The End Of The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine

If you’re reading this, then it appears you’ve made it all the way to the end of my guide to creating The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine. Nice!

At this point, I have just 5 things left to say.

1. Congrats!

First of all… congratulations are in order.

You’ve now learned more about weight training, program design, and how to get the results you want than the majority of the population will ever learn in their lifetime. So… congrats on that!

2. Put It To Use!

I hope you liked the guide and actually use what you’ve learned.

Because honestly, reading and learning and understanding are great and all, but the only way it’s truly going to work is if you actually put it into action. So… do that.

3. But Wait, There’s MORE!

Believe it or not, I still have a ton of information to share with you.

While this guide was pretty damn comprehensive, there’s actually plenty of stuff that I purposely left out, skipped over, or didn’t think fit right within this guide.

Stuff about weight training, cardio, diet and nutrition, supplements, building muscle, losing fat, increasing strength and performance, improving health, and much more.

And I’ll be sharing all of it right here on a regular basis. To make sure you never miss any of it, you can subscribe for free, and also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

4. The Best Workout Routines Are Here!

Even though I just covered how to create your own workout routine, I’ve realized that many people want or need something more.

What exactly?

  • Proven workout routines that are already fully designed for you and ready to be used.
  • Workouts that have already been tested, adjusted, and improved over 15 years by myself, my hundreds of clients, and the thousands of men and women who have come to me for help and advice.
  • Workouts for every goal, age group, experience level, and body type.
  • Workouts for people with busy schedules (2-day and 3-day options), flexible schedules (4-day and 5-day options), and everything in between.
  • Workouts that use different splits, different exercises, and different training methods.
  • And so… much… more.

And for that, allow me to introduce: The Best Workout Routines

The Best Workout Routines is the ultimate collection of the most effective workouts I’ve used myself or designed for others over the last 15 years.

It’s perfect if you want to eliminate all the guesswork, researching, obsessing over details, and experimenting, and simply get started today using a proven workout that’s already guaranteed to work best.

Sound awesome? It is.

You can learn all about it right here: The Best Workout Routines

5. Give Me Your Feedback!

And last but not least, I want to hear your feedback. In fact, I want 3 different kinds of feedback.

  1. First, I want to know what you thought of the guide.
    I want to know what you liked best, what section was most useful, what you wish I covered in more detail or explained better, what you felt was missing (if anything), and basically just your thoughts and opinions on the guide itself.
  2. Second, I want to answer your questions.
    If you had any questions about any aspect of weight training, creating your routine, reaching your specific goal (building muscle, increasing strength, losing fat, etc.), the sample workouts or anything else while reading any part of this guide, email me here and ask. I will answer. Also be sure to check out the nearly 3000 comments below this post. Most questions have already been asked/answered at this point.
  3. Third, I want to hear how well it’s working for you.
    Once you start using the information contained in this guide, guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to start getting the results you want. Sounds good, huh? Trust me… it is. And when that starts happening for you, I want to hear all about it. So, email me and let me know.

The End

Well, that’s about it.

I hope you liked the guide (and if you did, be sure to tell your friends about it) and I hope you actually use what you’ve learned from it.

I also hope you subscribe for free, because I plan on writing similarly awesome and useful guides in the future.

And again, if you have any questions, comments, feedback, or just want to tell me how well it’s working for you, email me here.

Enjoy your results.

(This article is part of a completely free guide to creating the best workout routine possible for your exact goal. It starts here: The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine)

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If so, I've written the ultimate guide to getting the results you want without a gym.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
About Jay
Jay is the science-based writer and researcher behind everything you've seen here. He has 15+ years of experience helping thousands of men and women lose fat, gain muscle, and build their "goal body." His work has been featured by the likes of Time, The Huffington Post, CNET, Business Week and more, referenced in studies, used in textbooks, quoted in publications, and adapted by coaches, trainers, and diet professionals at every level.

2,735 thoughts on “The End Of The Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine”

2,735 Comments

  1. Jay,

    I am a 58 year old male who lifts M-W-F and jogs T-TH-S and rests on Sunday. I found your site while looking for a weight training program for my age group. I have always been a tough gainer of muscle as a thin person (6’4″ – 220) but am now fighting the dreaded “pot belly”. I was looking for a program that will balance cardio and weight training to look and feel fit. As you know men of my age don’t have the abilities to produce muscle and feel at times that I’m stagnate. I have tried many routines with varying results and feel a lot of these are geared towards the younger generation. Can you help me get on the right track with a professional program so I don’t feel as though I’m wasting good effort. I know you have to have something for us aging athletes to follow!!!!!

      • yes, I look forward to reading up on your future 50+ routine. In the mean time as a new “lifter/body builder” I ll look towards the beginner routines.

        An app would be great too!, kind of an assistant at the gym….many possibilities with that!

    • I’m 61 and came across your web site and really like all your information on weight training and am going to get your online book.Had not lifted for 8 months and was wondering where to start and really liked the read on if your a beginner. So that’s where I start and really liked the progress I was making the last 3 months. But have in a little bump with business and have not lifted for almost 2 weeks and was wondering how much weight I should back off from work sets when I start back? Thanks for the info good stuff! RDP

    • Jay,

      Loved the guide! I’m about to start the beginner workout but just need a few things answered before I start. My body fat seems a little too high (roughly 20%) to start bulking and put my self in a calorie surplus so the plan is to cut down the body fat first before attempting a clean bulk. In regards to approaching the beginner program should I try to continually progress in weight, reps, sets when possible as I would do while bulking up or just maintain my lifts at the heaviest I can handle when I start the program and gradually decrease my calorie intake until I’m lean enough to start a clean bulk? Hope that makes sense.

      Thanks !

  2. Jay,

    Thanks for answering, although I was hoping for more. I will certainly stay tuned and would be glad to pay for a program that would actually work You have a whole generation looking for guidance in this area.

    In the meantime any workout routine advice as far as sets, reps and exercises while you’re in the lab????

  3. Good evening Jay,
    Your superb body of work covers all aspects of training for everyone with the possible exception of elite / professional athletes. However, can I ask for advice on the mental aspect of training and in particular the topic of motivation?
    I understand that ultimately motivation should come from within, that is to say do it for yourself and not to appease someone else. However, I find that my level of motivation waxes and wanes for no apparent reason or at least its unknown to me!
    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I require the services of a therapist?
    Take care
    Mike

      • Good evening Jay,
        If your work on the psychological aspect of training matches your knowledge of the physical requirements then it will be more than worth the wait! (as most excellent matters are)
        Take care
        Mike

  4. Hi! I just finished reading through all the pages of your ultimate workout article and I really like it. Kudos.

    My question is, it’s been a while I am looking for an article that tells me if I already reached my goal (whether losing fat, getting toned or muscular, et.) how can I maintain my body? Specifically I like to know if I’m not looking to get any better, but just to maintain what I already gained, can I do so by going to the gym only one time (most likely in the weekend) just to keep my body fresh? Or will I lose all of my muscle if I don’t workout at least X hours / Y days per week? You are very smart and detail oriented so you may spice it up by categorizing things, asking how long people have been training, saying something about calorie intake and so many other thing. Hope to see such an article getting written by your smart mind!

    Thanks.

  5. Hi Jay,
    Thanks for all this great information. I’ve just put together a 4-day upper/lower split routine based on all the information I gathered from you. Today was the first day and…IT WAS AMAZING! Tough…but I loved it. I have one question that I either missed or didn’t see the answer to. How long should I stick with this routine? I want to build muscle & strength and like you say…look great naked. Is there a recommended time frame? My plan is to do it until the results are no longer happening. I might change up an exercise or two, just to ensure I am continually progressing. Just wanna know your thoughts. Thanks dude, this shit is awesome!

  6. Jay
    Quick question:

    If a machine allows for unilateral workout (one lat at a time, one chest side at a time etc) – is that preferable to working both sides at the same time?
    I have been reading that doing a unilateral workout can activate the muscle fibers more?

    Thank you

    • I wouldn’t say one way is universally better or worse than another. In different contexts, one can be better or worse. So, it depends.

      Generally speaking, I like doing a bit of both (usually something bilateral as a primary lift… like barbell bench press… followed by something unilateral as a secondary lift… like incline dumbbell presses).

  7. Can you recommend me a cheap elastic band (or any band thingy that stretches) for shoulder rehab work? I injured my shoulder and saw the videos about “shoulder rehab” by diesel crew, on your shoulder page, but I dont have a band to do some of the exercises!

  8. Hi Jay,
    Male, 40 year old, have been following the intermediate routine for about 12 months now.

    3 qs please:
    1) No matter how much I try, using a flat bench with bar/dumbbells is not working for me, I don’t get a good compression. And believe me, I have tried all tips that are out there
    On the other hand, doing a vertical, Hammer Strength Wide Chest Press gives me a good compression.
    2) Similarly for incline bench press with dumbbells/bar. I get a better activation using an incline chest press machine.

    I know it’s not ideal but do you think I use these substitutions?

    3) Also I read about using machines for getting unilateral chest presses/shoulder raise/back rows etc. Do they give better activation than using both hands at same time?

    Thanks!!

    • 1. Compression? Do you mean contraction? If so, if you happen to prefer a machine version of an exercise over the free weight version of the same exercise, feel free to do it. It’s fine.

      2. Same as above.

      3. It depends. No universal ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer for this one.

      • Thanks Jay, yes contraction 🙂

        under 1, I was trying to ascertain that a FLAT bench press type of movement can be replaced by a VERTICAL Hammer Strength Wide Chest Press. Looks like it is ok?

        thank you

  9. I think my question got lost somewhere…how would one protect his or her joints while lifting weights? (besides using appropriate progression and weight?) Do you know of any research that correlates joint wear and tear with weightlifting or is this not much of a concern? Love your site by the way…I’ve read it forwards and backwards! Can wait for your video examples of proper form. Plus I have no idea what deadlifts and skull crushers are but planning to look all that up! Have only tried machines. Thanks a lot!

    • There’s a whole lot that goes into that… everything from proper form, to proper overall program design, to proper exercise selection, to proper use of training breaks and deloads, to proper diet, and on and on and on.

      I’ll cover this topic in more detail in an article in the future.

  10. Hi Jay,

    I have been doing both your beginner program (almost 1 year) and the intermediate muscle-building program (last 1,5 months) and been very strict in following your layout and advice. Super happy with the results and my “new” life.

    As mentioned the upper/lower is relatively new for me and I like it. I do it three times a week. I have a couple of issues/questions I wanted to ask you.

    I’m struggling a bit with adding weight in both the squat and bench press. Squatting especially is really slow. I’m only at 185-190 lb 6-8 reps/3 sets and I’m a 210 pound guy at 6 ft 3. I’ve been squatting that weight more or less the last couple of months. Since I’m still somewhat of a novice (only a year in), in my mind I should be able to progress quicker. I eat and sleep good so my conclusion is that the technique is the problem. So while I’m happy with the muscle-building routine I would like to get more chances to practice my squat and bench press.

    Last two weeks I’ve been skipping the split squats in favor of 3 sets of front squats, and I’m thinking about ditching the flyes for bench press instead. What do you think about this setup? Do you have a better idea to fit more squats and bench presses in there?

    • Regarding stalled exercises, read this one.

      For split squats, I’d suggest some type of single leg quad-dominant exercise. So any type of split squat, lunge, single-leg leg press, etc.

      For flyes, I would only recommend some other chest isolation exercise, not a compound like bench press.

  11. Hi Jay,
    I have read your articles thoroughly for at least 2 times and motivate me well. I have prepared most of the necessary stuffs. Anyway, i would like to know that, in beginner routine, e.g., when I do squat 3 sets 6-8 times,do i need to finish all three sets before moving to another type of workout or all workouts do in order and repeat for 3 sets? Please kindly suggest me. Much appreciated your help and your website too.

  12. Hello there! thanks in advance for answering this comment/question.

    I have been taking creatine monohydrate for about 3 weeks now, I feel great and have obviously noticed a difference in my overall “mass”.
    I understand that caffeine counteracts what creatine attempts to achieve.
    I don’t drink alcohol often but I had a bottle of red wine last night and woke up feeling epic. My arms were considerably swollen. I guess my body retained alot of water in my sleep, no doubt having something to do with it’s reaction to such an amount of alcohol, seeing as I don’t drink often.

    When I had a coffee in the morning I pretty much instantly felt the swollenness vanish!!! Now I feel small and guilty 🙁 I hate coffee!!

    My question is, if I take creatine everyday and then I take caffeine sometimes, how badly will it affect my water retention? Can drinking more water overcome the struggle between creatine and caffeine? Can I just drink more water to accommodate the flushing effects of caffeine?
    I also take a pre workout mix called Extreme Napalm most times before my workouts..

    Thanks again!

  13. Hi jay. I’m a 49 yr old woman and would like to know if the number of sets/reps would apply to me. I am worried about injuring myself if I’m attempting to only do 6-8 reps ie I’ll be trying to lift heavy instead of the norm of 12 reps. I’ve bad arthritic knees so no squats,leg press etc is possible for me. I can do Romanian deadlifts and glute bridges instead. Got to work with what I’ve got. I’m also combining the upper and lower body so that I lift only twice a week.

  14. Excellent website Jay, thanks for all your time and effort.

    One question for you if you would please answer..

    I’ve been at the gym for about 2 months now, I just followed my own knowledge and do a full body(every major muscle group)workout 3 times a week. All compound lifts and bi and tri. Now, your optimal beginner frequency says we should train a major muscle group 3 times a week, but your example of a beginner 3 day routine only actually so works the muscle twice a week/ or every 4th or 5th day, I don’t mean to sound like I’m fault finding just trying to find what works best. My routine is defo working but I feel as my weights are getting heavier I’m getting more and more tired and I may be doing too much 3 times a week…

    Am I not understanding properly?

    • With the exception of chest, everything (hams, quads, bis, tris, shoulders, back) is trained either directly or indirectly (e.g. shoulders are trained via the bench press, biceps are trained via pull-ups and rows, etc.) in each workout.

      The right way to think about this is to say that beginners do best with 3 full body workouts per week, and then understand how we want to define a “full body workout” in this context. For example, in some cases a full body workout literally means one exercise for every single body part (in which case the B workout is missing a chest exercise).

      In other cases, however, it means a minimum of one compound push, one compound pull, and one lower body compound movement… which is how my beginner routine does it. And how the most effective beginner routines tend to do it, as well. Which is why it’s my preference.

      Hopefully that makes sense.

  15. Hi Jay
    I’ve just found your Web page and think it’s fantastic especially the article regarding the starvation mode.I’ve always be lived this myself and in fact used it recently haha. I could never understand how it actually could be true? After all how can people suffer from eating disorders like anerxia? Anyway now I no its untrue Ivery been trying to lose weight by calorie intake. My question is…. I’ve just started to exercise doing 4 HITT session (30mins) each. I’ve not lost any weight for 2 weeks. Is it true that I could be holding on to water weight? As I’m not used to intense exercise? I’ve tried to Google and found that it may be due to muscle tears? Is this true? Can you help out? Much appreciated
    Thankyou.
    Rose.

  16. For an overweight 40-50 year old who has never lifted weights before, would they use the lowest end numbers of the optimal volume range, or would the numbers be even lower?

  17. Hi Jay
    41 yr old M, following intermediate routine.

    A trainer at my gym says that the ideal way to end any exercise is as follows:

    Say after doing 3 sets of lat pulldowns of 165 lb each – after the 3rd set completion, within 30 seconds or so, reduce the weight to around 100 lb, and do a “finish off” set of 4-6 reps.

    Do you think that is a good idea?
    Thanks

  18. Hello there !
    Ive got a question

    I choosed to do the 4day upper/lower programm
    i have hard time to decide the pick of sets variation… i mean (how-many-sets-and-reps-per-exercise) section…
    and 2ndly difficult time to pick what kind of exercises to do

    Can you give an example for a guy lifting for like 1year…and half of that year more seriously?
    Thanx in advance ! Keep up the good job !

    • In certain contexts, maybe. But in many contexts, an exercise like a horizontal row for the back can be done in place of any other similar horizontal rowing exercise for the back.

  19. Balancing muscles?

    hi Jay
    keep hearing it in the gym that free weights are better than machines because the former help develop supporting muscles.

    Is that true? And if so, do these supporting/balancing muscles just have a strength impact, or can impact your aesthetics/muscles appearance/size also?

    Thanks

  20. I read your amazing guide in its entirety. I am definitely classified as a beginner & looked at your beginner sample programs. Is there a dumbbell alternative to Pull-Ups? I do not have access to machines for Lat Pull-Downs & I cannot do 3 sets of 8-10 reps of Pull-Ups yet. I have a mini home gym with the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells from 5-52.5 lbs. Thanks!

  21. Good afternoon Jay,

    Is it possible to increase bicep size by using compound exercises only (chin ups, bent over rows) or should an individual include some isolation work such as curls?
    This question would also apply to triceps. For example only completing pressing movements and not including pushdowns, skull crushers etc.
    I would class myself as an early intermediate. Not sure if this is important within the context of the question!

  22. Hello,

    I am working out using your Muscle Building plan.
    The plan seems amazing, but I still got some questions.

    1. The deadlift on this workout is a Romanian Deadlift. This means that there is no exercise that works on the lower back.
    Do other exercises make up for it? Or does the lower back require no workout?

    2. My gym has only one type of back exercise machine, but I’m not sure whether it is what you describe as ‘rows’.

    It looks a lot like this:

    https://youtu.be/D7hVvtkv750

    Is that the type of row ok for the upper A workout? Which palm grip should I use?

    3. What are my options for the upper B row? The trainers at the gym suggested doing rows which cables while standing or doing some sort if bent-over barbell rows.
    I just stayed at the machine for the B workout too for now. What would you suggest?

    Thank you for the attention,

    Lev.

    • 1. There is no exercise in this routine where the lower back is directly worked dynamically (it is trained statically during RDLs). If you feel it’s needed, 45 degree hyperextensions can be added to one of the lower body workouts.

      2. That’s perfectly fine. The grip used in that video and the overhand grip above it are my favorites on that machine.

      3. Any kind of back rowing exercise is equally fine (including a different grip on the same row from Upper A).

      • Hello,

        Thank you for your answer.

        I have one more question, if I may.

        I have been doing the split squat excersise for some time, without any weights, because it was very hard for me to perform.

        I tried the exercise with 3kg dumbells (one in each hand) today and I stopped in the middle of it.

        It always felt awkward on my knees, but this time my left knee started to hurt.

        I looked up the excersise on bodybuilding.com (http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/split-squat-with-dumbbells) and it seems like I’m doing it fine.
        One of the trainers in the gym said that I should be putting some of the weight of my body on the hind leg (the one on the bench) but that didn’t feel right so I just tried using only the hand on thr floor to lift my body.

        Am I doing it right?
        Is there a different exercise you can recommend instead of this one?

        Thank you,

        Lev.

  23. Hey Jay,
    I’m really impressed with your work bro. I’m even thinking of purchasing your Best Workout plan after finish trying tour ultimate workout plan. For me currently my rear delts are lagging big time. Is it okay to throw in rear deltoid machine flyes in the upper workout B? Or is over training? Thanks bro

  24. Hi, I may be a bit late to the party but just discovered this plan. 🙂

    Coming back after 2 years of not being in the gym (I lost 6 stone between 2010-12 by mostly cardio), and want to lose fat and build muscle. I’m big at 122kg and only 5’7, and want to do something other than hours of boring cardio (which I have done previously). Having started your plan, using beginner 3 day split with the added 2 exercises. My question: how can this be enough? I’m barely sweating and the workout is over in 35 minutes. I am getting thru 8 reps for the 3 sets as described, with the last couple a push. I don’t want to hurt myself (previous back problems and surgery to fuse 3 vertebrae).

    Thanks in advance 🙂

      • Also I’m looking at the DiselCrew Shoulder Rehab Protocol video; do you know which exercises require you to squeeze your shoulder blades? (If any) I’m unable to tell from the video angle. Please! =)

  25. Hi Jay,
    Happy 2017!

    Couple questions please:

    I am 41 year old male, following your intermediate routine.

    1. Is it ok to use the SAME equipment/exercise for chest on BOTH Mondays and Fridays? I have seen that using a chest machine for both regular presses and incline presses gives me the best contraction.
    2. For WIDER Lats, is a close grip with palms parallel – or a wide grip with palms outward better?
    Thanks

    • 1. If you prefer it that way, it’s fine.

      2. All grips work fine to train the lats. It mostly comes down to picking the grip that suits you/your body the best and is most comfortable for you. And if that happens to be more than one type of grip, using one for a while and then switching to another for a while is fine, too.

  26. As a 60 year old male, should progressive overload still be a requirement for me? My goal is trying to lose weight. On the lat pulldown machine I am currently doing 3 sets of 12 along with other exercises using the same weight.

    • If you want to build muscle, gradually getting stronger over time will be needed. If you just want to maintain muscle, then maintaining your current level of strength is the goal. In terms of fat loss, that’s primarily a function of your diet rather than any of this.

  27. Jay,

    I know that caloric surplus is a muscle building requirement, but what if I have achieved my target weight – is it still possible to build muscle at a calorie maintenance level?
    I am 85 kg (187 pounds), 185 cm (6 feet) tall, 35 y.o., training 3 times a week for the last one year. So, if one wants to build muscle all the time, should he gain weight until forever?

    Thanks,
    Ivo

    • Building muscle at maintenance is possible, although it A) would typically require a “recomp” style calorie cycling approach where you are in a surplus on training days and a deficit on rest days, but still end up at maintenance for the week, and B) will produce an EXTREMELY slow rate of progress, and for some little to no progress at all.

      As for the second question, you’d focus on building muscle (and be in a surplus) until you reach an ideal upper range of body fat percentage at which point you’d switch over to fat loss (and be in a deficit) until you are at an ideal lower range of body fat percentage. My book has an entire chapter about this.

  28. My 48th birthday was two days ago and my best present was moving up to the intermediate routine. Six months ago I started the beginner program 100 pounds overweight woman. I have now lost 37 pounds and have built some great muscles. I love it. As a middle aged woman I love lifting real weights and having a balanced routine. Do you recommend a good tracking App?

    • Congrats on the progress Lyn! Very glad to hear it. Definitely keep the updates coming!

      As for apps, are you looking for a diet tracking app or a workout tracking app? Or something else altogether?

  29. How much combined EPA/DHA do I need from fish oil pills? I know it ranges from 1-3 grams, but how do I know if I’m on the lower or upper end of it? Does it go by bodyweight? That’s the difference between taking potentially 4 to 8 pills =/

  30. Hi Jay,
    I am a 20yr old female student who is overweight at 202lbs at a height of 5″4. I am planning on implementing your sample beginner workout at my college’s gym, but I have a few questions:
    1.) Could I jog a mile or two each time I go to the gym as a warm up? Or will that throw off the work I will already be doing?
    2.) Should I be using weights when doing squats?
    3.) If I have no time to eat a meal, will a protein replacement bar or shake be proficient for my needs?
    Thanks so much,
    -Gabrielle

    • 1. For a pre-workout warm-up, 2 miles is too much. 5 minutes just a break a sweat is more ideal for that purpose. If you want to do that much cardio, save it for after the workout or a different day.

      2. If you are strong enough to, yes.

      3. If it’s needed to reach your ideal totals for the day, yes.

  31. Hi,

    So I’ve got a bit of a problem: I can only go to the gym every other week due to other, more important duties.

    I’ve got a machine at home that will allow for some lat pull-downs, biceps/triceps, rowing, butterfly, vertical bench presses, leg extensions and leg pulls. But obviously this is by far no comparison to a fully equipped gym.

    How would you suggest I go about creating a workout routine for myself? I figured I’d have to make one for each week (a home workout routine and a gym workout routine). But they should still work together nicely.

    About myself: 26, female, not entirely new, but still at a beginner level, trying to tone my body. I’m at about 20-21% body fat at the moment, most of it is obviously at the hips and belly.

    Thanks for all the info up on your website already and also in advance for your advice!

  32. Good morning Jay,
    I believe that the human body has a mixture of fast twitch and slow twitch fibres. However, I feel that I have a majority of fast twitch. This is based on that back in the day I ran 100 yards in 10.0 seconds (equivalent to 10.9 for 100 metres).
    Should I therefore adjust my training accordingly? For example keep the rep range between 5 to 8, 4 or 5 sets, and rest periods between sets of 3 to 4 minutes.
    I know that this would not suit everybody but I am trying to tailor my regime to find what works best for me.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Mike

    • I think pretty much everyone benefits from a mix of rep ranges (5-15 most of the time) for optimal muscle growth. Having said that, if you feel your body is best suited for one specific part of the rep range, feel free to experiment and see how it goes.

  33. Hi jay hope you had a great new year! Am on the muscle building workout and people at the gym are telling me that I’m looking good, so happy! On the lower body workout, I can only do the rdls and calf raises due to knee arthritis. I have added 3 x 6-8 reps of barbell weighted single leg glute bridges to this. Should I do more than 3 sets of the rdls since I can’t do all the others? I’m a 48 year old woman.

      • With the rdls, I can only go to just below the top of my kneecaps before my lower back starts twinging with pain even though I am keeping my back neutral and straight. Is this level still optimal to build up my glutes as I want bigger glutes or would you recommend going lighter and lower for bigger glutes?

  34. Super fantastic. After reading “the best diet plan” and now this. I swear I feel like some sort of fitness expert with all the info I have in my brain. Everything was crystal clear, dude I’m so anxious for dvd’s from you right now I don’t know what to do. I swear if you did a multi set exercise DVD program I’d buy it hands down. Give me a beginner and advanced DVD for fat people (100 lbs or more to lose) needing to lose weight. Give me a beginner, advanced and pro level DVD for overweight people (need to lose 20-100lbs) needing to lose weight. Give me a beginner, advanced and pro level DVD for fat beginners or those with skinny fat (need to lose 5-19 lbs) needing to shed those few pounds before adding muscle. Give me a beginner, advanced and pro level DVD for those who are happy with their weight and want to maintain it and tone up too. Give me a DVD for those who are toned up looking to add more muscle or bulk up without gaining fat. Give me a DVD for those who are in great shape looking like wannabe athletes looking to improve performance and not just look good but be actually strong and healthy, deeper solid strength than what looks good for the outside. Give me this set of DVD’s Jay, I will pay whatever to have this ultimate set in my collection because it’s the only set I will ever need. Oh and a diet DVD is good to have but because I know the formula so well it’s not necessary but perhaps others who don’t quite understand the macronutrient formula might find a DVD included in this set quite helpful. However so please tell me a DVD set is in the works. I bet if you asked all your subscribers that if you put of a DVD set would they buy it? They would all respond with a H E double hockey sticks YES! Try it and see.

    • Ha… glad to hear it! I can’t say that I have any DVDs planned, but after I finish writing Superior Fat Loss, it’s possible you may see something from me coming next that involves some form of video. Stay tuned.

  35. Hello again,

    I have been doing this workout for a few months now.

    Everything seems to be working great, except for my abs.

    There are no instructions for ab exercises, so this is what I’ve been doing by now:

    15 90 degree sit ups × 3
    2x static abs (face down, on my elbows and feet).

    It’s becoming easier each time and I find it odd that while I make progress and add weights on my other muscle groups, these exercises do not get harder.

    Can you recommend a good workout routine for me? One that would sit well with your muscle building workout?

    Thank you in advance,

    Lev.

      • Hello,

        Yes I have read this article and learned a lot from it.

        I understand that getting a six pack is much more about losing fat, but I’m actually asking about getting stronger / more durable muscles.

        One of the reasons I workout is to feel stronger and more physically capable in general.

        I can feel my muscles getting stronger but not my abs.

        Do I make sense? Or is it something nobody thinks of really?

        Thank you,

        Lev.

          • Hello,

            I understand that, but I don’t know what exercises to do in order to achieve that.

            Do I increase reps? How do I add weights?
            Do I need to train the lower and upper parts separately?Thank you,

            Lev

  36. Hello! Read through the entire guide, and feel ready and prepped to start my first ever weight-training routine (strength goals). Brilliant guide thank you! Quick question though – I want to add in cardio also for general fitness/endurance. Would 3 days of strength training, with 3 days of cardio (treadmill running + stretching/yoga routine) in an alternate pattern be too much on the body?

  37. Hi Jay
    Getting to realize the benefits of BCAA …

    The trouble is the BCAA capsules recommended at athle**.com are so expensive. Can you please recommend a cheaper/good one?

    Thanks!!!

    • Eh, honestly? I wouldn’t recommend any. As long as your total protein intake is what it needs to be each day and comes from mostly higher quality sources, BCAA supplementation is pointless.

  38. Hi,
    I have been doing the upper lower split for a while. Most weeks I football (soccer) on thursday and saturday. I have therefor chose for the 3day split and on weeks that we don’t football I just go for the 4 day version.

    In stead of doing the 3 day split: upper/lower/upper one week and lower/upper/lower the next week, I have chosen to do upper/lowerA/upper one week and upper/lowerb/upper the other week.
    This way I always train upper body twice and lower body once. Training lower body twice leaves me to sore for football training and matchdays.
    I have also chosen to start the week with lower then upper, then football in place of lower, then upper.

    Would you recommend this approach or would you have a better idea to combine this upper/lower split with my football?

    With football week my week looks as follows:

    monday: lower A/B & abs
    Tuesday:upper A
    Wednesday: rest
    Thursday: football training & abs
    Friday: upper B
    Saturday:matchday
    Sunday: rest

    Thanks for helping out!

    • Upper/lower/upper every week is my go-to recommendation for people in situations like yours (my book has a workout like this for this very purpose). Although, I typically would use the same lower workout each week with the same exercises so as to not end up going 2 full weeks before doing the same exercises again.

  39. Hey Jay,

    I am currently benching a lot but don’t have access to any horizontal pulls to counteract the movement patterns. Will doing something like pullups (a vertical pull) substitute horizontal pulls to avoid muscle imbalances?

  40. I have finished reading your complete and quite comprehensive articles on diet and weight training. Seriously, Thanks a lot. Being a beginner having never read about diet n weight training it was great help. Could get great information all at one place.
    I am trying to lose weight n build muscles. Now I am a bit more big at hips and thighs. I feel I have quite a bit muscles as well as fat there. I would like to reduce fat/muscles there primarily. Now I know it’s not possible to spot reduce. But then I would like retain my muscles elsewhere while reducing fat overall and reduce muscles n fat of thighs n hips.
    Now,
    1. Will 3 day weight training with focus on upper body n 3 days endurance running for muscles/fat loss at lower body work.
    Or
    2. I go for regular weight training for fat loss muscle again and then see what happens with thighs n hips.
    Or
    3. I go for endurance running n then think about gaining muscles.

  41. I love the guide extremely informative. I’m in a cutting phase and have decided on the 4 day upper lower split. Very similar to the sample of the muscle building routine only changing up a few exercises due to lack of equipment at my gym. However I’m an extreme creature of habit and absolutely have to be at the gym Monday-Friday as if I take a day off on Wednesday it will only take a couple days before I take Thursday of then Friday and before I know it in sitting my fat ass on the couch instead of lifting anyways my question is with this split will I be doing harm to progress of dropping fat and maintaining muscle mass if I utilize the middle off day- Wednesday as a day for only doing some HIIT cardio?

  42. I’d like to start off by saying thank you for providing everyone with your knowledge. Not sure if it matters but just a little insight as to my goals: I’m 19/M and have been lifting for about 3 years but just now seriously getting in to it. Now then, yesterday I spent my day reading through your entire guide and using the information to help create an ideal workout for myself. I ended up going with the Twice a Week workout. (Upper A, lower a, off day, etc.) I did the entire upper body a workout yesterday (3×6 of 80% of my max) and today I feel perfectly, no soreness at all. Does this mean I didn’t push myself hard enough in my workout or is this normal after the first Upper Body workout? Please point me in the right direction, thank you!

  43. I’m currently following the one of the intermediate routines in SMG and things are going great so far! However I’m trying to get my conventional deadlift up just for the sport of it. Is there somewhere where I can program it in? Maybe having a day just for that?

    • Bad news: I don’t really like to use the conventional deadlift in my hypertrophy-oriented programs for reasons explained at #2 here.

      Good news: I’ll be putting out a strength-oriented program and a strength + hypertrophy hybrid program in the future, at least one of which will contain conventional deads.

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