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Don't Understand This Workout. Help?

This workout is one Doug Young prescribed for beginners and is supposed to build strength and size fairly equally. But I don’t understand the rep scheme as it says do 3 sets of 6 and then a 4th set of as many reps as possible using the same weight; but that’s basically 4 sets of 6 isn’t it? And there’s hardly any difference in 5 rep max and 6 rep max is there?

Then for squats and deadlifts you do 5/4/3/2/1 so add weight every set or every other set. Its harder than than 1 rep less if you add 5lbs (2x 1.25kg) so do you add weight on the third set and the fifth set? Why doesn’t this rep scheme also apply for bench as that’s also a powerlift?


Hey @ronki23!

The fourth set is meant to say do as many as you can total. Don’t stop at six!

I don’t know about the squat question.

Edit: I would add a little weight every set!

I’m gonna assume from the info you provided that the sets of 6 are not done with a weight you could only physically do 6 with. With the sets of 6 you would have a rep or 2 left in the tank, then the last set you take to failure or close to failure.

Same applies to the squats, if you are using a weight you can only physically lift 5 times then adding the weight may make it hard to only drop a rep, if you are working a little under your max then it should be easily achieved.

Does it give advice on load to use?

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The last set for the press and bench press are AMRAP sets, so you would do a minimum of 6 reps, but more if you can. So if you can bang out 10 reps on the last set, then that’s what you do for that day. However, going to complete failure, especially for a beginner learning form, is probably not a good idea, so it may be best to stop a rep short of that point. At least that is how I would approach it. For the squats and DLs, it looks like you are ramping up to a single (1 rep), so adding weight each set is probably what the intent is. I don’t know how optimal that is for a beginner, but it looks like that is what the program is asking for.

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Yeah, the first 3 sets of 6 are lighter than your 6 rep max. Then the AMRAP set measures your progress. Less than 10 reps (i think, but can’t remember 100%) you stay at the same weight. If you get more than 10 reps on that set, you add weight next time.

For squat/deadlift you “pyramid” to a heavy single. It could go
100 x5
120 x4
130 x3
140 x2
150 x1

Then next session, add 5-10 to all those weights and “pyramid” to a new, higher single.

This rep scheme doesn’t apply to bench because Doug Young bench pressed 611 pounds, so he makes the rules.


It doesn’t tell you how much weight you should start with though-it wants linear progression. I found it at bodybuilding.com

It doesn’t say how much I should start off with though-it’s a linear progression program

I don’t understand why he isn’t doing 5/4/3/2/1 on bench if that’s a powerlift

Never mind.

found the program.

OP, learn to read. Its ALL explained.

Why are you questioning everything? Doug Young was too small for you?

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That’s why you do the program of a successful lifter.

You don’t understand, so you do the program to learn. THEN you understand.

That said, where did you find that routine? It doesn’t look right. No way Doug Young did Pendlay Rows. Also, didn’t he bench 3 times per week? I would look around for a little more info.

It says use half your bodyweight to start off with but I’m quite weak AND I’m very heavy from fat weight so half my bodyweight is already a challenge; I’ve only started doing weight training for 2 weeks from a 2 year hiatus (where I did judo,ju jitsu and swimming instead). 5x5 workouts (Starting Strength) say in your first workout your starting weight should be when the bar slows/form breaks down. Do I do that for this program as I’m a 253lbs weakling

After 8 years on this site??

If you dont understand this program pick one from the hundreds of clearly laid out ones from the Tnation part of the site