BASIC POINTS THAT PEOPLE KEEP MISSING: The program uses STIFF LEG DEAD LIFTS! It does not use dead lifts! There are TWO warm-up sets and TWO work sets making FOUR sets per exercise in total! You will start with EIGHT reps of your ten rep max weight! Not ten. This program splits gains between strength and size. You increase the reps every week, you do not increase the weights until completing a 5 week cycle. STARTING WEIGHT What weight should I start with? The correct starting weight is about a 10 rep max (75% of your 1 rep maximum).
If that happens to be 150 pounds then the first set would be 35 pounds and the second set would be 75 pounds. Then 2 work sets at 150 pounds. WHEN IN DOUBT START LIGHT! Do I use the same weight for every exercise? NO! Each exercise will be different. REPLACEMENT EXERCISES (These should ONLY to be used if an injury prevents you doing one of the recommended ones! ) Squat: You can sub leg presses or dumbbell squats but they suck compared to what barbell squats can do. Doing squats even with a very low weight is preferable to any other exercise. Bench Press: ?
Overhead Press: Tricep press and standing rows. SLDL: Weighted hyper extensions and hamstring curls. . GENERAL WORKOUT QUESTIONS I’m very weak. Would it be wise to build some strength before doing this program? Nope. This program was designed with YOU in mind. Does this program optimise strength gains? This program will split the gains between size and strength. For more strength or if you’re training for power for a sport I’d use Bill Starr’s 5×5. Do I do all 7 exercises every day or split them up into 3 days? You do all 7 exercises 3 times per week
The reason for the “easy” weeks will become apparent when you repeat the cycle. It has a built in deload. By increasing the reps sooner you will stall sooner. That means your gains will be cut short because you’ll have to deload to get out of it. Can I use regular deadlifts instead of stiff-leg deadlifts? DO NOT USE REGULAR DEAD LIFTS WITH THIS PROGRAM! The combination of heavy dead lifts and heavy squats in the same work out is a recipe for disaster. The stiff leg dead lifts are there to work lower back and ham strings with 1 exercise rather than splitting them up and adding more volume to the work out.
How long should I take between sets? You need to rest for a minute and a half between the work sets. It takes about 3 minutes for ATP levels to be restored to 100%. In about 2 minutes they’re at about 90%. This program is using a combination of ATP and glycogen as a fuel source that’s why I choose the 1:30 rest. My usual routine is to do my first warm up set, change the weight and rest 30 seconds. I’ll do my second warm up set, change the weight and rest 1 minute. Do the first work set and for this program rest a minute and a half. Can I add other exercises in at the end of my workout?
Try the workout as it is first. Give it a chance. But you may add ONE set of pull overs or stiff armed pull downs or pull ups/chin ups. Follow the rep scheme and the heavy, medium, light set up. If that seems to be working well after a 5 week cycle then add the second set. Why can’t I just do 3 heavy workouts in a week instead of heavy, medium and light? Without the heavy, medium, light set-up you will peak out sooner and stall sooner. Google dual factor programming and you’ll understand better. Suffice it to say that with insufficient rest and recovery the program will stall.
I couldn’t squeeze out all of my reps for curls on the last week. Does that mean I have to keep the weight for every exercise the same for my next cycle? No! Add weight to every exercise that you pass. In the above exercise, everything would move forward but the curls. How long should I keep doing this work out? Simply keep going until you stop progressing with it. Do I need to do the warm-ups? You need the warm up sets for squats, bench press, military press and bent over rows. Warm ups for the other three are recommended but can be cut to save time.
CARDIO AND ABS How much cardio should I do? With a 3 times per week full body program you won’t need more than 2 hours of cardio total for the week. If you want to bulk then do much less. Break it up however you want but don’t do it before weight training. Do it on off days or after weight training. When should I do cardio? Do it on off days or after weight training. What sort of cardio should I do? I use HIIT. High intensity interval training. That’s just a series of all out sprints and mobility drills. I use a 40 minute, 30 minute and 20 minute set up.
The problem with slow cardio is that you are encouraging the fast and medium fibres that you are weight training to convert to a slower type. It can be vary frustrating if that happens. What ab work should I do? It’s a matter of what kind of equipment you have and what you respond to. Pull overs, pull downs and knee ups work for me. Crunches, even weighted crunches weren’t as effective for me. Typically I use 1 set of 10-20 reps. In other words I use a periodized set up for them also. So starting from work out 1, 10, work out 2, 15, work out 3, 20. Add weight if I can get them all.
Usually just 5 pounds. Or repeat the cycle if I can’t get them all. Some people need more volume then what I use but I would start with 1 set and do them last or on off days. USING DUMBELLS Can you use dumbbells instead? If you have adjustable dumbbells so that you can get the correct weight then that’s fine. The only problem with dumb bells happens when you can’t adjust the weight or when you don’t have 1 1/4 pound plates. Except for squats. Dumbbells won’t work well with squats because your grip will give out when you progress to heavier weights. Can I do seated shoulder press instead?
If possible you should do it standing. In the case of a low ceiling or your gym not allowing it then doing it seated is fine. DIET AND SUPPLEMENTS What supplements should I use? Don’t waste a small fortune on magic beans. Get a good diet plan set up and add fish oil, multi mineral/ multi vitamin, creatine and a simple, basic protein powder. Start with simple basic stuff and add things as you go being careful to keep track of what’s working for you and what isn’t. Should I use protein shakes? Protein shakes are a quick, convenient source of nutrition and you know exactly what you’re getting.
They are NOT required but I would highly recommend using them post work out. 40 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs within an hour of completing the work out. Is this routine suitable for cutting? Yes! It works well on a cut because it’s self correcting. If you lose too much strength during the cut the worst that happens is that you have to repeat the cycle a time or 2 with the same weight. How much should I eat? This depends on your goals. Total calories: To gain weight: multiply body weight in lbs by 20 To maintain weight: body weight x 15 To lose weight: body weight x 10
E. g. if you weigh 200lbs you should aim for 3000 calories per day to maintain that weight. 40% protein, 40% carbohydrate, 20% fat Will this routine work at all for someone training a number of years? It isn’t that it won’t work at all… because it will. But the rate of progression would have to be slowed down. After a while you won’t be able to increase by 10% every 5 weeks. At the very least you’d have to reduce that to 5% and drop it to twice per week with 2 heavy work outs. Your recovery doesn’t improve as fast as your ability to do damage.