I’ve been working out for almost a year now and I would like someone with more knowledge to review or criticize my workout plan, I’m currently 5’10” at 139lbs and I’m trying to just gain overall size, muscle and strength, like a lean bulk. My end goal would be like 175lbs but that is a long ways away. Anyways here is my current plan let me know what I can improve or take out!

Monday Chest/Tri
Bench- 4x5 Incline bench- 3x5
Decline bench- 3x8 Dumbbell bench- 3x8
Cable crossover- 3x8 Tricep extension- 3x10
Tricep push down- 3x10 Dumbbell Tricep kickback- 3x10
Dumbbell skull crushers- 3x10 Dips- 3x5
Push-ups- 2xfailure Pullups- 2xfailure
Tuesday Legs/Shoulder
Squat- 4x5 Leg press- 3x10
Bulgarian squat- 3x10 Calf raises- 3x10
Leg extension- 4x25 Lateral raises- 3x10
Shoulder press- 3x10 Flys- 3x10
Dumbbell shoulder press- 3x10 Rear shoulder machine- 3x10
Push-ups- 2xfailure Pullups- 2xfailure
Thursday Back/Biceps
Lat pulldown- 3x10 Lat rows- 3x10
T-bar- 3x10 Plate pickups- 3x10
Single arm pulldown- 3x10 Curls- 3x10
Hammer curls- 3x10 21sx3
Cable curls- 3x10 Preacher curls- 3x10
Push-ups- 2xfailure Pullups- 2xfailure
Friday Legs/core
Squat- 3x10 Leg press- 3x10
Bulgarian squat- 3x10 Calf raises- 3x10
Leg extension- 3x10 Sit-ups- 2xfailure
L-hold- 2xfailure Russian twists- 2xfailure
Plank- 2xfailure Hanging knee raises- 2xfailure
Push-ups- 2xfailure Pullups- 2xfailure
  • 1
    Tried to improve the question legibility a bit by moving your blocks of text into some tables. Did it help? Still up in the air. Feel free to revert if you'd like. Welcome to Fitness.SE!
    – C. Lange
    Apr 7, 2022 at 23:45
  • If you've been working out for a year you should have some idea by now, no? It's a good workout plan. At your height, I would expect you to haved touched 100kg bench press quite easy in 1 year's worth of work. If you're not there yet, then you should probably check your t-levels/nutrition.
    – user33409
    Apr 8, 2022 at 11:33
  • 3
    How old are you and are you on PEDs? That's not a slight, it's a genuine question. The volume you're running based on the program above is way more than I (or any of my clients) could handle, but I know that PEDs do enhance recovery ability (plus I'm 40, and I train guys about the same age, so that does make a difference too)
    – Dark Hippo
    Apr 8, 2022 at 13:22
  • 2
    @DarkHippo -- the volume is a lot based on the assumption that the load is adequate. 3x10 Squat @ 40% vs 3x10 Squat @ 80% is quite different. I think that's some key info OP is missing.
    – C. Lange
    Apr 8, 2022 at 17:29
  • I recommend reading this article.
    – Thomas Markov
    Apr 12, 2022 at 11:55

3 Answers 3


Without knowing the load intensity (If youre pushing the weights to the max you can do your sets with, or you're if you're using 50% of your 1RM), I would assume you are a beginner based on your weight, and your workout routine seems like there are way too many exercises. I think cutting 2-4 exercises a day would help. Bodybuilding is to try to do as little as possible to achieve maximum muscle damage. Even if you feel like you could do more, if you can grow using half the volume, then do that, and just increase the volume later on in your bodybuilding career. Other than that, the workout seems great, as long as you are adjusting it every 4-6 weeks, and swapping exercises out once you lose progress in them. Make sure you arent doing the same workout forever, or the same rep schemes(in your case mostly 3x10) for weeks on end, it is important to change variables. I personally went from 120 to 200 lbs, not knowing hardly anything in my early days of exercise, but it took me 8 years with a little extra bodyfat(Learning more early on I could've greatly reduced this). My biggest caveat was not eating enough food, I could've been eating a lot more calories and could've shaved off a lot of time in my 20's. There are a lot of things I would do to increase your muscle mass faster based on your beginner status, such as the below:

  1. eat enough clean food to be gaining weight each week
  2. Focus on a full body workout every other day (14 x a month) or 3 times a week(12 x a month) using compound movements and focusing each exercise on a body movement such as upper pull, upper push, lower push(squat), lower pull(deadlift variation), and a shoulder exercise if you have the energy. core work or accessory work can be added lightly such as a set of curls or ab raises.
  3. Set up a 3-4 month plan, and research periodization. workouts seem to be more effective when you do linear or reverse periodization, or undulating periodization. Linear for example might have you using 10 reps for 2 weeks, then 8 reps, then 6 reps, as you increase the weight you are using. you could also look into hypertrophy specific training. base this off what you want your goals to be.
  4. If you aren't already, track your progress, weight used, reps, etc.
  5. Make sure to not get stuck within 3x10 rep scheme. Each muscle may correspond better to different reps, so it's important to test different ones out, but more importantly, to not adapt. It also helps you focus on strength or muscular endurance which all aid in your muscle gain.
  6. Swap exercises out every 12 weeks at minimum, or when you are no longer making progress.

Granted the first few years of my journey were just working on glory muscles, hardly eating, stress fueled, and always chasing celebrity workouts, I eventually got to my goal after fixing all the other variables. You will also more and more slowly gain muscle as time goes on. It can be normal to gain 10-15 LBs of muscle in a year, but then only gain 5 each year after. Depending on your genetics this could take a while. I am predestined to be skinny and weak, but exercising got me to my goals, it just took me longer than it does the average person. Don't compare yourself to others or achievements


So far, so good

For only having worked out for a year, you definitely have an impressive plan in place that will train your body as well as your mind – especially the challenge of consistency.

As a foundation, it is important to know that the exercising, itself, is always and only catabolic: it tears you down. Then your diet, rest, and habits of posture and movement – these, at their best, are anabolic: they build you up. So you need to spend at least as much time – and ideally much more time – paying attention to your diet, your rest, and your habits of posture and movement. Only then will get the best anabolic pay off for your catabolic work. And by the way: you can definitely go from 140 to 175 in a year or even less, if you are dedicated, consistent, and focused on working out smart, not just hard.

If you do not already know, then learn about the differences between eccentric movement and concentric movement. Without a strong grasp of this knowledge, you will only ever reach a fraction of your potential.

Specific to Bulking Up

1. Drop the training to failure.

Yes: all of it. Including your abs. Guaranteed.

2. Get a spotter whom you can trust, and train heavy.

Above all: have your spotter add weight on the negative of a movement: we can handle much more weight through resistance than through exertion.

Use weight that you can only handle for 6-8 reps – for two sets. Four sets of 5 reps is no good: if you can handle 4 sets – then you can handle significantly more weight for 2 sets (especially once you add weight to the negative reps).

When you feel yourself not refreshing (especially in your joints) or plateauing, then train for a few weeks with weight that you can handle for 15-20 reps. This helps you to stay active while letting your body recover and adapt.

Then, for a few weeks, use weight that you can do for 8-12 reps.

Then get back to weight that you can only do for 6-8 reps (and if you really think that you need 25 reps on your quads, then just significantly up the weight, and significantly slow down the reps – then watch what happens).

3. Drop the two-on, one-off.

You need days off to build your body. Resting builds. Overtraining does not.

You can be as active as you want on your days off – but take your days off.

Train M-W-F or T-Th-Sat (by the way: you can – and ideally should – train your calves on every gym day).

4. Bulking Requires Stability.

The absolute biggest obstacle for thin people to bulk up is that it is too easy for you to always move really fast, bend around a lot, hold yourself in exaggerated postures, and walk with much too wide a step.

Bulking requires stability. Be who you are – but be sure somewhat to "fake it to make it" with the stable posture and movement that you see from large people – very muscular people and also very fat people: they move more methodically and stably than a thin person because it is too hard not to. You can mimic their stability to build a more solid frame which will allow you to bulk up faster than if you are zipping around and bending all over the place in a way that only thin people can manage. Again: fake it to make it.

5. Ignore fads.

I started training in 1994, at 15 years old. I am now 43. Years back, at my peak, I was the strongest person in nearly any gym I went to. The way I got there was not by following any fads – at all – and certainly not by any "no pain, no gain" nonsense. Rather, when I eventually became a personal trainer, I would always tell my clients:

It is not "no pain, no gain" – it is "no pain, no strain; and no strain, no injury; and no injury – then no long, unproductive breaks to training."

Pay attention to your body; listen to advice that works; and ignore people who are paid – at least with attention – to tailor their advice to certain products or philosophies.

6. Ask Around.

My dad introduced me to exercise back in the 90s. He was always strong, knew a ton, and always answered anything I asked him. However, eventually, I was mostly not training around my dad. But I always – always – asked others for advice.

By the description of your workouts, I assume you are exercising at a gym. At the gym, it does not matter if someone is stronger than you, weaker than you, fatter, thinner, whatever – nothing: if they have any aesthetic that you want – or can do something that you want to be able to do, then ask them how they got there (then take their advice with a grain of salt, since plenty of this stuff has a lot to do with genetics). Some gym people are zoned out and impatient (or simply rude narcissists); but plenty are not, and will be happy to help you with whatever questions you have. Just be sure to learn a bit about gym etiquette (if you do not already know). For example, usually do not approach someone right after their set, so they can recover. And, with few exceptions, definitely do not approach them during their set (yeah: some people need to be told that).

7. Take My Advice With a Grain of Salt (if at all)

Obviously ;)


The whole thing seems a little overly complicated.

If you want to gain mass, stick to basic, compound movements like squats and deadlifts. A simple workout of 4-5 exercises would provide a better benefit in terms of strength and mass.

Some of your rep ranges seem kind of low. 5 reps is more for strength than mass. You gain mass by calling up additional muscle fibers. 5 reps is only going to be using the same muscle fibers over and over. If you want to get big you need to pick a higher rep range.

I'm not a big fan of certain exercises like the decline bench. Most people don't really need to gain in their lower chest.

Overall, though, I do like the structure. You seem to have a decent understanding of how to put a workout together. I especially like the skull crushers followed by pushups to failure. I might start doing that myself.

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