View Full Version : Critique my Strength Routine?

Tom Vale
09-02-2009, 04:12 AM
G'day Guys and Gals,

My goals are to hit all of the "Advanced" weights from Rippetoes Strength Standards at a bodyweight of 88-90kg(198lbs).
This makes my Goals:
Press - 79kg (175lbs)
Bench - 132kg (290lbs)
Squat - 176kg (387lbs)
Deadlift - 208kg (457lbs)
Power Clean - 127kg (280lbs)
Power Snatch - 90kg (198lbs)

I will have issues hitting the Bench Goal as I don't currently have regular access to one, however this is also the goal I am least concerned about.
The Snatch goal is not part of Rippetoes Strength Standards and is more in there because I love the lift =).

All @ BW of 90kg(198lbs)

Currently I weigh approximately 95kg(210lbs) with average body composition. Not terrible, not amazing. (I'd approximate around 15% BF perhaps?)

Current PR's
Press - 60kg (135lbs)
Bench Press - 85kg (185lbs) Paused
Squat - 125kg (275lbs)
Deadlift - 172.5kg (380lbs) *note* Terrible/unsafe form.
Power Clean - 85kg (185lbs)

The Routine

Here is a 4 day Routine I have devised to try and help me reach my goals:

Squats 3x5
Press 5x3
Chinups 3x10

Power Cleans 4x3
RDL's 3x5
Bent Rows 3x8

Power Snatch 3x3
Weighted Dips 3x5

Deadlifts 3x5
Pushups 3x20

I am relatively new to program design and have posted it on here obviously for criticism and advice so I hope you all can help out.

I will also probably be doing some conditioning work (circuit training / heavier crossfit workouts) for approx. 20 minutes, 3 times a week. Of course, always after strength work.

Steven Low
09-02-2009, 11:17 AM
Keep your metabolic work very short.

It might be better for you to follow a proven program for intermediate/advanced such as Wendler's 5/3/1 or Bill Starr's 5x5 intermediate... or other variations of such programs.

You're really only getting each lift in once per week which isn't enough frequency to make any sort of decent progress on them. Trying to do too much at once..

Tom Vale
09-02-2009, 12:31 PM
Ah Steven, I was hoping you'd comment on this as I have read heaps of your posts on this site haha.
I will look in to those routines tonight, thanks for the advice.

Gavin Harrison
09-02-2009, 07:14 PM

Try out Wendler's 5/3/1 (buy the ebook). On Squat and/or Deadlift days, do some cleans or snatches before your main lift, after your general warmup. Don't use them for 5/3/1 movements, just do them moderate/heavy and moderate/low volume. Use whatever makes sense for your assistance work after the main movement each day.

Tom Vale
09-03-2009, 03:31 AM
Hat about doing short heavy metcon as assistance work 2-3 days a week? 10-15 minutes say?

Steven Low
09-03-2009, 10:30 AM
Short as in <10 minutes. 5 Range is probably better

Tom Vale
09-03-2009, 03:50 PM
I purchased wendler's 5/3/1 and it does look like quite a good program but it only has each movement once a week also? Steven, do you think this will still be enough frequency?

Don Stevenson
09-03-2009, 06:29 PM
Hey Tom, are you following me around the forums? :D

There are many ways to skin a cat and 5/3/1 is just one of them. It works very nicely, just don't expect to jump 20kg in each lift in one month.

I'm using 5/3/1 at the moment and have been experimenting with a couple of variations. Coming from O-lifting where everyone squats, pulls and puts stuff overhead 6-10 times a week I shared your concern about only doing the movements once a week so I tried doing each exercise twice a week but only maxing out one of those times.

To be honest i don't really think it helped much above the basic program.

If you really want to do each exercise twice a week plug a variation it in as an assistance exercise on another day, so for example do Back squat one day with dumbell bench press and barbell bench press with lunges another day.

The key with 5/3/1 is what i'd call "intensive" practice where as the key with a lot of other training programs is "frequent" practice.

I've been enjoying 5/3/1 because it's time efficient and since i'm super busy at the moment it's great to be able to get a whole workout including main lift, supplementary exercise and assitance work PLUS conditioning done in under an hour, 3 x a week.

Here, strictly as an example is my last week of training (this is the first week of a 5/3/1 cycle

Current 1RMs BP 130kg, DL 245kg, BSQ 200kg, MP 85kg


Cleans 90kg x3 100kg 3x3
Bench Press 90kg x5 100kg x5 110kgx7 (rep PR)
Back ext 3x8 20kg
KB situp 32 kg 3 x 3/3

Run 2:00 / 1:00 @ 12, 12.5 and 13km/hr


Deadlift 170kg x5 185kgx5 205kgx5 (rep PR)
Mil press 50x5, 57x5, 65x6
Glute ham raise 3x8
Kroc Rows 3 x 8/8 48kg

Rowing - tabatas 4:00

Squat 130 x5 150x5 170x5 (rep PR)
pullups 5 x 8
Plank 3 x 45 seconds + 50kg
KB windmill 3 x 5/5 24kg

KB snatch 3:00 / 2:00 x3 24kg

AS you can see my assistance work centers around core strength and stability at the moment because it's my weak point.

Allen Yeh
09-03-2009, 06:37 PM
I purchased wendler's 5/3/1 and it does look like quite a good program but it only has each movement once a week also? Steven, do you think this will still be enough frequency?

This is where the assistance exercises help on the lower and upper days.

For example:

DL day - do some squat assistance stuff like FS or other things

Squat day - do some DL stuff

Thomas Campitelli
09-07-2009, 10:46 AM
Hey Tom,

I think your program as listed above is not optimal. Further, if you want to hit the numbers you mentioned while dropping body weight, I think you may be in for a very, very tough road.

You don't say how tall you are, but your current BW is 210 lbs. If I assume that you are around 5'10", you probably can increase your weights linearly on a standard Rippetoe novice progression for a little while longer. If you don't have Starting Strength, you should get it now. I also recommend Practical Programming. They will both help to address some of your programming issues, too.

Getting stronger while losing weight is very difficult. You want to squat 110 pounds more than you do now while losing 12 pounds of body weight. You will probably need to put on muscular bodyweight in order to continue to progress to the levels you want.

As mentioned by Steven, you are only squatting once per week, but you are doing RDLs and deadlifts, effectively deadlifting twice a week. You are looking to do 3 sets of 5 on the deadlift which, if you are going heavy, will probably be too much volume. Worry less about rows and RDLs and pushups, and squat three times a week. Do your pullups to failure. Read Rippetoe's stuff and do the novice progression until you can't get any more out of linear increases. Only then should you move to something more complicated.