Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cookie cutter routines

Cookie cutter routines are often shit on on the net as being substandard because everyone thinks they are a special snowflake and need custom tailoring to their routine.

When I was a novice and intermediate, we didn't have personal trainers for the most part. We sure has shit didn't have online trainers. You bought books or magazines and went to work.

I used many of these cookie cutter routines with great success. Something you should remember is, it's not about the "routine" but about the principles the routine is built upon.

- Progression

- Hard work

- Basic movements

- Training economy

- Frequency/Volume/Intensity management

Most cookie cutter routines that I found during those times took all of these things into factor in some way, shape, or form. That's because all of these principles have been around since the barbell was invented. As I've stated before in regards to all of these dudes doing studies trying to figure shit out....we already have. We've had decades and decades of clinical research going on right in the gym.

The reason a full body 3 x a week workout based around squats, presses, and various pulls is popular is because it works. It's a great way to begin training, or get out of a rut because it eliminates the bullshit in your program.

The reason most principles end up sticking around is because someone tries them, found they worked, then shared it with others and they too benefited and passed on their success with it.

Hell, even cookie cutter diets "work" so long as they are based around some simple principles like calories in vs calories out, or if you need to gain weight account for supporting your activities then a surplus for growth.

Lots of very advanced lifters put together cookie cutter routines based off of their own experience and/or the fact that they put many others through these same routines with great results.

So don't shit on a "cookie cutter" routine because of the fact that it's not some special snowflake. So long as a routine is based around a set of sound principles then that are in line with the goals you're trying to accomplish, then it's probably a solid option to use for your training plan.

Some "cookie cutter" routines I come back to fairly often are these - 

Day 1 - Legs
Day 2 - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Day 3 - Back, Biceps

Day 1 - Chest and Back
Day 2 - Legs
Day 3 - Shoulders and Arms

For powerlifting - 

Day 1 - Squat and deadlift
Day 2 - Bench
Day 3 - Squat and deadlift assistance work
Day 4 - Bench assistance

Day 1 - Squat and assistance
Day 2 - Bench and assistance
Day 3 - Deadlift and assistance 

For specializing a lift or bodypart - 

Day 1 - Specialization 
Day 2 - Maintenance work for everything else
Day 3 - Specialization 
Day 4 - Maintenance work for everything else

Of course these are the the skeleton parts of the routine.  From there, anyone can fill in all of the other pieces to massage it to address their own priorities.  

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  1. Plus, has anyone actually invented a routine? Maybe Jaime?

    Program building follows a pretty standard cycle:
    1. start with something basic
    2. tweak to address needs (add lifts/movements for the most part)
    3. add some more shit cuz it sounds cool
    4. burn it to the ground because it's too much extra shit, go back to basic framework.

    Repeat ad infinitum

  2. paul regarding the first two cookie cutter routines is that 3 days a week only? or up to 4-6 days?

    Last question how does this look for chest/back, legs , shoulders and arms?

    chest & back
    BB bench press variation - big-15 or weekly rotate with BB/DB bench x350 method
    weighted chin - big-15, or down sets 4-5 weighted or b.w. for reps (50)
    BB/DB rows or shrugs - 4-5 sets or 350 method

    legs -
    squat/front squat - big-15
    stiff legged deadlift/ romanian deadlift - big-15 no 50% set
    hacks squats/ single leg work/ leg curls/ pull throughs x 4-5 sets or 350 method

    shoulders & arms
    overhead press variation - big-15
    weighted dips/ overhead tricep extension/ pjr pullover x 350 method
    BB/ DB curl - 350 method

    i feel like 3 movements hit hard a day is good for me, maybe i could rotate this ABCA four times a week or just keep it to 3 days a week and do some small session if i lag anything like stated in your ebooks.

    Let me know how if this looks okay paul ? cause other than the LRB template that resembles your legs push pull ,this seems like the only thing i can come up with that looks like something you would do if you were to run chest/back, legs, shoulders/arms.