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Opinions /Training Routine.

Okay, so New Year’s just a couple of days away. I’ve put on a fair few pounds during this season of indulgence. Now is as good a time as any to shake up my gym routine a bit.

As with anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. Since what I know about physical fitness could probably be written on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare, I figured I’d run my proposed routine past the infinitely more knowledgeable bodybuilders of T-Nation.

Btw, I’m on my first ever ‘Bulk’ cycle and am trying to gain muscle mass.



  1. Bar Bench Press:

12 reps with 30kg weight.
10 reps with 40kg weight.
8 reps with 50kg weight.
6 reps with 55kg weight.
One set to failure with 30kg weight.

  1. 3x10 Incline Bench Press with two 15kg Dumbbells.

  2. 3x10 Decline Bench Press with 30kg weight or (depending on my mood) 3x10 dumbbell Pec Fly’s with two 10kg dumbbells.


  1. Barbell Curls:

One set of 12 reps with a 20kg barbell.
One set of 10 reps with a 25kg barbell.
One set of 8 reps with a 30kg barbell.
One set of 6 reps with a 35kg barbell.
One set to failure with a 20kg barbell.

  1. 3x10 Standing dumbbell curls with two 12.5kg dumbbells.

  2. 3x10 Preacher Curls with a 10kg (yes, that’s a mere 10kg. I suck a preacher curls) dumbbell or (again, depending on my mood) 3 sets of “Super 21’s” with two 7.5kg dumbbells.


  1. 3x10 Squats with a 30kg barbell.

  2. 3x10 Stiff Legged Deadlifts with a 30kg barbell.

  3. 3x10 Seated leg curls with 49kg weight.

  4. 3x10 Seated Leg Press with 150kg weight.

  5. 3x10 Calf raises with 88kg weight.



  1. Lat Pulldowns:
    One set of 12 reps with 35kg weight.
    One set of 10 reps with 49kg weight.
    One set of 8 reps with 56kg weight.
    One set of 6 reps with 63kg weight.
    One set to failure with 35kg weight.

  2. Seated Row:
    One set of 12 reps with 35kg weight.
    One set of 10 reps with 49kg weight.
    One set of 8 reps with 56kg weight.
    One set of 6 reps with 63kg weight.
    One set to failure with 35kg weight.

  3. Two sets of chin-ups to failure. By the way, anyone know the difference between pull-ups & chin-ups?


  1. Four sets of dumbbell shrugs to failure with two 15kg dumbbells.


  1. 3x30 Stomach Crunches.
  2. 3x15 Leg Lifts.



  1. Shoulder Press:
    One set of 12 reps with 25kg weight.
    One set of 10 reps with 30kg weight.
    One set of 8 reps with 35kg weight.
    One set of 6 reps with 40kg weight.
    One set to failure with 25kg weight.

  2. 3x10 Dumbbell Lateral Raises (as seen here) with two 7kg Dumbbells.

  3. 3x10 Lying rear deltoid raises with two 6kg dumbbells


  1. 3x10 Skull Presses with a 20kg Dumbbell.

  2. 3x10 Tricep Extensions with a 10kg Dumbbell.

  3. Two sets of Tricep dips to failure.

So, that’s it. Am I making any particularly egregious mistakes? Can anyone suggest an exercise to add in or take out?

It sux! Pick a routine from this site instead and you will get a lot better results.

  1. Don’t seek failure
  2. You need too hit your muscles with hire frequency, instead of bombing it one day.
  3. Use more constant parameters

I agree: it sux. But let me point out where it sux.

Bench press: you probably think 12 reps with 30kg is your warm up set.
That’s a lousy warm up.
A better warm up routine would look like this
6 reps with 40% of WO weight
5 reps with 60%
4 reps with 75%
3 reps with 80%
2 reps with 85%
1 rep with 90%
1 rep with 95%
Crank out set after set, only take enough time to change the weights.

Take a 5 minute brake (I usually warm up the antagonist) and you’re ready to start your workout sets. This would be about 10 minutes in your training.

If you’re new to the game, you could go for higher reps: 12-15. If you’ve got some experience, you could aim for 8-10. I don’t change the weight between sets. Go for 3 or 4 sets.

Ditch the fly’s (not compound), and I wouldn’t recommend decline benches either.

Either go with 2 exercises 4 sets or 3 exercises 3 sets.

With your chest done and since you did compound exercises, your triceps are warmed up already. Finish them off with 1 exercise. Tricep dips would be nice.

You should be done in about 1 hour.
Take a shower.
Go home.

The same with the other work-outs:
Cut back on the number of exercises
Do compound only
Only seek failure on your last exercise, and don’t do that every week.

And forget your shoulders. You hit them with the incline press and rows.

Your plan calls for 11 sets for chest and 11 for bicep and 8 for tricep. However you want to do the math, that doesn’t add up right.
Pulls vs. Chins- Pulls, the palm is facing away from you, Chins palm toward you. And in my opinion you would be better off doing pulls/chins than lat pulldowns, even if you are only getting, say sets of 3. Your strength in these will go up fast if you commit to them. Ever since I have made them the bedrock of my back routine my size and strength have consistently gone up.
You also need to add deadlifts. Again, my opinion only, but if you are looking to bulk up this HAS to be a part of your program. The push press would be another thing you could add for bulking. I would add as a rule of thumb if you can do an exercise with free weights or a machine, always go with free weights.

I don’t understand…why you are curling the same amount that you are squatting.

Here is a much better routine:

Workout A

  1. Back Squat
  2. Bench Press
  3. Barbell Row

Workout B

  1. Deadlift or Romanian Deadlift
  2. Military Press
  3. Chin-up

Alternate this every other day, like this:

Week 1
Mon - A
Wed - B
Fri - A

Week 2
Mon - B
Wed - A
Fri - B

Use the following set/rep schemes:

Weeks 1-4: 4 sets x 8-10 reps
Weeks 5-8: 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Week 9: off
Week 10 and so on: repeat

These are work sets, for warmups do 2-3 sets of 4-5 reps with up to 80% of work weight.

Start this program with weights you can surely handle for all sets and reps, and increase slowely, so your progression might look like this:

Week 1: 4x10
Week 2: add weight, 10/10/9/8
Week 3: add weight, 9/9/8/8
Week 4: add weight, 4x8
Week 5: use same weight, 3x6
Week 6: add weight, 6/5/4
Week 7: add weight, 3x5
Week 8: add weight, 4/4/3

This is a straightforward linear progrssion, but you don’t need anthing more complicated for now.