T Nation

Worst Routine Ever?


So I joined a new gym and I had my induction. It was obligatory, and they have provided me with some "interesting" advice. Aside from looking at me like I was insane when I said I wanted to be a bodybuilder and for now getting big was my only priority, they advised me to eat as much McDonalds as I can, before writing the following plan for me:

Leg press 3x10 x 160kg
Leg extension 3x10 65kg
Leg curl 3x10 50kg
Calf raise 2x to failure
Alternating dumbbell presses 3x10 16kg dumbbells
Rear delt flye 3x10 8kg dumbbells
Tricep pressdown 3x drop-sets
Pec dec 3x10 30kg
Bicep curls 3x21s 20kg

The weights are based on what I was lifting today. The idea seems to be I repeat this workout whenever I can get to the gym. So, ummmm, yeah...

Where do these "personal trainers" get these ideas from? The gym itself is excellent, has the most hardcore lifting area I have seen in my area, so why don't the instructors know about bodybuilding?


Its because if they just said, Bench, Squat, Deadlift, Pullups and drink milk people would think they were being shortchanged.


They could just be fucking with you.


Not the worst routine I have ever seen by a longshot, hell, they even have leg work in this one!


Not a lot of back work though.


Sadly I've seen worse, recommended by a pt again though.


No, they would most likely be completely turned off. My boss who usually trains with basic movements told me the machines and other pieces of equipment were the way of the future for training. Never mind that he built his muscle using all the basics listed. People want an easy workout, not an effective one.
To the op, you probably know from reading this site that this is a very generic routine put together for any new person who joins a club.


The PTs are getting paid (poorly I'm sure) to give you an induction "program", not to provide you with a BBing split. If you want a real program, hire someone who has real experience if you are not up to creating your own. I have an hour to create a program for the new sign-ups who I've never met and have no idea of his/her physical capabilities. There is no way I can give them a 3 day full body, 4 day upper/lower or a 5 day split in that time. You get what you pay for, but since this was included in the membership, why bitch? You are not obligated to follow it.

Oh yeah, and if the McDonalds thing is not pure BS, don't hire that guy.


^ Which is exactly how I saw the worst routine which was: Bosu ball turns (standing on a bosu ball and turning in a circle), Bosu Ball lateral raises w a medicine ball, medicine ball overhead raises, planks and some curls on the bosu ball while standing on the one leg. When one of the girls said that it was hard the trainers reply was "oh yea its functional". The routine was for a girl looked to be in her 20s


I'm a PT at Urban Active (formerly all the midwest Gold's Gyms) and oh shit have I seen some stupid programs/exercises by other trainers and the poor ATD's (ie: PT salesmen).

  1. Various squats on an upturned bosu ball
  2. Various lunges on the squishy side of a bosu ball
  3. Various other exercises on the upturned bosu ball...including a very bad RDL. Afterward I even told the trainer that they were going to hurt their client with RDL's like that...I didn't even touch the bosu ball question.
  4. Routines with about 10 versions of a pushup.

There, especially with the salesmen, it's all about the effort. Just kick their ass then get them to sign the dotted line.

We used to have a trainer that would take their clients to the squat rack or to deadlift. Now, I am the only one. Of course it's likely due to the fact that I don't think many of our trainers could really instruct a proper squat or deadlift. It's about functional nonsense and "Urban Body Shaping".



Any PT giving ANY exercise on an unstable surface to a new member is just looking for trouble. Wait until they fall and break some teeth.
Now and then I will show a new client how to squat or DL but only if I see they have some coordination, strength and balance already. For most people with those qualities who have never done those lifts, it takes a minimum of a half an hour to get the technique right and even at that needs to be followed up on. Doesn't leave much time out of the hour alloted to teach much else.

I always include a variation, with DBs usually, but if the client wants more than that, they have to hire me for sessions. No way am I putting myself in a bad place by having a client throw out their back by using bad technique on a lift I recommended they do.
The whole induction thing is aimed at getting really new clients comfortable with the gym and have them safely be able to some sort of lifting. That's all you get from a commercial gym.


Hmm, maybe I should volunteer as a PT at the YMCA

I'd think it would be rather fulfilling to give some real intense advice :slight_smile:


Dude's got it all wrong. You need to train bi's way more brah. I advise something that looks like this:

A1. Bench Press - 4x8 - load the bar with way more weight than you can handle for one rep and have a partner deadlift it off your chest while screaming "ALL YOU!"
Superset with
A2. Talking on cell phone - 3x5 minutes - call your boys and let them know what's up for Friday night. Try to talk as loud as possible.
B. Barbell Curl 4x8 - sway violently
C1. Concentration Curl 4x10 - move swaying violently
C2. Triceps Pressdown 4x10
D. Hammer Curl 4x10 - try to impress that girl on the elliptical
E. Alternating incline curl 3x10 drop sets - accumulate as many dumbbells as possible
F. Dumbbell Curl 3x10
G. Preacher Curl 3x10
H. Abz


I laughed hard.


I'm just laughing picturing anybody doing ALTERNATING dumbbell presses...


I won't be doing them again. I felt totally unbalanced and came very close to dropping the left dumbbell on my head.

Unfortunately everything I described, including the McDonalds reference, is entirely true. I think I'll be pressing on with Vince Delmonte's NNMB. I assume these guys expect you to ignore the routines they write up for you?


what, no bosu ball?


Most gyms in England are just fitness centres. You will see people doing the same exercise routines with no or very few compound moves, using weights too light for them every time they go without any progress, following advice like that. Funnily enough these people look the same. I remember wasting 18 months of training due to poor advice. I remember being told never to increase the weight until I can do 4 sets of 20 reps of an exercise easily, when my goals were size and strength.


It's a bad and stupud routine, but not a complete failure.

Still, it's amazing how far off these guys are when the most basic routines aren't rocket science.
A beginner's full body routine could be as simple as one push, one pull one, one big leg-involving exercise.
Add two suppl. exercises, (targetting either beach or weak muscles) that's it.

One of the worst ideas in commercial gyms is to add too much cardio on those blasted machines, especially right before lifting.
If you live in central Beijing, that's one thing.
But most people can run/swim/row/bike etc. without the "stairmaster 4000+" if they're in need of cardio.


The worst routine I ever had when I first went to a big commercial gym was this (I swear to god I am not joking) after telling the instructor I wanted to put on strength and size everywhere

Upside down bosu ball BW squat
Upside down bosu ball lateral raise
Medicine Ball throwing at trampoline thing
Machine Chest Press
Machine Bicep Curl
Machine Shoulder Press
30 mins cardio

all reps were 3x20 Needless to say even in my very skinny state I took one look at this and thought: maybe I should do something that involves weight......