T Nation

New Workout, Looking for Critique

Hey guys, I have been working out for about two years now without a major goal set to follow. After having read this site for the past few months, I decided I needed a change in my workout routine. If you guys could take a look at this workout plan I made up and critique it I’d appreciate it. I am very lean and not looking to lose any fat.

Goal: Size

Eating Habits: I have just recently starting eating to promote muscle gain. 6 meals a day each with around 50g of protein and 2/1 carb/protein shake AWO.

Workout Schedule

Day 1 - Chest/Back
Day 2 - Rest
Day 3 - Biceps/Triceps
Day 4 - Legs
Day 5 - Rest
Day 6 - Shoulders/Traps
Day 7 - Rest

exercise setsXreps rest time (muscle worked)

Chest and Back

Bench Press 4x8 120 sec (pectoral)
Bent Over Row 4x8 120 sec (general back)
Incline Dumbbell Press 3x8 90 sec (pectoral)
Pulldown to Front 3x8 90 sec (lats)
Dumbbell Flyes 2x10 90 sec (pectoral)
Seated Row 2x10 90 sec (general back)

Biceps/Triceps

Barbell Curl 4x8 120 sec (biceps)
Weighted Tricep Dips 4x8 120 sec (triceps)
Incline hammer curl 3x8 90 sec (biceps)
Lying French Press 3x8 90 sec (triceps)
Cable Curls 2x10 90 sec (biceps)
Triceps Pushdown 2x10 90 sec (triceps)

Legs

Squats 4x8 120 sec (quads)
Calf Raises 2x12 90 sec (calves)
Romanian Deadlifts 4x8 120 sec (glutes)
Leg Curls 3x10 90 sec (hamstrings)
Bulgarian Split Squat 3x10 90 sec (quads)
Cable Pull throughs 3x10 90 sec (hamstrings)

Shoulders

Military Press 4x8 120 sec (deltoid)
Barbell Shrug 4x8 120 sec (upper traps)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3x8 90 sec (lateral deltoid)
Bent Lateral Raise 3x8 90 sec (posterior deltoid)
Plate Raise 2x10 90 sec (anterior deltoid)
DB Shrugs 2x10 90 sec (traps)

I listed what each exercise target to help myself make sure I’m not missing any target muscles.

I will probably do some ab workouts on off days if I think I need them.

I had a lot of trouble trying to put together the leg day. Is it good enough?

Thanks

You have an equal amount of volume for Chest/Back as you do for Arms. Do you have a massive chest and back with little T-rex arms?

You should completely reorganize this. It’s not terrible(you are squatting and you have devoted a day to legs)but it could be much better.

If you are advanced enough to require an arm day then you should probably go to a 5-day split and separate chest and back.

If you like the antagonistic approach a classic 4-day split looks like this:
legs
chest/bis
back/tris
shoulders + accessory/lagging

Or another 4-day:
legs
chest/tris
back/bis
shoulders + accessory/lagging

If you have read the “How to Design a Damn Good Program Thread”, It’s definitely worth the read.

ok, yah that makes a lot of sense, I had it before with just 2 exercises for each biceps/triceps but it just looked to skimpy. What if i drop one for each and then made an Arm/Abs day?

Arm/Abs

Barbell Curl 4x8 120 sec (biceps)
Weighted Tricep Dips 4x8 120 sec (triceps)
Incline hammer curl 3x8 90 sec (biceps)
Lying French Press 3x8 90 sec (triceps)
And then an ab routine

Yup, I tried to follow the “How to Design a Damn Good Program Thread” in creating this one, with order and everything

50g of protein 6x a day? I’m not sure if you can have too much protein, but if you can, 300g a day plus whatever comes in your meals is too much.

YOur workout is a little out of whack. Way too much arms compared to chest and back. Pulling and pressing will work your arms, especially when doing 4x10. You also are performing a press 56x on chest/back day and only pulling 52x, plus you’re rowing at the end when you’ll probably be pulling less weight than you can if you’re fresh. You should pull at least 1.5x times the reps that you press (plus you’re pressing on shoulder day too).

I would do chest on day 1, back on day 2, and legs day 3 with bench the primary exercise on chest, deadlift and/or pullups the primary lift on back and squats primary for legs. Rest between Day 1 and 2 and 2 and 3. No rest between 3 and 1.

To hit shoulders, just do a couple supplemental exercises on chest and back day, like shoulder presses or front delt raises on chest day and rear delt flys on back day. Maybe add a couple sets of heavy curls on back day and a few sets of heavy close grip press on chest day for arms.

The bottom line is that you’re emphasizing the “smaller” muscles as much as you are the big ones (ie lats, pecs, quads and hams). If you want to get bigger and stronger, focus each workout around a primary “power lift” that will emphasize the strongest muscles.

A basic rule of thumb is to pull more than you press (both vertically and horizontally) and to go heavy, hard and long on the primary movement for that day. Don’t slack on the other exercises for that day, but put the most focus on the primary one because that will recruit the most muscle and lead to the most gains.

No, sorry, it may be worded weird but the protein in the meals just comes from the food eaten no extra protein added.

Here’s a good basic workout:
DAY 1:Chest
-bench press 5sets/1-3 reps w/80-90% of 1rm
-explosive crossover pushups 3x15
-dumbbell incline press 5x5
-close-grip press 3x10
-front delt raises 3x15
DAY 2:Back
-deadlift 6sets/1-3 reps w/80-90% of 1rm
-pullups 4x12 (or whatever it takes to do 48)
-one-arm bent over rows 5x5
-tbar rows 4x6
-seated rows 4x10
-rear delt flys 3x15
DAY 3:rest
DAY 4:Legs
-jump squats with 30% of 1rm 5x5
-squats 6sets/1-3 reps w/80-90% 1rm
-sumo deadlifts 5x5
-bulgarian split squats 4x8
-single leg romanian deadlift 4x12

If I do arms, it’s usually a few dumbbell skull crushers between sets of bench and a few curls between sets of deadlifts. I like to rest for at least 3min on the 6x1-3 exercises in order to be recovered fully for a big, clean set and I fill these rests with some arms.

The focus here is more on back/legs than chest, but a strong hip/lower back area and a strong rear chain is the key to big overall strength.

I warmup with a quick 5min run and a few hip/knee/ankle mobility drills and some light stretching. I do a few shoulder mobility drills to warmup on chest day. Try this workout for 6 weeks.

I warmup with a quick 5min run and a few hip/knee/ankle mobility

[quote]artw wrote:
Here’s a good basic workout:
DAY 1:Chest
-bench press 5sets/1-3 reps w/80-90% of 1rm
-explosive crossover pushups 3x15
-dumbbell incline press 5x5
-close-grip press 3x10
-front delt raises 3x15
DAY 2:Back
-deadlift 6sets/1-3 reps w/80-90% of 1rm
-pullups 4x12 (or whatever it takes to do 48)
-one-arm bent over rows 5x5
-tbar rows 4x6
-seated rows 4x10
-rear delt flys 3x15
DAY 3:rest
DAY 4:Legs
-jump squats with 30% of 1rm 5x5
-squats 6sets/1-3 reps w/80-90% 1rm
-sumo deadlifts 5x5
-bulgarian split squats 4x8
-single leg romanian deadlift 4x12

If I do arms, it’s usually a few dumbbell skull crushers between sets of bench and a few curls between sets of deadlifts. I like to rest for at least 3min on the 6x1-3 exercises in order to be recovered fully for a big, clean set and I fill these rests with some arms.

The focus here is more on back/legs than chest, but a strong hip/lower back area and a strong rear chain is the key to big overall strength.

I warmup with a quick 5min run and a few hip/knee/ankle mobility drills and some light stretching. I do a few shoulder mobility drills to warmup on chest day. Try this workout for 6 weeks.

I warmup with a quick 5min run and a few hip/knee/ankle mobility [/quote]

The OP said his goal was size. I don’t think your program is the best approach for his goal.

This workout isn’t the best for building maximum size, but since he’s apparently kind of skinny, this is a good way to start.

In order to start some serious hypertrophy, he’ll need to isolate a lot of his muscles and perform a lot of trisets, supersets, and dropsets. But in order to mazimize the results of these sets, he’ll still need to move some significant weight and this workout will help him build maximal strength and a good foundation to start focusing on size gains rather than strength gains.

You’re right though. He won’t get as big as quickly with this workout, but he will definitely build power and strength and he’ll likely still see some significant size gains.

Don’t over-analyze things. Get into the gym and DO them. Then, assess the results.

Try the initial program you outlined. If you are getting bigger and stronger on it and each muscle group feels adequately rested for you to put maximum effort into that specific training day, great! If not, tweak things until it feels right (change the split to provide more rest for fatigued muscles OR make sure your eating enough to recover.)

Don’t fall into the trap of simply changing things to change them. Find what works for YOU through the trial and error of experiencing how your body responds.

As a caveat, disregard artw’s post. You don’t need supersets, tri-sets, and drop sets to make progress. Look at the training videos of the Pros on youtube. They RARELY use these techniques.

What you WILL see is a lot of pyramiding or ramping as opposed to straight sets. Do yourself a huge favor and look up how to do this in the BB forum. Search for “Professor X: a Request” and also try to find posts by Cephalic Carnage on the topic.

Remember, how you train now probably won’t be the ideal way for you to train after you’ve gained a significant amount of size and strength. Learning to listen to your body is the best way for you to learn how to modify your training as that happens.