T Nation

Best ever progress

Posted - 10/04/2004 :

All this talk of overtraining, undertraining, hardgainer, easy gainer confuses the hell out of everyone. Lets see you submit the routine which gave you the best gains of your life, even if it defies all logic regarding overtraining or whatever. I’m just interested to see what different people respond to.

Here’s a routine I did when I was about 18 yrs old and I gained every week for a good while. Some of you will probably say it’s overtraining, but it did work back then, but in saying that, I was probably at my hormonal peak and I ate serious amounts of food all the time with hardly any bodyfat. I was only about 160lb back then and I’m over 200 now.

Here’s the old routine:

All 10,8,6, exercises increase the weight by 2-4kg on each set. Eg 10 reps with 30kg, 8 reps with 32, 6 reps with 34. Next week 10x32,8x34,6x36, next week 10x34,8x36,6x38 and so on. For legs, 4kg increments were used every week (if poss).

Monday: Back/Chest

Lat pulldown or pull ups> 3 work sets 10,8,6
One arm dumbbell bent over rows> 10,8,6
Hyper extentions or deadlifts> 3x15 for hypers, 10,8,6 for deadlifts
Close palms facing you lat pulldowns or close grip chins> 10,8,6
Bench press> 10,8,6
Bent armed flyes> 10,8,6 (might have to use 1kg increments here)
Incline bench press> 10,8,6
Parallel dips(weighted)> 10,8,6 same 2kg increases.

Wednesday: Shoulders/Biceps/Abs

Press behind neck> 10,8,6 (didn’t do my shoulders any harm)
Upright rows> 10,8,6 (again, didn’t damage my shoulders)
Barbell shrugs> 10,8,6
Barbell clean and press or side laterals> 10,8,6
Alternate dumbbell curls> 10,8,6
One dumbbell preacher curls> 10,8,6 with negatives if can’t reach reps
Weighted incline sit-ups> 3x15 reps or failure, add weight if over 15
Hanging or incline leg raises> 3xfailure add ankle weights if req
Side bends> 10,8,6 but would now maybe do for 15 reps same as abs.

Friday evening or Saturday afternoon: Legs/Triceps/Forearms

Squats> 10,8,6
Leg extensions or leg press or hack squats> 10,8,6(higher for leg ext)
Leg curls or lunges or stiff leg deadlifts> 10,8,6
Standing calf machine or seated calf machine> 3xf high reps rest/pause
Lying triceps extension or triceps pressdowns(pulley pushdowns)>10,8,6
Reverse(palms up, straight bar) triceps pressdowns> 10,8,6
Reverse curls> 10,8,6
Wrist curls> 10,8,6 (I’d probably use more reps now for forearms).

I’ll probably get the overtraining card waved in my face for this post, but I dare you to try it. Take a week’s lay off and then try this routine for 6 weeks and see what happens. Let me know if any of you try it.

One of the biggest problems i see in the gym of the guys who cant figure out why they cant gain is because of the small weight increases, especially in bench. So i am impressed that a 2-4kg increase was enough for you to gain from. Individuals who are not very big, e.g. 150lbs or so, i tell them to warm up at a light weight (say 95lbs) and build from there.

always a day of rest after a workout day i do: ( i try to get in three a week)


  1. warmup
  2. some type of speed squat/deadlift (jump squats, jump box squat, speed dead, etc)
  3. some type of heavy squat/dead (gm’s, sq, dl, all types)
    4)either 3 sets flat pressing/2 sets verticle pressing, or 3 sets vert/2 sets flat (push press/bench press/db presses/one arm presses)
  4. some kind of pull for lats (chins/pullups/rows)
    then during the last month i added in olympic progression, where i try to learn the olympic lifts so that makes 6)
  5. jump shrug + deadlift or front squat (boy i suck at front squatting), or light overhead squats high reps etc

ok i do that every workouti just switch the exercises every time (dont do same exercises in 3 workouts, after that i can repeat them) and i try not to dead/squat hard more than once a week…

and i use 4-6 rep intensity so its kind of heavy (except for warmups i do high reps)

ok, that really works and i love it, but maybe thats why a tendon in my arm popped, no, thats because i was doing some sandbag training, ok so ya try it out! :slight_smile:


I really dont think you overtrained at all. It appears that you didnt have extra time to workout so you made every thing fit into a 3 day workout.

My best gains have come when i have warmed-up and then hit the same weight for 3 sets of 10 reps. I have been doing this on bench for quite some time, about a year. My bench has probably gone up 75lbs. I could rep 3x10 @ 275, but not 315. Now i can rep 3x15 @ 315 and rep 3x10 @ 355.

NOTE: At the end of these sets instead of cooling down i do a couple of sets of rest pauses, usually moving the weight up. For instance, if i do 3x10 @ 315 i would do 335 or 365 or both for rest pauses (sets of 3). Then move on to your next chest exercise.

Your post has too many words in it.

Too bad. You might be suprised how much info some of the long messages actually contain.