The programming here follows a basic linear periodization scheme, which simply means that the weights get heavier and rep counts increase each phase (or mesocycle). This program is broken down into three two-week phases, with the linear model (higher weight, fewer reps) applied to every exercise.
The breakdown of sets and reps for most muscle groups will look like this, where “1,” “2,” and “3” refer to the first exercise for a given body part, the second exercise, and the third exercise.
The most notable exception to this scheme set/rep scheme is legs, where the reps are slightly higher because the lower body tends to respond better to higher reps. This is also the case for traps, calves, and abs, which are also known to do well with high reps.
As you can see, the reps don’t fluctuate too violently; aside from legs, rep counts don’t exceed 15 for large muscle groups, and they drop only as low as five reps for one exercise in the final two weeks. A vast majority of sets fall between eight and 12 reps, which is ideal for building size.
- EXERCISE 1 | PHASE 1 (sets x reps): 5 x 10 | PHASE 2: 5 x 8 | PHASE 3: 5 x 5
- EXERCISE 2 | PHASE 1 (sets x reps): 4 x 12 | PHASE 2: 4 x 10 | PHASE 3: 4 x 8
- EXERCISE 3 | PHASE 1 (sets x reps): 3 x 15 | PHASE 2: 3 x 12 | PHASE 3: 3 x 10
Feel free to train on any four days of the week you like—e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday; Monday to Thursday, etc. There should be no lifting on rest days, but you’re open to do whatever form of active recovery you want (cardio, yoga, etc.)
- DAY 1: Chest, Back
- DAY 2: Legs
- DAY 3: Shoulders, Traps, Abs/Core
- DAY 4: Biceps, Triceps, Calves
Your rest periods don’t need to change drastically from phase to phase. A good rule of thumb is to rest one to two minutes between sets throughout the program. The exercises with five sets (5 x 10, 5 x 8, 5 x 5) will be especially challenging, so feel free to take a full two minutes there. Your 60-second rest periods can be reserved for the 3 x 10–15 exercises, and you may even be able to drop down to 45 seconds on smaller body parts.
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