T Nation

Exercise Pairings in Routine



I'm a beginner and new to the website and have found tonnes of useful information. I have a question regarding the structure of my workout. Currently I have structured it as below.

Reps: 9-12
Sets: 5
rest:90 Seconds
Workout: Alternative days

Day 1 - Chest/Back

Primary: Bench Press
Secondary: Dumbbells incline press
Auxiliary: Flies/ Cable Cross over

P: Barbell Row/ pullups
S: Lat pull down
A: machine assisted back row

Day 2 Quads/Hamstrings

P: Barbell squats
S: Leg Press
A: Leg extension- machine assisted

P: Dead-lift
S: Good Mornings
A: Machine Leg curls

I am stuck on what to do on day 3 and was wondering on when to include exercises for Shoulders, Arms and Abs. If I opt for shoulders on day three can I pair it with both biceps and triceps isolates? Also I have been doing dips (front)....should I include that along with day 1 and if so how many sets and reps.

Feedback, suggestions and criticisms are welcome.



How long have you been training? what are your lifts like?

Personally I'd change you split and exercises used. If you want to use a split training on antagonistic muscles (opposite muscle groups) id personally set it up like this:

Though this workout is probably for someone who has trained for a little while (5-6 months +)

Monday: Horizontal upper body push/pull
Bench press/bb row
Db bench press/db row
db fly (incline?)/face pull

Tuesday: (i wouldn't worry about supersetting legs...as a beginner legs should be tough enough without supersetting)
Leg Press
DB lunge
Romanian Deadlift

Wensday: Virtical Upper Push/Pull
Military Press/Pull up
Seated db press/lat pulldown (close grip)
Lateral raise/bent over raise

Friday: Deadlift and arms
Bb curl/dips
Incline db curl/tricep extension

Though as i dont know your experience level its hard to give advice on how you should train. At the moment i would say your current split has too much volume for a beginner.
So anyway if you could post your stats that would be handy


@Kursk01- I have been training for almost a year (on and off due to work commitments). I weigh roughly 155 pounds and height: 5"10.

Bench press: 30kgs(excluding bar)
Squats : 50kgs (excluding bar)

My goal is to gain "size" hence I intend to start of by 2 days/week and allow my body to adjust slowly shifting to 3 days/week

Is it possible to structure the workout to 3 days instead of 4?


dude wtf? - 65 and 110 lbs in BP and SQ after a year???

strength = mass so ya know...


Yea now that i know your experience levels an stats i would definatly have you training 3 days instead of 4. Like SWAD1987 said you need to get stronger, especially with your current lifting stats.

I would use the 'starting strength' routine for you to begin with. Its a routine that has helped many beginners get their strength up dramatically and to quote SWAD1987 again the more strength you have the easier it will be to pack on muscle, not to mention this routine WILL add muscle to your structure especially if you make sure your diet is in check (e.g. eating LOTS and lots of healthy food). Rather then suggest you buy the book (though buying the book is a great investment) here is a routine that is very similar to what starting strength is:

Workout A
Squat 3x5
Bench Press 3x5
Barbell row 3x5
(optional 2xFail dips depending on how worn out you are)

Workout B
Squat 3x5
Military Press 3x5
Deadlift 1x5 (build up to one heavy set of 5)
(optional 2xFail chin ups depending on how worn out you are)

Each workout add 2.5kgs to Bench Press, Barbell row and if you can military press (you should be able to for military press, but if you stall with a weight just stick with it until you get 3 sets of 5)
Each workout add 5kgs to your squat and deadlift. If you find that adding 5kgs each workout to squat is a bit tough just add 2.5kgs. If you stall at all give if a few workouts an if your still stalled then drop the weight by about 10% on that lift an work up again. 1 step back an then 2 steps forward kind of thing.
Dont worry as your strength gets better and your eating lots, you will certainly notice a lot of size gains too.
Any other questions feel free to ask.
Btw which state of Australia are you from? I live in south australia, not too many australians on this site at least i havn't seen many


@ SWAD 1987: I know mate....stats look bad.... couldn't keep up bcoz of work...I am on a strict routine now and shall see how we go!

@kursk01: Thanks heaps for the feedback mate...I will follow what you said and change my routine as per above.
btw I live in Sydney. Been getting tonnes of advice from all kinds of people...I'm glad that I have a proper structure to follow.

Thanks guys! appreciate the help!


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