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Barbell Training plan to check - request advice

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Hi guys,

I ask for training advice.

I am 23 male, 173 cm, about 77 kg. I participated in martial arts for 4-5 years, then turned to bodywheight training.
My core training is gymnastics, but I incorporate barbell and kettlebells as well. I usually do 3-month cycles focused on bodywheight training or barbell. I'm not exactly strict about this categories - I often do wheighted gymnastics exercises in barbell cycle.

I did 3 cycles of barbell training at this moment and I've just started doing back squats three months ago. My current 1RM are bellow (in brackets I put my "all-time" best):

Deadlift 130 kg (140 kg)
Squat 115 kg
Bench Press 110 kg (112,5 kg)
Gymnastic ring pull-up +50 kg (+ 65 kg)
Dip (Parallel bar ush-up) + 65 kg

As you see my powerlifting 1RMs looks little... flat? There are little diffrences in wheight between them;
Soon I want to start new training cycle and I am little confused. Recently (thanks to you guys) I read more about programs like Daily Dose or Starting Strength and other 5x5. During lecture I got especially interested in SS. In matter of lifts, I'm novice or between novice/intermediate. Does that mean I could benefit from linear progression? To be honest I've never give it a try and from the start I've been going with "wave ladder" (every next week you start with only a little more then on the begining of previous week). I also liked "waveing" wheigth during session and care about avarege day lift.

My doubts about SS is, that I've actually trained systematically for few years and I'm not sure if I'm vulnerable for adaptation that much. And rapid beginner gains are key in SS if I understand it correctly.

Here is the plan I come up with until now:

Two days A&B alternating, training 6 times a week.

Day A
Bench Press
Dips (with added wheight)

Core training: L-sit

Day B
Hand stand + HS Push Ups
Back Squat (high bar)

Core training: Front+Back Lever

+ 5 times a week Daily Dose for DL
+ 2 times a week boludering (about 45-60 min. + maybe some minor pull-ups)

For morning trainings I would like to do a little KB work (only swings, 12 minutes as in "Enter the Kettlebells") 2 times a week and human flag (more core training) another 2 times a week. So mornings about 30 minut training.

I thought about starting with 5x5 for BP and BS, do it half of the cycle (~6 weeks) and then change to triples 5-8 sets x 3. I sometimes did 2-3 weeks 5x5 in the middle of the cycle to get used to wheight, when I felt I'll reach my max too soon. I don't know if that make actuall sense, but I liked the effect. So I thought I could do longer preparation with more volume and then turn to bigger wheights.

If you ask why 6 times a week it's just because I want to improve and have time to do this. My doubts take source of what I read somewhere "why to work more if you can get similar results with working less". In fact I am little addicted of everyday training and got used to it. I have been training 4-6 days a week since at least 2012.

BUT if I can got bigger gains training less... Why not? Maybe I give myself too litlle regenration, although most time I feel good and fresh. Missing sessions is what make me feels bad.

So, to sum it up:
What I care about the most right now are gains in powerlifting (and maybe dips, I just like them, don't make me stop... :( ). Do you think this program suits me or I should think of something else? My only remark is I don't want to do barbell overhead press. I would rather do it KB or HeSPU's.

Time: 3-4 months
Time limitations: Almost none. Available 7 days per week, no more than once a day at gym though.
Level: Novice/Intermediate
Wheigtlifitng experience: all-in-all about 9 months (BP+DL) and 3 months BS.
My final goals (in bodywheight ratio):
1.5x Bench Press (almost there)
2x Back Squat
2.5x Deadlift (I progress veery slowly towards it...)
Then in many, many years I would love to try Olympic lifting.

Thanks for any advice!
okay, the daily dose of deadlifts is a great idea. 6 days of hard training may fry you unless you wave the the volume day to day, especially the squats. I would break it up into A:heavy B:light A:Meduim B:Meduim A:light B:heavy. (Heavy being a 4-5rm, Medium being a 6-8rm and light being at 10-15rm) Or you keep your working weight the same and minipulate volume i.e ROP style.
though I believe you would be fine or even better off working 4 times a week and keeping 2 days as fun variety days.
By your squat and deadlift numbers I'd think you'd be game for the SS novice LP or something similar.

Other than that, I get the feeling that you really want to do a lot of different things. It's great, moving is a great alternative to sitting. However, just be careful that you do the things that are not your priority lightly enough, so that you have enough energy to recover from the things you prioritize.

At your level I like your idea of a longer preparatory period with high volume. But do peak at times, so you get used to heavier weights and get to use heavier weights afterwards.

When it comes to training frequency, I think it's a good idea to go high frequency, if the overall volume doesn't rise linearly with the increased frequency. As an example, if you lift 300 times a week when you do training sessions of three times a week, it doesn't become 600 times a week if you train six times a week. Of course, it can be higher, but not linearly. The exact number is of course individual with a lot of variables in the equation.
@Antti Yeah, it's true I could't focus entirely on either SS or SL or DD. SS and SL lack pull-ups and dip for me. On the other hand I have no use of Barbell Rows or Power Clean, so I couldn't help it and I changed it a little. I got a little sick of pull-ups and I rely on climbing boulders for pulling strength. I am novice at this too, so neither I want or should spent lot of time on this. I don't want to rise volume, I actually want it to deacrese (or remain the same) as I turn to triples.

I would like to do Squats and Bench Press at 3x / week frequency. SS have only to bench presses and with 3 it probably won't be possible to do LP. Squats in SS/SL are at this frequency anyway. I was thinking about what @Maine-ah KB said about changing intesity (and leaving volume as it is). To be honest I'm not really sure how to do this - I've never done this before with wheights (only with KB presses). My training intesity during few weeks was always someting like this:


Soo, linear progression with a little of waving, but only increasing intensity during each week (no heavy-light-medium division). Linear progression exclude that kind of variation and goes 70-75-80-85 and so on. To compromise it, I think of progresing BP as in program on Mon and Fri, and on Wed doing about 80% of Mon wheight. It should be light enough that way to use recovery and maintain this creazy LP.
I also think about this:

Day A (Mon, Wed, Fri):

Back Squat (5x5)
Bench Press (5x5)
Dips (5x5)

Day B (Tue, Thu):

Hand stand/HeSPU or KB Press
Bouldering ~45 minutes

Saturday - 15 min. gymnastic core training only + stretching + foam rolling
Sunday - Rest

Daily Dose and core traing remain the same. Day A is now really similar to SL...
I have many doubts how to eat and LP correctly, because SS books aren't really available were I live.
At what weigth I should start? It looks like SS recomend starting on your current 5x5 best possible set across. Never done that, I've always started little below what I was capable. But never done 100 lbs jump at any lift in 3 months either as stated in SS, so maybe they know what they are doing. I would rather start conservatively and leave room for adaptation on first 2-3 weeks.

Do you think these plan is reasonable?

Back Squat

1st month

65 - 67,5 - 70
72,5 - 75 - 77,5
80 - 82,5 - 85
87,5 - 90 - 92,5

2nd month (they want to do microincreases like 2,5 lbs but I even don't have so small wheights. In PTTP Pavel's stated somewhere that smaller increases then 2-3 kg (4,5-6,5lbs) are not necessery. I get idea of non-stop progressing with small increments, but I don't really think my body will notice any diffrence tbh).

90 - 90 - 90
92,5 - 92,5 -92,5
95 - 95 - 95
97,5 - 97,5 - 97,5

3rd month (and so on) If possible - continue.
If not - change to:
1) heavy-mid-light
2) Progression with triples 5-8 x 3
3) Or should I just reset, go back 2-3 weeks and stick to 5x5 (or go little down to 3x5)

Bench Press

1st month

70 - 65 - 70
72,5 - 60 - 75
77,5 - 62,5 - 80
82,5 - 65 - 85

2nd month

87,5 - 70 -90
92,5 - 75 - 95
97,5 - 80 - 100
102,5 - 82,5 - 105

3rd month (waving progresion with triples - 5-8 x 3)

102,5 - 105 -107,5
105 - 107,5 - 110
107,5 - 110 - 112,5
110 - 112,5 - 115

I may be forced to decrease in volume to progres further. I also think about staying with Wed as a light day, it looks reasonable as I think about it . Anyway, it looks promising :)

What concerns me now is that squat has planned lower tonage since second month...
I would like to go to at least 125kg 1MR (preferably of course ~130 kg) at BP, and Squat should be a little higher so at least 130-135kg. What will happen with DL I have no idea, I believe in DDD but if it won't work out for me I will go with SS option and do 1x5 heavy, 2-3 times a week with LP.
Last thing - I'll probably have to do DDD on one session with everything else. I guess I have to do at the beginning of training?
@adam.stozek, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

I suggest you pick a simple goal for the next 3 months and go about achieving it. You don't have to improve at everything all at once.

And I suggest you look into lifting better - with better form, better technique - as something at least as important as the specifics of your training plan. We sometimes see people set new personal bests at our courses and certifications instantly because we are able to help their technique. Consider attending a course, a cert, or working with one of our certified instructors.

Hi Steve,

It would be great to work with coach and I will really consider this. My technique surely needs improvement. I made lifting my priority for time being. Also all the time I'm looking what I can put aside to focus on this. I've choosen these 3 lifts and weighted dips as exercises I want to improve most. I would be happy to end this cycle with 1MRs:

BP - 270 - 280 lbs (122,5-127,5 kg) (~9-11%)
BS - 300 lbs (130-135 kg) (13-17%)
Dip - add 165-175 lbs (75-80 kg) (15-23%)
DL (as it has never gone more in 3 months) - 330 lbs (150 kg) (7%)

This was also my guess to incredible effectivness of SS that huge strength improvment is at least partially based on technique improvement. I feel this when coming back to barbells after few months of break - at first I have problem to hold it still when bench pressing...
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