I challenge anyone reading this, whose progress has sucked, is frustrated, hasn't made any gains in a while, and is a chronic routine changer to get aboard the bandwagon for the next 12 fucking months and do this.
Three times a week. You will do a squat, a push, and a pull each workout.
Two days a week you will condition.
Two days a week you will work on mobility and do prehab.
Yup, this is nothing more than three full body sessions, madcow, starr, rippetoe, what the fuck ever you want to call it.
However I am going to change some things up, as I see fit.
The Q&A will be available each week to make adjustments. But they can't be wholesale changes to the routine unless you have a legit disability to perform one of the movements. Then we'll work it out.
Before you start you must state your goals for the next 12 months, and what your PR's in the big 3 are.
I want you to look at this in 4, 3-month phases. We will use the strong15 spreadsheet in terms of programming the big3. I will show you how to split this out in the routine.
Day 1 -
Squats - cycle - DO NOT do the pause squats today
Push - Overhead Work - Seated/Standing/PBN/Db Press - You will pick one of the 4 for each 3 month block. - Including warm ups you will go 10,8,6,5,5,5 The 5,5,5 can be with the same weight or up to a top set. I don't care. Just pick a version and stick with it for each 3 month block.
Pull - Use the back off sets of deadlifts from the strong15 here.
Day 2 -
1-Legged Squats/Lunges/1-Legged Leg Press - Ok so this is not quite a squat, but 1-legged work is invaluable. 5 sets of 10 here. What I recommend is to do 2 sets of 10 for warm ups, then add weight for the last 3 sets of 10. Do not ignore 1 legged work. It's invaluable for injury prevention. And hard.
Push - Bench - cycle including the back off sets
Pull - Db Rows/Cable Rows/T-bar Rows/Weighted Chins - including warm ups, 10,8,6,5,5,5. Same principles concerning day 1 of overhead pressing. Pick a row/chin for 3 months and go after it.
Day 3 -
Pause Squats - cycle (so you will use the back off sets of pause squats in the strong15 spreadsheet here or the "test" set)
Push - Incline Press/Incline Db Press/Db Bench Press/Hammer Strength Press - including warm ups 10,8,6,5,5,5 You get the idea.
Pull - Deadlift - use the strong15 spreadsheet here and work up to the single for the day.
2X a week.
Hills/Sprints/Prowler/Car Pushing/Sledge Hammer/Bag Work - 20 minutes.
You do not need to kill yourself here. Just think about "getting in shape". If you are out of shape, take it easy the first few weeks until you start feeling better. Remember, you have 12 months. Don't kill yourself the first two fucking weeks trying to be a hero.
Abs - Ab wheel or decline sit ups - 3 sets of 10-20 Do this after the conditioning.
2X a week
Steady state - 30 minutes
Foam or PVC roll - IT band, quads, upper and lower back.
Stretching - hams, IT band, hip flexors, rotator cuff
Injury Prevention - curls, rotator cuff, calf raises, - 2-3 sets of 20 for each
You will be training everyday. If you miss a day, don't sweat it, but try not to miss a day. If you do. Just make it up on the next day you can. If you get sick, train through it unless it's the flu or a chest cold. Then take the time off. If you have a cold or whatever, nut the fuck up and train.
Every three months pick a new movement if it is an option. Try to set some new PR's on the sets of 5 with that movement near the end of each training phase.
This is NOT complicated.
You will program like you want to hit a LITTLE PR every 3 months. You will not actually hit that weight. You will eventually hit it on a following cycle, but it will be lighter than you anticipated. You will only hit 93% of it. You need to use some calibration here. If you SMOKE the 93% you know you are good for what you programmed for. If the 93% crushes your ass, then you overestimated what you were capable of.
Breaking it down a little more -
On Monday you will squat the programmed 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 with no back offs.
On Monday you will deadlift with the back off sets. This is 2x5, or 2x3, or 1x8 (if you have the strong15 you know what I'm talking about).
On Wednesday you will do the bench cycle INCLUDING the back off sets.
On Friday you will do the pause squat or back off squat set that is programmed.
On Friday you will do the 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 for the deadlift that is programmed.
Notes - Do not ask me "can I add...." The answer is no. Squat, push, pull, condition, rehab and mobility. I have given some options above. But I want the focus to be on progression, conditioning, and staying injury free.
I will be making a new tab on the main page for this post.
- FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT OVERESTIMATE YOUR MAX. If you do, your training will fail. The weights should be OWNED every week. This will build confidence and help you tweak technique as well. At some point the weights will get heavy, and this is a must and a need. It will happen. But you can run a flying 40 faster than you can from a dead stop. Start off light in order to get a flying start towards your goal.
- Clean up your diet. Most of you know what this means. I don't feel like being a dietitian about this. Cut the shit out. Eat lots of quality protein, fats, and carbs. Reduce carbs if you know you need to drop some flab. Add some in pre and post workout if you want to gain mass without excess fat.
- Yes, you're deadlifting twice a week. Spare me the CNS bullshit. It's just that. Bullshit. One deadlift session is heavier, one is light. Same for squats. Once you get in shape you'll be surprised at how much work you can do.
- I'll have to repeat it because some won't listen. Don't kill yourself on the conditioning work. 20 minutes of intervals twice a week, with two days of steady state will get you into solid shape. MMA fighting shape? No. But it will give you a base in case that's something you wanted to transition into.
- Own this shit, and own your fuck ups. If you have been flopping around every few months from routine to routine dig down for once in your life, and do 12 months of nothing put squat, push, pull. I have covered, not smothered, the other issues enough so that you should be able to stay injury free, get into condition, and have some variety in your training. Don't be a wanker about this. Make a commitment to lifting heavy iron on the basics for 1 fucking year, and sticking to a program. If you're not better from top to bottom after that 12 months I'll send you a free shirt or something.
- This kind of training is not new, but it works and works well. From noobs to advanced guys, it has something to offer. If you are a noob you get a whole fucking year to build a solid base. If you're an advanced guy that has been stuck or piddling around, wondering what the fuck to do, now may be a good time to go back to the roots. If you're coming off an injury or a long layoff, this kind of training is especially money. I know it was for me.
- Make yourself accountable for 1 fucking year of this. It's not that difficult. If you know you're going to lift weights until you have no teeth and are shitting your pants without knowledge of it, a year is nothing. And you'll be better off for it.