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^^It has been a while since I tried any variation of the Dangerous Four-Day Split, but I always assumed it was structured:

Day 1:  Squat / BP

Day 2:  DL / OHP

Day 3:  Rest

Day 4:  BP / Squat

Day 5:  OHP / DL

Day 6:  Accessories

Day 7:  Rest

 

From running quite a few Bulgarian-style programs over the past eight months or so, I have come to believe it does not matter how you split your program.  You get two rest days per week and put them where you like or however it fits your schedule.

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Height: 1.77m Weight: 93 kg

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Current Maxes: (repsxkg)

Squat: 10x122.3, 5x138.2, 3x147; 1x170

Bench Press: 10x79, 5x93, 1x102

Deadlift: 10x152, 5x192, 3x210, 1x229

Overhead Press: 10x52, 5x61, 1x70.3

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2017 Challenges:  1701 1702 1703 1704 1705

Previous Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1603 1604 1605 1606 1607 1609  1610 1611 1612

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Form Check:  Stronglifts Olympic

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On 10/11/2016 at 6:55 PM, Sam Ashen said:

^^It has been a while since I tried any variation of the Dangerous Four-Day Split, but I always assumed it was structured:

Day 1:  Squat / BP

Day 2:  DL / OHP

Day 3:  Rest

Day 4:  BP / Squat

Day 5:  OHP / DL

Day 6:  Accessories

Day 7:  Rest

 

 

Is there a particular reason he starts with the squat and deadlift on day 1 and 2 then changes to bench and OHP on 3 and 4? 

 

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2 minutes ago, Tabula Rasa said:

 

Is there a particular reason he starts with the squat and deadlift on day 1 and 2 then changes to bench and OHP on 3 and 4? 

 

 

I really do not know - and actually I had it backwards because I did not stop and look.  Sorry.  I do not know enough about programming and I am generally given a program to follow.

 

I don't mind guessing:  I think the idea is to keep mixing it up instead of always starting with a press and finishing with a heavy compound movement.  How do squats feel after a whole bunch of bench press volume compared to how bench press feels after a whole bunch of squat volume.  In the summer, I had a program that included 10x10 squats followed by 3x8 deadlifts on one day, and the other way around a couple of days later.

 

Hopefully he can come back and answer those questions.

Classless Human Male Warrior - Introduction

Height: 1.77m Weight: 93 kg

Spoiler

 

Current Maxes: (repsxkg)

Squat: 10x122.3, 5x138.2, 3x147; 1x170

Bench Press: 10x79, 5x93, 1x102

Deadlift: 10x152, 5x192, 3x210, 1x229

Overhead Press: 10x52, 5x61, 1x70.3

Current Battle Log: 1707 Sam Ashen Summer Swole Program

2017 Challenges:  1701 1702 1703 1704 1705

Previous Challenges: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1603 1604 1605 1606 1607 1609  1610 1611 1612

Daily Log:The Daily Grind

Form Check:  Stronglifts Olympic

More FC's:  Pistol Squats

Want to play?  MFPvP

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tabula Rasa said:

 

Is there a particular reason he starts with the squat and deadlift on day 1 and 2 then changes to bench and OHP on 3 and 4? 

 

 

It's the other way around but yeah, Sam's got it right. It's mostly just a subtle variation to break up the monotony. You could do everything in the same order or, preferably, switch it up week to week. High volume programs can really grind you down so small variations like this generally keep things feeling a bit fresher psychologically long term but everyone is different.

 

A more advanced person who's really pushing their limits would probably need to start considering what their number one priority is in any given cycle and order based on that. For instance, if your squat lags and every exercise is gassing you, you probably want to start with the squat. Your bench performances might take a slight ding, but that's the nature of the game sometimes. Another example would be if your pull is weak you might switch the days around so that you're always pulling after a rest day and are thus maximally rested.

 

Most of this cycle is about building general strength. Exercise (and even workout) order becomes more important when the goal is to optimize for a PL total. You'll see this transition in the last couple of weeks where there is more of an emphasis on squat, bench, dead in order (and on the same day, something I find is easy to neglect in some programs). I didn't culminate this cycle with a full squat, bench, deadlift max out day but one would be relatively well prepared to do just that if they wanted to.

 

 

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17 hours ago, jdanger said:

 

Most of this cycle is about building general strength. Exercise (and even workout) order becomes more important when the goal is to optimize for a PL total. You'll see this transition in the last couple of weeks where there is more of an emphasis on squat, bench, dead in order (and on the same day, something I find is easy to neglect in some programs). I didn't culminate this cycle with a full squat, bench, deadlift max out day but one would be relatively well prepared to do just that if they wanted to.

 

 

 

How would you adjust the final block if you were targeting an actual competition? Two rest days instead of just the one the final week?

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4 hours ago, Orion Antares said:

 

How would you adjust the final block if you were targeting an actual competition? Two rest days instead of just the one the final week?

 

Would depend on the lifter but I'd start by replacing the max week with a deload where you'd basically go through the motions with 60-70% lifts early in the week and have a couple extra rest days. Given enough time I also like to see the peaking cycle stretched out a few more weeks to give adequate time to shake all the accumulated fatigue and get more highly specific (heavy sq, bench, dead) days in.

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On 11/18/2016 at 0:59 PM, jdanger said:

 

Would depend on the lifter but I'd start by replacing the max week with a deload where you'd basically go through the motions with 60-70% lifts early in the week and have a couple extra rest days. Given enough time I also like to see the peaking cycle stretched out a few more weeks to give adequate time to shake all the accumulated fatigue and get more highly specific (heavy sq, bench, dead) days in.

 

So something like a few repeats of week 4-1, then limiting week 4-3 to 60-70% and split the Squat, Bench, and Deadlifts out over 3 days and a 3x3 work set then rest 2 days?

 

Also, what's your opinion of doing speed sets for active recovery? 3 reps each for 8-16 sets with 20-30 seconds rest between sets at 40% weight?

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@jdanger, stopping by just to say I am giving your program a go! Started it on monday and I am really enjoying it so far. I am not used to high rep stuff at decent weight (even though I Crossfit) so these first sessions have been brutal. Tomorrow is Day 4 of Week 1 and I am still sore af from deadlifting on thursday.

 

Can you recommend me another accessory exercise instead of ham raises? My gym doesn't have the GHR machine. I did try to do it with the loaded bar on the ground (I had to Google other methods and this was the one that showed up), but I felt some discomfort on my knees. 

 

Anyways, thanks in advance. <3

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@jdanger -- Thank youuuuu! I just finished up the first one for these increases:

 

b97bb6611a11b818aaee22423c2888b6.png

 

When I started, I was coming from a slow, linear program to work my way back up after being out of the game for almost a year due to a hip injury. I do gymnastics 2x a week, so I could not handle 4x a week and dropped it down to 3x a week. It took me just about 4 months to run through it, but I am happy with my results! I followed it mostly as written but subbed rings rows for bb rows because I detest bb rows and added in various other accessories in an ad hoc, what do I feel like today, fashion. On to base 2, I think!

 

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67666564636261605958 575655545352515049484746454443424140393837363534333231302928272625242322212019181716151413121110987 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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Here are my final results:

Starting maxes   End maxes  
1 rep maxes   1 rep maxes % inc.
Squat 350   Squat 360 2.9%
Front squat 225   Front squat 290 28.9%
Bench press 280   Bench press 285 1.8%
Shoulder press 155   Shoulder press 175 12.9%
Deadlift 470   Deadlift 485 3.2%

 

10 rep maxes   10 rep maxes % inc.
Squat 225   Squat 265 17.8%
Bench press 135   Bench press 175 29.6%
Shoulder press 95   Shoulder press 120 26.3%
Deadlift 315   Deadlift 365 15.9%

 

5 rep maxes   5 rep maxes % inc.
Squat 300   Squat 315 5.0%
Bench press 245   Bench press 240 -2.0%
Shoulder press 145   Shoulder press 145 0.0%
Deadlift 405   Deadlift 420 3.7%

 

3 rep maxes   3 rep maxes % inc.
Squat 330   Squat 345 4.5%
Bench press 255   Bench press 265 3.9%
Shoulder press 145   Shoulder press 160 10.3%
Deadlift 425   Deadlift 445 4.7%

 

I had a shoulder issue develop during the second block that I needed to correct so that set me back a couple weeks there. I ended up adding in 4x8 face pulls superset with the good mornings to avoid adding length to the workouts. My BB row choice was Pendley rows. I also added in some 3-way shoulder raises at the end of deadlift days in the third block.

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I made some further personalizations to the program for another run through. I've started the second block and I fee like I'm seeing more of an improvement through the first black than I had last time. I kept the 4x8 superset face pulls with good mornings and instead of trying to do high rep BB rows on day 4 I'm doing the Pendlay row and attempting to mimic the weights and reps from my Day 1 bench.

 

Also I've changed the day 4 deadlifts to be Sumo style, or at least as many sumo styles as I can manage before I get too tired to maintain form and switch back to conventional to finish out the reps. I did that because I had read some people suggesting that even if you only pull one way in competition it can still be beneficial to train both styles even if only sub-maximally. Plus I have a weakness out of the hole I need to address with my squats and read that sumo style can help with that.

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1RM results after a second time through the program

1 rep maxes   1 rep maxes % inc.
Squat 360   Squat 385 6.9%
Front squat 290   Front squat 300 3.4%
Bench press 285   Bench press 295 3.5%
Shoulder press 175   Shoulder press 180 2.9%
Deadlift 485   Deadlift 500 3.1%

 

The face pulls were a really nice addition for keeping my shoulders healthy this time through.

 

The sumo deads seemed to help my squats build up in the higher volume blocks but I dropped most of them and went back to conventional in the 3 rep block.

 

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Just started this program last week because I've had a bit of a case of f-around-itis since my meet in April, and I needed a break from writing my own programming. Thanks for providing an alternative to the more common low-frequency, low-volume programs! For now I'm going to run the main lifting days (squat/bench/deadlift/OHP) 3x/week, while taking a fourth day to focus on chin-ups and some other upper body calisthenics work - I'm finally starting to see some progress with chin-ups by focusing on them at the beginning of my workout, and want to continue building on that momentum.

 

I don't know if you're still around NF, @jdanger, but if you are I'd appreciate the opportunity to pick your brain on a couple of points!

 

1) Do you find that your female trainees need/can handle more upper body volume (especially for bench and press)?

 

2) I noticed that you don't recommend running this program on a cut, for understandable reasons. What specific programming modifications do you recommend while training on a cut, assuming external factors are already optimized (the deficit isn't too large and doesn't continue for too long, macros are dialed in and carbs are eaten around workouts, recovery is otherwise on point, no excessive/hard-to-recover-from cardio, etc.)? I've seen conflicting advice on whether to keep volume high and reps high, supposedly to maintain muscle, or to lower volume while keeping intensity high, supposedly to make recovery easier while maintaining strength. I'm not cutting at the moment, but would like to do a small cut at some point, and based on passed experiences I will need to make some programming modifications in order to avoid running myself into the ground.

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Hey Alana, glad you're finding the program useful.

2 hours ago, Alanna said:

1) Do you find that your female trainees need/can handle more upper body volume (especially for bench and press)?

 

I find this to be true yes. Volume seems to be the number one driver for women in my experience, especially for upper body movements. 

 

2 hours ago, Alanna said:

2) I noticed that you don't recommend running this program on a cut, for understandable reasons. What specific programming modifications do you recommend while training on a cut, assuming external factors are already optimized (the deficit isn't too large and doesn't continue for too long, macros are dialed in and carbs are eaten around workouts, recovery is otherwise on point, no excessive/hard-to-recover-from cardio, etc.)? I've seen conflicting advice on whether to keep volume high and reps high, supposedly to maintain muscle, or to lower volume while keeping intensity high, supposedly to make recovery easier while maintaining strength. I'm not cutting at the moment, but would like to do a small cut at some point, and based on passed experiences I will need to make some programming modifications in order to avoid running myself into the ground.

 

This all sort of depends on the specifics of the situation. I'd need a pretty good reason to put someone through the HIE phase while on a cut but the strength/5's can be useful for most. In my opinion the only reason to do any sort of high rep work while on a cut is to either develop skill or aid in the calories out side of the energy equation when the BF%'s are high enough. Beginners basically.

 

Most folks can maintain muscle mass through a cut with lower volume, higher intensity work and if you start going bonkers on hypertrophy you just end up going backwards. I'm very liberal in applying volume in most situations but during a cut is when we really start dialing things down to minimum effective dose. The amount of stress your body needs to maintain lean mass really isn't that high and normally the "this is really heavy" signals do just fine.

 

So yeah, my general advice would be to live in five's and below land during a cut. I'd autoregulate rep "maxes" around RPE 7-8 efforts and try to keep the numbers within 10-15% of the norm. If they drop below that I'd look to cut back volume (work sets) until they got back in line. I wouldn't worry about the numbers too much otherwise. Proper nutrition around your workout window can help a ton when trying to maximize performance during a cut. This is the one situation when I really recommend an intraworkout calorie drink. My preferred is a custom mix of highly branched cyclic dextrin and peptopro, but the taste isn't for the faint of heart. Any combination of fast protein/bcaa's and carbs that you can tolerate and that fits your particulars would be fine.

 

Hope that helps, happy lifting!

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Thanks for the quick response!

 

36 minutes ago, jdanger said:

 

I find this to be true yes. Volume seems to be the number one driver for women in my experience, especially for upper body movements. 

 

 

On that note, are there any specific changes you'd recommend for women running the base program (e.g., increase the working, back-off sets by 1-2 sets?). My bench needs all the help it can get! (My bench max is ~65-67.5 kg, compared to 145 kg squat and 170 kg deadlift @ ~85 kg bodyweight).

 

38 minutes ago, jdanger said:

This all sort of depends on the specifics of the situation. I'd need a pretty good reason to put someone through the HIE phase while on a cut but the strength/5's can be useful for most. In my opinion the only reason to do any sort of high rep work while on a cut is to either develop skill or aid in the calories out side of the energy equation when the BF%'s are high enough. Beginners basically.

 

Most folks can maintain muscle mass through a cut with lower volume, higher intensity work and if you start going bonkers on hypertrophy you just end up going backwards. I'm very liberal in applying volume in most situations but during a cut is when we really start dialing things down to minimum effective dose. The amount of stress your body needs to maintain lean mass really isn't that high and normally the "this is really heavy" signals do just fine.

 

So yeah, my general advice would be to live in five's and below land during a cut. I'd autoregulate rep "maxes" around RPE 7-8 efforts and try to keep the numbers within 10-15% of the norm. If they drop below that I'd look to cut back volume (work sets) until they got back in line. I wouldn't worry about the numbers too much otherwise. Proper nutrition around your workout window can help a ton when trying to maximize performance during a cut. This is the one situation when I really recommend an intraworkout calorie drink. My preferred is a custom mix of highly branched cyclic dextrin and peptopro, but the taste isn't for the faint of heart. Any combination of fast protein/bcaa's and carbs that you can tolerate and that fits your particulars would be fine.

 

Hope that helps, happy lifting!

 

Thanks so much for this advice - I see lots of programs that recommend eating at least maintenance during the programming, but that left me a bit uncertain of what to do during a deficit. I think in the past I've kept my volume and/or RPE too high, which wasn't fun.

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Nice work, those are some solid numbers. 

 

For tens and fives I wouldn't go much past five or six sets. Beyond that I'd be looking at adding specific assistance exercises. My more advanced programs take on a very Shieko like appearance where we add in assistance exercises targeted at weaknesses. For instance say you're weak off the chest, then a bench focus day might look something like:

 

Bench - 80% /5x5

Squat - 80% /5x5

Pause bench - 70% /6x4

 

That plus some bodybuilding work targeted at your chest, shoulders, and tris would be how I would attack it.

 

And yeah, doing stuff while cutting isn't fun. Normally my advice is centered around doing what you can but not getting too greedy. And if the numbers start dipping you're generally looking to subtract rather than add.

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Looking for a strength program? Check out The Danger Method and remember to do your damn abs

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