Looking to Gain 20 Pounds

I am a 21 year old male weighing 160 and looking to gain about 20 pounds. I have around 2 years of real strength training and around 6 years of weightlifting for sports in high school and college. I have noticed before that my chest and shoulders are much stronger than my back and legs so after doing Wendlers 5/3/1 for the first year of lifting after sports I have decided to focus more on my back and legs seeing as they are way more important than my chest and shoulders so I made my own program after putting bits and pieces of articles on here together.

Sunday-Heavy Back
Chin up 5/4/3/2/1 2 sets amap
One arm dumbbell rows 3x5-10
barbell row 3x3-6
iso row 4x3-6 and last set is a drop set
facepull 4x5-7
close grip chin
bicep cable curl
hammer curl

dumbbell shoulder press 3x5-8
dumbbell bench (slight incline) 3x3-6
close grip bench 3x3-6
dips 2x failure
cable crossover 3x15
side lateral raise 3x6-10
cable one arm tricep extension 3x15

Tuesday Legs
Front Squat 4x3-6
Back Squat 4x3-6
RDL 3x3-6
Hip Thrust 3x3-6
leg extension 3x15
leg curl 3x15
glute ham raise 3x15
landmine squat 3x15

Wednesday off

Thursday High volume back
Pull up 4x AMAP (keep two reps in tank)
Chin up 4x AMAP (keep two reps in tank)
Smith Machine Dead Stop Row 3x10
Dumbell Incline Row 3x10-12
Iso Row 3x12-15
Facepull 3x15

Friday Arms
Close grip bench 3x5-8
Close grip chinup 3xAMAP (keep two reps in tank)
Skullcrusher 3x12-15
Barbell curl 3x12-15
Tricep pushdown 3x8-10
Cable curl 3x8-10
dip machine 3x3-6
machine curl 3x3-6

Saturday off

I’d do abs every other day and either hang clean or kettle bell swing paired with farmers walk’s on non ab days
standing cable crunch 3x15
hanging leg raise3x15
barbell rollout 3x10
palloff press 3x10 each side

Did you have a question?


Sorry forgot to put the question in at the end. I was wondering what people think of the program I made? I was hoping for opinions or tweaks that people suggest for the program.

Do you put on mass easily? If I did a program with that much volume and on that many days I would probably lose weight.

Edit: just looking at your leg day, I would lose steam by hip thrusts and they arnt even halfway through the workout… And than you have abs after that? I’m assuming your workouts are either not very intense or they last 2+ hours?

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How tall are you? What is your current strength level ?

Why are you doing two variations of pullups why not just one?[quote=“primal7, post:1, topic:231917”]
Front Squat 4x3-6
Back Squat 4x3-6
RDL 3x3-6
Hip Thrust 3x3-6
leg extension 3x15
leg curl 3x15
glute ham raise 3x15
landmine squat 3x15

26 Sets for legs?

24 sets for arm day?

Yeah i don’t see how this will add mass sorry dude. Please go pick a tnation program and follow it.

I’m just not up on recent things like RPE and what not, so pardon the ignorance-

What is up with reps being from 1 number to another? Like 3-6?

The way I read that the volume on a given exercise may be as much as double from one session to the next.

Am I reading that right?

My leg workout is 1.5 hours but all the other ones I can usually get done in an hour. I feel like my intensity is good but considering the gym I go to doesn’t have really anyone that takes it serious I can’t really go ask for help or even just see how they are doing things. So too much volume is the takeaway? Thank you for the help!

Is there any program you can recommend that are more back or leg dominant? As I said above my pushing muscles are a lot stronger than my pulling muscles and my legs. Would a push pull leg program work any better for me?

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I am 5’10"
My current maxes are
Bent over row-205x5

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The only reason I do that is because depending on how I feel that day I have a range to shoot for and yes there is a possibility that volume can double from session to session, but to combat this I try to stay on the lower end of the rep range and when I go over say 3 reps I will add weight until I can only get 3 reps.

Way too much volume in there. Instead of taking bits and pieces of different programs and then adding other shit, I’d just pick a proven program and stick to it. And eat a lot. Most programs work. Were people falter is rest and recovery.


You’re strength level is relatively normal and nothing seems out of wack really. Except your right you bench 270 and squat 350 which isnt that bad at least your legs are still stronger then upper body.
Il address some issues withthe current program you have:
1.too much volume
2 you’re hitting back twice a week and legs once a week and if anything legs should have a higher priority then upper body.
3 too many exercises especially on legs day

This would be plenty for muscle gains.

You dont need a billion different exercises for gains, infact generally less is more.

Anyhow here are some programs id recommend pick one and follow it.

Maybe look into 5/3/1 which is great for Strength and size gains just ask @MarkKO

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He stated that he already used 5/3/1 for a year. I would personally stick to it. Try the BBB less boring option with 50% of your TM on your BBB sets. Add a few assistance lifts and eat. You’d gain 20 pounds in a few months.


Ah i missed that bit, but yeah he should of definitely stuck with something like 5/3/1 instead of what hes come up with now.

What did you weigh last year before you started 5/3/1?

If you don’t know how to eat, it doesn’t matter how you train.


What are you trying to accomplish with this split? Also, what kind of progression are you following?

Thank you! I will look at those three and maybe do 5/3/1 again

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Would it matter what assistance lifts I’d do? Should I stick to big compound exercises or isolation?

I gained 17 lbs while doing 5/3/1 the only reason I stopped on 5/3/1 is because I hurt my lower back so I took 3 weeks really light and that’s when I came up with this.