T Nation

Critique My Ab, Calve, Trap, and Forearm Routine


I have a feeling I’m going to get some bad feedback but here it goes, I am coming back from a very serious concussion (5 weeks out of work and sitting in darkness, almost got ran over in addition to high risk of anueryism/stroke) and broken collarbone. So I want to be back to my previous physical condition and continue to grow bigger and stronger obviously. I am doing this naturally. Not sure how I am alive TBO

In addition to my 4 day a week, anterior posterior workout that looks something like this:

MON – Back & rear delts
A Deadlift – w 3-5×3-5 / 180
B Pullups – w 3×8-12 2111 90
C Bent-over BB rows – 4×5-8 2011 75
D1 Rear delt rows – 3×10-15 / 0
D2 Cable pullovers – 3×10-15 3021 60 -nice and slow, get a full ROM and a firm contraction in the top position

TUE – Chest & front/side delts
A DB bench press – w 4×5-8 / 120
B BB seated press – w 4×5-8 / 120
C DB incline press - w 4 x 5-8 / 120
D1 Incline DB flys – 3×10-12 3030 45
D2 Wide-grip upright rows – 3×8-12 2020 45 -use trap bar if possible
E Shoulder machine lifts 4 sets 8-12, (not sure on their exact name but it is a sit down machine and you raise elbows and arms while at your side)

WED - Rest

THU – Legs
A Squat – w 4×8-12 / 180
B Leg press – 3×5-8 2020 120 -can be substituted with hack squats
C1 Unilateral leg curls – w 4×5-8 3011 0
C2 Unilateral standing calf raises – w 4×5-8 52X1 45
D1 Lunge – 2×10-20 / 0
D2 Seated calf raises – 2×10-20 31X1 45

FRI – Arms
A1 Close-grip bench press – w 4×5-8 / 60
A2 BB curls – w 4×5-8 / 60
B1 Skullcrushers – 3×8-12 2020 45
B2 DB preacher curls – 3×8-12 2020 45

SAT - Rest
SUN - Rest

I’m wanting to ad in calve work, abe work, trap work, and forearm work so I have made a modified plan of the above (the above plan is well known and created by an experienced bodybuilder. I just feel these muscle groups are being neglected so here is my idea (plus the workouts listed below are relatively small since they hit smaller muscles and involve less exercises):

Day 1: Back/Rear Delts/ Calves (Heavy- 3 exercises, 9-12 sets)
Day 2: Chest/Front Delts
Day 3 Abes/Forearms/ Calves (Light)
Day 4 Legs
Day 5 Arms/ 3 sets of chest fly exercise/ forearms
Day 6 Calves (Heavy), Abes, Traps
Day 7 Rest

My exercise plan for the Abes:

5 sets 8-12 reps weighted crunches
3 sets 12-20 reps oblique side lifts
5 sets 8-12 concentrated reps: Abe wheel. Increase intensity as abes build strength.

My exercise plan for the calves:

Seated calf raises 5 sets 10 reps supernated, 10 reps pronated, If I can’t get to the targeted rep amount that is ok.
Leg Press calf raises 5 sets 12-15 reps.

My exercise plan for the traps:

Reverse fly’s: 4 sets 8-12 slow reps firm concentration at full extension.
Sholder shrugs 4 sets 12-20 reps, squeeze in top position, slow to lower weight, quick to raise weight.
Face Pulls: 4 sets 8-10 reps squeeze at firm contraction

My exercise plant for the forearms:

Behind the back barbell curls 3 sets 15 reps, firm contraction at top of movement.
Reverse E-Z bar preacher curls 3 sets 10 reps

I had heard that training calves frequently will help them grow, maybe not heavy training but a few sets of calf raises at least, can anyone chime in on this.

Any other good programs to replace some of the above would be nice if you dont think the above is good, or is overtraining. I had heard that training calves frequently will help them grow, maybe not heavy training but a few sets of calf raises at least, can anyone chime in on this


You might want to throw that second to last paragraph up at the top, i was reading through this thinking why the shit is this guy programming like this until i read the injury section.


Im fully healed, just not strength wise. What would this have to do with my training regime? To light? I had posted in another thread a year ago about program selection and everyone recommended it.

I’ll throw that paragraph up top and add in details to my normal routine. lol


Oh, I misinterpreted this as to mean that it was going to be your entire routine, my bad. As for the things here I don’t think it’s bad, i personally would throw in an upright row (or some variation thereof) for traps and some heavy holds/walks for forearms.


HAHA well heretolog it was my routine while I was healing. Bad concussions are no Joke! I couldn’t tell how bad shape i was in because in order to do that… I needed to think, which I couldn’t do. lol

I updated the first post to include full routine, not sure if you had saw that or not.

And for your advice, are you thinking around 3 sets 8-12 reps for both exercises?


@heretolog I just read an article from T-nation popup and I’'m going to replace the shrug machine with the upright row for traps. Seems it will hit them more directly in a way they are meant to be used on our bodies. Also going to move facepulls to beginning of my “Day 1: Back/rear delt”, and add in the upright row.
Here is the article if you are curious: https://www.t-nation.com/training/case-against-trap-training
Is this too much? I want to hit abes/calves/forearms/traps twice a week and give them all a good workout.


Upright rows are good, but IMO snatch grip high pulls are better. My traps are always on fire for a couple days afterwards. CT has a great article called “the complete power look program” that’ll get you looking like a beast as well


Like this to the “T” im guessing?

Looks pretty straight forward, I do have trouble with bar bell upright pulls at times due to broken bones in my wrists but I’ll try these out one of the workouts as well, taking the place of shrugs as well.

I have to say I’m extremely disguaraged in the “abes” department, my core is so weak to begin with, Just can’t tell if Im doing the exercises right. I know I’m eating correctly though


Yeah those are it. I’m not a form expert, but I try to keep it closer to my body, like I’m doing a clean, and only go about to my nipple line. And as far as abs go, hanging leg raises(leg raises where you’re hanging from a pull up bar) and ab wheels are just about the most effective core training you can do. If you don’t have an ab wheel you can just take an EZ bar, put some 10lb plates on and do it with that


Great, I’ve got an ab wheel.

I’m very suprised in myself, my modified program isn’t complete shit…lol. Seems like I’m starting to learn the science behind the method finally.

Last year when I was on this program, without the added exercise in this post, my strenght was going up steadily on every lift and my belly fat was slowly disappearing… Cool deal i would say, excited to see what changes these modifications will bring.


Another thing to consider. On your conditioning days, spend $10 on some military duffle bags, $10 on sand and do different kinds of loaded carries. Farmers carries where you really focus on keeping your whole body tight are guaranteed to build your core, forearms and traps


Ok I have never heard or seen people doing this… Looking this up and I’ll reply back, makes sense though as I can see how the dufflebags would swing around more, causing more stabilizer muscles to be used as oppose to say carrying a couple heavy dumbbells.

I’ll feel like a goon in the gym but everyones gotta start somewhere and I dont give a damn what people think anymore.


Stick to 4 days a week. -Add farmers walks/weighted carries as a finisher 2-3 days a week and add direct ab work one day a week…

Also drop upright rows: one of the worst things you can do if had scapular issues let alone a broken collarbone


@rampantbadger Are these "farmers walks/weighted carreis to be added to all workouts as a finisher movement? Varied from day to day, 1 of the exercieses per day?


Yep pretty much, add as a finisher most days when you feel up to it. Just 1 of them, whichever you feel like on the day


Well I ended up doing these as a finisher on the smith machine, i’ll have to drop the weight next time because I definitely wasn’t getting that range of motion like the video, I was going to my nipples with the bar… Did them until my grip failed for 5 sets, then just went ahead and stayed on the machine, added weight and did some calf raises, 5 sets of 12.

Seemed like a good end of workout exercise and it is in line with my plan stated above.


@RampantBadger do you mean a finisher every day, or how often a week would you say? Just want to double check, I’m not familiar with symptoms/signs of overtraining unless I have pulled a muscle.


Go for every other training day then, 2 sets