T Nation

Do This Routine Instead of That Dumb One

Edit: New routines on page 7, 17, 21

The amount of ridulous “critique my routine” threads is getting silly. Usually how it goes is I open up one of those threads, read it, smack my palm against my forehead and then sign off. I figure a thread with some good well designed preset BB routines should help a lot of these misguided individuals. I’ll start with 1 routine for now and add to it as I see fit (diff frequencies/splits/etc) if people like it.

*All exercises are ramped
*Numbers at end in parentheses are how many sets to failure to do on that exercise
*Rest 90-120 secs between sets, 2-3 mins if you did a set to failure on a compound movement and are about to do another set to failure on the same movement
*Should be able to finish these workouts in an hour or less

5 day split, 1x a week frequency

Monday- Chest/Calves

Incline Dumbbell Press - 4x 6-10 (2)
Flat Barbell Press - 3x 6-10 (1)
Decline Dumbbell press - 3x 6-10 (2)
Standing calf raises - 4x 8-10 (2) (1-2 mins rest for calves)
Seated calf raises - 3x 8-10 (2)
Leg press Calf raises - 3 x 12-15 (2)

Tuesday- Back

Pull ups - 50 or as many as you can do in 10 minutes
Barbell Rows - (torso at 45ish degree angle) 4x 8-10 (1)
Close neutral grip pulldowns - 3x 8-10 (2) (really like 3 sec negatives on these)
Seated straight bar rows - 3x 8-10 (2)

Wednesday- Legs (2-3 second negatives recommended on all exercises)

Lying leg curls - 4x 6-8 (2)
RDL’s - 4x 8-10 (1)
Leg press - 4x8-10 (I like doing these before squats to help loosen up the hips) (2)
Squats or Front squats - 3x 8-10 (1)
Hack Squats (close stance) - 3x 8-10 (2)

Thursday- Arms/Abs Supersets for arms

Pinwheel Curls - 4x 6-10 (1)
Decline Elbows flared CGBP - 4x 6-10 (1)

Preacher curls on vertical side (spider curls) - 3x 8-10 (2)
Lying Behind the head extensions - 3x 8-10 (2)

Alternating Dumbbell curls - 3x 8-10 (2)
French Presses - 3x 8-10 (2)

Cable rope crunches - 3x 12-15 (2) (1-2 mins rest for abs)
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x 12-15 (2)

Friday - Shoulders/Traps

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press - 4x 6-10 (2)
Cable lateral raises - 3x 8-12 (2)
Seated Dumbbell lateral raises - 3x 8-12 (2)
Incline Bench Rear delt raises - 3x 12-15 (2)
Standing cable X’s - 3x 20-30 (3)
Shrugs - 4x 8-10 (2)

Sample workout for those not familiar with how ramping works. I’ll use chest/calves:

  • (f) indicates failure

Inc Dumb - Warmup (20x25’s x2, 10x40’s, 8x55’s) 10x70’s, 10x80’s, 9x90’s(f), 6x100’s(f)
Flat Bar - 10x185, 10x205, 8x225(f)
Dec Dumb - 10x85’s, 8x90’s(f), 6x95’s(f)
Standing - warmup (20x50 x2, 15x100) 10x150, 10x180, 10x210(f), 9x220(f)
Seated - 10x90, 10x135(f), 8x145(f)
LP calf - 15x270, 13x360(f), 12x400(f)

Edit: Eat a lot of freaking protein.

2 Likes
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any tips on feeling the close netural grip pulldowns in just your lats? i get a ridiculous burn in my brachialis of all things lol even using straps. ive played with gripping the handle closer towards me or further towards the weight stack (ive got small hands). perhaps leaning back at a certain angle or over stretching to feel the lats more?

Thoughtful, simple.

Sticky material!

But I can only train 3 days a week…

But I heard you shouldnt train arms directly…

But where is the cardio?..

But my pussy hurts…

This is exactly why I advocate using straps on some of your sets.

Let the damn straps do the work of holding onto the bar. If you’re squeezing the bar tightly, your arms (both upper and lower) will do a lot of the work. Adjust your torso angle to target the specific area of your back you’re aiming for…this is different for everyone due to body structure.

Another tip is to hold the peak contraction on most of your back exercises (especially lat pulldowns of any sort), until you feel you can effectively recruit the area of your back you’re focusing on. CT has covered this extensively.

I’ve found that just a few workouts using this method, is enough to “reprogram” you to efficiently pull with your back and contract it in a manner that maximizes targeted muscle contraction and fatigue.

Once you have a good handle on how to do this, you can start bumping up the amount of weight you use.

Once you can move heavy loads, while maximizing controlled contractions, you’re in business.

It doesn’t matter what specific back exercise you’re doing…DB rows, BB Rows (to a certain degree), Pull ups (to a certain degree), lat pulldowns with any of the attachments, seated cable rows, machine rows, etc. Although some pulling exercises lend themselves better to peak contractions and fatigue with moderate to high (8-12) reps, you’ll see the best results implementing control and MMC on most back exercises in the beginning.

Yes, the load will be limited, but there’s a bigger picture. Have some damn patience, master the movements and learn to listen to your body.

The “big weights” will come in time, but not if you don’t address the basic fundamentals first.

I see guys using terrible form more on back exercises and squats, because of their egos. It’s funny, because you think anyone is going to be impressed by your 1/2 range of motion 225 lb. squats or half ass pull ups? Nope. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks anyway. You should be lifting for yourself, not others.

Put your time in, focus on good technique, learn to do things right, listen to your body and your top weights will climb in time, along with added muscularity. Then people will take notice, if that’s your goal.

You’ve gotta pay your dues early on.

Rant over

[quote]wannabebig25 wrote:
any tips on feeling the close netural grip pulldowns in just your lats? i get a ridiculous burn in my brachialis of all things lol even using straps. ive played with gripping the handle closer towards me or further towards the weight stack (ive got small hands). perhaps leaning back at a certain angle or over stretching to feel the lats more?[/quote]

1 Like

Kingbeef…great post by the way. Didn’t meant to derail the original quality info you put time into posting. Good work and great job continuing to improve your physique.

[quote]synergy93 wrote:
Kingbeef…great post by the way. Didn’t meant to derail the original quality info you put time into posting. Good work and great job continuing to improve your physique.[/quote]

I’m sure he won’t mind, your last post was awesome and full of good content.

I feel like I shouldn’t be contributing a whole lot, but one other thing that perhaps KB could have mentioned is that this obviously doesn’t have to be a carbon-copy workout. If your strengths/weaknesses and muscles and exercise selection is different, you can obviously change the split around to cater what’s best for you.

But you need to keep it just that, a split. This may not mean 3 days of lifting a week with boxing workouts and this and that. This means body part split. But make sure you’re doing in a logical way.

If you get the best hamstring development from deadlifts, you probably shouldn’t put them close to your back day.
If you get the best back development from deadlifts, you probably shouldn’t put them close to your hamstring day.
If deadlifts end up being more of a liability for you than anything else, don’t do them (even though people on the internet will tell you that you have to.) Just listen to what exercises work best for you. Like ^synergy said, listen to your body.

That’s all I got, continue forth.

@wannabebig: Pretty much what Synergy said. I’d add that if you really have trouble feeling your lats even when yousing straps you could start with a little preactivation before starting your lat work. I’ll usually have people do 3 light sets of 15 of stiff arm rope pulldowns holding the contraction before pullups/pulldowns. When you’re doing pulldowns you should have your chest puffed out and when pulling down, consciously focus on pulling your elbows down to your sides as opposed to pulling the handles down with your hands if that makes sense. I feel the slow negatives help as well on that.

@synergy: Thanks for that post and the compliment man.

@SSC: This is mainly geared towards those people who read about splits and ways to set them up and still can’t quite come up with a proper routine for balanced development. That’s why I made it very specific as opposed to just laying out a template, of which there are many good ones around but people still seem to mess things up badly. That said, things could definitely be substituted as long as the substitutions are serving the same purpose as the original exercise (ie. subbing out french presses for 1 arm overhead extensions). Some people just need to be told exactly what to do, lol. Plus I doubt anyone who’s to the point of knowing what works best for them would even need this sort of help in the first place.

4 day split for those with less time. Everyone should be able to make it to the gym at least 4 days a week for an hour. Not making any 3 day splits.

Frequency 1x a week

Monday- Legs

Lying leg curls - 4x 6-8 (2)
RDL’s - 4x 8-10 (1) you could do deadlifts here if you want but if you have very favorable leverages for them (long arms/femurs, short torso) you will most likely get better ham development from rdl’s. You’d also do front squats instead of back squats
Leg press - 4x8-10 (I like doing these before squats to help loosen up the hips) (2)
Squats or Front squats - 3x 8-10 (1)
Hack Squats (close stance) - 3x 8-10 (2)

Tuesday - Chest/Tris/Calves (can superset tri’s calves to cut down workout time)

Incline Dumbbell Press - 4x 6-10 (2)
Flat Barbell Press - 3x 6-10 (1)
Dips (lean forward) - 3x 6-10 (2)
Lying Behind the head extensions - 4x 8-10 (2)
French Presses - 3x 8-10 (2)
Standing calf raises - 5x 8-10 (3) (1-2 mins rest for calves)

Thursday- Back/Bis/Abs (Can superset bis/abs to cut down workout time)

Barbell Rows - (torso at 45ish degree angle) 4x 8-10 (2)
Close neutral grip pulldowns - 3x 8-10 (2) (really like 3 sec negatives on these)
Seated close neutral grip rows - 3x 8-10 (2)
Pinwheel Curls - 4x 6-10 (2)
Alternating Dumbbell curls - 3x 8-10 (2)
Cable rope crunches - 3x 12-15 (2) (1-2 mins rest for abs)
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x 12-15 (2)

Saturday - Shoulders/Calves (can superset traps/calves to cut down workout time)

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press - 4x 6-10 (2)
Cable lateral raises - 3x 8-12 (2)
Seated Dumbbell lateral raises - 3x 8-12 (2)
Incline Bench Rear delt raises - 3x 12-15 (2)
Shrugs - 4x 8-10 (2)
Seated calf raises - 5x 8-10 (3)

1 Like

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
*Numbers at end in parentheses are how many sets to failure to do on that exercise[/quote] Should we perform 1 (or maybe 2) more sets if we don’t take each set to failure?

Probs shouldnt do a routine that forces you to go to failure if you wont go to failure :S

Looking good, the 4 day split is cool, the only thing i’d possibly mix up is switching the tri’s to back day and bi’s to chest day.

Just my opinion…

Can you now tell me how many calories I need to eat, how many carbs/protein/fat, what times I need to eat, when I need to get out of bed and when I need to take a crap?

Could you also give me 10 different routines because I’ll probably get bored of that one

Thanks!

:slight_smile:

But, but Men’s Health said to do this muscle confusion routine for explosive growth and to kick start fat burning.

2 sets of dumbbell kickbacks
2 sets of kettlebell swings
2 sets of jumpingjacks

I wanna add serious mass like 30 lbs and lose like 20 lbs of fat in 4 weeks.

Critique my routine pleeeeeezzzzze

this is really good thanks can u comment on 2 things

  1. using incl db ramp as an example, t warm ups for me would cause fatigue which would lower top sets. so if i did
    20s x10
    40s x5
    55s x3
    70s x1
    80s x1
    i could do say 95 x10 105 x6 wouldnt that be better?

  2. i like to ramp to top set than come down 10% and maybe 3ed set down 10% all to failure, does this work as well? i do better sometimes with heaviest set firsr.

thnaks

[Inc Dumb - Warmup (20x25’s x2, 10x40’s, 8x55’s) 10x70’s, 10x80’s, 9x90’s(f), 6x100’s(f)
Flat Bar - 10x185, 10x205, 8x225(f)
Dec Dumb - 10x85’s, 8x90’s(f), 6x95’s(f)
Standing - warmup (20x50 x2, 15x100) 10x150, 10x180, 10x210(f), 9x220(f)
Seated - 10x90, 10x135(f), 8x145(f)
LP calf - 15x270, 13x360(f), 12x400(f)

Edit: Eat a lot of freaking protein.[/quote]

Some of you guys are entirely missing the point of this thread. In fact you are doing the exact opposite of the intention of this thread, you are creating mini "critique my routine"s inside this thread whose intention is to be rid of these ridiculous things.

[quote]tolismann wrote:

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
*Numbers at end in parentheses are how many sets to failure to do on that exercise[/quote] Should we perform 1 (or maybe 2) more sets if we don’t take each set to failure?
[/quote]

You don’t take each set to failure. Only the last 1 or 2 sets. If you’re training each bodypart once a week there’s nothing wrong with taking that many sets to failure, as a matter of fact my clients, workout partners and I do it on a regular basis and experience great results. Everything I write in here is based on what I’ve actually experienced to work. I’m not just posting up stuff that I read somewhere. Just try it as written, don’t make any modifications.

[quote]topgun322 wrote:
this is really good thanks can u comment on 2 things

  1. using incl db ramp as an example, t warm ups for me would cause fatigue which would lower top sets. so if i did
    20s x10
    40s x5
    55s x3
    70s x1
    80s x1
    i could do say 95 x10 105 x6 wouldnt that be better?

  2. i like to ramp to top set than come down 10% and maybe 3ed set down 10% all to failure, does this work as well? i do better sometimes with heaviest set firsr.

thnaks

[Inc Dumb - Warmup (20x25’s x2, 10x40’s, 8x55’s) 10x70’s, 10x80’s, 9x90’s(f), 6x100’s(f)
Flat Bar - 10x185, 10x205, 8x225(f)
Dec Dumb - 10x85’s, 8x90’s(f), 6x95’s(f)
Standing - warmup (20x50 x2, 15x100) 10x150, 10x180, 10x210(f), 9x220(f)
Seated - 10x90, 10x135(f), 8x145(f)
LP calf - 15x270, 13x360(f), 12x400(f)

Edit: Eat a lot of freaking protein.[/quote]
[/quote]

  1. It’s not bad, that’s actually similar to how I warm up for my max ot workouts. Maybe just a tad more volume for the warmups. So I’d say do:

20x25’s x2, 10x40’s, 8x55’s, 4x70’s, 2x80’s then proceed to your 2 work sets.

  1. I’m sure that works as I’ve done it before but not for nearly as extensive a period of time as I’ve used the methods that I wrote. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and simple happens to work pretty damn well, lol.

Next I’ll post a max ot style routine where you warm up like you described and then prolly a higher frequency routine.

Perfect thanks. I like to see that one too.

quote]kingbeef323 wrote:

[quote]tolismann wrote:

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
*Numbers at end in parentheses are how many sets to failure to do on that exercise[/quote] Should we perform 1 (or maybe 2) more sets if we don’t take each set to failure?
[/quote]

You don’t take each set to failure. Only the last 1 or 2 sets. If you’re training each bodypart once a week there’s nothing wrong with taking that many sets to failure, as a matter of fact my clients, workout partners and I do it on a regular basis and experience great results. Everything I write in here is based on what I’ve actually experienced to work. I’m not just posting up stuff that I read somewhere. Just try it as written, don’t make any modifications.

[quote]topgun322 wrote:
this is really good thanks can u comment on 2 things

  1. using incl db ramp as an example, t warm ups for me would cause fatigue which would lower top sets. so if i did
    20s x10
    40s x5
    55s x3
    70s x1
    80s x1
    i could do say 95 x10 105 x6 wouldnt that be better?

  2. i like to ramp to top set than come down 10% and maybe 3ed set down 10% all to failure, does this work as well? i do better sometimes with heaviest set firsr.

thnaks

[Inc Dumb - Warmup (20x25’s x2, 10x40’s, 8x55’s) 10x70’s, 10x80’s, 9x90’s(f), 6x100’s(f)
Flat Bar - 10x185, 10x205, 8x225(f)
Dec Dumb - 10x85’s, 8x90’s(f), 6x95’s(f)
Standing - warmup (20x50 x2, 15x100) 10x150, 10x180, 10x210(f), 9x220(f)
Seated - 10x90, 10x135(f), 8x145(f)
LP calf - 15x270, 13x360(f), 12x400(f)

Edit: Eat a lot of freaking protein.[/quote]
[/quote]

  1. It’s not bad, that’s actually similar to how I warm up for my max ot workouts. Maybe just a tad more volume for the warmups. So I’d say do:

20x25’s x2, 10x40’s, 8x55’s, 4x70’s, 2x80’s then proceed to your 2 work sets.

  1. I’m sure that works as I’ve done it before but not for nearly as extensive a period of time as I’ve used the methods that I wrote. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible and simple happens to work pretty damn well, lol.

Next I’ll post a max ot style routine where you warm up like you described and then prolly a higher frequency routine.[/quote]

If I were to recommend a pre-set routine then Dorian’s Blood & Guts trainers are difficult to beat. Decent 4-way split with full video demonstration of warm-up, form and importantly, intensity. Also includes some very clear justification from the always awesome DY.





As for the goal of the thread, I don’t really see the problem. People will read about a few routines and modify them to fit their circumstances, equipment, strengths and taste etc. and should be encouraged to post it for a sanity check. IMHO this is good use of a forum and no need to get sand in your vagina about it. If you don’t want to help someone with their routine and point out they might want to train legs instead of a 4th bicep day or whatever crazy thing they want to do, don’t open the thread.

1 Like

[quote]synergy93 wrote:
This is exactly why I advocate using straps on some of your sets.

Let the damn straps do the work of holding onto the bar. If you’re squeezing the bar tightly, your arms (both upper and lower) will do a lot of the work. Adjust your torso angle to target the specific area of your back you’re aiming for…this is different for everyone due to body structure.

Another tip is to hold the peak contraction on most of your back exercises (especially lat pulldowns of any sort), until you feel you can effectively recruit the area of your back you’re focusing on. CT has covered this extensively.

I’ve found that just a few workouts using this method, is enough to “reprogram” you to efficiently pull with your back and contract it in a manner that maximizes targeted muscle contraction and fatigue.

Once you have a good handle on how to do this, you can start bumping up the amount of weight you use.

Once you can move heavy loads, while maximizing controlled contractions, you’re in business.

It doesn’t matter what specific back exercise you’re doing…DB rows, BB Rows (to a certain degree), Pull ups (to a certain degree), lat pulldowns with any of the attachments, seated cable rows, machine rows, etc. Although some pulling exercises lend themselves better to peak contractions and fatigue with moderate to high (8-12) reps, you’ll see the best results implementing control and MMC on most back exercises in the beginning.

Yes, the load will be limited, but there’s a bigger picture. Have some damn patience, master the movements and learn to listen to your body.

The “big weights” will come in time, but not if you don’t address the basic fundamentals first.

I see guys using terrible form more on back exercises and squats, because of their egos. It’s funny, because you think anyone is going to be impressed by your 1/2 range of motion 225 lb. squats or half ass pull ups? Nope. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks anyway. You should be lifting for yourself, not others.

Put your time in, focus on good technique, learn to do things right, listen to your body and your top weights will climb in time, along with added muscularity. Then people will take notice, if that’s your goal.

You’ve gotta pay your dues early on.

Rant over

[quote]wannabebig25 wrote:
any tips on feeling the close netural grip pulldowns in just your lats? i get a ridiculous burn in my brachialis of all things lol even using straps. ive played with gripping the handle closer towards me or further towards the weight stack (ive got small hands). perhaps leaning back at a certain angle or over stretching to feel the lats more?[/quote]
[/quote]

awesome stuff as usual synergy! i must say i do use straps and a thumbless grip but still squeeze the hell out of the bar. ill lighten up the load and really feel the back more. its just pulldowns though, dumbbell rows i can actually feel my back screaming in pain.