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Doug Hepburn Workout?


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Join date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1

Hi all, my first post. I've been training for 1 year now and have made little progress. I think I wasted a lot of time doing a 5 x 5 program. I think also my body was adjusting to not smoking. I quit first then started lifting.

I've been hanging out here for about 5 weeks or so and have been reading the articles. Doug's workout has caught my attention and I'd like to give it a go.

Thing is, I must be stupid. I'm not sure I understand what to do. I feel a bit embarrassed, but I just had to ask. Please could someone explain the reps/sets so I can get on and lift?




Read the discussion that goes with the article, that should answer most of your questions.


I think you should tell us more about your training, nutrition, etc. The 5X5 is a great program and, if you aren't making progress with that, then I doubt you will make progress by changing to Hepburn's program.

Give us numbers, weight, height, age, what and how much you eat, what lifts you have been doing, etc.


Hello, I train at home with minimal equipment, dumbells barbell and a bench with leg curl extension. I'm 37 5'10 and weigh 12.4stones. With the cost of living expensive and 4 kids to feed, diet ain't so hot. I eat what I can averaging 6 times a day. Veg, eggs, tuna, baked beans, porridge oats fishcakes potatoes and pasta. Lots of tap water, Promax protein 1 shake off days 2 on, and BIO Test german creatine I got from the WWW. I did 5x5 Compounds 3 days a week. I'm never gonna be Mr Olympia. I enjoy lifting so when I quit smoking, I picked up the Weights!!



Hi Mike

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Looks like we are roughly the same build and age so I look forward to reading your log. I'm an ex smoker too, got up to 30 a day for 12 years, so good job on that :slight_smile:

One thing I noticed is that you are using promax. Is that the Maximuscle product? If so and you are in the UK look at PHD Nutrition. Its £32 for a 2.25kg (5lb) tub. Thats alot cheaper than Maximuscle and at least as good a quality or better (I have used both). Of course, if you are in the states then Biotest is the way to go.

I've found Dr John Bearadi's articles on nutrition very helpful and some great recipes (especially the Greek Burger, Mmmm)


5x5 always works...if you eat enough. Otherwise it just beats you up and you'll stall out. Same for Hepburn's program as written in Mahler's article. Been there, tried that. I will say though that I started off with too much poundage, so your mileage may vary. Hepburn was not kidding when he said to take a weight you can do 8 times and do it for three. It's the sets that give the progression. The volume goes up by a good 66% by the end of a cycle. By that time you've developed enough strength and conditioning to drop the reps and raise the weight.

It's a good long term program. Boring, but effective for years if you can stick with and not try to advance quicker than the program's parameters.


Ok, so you're about 174 pounds at 5'10.

Mike, eat a ton of food. Eat lots of eggs. They're cheap. If you aren't lactose intolerant, drink lots of milk. EAT, EAT, EAT, but ditch the tuna. I know it's cheap, but it's full of mercury.

Get some more meat on you, before you start worrying about cutting or something like that. At your height, you can stand to gain at least 15 pounds, another stone.


Hello again, sorry the late reply. Today, I measured my food intake for the first time. What a chore.Anyways....
I ate a bowl of Oats and a bowl of Shreddies (a wholewheat cereal), a slice of beef sandwich, an egg mayo sandwich, a plate of pasta with Tuna, 5 rashers of bacon(grilled) a 4egg omlette with a bit of cheese and tomato with a few Charlotte potatoes.

I added up the Kcal 2827 total, the Protein 182.8, the Carbs 302.3 and 73.4g of Fat. My body weight on my digital scales 80kg or 12.8 stones. I don't fancy a shake:)
Did I do my math correctly? I just added up the numbers on the labels.
Morgan, Hi, yep live in England, Skidmark, Hi, your avatar makes me laugh, thanks. entheogens,Hi, thanks for mentioning the tuna issue.

So, how does my days food intake look?

Thankyou kindly.



Hey Mike,

This is coming from a yankee, so forgive the dumb question... what's a 'rasher' ?

So far, your diet looks like the beginnings of a good bulk, although some on these boards probably eat what you listed there before lunch!


Hi jimboman, a rasher of bacon is a slice of bacon.:slightly_smiling:

Cheers, Mike


RE: Mahler's article on the Hepburn Program. It isn't. I just got reading Doug Hepburn's biography and his workouts are NOT like the one MR. Mahler presents here on T-Nation. I call BS. Mr. Mahler does lay out a good program that would prob. work but IT AIN'T Hepburn's. In Hepburn's workout there is no alternating exercises nor is there KB exercises. I suspect Mahler put those in to further is KB cause but I can only guess.

At any rate, this is not a bash on Mahler but just an FYI to all that Helpburn's biography is on Amazon.com and is worth the money as it has a number of his training programs in the appendix.



For your information, there was another thread about the Hepburn program and someone who had actually trained under Doug informed us that the book workouts weren't exact either. He sent me a DVD that Doug had done on how to setup workouts and, sure enough, his recommendations were not exactly like those in biography (which I have read also).

I don't think Mahler ever said that his workout were identical to the ones Doug did. You can adapt the particulars of your own needs to Doug's schema, so there is no reason why you couldn't include kettlebells into it, if you wanted.


Here is the Doug Hepburn thread in which there was a lot of discussion of the particulars to his workouts:



I appreciate your input and you are correct that Mike never said it was 'exactly' like Hepburn's programs...but he DID call them A and B and the programs laid out by Hepburn (A & B) are NOT the same as Mike's post. Can you modify them and adjust them to suit individual needs? Sure. But he should have at least called them what they are "his variation". It is misleading.

Further, if you read the Hepburn book then you know that Mike's workout post is NOT the same as Hepburn's original program. So why are sticking up for the guy? Lastly, if given the choice between heeding Doug Hepburn?s input into his own biography and a guy who knew a guy who worked out with DH?well, I vote for the former rather than the latter


Even Hepburn stopped doing the "Hepburn" workout you find in his book. That's why Entheogens provided the thread link. twiceborn got that final, real Hepburn program from Hepburn himself before he died. Twiceborn's posts are worth reading in that thread, as it makes the program much more sensible and achievable.

Mahler took Hepburn's program from the book and modified it into something he feels works and honored Hepburn by naming it after him. He clearly states that it is not Hepburn's original program.

So there's no beef here, so far as I can tell.


Skidmark....I looked for Malher's original post and was unable to locate it. I 'thought' he claimed it to DH's origianl but if you say it Clearly states otherwise then I will take you at your word and will drop it...On that note, let me just say once again that my original post was not to slam Malher but to point out the difference in the programs--nothing more.



No problem. No axe to grind here. Just trying to add clarity to something I thought was getting muddled.

I appreciated the intent you also had to clarify things.


Hi, guys doing wk 3 of Hepburn B prog I saw some where since there seems to be lots of dispute,

Have to work 5×1 to 8×1 power, only warmup and singles try this if 8×2 seems long, I haven’t tried it yet.

for the pump work -I use 3×6 to 3×8 protocol but decided to rotate pump work

I do only 1 lift per day and pump work in next day
Tue-DL, ohp pump
wed-bi/abs/grip, gpp, dl pump
fri-squat, bench pump
sat-gpp, bench pump

if I have some work I might cram upper lower in 1 day

feeling less fatigued, haven’t tested new maxes except on deadlift-430 to 450 last checked 2 months ago did a 531 cycle in between.


Sir have you noticed the built deload when you start next cycle total volume drops despite increase in intensity.


How long did you run it and was boredom a contributing factor to quit?
What do you run now?