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Hepburn Singles Routine Without Deadlift

Hello everyone

I’m Stefano from Italy and this is my first post here. I’m a huge follower of this forum!

I really need an advice about my routine, i’m following the Hepburn program A (start from 4 singles and progress to 10, add weight and restart at 4). I really enjoy this routine and i want to keep on it.

Now, due to a new job and a new house change, i can lift only at night (i work from early morning till 10pm) in my apartment before i go to bed. I live at the third floor of an historical palace, so it’s impossibile to deadlift at that hour (we have really thin floor).

I know that i lose one of the best strength exercise…but i thought to keep 4 basic exercise without hitting the floor…my routine is:

Day 1 and 4
Bench 4x1-10x1 progression
Overhead Press 4x1-10x1 progression

Day 3 and 5
Squat 4x1-10x1 progression
Weighted Chins 4x1-10x1 progression

My main goal is strength and general shape. Is this a reasonable plan for you? Thanks for your time and sorry for my bad english!


I would go with a bentover row instead personally. I run Hepburn for my main movements and I deadlift one day a week and bent row the next. Honestly, you probably won’t lose a lot of strength on your deadlift by not doing it. Squatting and bent rowing heavier, frequently will be enough to keep your deadlift okay for the time being.

The problem that arises with weighted pull ups is, unless you’re doing a weighted pull up with 100 plus pounds for your singles, even a 2.5 pound increase in weeks is going to be a pretty big percentage compared to a squat for instance (going from 40 to 42.5 pounds is a lot more of a percentage difference than going from say 315 to 320). The whole point of Hepburn is to progress slowly, for a long time. Not saying you can’t do it with pull ups, I just wouldn’t.

Thanks a lot oldbeancam! I’ll switch chins in bench and press day and i’ll add rows after squat

If i may ask you: what kind of bb row do you suggest? Maybe pendlay?
And…can i use singles or with row movement is better another type of progression, for example 5x3 going to 5x5 (Hepburn C routine)?

Thanks again!

If you look up twiceborn hepburn solution for strength and power on google, you’ll find a thread from old tnation about a user who actually trained under Hepburn and he answers a lot of questions. I personally like singles or doubles with rows and do them the same way as the A routine with 3-5 sets of 10-12 dumbbell rows afterwards with some lower accessory stuff if I have time.

Considering your situation, I wouldn’t do Pendlay rows because they’ll slam the floor if pure doing them in traditional fashion. I usually just start with the bar on the floor and set up like a deadlift, then I deadlift it up, hip hinge down, and row my singles or doubles from there and treat them somewhat like a RDL row. If you are really worried about the floor being thin, you could even start with the bar on the bench, grab it and walk out, row it, then put it back on the bench. Hope this helps even though it’s long winded and confusing.

EDIT: Also look up training tuesdays Hepburn. There are a good bit of people who have ran it on reddit with good write ups, but none as good as the twiceborn thread since he actually knew Doug.

Perfect! I’ll use a bent row trying to keep my torso as parallel as possibile to the floor and i’ll hang the barbell without slamming on the floor (i didn’t think about the deadstop in pendlays). I’ll use the same singles progression also with rows.

I found some very precious informations of Twiceborn…about the correct singles and triples routine that Hepburn followed in the 90s and the switch between the two in order to prevent stalling.
If i remember correctly Twiceborn wrote that Hepburn trained with Bench and Press one day and Squat and Curl the other: when i read about curl i thought about using chins with squats

Thanks again for your help!

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