T Nation

My Day 1 Plan: Rate it, Tear It Apart


Hey guys. Upon looking for a workout plan, like so many people on this forum, I decided to make one of my own. It's a 3 Day split(chest/tri, back/bi, etc.) and it's adapted from one I saw in a T-Nation article(it wasn't a full plan, just a basic 3 day split without sets or reps). As of now I've only got the first Day, but take a look at it and let me know what I need to change. This is my first attempt to make a workout plan so I'm sure I'll have tons of corrections. The other two days I'll post as I make them.

Also, since I understand that it is important to keep changing sets and reps and exercises and loads, the exercises will change every 2 to 3 weeks, along with reps and sets and loads. My goals are to gain as much strength and mass as physically possible. If you care, I'm taking ON Protein and Creatine as well as eating clean(but still researching that). The sets and reps will change frequently and are derived from the Set/Rep Bible found on this site. I originally had skull crushers in there but I figured you guys would say I have too many tri exercises so it'll be supplemented in occasionally as my exercises change.

Day 1 Chest and Tri

Chest and Tri Stretches
Bench Press
DB Incline Press
Chest Dips
Close Grip Bench Press
Tricep Pushdown



are the stretches static or dynamic? if they are static then change them to antagonist muscles

dont change exerciese reps set and loads every 2 to 3 weeks. that is fucking retarded, you will not make progress or if you do it will pale in comparison to the progress you could have made by sticking with the same movements. eat good and just focus on increasing your poundage on a few select exercises, dont change everything up when you dont need to. you are not that advanced nor is it even necessary for advanced trainees to do this most of the time

your exercise selection is decent, but i would replace the dips with some sort of fly movement. you already have two pressing chest movements (flat bench and DB incline). try flat DB flies or incline DB flies.

if you want to you can replace the tricep pushdown with tricep dips. i always felt that tricep dips especially when you add weight were superior to pushdowns but it doesnt matter that much.

cant really think of much else to add besides a warning: make sure you have excellent form on ALL lifts or you will fuck up your shoulders, wrists, and elbows. make sure you warm up properly. try to get a good spotter otherwise use the safety pins.


Looks good but you don't really need to change exercises that often, especially as a beginner. Exercise variation becomes more important with a more developed person, but if you can't bench 225 for reps ect. you shouldn't consider throwing out bench. I'm not familiar with the

but varying reps and volume is good, but something you shouldn't do too often. As a rule you should only change your training when you're stagnating and you're sure that your recovery/nutrition isn't the issue.

Now get to the gym and make it happen


You aren't gonna get much from close grip benches if you do them right after chest dips.


you should post more info about you before proper recommendations can be made. What's your age/height/weight/years or months training/types of training you've done etc etc?

From the sound of it, youre pretty green, and before you give us some new info I'll just leave you with a passing thought - I cannot stress the importance of learning proper intensity, once the form is good. And, since you mentioned mass is necesssary for you, learn how to pick up the fork.. really learn it. Newbies drastically underestimate how hard they need to work and how much they need to eat to put on size after the initial beginner gains taper off.

Good luck


dips and CGBP are both major movements for the tris your not going to be able to go all out on both of them in the same workout if your really pushing yourself. in my opinion you should rotate between the two whenever you feel you need to, and toss in rope pushdowns or skullcrushers at the end of your workout instead.


Okay, MAJOR thanks for all the input. How does this revised day 1 look?

Day 1 Chest and Tri

Chest and Tri Stretches
Bench Press
DB Incline Press
Cable Crossovers
Close Grip Bench Press

Supplemental Exercises: Flat or Incline DB Flies, Tricep Pushdown, Skull crushers, tricep dips, or rope pushdown.

Okay, I will not vary or change my workouts so frequently. Only when necessary. Now below I've posted my Day 2 idea. This will be performed on the 3rd day, so for example if I were doing a Monday Wednesday Friday split, Day 2 would be performed on Wednesday since Day 1 was performed on Monday. Back is not something I've had a lot of experience in so my knowledge as to forming a plan for back drops off a great deal from where it is on Chest and Tri. I'm at a loss as to how to order these exercises as well. Please let me know what to change.

Day 2 Back and Bi

Back and Bi Stretches
Bent Over Row
Pull Ups
DB Shrugs
EZ Curl
DB Hammer Curl

Like I said, I have no idea how to order those exercises. I simply put them in order that they appeared in an article on this site that I read. I do however know that each of the four back exercises I listed are necessary and important. According the articles I read here as well as all the other research I've done, those four types of movements(not the exercises) are vital for developing back in the best way possible. Please let me know what you think.

Personal info requested: I'm 19 years old(almost 20)/ 5'6"/ 145Ibs(just finished a cutting phase). I started training 3-4 years ago as a beginner with very little knowledge. I tried splits and circuit training. Didn't make many gains. As time progressed I learned some more(but was still ignorant) so I trained mostly vanity muscles and learned how to make very good gains in my chest and some gains in my arms. However recently I just finished a cutting/maintenance phase which lasted about the length of Summer or a little longer in which I did tons upon tons of research. I now realize the importance of training the entire body in all it's entirety and that's what I'm looking to do through my plan(gain the most strength and the most mass in the most places possible). I now completely realize how important the back is to a training regimen as well as many other body parts and I'm looking forward to making serious gains in those areas. As for beginner gains, I may see some beginner gains in certain areas of my back and shoulders, but I've pretty much used up the beginner gains elsewhere(lol). I'm also going 250-500 calories above my maintenance and trying my hardest to eat clean in the process. I'm also going to get 1gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Thanks so much guys.


IMO you should do your stretches after your workout or at a completely seperate session, you may want to do some prehab work here but the best way to prevent injuries is with plenty of light warmup sets, don't even count them just go by feel and really get into the groove. There are many warm up set strategies but I personally don't like to structure it too much. Think of them as practice sets where form and feeling the muscle contract are your objectives

Here's how I would order them

2(I personally would do DB rows instead but whatever)






yeah it's good to work multiple planes of motion with back

what are you doing for legs?


Okay, I've reordered them in that manner. Thanks a ton. Okay so do you want to start your warmups and workouts without your muscles stretched? Is that the goal or will the warmups stretch them enough? I typically did a few stretches of the muscles I was working and then did a few slow warmup sets with some increasing weight. Then start the real sets. I've heard people say not to stretch at all before working out and some that say stretch before, during, and after.

I'll be posting my legs idea soon. Still stirring it up.


You said 3 day split, right. But you got chest/tri, back/bi, legs...but what about shoulders? You might need any extra day in there unless you're doing shoulder's and legs same day. My leg workout's are long so I don't think I'd be able to swing that. Just something for you to think about it. Your revised chest/tri looks similiar to mine and your back/bi's looks good too.


dude, READ my post (stretches, exercises) etc

and fuck cable crossovers do a freeweight fly movement (flat DB fly etc)


My bad Seinix. I figured when you said some sort of fly movement that cable crossovers would classify and I've heard a lot of great things about them and had them recommended to me by several people. Okay so antagonist stretching pre-workout, got it. Any other times I should stretch or am I good?

Yea, Sam I was planning on doing shoulders on Legs Day(sorry I didn't mention it). I think I'll try one Leg day with shoulders attached and if I can't manage it all, I'd have to add a fourth day. But I'll come to all the questions that arise with adding a fourth day when I cross that bridge. lol

Okay I was thinking something like this for Day 3(Friday on a MWF Schedule):

Day 3 Legs and Shoulders

Antagonist Stretches
Front Squats
Good mornings
Seated Leg Curl
Military Press
DB Rear Delt Raise
DB Upright Row

I'm also not very experienced in designing a leg routine so I'm sure I'll have a ton of changes. Please let me know what needs to be corrected. And Man! What a list...I now can see the benefit of adding a fourth day, especially if you are doing the lengthy 7 sets of 4 like me. That's not to mention I wanted to add abs somewhere in the days.

Let me know what's good and what's not please.

Thanks guys.


Pick one of these, they are very taxing you won't be able to do both. They are very similar movements anyways

This is going to be hard to do well on after BB squats, you'll most likely be sacrificing weight here due to fatigue. If you still want to do them I would do a quad exercise after squats that allows your lower back to recover so you can focus on working your hamstrings. So maybe put in leg extensions or leg press between squats and this

I'd switch this with lateral raises, but I never liked upright rows


Okay. I'll write up a revised version when I get a chance.

In the mean time, what would you say is the exercises that allow you to use the heaviest weight for shoulders? As in, one for each of the Shoulder's head, but which 3 exercises allow for the most weight in your opinion?


I always liked BB front presses then followed up with arnold presses. Then I hit front, side and rear raises for 4 sets each until they are fried. Then I do clean and presses (4 sets)with a lighter weight, something that I can do 10-12 times. Then I hit traps after i vomit, then I go home and eat.


Cables keep constant tension on the chest and DBs don't, fly movements are that critical. Just pick one.


Clean and presses should definitely be preformed first, power movements always should come before strength. And why are you doing light clean and presses anyways?


??? if you use proper technique with DBs, you should have no problem keeping constant tension on the chest

also i think sticking to as many freeweight movements as possible for a beginner is more helpful...cable crossovers have the pulleys which stabilize the resistance...last but not least it is way easier especially for a beginner to isolate the chest with DB flies than cable crossovers, cable crossovers with bad technique will involve too much delts, people will use too much momentum to move the weight, etc.

they're not a bad exercise every exercise has its place but i just think at this stage in his training DB flies are better....in the end its up to the OP tho


Okay. Thanks so much for all the info guys. My plan would suck without your input.

I'm working out with two other guys who also want to do this plan, however, like me, they have some questions that I can't answer. So here it goes:

  1. I'd like to add an ab routine to this workout. Which day is best or does it matter? If it makes a difference, after my last back day my abs were a little sore(guessing this was from pullups as my other friend didn't do pull ups and his weren't sore).

  2. Are decline bench presses necessary and what is their main purpose? I know decline bench press works the lower area of the chest harder but is it necessary? Also, is it mainly for 'looks' or can it help increase strength sufficiently also? 'Looks' wise, are they necessary to get a full-looking chest? (sounds so vain...lol)

  3. Will it benefit or hurt to do bench press as a tag-on exercise at the end of Day 3(leg day)?

  4. I want to add a calf exercise. Which one in your opinion allows for the most weight to be used/best strength/size results? Also should I add it right after I work my quads/hamstrings or after the 3 shoulder exercises?

Thanks again guys. REALLY appreciate. I am already seeing great results!


See before giving you any advice this is what I wanted to hear.

If your nutrition is not dialed in it doesnt matter what you do.. you DID NOT exhaust your "beginner gains" ..beginner gains is a blanket term for someone who doesnt eat enough or train hard enough considering their current situation.

It seems like your focusing way too hard on the training aspect, and not enough on the nutrition - 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is not enough. Especially if youre only a buck 50 in weight

Bump the 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight up to 1.5 right away... and watch yourself get a new wave of "beginner gains" until you do it doesnt matter how you change up your routines, any gains would be minimal without the required bricks and mortar.