Days Per Week:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
This is not a routine for beginners. You must have decent form on your heavy compound lifts before engaging in any form of heavy strength training. If you have spotty form, or do not have at least an 800 pound total for deadlift, squat and bench press, I recommend sticking with a more basic beginner routine.
This routine focuses on density days utilizing rest-pause training, and strength days which utilize low rep sets. It’s a routine I love, and is fairly close to what I have personally run for a good portion of 2009. I had great results with this program, and didn’t stall all year. For the record, even the split is my split.
It’s time to become a beast. By improving your strength and your hypertrophy, you will hit your goals and then some. Stick with this routine for at least 4-6 months, and if it’s stick working – keep going!
The Density And Strength Workout Split
You will need 2 full weeks to finish a complete cycle of this workout. During these 2 weeks you will workout 8 times, performing 4 strength workouts and 4 density workouts. The split is as follows:
Wednesday = Chest Day (Density)
Thursday = Back Day (Strength)
Saturday = Shoulder Day (Density)
Sunday = Leg Day (Strength)
Wednesday = Chest Day (Strength)
Thursday = Back Day (Density)
Saturday = Shoulder Day (Strength)
Sunday = Leg Day (Density)
Do not add in more training days. Naturals do not need training overkill. This is a very taxing routine, and you need your rest. Make sure workouts aren’t running longer then one hour. If you are finishing in well under an hour, and want to add in pertinent complimentary exercises, by all means do so.
Core Workout Principles
Progression. All of my workouts focus on progression. On every set of every workout, you must be trying for more reps. If you waste sets, there is no point in using this routine. Do as many reps as possible, training shy of failure on each set.
For Density Sets:
Total Sets. Perform 7 sets per exercise.
Rest Between Sets. Rest between each set is…30, 30, 60, 60, 90 and 120 seconds. The rest periods get longer as you go deeper into total sets. This allows for your strength to come back.
Failure. Don’t train to failure. Only do as many reps as you can.
Progression. When you can do 30 reps in 7 sets, add weight to the bar. For some exercises, you may increase this number up to 35. I also prefer to do higher reps for certain leg exercises – such as leg extensions. You could aim as high as 40 to 50 reps for exercises such as this.
For Strength Sets:
Total Sets. You will start by doing 8 sets of 2 reps, and will be pushing to get 8 sets of 3 reps.
Rest Between Sets. Rest exactly 2 minutes between sets.
Progression. When you can perform 8 sets of 3 reps, add weight to the bar.
Warm-up as needed. After about 3 to 4 weeks on this program, you will notice your strength endurance is improving, and you should start to progress on a consistent basis. For some of you, it may take more then a month for your body to adapt to limited reps. Also, I find that my joints tend to handle limited rest sets much better. This could be due to keeping the joints and muscles moving, instead of cooling them down with 3+ minute rests. Your mileage may vary.
Wednesday – Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 7 30 Total
Chest Dips or DB Bench Press or Incline Bench Press 7 30 Total
Close Grip Bench Press 7 30 Total
Barbell Bench Press 8 2 to 3
2 Chest Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 10
1 to 2 Tricep Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 10
Thursday – Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift * Singles 10 minutes
Barbell Row or Yates Row or Seated Cable Row 7 30 Total
Pull Ups or Lat Pull Down or T Bar Row 7 30 Total
Deadlift 8 2 to 3
2 to 3 Back Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 10
Optional: 1 Traps Exercise 3 6 to 12
* Do as many deadlift singles reps as you can in 10 minutes. When you hit 15 total reps for 10 minutes, add weight.
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Shoulders and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Press Behind The Neck or Military Press 7 30 Total
Seated Arnold Press or Upright Rows 7 30 Total
Barbell Curl or Standing Dumbbell Curl 7 30 Total
Seated Press Behind The Neck 8 2 to 3
2 to 3 Shoulder Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 10
1 to 3 Biceps Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 10
Sunday – Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 to 4 6 to 10
Leg Extension 7 40 Total
Romanian Deadlifts 7 35 Total
Squat 8 2 to 3
1 to 2 Quads Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 15
1 to 2 Hamstring Exercises of Choice 3 6 to 12
Note regarding ab training: Add in abs or calves once or twice per week if you wish – on any training day.
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