The Complete Strength Athlete, 3 Days a Week

Q: Hello! My name is Lauris! I am 18 years old. I've been training in the gym for about 1 year, so I am pretty much a novice, I suppose.

I have plans for the summer to really train my strength, so I started to search some strength workouts. Then I read your article on The Complete Strength Athlete.

I think it's a very cool routine! But I was wondering: maybe you have something very similar to this routine, but just for 3 days a week. I think 4 days a week can be bit too heavy for me, I don't really know. Or maybe you can do some adjustments and send me the routine? :)

Thanks for your help!

- Lauris P.

My Answer: No Lauris, I will not send you an adjusted routine. That's why I wrote an article so that people can read it, learn from it, use it and adjust it to fit their own individual needs. I appreciate questions and comments from readers, but it'd be very time consuming to send everyone a free program.

If you want to adjust The Complete Strength Athlete program from a 4 day a week program to 3 day a week program, then you have 2 options:

1) Simply go through the sequence of 4 workouts in a time period of a week and a half. For example:

Monday - Explosive strength
Wednesday - Strength endurance
Friday - Maximal strength
Monday - Strength and physique
Wednesday - Explosive strength

...and so on and so forth. You figure it out and work it into your schedule.

2) You can skip Workout #4 (Strength and Physique) entirely and just do the other three since you're interested in strength and not so much physique.

Q: Hello, I have a program according to which I should train squats, bench press and deadlifts 3 times a week (+other muscles of course).

Is it wise to train squats and deadlifts in the same workout? If I changed day 2's squats and deadlifts to deadlift only, then I'd be doing squats only on day 1 and 3.

Or would it be better to train deadlifts twice a week and squats only one? I take 2 light sets and 2 hard sets (4 in all) on these exercises.

- CS

My Answer: Sounds like a powerlifting program. I personally do not like training squats and deadlifts together. It's like carrying both a shotgun and an assault rifle: despite the fire power, it gets a little too heavy and becomes more trouble than it's worth. Better to have a long gun and your sidearm.

But if you're just doing 2 hard sets for each exercise, then doing squats and deadlifts in the same workout should not be a problem. It's fucking redundant, but it's not a problem. If you want to avoid redundancy, then go with your option of squats twice a week and deadlifts once a week. Or simply alternate squats and deadlifts throughout the weeks:

Monday - Squats
Wednesday - Deadlifts
Friday - Squats
Monday - Deadlifts
Wednesday - Squats

...and so on and so forth. Like I told Lauris: you figure it out.
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