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AdamW

The Average F'n Program: A Simple And Efficient Training Template

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Wow, my confidence in T-Nation has just increased exponentially knowing that Rusi wrote something in his crap rookie journal against it..

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I've seen a few people suggest lat pulldowns for pullups, but honestly nothing helped me get my chin over that bar more than using an incline bench to support my legs.

I like the plan, guys. I'd try it if I didn't know that what I'm doing worked so well for me.

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I found the best thing to help me with pullups and chin ups... Was to lose weight. I did my first proper pullup from a dead hang a few days ago. Next day I did two. It's a dream come true. Also GTG was really good. I hate using bands.

I reckon AWRs should be an official assistance exercise for beginner programs. I feel they provided me a lot of benefit, more than planks

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:) Yes, losing weight is one of the most commonly recommended solutions. I love one of Wendler's quotes: "It's not that you are too weak to do pull-ups, you're just too fat." Also suggested by article #3 listed above.

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I found the best thing to help me with pullups and chin ups... Was to lose weight. I did my first proper pullup from a dead hang a few days ago. Next day I did two. It's a dream come true. Also GTG was really good. I hate using bands.

Yep losing weight is definitely the biggest one, I agree for sure! I hate using bands as well, I much prefer to do them self-assisted. As long as you are honest with the self assisted chins they are very good. I'll add using a lat pull down as a way to work up to full chins as well, though I think.

I reckon AWRs should be an official assistance exercise for beginner programs. I feel they provided me a lot of benefit, more than planks

Definitely my favourite ab exercise as well. Don't want to add anymore exercises to the program though and I don't think anything in there so far is worth removing to replace with ab work, plus I don't want to include the need for more specialty equipment.

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I'm using bands to good effect. Not the quickest way, maybe, but I'm sure I'll get there. I've already gone from using two pretty heavy bands to one medium one

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Looks good fellas. I like deads for 3 instead of 5 myself. But is there a specific reason for 3 sets instead of 2?

The reason I say 3 sets over 2 is because there's no squatting that day, so the extra volume shouldn't be too much trouble and for a novice the extra practice can be helpful. Ultimately I would probably say to drop from 3x3 to just 1x3 once the stalls started.

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One thing I want to bring up. It might sound stupid.

Take SL 5x5 (bear with me for a moment) and it recommends gonig from 5x5 to 3x5 to 1x5. Isn't it telling that, once the weight gets heavy enough, the body wants to do less? So why jump straight from 5x5 to 3x5. The obvious compromise would be to do 4x5.

For example:

5x5, first stall go to 4x5, second stall go to 3x5 etc.

Why is it always 5 sets or 3 sets, why can't it be 4, you know what I mean?

In this case, 3x3, then 2x3, then 1x3. Doesn't that make logical sense? It would kind of "bridge the gap" so to speak.

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One thing I want to bring up. It might sound stupid.

Take SL 5x5 (bear with me for a moment) and it recommends gonig from 5x5 to 3x5 to 1x5. Isn't it telling that, once the weight gets heavy enough, the body wants to do less? So why jump straight from 5x5 to 3x5. The obvious compromise would be to do 4x5.

For example:

5x5, first stall go to 4x5, second stall go to 3x5 etc.

Why is it always 5 sets or 3 sets, why can't it be 4, you know what I mean?

In this case, 3x3, then 2x3, then 1x3. Doesn't that make logical sense? It would kind of "bridge the gap" so to speak.

Yeah there is definitely reasoning to that idea, I think the idea of jumping 5x5 to 3x5 though is to almost give you a chance to deload while still progressing further. Dropping to just 4x5 is still very close to the volume of 5x5 and doesn't leave you much room to run with it before stalling again and having to drop to 3x5, but now when dropping to 3x5 you are more burnt out from the 4x5 run than you would've been just dropping to 3x5 in the first place.

The difference though is probably negligible to be honest, I'm sure you can take either approach and end up in more or less the same place!

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Nice program!

Once I got access to a barbell again I will definitively give it a go :D I do want to do power cleans however, how many sets and reps should I think of? 3x3 or 5x3? Thanks!

Doing pull-ups instead of chin-ups should be alright, right :P?

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So why jump straight from 5x5 to 3x5.

Well, 5 and 3 are Fibonacci numbers...but then again, so is 2.

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Well, what defines a "stall"?

If you fail to lift the weight for the prescribed amount of weights in one session? Or if you repeatedly fail?

Would stalling just once and moving on from say 5x5 to 4x5, instead of stalling repeatedly and moving on to 3x5 be more efficient?

If just seems like if you were to somehow put each system on a graph, the 5x5 -> 4x5 -> 3x5 system would make a "smoother curve," metaphorically speaking.

I'm not suggesting this is a more efficient way to progress, but I think it's worth analyzing.

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By that same token Neptune, you could do this..

5-5-5-5-5

5-5-5-5-4

5-5-5-5-3

5-5-5-4-3

5-5-5-3-3

5-5-4-3-3

5-5-4-3-2

5-5-3-3-2

5-4-3-3-2

5-4-3-2-2

...etc. etc. etc.

Where do you draw the line at how small to make the drops? I like 3x5 as the next step from 5x5 just because it gives you a break for a few sessions instead of still grinding you to your limit. Ultimately I doubt it makes a huge difference but it's less complicated.

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True.

In all honest, I didn't progress much at all when I dropped from 5x5 to 3x5. I had endurance over sets, but not during a set. Put simply it was still hard to get 5 reps in a set.

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Yeah I agree with that. If I can get something for 3 sets of 5, I can usually get it for 5 sets of 5 as well.

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If I were to go back I'd probably go from 5x5 to 5x3 personally.

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I like 3x5 to 5x3 a lot, using that for someone I'm helping lately and its worked really well.

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I like 3x5 to 5x3 a lot...

+1

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BTW, I pinned this topic. It looks like a good beginner program that will do as much as SS and SL--without any marketing baggage.

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Thanks Mav, will continue to update it as I come up with info to add or things that could be improved. Still open to better name suggestions! Don't want it to be the official program or anything but some sort of identity for the program is needed!

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The name is so you, though. :)

Could keep it simple like "Wathan's 3x5"... or "The Beginner Program" with "the" in bold everywhere. :P

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I really like the looks of this program. Specifically the added focus on Deadlifts and having them paired with Bench. That makes total sense. I've done SL for the last 2ish months and by the time I get to Deadlifts in that program now I'm gassed from the squats and OHP. I'm going to use this program after I get some lingering shoulder issues sorted out. Right now I just cannot do dips or heavy OHP. Thanks a lot for putting this together.

You just need an iphone app, a website with muscle freak adds, and an ebook replete with before/after photos (just get those on google images: Search "abs photoshop") and you're on your way to helping 101 million guys. ;)

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The name is so you, though. :)

Could keep it simple like "Wathan's 3x5"... or "The Beginner Program" with "the" in bold everywhere. :P

Make sure you put "the" in quotes, because nothing indicates emphasis quite like quotes....No, wait... :blink:

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Thanks Roupes I'm glad you like the looks of the program, we spent a lot of time trying to perfect little details (like the DL/Bench pair) to make it as effective as possible and I'm really happy with the template. If you decide to give it a try keep us updated on your progress and how the sessions feel! It doesn't have to be as rigid as the template in the first post lays out as far as rep scheme, accessory stuff, or exercise choice necessarily. If you can't do dips, don't do them, they aren't a real focus, just accessory stuff. If you can't go heavy on the OHP, do some light high volume OHP stuff that day instead maybe. Train what's trainable, the important thing is the philosophy behind the structure of the template and not so much the fine details. It can be adapted to a lot of scenarios which is something I hope to expand on in the future.

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