3 Day a Week (One Lift/Day on a 9 Day Rotation) Program

Thought I would share something.

A couple months back I and my buddies and I (all in our late 50s to early 60s) moved from 2x2x2 to a 3 day a week (one lift/day on a 9 day rotation) at Jims suggestion. We are in the middle of our second cycle and are finding that as much as we liked the 2x2x2 plan we were following we seem to feel less beat up and more recovered following this plan. Volume has been adjusted for our age and ability to recover.

We walk every morning as well as work on mobility and flexibility daily.

Arm work is not programmed in but is usually done on Squat or Trap Bar Deadlift day depending on time and energy.


  • Squat 3 x 5 Pros/2 FSL
    • Incline Dumbbell Press 3x10
    • Inverted Body Weight Row 5x10
    • Dumbbell RDLs 3x10


  • Bench Press 3 x 5 Pros/2 FSL
    • Dumbbell Press 3x10
    • Pull Downs 5x10 (palms facing inward)
    • Farmer Walks 3 x 40 yards followed by Prowler Walks 8 x 40 yards


  • Trap Bar Deadlift 3 x 5 Pros/SLDL 2x6-8
    • Push Ups 3x10`
    • Dumbbell Row 5x10
    • Goblet Squat 3x10 (done before Trap Bar Deadlift as a warm-up)


  • Press 3 x 5 Pros/2 FSL
    • Dumbbell Bench 3x10
    • Pulldowns 5x10 (palms facing outward)
    • Farmer Walks 3 x 40 yards followed by Prowler Walks 8 x 40 yards

Wednesday - Repeat


My buddies and I have ran 9 day rotation on 3 days a week for 3 years ! We have been more consistent with working out this way instead of trying to fit in 4 days ! Every once in a while the thought working out 4 days crosses my mind but their is a price to be paid in doing that .

61 , I’ve done something very similar. Lift every other day, after 4 lifting sessions, 2 days off for a 10 day week.
I’ve recently added an arm day and eliminated the 2 days off. So 5 lifting days , lift every other day. The arm day has been fun. Usually a heavy type pressing movement ( right now floor press, next probably close grip) and some low rep curls 5x5 then easier movements with some lower weights.
Keeps the other days a little easier, and doesn’t need as much recovery. Plus arms are fun.
I usually try and do something on the other days, walk, elliptical, sled walks weather permitting.

Ha, I’m 35 but have some joint issues accumulated. Completely agree, the extra couple of days between heavy lower or upper body work is a godsend. Actually feels so much better long term than a 2x2x2 setup, should have switched a long time ago.

I’m 59 and this is also the schedule I follow - it works great.

I too find that I can recover much better on the 9 day rotation. I wonder sometimes how long I can make progress like this before I need to change something. My first thought is to go to a 7 day rotation when the time comes. How has your progress been for those that have run this format for a long time? What adjustments have you made to break out of plateaus?

I’ve run somewhere around 55 cycles utilizing this type of format. I mix up the main lifts when things slow down by either changing bars or adding bands or chains. Sometimes using more of a full body format.
In the end resetting the training max , with some slight variation in the exercise helps move things along for awhile. Changing the supplemental lifts and accessories also helps.
Eventually progress stalls ,and resetting is needed. I just try to maintain what I can do. Like most 35+ ( I’m 61) my strongest days are past.