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3 Day Minimalist Routine Critique

Hi all,

I’ve been been trying to draw up a relatively minimalist 3 day strength & hypertrophy routine that I can do with dumbbells and a chin-up bar at home. I’ve not trained for some time now and am struggling to get back into a routine.

The intent is to perform the target total number of reps in as few sets as possible, adjusting/incrementing weight based on first set performance (similar to Waterbury’s 40 rep method). After 4-8 weeks I’ll swap the A & B exercises with the C exercises. I might throw in some high rep prehab work (rotator cuff + achilles) at the end of each workout.

I know it’s far from optimal but does it look vaguely sensible? Thank you in advance for any feedback.

Workout A
A1) DB Split Squat, 15 total reps, 4-6 reps first set (~85-90% 1RM) , 3 min rest
B1) DB Overhead Press, 20 total reps, 6-8 reps first set (~80-85% 1RM) , 2 min rest
C1) DB Bent Over Row, 30 total reps, 12-15 reps first set (~65-70% 1RM), 1 min rest

Workout B
A1) Neutral Grip Pullup, 15 total reps, 4-6 reps first set, 3 min rest
B1) DB Split Squat, 20 total reps, 6-8 reps first set, 2 min rest
C1) DB Floor Press, 30 total reps, 12-15 reps first set, 1 min rest

Workout C
A1) DB Overhead Press, 15 total reps, 4-6 reps first set, 3 min rest
B1) Neutral Grip Pullup, 20 total reps, 6-8 reps first set, 2 min rest
C1) DB Romanian Deadlift, 30 total reps, 12-15 reps first set, 1 min rest

I’d put the RDLs in B, and switch the split squats in C for lunges. I doubt anyone is gonna read 5 articles to see how you put this together, but you’d be best off just doing it, tracking progression, and reporting back. Then make adjustments as you see fit.

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Thank you for feedback and ill give this a go. Ive removed reference to articles to make it a lighter read.

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Others might pop in with great suggestions, so don’t run away just yet, but good luck and give us an update after a minimum of 6 weeks running it to let us know where you’re at.

Better yet, go start a training log in the training log section and log your workouts and progression.

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I’ll probably use more volume if this is all you’re doing. I’d increase each by a good 10 total reps. And, if I get this right, you do a very hard first set, then whatever is needed to complete the total reps? Problem is you saw something exciting, then frankensteined it. What you’re doing… I’m not very fan, especially if you haven’t trained in quite some time, you shouldn’t be doing this.

Rest periods also don’t match this. Whether you are lifting for 6 or 15 reps, the effort is supposed to 9 or 10 on the first set right? Well then the subsequent sets for 4-6 will be so much easier than for 12-15. No way you reach 12 reps again unless you don’t know how to push yourself and the first set was actually very easy.

Why are you doing it then? I’d rather you do just 3-5 sets of 4-6 for A for instance. if your constraint is time, just do 1 or 2 very hard sets then. HIT style

The volume comes from Prilepins table. I have to say the volume in that table always seemed a bit low.

Regarding rest periods, if youre working with a 4-6 RM it feels like a longer rest period makes sense when compared to a 12-15RM weight?

Thank you for the reply by the way!

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Prilepin’s chart is for power exercises for olympic weightlifting.

It’s more complicated than that. A more neurologically demanding will ask for more rest, even at the same RM. But I can tell you that if I go for a 15RM, which is “light”, and I wait 1 minute, then what, I do 6-8 reps tops

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Im not too worried about the reps dropping off for subsequent sets. The method is similar to this but with more rest. https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-use-the-40-reps-method-for-growth

What about using these values? https://www.t-nation.com/training/prilepins-table-for-hypertrophy.

Without adjusting the ordering of exercises (still need to do this) - this would then become:

Workout A
A1) DB Split Squat, 20 total reps, 6-8 reps first set (~80-85% 1RM) , 2 min rest
B1) DB Overhead Press, 30 total reps, 10-12 reps first set (~70-75% 1RM) , 1.5 min rest
C1) DB Bent Over Row, 40 total reps, 12-15 reps first set (~60-65% 1RM), 1 min rest

Workout B
A1) Neutral Grip Pullup, 20 total reps, 6-8 reps first set (~80-85% 1RM) , 2 min rest
B1) DB Split Squat, 30 total reps, 10-12 reps first set (~70-75% 1RM) , 1.5 min rest
C1) DB Floor Press, 40 total reps, 12-15 reps first set (~60-65% 1RM), 1 min rest

Workout C
A1) DB Overhead Press, 20 total reps, 6-8 reps first set (~80-85% 1RM) , 2 min rest
B1) Neutral Grip Pullup, 30 total reps, 10-12 reps first set (~70-75% 1RM) , 1.5 min rest
C1) DB Romanian Deadlift, 40 total reps, 12-15 reps first set (~60-65% 1RM), 1 min rest

There is no good reason to use Prilepin’s table for your purposes. Even for powerlifting I don’t see a good reason to use it, and I don’t believe many weightlifters use it anymore either.

Why the focus on split squats? Seems a bit odd, why not regular back squats instead?

I think he only has DB’s.

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Aye just a chinup bar and adjustable dumbbells up to 45kg each. I get the impression that my idea was a bit of a disaster.

I think @flappinit already said it, but the only way to know if it will work for you is to try it. If you progressively add weight or reduce the sets it takes to hit the reps the Yes you should get stronger and you will most likely add a little muscle (assuming diet and rest). If you are not training for a comp and this is all the equipment you have then just work HARD and log your results.

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I really overlooked the rest times, to be honest. @aldebaran was right to mention that. The 20 reppers could probably just be triple rest-pause, and then do a double progression for the 40 reps with 4x10.

My biggest recommendation is always to follow a program someone wrote, but we’ve all written programs for ourselves - it’s fun and motivating.

If you’re NOT working out right now, you’re not going to hurt anything by doing this. If you do it and it’s underwhelming, you know to tweak it or abandon it and follow something else.

If this is what you want, and it will get you picking things up and putting them down when you’re currently doing fuck all, go for it, and report back.

And make a damn training log!

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