My 10 Week Training Program to Get Stronger In Squat, Bench & Deadlift

Categories Sports & Health
Training Program to Get Stronger in Bench, Squat and Deadlift

I’m not an expert at strength training. Heck, I’m not even that good at lifting. But I’d love to be. I’ve been going to the gym for a long time and I used to do rather well when I was younger. At around 90 kilos (or even a little below that), I had a really low fat percentage, I ran well and lifted like a beast. Now, 6 years later, I never run, I weight a ton more and I lift like a granny. I love the three big lifts – squat, bench and deadlift… But I need to get better at them. I need to get stronger.

I’m 28 (and a half) right now and I’d like to hit new personal records before I hit the big three-ou. Thirty.

I know that for hitting PRs I should really focus my efforts and prioritize going to the gym over relaxing and laying on the sofa. I should eat better, sleep better and train harder. But I’m not that young kid anymore who lives for the gym.

I did fashion a strength training program for myself to get stronger in all the three big lifts: squat, bench and the deadlift.

I train three times a week. I am rather sure that going to the gym four times a week would get me better results and then I could make a program that makes more sense, but I’m a lazy ass bastard these days. That’s why this program is split into three days.

See the program spreadsheet HERE!

Monday:

  1. Squat HEAVY
  2. Bench LIGHT
  3. Seated Leg Curls 3 x 8-10
  4. Leg Extension 3 x 8-10
  5. Seated Calf Press 3 x 8-10
  6. Ab Crunch Machine (with weights) 3 x 8-10

Wednesday:

  1. Bench HEAVY
  2. Squat LIGHT
  3. Chin-Ups 3 x 6-10
  4. Leverage Chest Press 3 x 8-10
  5. Standing Bicep Cable Curl 3 x 8-10
  6. Standing Tricep Cable Extension 3 x 8-10

Friday:

  1. Deadlift WENDLER 5/3/1
  2. High Pulls 3 x 5
  3. Overhead Press 3 x 5
  4. Bench Press 2 x 6
  5. Cable Rear Delt Fly One Side At A Time 3 x 8-10
  6. Seated Calf Press 3 x 8-10
  7. Ab Crunch Machine (with weights) 3 x 8-10

Explanations

  • HEAVY Squat / Bench = Same weight for the first five weeks, but volume rises. First week 6 x 2, second week 6 x 3, third 6 x 4, fourth 6 x 5 and fifth 6 x 6. Then start dropping the sets and reps but increasing the weight. Sixth week 5 x 5, seventh week 4 x 4, eight week 3 x 3, ninth week 2 x 2 and tenth week go for the 1 rep PR.
  • LIGHT Squat / Bench = Always 6 x 2 with the same weight throughout the program. This is meant to get more training of the exact movement without it being too heavy for recovery. I’m using the same weight in the 6 x 2 sets that I started the heavy squats and bench presses. So on week number five I would do a heavy 6 x 6 with the same weight that I’m using for the light day 6 x 2 sets.
  • Wendler 5/3/1 = I’m using Wendler’s ideology on the main lift of friday – the deadlift. So first week is 3 x 5, second week 3 x 3 and third week 5, 3, 1. And of course the last set is done to almost failure – so as many reps as possible, but leaving 1-2 reps in the tank. Then on fourth week, go back to 3 x 5 but with heavier weights than on week 1. You can read more here.
  • Bench 2 x 6 = If you can do six reps on both sets, add 2½ kilos next week. If you can do six on the first but not the second, take 2½ kilos off the next week, but then add them back to the week after that. Do not do more than 6 reps on the second set even if you could. And rather start from too light a weight than too heavy. Progression is the key.
  • High Pull & Overhead Press 3 x 5 = Add 2½-5 kilos each week based on how it felt the last time. I started from 50-60 % of my 1 rep max so I can add the 2½ kilos for a long time.
  • Chin-Ups: I’m slowly trying to increase the overall number of reps I do per session. I’m a fat bastard so I start from 3×6… You can start from 3×3 or 3×10 based on whatever level you are at. If you can easily do more than 3×10, feel free to add some weight and rather do 3 x 6.
  • All the “3 x 8-10” sets = Feel the muscle and the pump. Try to progress to heavier weights week by week, but don’t stress it too much. Just be sure that the movement goes to the right muscle. These are just marked “3 x 10” or “3×8” in the spreadsheet.

Note that the squat and bench progression is based on “The Russian Squat Program”. You should also be aware that I started with two sessions of 6×2 whereas the original program goes straight from 6×2 to 6×3.

In the original “Russian” routine you just do three sessions of squatting per week and do a new PR on week 6… In my version, I’m using the same template for both the bench and the squat and trying to hit new highs on week 10. Although I have to note here, that I’m starting from such a low level that I do not expect to hit my old PRs on week 10. I expect to get stronger in all three lifts and get used to lifting heavy again.

You can use the calculator from that link above to calculate the weights for your squats and benches. If you are unsure of your 1 rep max, rather use 92-98 % of your actual max than anything above. So if you THINK you can squat 200 kilos, you can use 190 kilos on the calculator. The program will still feel heavy enough – at least for me it does.

Need for deload weeks?

If I need a deload week somewhere down the line, I’ll then just take one. I’m not an expert on how to do that, but I do prefer using the same weights for the deload week but just cutting the volume to 40-60 % of “normal”.

See the program spreadsheet HERE!

Note: I’m not a professional in any sense of the word. Feel free to give comments on this routine and tell me how to make it better. You are free to try this program out, but you have to remember that I am not responsible for any injuries, lack of progress or anything else that you think might relate to using this training program.

Note #2: The image I used is from Piikkiö, Finland – and has nothing to do with me living in Copenhagen. I just liked the old school feeling in the image.

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