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Thread: My PPL routine

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    My PPL routine

    Hello everyone! I've recently finished changing up my routine which was going on for the last 3 months. I wasnt completely happy with what I was doing.

    The problem became pretty obvious 3 weeks ago: volume. I do 3 or 4 sets for all of my exercise and I basically go to failure on all of them. Sometimes even past that with dropsets. The problem was I was doing more exercises than I could handle and I would go through them without maximum effort. So instead of looking for so mamy variations that I liked, I realised I had to narrow it even more, thus picking only my favorite exercises and focusing a lot more on them. So here it is:

    Push 1:

    - Machine Chest Press: warmup while increasing the weight, to the weight I am working with, superset with light pec dec. Then 4x8-10
    - Incline Smith Machine Bench Press: 3x8-10
    - Machine Shoulder Press: 3x8-10
    - Pec Dec superset with Tricep Pushdown: 3x10-12 each
    - Egyptian Lateral Raises superset with Overhead Tricep Extension: 3x10-12 each

    Pull 1:

    - Meadows Rows: warmup slowly increasing the weight, then 3x8-10, superset with Reverse Pec Dec: 3x12-15
    - Pull Ups: 3x8-10, superset with Straight Arm Pulldown: 3x12-15
    - Reverse Grip Seated Cable Row: 3x8-10
    - Close Grip Lat Pulldown: 3x8-10
    - Incline Dumbbell Curls: 3x10-12

    Legs 1:

    - Leg Press: warmup, then 4x15-20
    - Pendulum Squat: 4x8-10
    - Leg Extensions, superset with Standing Calf Raises: 3x10-12 each

    Push 2: Same as Push 1, but doing the Incline first, for 4 sets, and the machine press second, for 3 sets. Also switching Pec Dec for Cable Fly on an incline bench, with same sets and reps.

    Pull 2: Same as Pull 1, but prioritizing the vertical pulls: Pull Ups superset with Straight Arm Pulldown > Meadows Rows superset with Reverse Pec Dec > Close Grip Lat Pulldown > Reverse Grip Seated Cable Row > Incline Dumbbell Curl

    Legs 2:

    - Romanian Deadlifts: warmup, then 4x8-10
    - Lunges: 3x12-15
    - Lying Leg Curl, superset with Standing Calf Raise: 3x10-12 each

    Progression:
    I always aim for an average of between 8-10 reps per set. When I manage to get an average of 11, I increase the weight by 5 to 10%. If with this weight I cant do an average of 8 or more, I'll drop it a little bit (if I can microload the weight) or I will simply drop it back and wait until I can average 12 or more. I apply this progression only to my presses, rows, pull ups, pulldown, squat and rdl. To everything else I dont have a set progression, but I still track my performance and I try to keep my failure around the specified rep range.

    Why the Machine Chest Press?
    Because my gym has a Hoist Roc It RPL 5301 Chest Press that I love, with a movement patter very similar to a Dumbbell Bench Press. I wish I could've tried a Hammer Strength Chest Press, but no gym around me has it. But I am also not limited by the machines. I could do a normal Dumbbell Bench Press instead with no problem.

    Conclusion:
    If you have anything to recommend or to ask me (about my experience, technique on the exercises etc), please do. Also, for whoever willing to give this program a shot, you can ask for substitutions that I think would fit very well (I designed this program for me exclusively, so even with substitutions, I doubt it's gonna be something better for the majority of lifters compared to the routines in the sticky section, but I found it to be better and more satisfying for me).

    Thank you for reading!
    Last edited by AndyBendy; 01-20-2021 at 09:28 AM.
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    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    I commend you for writing a well formatted post. You have bold headings and use "-" for line items. Although you didn't end your Conclusion paragraph with a period. My college finance professor would dock any paper by a letter grade for that. Hussain Elsaid, SIU-C.

    But to answer your question, if you like the program and it's something you are going to stick with, carry on with what you are doing.
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    Although you didn't end your Conclusion paragraph with a period. My college finance professor would dock any paper by a letter grade for that. Hussain Elsaid, SIU-C.
    And I thought it was perfect . Thank you for pointing it out tho, fixed it right away!
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    I second the formatting kudos. It's a million times easier to actually comprehend what someone's program looks like when they put a bit of effort into writing it out...

    It actually looks pretty good, though the volume for your leg days might be a bit light. Looking at the weekly volume, you've got 11 sets for quads, and 10 for hamstrings--compared to your upper body, where you've got 20 sets for chest and a ****load for back, with those supersets. I guess you do a higher rep range for a couple of the leg exercises, but still.

    Other than that, I'd personally prefer fewer machines. Sub in bench press for the machine chest press, sub in squats for the leg press, and do either OHP or dumbbell shoulder press rather than the machines. But also, that's *mostly* just personal preference.

    Overall, I don't think there's anything glaringly terrible about it, and if it works for you and you're seeing consistent progress, there's probably no need to change anything.
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    Originally Posted by bLinkMoore View Post
    I second the formatting kudos. It's a million times easier to actually comprehend what someone's program looks like when they put a bit of effort into writing it out...

    It actually looks pretty good, though the volume for your leg days might be a bit light. Looking at the weekly volume, you've got 11 sets for quads, and 10 for hamstrings--compared to your upper body, where you've got 20 sets for chest and a ****load for back, with those supersets. I guess you do a higher rep range for a couple of the leg exercises, but still.

    Other than that, I'd personally prefer fewer machines. Sub in bench press for the machine chest press, sub in squats for the leg press, and do either OHP or dumbbell shoulder press rather than the machines. But also, that's *mostly* just personal preference.

    Overall, I don't think there's anything glaringly terrible about it, and if it works for you and you're seeing consistent progress, there's probably no need to change anything.
    He has stated multiple times in other threads he hates squatting and prefers leg press (I myself prefer hack squats), machine chest press to bench (as do I) and machine OHP (I like stupid heavy dumbbells) but he isn’t losing anything.

    As far as OPs program goes....I’d switch pendulum squats with RDLs (try RDLs with a trap bar sometime, it is awesome) and for the love of whatever God you worship stick to it.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 01-20-2021 at 12:02 PM.
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    Originally Posted by bLinkMoore View Post
    I second the formatting kudos. It's a million times easier to actually comprehend what someone's program looks like when they put a bit of effort into writing it out...

    It actually looks pretty good, though the volume for your leg days might be a bit light. Looking at the weekly volume, you've got 11 sets for quads, and 10 for hamstrings--compared to your upper body, where you've got 20 sets for chest and a ****load for back, with those supersets. I guess you do a higher rep range for a couple of the leg exercises, but still.

    Other than that, I'd personally prefer fewer machines. Sub in bench press for the machine chest press, sub in squats for the leg press, and do either OHP or dumbbell shoulder press rather than the machines. But also, that's *mostly* just personal preference.

    Overall, I don't think there's anything glaringly terrible about it, and if it works for you and you're seeing consistent progress, there's probably no need to change anything.
    If OP is struggling with fatigue management, machines will allow him to maintain a higher the RPE and volume versus free weights
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    He has stated multiple times in other threads he hates squatting and prefers leg press (I myself prefer hack squats), machine chest press to bench (as do I) and machine OHP (I like stupid heavy dumbbells) but there he isn’t losing anything.
    Ahhh gotcha, fair enough. Hadn't seen those other threads.
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    Originally Posted by cmacken View Post
    If OP is struggling with fatigue management, machines will allow him to maintain a higher the RPE and volume versus free weights
    That's definitely valid, I guess the personal preference becomes pretty key here. I'm still not sure why upper body has so much more volume than lower body, but the machine choice does make some sense if he's going to total failure on every set. Which I do also tend to disagree with, but ah well.
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    Doesn’t look bad, but I agree the leg days could be better. I’d aim for 2 quad and 2 ham movements per leg day. Not really a fan of all the machine work tbh, but if you enjoy it and it keeps you consistent then that’s all that matters, really.
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    Originally Posted by bLinkMoore View Post
    It actually looks pretty good, though the volume for your leg days might be a bit light. Looking at the weekly volume, you've got 11 sets for quads, and 10 for hamstrings--compared to your upper body, where you've got 20 sets for chest and a ****load for back, with those supersets. I guess you do a higher rep range for a couple of the leg exercises, but still.
    I've also thought if my leg days should have a little more work during them. My problem was, when I would be doing around 15 sets of squats, press, lunges and rdl in the past, all in the same workout, I would still try and go to failure really hard with each set.

    Not only that I wouldnt become sore anymore, but every workout I woulded get sick, like lightheaded and dizzy.

    So I figured I should split it, and I think it benefits me very well having a quad focused day and the other being hams focused, as I am able to focus on each of them very well. Now, after the first leg day my quads get sore for straight 4 or 5 days. Same for my hams.

    As for the back, yeah it's not very low volume, but I've also had another exercise in this day, which I've dropped because I would've get too exhausted, and I wanted to focus on 2 main rows and 2 main pulls.
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    Originally Posted by cmacken View Post
    If OP is struggling with fatigue management, machines will allow him to maintain a higher the RPE and volume versus free weights
    Right on point! Since I like going to failure with every set, my main problem was getting too exhausted during my sessions. This problem started to go away little by little when I switched the standing barbell OHP tp the machine shoulder press.
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    Originally Posted by AndyBendy View Post
    I've also thought if my leg days should have a little more work during them. My problem was, when I would be doing around 15 sets of squats, press, lunges and rdl in the past, all in the same workout, I would still try and go to failure really hard with each set.

    Not only that I wouldnt become sore anymore, but every workout I woulded get sick, like lightheaded and dizzy.

    So I figured I should split it, and I think it benefits me very well having a quad focused day and the other being hams focused, as I am able to focus on each of them very well. Now, after the first leg day my quads get sore for straight 4 or 5 days. Same for my hams.
    Soreness doesn’t indicate much on the hypertrophy front and I would advise against purposely training to failure for those very reasons. 15 sets across squats, rdls, lunges, leg curls doesn’t seem like too much tbh, unless you’re relatively new to training or your numbers are pushing advanced. Try leaving 1-2 reps in the tank each set, unless training to failure promotes enjoyment, and adherence by extension, keep doing what you’re doing.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    Soreness doesn’t indicate much on the hypertrophy front and I would advise against purposely training to failure for those very reasons. 15 sets across squats, rdls, lunges, leg curls doesn’t seem like too much tbh, unless you’re relatively new to training or your numbers are pushing advanced. Try leaving 1-2 reps in the tank each set, unless training to failure promotes enjoyment, and adherence by extension, keep doing what you’re doing.
    Agree. OP, optimally you'd dial back the sets to failure a little--but, if you just really enjoy it and lowering the intensity is a dealbreaker, keep doing what you're doing. You'll still make progress.
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    Originally Posted by AndyBendy View Post
    I've also thought if my leg days should have a little more work during them. My problem was, when I would be doing around 15 sets of squats, press, lunges and rdl in the past, all in the same workout, I would still try and go to failure really hard with each set.

    Not only that I wouldnt become sore anymore, but every workout I woulded get sick, like lightheaded and dizzy.

    So I figured I should split it, and I think it benefits me very well having a quad focused day and the other being hams focused, as I am able to focus on each of them very well. Now, after the first leg day my quads get sore for straight 4 or 5 days. Same for my hams.

    As for the back, yeah it's not very low volume, but I've also had another exercise in this day, which I've dropped because I would've get too exhausted, and I wanted to focus on 2 main rows and 2 main pulls.
    I certainly agree with the idea of a quad-focused day and a ham-focused day, but not if it significantly compromises your weekly volume. I think that longer rest periods and/or lower intensity for most of your sets could help you out here.
    FWIW, soreness is definitely not necessary to make gains.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    Soreness doesn’t indicate much on the hypertrophy front and I would advise against purposely training to failure for those very reasons. 15 sets across squats, rdls, lunges, leg curls doesn’t seem like too much tbh, unless you’re relatively new to training or your numbers are pushing advanced. Try leaving 1-2 reps in the tank each set, unless training to failure promotes enjoyment, and adherence by extension, keep doing what you’re doing.
    I've trained basically to failure ever since I started training seriously and getting good results. If I would be trying to leave a couple of reps in the tank, I would fear of not training hard enough. But I could try increasing the volume and lowering the intensity a little in the future.
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    Originally Posted by AndyBendy View Post
    I've trained basically to failure ever since I started training seriously and getting good results. If I would be trying to leave a couple of reps in the tank, I would fear of not training hard enough. But I could try increasing the volume and lowering the intensity a little in the future.
    You’re going to get results from pretty much anything you do starting out. Not saying this is you btw, but this is why I believe it’s imperative that beginners get it right from the start. They tend to live by what gave them immediate results, which could be anything under the sun as an untrained individual. This instills poor training ideology, which can take months/years to overcome because their initial measure of success was heavily influenced by their untrained state. It’s tough to break away from what seemingly worked ‘best’ when you’ve never known any other way. Then by the time they’ve adopted good training protocols, they’re well beyond newbie gains and blame the slower progress on said newly adopted protocols. It’s a vicious cycle. Get it right from the start and you immediately set yourself up for months/years of sustained progress. Anyway, rant over (not directed at you).

    Back on topic. Training to failure isn’t terrible by any means, it’s just not the best use of your expenditure, especially when doing it on every set. If you want, you could leave 1-2 reps in reserve on every set but leave your final set as an AMRAP so you’re still getting the ‘feeling’ of a good workout by the end of the exercise without the large rep drop offs between sets. Just be extra vigilant with form breakdown on more technical lifts when training to failure.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    If you want, you could leave 1-2 reps in reserve on every set but leave your final set as an AMRAP so you’re still getting the ‘feeling’ of a good workout by the end of the exercise without the large rep drop offs between sets. Just be extra vigilant with form breakdown on more technical lifts when training to failure.
    Definitely. I often use this strategy for accessory work and I really like it. OP it seems like you're someone who really needs that feeling of just total exhaustion in your muscles (my roommate's like this, we've had many debates/arguments about the best strategy), you could definitely benefit from trying it out.
    BP: 275
    SQ: 405
    DL: 500
    Bodyweight 180
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