T Nation

Ultimate Workout for Hypertrophy


Hi there, inspired by other training plans, I decided to make an "ultimate" workout, optimal for my personal needs. I would like to know your opinion about it. The principle is to perform one compound exercise with heavy load, another one with less sets and two exercises for smaller muscle groups.

I have been training legs (mostly squats and deadlifts) for a while, and I am quite satisfied with my lower body. Now I want to concentrate on the upper body, so I train only deadlifts and thrusters, each once a week.

I am 17 now and have been training for something over a year. Do you think this routine would be good for size? I am finishing the first month of TBT and the second one looks kinda too light to me. Do you reckon I should finish the whole TBT first? The thing is that I have a lot of time now during holidays, so a heavier and more frequent routine would be more suitable for me. I could finish TBT after this one, maybe.

Session 1 (upper body pulling + hams)
snatch grip deadlift on a platform (8 sets of 5 reps)
weighted chin-ups with narrow grip (4x5)
T-bar rows (4x8)
preacher curls (3x10)

Session 2 (upper body pushing + calves + abs)
Flat BB Benchpress (8x5)
Military Press (4x5)
Dips (3x10)
standing calve raises + abs(4x8) (supersets)

Session 3 (upper body pulling)
Pullups (8x5)
BB shrugs (4x5)
Face Pulls (3x10)
BB bicep curls (4x8)

Session 4 (upper body pushing + legs)
Thrusters (8x5)
DB decline Benchpress (4x5)
DB shoulder press (3x10)
triceps pressdown (4x8)

I would probably do this as follows
session 1
session 2
session 3
session 4

I mainly would like bigger lats, shoulders, biceps and traps (I feel they are kinda lagging). Do you think this would be a suitable routine for me? Should I add more leg work anyway?
Thank you for your opinions.


i think after a year, you need to be bigger overall.
and why the single focus at any one time? daft


Well, I think I am already satisfied with my lower body. Or maybe I will just add legpress/squats and glute ham raises to sessions 2 and 3 respectively? would that be a good routine for gaining as much muscle as possible?


Most important thing for size is nutrition, not your program.

And after a year of working out, or even two, you're not BIG.


2nd this


ok, let me state my question in a different way. Forget about focusing on any body parts now. If one wants to get big (the whole body), would you agree for them to do this routine? If not, what would you change?



The routine. Preferably to one written by someone who knows what they're doing.

Sorry to be so blunt. There is no magic program. Massive eating, hammering the basics, assessing your weak points, and tailoring your accessory work to bring up those weak points is how you get bigger and stronger.


do this routine instead of that dumb one

Look them up, pick one, kick ass


5/3/1 looks all right, I might give it a shot. But still, I would like to know, why is my routine bad? Could you give me some reasons? (and I don't mean this in an offensive way, I'm just curious). I didn't just make it from scratch, and although it is not proven to work, I did use some principles that are proven to work ("bear routine" lets say).
anyway, thanks for the replies :wink:


for 'quads' you decided to do snatch grip deadlifts instead of eg front squats. the whole thing is wrong, you dont even do legprees, let alone squat.

Legs - front/back squats, goodmornings, RDL/SLDL, legpress. leave at least two days rest between

eg (what i doing) push/legs/pull
Legs - Box squat 9x3 (ramped) front squat 9x3 (ramped) Goodmornings 5x10 (ramped)
i also do a couple of sets of front squats on push day and leg curls on pull day


sorry, that should have been hamstrings, not quads... and I do thrusters for quads.
So are you suggesting I should add more leg work? what about this?

Session 1
snatch grip deadlift on a platform (8 sets of 5 reps)
weighted chin-ups with narrow grip (4x5)
T-bar rows (4x8)
preacher curls (3x10)
glute ham raises (3x8)

Session 2
Flat BB Benchpress (8x5)
Military Press (4x5)
Dips (3x10)
legpress (4x6)

Session 3
Pullups (8x5)
BB shrugs (4x5)
Face Pulls (3x10)
Good mornings (4x10)
BB bicep curls (4x8)

Session 4
Thrusters (8x5)
DB decline Benchpress (4x5)
DB shoulder press (3x10)
triceps pressdown (4x8)
standing calve raises

this is a pulling-pushing-pulling-pushing (including legs) workout, so I train the whole body twice a week.


u treat leg work like it's something to be thrown in at the end.

no thats not what he was suggesting. what kind of numbers are u putting up?

i'll bet u are squatting less than 2 plates a side and u think ur legs are big, or atleast happy with them? noooooooooo they are not!!


squat: 90-100 kg for 5 reps (i am not sure at the moment)
deadlift (conventional): I did 120kg for 5 reps (now I do sumo-style with 100kg for 5 reps)

I know its not much. But arent heavy thrusters and heavy deadlifts once a week enough? I'd do them at the beginning of workout 1 and 4, 8 sets for 5 reps, which is quite demanding. Thats why legpress and Good mornings will be kinda easier...


arent thrusters for glutes? i might be thinking of a different exercise here though......

dont give up on squats, they are badass.

5-7 sets would be better imo.

heavy deadlifts 1 time per week is fine. i think u should aim for 6 plates now and dont neglect them!!

basically rethink your routine. its not exactly 'ultimate'.

u could try the basic principle of

m- bench
t- deadlift
th-mil press

its alot less confusing than ur current routine and its a farily common one aswel..........

ofcourse there are plenty of others but i dont consider this the 'ultimate workout'. no offense :slightly_smiling:



531 with boring but big pretty much has you covered.
Plenty of people do well on WS4SB

They are written by respected lifters/coaches and you are neither.
A 100kg squat does not make your legs 'alright' try doubling it. Make that your focus for the next year or so


haha, thats fine man, i'm still learning :slightly_smiling: thanks for your post, it was very helpful.
and this is what i meant by thrusters - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OhqIGYqELk

anyways, when should I do pullups in what you wrote? I would do heavy pullups on thursdays (instead of military press that you wrote) for big lats.. would that be a good idea? and i can do military (not that heavy) on the squats day... and thrusters on the bench day (again, easier ones).. or am I overcomplicating?


please, for the love of god, just pick a proven program, bust your ass, and get bigger and stronger. You only squat 225 for a couple reps, but you want to make legs an after thought? horrible idea. You are way too new to this to be writing your own programs.


the problem I always have with "proven programs", is that I there are often exercises I kinda of dont like doing... and if u think thats a crap argument, I think one's mindset is equally important as anything else... so if I dont enjoy the workout, I dont feel satisfied and might not get good results


If mindset is so important, then surely you'd be able to change it for the sake of being able to do a program that's written by a professional and proven to work.


full body x2 a week (in order):

Back squat 10x3
Bench 10x3
DB rows 100 totoal reps, heavy
shrugs - same as db
rear delts/calves

Deadlift 10x3
Frontsquat 10x3
OHP 10x3
Pullups 50 total reps, when you can do 5x10, add weight
rear delts/calves

do this for a year, thank me when your bigger