My Program: Please Critique

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Socrastein, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I'm going to be starting on a new program that I just put together soon. It's a 4 week cycle, I tried to put as much variety into it as I could, at least regarding the larger compound movements. I'm starting with a hypertrophy volume, then after deloading in the 4th week I'm going to start again with maximal strength volume. Then I'll judge how everything is going and how well I'm recovering and I'll likely up the frequency to having both a squat variation and a deadlift variation with every workout.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to read it and let me know what you think is good and bad about it. If you have any questions at all, like why I did something, or what a certain exercise is, just let me know.

    I'm going to be performing this program on a slight caloric deficit, though I will be getting 200g of protein every day (I weigh about 200lbs). I'm going with a 30/40/30 macronutrient split.

    I'm not aiming for primarily for hypertrophy; I'm aiming to increase my absolute strength, flexibility, coordination, anaerobic endurance, capacity to recover, and overall athleticism. Let me know what you think.

    Attached Files:

  2. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

    I smell overtraining.
  3. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    A 3 day lifting split with active recovery between my sessions, soft tissue work and stretching every week, and only 1 session devoted to energy systems work. How is that overtraining? If you think this is too much, perhaps you aren't training enough.
  4. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise

    Do you not fit your MA into your schedule?
  5. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but I've been doing that long enough that I recover easily.
  6. flaming

    flaming Valued Member

    LOL I have 6 exercises total.
  7. blessed_samurai

    blessed_samurai Valued Member

    Why are you targeting the serratus specifically?
    How are you doing sets/reps with the farmers walks or are you doing for time?
    Are you having a problem with weak wrists?
    Why the extra hip ab/aduction work?

    I think moving from the work on Sunday to hitting the gym again on Monday may not allow for adequate recovery. Car pushing, db swings, etc is still taxing on the body. You might look at combining what you have on Sunday as finishers into your other workout days.

    You might have a look at the Renaissance training program over at T-nation. Who wrote it escapes my mind...prob Staley.

    Also, you might search on here for my Tier Training program thread I started a few months back.
  8. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    Blessed Samurai

    Thank you for taking the time to look at my program and raise some issues/questions about it.

    Regarding my serratus muscles, I'll quote Eric Cressey, since his articles on muscle balance and shoulder health are on of the reasons I'm including scap pushups and the like.

    "The serratus anterior is a small muscle, but it's of profound importance when it comes to scapulohumeral rhythm and, in turn, shoulder health...I could literally give a day-long seminar on all the different pathologies in which serratus anterior dysfunction is involved in some way. So, why not take care of it ahead of time?"

    As of right now, I don't suffer from any shoulder problems, and I'm trying to make sure that I never do in the future.

    I actually perform farmer's walks for 2 sets of 30 sec., I'm sorry that I didn't specifically note that in my program. It was one of those things that I knew in my head, but obviously can't expect other people to somehow know.

    I don't think I have a problem with weak wrists. I grapple, rock climb, and train my grip extensively, all of which have lent to fairly strong wrists and hands.

    I included the extra hip ab/aduction work because 1) Chad Waterbury told me to and 2) Eric Cressey scared me with the dangers of underdeveloped ab/adductors and groin strains and said "Training the adductors can make you a better squatter, deadlifter, and sprinter; reduce the likelihood of injury; and give you better-looking wheels." in this article.

    I'm assuming you said I was doing "extra" work referring to the plate pushes, band walks, etc. on top of unilateral leg work, correct? Honestly, the biggest reason I did so was because Waterbury said to :)

    And yes, I too am a bit concerned with the prospect of doing heavy circuit work the day before another gym session. There just aren't enough days in the week I tell ya! If it wasn't for the fact that my MT/BJJ classes were always on Tue/Thur I would opt for an 8 day cycle.

    I have a very clean diet, strong anaerobic endurance, good water intake, proper pre/post-workout nutrition, and with my work schedule I'm able to easily get 8+ hours of sleep every night, excluding only Saturdays, when I have to get up earlier than normal, but that's why that's my rest day. I'll see how I hold up the first couple weeks, and if the Sunday circuits leave me too fried to workout on Monday, then I'll probably split the exercises up among my workout days and have to ditch the car pushing. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.
  9. TheMachine

    TheMachine Valued Member

    Could be simplified to make it even better....

    Its way too complicated..
  10. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I'm not quite sure what's complicated about it, and why that's a bad thing. I do the same movements with almost every excercise, going between squat/deadlift variations and horizontal/vertical planes with pressing and pulling. I change the exercises a lot, but that's to get a broad range of stimuli and avoid quick adaptation. If I did the same squat, deadlift, press, and pull with every workout, I wouldn't see good progress for very long.
  11. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    I guess the test is for you to see if you can do the 4 week cycle (7 days).
  12. cxw

    cxw Valued Member

    You don't want adaptation! Maybe you want to avoid stagnation?

    You want progression. Look for a program that has inbuilt weight increases (this means starting the program with weights less than what you could lift). Some programs are templates which allow the lifter to choose their excercises, which is really good if you're looking to improve certain things. HST and 5*5 are a couple of programs that most people seem to do well on (there's others as well).

    Also, Banpen Fugyo mentioned overtaining and you said you didn't think it was. Lifting is not about doing what you can, it's about doing what is optimal for the person given their other commitments (work, MA training, fitness work etc). Ian King (a very successful coach) considers that most sessions should involve at most a total 12 sets (excluding warm ups).

    Also the more work you do, the more tired you'll be before you get to the last excercises. Lets stay you do 10 excercises, each 4 sets of 8 reps. By the time you get to your last excercise (lets say BB military press) you've already done 32 sets/256 reps. You'd be really tired and probably couldn't equal a BP on the BB military press, let alone set one.

    You seem to have put in lots of excercises for injury prevention. Although injury prevention is a good idea, you have to do this wisely. The shoulders, wrists, hamstrings, back, ankles, knees etc could all get injured, but you shouldn't do injury prevention excercises for all these areas.

    I really think simplification is needed.

    The idea to spend a session a week on soft tissue work and stretching is a very good idea. I really need to be doing this myself.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  13. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I'm really trying to prevent muscle imbalances, which can lead to injury. I think you should try to have balance between all antagonistic muscle groups, and it's not that hard to do as long as you know which exercises to pair off.
  14. Lily

    Lily Valued Member

    Socrastein - have you started the cycle?
  15. blessed_samurai

    blessed_samurai Valued Member

    I think you'll be fine if you stick with your basics. I think you're right though to add in some RC work 2-3 times a week=face pulls, ext rotations, scapular protractions, scap push ups, etc

    I think if you're sticking with your compounds you're not going to get a lot of imbalances so long as horizontal vs vertical vs pushing vs pulling is all ironed out. However, if you just have the extra time on your hands, then go for the serratus and ad/abduction stuff.
  16. TheMachine

    TheMachine Valued Member

    Absolutely correct...
    to the OP: keep it simple, you are overanalyzing things.....
    As long as you are doing the heavy basic compound movements, you won't develop any imbalances, and if ever there are any, a simple way to correct that is by adjusting your form on some exercises or substituting in other exercises
  17. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher


    I haven't started on it yet, I plan to start this Monday. I wanted to get some feedback before I got into it.

    The Machine:

    The human body is not a simple thing. If you oversimplify you're bound to overlook something very important. I know a lot of guys with very simple programs - so simple they overlooked many key muscles, like the serratus anterior, and as a result developed chronic shoulder problems and bad imbalances. If you've been in the lifting game for very long, I'm sure you've met many people with shoulder problems and posture deficiencies. I doubt they got that way by "overanalyzing" all the ways to create a balanced and structurally sound body.
  18. g-bells

    g-bells Don't look up!

    not trying to insult you here but you seem to have all the answers to everyone's suggestions, then why are you asking for advice? it's basic, say for shoulders: work all three heads of the shoulder, minimizing the chance for injury. anywhoo good luck to you
  19. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    Simple G-bells: there's good advice, and there's bad advice. I'm looking for the former. And I'm sorry, it's not that basic - working all three heads of the shoulder isn't enough to prevent imbalances.
  20. koto_ryu

    koto_ryu Common sense is uncommon

    Well said.

    How long have you actually been weight training, Socrastein? And what are your goals out of this routine?

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