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isak Bredal
isak Bredal

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
Andy Morgan

Have you considered the leg press?

James Martin
James Martin

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
Andy Morgan

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

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

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

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

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

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

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

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
Andy Morgan

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

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
Andy Morgan

Thank you. Most welcome, Patrick!

Richard Ross
Richard Ross

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

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
Andy Morgan

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

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
Andy Morgan

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
Andy Morgan

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

Derek
Derek

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
Andy Morgan

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

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
Andy Morgan

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.

Jack
Jack

Hi Andy,

Can you take this program and make it a 4 day program by combining the push/pull days as they appear to have a low amount of volume?

Thanks in advance!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Jack. Here’s how I’d go about building a 4-day program: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

Phil Aspin
Phil Aspin

Top program this. Been running it for a while now. I tweak it from time to time and change up exercises whilst keeping structure
Question re warm up sets. How many per MG? I tend to do 3 and doing other movements for the same muscle dont bother with warm ups again just get stuck in as I’m already warm ie push day first chest movement I do 3 WU then working sets but dont do warm up sets for other chest movements
Cheers

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

However many you need to be ready (but not tired) for your main sets. This will increase over time as you get stronger, and will generally be more for the larger muscle groups and compound exercises.

For the big 3, I do 2-3 warm-up sets. Something like a cable row or chin-up, I’m usually good with one. I typically just go straight into isolation work.

Phil
Phil

Legend

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

😘

Michael Bested
Michael Bested

Hi Andy I know the that inbody trackers aren’t reliable but still, how can it be possible that it show loss in muscle mass and gain in body fat when I have followed the intermediate program and I keep raising my calorie intake because I can’t seem to gain weight ?I have used it with a month apart and it showed 0,4kg loss in mass in and fat 14,3% – 14,6%. I know its not much but I would assume that mass would have increased a bit or at least stall
I stopped loosing weight at 2500 cal but I am now at 3000 cal and still don’t put on weight. I weigh my self every morning and add those numbers and divide them by the days to get an average weight
77,7 77 ,9 77,9 77,5 77,8 77,8 77,4 =77,71428571

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

The first part of your sentence answered your question. — Because they aren’t reliable.

Track your progress like this.

Juan Vazquez
Juan Vazquez

Hi Andy, might be a dumb question, but for biceps there’s only one exercise for it but that’s because it is targeted when we do back as well?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Yes.

Julian Shenouda
Julian Shenouda

Hi Andy,

I stopped making intermediate progression and started with deloading every 4 weeks. Is it also possible to spread the 5 day routine over two weeks, or to do day 1 and 2 in a week, instead of deloading according to your method?

Kind regards,

Julian

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Julian. Anything is possible, but I take it that your question is: “I’ve stalled, what should I do?”

A combination of these three articles will help:
1) How to Break Training Plateaus
2) How to Address Weak Points in Your Lifts
3) What is Realistic Progress When Cutting

I’ll add that to the end of the article. Thank you for asking.

Ben
Ben

Hi Andy,

I currently am very limited with the exercises I can do in the lower body days because I have a tear in my labrum and need to have an FAI surgery. Would you still recommend using this program even though I probably can only do in lower body days leg extensions, leg curls and calf raises or would you recommend using a program that has more focus on the upper body while I am dealing with this injury?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Ben, thanks for the question.

More training (volume) isn’t better; the right amount is key. So, just because your lower body is injured, doesn’t mean your upper body needs more volume now. Keep it as is.

Marco
Marco

Hi Andy,

I have a question regarding Day 4.
Which exercise can I take to replace dips?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Any horizontal pressing movement.

Marco
Marco

Hi Andy,

I just bought your books . I started with the training book. It’s amazing and eye opening. Thanks for that.
I have another short question.

Can I do this training sample plan on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and rest over the weekend ? Or should I have a rest day between the training days ?

Best regards,
Marco

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Marco, thanks for getting the books, glad you like them. It’s likely marginally better to have a rest day, if possible.

Marco
Marco

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your quick reply.
If I want to do this sample Programm on a four day routine with lower/upper/lower/upper where should I put the exercises stated at 5. Day? Just put them half/half on both upper days? Oh should I delete some of them?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Exactly. Remember, this program is just an example of how the training principles in the book could produce a 5-day bodybuilding focussed program. You’ll be able to create your own using the quick-start guide to building training programs. (This is in the book also.)

Joshua Da Costa
Joshua Da Costa

If I can only go to the gym 3 times per week, how should I tweak this routine efficiently?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Joshua, there’s no simple tweak that’ll make this a three-day routine, but have a look at this article on building programs as you’ll see your options for three days if that’s all you have.

Karl
Karl

What are your thoughts on adding an isolation bicep exercise on the pull day and isolation triceps exercise on the push day? thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Karl. See the FAQ item at the end of the article.

Julian Shenouda
Julian Shenouda

Hi,

I have a number of injuries, so I wondered if it would be possible to replace the exercises with 6-8 repetitions with 8-12 or 10-12 repetitions. Would this change the overall progression?

In addition, I can do the single-leg variant so heavy that I can’t hold the dumbbells anymore. Do you have any tips for this?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Julian,

Fine to use lighter loads with higher rep ranges. The progression rules change slightly for the intermediate progression but the broad principles remain the same.

Use straps to aid your grip.

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