Avoid Training Redundancy, Avoid Overtraining

Q: Hi my name is Jay, and I am 6’5″ tall about 195 to 200lbs and 15-17% body fat. I always did an endurance type of work out program, and now I want to build strength and gain some muscle mass. I am 34 and eat a relatively healthy diet. I was thinking about free weight strength training and my work out follows as such:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
  • Squats/Bench Press (super set)
  • Deadlift/Military Press (super set)
  • Bent Over  Rows
  • Curls
  • Triceps work
  • Core work

Then after a little rest, I go to the park and do some calisthenics, which is done circuit style: pull ups, push ups, chin ups, squat jumps/lunge jumps.

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: cardio (sprint interval training, handball)

Sunday: Rest

Sets are 5 for the big lifts and 3 for other exercises. Reps 8-10.

Would like to know what you think and if you have any advice, suggestions, or a better plan. Please, I’m all ears.

Thanks for your help, expertise, and guidance,



My Answer: The first thing that stands out to me is that you’re doing way too much.  Too many sets, too many exercises and too many workouts.  If you’re looking solely to gain strength and muscle, then I would suggest you cut the number of exercises and cut the cardio.  The sheer volume of work that you’re doing is hampering your gains.  Although circuits work well for fat loss and conditioning, they won’t add any strength.

What I would suggest is avoid doing both squats and deadlifts in the same workout.  That’s redundant and very taxing on the body.  You should alternate between squats and deadlifts from workout to workout:

Workout A:

  • Squats
  • Military Press
  • Pull-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Triceps work
  • Core work

Workout B:

  • Bench Press
  • Deadlifts
  • Bent Over Rows
  • Curls
  • Triceps work
  • Core work

Stick to 5 sets on the big lifts, and 3 sets on the accessory lifts.  Just alternate between Workouts A and B throughout the week:

Monday: A
Wednesday: B
Friday: A

Monday: B
Wednesday: A
Friday: B

Cut the cardio and cut the calisthenic workouts.


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