Can somebody explain this Men's Health workout plan to me?

I don't understand what this workout is asking me to do (along with the commenters). More specifically, how am I supposed to know which workouts to do on a given day?

  • 3
    Can you quote what the workout plan is here instead of just linking to it? If the link disappears or the content changes, then the question loses its value and won't be useful to anyone else in the future.
    – user241
    Jul 16, 2012 at 0:45

3 Answers 3


The first answer is 100% wrong... 1A and 1B go together, not all of the A's go together. It specifically states that this is a superset routine.

The way it's laid out on MensHealth.com is a bit confusing, because it says there's 3 workouts, but then just lists 12 exercises, or 6 supersets.

What I figured out is that you do 2 supersets per workout. So Day 1 = 1A/1B + 2A/2B. Day 2 = 3A/3B + 4A/4B. Day 3 = 5A/5B + 6A/6B.


How you'd do the workouts on a particular day would look like this.

Workout 1: 1A>2A>3A>4A>5A>6A
Rest Day(s)
Workout 2: 1B>2B>3B>4B>5B>6B Rest Day(s)
Workout 3: 1A>2A>3A>4A>5A>6A
Rest Day(s) etc...

There's a problem with the workout though - how much load a particular exercise will put on your body will depend on a number of things - limb length, muscle belly length, tendon insertion point and insertion angle, balanced strength between agonists, joint range of motion, muscle tightness and other things I haven't thought of at the moment. So either you're doing too light a weight with the dumbbells to get any results, or you'll be over-exerting yourself with a number of exercises.

That workout plan ignores the basic principle of progressive overload. It'll get results for someone completely new to exercise, but I'm sure anyone who does that will plateau really quickly.


The 1A 1B stuff describes a "superset". Normally one does 3 sets of curls then maybe 3 sets of Tricep pressdowns. You rest say 2 minutes between each set of curls then rest a few minutes before the tricep work. In a superset you would do a set of curls then go to the pulley and do a set of pressdowns with no real rest. Then you rest one minute and repeat the superset. The idea is that the curls bring blood to the upper arm without tiring your triceps. Your biceps rest while your triceps work. Then you catch your breath. You can superset bench presses and calf stretches to save calf warm up time. You can superset pec deck flyes and bench presses to squeeze every ounce of effort from your pecs. It's like chess. "Split Routines" often use letters as follows: Leg day A is heavy squatting no calf work. Leg day B is light weight easy lunges and heavy calf work. Monday is Legs A, Wednesday is deadlifting and benching, Friday is Leg day B. This is a pretty standard usage.

  • I should add that Men's Health often features highly regarded coaches and trainers, but I already subscribe to more sites than I can read so I didn't download the pdf, but the blurb indicates that saving time is its goal (supersets are great for this). If you have only 20lb dumbells you superset flyes and benches. If only 80's, you do one arm wall push ups. @Robin
    – medmal
    Jul 15, 2012 at 22:10

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