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Doug Hepburn Training System


Anybody has experience with Doug Hepburn type training method (rep progression over several weeks before adding weight)?

How do you compare it to the more popular training system like 5/3/1 or wsfsb



I use it, I like it. Better than 5/3/1 imo


How long can you progress with this program and what do you do when you stall?
What's your workout look like?
I'm very interested to try this method. I'm doing 5/3/1 and made very little progress on
bench and military


Well with Hepburn the progress will look even slower. It's meant for an extended period of time, like months at a time. You evaluate progress on the basis that you up each week with an extra set of +1 rep. after 8 weeks, increase the weight x amount of lbs. and start over again. My bench progresses the least out of my main 3 lifts and after about 18 weeks it shot up from 285 - 305 lbs. Don't know about military since I don't train it


I am doing the Hepburn method right now, and it seems to be working well. I did make 2 modifications. The first thing is that I do between 4-8 sets of 1's or 3's. I know the program that Twiceborn set out had 4-10 sets. This way you do advance a little faster. This is something I saw in Hepburn's book (up to 8 sets), and I added it to the info that was on another thread in this forum. The other modification helps speed up the progress as well. When you first start, pick a conservative weight (around 85% 1RMish), and do all 8 sets. If you can get them all in, and you should be able to, then move up +5lbs. You can even keep doing this and move up +2.5lbs for upper body lifts. This way you see improvements every week. When you start to stall, then reset and start the actual Hepburn program. Even then, you can go up 2 sets every time instead of one. Keep doing stuff like this until you HAVE to do the original program.

Even if you just run my second modification, you can make some faster gains. Eventually you will hit a wall, since the weight is getting heavier. Then just add 1 set every time you lift. When you finish with that, then start the 3's.

I also do the split routine that is in Hepbrun's book. I know he had a couple of other programs as well.

Day 1: Squat, DL, BB Rows (I do Pendlay Rows)
Day 2: Bench, OHP (Push or Military), and DB Curls (could do chins as well)

I use the normal Hepburn rep scheme for everything but the curls, I do 3x3-5 for that.

If you work out every other day, you can also get a few more workouts in per month as well. Otherwise you can just alternate 3 days per week.


bump to this. anyone training this way?


Similar except for singles I am doing mostly doubles and triples:

Day 1: Bench 8x2-3, Row 8x2-3
Day 2: Squat 8x2-3, Dead 4-8x1

So first day of bench would be 8 sets like this: 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,3. Then next workout 2,2,2,2,2,2,3,3(etc).
When you get 3 reps for all 8 sets move up in weight. For bench and row I'm going up 5lbs and for squat and dead I'm going up 10.

Like the earlier poster mentioned, when feeling particularly good early on I think it's ok to move a little faster, ie I sometimes would move ahead 2-3 sets of 3 instead of just 1 set of 3.

Unfortunately I've only been through a "cycle" one time but I definitely look more solid and the weight is feeling easier. I started light(ish) to adjust for the volume. I'd love to hear other people's results with this sort of training. I'm drug-free and have no desire to compete in a bench shirt or anything like that so my only goal is to get bigger and stronger. This man got insanely strong before the steroid era, that's why I have a feeling this sort of program is suited for people with my goals.


I've been sticking to it for the past three months. I was able to bring my working reps from 245 singles to 265 singles for 10 sets in bench. My 1RM squat went from 345 to 385..then after a month of smolov to 405. Now I'm back to doing singles, started with 365 squats and recently bumped it up to 375. This is definitely a hidden gem that I hope many will uncover.


I'm think really hard about about starting this soon. Are you doing the moderate reps of the same lift after the singles, double, or triples depending on which plan he put out or just doing whatever for assistance?


Well Doug Hepburn is a variety of programs.
I have been following this program with much succes. It is great for increasing the 1RM as well as the mass due to som volumen work. Start with takin 90-92,5% 1Rm for the singles and do 5 singles the first week, 6 singles the next week etc. When 8 sigles at the weight is completed, then increase the weight with 2,5% and start all over doing 5 singles. Find a suitable level for the 5x5 work, and increase 2,5% when the singles are increased.

Monday: Bench Press

Bench Press: 5-8 singles + 5 sets x 5 reps
Incline dumbell benchpres: 3 sets x 8 reps
Dips: 3 sets x 8 reps
Abs: 3 sets x 8 reps

Tuesdag: Squat day

Squat: 5-8 singles + 5 sets x 5 reps
Stiff-legged deadlift: 3 sets x 8 reps
Leg Press : 3 sets x 8 reps
Pullups: 3 sets x 8 reps
Bent over barbell rows: 3 sets x 8 reps
Barbell curls: 3 sets x 8 reps

Wedness day: Shoulder day

Military press: 5-8 singles + 5 sets x 5 reps
Dumbell side laterals: 3 sets x 8 reps
Close grip bench Press: 3 sets x 8 reps
Abs: 3 sets x 8 reps

Friday: deadlift day

Deadliftt: 5-8 singles + 5 sets x 5 reps
Pullups: 3 sets x 8 reps
Bent over barbell rows: 3 sets x 8 reps
Barbell curls: 3 sets x 8 reps


I'm not quite sure where the above poster got that program, but from what I know the typical Doug Hepburn method goes as follow (also search for a user twiceborn whom have made great contribution in shedding light on the way Hepburn trains):

Day 1: Bench/Press/Row
Day 2: Squat/Deadlift/Curl

Start with 4 sets of singles and progress towards 10 sets. I train every other day. It's up to you to decide your frequency. I would assume at minimum once a week for each workout.

Recently, I've been doing things a little bit differently since I have a slightly sprained wrist and prevents me from performing bench and military press. Instead, I've been doing DB Press and Standing DB Shoulder Press using a progression of 5x3 to 5x5. I started at 5x3 @ 110 for DB Press and got up to 4,4,3,3,3 @ 120 today. It's slow but even that one extra rep is progress which is what we all want.

I kept things the same for Squats and Deadlifts though.