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How Does This "Classic" Bodybuilding Routine Look?

I’ve been eyeing this routine that I got off an old school bodybuilding site

Training Days: M-W-F
Monday: Part 1

  1. Squats: 9 x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 reps
  2. Triceps Pullover and Press 4-5x5
  3. EZ Bar Curl 4-5x5
  4. Seated EZ Curl Triceps Extension 4-5x5
  5. Incline DB Curl 4-5x5
  6. Tricep Pushdowns 4-5x5
  7. Concentration Curl 4-5x5

Wednesday: Part 2

  1. Squats: 9 x 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 reps
  2. Bench Press: 5x5
  3. Lat Pulldown: 5x5
  4. High Incline Press: 5x5
  5. Bentover Row: 5x5
  • repeat Part 1
    Then start the following Monday with Part 2.

I was thinking of maybe changing Wednesday s squats to a deadlift or a deadlift variation so there is a fair balance between Squats and deadlifts. I already have a solid strength foundation. I can squat 315 for reps with my Max being 355lbs/161kg so far and i can rep 405lbs/183kg on the deadlift. I always liked the three day splits that has that A,B,A B,A,B. Decent mix of volume and intensity imho.

Considering we don’t know what your goals, nutrition, or schedule are, it’s difficult to say if this routine is good for you. However, lets assume nutrition and sleep are all perfect and on point: This routine would be good for the “I want to get strong and put mass everywhere” kind of goal, I suppose. In terms of longevity, I’m not sure you could keep up with the heavy weight, low reps type scheme for too long without needing a deload or off week or something else.

Terming it a ‘classic bodybuilding’ routine is…not accurate, in my opinion.

But if you like it and it motivates you, give it a go and see what comes of it. That’s the best thing you can do: Try stuff and learn from it.

My goals are pretty much to put on some size. My strength foundation is already good and can only get better for me. I’m not really a powerlifter but I still do the big 3 for the sake of convenience and efficiency. I’m 5’7 and 180lbs.
I really don’t stick to a routine. I’m a nomad. I stick to a routine 2-3 months. Longest one I’ve stayed on was 6 months

As for nutrition I eat pretty basic staple foods. Red meat (mostly ground), chicken, rice, peanut butter, beans, cottage cheese, peppers, onions, bananas, milk, yogurt, whole wheat bread, eggs, potatoes/hash browns, pasta and snacks like chips, peanuts, and pizza

Without knowing more about what you’ve been doing or what your physique looks like, I think this isn’t enough variety or TUT to be a “bodybuilding” routine, and I don’t know what makes it “classic.” The only leg exercise in the entire program is squats, no direct quad or hamstring or glute attention. There are more tricep and bicep direct exercises than there are for chest and back. Exercise selection is extremely limited. Nothing goes above 5 reps, which, for bodybuilding purposes, seems like it doesn’t make a good fit. Well rounded bodybuilding program should have at least some higher rep (8-10, 10-12) rep work and maybe some intensifiers (drop sets, partials). It seems very bare bones, which maybe is what makes it “old school.”

If this is a program just meant to try to gain some strength I’m sure it’ll work, but I can’t imagine anyone getting on stage to present their physique would use this plan for more than a few weeks.


no bent press. not classic enough.


I guess it’s classic in that it’s an old routine?

Date aside, we’ve come pretty far in terms of training and nutrition knowledge since the 1950’s, it’s be kind of silly to just ignore all of it.

If you’re thinking “classic” as in: no giant guts, and a dramatic v-taper, you can do that with much better programs imo.



No overhead pressing movements and very minimal back work with zero rear delt or trap work. Also, no direct shoulder work at all or hamstring/glute work. If you’re more into bodybuilding, drop the singles and doubles. I’m all for them and use them all the time, but bodybuilding is far from a focus of mine. I would drop this routine because as Stu said, we’ve came a long way in terms of how to train for bodybuilding


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To me it does not make sense to do 5 reps per set set of tricep pushdowns and concentration curls. It’s almost as if no thought was applied to writing this program, like the author picked some exercises from a list and made them all 5 x 5

my only addition to the above is to say that 5 rep sets for some of those isolation exercises is going to hold you back.

I actually quite like your workout B, though Id probably also go higher reps on the barbell row as its an exercise where form tends to suffer quickly if its too heavy, but for workout A I would personally suggest higher reps on your Arm work.

Every exercise is 5x5


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