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New Training Routine Critique

So I have been following a three way split with very low volume, to the effect of three sets per muscle per week, for several months and made some gains, but I kinda got bored of it and made a new routine. Let me know if you have any input.

All working sets to failure
Monday: Chest and Biceps
DB Incline Press: 2X6-8
Hammer Strenght Incline: 2X6-8
Hammer Strenght Chest Press: 2X6-8
Incline Cable Press: 2X8-10
DB Preacher Curl: 2X8-10
Cable Incline Curl: 2X8-10
Seated DB Curl: 2X8-10
Hammer Curl: 2X10-12

Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Standing Calf Raise: 3X10
Leg Curl: 2X8-10
Leg Extension: 2X8-10
RDL: 2X8-10
Leg Press: 2X12-15

Thursday: Back
Single Arm Hammer Lat Row: 1X8-10 SS Kneeling Hammer Row: 1X6-8
Cable Lat Row: 2X8-10
Chest Supported Lat Pulldown: 2X8-10
Wide Grip Pulldown: 2X8-10
Rear Delt Row: 2X8-10
Single Arm Rear Delt Pulldown: 1X8-10

Shoulders and Triceps
DB Press: 2X8-10

Cable Lateral Raise: 2X8-10
Cable Y Raise: 2X8-10

DB Lateral Raise: 2X8-10

Triceps Pushdown: 2X8-10
Overhead Triceps Extension: 2X8-10

CGBP: 2X6-8
DB Triceps Extension: 2X8-10

Dips: 1XMax Reps

First week: 3 RIR one set per exercise
Second week: one set to failure per exercise
Third week: two sets to failure per exercise
Week 6: One Drop Set per muscle group
Week 8: Two Drop Sets per muscle group

Any input is appreciated

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IMO, calf work needs time under tension. 90 second sets is a good place to start.

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Are your workout days just Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday? It looks like shoulders might be Friday or Saturday.

You got some good advice 3 months ago: V Taper Training

I’ll repeat what I said then here, since this routine is more fluff and no substance: Only 17, 5’10" and a buck 55? You’re a string bean. This entire program is fluff exercises and missing the foundational movements to build serious mass at your age. I can see a pro BBer training like this AFTER decades of training the big movements. I think you’ll be very disappointed if you stick with this for an extended period of time. You may get a nice pump from time to time but won’t pack on nearly as much mass as you could.

You seem too stubborn to train the big foundational movements though and seem to be looking for an easy route using machines. You have 4 isolation movements for the bis, 3 for tris, and 3 for delts, but only one compound (if you can call leg press compound) for squat pattern. Your priorities are completely flipped my friend and you gotta put in the work if you’re serious about this.


Way down this road, in a gym far away,
A young man was once heard to say,
“I’ve repped high and I’ve repped low,
No matter what I do, my legs won’t grow”
He tried leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses too Trying to cheat, these sissy workouts he’d do.
From the corner of the gym where the BIG men train, Through a cloud of chalk and the midst of pain
Where the big iron rides high and threatens lives, Where the noise is made with big forty-fives,
A deep voice bellowed as he wrapped his knees,
A very big man with legs like trees.
Laughing as he snatched another plate from the stack Chalking his hands and monstrous back,
said, "Boy, stop lying and don’t say you’ve forgotten, The trouble with you is you ain’t been squattin’.
— Dale Clark

OP, that routine is all Accessories, no main movements. Hypertrophy is systemic so if you want to get big, at some point you’re going to have to move some big iron and you won’t be doing that on lateral raises.


I used to do some compounds, but after following liftrunbang and coach Kassen on IG i learned that things that deadlifts, barbell overhead press and regular flat bench are sub optimal hypertrophy movements.
I don’t know what to believe, lift run bang seems legit and what he says makes sense, but I don’t know.
What would you add or remove to the routine?
Arent rows, pulldowns, db press, rdl ect compound movements? Or am I missing something? Is the leg press not a compound movement?
I mean no disrespect, this is just what I learned from looking at liftrunbangs IG.

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But I am using DB Shoulder Press, should the lateral raises be replaced with more shoulder presses?

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You mean Paul Carter? It might be instrumental to look at his background to figure out if lifting big iron played a role in his growth.

I didn’t personally use the word “compound” because its not quite what I mean. Push ups are compound, but you aren’t moving big weights with them. I would like to see some “main movements” included, which would be variation on squat/bench/dead/press or some form of regression of the O-lifts (powerclean/hang Clean/whatever). Something that allows you to really load the whole body up and put it under stress.

Yep, solid Assistance choices. But most aren’t main movements. You want big barbell movements that you can slowly progress on as main movements, if you can do them. After that, you can fill up on Assistance/Accessories to your hearts content.


Yes, they are both absolutely legit. But if you are young(very young) novice lifter, you would do better following jskrabac and dagill2 advice.
In a year or two of serious and true progress move to this outlined routine.

I can do squat with 132,5 kg X5 and deadlift 160 kg X5 and flat barbell bench 87,5 kg X5, should I get those to maybe 160 for squat, 200 kg for deadlift, and 120 kg for flat barbell bench before doing any bodybuilding work?

Numbers itself don’t really matter. Progress and lifting heavy with GOOD FORM is what matters.
Set some goals(numbers) if it helps, but if you are young take advantage of it for a year or maybe 2 by doing mostly heavy compound movements(not all necesary barbell) and add some (not too much) accesory lifts.
Then move to routine you describe here. This ia much more productive.

When you build a skyscraper, you have to start with a foundation before you put in the doors, windows, electrical and etc…same with the body

Bench press
Overhead press
Barbell curls

Is what builds the foundation

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How old are you and how many years have you been lifting weights?

Currently your strength is not impressive. fitafter40 is correct:

His exercise choices are solid, but you can add a few (not too many) bodybuilding specific exercises. They might add some additional enjoyment to your workout. Just try to avoid overtraining.

Be sure to eat like you are trying to get big.

17 years old, and have been lifting since February, haven’t squatted or deadlifted since July.
What exercises would you say I should replace?

So, on the first day I looked at, you are doing 16 sets to failure?

You are majoring in the minors. Do 531 or a similar meat-and-potatoes program. When I seee “DB Preacher Curl, Cable incline curl, seated DB curl, Hammer curl” all programmed in a single workout, I know either the OP is in high school or is older and hasn’t worked out since high school.


It is 8 sets for biceps what is the problem? His chest/bicep day is very similar to mine. It is the same split I follow (Dorian Yates split).

There are some exercise changes I would make. @JAKA69 I would do a top set in your rep range and then lower the weight and do a back off set to failure in a higher rep range. If you are truly going to failure on your first working set there is no way you would be able to be in the same rep range using the same weight.

*I have yet to see a new trainee build an impressive physique or a solid base for that matter using 5/3/1.

I am not into splits and programming bicep moves, but that’s just me, so I’ll leave your first point alone. But, you’ve only seen trainees fail with 531 (by this meaning that they haven’t built an impressive physique or solid base)? I cannot believe this to be true if they actually followed the program. It is as tried-and-true and fool-proof as they come.

I’m a big fan of this myself, and also have my own love of splits and curls, but isn’t this recommendation very similar to a lot of 5/3/1 templates? I just don’t think there’s anything that doesn’t work when you’re putting in the effort. I think that’s actually why high volume “fails” some folks or gets a bad wrap - trainees start subconsciously ramping down individual set intensities to pace themselves through.

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For every body part chose an isolation exercise and do 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, trying to feel the muscle contraction.

(I dropped dips because IMO, they are too similar to Bench Press.)
These are good solid exercises to build muscle. You want these to be heavy. Vary the strategy from 5 sets of 5 reps to 3 sets of 8 reps (these are working sets and do not include warmups). I suggest doing these in a progressive manner. The strategy is similar to Wendler’s in that you use increasing percentages. Here the failure training is the week you can’t get all 5 sets of 5 reps.

Chins should start at 3 sets of 10 reps and increase added weight each week. Starting rather low like 10lbs. keep adding in 10lb increments each week until you can no longer get the 10th rep. For back training I highly recommend a front-to-back compound movement (like rows) to the top-to-bottom movement, chins. I would do back on deadlift day.


What did your low volume routine from the past several months look like?

Have you already been doing months of “basic”, “compound” lifts?