Advice on my 7 day bodybuilding routine?

First off, I am male, 6’3”, 255lbs, have been training for 10 years or so, am 34 years old. I have always built my own routines, but I think I am starting to struggle with my massive volume getting older. Can I get some advice on my routine? I am not opposed to reducing volume and cutting out exercises, but I am unsure what to keep/remove to maintain strength and size. I do not plan to quit a 7 day routine.

All exercises are 4 sets at 8 reps for one week, then every other week 3-5 reps with increased weight (unless otherwise stated). I find this works best for recovery for me, not able to lift max week over week.

FYI I am not big into ab exercises (even though I do them on leg days) or deadlifting (injured my back several years ago thus hesitant).

For reference in the 8 rep range I BB flat bench 315lbs, DB flat bench 125lb DBs (max at my gym), DB incline bench 110lb DBs, overhand BB row 245lbs, squat 405lbs.

Day 1: Chest
Incline DB press
Flat DB press
Incline BB press
Flat BB press
Decline BB press
DB chest fly
High cable cross
Mid cable cross
Iso-lateral plate press
Push-ups (to failure)

Day 2: Shoulders
Seated overhead DB press
Reverse DB fly
Reverse fly machine
DB shrugs
Lateral DB raises
Front plate raise with rotation
Plate loaded shoulder press
Upright BB row (I know I know)
Lateral cable raises

Day 3: Legs/abs
Machine standing calf raises
Lying leg curls (warmup)
Leg press mid foot placement
Leg press wide foot placement
BB squat
BB wide stance squat
Hack squat (until failure)
Weighted decline crunches
Weighting leg lifts
Crunch machine

Day 4: Back (pull-ups variations replace cable pull downs on higher rep days)
Wide grip lay pull-down or pull-ups
Narrow grip pull-down or cliffhangers
Underhand pull-down or chin-ups
Bent over DB row
T-bar BB row
Seated row
Seated wide grip row
Hyperextensions with added weight (to failure)
Underhand BB row
Overhand BB row

Day 5: Chest
Incline smith press (6 sets)
Flat smith press (6 sets)
Decline smith press (6 sets)
DB chest fly
High cable cross
Mid cable cross
Chest press machine (full stack to failure)
Push-ups (to failure)

Day 6: Arms
DB curls
DB hammer curls
Preacher curl machine
Preacher curl machine alt grip (hammer style)
Spider curls
Zottman curls
Tricep dips (to failure)
V-bar pushdown
Straight bar pushdown
Underhand Tricep cable pulls
Overhead DB extensions

Day 7: repeat of Day 3 Legs/abs

  • 2
    By the looks of it, you do about 60+ sets of chest per week, that is about 3x the amount of sets you need to do per week in order to see progression, and that's excluding the pushups you do to failure. I would say that lowering the volume by atleast half should help a ton to not struggle as much as you currently do. The same goes for the other muscle groups. By lowering the amount of sets, you can combine muscle groups which gives you room for 1 or 2 rest days per week. This will also help a lot, rest is as important as working out itself.
    – MJB
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


You sound more experienced than me, your 8 rep bench is my 1RM, and with 10 years under your belt I have half the years of experience you do but I'm just going to give my opinion based in my own personal experiences. I used to think it was all about going as hard as you can if you want to get big and strong and I was doing doing 6 different chest exercises with 4-5 sets of each. I was making slow progress so I thought I was doing well. I noticed that the 4 days between my chest workouts wasn't enough and when I had to take time off for one reason or another, i would actually come back stronger. I realised that was because that time off allowed me adequate rest and recovery. I eventually adopted a high intensity, low volume routine, doing just 3 different exercises per workout and and 2-3 sets per exercises but pushing to or at least near failure on every set. After doing this for a while I realised that not only was I easily recovering in the 4 days between chest workouts but my strength increase sped up dramatically. You can still do heavy 4-6 rep sets to focus on strength or 8-15 rep set to prioritise hypertrophy but keep the volume of set and exercises down.

In my experience extreme volume just led to increased soreness, increased injury, increased recovery time and increased fatigue but didn't increases muscle growth or strength gains (unless you're on gear and can handle insane volume)

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