T Nation

3-day per week workout for size and strength

I’m just looking for a good 3 day per week program to build size and strength.Any suggestions?

Hey. This is a pretty simple question {not enough info given to us}. I’d recommend reading the back issues first, and then make your own program. But since it takes a long time to get comfortable enough to make your own program, here’s a really simple program that will get you started.

Monday: Squats. Follow that by forearm work.

Wednesday: Bench Press and Chinups. Follow that by rotator cuff work {what Poliquin article talked about this, guys?).

Friday: Stiff-leg deadlifts. Follow that by more forearms.

IF you don’t know how to do those exercises, please, keep on reading until you know how. Try to figure them out, but keep the weights light and the speed slow. Do not increase weight until you are 100% sure that you’re doing them right! I don’t care how easy it is. You’ll be making your own program in about a month … so using this program until then won’t have wasted your time. {Note: you’ll want to get a more complete program eventually, but these are fundamental. Why the forearm work? Because to get anywhere in this sport, you need to those beasties to be a full potential)

Keep it simple, keep it slow. The first six weeks are mostly spent training the nervous system how to move weight, so focus now on technique.

Read the FAQ’s. Read all the Question of Strength articles. Read all the Heavy Metal articles. Read all the Dawg Schools. {these are articles}. After that, start at issue 1 and read everything.

i do 3 days a week too. but i’m moving to 4 starting this week, because i want to incorporate cardio with it. my 3-day program lasts about 1.5 hours, i like to get it down to one hour since adding 30 min. cardio. but my 3-day routine is: monday - chest/arms, tuesday - legs, thursday - back and delts. it’s worked good for me. my 4-day routine is: monday - legs, tuesday - chest/bi’s, thursday - shoulders, sat - back tri’s.

as long as your busting your balls everytime your in the gym, proper rest and nutrition, 3 days will work just fine in my opinion.

Try Charles Staley’s Convergent Phase Training. Read his article on this site.

Day 1: Chest, shoulders, triceps, trained
in order of priority.

Day 2, with one “off” day inbetween: Legs,
abs, optionally lower back. Optionally, other minor exercises, but definitely don’t make minor exercises a major fraction of your workout.

Day 3, with one “off” day inbetween: Upper and mid back, biceps, in order of priority.

Then two “off” days before returning to Day 1 of the cycle.

This is a very good 3 way split, in my opinion.

Monday: Chest, Back, Side Delts
Wed: Legs
Friday: Anterior Delts, Bis, Tris, Forearm

I also walk, and do abs on Tues,Thurs
On Saturday, I train rotators, Walk, Calves

Mon- Chest and Biceps and abs,
Tuesday-rest,
Wed- Legs and abs,
Thursday- rest,
Friday- Back and Triceps and abs,
Sat and sun rest


I got this one from Charles Staley.
This allows you to work a major muscle group(chest) and work the shoulders and triceps indirectly, and the smaller muscle group (biceps) directly, rest, then work legs and abs, then rest again then work the back directly, biceps indirectly, and triceps directly.

How old are you? what is your current experience level? experience will show you that there is no magic to this lifting game. Splits, descending triple pre-exhaust sets, micro timing everything, spending 100’s of $ per month on substitutes, (are supposed to supplement, but few supplement, most sub), are all snake oil. lift hard and often, with great form, change your order, rep range and tempo. eat well, sleep well. move a lot of free weight.

Convergent Phase Training has fulfilled all of my needs. It is similar to meltdown training with additional emphasis on functional strength gains. I’m in and out of the gym in 50 minutes. Search the forum, see what others have said on the issue.