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  1. #1
    Registered User OryxOryx's Avatar
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    Exclamation Flailing About Trying to Create an Early Intermediate Program for Cutting. Critique?

    I'm 5'11'' 250lbs. I want to cut down to 215, maybe even 200 depending on how I look at 215.

    My current maximums that I've actually done are:
    Deadlift: 375x1
    Bench: 226x2
    Squat: 243x4 (still really having a hard time establishing good form here. I could do significantly more than this but form would be a terrible squat/goodmorning)
    OH Press: 150x2

    I got where I got from allpro and Fierce 5. I started stalling a lot on Fierce 5, I think from combo of getting close to intermediate level, plus move to a long cut. So I guess call me a late beginner or early intermediate.

    My goal is to increase, or at least maintain, or at least minimize the loss of, strength and muscle mass for this long cut.

    I do have some constraints though which has made it difficult to find a good pre-made routine:
    -Program must be sensible in terms of volume and progression for a long cut.
    -Program should have me training 5-6 times a week (this is my preference)
    -Session on weekdays should be short. Workout including warmups etc. should be less than 1hr.
    -Session on Saturday can be as long as needed, no time constraint.
    -Cannot workout Sunday.
    -Equipment is barbell, plates, rack, benches, lat pulldown machine, leg curl / leg extension machine. No dumbells or other cables.

    So I set about trying to come up with my own routine, which is probably a bad idea since I don't know anything about programming. I've just been trying to combine stuff from a bunch of different sources in a way that fits my needs. So I'm hoping ya'll can tell me if this routine is fine, or flawed but fixable (and how to fix it), or horrible and should be thrown away.

    Basic Principle:
    Monday: Squat Heavy, Deadlift Light
    Tuesday: Bench Heavy, Overhead Press Light
    Wednesday: Deadlift Heavy, Squat Light
    Thursday Overhead Press Heavy, Bench Light
    Friday: Rest
    Saturday: Full Body Medium
    Sunday: Rest

    Details:
    Monday
    Squat 3x5
    Romanian DL 3x10 @70% of heavy DL day weight
    Good Morning 2x12
    Leg Extension 2x12 / Leg Curl 2x12 Superset

    Tuesday
    Bench 3x5
    Pendlay Row 3x8
    Overhead Press 3x10 @70% of heavy OHP day weight
    Lat Pulldown 3x12 @70% of heavy pulldown weight.
    Skullcrusher 2x12 / BB Curl 2x12 Superset

    Wednesday
    Deadlift 1x5
    Squat 3x10 @70% of heavy squat day weight
    Barbell Step-Up 2x12
    Leg Extension 2x12 / Leg Curl 2/12 Superset

    Thursday
    Overhead Press 3x5
    Lat Pulldown 3x8
    Close-Grip Bench 3x10 @ 70% of heavy bench weight
    Pendlay Row 3x12 @ 70% of heavy row weight
    Facepulls 2x15 / Landmine Lateral Raise 2x12 Superset

    Saturday
    Squat 3x5 @90% of heavy squat
    Bench 3x5 @90% of heavy bench
    Pendlay Row 3x8 @90% of heavy row
    Deadlift 3x5 @90% of heavy DL
    Overhead Press 3x5 @90% of heavy OHP
    Lat Pulldown 3x8 @90% of heavy Pulldown
    Curls 2x12 / Skullcrushers 2x12 superset
    Facepulls 2x15 / Landmine Lateral Raises 2x12 superset
    3xAMRAP decline situps, weighted if past 3x10

    Progression is to add 5lbs a week to the heavy main exercise, add weight to accessories as needed. Recalculate medium and light weights based on new heavy main exercise each week. Deload if stall. Can decrease to 2.5lb/week or even 1lb/wk if needed due to cut.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and offer any advice.

    Even if the answer is just "this is crap, do x routine instead", I'd be happy for that if you think x routine is better given my constraints.
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  2. #2
    Registered User vsetka's Avatar
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    It looks pretty solid, nice balance of pushing and pulling, volume seems right for cutting, but you probably won't progress very much in a deficit considering you already have solid numbers. Especially bench and OHP which are, at least for me, very bodyweight sensitive.
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  3. #3
    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    the balance isn't bad but I'm not a big fan of the way you structured it. I think you may run into some recovery issues and I don't think your lower back is going to be that kind to you doing pendlay rows after heavy back intensive workouts. And that is a chit ton of heavy compounds on Saturday I honestly don't think you'll be able to handle all that on a cut. Squat 3x5 and Deadlift 3x5 alone on one day is very intensive but adding relatively adding heavy pressing and pulling makes it way more difficult.

    It's a lot of deadlifts too man IMO on top of all the squats I don't think your back is going to like it. Especially if you are squatting 3x a week I think a heavy deadlift day and an RDL day should suffice.

    I think you should reduce volume rather than trying to backload everything on Saturday or add a bit more to your other days. And not a big fan of how you structured it like a U/L but throw in one huge full body workout.

    IMO, if you still want to squat 3 times a week and deadlift 2 you could do an Upper/Lower on Monday and Tuesday and then on Thursday/Fri/Saturday you can do 3 full body workouts if you distribute the volume and exercises smartly enough because you'd be working out 3 days in a row. Or you could make Friday some sort of GPP/mobility/stretching day so you have a day between full body workouts. Or perhaps a full body on Monday/Tues and PPL on T/F/S, just trying to throw ideas for you out there.

    for example you can squat on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, light deadlift on Tuesday and heavy deadlift on light squat day.

    otherwise I would just do a ULPPL or 3 uppers 2 lowers. Either way I think you should distribute things a bit better to allow for better recovery and less overlap. Or I would take a look at 5/3/1 and buy beyond 5/3/1, it has so many templates you can choose from including 5 a weeks and takes away more of the guesswork by giving you a template you can work around.
    Last edited by sooby; 09-08-2017 at 07:15 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by OryxOryx View Post
    Saturday
    Squat 3x5 @90% of heavy squat
    Bench 3x5 @90% of heavy bench
    Pendlay Row 3x8 @90% of heavy row
    Deadlift 3x5 @90% of heavy DL
    Overhead Press 3x5 @90% of heavy OHP
    Lat Pulldown 3x8 @90% of heavy Pulldown
    Curls 2x12 / Skullcrushers 2x12 superset
    Facepulls 2x15 / Landmine Lateral Raises 2x12 superset
    3xAMRAP decline situps, weighted if past 3x10

    Progression is to add 5lbs a week to the heavy main exercise, add weight to accessories as needed. Recalculate medium and light weights based on new heavy main exercise each week.
    lol good luck with that

    And you're cutting?

    I'm going to assume you've never done something like this ^ before
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  5. #5
    Registered User OryxOryx's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the tips. Like I said, I know I shouldn't be programming my own routine but I've been unsuccessful at finding a routine that meets my weird constraints.

    First, I typo'd on Saturday... that was supposed to be 1x5 on Deadlifts not 3x5. So my weekly deadlift volume would be 3x10 RDLs at 70% of my heavy deadlift, 1x5 heavy deadlift, and 1x5 at 90% of heavy deadlift. That might still be stupid for all I know, but just wanted to correct the typo.

    The general impression I'm getting is that its too intensive for a long cut. Is that only on Saturday or are my Mon-Thurs routines bad too?

    If Saturday is the big problem... what if I went to 80% of heavy day weights on Saturday and not 90%? The idea with Saturday was to do a higher volume, but lower intensity, full-body workout since it is the only day of the week where I have time to do that.

    Also just to be clear, when I say for example "90% of heavy squat" on Saturday, I mean 90% of what I did 3x5 squat for on Monday, not 90% of my 1RM or whatever.

    So for example if I squat 200lb for 3x5 on Monday, then I would squat 140lb for 3x10 on Wednesday, and 180 for 3x5 on Saturday.

    The problem I found with well-regarded U/L PPL routines (like the Fierce 5 one) is that I don't think I can do them in time for my short early morning gym session. Even this routine I listed, with just 6 compound exercise sets and some quick accessories on Monday for example, I timed that at an hour including all warmups, etc.

    One thing that is difficult about programming too is different online fitness communities, each of which seems very knowledgeable, seem to have quite different ideas about what constitutes too much or too little volume, what is doable on a cut, etc.
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