T Nation

BBing Oriented Routine for the First Time, opinions/insight?


I come from a powerlifting background, and now due to health issues, I've decided to drop weight, drop the juice, and put some more focus on aesthetics.

Beforehand, I must admit this isn't purely a bodybuilding routine. There's still some very high intensity/low volume, and power work included. I don't want to completely drop the habit, thrill and rewarding feel of heavy poundages :slightly_smiling:

Having said that, here's what I'm looking at;

Flat Bench: No lower than triples, but no higher than 5's. Max estimated volume here will be 5x5, if the weight is light enough to allow it.
Weighted Dips: 3x8
Incline Flyes: 3x12-15

Deadlift: Ramp up to one top set. It's usually triples or under, but sometimes I might throw a curve ball and do some higher rep work.
NG Cable Pulldowns: 3x8
Standing DB Curls: 3x12

Legs & Shoulders:
Hang Clean: No higher than 5's. Occasionally I will go for a 1RM power clean instead
Standing Military Press: 3x5-8
Seated NG DB Press: 3x8-12
Seated DB Lateral Raises: 3x12-15
Back Squat: 3x8-12
Front Squat: 3x3

No direct tricep work because they get worked on enough from pressing movements. Lots of shoulder work because I have absolutely no shoulder width and medial delts


I'm assuming you want feedback, although I don't really see a question in your post.

There are certainly more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to bodybuilding, but right off the bat, i see two inherent flaws in your program:

  1. I don't see any rowing movement. the deadlift will certainly build your posterior but if you want to build your back, I would throw in some form of rowing. Hell, powerlifters row more than in your proposed program.

  2. If you are interested in building your shoulders, I would consider training them on their own day or doing them twice a week.


maybe you're triceps develop easier, but i used to think the same thing but about both arm muscles, that they didnt need any direct work because they were hit real hard during pushing and pulling movements.(and i wondered why they were only 16.5 inches for like almost an entire year) But then i started paying my arms a lot more attention they started growing pretty rapidly.

also rows are amazing for width, obviously because your lats are like the biggest muscle in your back not only that but with good form you hit the rear delts and traps as well.


'I'm assuming you want feedback, although I don't really see a question in your post.'

Yes, that was the point of the topic, thanks aha

I've used bent over BB rows from the floor before. They had good transfer to my deadlift lockout but didn't really do anything for my width.
I can't focus on muscle activation on bent over rows, my legs are just burning in that position and my body naturally likes to muscle up as much weight as possible in any way it can.

How are seated cable rows? They sound like a good workaround to this problem, I'll give them a try today (just happens to be back day)


From a body building perspective there are so many things wrong with this routine. A BBing routine should hit ALL muscle groups DIRECTLY.

You have 2 squat variations but you have no movement for your hammies. I guess you're relying on deadlifts.

You need to do direct triceps work. Your way of thinking is a common misconception. If that's all you're doing on your chest day there's no reason you can't throw in one triceps dominant movement at the end.

Your back is the biggest muscle group, why would you do only 2 movements for back but do 3 movements for a smaller muscle group like chest.

Yes deadlift are great for overall back development but i think you should throw in some form of rowing movement as suggested.

I would also suggest another lateral movement if you're trying to bring up your medial delts. Maybe cable or machine lateral raises.

What days are you working out a week? Is this a M W F split or a 3 days on 1 day off type thing?

If you want to focus more on your shoulders maybe you should give them their own day. If you only have 3 days then you could do back and chest, legs, then shoulders and arms.. (just one movement for biceps and triceps)


'What days are you working out a week? Is this a M W F split or a 3 days on 1 day off type thing?'

3 days on, 1 off

I am open to turning it into a 4 day with one day dedicated entirely to shoulders, and the leg work to have more specific work (as I have no calf or hammie work)

I'm very open minded here. I have no clue about this sort of training and respect and am thankful for everyone's contribution here :slight_smile:


Minor update:

Did back today. I was reading FST-7 earlier today, so I took a minor page from their book and finished off with 7 sets of wide grip seated cable rows.

While the grip choice wasn't the best (I'm too unflexible for wide grip rows, I needed momentum to get the bar to touch my torso, even with light weight), the feeling post a high volume session is great.

I think I will benefit from this type of training, once I finally work out the kinks.


Seated cable rows are fine. DB bent over rows work well. You could of course add pullups/ chinups although I don't really consider them a big mass builder. I like plate loaded chest supported row as well.

One suggestion I will make regarding back training is to concentrate on a solid contraction at the peak of a lift. Holding and squeezing for 1-2 seconds at the top is great. I also like using straps, as this can help take out some bicep from the movement.



to the




Check out king beefs thread in the BBing forum, or look up a thread by bricknyce on setting up a split...those will help u.


Agreed. Look up on the forum, or do one of the thousands routines outlined in all the articles. No need to reinvent the wheel. Sure, it's good to experiment and finding out what works for you, but there are quite a few things that work for everybody, so by picking a proven routine you'll avoid going through typical errors many often do when they do their own split for the first time. Wendler's 5/3/1 with the BB template might be something to look into since you have a powerlifting background. It's basically a pretty high volume 4 way split. I usually train for low reps, and found the routine to be a pretty nice way to transit over to a more bodybuilding oriented way of training.