Happy to read you got a lot out of it. I won't rag on sites, magazines posting this & that "killer" routine, at least they'r putting something out there. For me when these program's start trying to rewrite the book of lifting I just read 5/3/1 again . I honestly can't see myself using another program, just will mix it up by using different templates from 2nd edition.
Hope the "testing" goes well. I'm sure a deload will get you chomping at the bit to get cracking, just remember the long term goal that your aimng for.
When you choose the template you wish to go with just make sure it's to aid the actual big lift, I know you've already read this but it does make you think about what it is your doing, which can only be a good thing.
Eg, A guy who I know exclaimed to me he'd just (isolation) curled a 16kg db for 20 reps, on asking him what was the thinking behind that he just gave me the "nobody's home" look.
I did say well done though, at least he is doing something, I just wanted to plant a seed in his head haha
I'm currently still debating between BBB and the David Tate templates as I can see how either would be extremely beneficial for me at this stage in my training. BBB would definitely help with growth and perfecting form; Tate would allow me to target my weak areas a bit more directly. Though, that makes me lean toward running BBB for the first few cycles and then switching it up once I've set up an even more solid foundation after a few months.
Tomorrow will be week 11 of PHAT and the following "final" week will be when I test my maxes in the manner you suggested - do a four day split only doing the "big" lifts and going balls to the wall on those and taking the next week as a light deload to prepare myself for the new program.
And I definitely agree with you about having a program that makes sense
, i.e. each lift and exercise serves a purpose. If I've learned anything from PHAT it's that, while I love the volume, a lot of it is unnecessary. If I were focusing on being a bodybuilder, ever lift is
important but, for example, the called for 6 sets of calf raises isn't really helping out my squat, you know? It's been a good learning experience, though, and I don't regret seeing it all the way through whatsoever.
Are you reading the 1st or 2nd edition? As the 2nd has a lot more templates...
The Tate template is good but take my advice & do not pyramid the sets (light to heavy)...I did this & by the 3rd assistance I was beat. To much again....I'm using the programmed assistance from second edition which is a lot like the Tate one but has a loadable (barbell work) assistance...You then hit the whole upper body (lats, Mid back, triceps & biceps) Twice a week but its light(ish) work and in 3 sets of 10 reps...Lower days I do deads with front squats & Squats with good mornings...GHR & reverse hypers on lower days to.
Heres how I work it:
After the big lift & programmed assistance on upper body days on a Monday I do chins ups with various grips for lats & a cable row for mid back. Then when it's Thursday I'll do a type of lat pull down but then dumbbell rows. I think having a harder day for each back part works well for me, two lots of chins & free weight rowing twice a week would prob mean I'd of not recovered in time.
Dead lift day i do 3x10 GHR & Hypers, Squats just 5x10 GHR as part of the warm up/assistance.
Like all assistance though after the loadable assistance don't think to much about it (besides the chins) if you were to go this route.
5/3/1 triumvirate is also a great template if you go with 4 days a week:)