Here is a 4 day routine that utilizes a 5×5 scheme for the compound movements and a higher 8-12 reps for accessory movements. This routine uses the rep goal system and designed to be ran as long as you are seeing results. In order for you to get the best results with this program, be consistent and always strive for progression.

Here is a sample schedule:

  • Day 1 – Workout A
  • Day 2 – Workout B
  • Day 3 – Off
  • Day 4 – Off
  • Day 5 – Workout C
  • Day 6 – Workout D
  • Day 7 – Off

The benefit to starting on a Monday is while everyone is benching and hogging the dumbbells, you are squatting and doing legs and not have to wait for any equipment. This is convenient so you can go in with your prepared session and smash it out.

I would recommend doing a short 20-30 minute cardio session post workout at least twice a week for optimum muscle growth and recovery.

You also need to eat as much healthy whole foods you can, including chicken, whey, broccoli, sweet potatoes and bacon. In order for your body to grow, you need to eat, eat, get sleep, and eat some more. Eating enough food and getting enough sleep is what builds your muscles; going to the gym and lifting heavy ass weight doesn’t build muscles, it’s your recovery that builds the muscle.

Workout A
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Squats 5 25
Leg Press 3 36
Front Squat* 3 24
Face Pulls 3 36
Planks** 3 -


Workout B
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Bench Press 5 25
Chest Flies 3 24
Skull Crushers 3 36
Tricep Extensions 3 36
Face Pulls 3 36


Workout C
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Deadlifts 5 25
Barbell Rows 5 25
Pull Ups 3 24
Face Pulls 3 36


Workout D
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Military Press 5 25
Power Shrugs 3 15
Lateral Raises 3 36
Face Pulls 3 36
Planks** 3 -


*- Front squats can be impossible for someone with bad posture such as myself.  If you cannot do front squats, use a hack squat machine; most gyms have one labeled a hack squat machine or a V Squat. If you can’t do either of these, leg extensions will work as well.

** – Planks aren’t the same rep goal scheme as other lifts. When you are supposed to do planks, do 3 sets of 1 rep and record your results for each set. The goal to beat for next time is to beat the combined time of those 3 planks. Keep the rest short; 60 seconds and really squeeze the abs and back and keep that core tight.

You might have seen face pulls for every session; most people have underdeveloped rear delts and this is a great exercise that will hit multiple muscles which include rear delts, lats, and traps. I recommend these over a reverse pec deck because most people do not use the machine correctly. If you have been spending time developing rear delts or are a wuss and want to do pec deck, then disregard the last few sentences.

If you’ve never heard of a power shrug, they are basically a rack pull with a shrug. Explosively rack pull from just above the knee and using the momentum, finish with a shrug. This should be all one fluid motion and not rack pull, shrug, down. I know powerlifters who power shrug more than they can deadlift and they have mountains for traps. This is not a bodybuilder type of lift where you slow and control; you explode and try to shrug that bar up to your face. Sit back down onto the pins and let the weight settle, repeat.


Whether or not you choose to do this routine, I invite you to try 3 sets of 5 of power shrugs. Leave your comments, questions, or results of your power shrugs in the comments below!

Written by Cutty