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I am a student and have a very busy schedule, but I will be able to devote 1 hour 6 days a week. I have weight trained some time ago. Right now I want to get stronger in general and also look good. I ditched my trainer's routine as it consumed lots of time and made a simple template for myself.

Below is the template:

  • Day 1/4: Bench, Incline Bench, Flat Dumbell press, db shoulder press, crunches(optional)
  • Day 2/5: Squat, Leg curl, Wide grip weighted pull ups, T bar row, deadlift, leg raise(optional)
  • Day 3/6: Weighted dips, Tricep push down, Weighted chins, Barbell curl, abs or oblique(optional)

Each exercise I would perform 3-5 sets.

Is it a fine routine or do I need some substitute? I can not add anything extra as time available would not allow more. Edit: 1. Deadlift added to day 2/5 2. Machine shoulder press has been changed to db shoulder press 3. Rep range: Usually 15-20 reps for two warm up sets of Bench, Squat. Free Pull ups(12+), chins(12+), and Dips(30+ reps) before weighted version. Followed by three work sets of around 10-12 reps. For deadlift three work sets of 6-8 reps in increasing order of weight

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    What did your trainer say when you told them of your time constraints? – gwaigh Jun 21 '18 at 21:50
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A good plan is something you will stick to consistently. If this is what you can manage, it's good. If you have time, I would however recommend some lower back/ hips/glute work (hip thrusts, hyper extensions, supermans) along with mobility work for posture and injury prevention. Do some form of cardio for health as well.

Sample template:

10 min: cardio

5 min: warm up/mobility work (e.g. if it's a push day, do some shoulder mobility drills or on whatever feels tight - look into Kelley Starett's work)

40 minutes: Go through your lifts with very little time for rest. Keep it intense.

5 minutes: cool down, stretch/foam roll.

Disclaimer: You won't have a lot of impact on your physique if your diet is not planned out and on point.

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  • Thanks for the reply. I plan to do as you suggested. Since my gym does not have ghr machine, I would go for 2-3 sets of romanian deads on the squat day. For mobility, I do 5 mins stretching, and 3-5 mins of fast treadmill or elliptical. – madhurjya Jun 22 '18 at 7:43
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I don't see any major problems with the routine you've outlined. I would, however, recommend a similar, more established routine that many others have found success with: coolcicada's PPL. It's ideally a six-day-per-week routine and I find that it takes me about an hour (sometimes closer to 45 minutes if I don't have to wait for any machine).

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    It would be better if you could summarize the plan here, as if the link dies this answer loses value. :) – JohnP Jun 22 '18 at 20:28
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If you can maintain it - good! I would rethink the split a bit though:

  1. You have 3 movements for just your pectorals, yet only one dedicated exercise for Lats, plus one for mid back. This may cause injuries in the long term. I've consulted with several chiro and physio therapists, and it is a common thing to have "overdeveloped" chest, but an extremely rare thing to have an "overdeveloped" back. (Overdeveloped is in quotes because by overdeveloped I mean "overdeveloped in relation to other body parts", and not in a general sense of "too big") I would consider switching some of the "pushing" movements for "pulling" ones, maybe add something for the traps?

  2. Replace Machine Shoulder Press with DB Shoulder Press. It will recruit more stabilisers, which in turn helps to keep your shoulders healthier, assuming you perform them correctly.

  3. Replace Leg Curl with Deadlifts. Big compound movements give much better bang for your buck, specially given that you have a time limit.

Note: You mentioned that you will perform movements for 3-5 sets, but didn't mention the rep range. Given that you want strength and the look, I would keep the reps in range of 4-10. This will place you somewhere between pure strength training and hypertrophy training.

Don't forget to warm up well and keep a good form. Weight increase mean absolutely nothing, if it comes at the expense of your form.

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  • Thanks buddy for your valuable answer. Would add deadlift on the squat day as well. – madhurjya Jun 26 '18 at 7:25
  • Modified slightly. Please check and provide feedback. Added dead, and db overhead. – madhurjya Jun 26 '18 at 7:39
  • I'd remove leg curls completely and just squat more. Squat will give you more testosterone boost, more strength, and it is better for your knees (unless you are dealing with some specific injury). Maybe do some calf raises, or alternate with front squats... The rep range is good for bodybuildling, but a bit high if you want to target strength. I'd keep it lower 6-8 rep range. But up to you :) – Roman Jun 26 '18 at 13:51

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