I'm working on a 3-day split routine, about 5(+1 support) exercises per day. It's the first time I'm putting something together for myself, so I was hoping you'd be able to put in some comments.

I do not own (I work out at home) cables, just a squatrack, bench, weights and a pull up bar. My prior experience is with stronglifts 5x5 and before that some random using of machines in a gym.


  • Lying Lateral Raise (shoulder support)

  • Bench Press (major pec, sternal)

  • Incline Bench Press (major pec, clav)
  • Incline Shoulder Raise (serratus)
  • Bench Dips (tricep)
  • Decline Close Grip Push-up (tricep, could go incline close grip bench press, but want to do push ups because thats just the beach boy I am ;))


  • Lying External Rotation (shoulder support)
  • Chin-ups (back/bicep)
  • Deadlift (back)
  • Barbell Shrugs (traps)
  • Hammer Curls (bicep/arms)
  • Bicep Curls (bicep)


  • Dumbell Shoulder Internal Rotation (shoulder support)
  • Barbell Squat (quads)
  • Straight-leg deadlift (hams)
  • Overhead Press (anterior)
  • Upright Row (lateral)
  • Rear Delt Raise (posterior)

I do one rotary cuff exercise daily, mostly prevention for future injury after having had some problems with my supraspinatus. I perform these with a low weight (empty dumbells, 2.5kg each) with a high number of repetitions, 3 sets of 15. My normal sets just will be plain old 3x10, trying to add weight when I get 3x10 with good form.

Any tips in general? I would like to target my glutes better as well, any tips for that?

As you can see it's a pretty short routine, I guess a little over an hour every time, followed by 30-45 minutes of jogging. Supplement wise, I just take a protein shake in the evening.

What say you?

  • 1
    Weclome @ZedLep, thanks for the question, but could you edit your title as if you were playing Jeopardy? Furthermore, I would advise you not to ask for opinions regarding your workout, but try to focus on something quantifiable. "Am I missing any exercises when I'm training to do deadlift?" To that someone can point you to muscle groups you might be skipping.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 10:42

4 Answers 4


I have a few suggestions for your workout plan based on the information you have provided:


  • Your back needs much more than deadlifts, chins, and shrugs. You should concentrate on pull ups instead of chin ups (probably wide grip, get the teres major involved, which you don't hit with anything else). Maybe a dumbbell pullover. I would definitely add in a barbell row, or a one arm row.
  • You are overworking your biceps by putting in 3 bicep exercises (hammer curls, bicep curls, and chins). One solid set, maybe two if you are not doing back on the same day. Your biceps will inevitably get involved on back day.
  • I would suggest increasing the time under tension for your leg muscles on leg day with something like a wall sit. Trust me, it will burn. Great way to finish legs. I also agree with others that you should do something which targets your glutes. And calves! You really must do them.
  • You have not included any core work / abs work in your routine (they are not the same). Abs and core will not just be complete by doing sit ups. You should definitely come up with a routine for them as well.

Other thoughts:

  • An hour every time to too long for six exercises of 3 sets. A set should take 30-45 seconds. 60-90 sec rests. Lets call that 7 minutes a set, comes to maybe 40 minutes. Keep it intense, but not too draining that it kills you.

Obviously, there is always more that could be said. But given the information you have provided, those are the things which jump out at me.


While it looks like a very good overall workout, my one criticism is the lack of leg exercises on your leg day. At the very least you could do some calf work:enter image description here

I would also throw in some abduction and adduction work, but that might be difficult with your limited equipment. Do you ever do any abdominal work? You have some nice full body exercises, but it couldn't hurt to do some crunches once in a while.

The only other thing I would suggest is mixing it up. It seems like you've found a workout routine and you're going to stick with it for a while. This is something I don't agree with. You should always be challenging your muscles by doing new exercises. I try to never do the same exercise in the same way ever! Don't underestimate the usefulness of body weight exercises (lunges, squats, leg lifts, push ups, etc). You could even get outside and toss some sandbags around for a good workout.

  • Hmm, alright, some Calf raises seem sensible. To be honest, the shortage of leg exercises was my main concern when creating this.
    – ZedLep
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 15:03
  • enter About mixing it up, I'm planning on sticking to this routine for the next 4 months. Then I'll be looking for a new routine, some different exercises, more dumbbell exercises instead of barbell, do chest/biceps & back/triceps instead of chest/triceps & back/biceps, all that stuff. Ab-wise, I throw in some reverse crunches every once in a while, mostly when I feel like it (I'm on over 20%BF tho, bad shape). Adduction is hard without cables, I think?
    – ZedLep
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 15:11
  • Both adduction and abduction are difficult without some sort of machine unfortunately. Good idea with the dumbbells, I prefer them over the bar for many exercises. Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 15:26
  • Yeah, it's just a bit tricky to 'get them up' when the weights get higher :/
    – ZedLep
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 15:33

For your quads and glutes, you can vary your squat stance between close to wide from week to week. Adding weighted lunges would be a movement that will target your glutes a little more. Plyometrics are also a great way to target fast twitch muscle groups and you can hit lots of different angles this way.

I also thought that a row movement for the back was missing.

What do you mean by "incline dumbbell raise" for the serratus?
Did you mean a dumbbell pullover?


To address some of your more specific questions:

  • Sets/reps sound fine, though I'd concentrate on reaching muscular failure as opposed to numbers. Try for a month or so not counting your reps and just going til you can't rep anymore. Something helpful to prevent yourself from habitually counting reps is to just count every rep as 1. In your head, you'll be saying '1...1....1...' and so on. One of the problems with counting reps is that you can sometime limit yourself in how much you can actually do because you've reached your pre-determined max.

  • If you're doing your squats and deadlifts properly, you should be heavily targeting your glutes. Remember, squats are very much a hip and glute exercise. Try squatting ATG (all the way to the ground). Make sure you have good form by watching the following videos:
    The following video is part 1 of a 4 part series:

  • Try taking the protein shake after your workout. Assuming you're drinking whey protein, you'll be taking full advantage of whey's fast absorption properties. It'll help replenish your body after a hard workout.

Other suggestions:

  • Try a bent over row for targeting your back muscles a bit better. Chin-ups will be good for biceps and lats. Deadlifts are good for lower back, glutes, and hammies. With the bent-over row, you'll have a more well rounded back workout.

  • Skullcrushers would be great for triceps.

  • I know this is a question on your workout, but remember DIET is just as important as your workout, so make sure you're getting the right nutrition in.

Good luck!

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