fbpx

415
Comments

Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

avatar
700

Privacy policy.

newest oldest
Markus
Markus

If I choose to do the good morning as my deadlift movement would it be ok to do higher reps eg. 3×10? I think 3×5 is quite heavy for the good morning. Thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Sure.

RICHARD MELHUISH
RICHARD MELHUISH

Hi Andy, I work this routine over a 8 day week due to my shifts, would that still work as well, so only doing a lower strength, upper strength etc just over once a week, rather than once a week.

Thanks.

Richard.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Richard, thank you for the question.

Think of it like this:

1) We train to deliver an adaptive stimulus to grow.

2) How much training stimulus do we need? Well, unless we have a previous, detailed training record of progress to base things off of, we don’t know.

3) However, we know that the more experienced we are, the more training volume we need, generally speaking. So I’ve split the training programs into beginner, novice, intermediate, and advanced categories, each of which have different levels of volume. This will help get us closer to the ballpark for what is likely appropriate for us.

4) If you’ve identified yourself as a novice (see How to Choose the Right Training Program), then this is a good place to start.

5) I split the programs across a week because that is what works for most people. But the body doesn’t recognize weeks, so it’s perfectly fine to not train on a weekly rotating schedule.

6) So then, what will the difference be if you split this program across 8 days instead of 7? Well, the total training stimulus per training week (in your case, 8 days) is 1/7th lower (~14%).

7) Will this be too little? Well, it’s only a small change. The initial setting was a guess at what is appropriate anyway, so I just suggest you try it and see, then adjust as necessary. Same as anyone else would.

Hope that puts your mind at ease. Rock on. 🙂

Julien S
Julien S

Hey Andy, we just spoke. If we are stuck inside doing the best we can with this Novice Bodybuilding Program, what would appropriate modifications be to make sure we can still make progress? Thank you in advance from someone who is cooped up in their house during the pandemic. 😂

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Julien, yes, I just shared this with my email list actually 10 minutes ago.

I’m going to go lift now and then create an article out of it. I checked your email address and can see you aren’t signed up to receive my newsletters and won’t have received that, so here’s a link to that email for you in the meantime.

It’s great to hear from you actually. Though you would have no idea about this, Trust Agents is the book that helped me in creating this blog back in 2011 and I wouldn’t be where I am today without applying the principles within, cover-to-cover.

Trust Agents - bookmarks

Thank you!!

Jake
Jake

Hi Andy, how would you adjust this program for 3 days? If you have the time on those 3 days would you suggest adding volume to make up for the 4th day if you can recover sufficiently? Thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Jake, this program won’t work across 3 days, it would be a different program. See here for our guide on how to build training programs.

Jake
Jake

Understood, thanks and will do that.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome!

Takeem
Takeem

Andy, I just learned about you yesterday when referred to the “Muscle and Strength Pyramid” books. I’ve been on it for several hours! Thank you for this valuable information!

I’ve decided to start with the Novice Bodybuilding Program Template since I’ve just completed a 3-month program similar to your “Big 3” program.

How long do you recommend I stay with the Novice Bodybuilding Program before moving on to the Intermediate Body Building Program? Should this be measured in time (3-months, 6-months), etc, or is it based solely on the progression methods you’ve stated in this article, which are linear progression first and then intermediate progression?

Thanks,

Takeem

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Takeem, thank you, glad you’re enjoying it!

Simple — for as long as you continue to progress. 🙂

Jax
Jax

Hey Andy, because of limitations in my home gym, I can’t do a lot of the exercise recommendations in this program. What would u recommend tor replace the leg pressing, leg extensions & leg curls? As well as the calf exercises

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Jax. Front squats, reverse lunges or Bulgrian split squats, and 1-arm, 1-leg RDLs.

Ali
Ali

So if I stalled at a lift assuming that recovery+sleep+nutrition+technique adjustment all in check, before adding a set I believe that it would be be wise to try changing that exercise with a simillar one just to insure the problem isn’t with exercise selection so like a a high bar squat with a saftey bar squat then after I make sure I’ve truly stalled with that new exercise I should add a set to that movement if adding a set did not work repeating the same process with changing that exercise than if I stalled again I would move to intermediate progression what do you think hope that made sense

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Ali, thanks for the question.

Your paragraph there is a fair attempt to summarize the guides listed at the end of this article on what to do when you stall. And what you’re asking, if I understand correctly, is for me to say, “Yes, that’s right.” But I can’t do that, the nuance matters, which is why I wrote an article, not a paragraph.

I think it’s best to keep with the exercise so that you don’t mask whether you’re progressing, which would hamper your ability to troubleshoot it.

Nathan
Nathan

Hi Andy,

Do you have an opinion on which is superior?

-Day 1: Strength (for any if the big lifts), Day 2: Volume

-Day 1&2: 1/3-1/2 sets for strength and the 1/2-2/3 for volume

-Day 1&2: Starting with sets for volume followed by sets for strength.

Thanks,

Nathan

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Nathan,

There are many ways of setting up a training program. I’ve explained the principles here: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

Pierre
Pierre

Hi Andy,
Whenever I’m doing seated leg curls my hip flexors starts cramping, can I fix it or is there an alternative or tweaking to the program I can do ?

Thank you for your work you’re doing wonders.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Pierre,

Potentially a technique issue but I’m not sure. If you’re doing them seated, are you using your arms to really lock yourself into position? Could also try the lying leg curl machine instead. If neither of these things work, perhaps try the hyperextension machine.

Pierre
Pierre

Thank you for your response,

I tweaked the settings on the machine and it’s worked.

Thank you for what you do on this website, it has helped me a lot and will continue !

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome, Pierre. 🙂

Akhil
Akhil

Hey Andy
This website helped me a lot in learning new things in fitness
I can only see 2 MAJOR areas this website is lacking

1 ) – A proper guide to cut
a)whether we should only do strength focused workouts in the 1 -5rep range and ignore isolation/hypertrophy exercises
b) training volume during cut, for example should one reduce 3×5 to 2×5 on a cut

I know there is a lot more to it like cardio and stuff but these two are the major questions people have when they cut

2) – A powerbuilding program

This one is also an issue I am having as there is no powerbuilding programs here

Anyway nice work Andy for all the info you have provided until now .

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Akhil, thank you for the feedback.

1. I don’t recommend people change their training plans automatically when switching to a cut.

A caloric deficit makes progression harder, but progress is still possible in many cases, even volume increases to allow for that. Cuts to volume can be made when needed. Just reducing a few sets.

Perhaps I’ll create a guide specifically titled, “How to change your program when you cut” and then explain that more fully. For now, see here as it covers this topic: What is Realistic Progress While Cutting?

2. I could make a training program to target this keyword that people are searching for, but the bodybuilding programs here have a blend of strength and hypertrophy work already. So, I doubt I will add to what I have here.

Here’s why:

People know what they want, but they don’t always know what they need. Past a certain point, more options do not serve people better. This is the paradox of choice.

Akhil
Akhil

Thanks for the reply
1) yes .I will look forward to that post on cutting when u finally make it

2) I focus on looks but this question is what made me think powerbuilding is the best way to bodybuild for a natural

Q: what happens to my physique when I cut after following your bodybuilding program for 4months

a)I will lose my (sarcoplasmic gains totally)and reach the base level I built using heavycompounds

b) I Will lose some size but still won’t completely lose sarcoplasmic gains.

If ( a) is the right answer then don’t u think a powerbuilding program is what’s best for bodybuilding as a natural. This confuses me Hope u can answer it Andy.Thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

If you’re focused on looks, do bodybuilding. The guides here are for natural trainees.

a) No.
b) No.

Akhil
Akhil

Gotcha I will believe you and do the novice bodybuilding .Thanks

Jiman Mircea
Jiman Mircea

I stalled on the majority of lifts, so it’s time to try a progression model that allows for less rapid progress. Question : 1. Should I stick to novice bodybuilding program with another progression model or 2. change to intermediate bodybuilding program ?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Jiman, try tweaking it first. See the last FAQ item, “Progress has stalled, what should I do?”

Jiman Mircea
Jiman Mircea

Ok, thank you Andy! 🙏🏻

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome.

Tim
Tim

Hi Andy,

Due to equipment limitations in my home gym the Day 3 Lower becomes challenging to execute. Would this program still be viable if Day 3 was dropped, and then do 5×5 on Day 1 for both Squats and Deadlifts to pick up a little more volume for the lower body, turning this into a 3 day per week program? I understand that the volume becomes a bit unbalanced for upper vs. lower but I would think that I’d still be getting a good lower body weekly workout hitting 13 sets a week of squats, DL’s, and lunges?

Thanks
Tim

Jesse
Jesse

I am not a fan of the deadlift. It has never been comfortable for me, being taller. I do however like trap bar deadlifts. Would I have to adjust weight/reps to make this substitution?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Jesse. Yes, trap bar deadlifts are a perfectly fine. I’ve added those as an option to the Deadlift Variant examples list. Thanks for asking. Here’s a link to a video tutorial.

Marc
Marc

Hi Andy!

If I’ve been training several years but only with a focus on strength and not gaining a lot of muscle, do you recommend starting with the novice bodybuilding program rather than the intermediate?

Thanks for all of your work!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Marc! Sure. Using this as a start point certainly won’t hurt. You can always switch if it doesn’t prove to be enough.

Marc
Marc

Thanks Andy

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome, Marc.

Ahmed
Ahmed

Hello Andy,
I have good experience in training but I had a recent shoulder Injury ( Shoulder impingement) that made me stop training during the past 3 months. I am now on a recovery phase after two Sport Vis injection into the joint. However my doctor advices me against weight lifting as he says that I have some mild laxity. I don’t know if you know something about that? And if you do, does it really bad for me to lift again? If you could give me an advice as I couldn’t take the idea of quitting weight lifting well. And if I can get back to training, I wont be able to do vertical push at least for a year. Sorry that I am talking with random unorganized thoughts.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Ahmed,

I’m sorry but this is not my area of expertise and certainly not my place to advise. If you trusted this doctor to operate on you, why not trust them to get you back to health? Sometimes doctors say shit we don’t want to hear, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t good advice.

Now, if you feel the need to second-guess your doctor’s opinion for some reason, seek out another doctor who can look at your surgery details and current condition. Definitely don’t ask another dude on the internet until you get an answer you want to hear.

Ahmed
Ahmed

Thank you Andy for the reply.

I will take your advice and I will see another doctor for a second opinion. Hopefully I will be able to stick to this Routine and share my experience with you soon 🙂

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome.

John
John

Could you replace vertical pressing with upright rows?

Due to rehabbing my shoulder in its flexion position, I’m looking to substitute overhead movements for a short while.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

You could try it and see how you feel, John. But even if you’re unable to do vertical pushing exercises for a while, your shoulders are unlikely to experience any meaningful muscle loss as they’ll still be trained with the horizontal pushing, pulling, and the deadlifts.

John
John

Thank you for the answer Andy, much appreciated. I tried doing landmine presses and they felt great so ill be doing those instead as I can position my body and shoulder flexion into an acceptable way. Iv been training for almost 10 years, but my training age is definitely not good in my opinion, the books were such a great read and im following it to a tee to see how much gains I can make with the information provided and go from there, thanks for you guys do.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome, John. Thank you.

Nathan
Nathan

Andy,

On the big compound lifts, BP, DL and SQ should I be aiming to push myself to failure or close to it on the last set on both days? In the sample plan there is no RPE notation, so not sure if the effort part just comes out in the wash due to %1RM at a given number is reps and sets.

Thanks,

Nathan

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Nathan, thanks for the question. A good rule of thumb is as follows:

• When 3 sets — use a 1st set RPE of 8.
• When 4 sets — use a 1st set RPE of 7.
• When 5 sets — use a 1st set RPE of 6.

Thank you for asking.

Guillaume
Guillaume

Hello,

First of all, thank you for this program! Could you please explain what means 8 RPE for exercices that require 12 reps? Do we have to do 12 reps with the weight for 10 and “cheat” the last 2 repetitions?

Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Guillaume,

It means you choose a load where you can do two more reps than target. So in this case 14 reps. You’ll see it explained in the “The 1st Set RPE notation” section.

dixon
dixon

any volume guidelines for beginners in detail? also 3 sets for chest for also count for front delts and triceps to some extent. if there is an article wud be great. huge fan!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan
Eryk Wnuszyński
Eryk Wnuszyński

I have a question, I would say I am on the very end of being an intermediate lifter with few squat, bench and deadlift polishing moves needed, technique’s pretty good and all, I got my caloric intake where I want it, but for the love of me I can’t follow a training plan because all of them feel like shackles for my very easily bored self. Would setting up as broad a criteria I can (volume in kgs/muscle group/week perhaps) work? The idea is I understand the importance of big lifts but not always feel like doing them for days on end, so I’d still would turn up to do some flys or machine work and when I feel like it I’d go.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Eryk, thank you for the comment.

Variety is fine as long as you’re still progressing.

Too much variety at the start of a lifting career can hamper progress people have too many different movements to ingrain, which will often slow down the learning process of each exercise. (Motor learning is complex.) So, I’d be cautious about adding too many exercises in. — You don’t want to trade curing boredom for progress and end up going nowhere.

Additionally, the key to tracking progress is that you don’t do so many different exercises that you can’t effectively gauge it.

As for setting up the volume in your training program, I have you covered here: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs.

Scroll to Top