I am a 19-year-old, 140lbs male. I have been using the routine below for about two months now (with somewhat frequent unstructured lifting before), and I've definitely gained muscle/strength (just hit 205lbs bench PR about two weeks ago), but I would like to know if there are any changes I should make to improve it.

My goal is aesthetics, with a (large) focus on upper body.

The routine is below. The lettering indicates the order in which the exercises are completed. If two exercises have the same letter, it is a superset. I take breaks of 2 minutes between sets. For the bench press, I do a 3-week rotation. So the first week is 5x5 with lower weights, the second week is 3x5 with higher weights, then the third week is a set of 5, a set of 3, and a set of 1 with even higher weights (the final set being a 5 or 10lbs PR or close to one). All other exercises have the same rep count every week. For the weights of each set, I usually do the first 2 sets with the same weight. Then I increase the weight for the 3rd set (by whatever the smallest available amount is - usually 5-10lbs) and try to reach failure a little before the rep range specified (so if the range is 10-12 I like to hit failure around the 8th rep) then lower the weight back to the original to get a few more reps to complete the set.

Day 1 - Chest and Triceps
A: Bench Press (5x5 / 3x5 / 1x5,1x3,1x1)
B: Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (3x10-12)
C: 30° Incline Dumbell Press (3x10-12)
D: Crush Press (3x10-12)
D: One-Arm Cable Tricep Extension (3x12-15)
E: High Cable Flys (3x10-12)
E: Straight Bar Cable Tricep Pushdowns (3x10-12)
F: Tricep Dips (2xFailure)
F: Typewriter Push-Ups (2xFailure)
G: Hanging Knee Raises (3xFailure)
G: Leg Raises (3xFailure)

Day 2 - Back and Biceps
A: Barbell Rows (3x8-10)
B: Back Extensions (3x10-12)
C: Seated Cable Rows (3x10-12)
D: Upright Barbell Rows (3x10-12)
D: 45° Inclined Dumbbell Curls (3x10-12)
E: Single-Arm Cable Cross-Body Pull (3x10-12)
E: Dumbbell Hammer Curls: (3x10-12)
F: Barbell Curls (3x8-10)
F: Pull Ups (3xFailure)
G: Russian Twists: (3xFailure)
G: Psuedo Push-Ups (3xFailure)

Day 3 - Chest and Biceps
A: Bench Press (5x5 / 3x5 / 1x5,1x3,1x1)
B: Cable Cross Over (3x10-12)
C: Decline Dumbbell Bench Press (3x10-12)
D: 15° Incline Dumbell Press (3x10-12)
D: Dumbell Hammer Curls (3x10-12)
E: Dumbell Flys (3x10-12)
E: Preacher Curls (3x10-12)
F: Typewriter Push-Ups (3xFailure)
G: Ab Wheel Rollout (3xFailure)
G: Seated Leg Raises (3xFailure)

Day 4 - Shoulders
A: Upright Barbell Rows (3x10-12)
B: Lateral Raises (3x10-12)
C: Front Raises (3x10-12)
D: Face Pulls (3x10-12)
E: Arnold Press (3x8-10)
E: Rear Delt Single-Arm Flys (3x10-12)
F: Pseudo Push-Ups (2xFailure)
G: Pike Push-Ups (2xFailure)
H: Bicycles Crunches (3xFailure)

Day 5 - Chest and Triceps
A: Dumbell Bench Press (3x8-10)
B: Cable Cross Over (3x10-12)
C: Skull Crushers (3x10-12)
D: Crush Press (3x10-12)
D: One-Arm Cable Tricep Pushdowns (3x12-15)
E: Low Cable Flys (3x10-12)
E: Overhead Cable Tricep Extension (3x10-12)
F: Tricep Dips (3xFailure)
F: Archer Push-Ups (3xFailure)
G: Seated Leg Raises (3xFailure)
G: Russian Twists (3xFailure)

Day 6 - Back and Biceps
A: T-Bar Rows (4x8-10)
B: Back Extensions (3x10-12)
C: Lat Pulldown (3x10-12)
D: One-Arm Dumbell Rows (3x8-10)
D: Standing Barbell Curls (3x10-12)
E: Reverse Barbell Curls (3x10-12)
E: Concentration Curls (3x10-12)
F: Pseudo Push-Ups: (3xFailure)
F: Pull-Ups (3xFailure)
G: Leg Raises (3xFailure)
G: Side Planks Dips (3xFailure)

Day 7 - Legs and Core
A: Squats (3x8-12)
B: Leg Extensions (3x10-12)
B: Leg Curls (3x10-12)
C: Leg Press (3x8-10)
C: Calf Raises (3x25-30)
D: Hanging Knee Raises (3xFailure)
D: Hanging Oblique Raises (2xFailure)
E: V-Sits (3xFailure)

Is this a good routine? Are there any changes I should make? Please let me know if I should provide more information. Thank you in advance!

2 Answers 2


Let me start off by saying I am no personal trainer, this is all based off my own years of personal experience. These training habits took me from a skinny 155lb boy to 195lb man. And my bench from 165lb to 250lb

First off your volume is way too high and your recovery time is way too low. You're doing chest on day one and day 3, that's only 48 hours between chest workouts. Chest is a major muscle and so, I usually have 96 hours between chest workouts, but at least 72 if I have to move my chest day. And then volume; firstly, training chest 3 times a week is completely unnecessary and doesn't allow for enough recovery. I work on a four day cycle with chest being trained twice every 8 days so slightly less than twice a week, sometimes maybe even less.

In my experience, high intensity, low volume works best whether your gaining muscle or gaining strength. If you have too much volume, The last half of your work out is just junk volume because your muscles are too fatigued To work efficiently. If you want hypertrophy over strength then do 8-12 reps instead of 4-6 but my rule is: 3 sets for compound exercises, chest press, shoulder press, rows; 2 sets for isolation exercises, chest flys, all bicep exercises, all tricep exercises.

Next, keep it simple. Doing 6 different exercises for chest is just too much. I do 2 exercises for smaller muscles (biceps, triceps) 3 for major muscles (chest, shoulders, back) and 4 for legs (because legs have a lot more components).

When I started training very high intensity but with low volume I not only noticed an increase in results and performance, but a decrease in soreness and recovery. Training with low volume allows you to go to failure on every set while still maintaining strong and productive reps snd cuts junk volume.

Also I know it wasn't part of your question but make sure you focusing on a healthy, high calorie, high protein diet because none of this training will matter if your body doesn't have the necessary nutrition.


If i had to describe this workout routine with one word, it would be "overkill". This is too much of everything, training frequency is too high, volume per session is too high, weekly volume per muscle is WAY too high (you're doing 55 sets of chest exercises per week, 20 sets per muscle group per week is generally the highest i would ever consider going, and even that's pushing it), number of exercises per muscle group is too high. More isn't always better, and this is one of those scenarios

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