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rockdawg21 03-14-2009 10:59 PM

26-Week, 3-Week Splits Strength/Muscle Building Program
I'm a "training coach" on a fitness website. One of the members on there was asking me some questions about what I'd done so I went ahead and made the program in a printable format for him and shared it with the rest of the members. I just got done completing a self-made 26-week program to build strength and muscle. I'm not new to training so my "newbie gains" are long gone, but I still managed to gain 9 pounds of muscle and a lot of strength with the following program (due to time issues, it was more like 32-weeks to complete the 26-week program, but it was still great results).

Thought some of our forum members would be interested :)

About the program:

The rep ranges are designed primarily for ectomorphs, but the program will still make you stronger, thus, build muscle as long as you're eating enough to gain and sleeping enough to let the muscles grow.

I use dumbbells on all of the pressing lifts because they cause less damage on the shoulders and pecs (especially as you get into very heavy weights). They also use more stabilizer muscles than a barbell and will cure strength imbalances that sometimes occur with a barbell.

Near the top of the files, I have "3/0/1" or "1/0/1" for instructions. The "3/0/1" means "3-second negative, no pause at the bottom, 1-second positive" and "1/0/1" means "1-second negative, no pause at the bottom, 1-second positive".

Download the printable files* here.

*File is a ZIP format; printouts are in Microsoft Excel so if you don't have Microsoft Excel, download the free Excel Viewer here.

rearnakedchoke 03-15-2009 02:07 PM

how long after can i start doing this?

VCURamFan 03-15-2009 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by rearnakedchoke
how long after can i start doing this?

You mean you aren't repping that yet? Then this is clearly not the program for you!

Actually, I've been looking for a new program. I think I'll use this, let y'all know how it goes!

rockdawg21 03-15-2009 03:56 PM


Originally Posted by rearnakedchoke
how long after can i start doing this?

You just better get started. Maybe after $10,000 in HGH and steroids, you can get there in 5-10 years.

gymcoach97 03-15-2009 05:43 PM

Granted, this is a bodybuilder type of, I won't even weigh in on the fact that this is not a program for athletic performance.

However, I will make a few comments since I spend half of my waking life studying training and performance have a lot more pushing types of exercises as opposed to pulling. That's going to cause people to become over-developed on the front side and less developed on the back side and could contribute to thoracic kyphosis (i.e. rounded shoulders posture) which is all too common in bodybuilders. Where this becomes a problem is the fact that kyphosis posture leads to future neck pain, shoulder problems, etc.

In addition, the sit-ups don't exactly help, either. The rectus abdominis is a trunk flexor and as it gets more and more shortened via trunk flexion exercises, it will pull the rib cage downward and also lead contribute to the kyphosis. Not only that, but trunk flexion is not good on the lumbar spine. It causes a lot of anterior shear and compression forces and research has indicated that these types of forces contribute greatly to disc herniation.

While I'm sure the program will build strength and size because of the sheer volume, I'd consider taking out some of the pressing and add in more pulling. Also, I see no need for all of the bicep curl variations. Most pulling exercises will target the biceps as a synergist - reverse/neutral grip seated rows, chin-ups, reverse/neutral grip bent-over rows, reverse/neutral grip inverted rows, etc.

If the hands are pronated (overgrip), the biceps tendon actually gets tangled up between the radius and ulna of the forearm (because they cross over one another during forearm pronation and the biceps inserts on the radius) and that makes the biceps less useful and elbow flexion (curl) movements fall predominantly on the brachalis and brachioradialis. That's why pull-ups are usually harder than chin-ups. You're only able to really utilize two of the three main elbow flexor muscles during a pull-up as opposed to all three during a chin-up.

rockdawg21 03-15-2009 06:08 PM

That's a great analysis gymcoach. Yes, the program is not for athletic performance, but for sheer power and size. There's no doubt you're more in-tuned with this than I am as it seems that you have a relative college degree, whereas, I've just read a LOT, lol.

I'm not looking to become enormous by any means. Just that this program will help some people either get a good start, or maybe help them add another 10-15 pounds. If later they have body imbalances, that'd be up to them to make any changes.

The site in which I'm a training coach comes with a 26-week program and most of our members seem lost after they're done and need help designing another program. Plus, most of them complain about imbalances in their arms versus their chest/back, which is why I have a lot of extra work for the chest. Until recently, I couldn't seem to get my chest to pop out of my shirt, but I added 2.5" with this program and am getting a v-taper in my back. Ectos and smaller-framed mesos seem to get a lot more development in the arms versus the chest/back. Yeah, I know I'm not talking much about legs; seems most people don't talk about legs, lol.

And the reasoning for the bicep curl variations is because most of our members, being ectos, have smaller forearms. Granted, I know it's somewhat of an isolation exercise and the forearms get lots of work through deadlifts, chinups/pullups, bent-over rows, and the sheer fact that the program is using dumbbells instead of barbells for the pressing lifts, but most of our members want bigger forearms to go with the larger upper arm and the extra work on the brachialis muscle helped me out quite a bit.

As for situps, some people prefer crunches, but I do situps with my chest out and spine straight throughout the entire motion. This method works the lower back and obliques without any additional stress on the spine that's so typical with most situps. But that could also be due to the fact that I can deadlift 2.5 times my bodyweight (with good form ;) ) so my lower back's pretty strong. My inspiration behind the power in the deadlift is in case I start fighting, I want to be able to lift a guy above my head and give him the ol' Matt Hughes slam! :laugh:

I appreciate the information , it's definitely something for me to think about if any of our members are getting those types of imbalances you mention in case they need help designing another program. I'm going to reference your post on the forum to help some of our members. Thanks again!

rearnakedchoke 03-16-2009 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by rockdawg21
You just better get started. Maybe after $10,000 in HGH and steroids, you can get there in 5-10 years.

That's it? i am on it ..

Llamafighter 03-16-2009 01:01 PM

Thanks for posting but I already started the overlifting program that Ben posted yesterday. I'm curling 150 lbs and benching 450! Woohoo!

rockdawg21 03-16-2009 02:40 PM


Originally Posted by Llamafighter
Thanks for posting but I already started the overlifting program that Ben posted yesterday. I'm curling 150 lbs and benching 450! Woohoo!

LOL, alright man! Be sure you post some videos on YouTube so we can all see your new power in action!

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