T Nation

Hepburn Routine

A brief background
Been playing with weights for almost 20 years. Almost all of my gains have come in the last 2 years, so I guess I’m a slow learner. Started at 150 lbs and now weigh 195lbs. Tried a lot of different routines over the years. I’m a father of 4 small children (oldest 5 years and youngest 6 weeks) so my time is limited for workouts. I work 12 hour shift work as well. I have to workout either after everyone goes to bed or before they wake up. This is my plan…


Strength and Size with minimal fat gain.


Doug Hepburns A routine

Day 1
A1 Front Squat

B1 Bent over row
B2 Military Press

Day 2
A1 Deadlift

B1 Chin ups
B2 low incline DB press

For those not familiar with Hepburns routines this is a double progression of reps then weights.
the 1st half of the W/O is the power phase. You do 8 sets of 2 reps. The next W/O you do 1 set of 3 reps and 7 sets of 2. You build up slowly over the weeks until you get 8 sets of 3 reps then you add weight and start all over.

The 2nd half is the pump phase. You drop your initial weights by 20%. You do 3 sets of 6 and build up to 3 sets of 8.

Very much a KISS routine.

I will be doing this 3 days a week and doing some active recovery work on my off days. This will be some GPP work and some sled dragging. ( I recently started sled dragging and I am enjoying it alot) The GPP work i will vary depending on mood.

I have found in the past that around 4 to 6 weeks into a program I burn out or seem to stop seeing any gains. Throught this site I have realized the importance of consistency and variety. Therefore every 4 weeks I am going to change my routine for 2 to 4 weeks to recharge. Then I will go back to Hepburn for another 4 to 6 weeks. My “recharge” weeks will most likely be EDT workouts because I have done them in the past and really like this style of workouts.

I have already done 5 weeks of the Hepburn routine and really like it. The multiple sets of low reps seem to really suit me.


I am following the AD by Pasquale.(Its propably closer to the tdawg 2.0) I am going to keep my protein levels at or above 190 grams. (I found that I maintain at this level). When i stop gaining wight I will add 5 to 10 grams per week and see what happens. On workout days I will slightly increase my carbs by mixing my pre W/O drink with OJ and having oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast.

Spent a week doing my maxes so I had a starting level. This is them and my 1st 2 workouts
the starting point for Hepburn A is with an approximate 8 rep max
Week of July 4/2008
Hepburn “A” Program

exercise	Day 1				
Front Squat 	235x1	190x8(approx)	
BOR	        175x1   140x8(approx)
Mil Press	170x1	135x8(approx)	

Day 2
Deadlift 330x1 265x8(approx)
Chin up bw x9
Inc DB Bench 80x1 65x8(approx)

None of these weights are overly impressive for a nearly 200lb man but its a start. The deadlift impressed me beacause ayear ago I was doing crossfit workouts and had a very ugly 300 lb deadlift max. This time the 330 went up clean and comfortable. I haven’t done any deadlifting in the last year but I spent alot of time teaching my self the snatch and clean and obviously that paid off

1st Workout July 12. 2008 start 615 am end 700 am

Pwr Phase

A1 Front Squat 8/2/190

B1 BOR 8/2/140
B2 Mil Press 8/2/135
Rest 90 secs between sets

Pump Phase

A1 Front Squat 3/6/150

B1 BOR 3/6/110
B2 Mil Press 3/6/110
Rest 60 secs between sets

2nd Workout July 14. 2008

Pwr Phase

A1 Deadlift 8/2/265

B1 Chin up 8/2/BW
B2 Inc DB prss 8/2/65
Rest 90 secs between sets

Pump Phase

A1 Deadlift 3/6/210

B1 Chin up 3/6/3 bands
B2 Inc DB prss 3/6/52
Rest 60 secs between sets

Ill be following you.Im interested in Hepburns routine.Like to see how it works out for you.
God Bless Lonnie

You need to check out the posts by Twiceborn regarding the Hepburn routine. There is not supersetting in the Hepburn routine.

I am doing the Hepburn routine of heavy 1s. I am into my 2nd cycle.

Entheogens beat me to it. Twiceborn has the skinny on what ought to be done on the Hepburn program. Doing power and pump will beat you up somewhat awful. The set progression by itself is enough to wear you out so keep it REAL simple.

i’m not actually doing supersets but alternating the B1 and B2 exercises with the full rest between sets.

[quote]entheogens wrote:
You need to check out the posts by Twiceborn regarding the Hepburn routine. There is not supersetting in the Hepburn routine.

I am doing the Hepburn routine of heavy 1s. I am into my 2nd cycle.


I checked out the postings by twiceborn, wow what alot of good info. I will have to think about dropping the pump phase. I can see how it could easily add too much to your overall load. thanks for the guidance.

August 13

Did my 13th Hepburn workout today. After reading the info provided by Twiceborn I have decided to drop the “pump” portion of my workout. To be honest I had already missed that portion of the workout due to time constraints on more than one occasion. The power phase is more than enough work when you start to add reps/weight.

Todays w/o was front squat, BOR, and mil press. I am up to 6 sets of 3 and 2 sets of 2. Still feel strong and enjoying the workouts. The off day recovery workouts really seem to help. Any time I have missed them I seem to be really sore from the Hep routine, but if I get in a recovery w/o I’m just comfortably sore.

After reading Twiceborns info on Hepburn I considered restarting with the revised “A” routine of singles, but I feel good about how the present w/o’s are going so I am going to stick with them until I peak and then start the revised “A” cycle followed by the Revised “B”.

are you cycling between “A” and “B”. Did you gain any weight on your cycle of singles? or just strength?

finished my first "cycle’ of Hepburns A routine. Went very good. Felt strong all the way through. Am now starting the revised A routine of singles. I have faith this will work just as well as my first cycle. I’m going to have to increase my calories and see how much clean bodyweight I can gain.

1st workout of singles

warmup then 4 sets of singles which will be built up to 10 sets over the following w/o’s

Front squat 210lbs
BOR 155lbs
Mil Press 150 lbs

good w/o. Felt worked but with lots left in the tank.