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Mike
Mike
June 23, 2020 14:41

Hey there Andy, would you mind giving this a glance and making sure it looks okay? Its nearly identical your plan. All I did was replace the machines I didnt have access to (leg press/extension) and I moved the pull ups to my pull day for time.

https://i.imgur.com/RC3B8TC.png

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 23, 2020 16:36
Reply to  Mike

Hi Mike. I can’t offer to critique something you have built as that is outside the scope of how I choose to operate the comments. However, if it is nearly identical but you’ve just substituted some machines for free weight alternatives, then I am sure it is fine.

Justin
Justin
June 19, 2020 21:04

Hi Andy!

Question on dips: you have them in this program but have recommended against them in the past. I have tried dips for awhile but they are uncomfortable for me due to having an AC separation shoulder injury (grade 4 if that matters). The injury is from years ago and I never got surgery to fix it because it has not affected me negatively after I had physical therapy. This one exercise seems to aggravate it.

I was curious if you had a recommendation for substituting dips that would fit this program.

Thank you!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 22, 2020 07:48
Reply to  Justin

Hi Justin, thanks for the question.

Any horizontal pressing movement, preferably one with a narrower grip than you bench with, using as full a range of motion as you can without joint issues. A narrow grip bench press, DB presses, or a push-up variant, for example.

Justin
Justin
June 24, 2020 07:56
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thank you so much!

So I took your advice and substituted the dips for a narrower grip bench. I chose a dumbbell variant with the palms facing towards my face. The movement feels great and I am able to feel the stretch at the bottom without it being uncomfortable on my shoulder.

Thank you for providing so much information. This site is awesome. I look forward to learning even more in the muscle and strength pyramid books.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 24, 2020 08:27
Reply to  Justin

Most welcome, Justin!

Paul
Paul
June 15, 2020 08:21

Hey there Andy, I’m a little confused. I’ve read in your articles and seen online that the recommended number of sets per body part per week would be 10-20 correct? Now I assume there’s some overlap in between muscle groups with the exercises, but in this case for biceps and triceps, 3 sets per week still seems pretty low? I apologize for the extremely dumb question, definately not trying to doubt your expertise, just want to understand everything a bit more. Is there inclusion of the biceps/triceps that I’m perhaps missing?
 
Also – I have an at home squat rack along with dumbbells but dont have access to leg extensions/leg curls, could I still do this routine?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 15, 2020 09:03
Reply to  Paul

Hi Paul, thanks for the questions.

1. The volume from the pulling and pushing work will train the biceps and triceps and is counted.
2. Sure. Reverse lunges/Step-ups, and Bulgarian Split Squats have you covered. More on making exercise substitutions (and exercise selection in general) here: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach.

(No questions are “dumb,” please feel free to ask anything any time.)

Paul
Paul
June 15, 2020 09:39
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Got ittt. Thanks so much Andy!
 
With that being said regarding the biceps/triceps, would you say keeping it to 1 exercise for all sets be a good idea? Currently I do a mix of incline curls and ez bar curls for my biceps. and ill do tricep rope pushdowns and lying kickbacks for my triceps. is this a bad idea? would i be better off keeping it to just 1 exercise?
 
i have a sneaking suspicion im overtraining. i currently do upper body, lower body 4x a week. and i’ll hit biceps/triceps with 4-6 sets on each upper day. doing a mix of those exercises mentioned above.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 16, 2020 08:44
Reply to  Paul

Well, let’s think about it this way: why do we vary exercise selection? To hit the muscle group in slightly different angles/ways, believing that this will be better for overall development, right?

There is some truth to that. However, you’re already hitting your biceps and triceps in multiple different ways from the indirect work, so I don’t see a need.

More on exercise selection. More on appropriate training volume in our article on how to build training programs.

Paul
Paul
June 20, 2020 15:20
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Hey there Andy, so I searched thru the comments and saw you recommend any horizontal pressing movement as an alternative for dips. So would this mean that the “Push” day is 1 vertical push, 2 horizontal push (or “pressing”) moves and then flys as well? Essentially 3 chest exercises and 1 shoulder exercise?

Also, can I replace the back extensions with something else on the Pull day? Like maybe delt or bicep/tricep work?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 22, 2020 07:55
Reply to  Paul

Hi Paul, thanks for the questions.

1. Yes. / Broadly speaking, but the shoulders are worked to a degree in all horizontal pressing exercises.

2. The exercises in question aren’t replacements for one another as they work different muscle groups. So, if you have reason to believe (preferably training data) that you could benefit from doing less of something, then please feel free to make the change. Same goes for adding something in. Additions don’t necessarily have to come at the cost of something already within a program, as long as you can keep up sufficient training intensity.

Julian Shenouda
Julian Shenouda
June 7, 2020 22:38

Hi Andy,

Due to my back injury, it is impossible for me to do squats and deadlifts. What alternatives do you recommend?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 8, 2020 07:27
neilh
neilh
June 1, 2020 05:37

Hi Andy. About to start the 4 week program and I’m excited! I’ve lacked structure for a while now since training at home. There’s probably a very simple answer to my question – each week increases in intensity and reduces in volume and those calculations are automatically made from your 1RM’s. So when you get to the end of the deload week, do the 1RM’s need to be manually adjusted for week 1 to restart with the new load (assuming strength / loads do actually increase over the 4 weeks)? If they do need updating after each week 3 / reload, how should the 1RM’s be calculated? Many thanks in advance. Neil

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 1, 2020 09:06
Reply to  neilh

Hi Neil,

The 1RMs are just a guide to choosing the initial loads lifted when starting the program. They aren’t used moving forward. Here’s my article on progression if anything is unclear.

Lars
Lars
May 25, 2020 05:52

If my arms are lacking can I add more bicep and tricep isolation sets are should I just wait it out?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
May 25, 2020 08:08
Reply to  Lars

See the Q&A item at the end, Lars.

Alex Kelly
Alex Kelly
May 23, 2020 22:06

Hi Andy.
I noticed that the Bodybuilding Intermediate Day 1 Single-Leg Variant has 3×8–12 but in the book it is 3×6-8. Which is correct?
Thanks,
Alex

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
May 24, 2020 06:55
Reply to  Alex Kelly

The book. Thanks for pointing that out, Alex. Must have screwed that up when I reformatted the tables. Fixed! 🙏🏻

Elliot
Elliot
May 23, 2020 20:07

Hi Andy, I have a home gym with barbells, dumbells and benches – can you recommend alternatives with my current kit to leg press, extension and curls please. Also, re the intermediate bodybuilding programme, there seems like a lot of focus on back (more than other upper body muscles) – am I correct? thanks very much!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
May 24, 2020 06:58
Reply to  Elliot

Hi Elliot, thanks for the questions.

1. Sure. See here: A Guide to Exercise Selection
2. It’s all balanced. But we may be counting things differently.

Abraham
Abraham
May 13, 2020 08:30

Hi Andy, I train at home and can’t do back extensions and face pull. Can you please give me alternative exercise thanks.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
May 13, 2020 09:29
Reply to  Abraham

Can’t think of any for those, but it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and I wouldn’t worry about it.

You’ve seen my guide to adapting your training program for home workouts for the others, right?

Abraham
Abraham
May 13, 2020 09:34
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Yes I’ve seen it.I do have a gym, half rack and a chin up bar.

Lars
Lars
April 17, 2020 22:13

I noticed that in the program above, you have pull ups/lat pull downs on the day after push day. If those vertical pulling movements work shoulders, is that not counterproductive if shoulders were targeted the day before?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
April 18, 2020 09:50
Reply to  Lars

A degree of overlap when structuring a training program is inevitable. Most people won’t find the way things are set up here an issue.

Lars
Lars
April 15, 2020 23:20

Question about work capacity,

Say I run a 6 day PPL for 2 months. By the end of it, my body would have likely adapted to that work capacity. If I switch to less volume for time reasons, will I see less gains because of the decrease in workload compared to what my body is used to?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
April 16, 2020 08:05
Reply to  Lars

No, it doesn’t work like that. Your ability to handle the training and your response from the training are two separate things.

Volume needs gradually increase over the course of a training career. You won’t train your way into becoming unresponsive to a lower volume over a couple of months.

isak Bredal
isak Bredal
February 11, 2020 00:51

If I want to avoid front squats, is there any way I can relieve some pressure of my lower back on the first training day?

Assuming I will do RDL (open to change), my gym doesnt have hack squats or safety bar squats.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
February 11, 2020 05:40
Reply to  isak Bredal

Have you considered the leg press?

James Martin
James Martin
February 10, 2020 02:22

Hi Andy – given my work schedule it can be tough to fit in 5 days a week; should I do as much as I can in a week and carry on, or shall I adjust the program in some other way?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
February 10, 2020 08:13
Reply to  James Martin

Hi James,

The most important factor in program design setting things up in a way you can sustain. This 5-day program shows just one way of organizing what may be an appropriate volume for an intermediate trainee. This guide to building training programs will show you how to do that over four days.

Ryan
Ryan
January 31, 2020 02:04

can I do chin ups on both days for horizontal pulls ?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 31, 2020 08:54
Reply to  Ryan

I’d class chin-ups are a vertical pulling motion. Pulling perpendicular to your torso is what I mean by a horizontal row.

Anton
Anton
January 29, 2020 18:25

Hello, Andy! Is there any down side to use machines for the heavy compounds? Like a plate loaded press for instance?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 30, 2020 06:27
Reply to  Anton

Hi Anton, it’s a good question but I can’t give a black and white answer, so please bear with me.

You’re going to miss out on an element of balance, this might lead to a little less muscle trained overall. But the learning curve is shorter, which means you’ll be able to push harder, earlier. The machine will move in a set movement pattern, not the one that is necessarily the best for your build, which could take a toll on your joints over time.

PGP
PGP
January 27, 2020 23:07

I find myself struggling with DL on day 1 given the squat to start. Ok to move DL to Pull day and add in a leg extension or something on day 1?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 28, 2020 06:49
Reply to  PGP

The deadlift is a hip hinge movement, so swap one of those in rather than the leg extension. Perhaps 1-arm, 1-leg RDLs, for example. Could be many things though. This may be helpful: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach.

PGP
PGP
January 29, 2020 02:01
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Andy, thanks so much for your reply! Really appreciate all your content and the fact that you respond to these questions every single day shows your generosity.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 29, 2020 07:50
Reply to  PGP

Thank you. Most welcome, Patrick!

Richard Ross
Richard Ross
January 29, 2020 10:18
Reply to  PGP

Yeah I found the same, for me a simple tweak was to go for front squats and then conventional deadlift. Been a few months and so far no issues with lower back fatigue etc

Tobias Schneider
Tobias Schneider
January 22, 2020 04:26

Hey guys, is it possible to perform this routine with a higher rep range on some exercises like the bench press, pendlay row, pull ups etc ? I find my body reacting better to repetitions in the 8-10 range or even higher. It’s maybe due to my estimated higher ratio of slow twitch muscle fibers (my parents are both marathon runners and I am actually better in endurance sports as well, nervermind I still want an aesthetic strong body lol).
Would be really happy for any advice!
Thanks in advance
Tobi

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 22, 2020 09:55

Yes, absolutely. You’ll see the reasoning behind the rep ranges we have recommended here in our article on how to build training programs. But if you’re getting a better result with something different, stick with it.

Arturo Murcia Domínguez
Arturo Murcia Domínguez
January 4, 2020 01:54

Hi Andy
i’ve been following your book notes by a year. I always end up with the same problem : 3- 6 range. I don’t feel confortable in this range, and I end up stalling or injured. I’ve read you diagrams about stress and stall, but the problem is always in low rep range. Could it be possible to avoid this range, and train always between 8-15? Would be the progress lower than using all rep ranges?

Many thanks for your support
Arturo
spain

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 4, 2020 12:04

Hi Arturo,

Yes.

Including some training in the lower rep ranges may optimize hypertrophy, which is why we include it (more on this in my article on how to build programs). However, of higher importance is remaining injury-free. So, if you can’t figure out why this keeps happening, please feel free to use the higher rep ranges.

When someone runs into an issue like this though the reason is that they are sacrificing their form to allow temporary progress.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 28, 2019 16:00

Hi Derek, see the very last point in the article. You’ll find your answer there.

Derek
Derek
December 28, 2019 05:00

For the linear periodization here is there any way to change the accumulation to deload ratio from 3:1? I know that after every block an assessment of deload should be done. But would that mean that potentially one would do a 6 week block before deloading if feeling well? Also would you recommend doing the “post blck assessment” after every 3 week block or after every week?
As far as the actual jumps in weight, do you think the week following the deload in the example above is the hardest jump(returning to 3×8 with the weight used in wk 2)? Just asking because then one could try to time their deload according to that.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 28, 2019 16:03
Reply to  Derek

1/2. Sure, you could do that.
3. No, I’d assess only every few months. To do anything otherwise would be interruptive.
4. No. After the deload, you should feel rested and this will often be the easiest.

Derek
Derek
December 29, 2019 13:57
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thank you for the response!
Addressing point 3, wouldn’t a block be every 4 weeks using the linear periodization scheme? It was under my understanding that this was the case, so that is why I asked about doing the reload assessment/checklist after every 3 week block. Especially because if I were to double up and run 6:1 then I would have to be more cautious of fatigue than just doing the 3:1 accumulation to reload.
Point 4, What I was referring to was the week where you return to doing 3 sets of 8, in the example it comes after the deload. So if you exclude the deload from the 4 week block, would any of the weeks be significantly harder? (ie is dropping a rep and adding weight harder)

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 29, 2019 20:52
Reply to  Derek

Most welcome. Following on…

Addressing point 3, wouldn’t a block be every 4 weeks using the linear periodization scheme?
– Yes.

It was under my understanding that this was the case, so that is why I asked about doing the reload assessment/checklist after every 3-week block.
Ahh, I interpreted your “post block assessment” question to mean that you were asking about whether to change the programming to include some kind of testing. (Like an AMRAP test, or something like that.) Whether you are able to increase the loads will become apparent when you increase the loads in the next round of progression. If you aren’t, don’t. Try again. Then if you struggle, reassess.

…would any of the weeks be significantly harder?
Generally, the final week in the block is the hardest, which is why we have the deload the week after — to dump fatigue.

This stuff clearly interests you a lot. Consider getting the book as it puts all the pieces together.

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