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Alex
Alex

Also, how to keep tracking the weekly results, if I slipped once and it is now leading to a shift? My OCD wants to continue with calendar week tracking (with sessions on Mon/Wed/Fri), but common sense tells me to get day3 done on Sunday and continue next week on a shifted schedule (Tue, Thu, Sat). But then the next shift will break the weekly tracking cycle. But skipping day3 just to keep up with the schedule sounds even worse x_x.

And on a side note: I sometimes cannot concentrate on counting the reps during a lift. So, instead of 8 I end up doing 9. Or instead of 4, i could do 3 and try to figure out how many was that. Any suggestions on how to keep the blood flow to the brain? :)) Thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

The 7-day week is something we use to organize our calendars. You don’t have to do the same sessions on each day of the week.

I sometimes cannot concentrate on counting the reps during a lift. So, instead of 8 I end up doing 9. Or instead of 4, I could do 3 and try to figure out how many was that.

Simple. Every time you fuck this up, get a friend to slap you as hard as they can across the face. This “problem” will disappear quickly.

Alex
Alex

Hi Andy,
7 weeks in, going great. However, a few clarifying questions:
1. Every session I am increasing weights. Is there a moment in time, when the load rump up should be slowed down to reduce injury risk? Should I stay at a certain weight for a sess to “solidify” the results?

2. Which brings me to the next question: what to count as a rep? My definition relies on a range of “not being able to perform a lift” and “performed a lift, but with very bad/dirty form, not in a controlled manner”. But where to draw the line for the form break? Since I am not a robot and two of my squats may have 1-3% differences in ROM. But when I increase the weight, the amount of such deviated reps are larger.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Alex, thank you for the questions.

1. Only if your form gets shitty. Always stay within your means.

2. A rep can be slow, but it must be done with good form. Where to draw the line on what consists of good form I have to leave to you. Intuition on what is ‘right’ or ‘acceptable’ builds with experience.

Richard
Richard

Hi Andy, I just wanted to say that I used this program to take my squat to 350, bench to 260, and deadlift to 405! Thank you for making this program my previous total before was only like 700 lbs. I am 5’8 195lbs. I was on this program for about 5 months.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Excellent work, Richard. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

Joel Saarelma
Joel Saarelma

Hey Andy,
I really like the look of this, and having done a 5×5 variation for a few months, am now planning to move to this program mostly due to liking the idea of a 4-day split and failing to come up with a good one myself. I greatly prefer prioritizing overhead press over benching, because I feel it does wonders for my shoulders and keeps my posture more balanced, so I think I’ll be swapping the two around. Do you see any problem in doing so, other than not getting the sports-specific gains for benching? Would it be smart or excessive to tweak the total volumes, since I’ll be moving a smaller total amount of weight in pushing motions per week?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Joel.

1. No problem.
2. Always a good idea to tweak volume to bring it closer to what you have been doing so that you can gauge the effect of those changes.

Ilya
Ilya

Hi Andy, thanks for program! Sorry for bad english. I am from Ukraine. I have a question: how can I progress with pull-ups if I have no gravitron and don’t like band assist? My pull-ups record (with my own wieght) – 4 x 8. Don’t want to substitute pull-ups!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Ilya, so you can hit 4×8, right? That’s great. Keep at it and either:
a) add reps until you can hit 4×10, or
b) keep aiming for 8 reps per set but start adding some weight (2.5 lbs or 1.25 kg) between your feet.

Ilya
Ilya

Thanks! You have the coolest blog I’ve ever seen. I wish you rapid growth!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Thank you!

Finn Krischio
Finn Krischio

Hi,
Am I supposed to Usedom more weight and also go for the same intensity in the day 2 benching 3×3 as in the day 3 benching 3×4? World be really happy if you could explain to me how I should bench in day 3 and da 2.
Thanks for the program

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Finn, thank you for the question. I can see how this must be confusing.

Day 2 is 3×3@80%. Day 3 is 3×4@85%. The latter will be harder and should continue to be harder, as that’s the strength day, not a power (technique) day.

The first set RPE on the former will be around 5. The first set RPE on the latter will be around 7.5. Maintain this distinction of RPE for the first set between each day and progress them both separately.

Alex
Alex

Hi Andy, question regarding the starting weight for the novice powerlifting programm. My working weight for squat used to be 80kg x 4sets x 6reps . But for the last month I had a break from gym for several reasons. Yesterday had a session, where I tried 50x3x4 and day1 feels quite sore. I guess that my 1RM max lowered over that month, but the I am a bit puzzled which weight I should now consider as 1RM, I can only guess. So this leaves me a bit confused what to use as a starting point.
Second question, which I still have even after re-reading the whole article and the progression article: should I try to increase the weight on each session? Day 1 – new weight lifted, day 2 – % of day 1? Thx

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Alex, thank you for the questions.

1. The dip in strength you have experienced is natural after taking a month off, as is the soreness you are experiencing after your first day back. A 1RM calculation isn’t appropriate right now. Just work your way back into lifting slowly over the next two weeks using an RPE of 8 as your guide, increasing the weights slowly.

2. Your 3×8 @ back squat on day 1 will use different loads than your 4×4 back squat on day 3. So, don’t squat with 80 kg on day 1 and then 82 kg on day 3. Treat the progression of each day independently of the other.

Alex
Alex

Thanks for the prompt reply! Really appreciate it!
1. Can/should I still continue with the same protocol of sets x reps?
2. Just to make sure I got it correctly: weight progression for day1 with 3×8 should live it’s own life, without any connection to day3 with 3×4? In other words, if I can do more at the Hypertrophy days for 2 weeks in a row, but stalled on Strength days for last 2 weeks, then it is absolutely fine? On week 3 I continue to add for 3×8 of day1, but still use the same weight (or even deload 10%) for 3×4 of day3?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

1. Yes. Your first time coming back after a layoff I imagine? You’ll be back to full strength within a few sessions. It’s really not a big deal. 🙂
2. Correct.

Most welcome, Alex!

Chris
Chris

Hi Andy , I recently started some Muay Tai training 3-4 days per week , 1 hour per session . I would like to also do strength training , say the novice powerlifting program for example . Can I expect any muscle gains , or do you think I will end up maintaining my muscle given the energy expenditure . I would obviously be in a calorie surplus and you have suggested to myself in the past to add 500 cals on mma/martial art training days . My plan was to lift right after muay tai training as would be warm and limber . I would also drink some bcaa right before and during lifting . Thanks .

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Chris, whether you gain muscle, maintain, or lose it depends on a few things:

Whether the training stimulus is sufficient to drive adaptations, but not so much that you fail to recover.

And whether you have a sufficient caloric intake to recover.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in a surplus — it depends on how much training experience you have. The more advanced you are as a trainee (the closer you are to your genetic potential) the harder it will be to gain anything in a caloric deficit. (Article covering this here: What is Realistic Progress While Cutting?.)

Now, the Muay Thai isn’t going to be an adaptive stimulus for muscle growth (unless you’re very new to resistance training), but it is a recovery burden that needs to be balanced. So, if you wish to cut, you will need to cut more slowly if you do some other hobbies (such as the Muay Thai). Whether you should cut or bulk is a question independent of that hobby. Guidelines on deciding that here: Should I Cut or Bulk? The Definitive Guide.

Lastly, whether you consume BCAA depends on whether you have had a meal in the few hours prior to training. If yes, it’s unnecessary as your bloodstream will already be swimming with amino acids. If no, consider a whey shake instead as this is likely better. (Refer to this article for more on this: Training ‘Fasted’? Take Whey Protein, Not BCAAs.)

Chris
Chris

Hi Andy , thanks for the reply . I wanted to leave a comment to anyone who is new to Andy’s work .
Listen to what Andy says and follow his advice , this stuff works if you are patient and do what he tells you . You will see results and learn all the while . Not just about fitness but about yourself , physically and mentally . You will see and learn you can do things you didn’t think possible .
Thanks Andy .

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome, Chris, and thank you.

punfun
punfun

Had a bad day on deadlifts today and I was wondering what would be best if I miss reps or form is breaking down or I get to rpe 10 and I know I wont get all reps on the following sets. Get the volume with a lower weight (10% less like with the deload strategy) or try to get as many as possible on the remaning sets with good form? thanks!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Punfun,

I recommend you to always use good form and stop before there is any breakdown.

If you can’t get the targeted number of reps, stop the set short, lighten the load used for the remaining sets as necessary.

You may have increased the weights too quickly and so need to lower your loads for future sessions, or this might just have been a bad day (which will happen from time to time). Rest well, you’ll find out soon enough.

Alistair
Alistair

Hi there I have recently stumbled across this plan and like what I see , fits everything I’m look for and to say it’s free is a bonus! I getting to work on this plan on Monday . However I have a question I am following as detailed but I’m wanting to ad some direct work for arms I will be training with the 3 day split and will be adding skull crushers in day one 3 x 8 and barbell curls on day two 3 x 8 I was wondering if this will be fine as don’t want to change anything as detailed as I know you have designed this for optimal strength and size. Also will I add a good amount of size following this plan my diet is in a calorie surplus and I’m wanting to add some thick size to legs and back .

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Sounds like your goal is more toward bodybuilding than pure powerlifting. Consider our Novice Bodybuilding program, Alistair.

Alistair
Alistair

Thank you for getting back to me, however I’m wanting to get into powerlifting there’s so much online about powerlifting not adding muscle however I am not new to bodybuilding just want to change my style of lifting , was wondering if I can still add weight by doing powerlifting and still add muscle by doing the 3 day routine, as I don’t want to loose the muscle I have? I have been bodybuilding for almost a year and had good results but speaking to a friend the other day he said try powerlifting you will get a huge how true is this thank again andy

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Both do both, but bodybuilding > powerlifting for building size; powerlifting > bodybuilding for building strength.

You can read anything online and the simplest and most extreme viewpoints are the ones that get attention. Usually, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Gotta choose your information sources more carefully. Here’s a list of sites/resources I recommend.

Ali
Ali

Thanks for taking the time to answer. Really appreciate it. I will go over and have a look at the site resources. Thanks again Andy and merry Christmas

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome.

Ali
Ali

Sorry but I have one more question that will clear everything up. I can perform a lot of chin ups and pull-ups however reading a article you posted about progression with chin ups can I add the rpt to chin ups on day one many thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

I recommend you stick with the progression scheme we have in this program.

Joe
Joe

Hi Andy, I’ve been following this plan for 3 months now, and have made good progress. I have a pre-emotive question for a month or 2 out: When I am unable to progress linearly – even after I’ve used the stay-decrease-increase strategy for linear progression – is it better to increase volume (e.g. 4-day intermediate programme) or to change progression strategy (e.g. linear periodisation)? Or is there a half-way house? I definitely have the time to go to 4 days, but I don’t want to if it’s not going to improve performance. I’ve had a read through your plateau and progression guidance articles, and I’m still not sure which way to go

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Joe, see the “Progress has stalled, what should I do?” section.

Joe
Joe

Hi Andy, I have read all of those, and the chronology is still not clear to me – i.e. whether progression type or volume is the first step. The plateaus article is helpful in detailing whether to increase volume, but doesn’t mention much about increasing volume vs. changing loading strategy. Are you suggesting a novice should remain on a light program like this even until linear periodisation stops working?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

There is no single answer to that question. But given how quickly and often people get themselves in a mess with adding in training volume too early, I’d suggest they keep to linear progression until it stops working » then move to intermediate progression until that stops working » then add volume.

Eren İzcioğlu
Eren İzcioğlu

hi again,
the program is going so well, my weight has raised up from 80 kg to 90 kg, thank you for that. but can you suggest me accessory work for bench press? because i stucked at 160 lbs, thank you

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Eren, “I’ve stalled, what should I do?” type questions are not as simply answered as, “Add exercise X if you’re stalled in exercise Y.”

See the second item at the end of the article in the FAQ for a detailed answer. Make a cup of tea.

Chris
Chris

Hi. I’ve got a squat/deadlift question. After I do them, my legs are fried for about a week. I mean, a just walking on level ground is difficult kind of fried. For the next couple days, I just want to sleep. It’s necessitating a much longer recovery time than a day or two (about a week). Does this improve? Because sore is one thing, but so sore I can barely function for a week at a time is another. It doesn’t feel like an injury, just normal-feeling soreness turned up to a dysfunctional level.

Is there anything i can do? Or does it eventually get better and I just have to ride it out till then?

Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

You’re new to lifting or have come back after a lay-off, right? You’ll get over it inside a few sessions. You just went too hard. Happens to everyone. Lighten the loads.

Alisa McEniry
Alisa McEniry

You may or may not be able to help with this. I had a major shoulder surgery (torn capsule/labrum) about a month ago, I havant started strength training in PT quite yet. However, I was told I can workout other parts of my body. I used to lift almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day and I miss it so much. Do you have any idea’s of resources or swaps of these exercises I can preform with my injury/sling? I know.. very odd question.

-LOVE the program and the entire website btw

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Alisa, sure: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach.

You can use machines to train your legs and unilateral (one arm) exercises to train the upper body side that’s fine. There also appears to be a crossover effect from doing so that helps maintain muscle on the non-trained side.

Alisa McEniry
Alisa McEniry

Awesome, thank you so much! I cannot wait until I am healed so I can actually get back into training again. I wish I knew of this website prior to my injury. You’re doing great things here! Keep killin it!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Thank you, Alisa. 🙂

punfun
punfun

Hi, could I use autoregulation if I know how to use it? So day 3 on squats do a top set of 4@9 and do a fatigue drop or should I just stick to what it’s in the program.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

The RPE guidelines we have are the autoregulation elements of the program.

Eren İzcioğlu
Eren İzcioğlu

Should i add weights to accessory exercises like OHP or Barbell Row in every session? Because it is getting harder week by week.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Eren, thanks for the question.

Whenever you can do so while maintaining RPE and good form. If you can’t, keep the load the same until your body adapts to the load. If it doesn’t, follow the guidelines in the progression guide. If that doesn’t work, check out the guide on breaking through plateaus (in that order).

Eren İzcioğlu
Eren İzcioğlu

Thank you for your reply

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome, Eren!

Ross Jeffrey
Ross Jeffrey

Hi, I’ve been lifting properly for about 1 and a half years mainly bodybuilding style and recently more powerbuilding for about 3 months. Do I count as a novice as I would really like to try this routine. Thanks

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Ross, I’d say this is a good place to start, yes. For more on choosing a program see my article here.

Jun An
Jun An

Hi Andy,
I have been following your program,it been giving me great results.But I had 1 problem with it as I will be enlisting into the army soon. I will only have the time in the weekend to gym. May I know how should a adjust the training for this program?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Well, you’ll have your army PT and you won’t know how that affects you until you actually start — you might just need to rest and possibly need nothing more.

Neil Ferguson
Neil Ferguson

Hi Andy,

I’ve been doing this program for a couple of months now and it’s been great. I’ve just realized that I misread the program and on my power day, I’ve been doing heavier weight on the bench than the strength day. Why is it structured so that you do less reps AND less weight on bench on this day? I thought it would have been lower reps, higher weight.

Thank you!
Neil

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

It’s a day for technique work. When you’re training the lifts as frequently as this, you don’t want to do as much as possible at all times.

Christian
Christian

Hey Andy,

If one is finding it hard to recover from the volume of the training and all other factors are in check, ie sleep, calories/nutrition and stress. Should I continue with a lower number of sets and just try to keep progressively upping the weight, or lower the weight and try to build my work capacity with the prescribed sets at a lower intensity. I’d consider myself intermediate and have been using this program with linear periodization, de-loading every three weeks. I’ve been using the novice program because I know the Intermediate program is just too much volume for me.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan
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