Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike
A less important issue probably. If you are settled on two days in the gym (makes sense) you're looking at a pretty simple progression. Low frequency/higher intensity.
How are you built? long limbs or short?
what have you used in the past to get to current numbers?
do you have spotters?
what are you good at? reps or singles?
what lift do you love, which do you hate?
Sounds like you're squarely in intermediate territory where progress is about to slow.
my gut reaction is an A/B/ Split:
A Press and Squat,
B Push Press and DL
Plenty of set/rep schemes that will work. No matter what they'll need to be based on a one day a week squat and one day pull. I am a fan of 531, also a fan of the old school
54321 to a top 80-95% single with a either a couple big back off sets or 3x3 with pauses squats or deficit DL. Another favorite is to use the Texas method spread over 2 days instead of 3.
Really sets and reps are pretty unimportant, what's important is getting the right amount of volume (for you) in and being recovered enough to give time to your other background goals. Better question, what kind of rep/set progressions do you like?
Im fairly long limbed. I used a linear progression for all of my past strength work until I couldn't hit my goal reps (3x5) then just reset. Basic Starting Strength Rippetoe type stuff. Squat/Deadlift/Press/Clean. After that I focused on doubles/triples for a month or so utilizing 75-85% of my 1RM. It worked well for me as those are my favorite lifts. I particularly enjoy Clean and Jerk, DL, and Squat. Press is ok, I am just wary of overdoing the press movement and causing any imbalance or impingement.
Reps don't particularly bother me. For squats I like to work with doubles or triples and occasionally venture into 5, I also like hitting some 20 Rep sets once as well. Deadlift 3-5, Press 5 or less, and clean/c&j 3 or less.
Im a bit OCD with programming and like to have hard numbers set for me. When I came back from my last deployment I could barely squat 205 for 2 reps, and wasn't even close to parallel. Having set #s ahead of me helpd me track progress easily and and made me look forward to future workouts.