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Unread 12-02-2008, 08:57 AM
lylemcd's Avatar
lylemcd lylemcd is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 22,641
Default The generic bulking routine

Since it gets asked about fairly often, here is the routine. Some notes follow

Mon: Lower
Squat: 3-4X6-8/3' (3-4 sets of 6-8 with a 3' rest)
SLDL or leg curl: 3-4X6-8/3'
Leg press: 2-3X10-12/2'
Another leg curl: 2-3X10-12/2'
Calf raise: 3-4X6-8/3'
Seated calf: 2-3X10-12/2'
Abs/low back: a couple of heavy sets apiece

Tue: Upper
Flat bench: 3-4X6-8/3'
Row: 3-4X6-8/3'
Incline bench or shoulder press: 2-3X10-12/2'
Pulldown/chin: 2-3X10-12/2'
Triceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5'
Biceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5'

For the Thu/Fri workouts either Repeat the first two or make some slight exercise substitutions. Can do deadlift/leg press combo on Thu, switch incline/pulldown to first exercises on upper body day. A lot depends on volume tolerance, if the above is too much, go to 2-3X6-8 and 1-2X10-12

Sets are work sets only, warm up appropriately.
A few notes:
1. This is an intermediate program. It is not appropriate for rank beginners (less than 6 months of consistent proper training) and tends not to be ideal for the very advanced (more than 3 years of proper training, near their genetic limits).

2. Folks who can't handle 4 days per week can use this on an alternating three day per week ABABA type of program so that everything gets hit every 5th day.
Monday: Upper body
Wednesday: Lower body
Friday: Upper body
Monday: Lower body
Wednesday: Upper body
Friday: Lower body

this can also be useful for older trainees since recovery is usually down a bit.

2a. For folks who don't do well training 2 days in a row (heavy leg days can be fatiguing for the upper day) and who can train on weekends, a schedule of
Mon: lower
Wed: upper
Fri: lower
Sat: upper

may be superior you get a day off after at least two of the workouts.

3. The program should be done across 6-8 week blocks of training. The first 2 weeks are submaximal run-ups where you are working below your best weight for the rep range. You might go something like 80-85% of best (e.g. if 100X8 is your best, go 80-85 lbsX8) in week 1 and then 90-95% of best in week 2. that means that sets will NOT be to failure and the workouts should be pretty comfortable.

For the next 4-6 weeks, the goal should be to make improvements as much as possible. When you get to the top end of the rep range on the first set with at least a rep or two to spare set add weight. Some may find it better getting all sets at the same weight before going up at the next workout.

3. People vary massively in how well they can handle weights across multiple sets. If you can do it, get all of the work sets at the same weight. If you can't, you are better off warming up to your heaviest weight on the first set and then pyramiding DOWN (e.g. lower weight on subsequent sets). Ascending pyramids suck.

4. After the 6-8 weeks is up, you MUST backcycle. If you want to change exericses, do it during the two week submaximal runup. Even if you want to keep the same exercises, you MUST backcycle to 80-85% of your previous best and runup at to numbers again. You MUST listen to me about this, if you try to keep hammering past that point, you will burn out and start backsliding.
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