I'm not quite sure what you are after here Oscar. I explained to you what i do, i pick a coupe of goals and structure my workout accordingly. […] I suggested you maybe do the same towards whatever your goals are. You said no. I can't offer anymore than that, that is how i structure my program
I didn’t say “no”; I asked for clarification or reasons why I would progress less overall by doing more different exercises. It’s a bit of a cliché that you cant chase two goals; but sometimes those goals are not opposing. If the goals were” get big and lose fat”, well, maybe we’d have a problem. But “increase 5 RM across several lifts” is not conflicting. Sure, if I said, “Max my Bench”, then we can criticize the excessive additional pressing, or lack of more tricep work or whatever benchers need. And no I did not say my goal was “increase 5 RM on several major lifts” but seems it was well implied, essentially.
ya but when you think about it, I am a bodybuilder.
Your crazy training routine has about a million redundant exercises, and you would be much better condensing it down into something that suits your goals, and to add to that, you would benefit from defining your goals more clearly.
Yes, I realize you are BB’ing and my point was off base; but your hyperbole is frustrating me. My program is not that crazy and redundant. Recall a discussion we had where you stated that doing two similar movements was silly, just do .. yeah it was a 10x10 thread where someone was doing 5x10 + 5x10, two different exercises. You finished by saying you prefer to stick with one and that you had a bias against the other exercise. I asked what’s wrong with doing two similar movements at ½ the volume, I don’t think anyone said there was. I’m not trusting that some of you names RobertScott are always objective. I don’t think my overall volume is crazy and I will adjust that as needed.
It seems to me like you've asked for opinions on your routine, and the response has unanimously been to change it, and your response to that has been "I'm doing it anyway," so why ask?
While I can’t argue with what “seems” to you, I know that I am taking what you all say seriously. I just don’t accept
everything out of hand. Our realtor quit because I asked too many questions and told her we did not like our kitchen referred to as “updated”. I’m simply asking for more than hearsay or preferences. I could post SL no here if it were unknown an 95% would say “change it”. It’s what happens, see Ken’s post.
Oscar, there is an inherent problem with asking for help, because you will get:
1) good advice on the actual question you asked
2) bad advice on the actual question you asked
3) good advice on what an astute reader will realize you should have asked
4) bad advice on what a less-than-astute reader thinks you should have asked
Making matters worse, most people are followers on most things. This is not a bad thing, I may be a leader in my area of expertise, but when it comes to basically everything else in life I'm a follower. We all are. So there is an inherent bias against self-programming built directly into the human race. Again, it is less so here at exrx.net, but it is always there. This means it is inherently difficult to get advice on a self-programmed situation because there are so many variables in play between you and any other poster.
I bet you are an excellent father
For instance, can you absolutely connect the dots between your goals and your program? If not, then ignore everything else until you can nail that down. For what it's worth, here's my chain of reasoning:
1) Broadest goal, general health
2) Since "any exercise is better than no exercise", I choose free weights because I like them
3) Between BB, Power lifting and Olympics, I can cross of BB, and choose Power lifting because it's easier to learn and does not require bumper plates and a platform in my basement.
4) To keep it interesting, I pretend I'm competitive and set my specific goal as an increasing combined total of bench + squat + deadlift.
5) Based on general advice about balancing push/pull etc I know I also want rows, chins, etc.
6) Finally, at my level of progress, 5/3/1 lets me combine wisdom from multiple sources to meet my day-to-day "keep it fun" goal of advancing the main lifts without suffering injury through imbalance. Main lifts plus the right accessories.
Great template. What about my exercises, and the one week I posted (the other week is very similar, with just a switch on volume/intensity from Dead to BackSquat, and Bench to Press) contradicts the goals to
“Over all strength, especially to perform life activities, for many years to come – I was starting to feel way too old for my age
Stress Management – more effective than playing online poker all night, and cheaper than drinking
Posture and Appearance and Pain avoidance – I’d like to sit up straight and move without pain for years to come
Power and Force. I’m more interested in making sure I can move heavy stuff fast, as I get older and feel that slipping.
To avoid other less enjoyable activities, like studying for Actuarial Exams”
Sure, I could narrow down how/where I want to get stronger; but that’s not my goal. There is no where I don’t want to get stronger at this point. No one is saying I have too many movements, just that I have redundancy. Who cares if its redundant, as long as my body responds and I am progressing/adding weight reps
different strokes for different folks. As for the 20 clapping push ups thing, I bet if you got your bench press up and bodyweight down you'd hit that goal without even having to train for it.
I imagine you are correct here. Which gives me another opportunity to make this point: I am doing the PushUps as a break from more heavy shoulder work, and as a support to anti-flexion core work. My goal is not to Bench Press as much as possible as soon as possible. I Bench 3x in 2 weeks, and to me the PushUps, is partially assistance and partially training effect Believe me, if I could do 100 elevated PushUps is 5 sets, I would not have them on here. Similar logic can be applied to why I do Front Squats, InvertedRows, GoodMornings, GluteThrusts, and Assisted ChinUps.
When I first started training, I had this old BB and DB set, which came with a big poster with pictures of all the exercises you could do with said BB's and DB's. Some how, I didn't take this as all the things you CAN do, I took it as all the things you MUST do. So, my program took me about 2 and a half hours, it covered everything in detail apart from maybe my toes, and it crippled me for about 2 weeks every time I tried it. I could barely walk and couldn't even straighten my arms, never mind lift them over my head. Needless to say I didn't stick to it. Although I did learn a valuable lesson - More isn't always better. Although sometimes it is. Oh, and not to take things too literally.
I am not seeing the similarity. Fwiw, when I first got my gym set up, I was doing 2-3 movements per workout. It changes often, usually, 5. Usually 3 large lifts, 1 core and 1 accessory. I’ve never done more than 6 -7 on one day. The fact you are leading off w2ith this analogy, and you are one of the best here, makes me wonder why there is so much misrepresentation of my program.
Anyway, i'm also a little lost when looking for what you want from this thread.
You say "over all strength". I say - Strength in what? Squat, Bench, DL, Press, pull ups?? If so, how much? What are you doing now, and what do you want to be doing. I would start here. All the other things can be littered around it. We all want to be healthy and pain free, a good balanced program with certain factors included will do this but, consider this after you have the main goals drilled down.
I stated it in my OP.
“Any pitfalls for this sort of routine in general?”
While I understand my specific goals would help all our experts to build a better program for me, I was thinking some general thoughts of this program might emerge. I’ve had this problem before where I ask a general question – ok, you may say there is nothing
general, it’s all goal specific – then that's part of my frustration. I’m pretty sure in my condition that one could give some general thoughts on this program. I think there were some good questions early on, like “what Are Your Goals” and “What Exercises Are You Doing” – but then I felt it was a set up, to give rationale to diss the lack of specific goals and/or the insane number of exercises. I was not looking for approval or disproval of my exercise choices, or a critique of how well I stated my goals, but of general thoughts on this structure. Like “I find doing Lower first makes more sense” Or “Why do you think this is better than 3 Full Days/ week, oscar”
I was told to just do 5/3/1 then I listed why I am considering something else (which gives a frequency between 5/3/1 and SS) Not much was asked about that or referenced because I soon listed the crazy list of 300 exercises I do all in one day.. Ken mentioned the all out sets as if that extra volume covers the frequency gap, I think.
What is I had said my exercises are
“Squat, Dead, Db Row, Assisted Pull Ups, DB Decline, and OH Press, with some core, and medial delt work” – Could we then move on to discussing the protocol. The tangents caused by the excessive exercises AND the lack of anyone being able to convince/provide either an understanding that my goals was not to increase any one lift more than others, or explain why doing both Front and Back Squatting was wasting time, causes a stalemate of sorts.
Also, out of curiosity, how long do these sessions take you?
This new set up, about 90 minutes. I tend to watch football in between, or Jimmy Fallon.
Typical for me. I do not work fast and some things like Glute Thrusts have long set ups. The routines are not that crazy or volume/intensity heavy
I think you may also benefit in thinking outside of "your" box, just to get a fresh perspective. One example would be to look at Matt Z's log, and ask yourself what he's "missing". You're talking 3 exercises a session, sometimes 2, but he doesn't actually neglect anything. I'm not saying you should do what Matt does but, it's just good to go to the opposite end of the spectrum every now and again.
I think he has a great balanced program that certainly looks to be geared for strength and is working well
Basically, you're asking "why NOT", and we're asking, "WHY???".
I’m not sure everyone is saying “Why???” to the Upper/Lower/Full/Full as much as they are the list of exercises. I’d like more discussion on the former; and more “proof” that doing two similar movements is less productive, for a general goal like mine.
If you're trying to build work capacity, adding in some GPP type stuff with heavy volume emphasing the concerntrics is a good idea. I don't see much of that in your program. If you're trying to minimize injuries, some exercises aimed at typical problem areas, along with mobility and stability work would be helpful. I see some of that. Why do you want to do this?
Jumping and running right now are bothering my ankle, that aside, I could list as a goal to do HIIT Burpees at some number for 8 cycles as a high specific goals related to conditioning. Right now, I’m not doing much towards that – except actively reducing rest between sets. My strength right now is getting more attention. In particular as it went down after the strict October Diet. I know that a large part of my work is getting the diet honed so that I can get stronger and lose fat. I also realize that too much volume makes this harder. So, that potential conflict may lead to stripping some of the excess. I could also see going to a Upper/Lower/Full/Conditioning day, where we do prehab, and complexes on conditioning day. It would lead to having even more movements in the program. Or take a movement out on both Full days, and add a two movement SS finisher But alas, that is getting beyond this topic.
I get all the frustration you are putting out over this. From what I can see you are trying to increase "general overall" strength and mobility. Trying to build a platform that will support your desired activities as you get older.
I think the biggest argument against what you have proposed is that you are lacking focus (this is something I have seen come up in this thread over and over). What this means isnt that you wont get strong or healthy doing this routine, but that by spreading your efforts in so many different areas you will do so more slowly and inefficiently than if you went with something more focused. You will end up at the same (or similar) spot at the end, but it will take you longer to get there. Why?
Because focus on a just a few movements will reap more significant results in the short run. There are a number of articles about this, I'm not going to dig them up here.
I’d settle for one good one. One that shows I’d be better at two different similar movements after say 6 months if I did one for 3 months and another for 3 months, rather than both at ½ the volume for all 6 months.
The "big 5"; squat, deadlift, bench, row, OH Press are really all you need. The other lifts are called "accessory" for a reason. They accentuate and fill in the cracks that the big 5 dont focus on. If you do the big 5 you will be stronger, have healthier mobility, and increased work capacity (which I think is what you want).
My 9 months of experience has centered around all of these. I never ever ever was one who did much isolation. I do however, now like to do some lateral delt work, and have found benefit (if not looks) to motivate for some are work.
The real questions to ask arent "what are your goals?" or "is this the most efficient use of your time?", they are "can you/will you stick with the program long enough for it to show progress?", "are you allowing sufficient time for recovery?", and "will it produce muscle imbalances that can lead to injury?". The first question is only answerable by yourself, the second two become much more difficult to answer when focus is diffused.
Great thoughts. I would say my program is balanced. I am doing my 100th session tonight, so I have some confidence I’ll stick to something. I do change a lot but am committing to stick to whatever I settle on – and this is likely it, baring any tweaking after this discussion thread. With regards to recovery, as I noted earlier, dietary challenges to support this may be the downfall – but imo that is more discipline than actual problems with the program.
I've been doing this for 20+ years,
You had me at hello. I understand you are an ox.
My advice? Keep it simple. As simple as possible. Fiddle with periodization rather than lifts. Give it time. Address specific weaknesses with main lifts (weak traps? hold the lockout on your DL 15 seconds, dont add shrugs).
Honestly, this is more about fiddling with periodization. I’ve always done the same 6 main lifts in here. The only newer lifts as Inverted Rows (as I’m having trouble making any progress in Assisted Pull Ups with my resistance band, and these are scalable), high pulls because I feel ready now to add a power movement, and Shrugs because my weak traps make Romanian Deadlifts an upper back exercise. What the protocol was most trying to address is the frequency of doing Heavy vs. lighter/Volume days as I get away from linear progression on most lifts. Unfortunately, we never got much into that part of the program
I went through the same phase at one point, trying to address everything. I pretty much stalled and plateued on everything. I didnt lose 6 months, but I could have been making progress.
I will be very cognizant of this unfocused program leading to early topping.
Okay so I understand what you're saying and let me tell you this: there is absolutely nothing wrong with an Upper Lower Full Full type layout.
Thank you for at least addressing the protocol
Lets take my training template here:
Saturday = Deadlifts, Deadlift Variation and Pistol Squats
Sunday = Weighted Pull-ups, Suitcase Deadlifts and Facepulls
Tuesday = Front Squats, Cable Pullthroughs and Cable Rows
Wednesday = Overhead Press, Dumbbell Rows and CGBP
What I have (if you were to look at this like a bodybuilder):
Saturday = Lower
Sunday = Full
Tuesday = Full
Wednesday = Upper
There is nothing wrong with having a weird layout.
All this depends on your goals. If you want to get strong then train to get strong. If you want to look good then train accordingly. All this trying to ride 2 horses at the same time is nuts.
I can help you design a template but for that you need to be sure about what it is that you want.
How is what I am doing not going to help me get stronger and look better, presuming I support it with diet? Why is your program better? By the way, I like your program. I have no reason to believe it would not be just as good, maybe better, sure. I’m also pretty sure the next guy could give me their best shot at a program. I guess many of you think I was asking “what is the best program to fit these goals I’m about to list” It wasn’t.
If it would help to think of it as “For what goals could a well designed Upper/Lower/Full/Full support, then use that. I’m pretty sure that template can work for a wide variety of goals.
Also, I would not bother you all with “Please design me a program” This was less about me (supposed to be) and more about any general thoughts on a U/L/F/F split.
Oscar do what you want to do. Do it well to the best of your ability.
Track your progress and if you start growing stagnant change it up.
Your a monster continue to own the weights like you do.
What I got from all of this is that you dont have any SPECIFIC goals like bench pressing 225 said amount of times or dropping a certain amount of body fat % while getting stronger and more nimble.
Do what you have to man. Seriously just know your body adapts and eventually we plateau. Get around that by changing it up and when that time comes ask you know we are all here and aren't afraid to throw around suggestions like measly 75 lb dbells!! hahaha
I’ll be honest, I did not expect you to come in with such earthbound advice. And I’m not just saying that because you did not diss my list of exercises. You understood I have not specific lifting goals and allow for the fact I may be wise enough to track progress and tweak as needed. Although you gave me nothing specific to address the program design, I appreciate the sentiment.
Man I’m tired, you all are too I bet.
I was going to use this last section to summarize something.
You ever get a in group of people who all hate “the President” and then after a few ideas start comn ig out, you realize “Wait, I don’t agree with any of you all”. So I’m hoping this does not get to fragmented
Do I have too many movements? (I dont mean exercises) As I see it, I have -
Compounds: Knee, Hip, HorizPull, Horz Push, Vert Pull, Vert Push
Accesory: Bicep, Tricep, Lat Delt, Traps
Power: High Pull
If that is fine, then I’m left with stil not understading why doing Inverted rows and Db Rows is not as beneficial for me, as just Db Rows, etc
I hopefully already covered it. If your name wasn’t called it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It may mean that.
Please read what’s under others names in case it was addressed there.
I’m still listening.