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  1. #1
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    New 3 Day Routine

    Hey everyone. Been browsing this site a ton for several months but this will be my first post (don't grill me too bad). I'll start with a quick background on me. I'm 29 years old, 5'7" tall. I worked out in college but never had a solid plan, my diet was terrible, and I mostly neglected my lower body. Looked in the mirror last spring and realized I was the pinnacle of skinny-fat and dropped from 164lb to 143lb over the summer (I estimated myself at being around 12-13% BF in August) but like a fool I wasn't lifting during that period, just doing cardio. So in the beginning of August I started a routine where I was doing 5x5 on all my heavy compounds and 3x10 on some supplementary lifts and saw great gains for about 12-15 weeks when everything except legs slowed dramatically. Here are my starting and current stats (all lifts are 1RM):

    Start @ 143lb ~12-13% BF:
    185 Bench
    170 Squat
    230 Deadlift

    Current @158lb ~15-17%BF:
    250 Bench
    280 Squat
    370 Deadlift

    So lately I've been feeling completely drained at the end of my workouts but it feels more like general fatigue rather than actual muscle fatigue (CNS maybe???). So I took a week off and planned on jumping into a PPL program this week and after my push day I felt definite muscle fatigue, got a good pump, and I'm more sore than I have been since starting out. The problem is that with a 2 year old and a 7 month old I can't dedicate more than 3 days to the gym and I cant be spending 2+ hours in the gym either. So my concern is that I don't have enough time to do a good full body workout but only 3 days a week on a PPL isn't going to be enough stimulation. With my time constraints I'm obviously not expecting to achieve a pro BB physique but still want to make some solid gains (my goal is to be 150-155 at around 10% BF this summer). Any thoughts on a better program or should I stick with the 3 day PPL for a few weeks just to try it out? Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    alhamdulillah Gaston40's Avatar
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    Full body is your best choice for 3x a week.

    Try somthing like...

    Monday, 5x5 heavy(85%-90%)

    Wed, 5x5 light(80%)

    Friday, 5x5 moderate(82.5%)

    Just a thought
    Lifting log
    content://com.sec.android.app.sbrowser/readinglist/1027043720.mhtml

    Maxes..

    Bodyweight 163
    Squat 285 1 1.75×BW
    Bench 195 1 1.2×BW
    RDL 330 2.02×BW
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  3. #3
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    I'm not opposed to going back to a full body program but I feel like something needs to change (maybe it's just a mental thing). Should I drop some of my supplementary lifts (like skull crushers and DB curls and focus solely on heavy compounds? I have found it extremely difficult to combine any of the big 3 lifts into a single workout as it just becomes too taxing and one of them will suffer for it, so I have been doing flat bench on Monday, squats and incline bench on Wednesday, and deadlifting on Friday.
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  4. #4
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Have you considered a 3 day upper/lower split?
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    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    I had thought about it but I wasn't sure how to structure it. Would I deadlift on upper day or lower day? I don't know about everyone else but 5 sets of heavy deadlift absolutely destroys me and it definitely shows in the rest of my lifts for that session (but it might be my favorite lift).
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    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brant89 View Post
    I had thought about it but I wasn't sure how to structure it. Would I deadlift on upper day or lower day? I don't know about everyone else but 5 sets of heavy deadlift absolutely destroys me and it definitely shows in the rest of my lifts for that session (but it might be my favorite lift).
    Aworkoutroutine has a 3 day one or you could use Lyle Mcdonalds.

    A sample upperlower w/deads would look like this. Then the second lower day you could do a squat/RDL combo instead of DL/leg press. You also don't need 5x5 for dead lift. I only do 1x5 and my dead lift is pretty high.
    Upper
    Bench
    OHP
    Pulldown
    Row
    Rear delts
    Bi/Tri

    Lower
    Dead lift
    Leg press
    Leg ext
    Leg curl
    Calf
    Abs
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  7. #7
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    I actually reduced my deadlifts to 5x3 but maybe I should reduce that further yet. So with that program would I just alternate squats and deadlift every other lower day? I'm assuming also that I would alternate incline/flat bench, upright/bent over rows, etc. I think part of my problem is that I like doing a lot of different exercises and I end up trying to cram them all into every week.
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    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brant89 View Post
    I actually reduced my deadlifts to 5x3 but maybe I should reduce that further yet. So with that program would I just alternate squats and deadlift every other lower day? I'm assuming also that I would alternate incline/flat bench, upright/bent over rows, etc. I think part of my problem is that I like doing a lot of different exercises and I end up trying to cram them all into every week.
    You could alternate.
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  9. #9
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    Do you usually alternate squats and deads or do you just lower your intensity on the deads so that you can squat on the same day? Today was supposed to be pull day but maybe I'll turn it into a lower day and give the upper/lower split a try.
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    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brant89 View Post
    Do you usually alternate squats and deads or do you just lower your intensity on the deads so that you can squat on the same day? Today was supposed to be pull day but maybe I'll turn it into a lower day and give the upper/lower split a try.
    I use a 4 day so I don't run into that. Squats and dead's on the same day is fine. Programs like Candito's linear and 5/3/1 bbb are setup that way.
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  11. #11
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    Alright, so I had some time to sit down and pick out some lifts for an upper lower split, tell me what you think of this:

    UPPER:
    Bench
    Inc. Bench
    Wide Grip Pull-Ups
    Dips
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    Upright Row
    Bent Over Row
    Dumbbell Curls
    Dumbbell Fly's
    Reverse Dumbbell Fly's

    LOWER:
    Squat/Deadlift (alternating days)
    Leg Press
    Leg Extension
    Leg Curl
    Standing Calf Raises
    Hanging Leg Lifts
    Weighted Sit-ups
    Kettleball Side Bends
    Shrugs
    Lateral Raises

    I added a couple shoulder exercises on lower day because I couldn't fit them all into upper day. If I keep the number of lifts per workout around 10 I can complete the workout in 1-1.5 hours depending on how busy the gym is. I usually superset opposing muscle groups when I do full body as well (dips with pull-ups, reverse fly's with fly's, etc.). Thoughts?
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  12. #12
    alhamdulillah Gaston40's Avatar
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    Upright rows are a shoulder injury waiting to happen.

    Also you already got
    Bench
    Incline
    Dips
    Shoulder press
    Upright row

    In your upper, should shoulders are already taking a pretty good abuse, no need to add more.

    Infact id add more pulling, or double the volume of it.to.offset all the pressing.
    Lifting log
    content://com.sec.android.app.sbrowser/readinglist/1027043720.mhtml

    Maxes..

    Bodyweight 163
    Squat 285 1 1.75×BW
    Bench 195 1 1.2×BW
    RDL 330 2.02×BW
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  13. #13
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    I thought the push/pull looked pretty balanced; 4 push (bench, inc. bench, dips, shoulder press) and 4 pull (pull-ups, upright row, bent over row, curls). I'm legit not trying to argue because I very much appreciate the advice, I'm just not sure what I'm overlooking. So I cut the upright rows (although I love how much they hit my traps), replace them with shrugs, and increase pull volume? Also, are lateral raises really necessary with all the shoulder volume I'm doing? I hate doing them but have always felt they are kind of necessary for shoulder stability.
    158lb
    Bench Press - 250x1
    Squat - 280x1
    Deadlift - 385x1
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  14. #14
    alhamdulillah Gaston40's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brant89 View Post
    I thought the push/pull looked pretty balanced; 4 push (bench, inc. bench, dips, shoulder press) and 4 pull (pull-ups, upright row, bent over row, curls). I'm legit not trying to argue because I very much appreciate the advice, I'm just not sure what I'm overlooking. So I cut the upright rows (although I love how much they hit my traps), replace them with shrugs, and increase pull volume? Also, are lateral raises really necessary with all the shoulder volume I'm doing? I hate doing them but have always felt they are kind of necessary for shoulder stability.
    Curls, imo, are not considered a pull.

    If you want ro hit your traps and still do a sorta upright row....do high pulls with a clean grip.

    At most you need a 1 to 1 pull push ratio, 2 to 1 would be better.

    Your front delts are getting hammered with all the pressing, as long as you offset it with equal or higher volume of pulling youll be fine.
    Lifting log
    content://com.sec.android.app.sbrowser/readinglist/1027043720.mhtml

    Maxes..

    Bodyweight 163
    Squat 285 1 1.75×BW
    Bench 195 1 1.2×BW
    RDL 330 2.02×BW
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  15. #15
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    Gotcha, thanks for the advice.
    158lb
    Bench Press - 250x1
    Squat - 280x1
    Deadlift - 385x1
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    Id suggest 6-8 exercises per session.
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    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    OK, so if I swap the upright rows for shrugs and lose incline bench and dumbbell curls that puts me at 8 exercises on upper days and if I lose shrugs and lateral raises on lower day then I'll have 8 exercises on that day as well. Does that seem like a decent routine? Should I be concerned about no direct arm work?
    158lb
    Bench Press - 250x1
    Squat - 280x1
    Deadlift - 385x1
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  18. #18
    alhamdulillah Gaston40's Avatar
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    Upper
    Incline bench
    Flat bench
    Dips
    Barbell rows
    Pullups
    Rear delt flys.

    Lower
    Squats
    RDL
    Calf raises
    Leg curls

    Imo...seems like the best bang for your buck, compounds >isolations
    Lifting log
    content://com.sec.android.app.sbrowser/readinglist/1027043720.mhtml

    Maxes..

    Bodyweight 163
    Squat 285 1 1.75×BW
    Bench 195 1 1.2×BW
    RDL 330 2.02×BW
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  19. #19
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    Well I completed one week of my upper/lower split program and I am definitely liking it better than the full body that I was doing. I've clearly increased the intensity/volume as I'm experiencing DOMS again (legs are still a little sore from Friday. LOL). I'm feeling like I'm able to keep my intensity up all the way through my workout rather than hitting a wall and just going through the motions. We will see how I progress over the next couple months as far as hypertrophy is concerned but my strength is still going up as I added another rep to my bench yesterday (225x4). Thanks for the help guys and for steering me away from my PPL program!
    158lb
    Bench Press - 250x1
    Squat - 280x1
    Deadlift - 385x1
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  20. #20
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    What was the routine you ended up going with?
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  21. #21
    Registered User brant89's Avatar
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    The split looks like this (not necessarily in this order):

    Upper:
    Flat Bench
    Shoulder Press
    Pull Ups
    Dips
    Bent Over Rows
    Dumbbell Fly's
    Reverse Dumbbell Fly's
    Shrugs

    Lower:
    Squat/Deadlift (alternate days)
    Leg Press
    Leg Extension
    Leg Curls
    Standing Calf Raises
    Hanging Leg Lifts
    Weighted Sit Ups
    Kettleball Side Bends

    I realize this is not the EXACT SAME lifts that were recommended but its the same basic premise; the exercises rely heavily on compound movements. I chose the exercises that I did based on what I need to improve on. I'm also going to structure my lower days such that I will be squatting every week but only deadlifting every other week (every other week will have two lower days) since my deadlift is pretty good for my weight but my squat is seriously lagging. As far as rep range I'm going to mix it up. So my first two sets of bench and squat will be heavy (3-5 reps) followed by 3 sets of moderate weight (8-10 reps), and deadlift will be a progressive build up to a single pull near my 1RM. I always put my bench/squat/deadlift at the beginning of my workout (after warm-ups) so that I am fresh and able to move as much weight as possible on the big 3. All the other exercises will be 3 sets of moderate weight at 8-12 reps for upper body and 12-15 reps for lower body. Also I typically structure my sets in a reverse pyramid fashion so that the prescribed rep range puts me within 1 rep of failure and I generally superset exercises where I can to keep my time in the gym at a minimum.

    If I've completely screwed something up please let me know. I'm here to learn.
    158lb
    Bench Press - 250x1
    Squat - 280x1
    Deadlift - 385x1
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