T Nation

Need Advice on a New Routine


Ive been lifting for 3 years, gained a considerable amount of weight since I started. I started at 153, now weigh 210. I am planning on starting back up Jiu Jitsu/Muay Thai, i will cut my workout from 4 days down to 3. So i will be doing 3 days weight lifting, 3 days martial arts.

My question is, can anyone give me some advice on how to construct a 3-day routine that helps me keep my mass? I dont want to loose all the gains ive made, so im looking for a strength/mass building type 3 day routine that will help keep my gains on my body. I already figure i will be incorperating squats/deadlifts etc., if anyone can give me some direction i would appreciate it, thanks.


search for TBT by Chad Waterbury. its great. its 3x/week, uses mostly compound movements. i loved it. use the search or go to authors and find it under CW's stuff.


The martial arts you have chosen are going to put a great demand on your body, one which you are not accustomed to. That said, if your goal is better martial arts, I'd lift only twice a week with 4 different exercises on each day, that tax the whole body. Do it with 15 x 1. This will maintain your size and possibly improve your strength while keeping you fresh for the MA training.

If you're not prioritizing martial arts training, then why do it? You'll only be getting fun cardio, but you won't be a good fighter without making it your priority.

Good luck,


I searched for TBT but i got a lot of articals that just included some talk about it, is there a specific artical that your talking about that explains all about his 3X/week program? If you could link me i would appreciate it, thanks


Here you go:



Thanks, it seems like that routin is more geared towards fat loss though? I was kinda trying to avoid loosing fat or bodyweight, would i benefit for a lower rep range/olympic lift style routine? Or do you guys still suggest this for what i said my goals are. thank you




Ill check this out thanks


Ok so first question i have after doing some research on the 3-day routines in all the articals, is how can i work my body 3X a week?

Most of the routines have you doing legs 3X a week, my legs are crazy sore for like 4 days after leg day usually, and most of my other muscle groups are sore for 3 or more days, i dont understand how i can train the major muscles 3X a week.


Those other routines you are talking about that leave you sore for four days afterwards probably have a very large amount of volume in a single session.

Chad tries to keep volume and intensity in check to allow you to work muscle groups 2-4 times a week generally. You will build up work capacity quick enough.


Check out The Science of Martial Arts Training by Charles Staley, it has answers to that and loads of other questions.


Hrmm, i can't seem to find that, i searched and looked through all of his articals and didn't see it.


It's a book. You can buy it on Amazon.

As for how to train each bodypart several times a week and keeping down the soreness, volume and load will help accomplish that. Go for low volume, heavy loads and lower reps. You don't need a ton of exercises each workout either. Keep it simple.


Day 1:
Good Mornings

Day 2:
Leg curls/glute ham raises/reverse hyper extensions
Overhead press

Day 3:
Incline bench or close-grip bench
Step ups
Seated row or Chest supported row

If you must, put some arm/calf exercises in there too. Maybe biceps on day 1 (barbell curls), calves on day 2 (standing calf raises) and triceps on day 3 (dumbbell triceps extensions).

Use sets/reps like 3x3, 4x6, 5x5, 4x3, 5x3 or 6x3. Use different sets/reps each workout.


Awesome that helps me out a lot. 3 reps is pretty low, i dont think ive ever done anything that low, how is that on my joints? Doing reps that low i would be at like 80% of my 1RM right? So is doing reps this low still going to build muscle and tear muscle fiber? I dont know i guess im just thinking its weird for me to do 3 reps on squat or any exercise, never been introduced to something like that, thanks.




Less talk , more chalk


You'd be using at least 80% of max for all of those set/rep recommendations, and most likely working with 80-95% in some cases.

Over time, and if you don't vary sets/reps and weight used, you may have some soreness in the joints. It's to be expected. But at the same time, you can prevent soreness by training correctly, not training to failure, switching your set/rep parameters and not always trying to go "all out" with the weights. If you use proper post-workout nutrition and other aids (massage, contrast showers or baths, etc.), then that will help as well.

If using 80-90% of your max most of the time, you really shouldn't have joint issues. You may be sore in the beginning because your body is not used to lifting heavy weights. Over time, you will strengthen those areas and be good to go.

It's to build strength without packing on much muscle. It will help you get stronger by training the central nervous system and strengthening the joints and tendons while getting more efficient at using the muscle you do have.

Try it and see. The low volume workouts should be short and leave you feeling refreshed when you're done. You'll get strong quickly.


I would use a push day, a pull day, and a squat day. Then vary the set/rep scheme depending on what phase of training your in. Split it up 2-4 exercises eaxh session.

Listen to your body when it comes to total volume of each day. It may take time to adjust to the added exercise, but make sure that you adjust your caloric intake as well.


I asked Alwyn Cosgrove the same question, try looking up the holiday program.