMass Junior Member

    Good question.

    No, it's not western or linear style periodization. With western/linear periodization then you start with high reps and low weight and gradually move to low reps and high weight.

    With JS's 5x5 you stick with the same rep scheme (5x5) and continue to add weight (which gradually builds up fatigue) until you can't handle weight increases anymore. At that point you drop the squatting frequency to twice per week (usually) and drop the reps to 3x3 which will allow recovery to occur since the volume and frequency are reduced, eventhough intensity is kept high. If strength is a concern, then you can reduce frequency even a bit more (to squatting once every 5 days or so) and work up to hevay doubles and singles. (Although if you are primarily concerned with size you don't really need to do this.)

    Which brings me to my next point...your training goals dictate (obviously) how you train, and in what rep ranges. If you are training primarily for strength (as I do) then we believe that you need to constantly keep intensity high and train in the 1-3 rep range. However, if you are constantly training in the 1-3 rep range then you also need to be training for hypertrophy using the rep method (training in the 5-10 range or as JS calls is "gut busting" sets. (These are the points I was trying to make above.)

    Now when you train for hypertrophy primarily, I still think frequent periods of high intensity work (with regards to 1 rep max) are extremely useful. However, the "gut busting" sets become the primary stimulus for growth. Therefore, it is easier, when training for hypertrophy to train in specific rep ranges for a specific amount of time. (Which may only be for one workout.) Maybe you have a day with higher intensity and a day with lower intensity and higher volume. Or maybe you train in the 10-12 rep range for a week or two, and then move to a different rep range for a week or two. There really is no set way to run reps, because it is based on what your hypertrophy goals are.

  18. Freddy

    Freddy Junior Member

    Hi Beefster, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, I've been kinda busy.

    Anyway, AnimalMass made some great points.

    Something else to consider...if you can't get down all the way, you might need olympic shoes. They're a pretty good investment, and last very long. If you're serious about "oly squats" then its generally a good idea to buy at least one pair.

    BUT, that being said, as long as you're getting below parallel, you're probably ok. I wouldn't sweat it too much. Get the oly shoes if you've got the cash, but if not, don't sabotage your training over it.

    I'm not trying to get you frustrated to the point where your training suffers. As long as your knees are ok, and you're below parallel, again...its likely alright.