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  1. #1
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    Intermediate/Advanced Routine

    D1 - Chest, front/side delts, triceps
    D2 - Upper back, rear delts, biceps
    D3 - Legs, lower back
    D4 - Repeat D1
    D5 - Repeat D2
    D6 - Repeat D3
    D7 - Rest

    D1 - Bench press, incline bench press, rope pressdowns, overhead dumbbell extensions (single arm), dumbbell side laterals
    D2 - Chin-ups, pull-ups, chest-supported rows (or seated rows), rear delt flyes, preacher curls
    D3 - Romanian deadlifts, front squats, leg curls, leg extensions, standing calf raises, seated calf raises

    For each exercise pick a weight that you can lift for a maximum of 10 reps (15 for standing calf raises, 20 for seated calf raises). You need to complete 50 (75 for standing calf raises, 100 for seated calf raises) total reps of each exercise. You perform your first set of each exercise as normal but you only rest for 30 seconds between each set (if you can even call them proper sets). You perform as many sets as it takes until you complete your 50 total reps. Obviously you won't be able to complete 10 reps in each set but it doesn't matter, this is how it's supposed to be. Perform as many reps as you can after each 30 second rest period (try to stop 1 rep short of failure, if you'll fail to perform 6 reps you should stop after rep 5). An example below.

    Set 1 = 10 reps
    Rest 30 seconds
    Set 2 = 5 reps
    Rest 30 seconds
    Set 3 = 3 reps
    Rest 30 seconds
    Set 4 = 3 reps
    Rest 30 seconds
    Set 5 = 3 reps

    You've complete 24 reps so far, keep going until you've completed 50. This is just an example, the number of reps you get in reality may be different but the principle remains the same. Have a longer rest between different exercises so that you're not too fatigued from the previous exercise. Once you notice that a particular exercise is starting to feel easy (you're getting more reps in general) you need to add some more weight the next time you perform that exercise.

    You're going to need to use a training journal or some other method of tracking your progress, you need to record the amount of weight you use for each exercise and as soon as you notice a particular exercise starting to get easy you need to make a note so that you remind yourself to add more weight on that exercise next workout.

    You may feel absolutely terrible at first because this is likely going to be a drastic increase over your usual training volume but this will pass, you need to have some faith in the routine, in the long term it will more than compensate you for your hard work and perseverance.

    I should also add that it's a good idea to increase your carbohydrate intake while performing this routine, it's quite demanding on your glycogen stores. Don't just add any carbohydrate, sugars aren't very effective at replenishing muscle glycogen because only 50% of sugar can be used to replenish muscle glycogen, the other 50% can only replenish liver glycogen (and then get converted to fat when the liver's glycogen stores are full). You need complex carbohydrates for this purpose, I suggest white rice or pasta. I would suggest adding 1 full cup (uncooked) of white rice to your diet each day and I suggest that you should eat half of it before your workout and the other half after your workout, if this isn't possible I suggest you simply eat the full amount after your workout.

    If there are any questions I'll do my best to answer them. If you decide to give this routine a try feel free to report back to this thread as you go along and let me know how you're going or to ask for advice if there are any issues.
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  2. #2
    Soaking in a Digital Bath ShaneSwan's Avatar
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    I like the look of it. Im currently running Madcow at the moment, but will look again at this when Ive finished the current cycle (about 17 or so weeks).
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  3. #3
    Registered User Chicago1287's Avatar
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    Kelei's helped me out a lot the past year...after emailing him back and forth asking for advice he asked me if I was willing to do this routine and I said I would. It's probably the best routine I've done. I would even say beginners can do this (I considered myself a beginner) but with lower target reps. I stuck with about 30 reps.

    I'm curious how this would work as a strength routine if the total target reps are lower, and if the first set is a 5RM or something like that.
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by Chicago1287 View Post
    I'm curious how this would work as a strength routine if the total target reps are lower, and if the first set is a 5RM or something like that.
    It's not designed to develop low rep strength but you could improve your low rep strength gains by using a heavier weight, using a 5RM and aiming for 25 total reps would work well, it wouldn't be very easy to do with the isolation exercises but you could try your best.

    I have other routines to develop low rep strength, this is a bodybuilding focused routine so it's not very well suited for such a purpose.
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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  5. #5
    Soaking in a Digital Bath ShaneSwan's Avatar
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    Whats the greatest volume you (or anyone else) has run this program at? What Im thinking is would starting the volume (total reps/excercise) less than 50, and then gradually increasing over time, extend the productivity of the program significantly (you 'ease' into the volume)? So, instead of sticking with your suggested 50reps for (say) 12 weeks, you might start with 30reps and gradually increase to 70 over a longer period (6mnths perhaps)?
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    Banned Kelei's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ShaneSwan View Post
    Whats the greatest volume you (or anyone else) has run this program at? What Im thinking is would starting the volume (total reps/excercise) less than 50, and then gradually increasing over time, extend the productivity of the program significantly (you 'ease' into the volume)? So, instead of sticking with your suggested 50reps for (say) 12 weeks, you might start with 30reps and gradually increase to 70 over a longer period (6mnths perhaps)?
    There's no reason why you couldn't start out lower and work your way up. I had Chicago use 30 reps because he was more of a beginner when he used the routine.

    I'm currently using this routine but I'm performing double the total number of reps for each exercise, I cut it in half before I posted it here because most people aren't going to be able to tolerate that kind of volume, I've slowly been adding volume year after year to my training so it's not a big deal for me.

    I think 50 reps is a good number which most people will make good progress with, I had an older guy use this routine and I cut the volume by 20% to 40 total reps per exercise (60 for standing calf raises, 80 for seated calf raises) and he made great progress.

    Perhaps you could start with 40 (60 and 80) for the first few weeks until you ease into it and then bump the reps up to 50 (75 and 100) and see how you go. I've even had some guys (including a 60 year old) perform the split only once per week (D1 on Mon, D2 on Wed, D3 on Fri).
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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  7. #7
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    How long does D1 and D3 take you at that volume (100reps)? Im guessing you end up doing something like 20+ 'sets' of triples getting your reps in?
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  8. #8
    Crazy Kraut ktj4l's Avatar
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    When do you up the weight? When you complete 5x10?
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    Originally Posted by ShaneSwan View Post
    How long does D1 and D3 take you at that volume (100reps)? Im guessing you end up doing something like 20+ 'sets' of triples getting your reps in?
    At 100 reps it takes me around 2 to 2.5 hours. This is why I cut the volume in half when I give the routine to other people. Not only are most people unwilling to spend 2+ hours in the gym, most people aren't going to be able to tolerate that kind of volume and see progress. You could probably get away with it if you only performed the split once per week (D1 on Mon, D2 on Wed, D3 on Fri) but it's very unlikely you could perform the split twice per week.
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 04:34 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by ktj4l View Post
    When do you up the weight? When you complete 5x10?
    You're not using proper sets so it's not that simple. Basically you start with a 10RM and perform your first set, then you rest 30 or so seconds and then pump out as many reps as you can, then wait another 30 seconds and pump out some more reps, you keep doing this until you hit your total rep target.

    I add more weight once I can perform 12 reps in my first set. With standing calf raises and seated calf raises I add more weight once I can perform 18 reps and 24 reps respectively, if you're paying attention closely you'll notice that in all 3 cases I'm adding more weight once I can perform 20% more reps than what is standard. I like to keep things neat and structured.

    Basically you use your first set as a measure of progress, as soon as you can complete 12 reps you need to add more weight next workout, all else remains the same.
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 04:39 AM.
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  11. #11
    Lemme tell ya sumthin.... palumboism's Avatar
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    Would it be OK to do front squats first, before the RDL's?
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    Crazy Kraut ktj4l's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    You're not using proper sets so it's not that simple. Basically you start with a 10RM and perform your first set, then you rest 30 or so seconds and then pump out as many reps as you can, then wait another 30 seconds and pump out some more reps, you keep doing this until you hit your total rep target.

    I add more weight once I can perform 12 reps in my first set. With standing calf raises and seated calf raises I add more weight once I can perform 18 reps and 24 reps respectively, if you're paying attention closely you'll notice that in all 3 cases I'm adding more weight once I can perform 20% more reps than what is standard. I like to keep things neat and structured.

    Basically you use your first set as a measure of progress, as soon as you can complete 12 reps you need to add more weight next workout, all else remains the same.
    And the 10RM you're using is a true max or should the first set also stop short of failure like the other sets?
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    I like the look of this. Its a popular technique for people who cant do pullups and I used it and got quick results. I dont know why I didnt think of using it for other exercises. Ive read some of your posts and it seems like you REALLY know your chit. I recently switched to a 3x5 style but I remember you saying that for bbing it doesnt benefit to do low reps and switch to higher reps later. Why is that? I figure someone who has a higher 1rm would end up with the same or higher say 8rm or 10rm than the person who trains in that range from the start.

    Anyway I'm not exactly an intermediate so I was thinking of just going Monday Wednesday Friday with this routine or turning it into an upper lower twice a week and doing 30 reps instead of 50. What do you think?

    Also how would you go about warm up sets for something like this?
    Last edited by Jooceman; 07-15-2012 at 09:08 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by palumboism View Post
    Would it be OK to do front squats first, before the RDL's?
    Yes it's fine, just make sure to reverse the order of leg curls and leg extensions also. Front squats, Romanian deadlifts, leg extensions, leg curls etc.
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ktj4l View Post
    And the 10RM you're using is a true max or should the first set also stop short of failure like the other sets?
    Try to start with a 10RM although starting with an 11RM is fine, leaving 1 rep in the tank is perfectly fine. Just remember that you need to add more weight once you can complete 12 reps (18 and 24 for calf raises) in your first set.
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    Originally Posted by Jooceman View Post
    I recently switched to a 3x5 style but I remember you saying that for bbing it doesnt benefit to do low reps and switch to higher reps later. Why is that? I figure someone who has a higher 1rm would end up with the same or higher say 8rm or 10rm than the person who trains in that range from the start.
    Your body adapts very specifically to the training you perform, you can get very strong in the low rep ranges if you only train with low reps but your high rep strength won't be very impressive because you lack strength endurance. On the other hand you could get very strong in the moderate/high rep ranges if you only train with moderate/high reps but your low rep strength won't be very impressive.

    I'm sure you've seen those tables that compare different percentages of your 1RM and tell you how many reps you should be able to perform, well it's not that simple because how you've been training alters your scores, for example take a powerlifter with a 1000 pound 1RM squat, going by the charts he should be able to perform 10 reps with 75% (750 pounds), it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that there's no way in the world he's going to be able to do this. Because he's so strong in the low rep range he could probably perform 10 reps with 600 pounds at most (60% instead of 75%).

    In regards to someone who trains with high reps like me the opposite occurs, you can lift a higher percentage of your max for 10 reps, I can lift 85% of my 1RM for 10 reps and 75% of my 1RM for 20 reps (I should only be able to get 10). This is because I'm very strong in the higher rep ranges but weaker in the lower rep ranges.

    So as you can see there are different kinds of strength, there's 1RM strength, 10RM strength and 20RM strenth etc. The guy with the highest 1RM isn't necessarily going to also have the highest 10RM and 20RM, the opposite is also true, my 20RM is higher than all of the powerlifters who train at my gym even though they all (well a least the advanced guys) have a higher 1RM than me. For example a weight I can squat 20 times they can only manage about 10 with, the closest any of them have come to matching me is 13 reps, however they blow me out of the water when it comes to 1RM strength. I'm much larger than these powerifters so I think it's rather obvious that you should be training to get strong in the moderate/high rep ranges if hypertrophy is your goal.

    Originally Posted by Jooceman View Post
    Anyway I'm not exactly an intermediate so I was thinking of just going Monday Wednesday Friday with this routine or turning it into an upper lower twice a week and doing 30 reps instead of 50. What do you think?

    Also how would you go about warm up sets for something like this?
    Performing the split once per week on Mon, Wed and Fri works well too, the only problem is that you'll be training with half the amount of weekly volume (which will still work, it just won't produce results as quickly), that is unless of course you're feeling like a madman and want to try doubling the total number of reps (or at least increasing them as far as you can if you can't double them).

    To perform the split twice per week with only 4 days of training (upper/lower) you could set it up like this,

    D1 - D1 + D2
    D2 - D3
    D3 - Rest
    D4 - D1 + D2
    D5 - D3
    D6 - Rest
    D7 - Rest

    You can keep D3 volume at 50 reps but you could reduce D1 and D2 volume to 40 total reps or even 30 total reps if 40 is still too much.
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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    Kelei, your posts are gold.

    I've been waiting for a thread like this from you.

    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    Your body adapts very specifically to the training you perform, you can get very strong in the low rep ranges if you only train with low reps but your high rep strength won't be very impressive because you lack strength endurance. On the other hand you could get very strong in the moderate/high rep ranges if you only train with moderate/high reps but your low rep strength won't be very impressive.
    Not that I have doubts about your routine (it looks great), but why do you choose to keep RM% constant (i.e., use 10RM for every set) instead of # of reps (e.g., decreasing weight each set in order to hit 10 reps), given the above quote?
    Last edited by CaptainGorgeous; 07-15-2012 at 03:24 PM.
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    Originally Posted by CaptainGorgeous View Post
    Kelei, your posts are gold.

    I've been waiting for a thread like this from you.


    Not that I have doubts about your routine (it looks great), but why do you choose to keep RM% constant (i.e., use 10RM for every set) instead of # of reps (e.g., decreasing weight each set in order to hit 10 reps), given the above quote?
    It's funny you mention that because plenty of people have been pestering me to post an example routine for years now lol. Up until now I've simply been helping guys on a one on one basis via PM, I figured it was about time I created a thread because this way it's easier to help more people at once.

    You're going to give the routine a go?
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    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    It's funny you mention that because plenty of people have been pestering me to post an example routine for years now lol. Up until now I've simply been helping guys on a one on one basis via PM, I figured it was about time I created a thread because this way it's easier to help more people at once.

    You're going to give the routine a go?
    Yeah, you've helped me via PM before.

    I'm recovering from a tricep injury right now. When it heals, I plan to run the routine but I'll be starting with lower volume.
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    Originally Posted by CaptainGorgeous View Post
    Kelei, your posts are gold.

    I've been waiting for a thread like this from you.


    Not that I have doubts about your routine (it looks great), but why do you choose to keep RM% constant (i.e., use 10RM for every set) instead of # of reps (e.g., decreasing weight each set in order to hit 10 reps), given the above quote?
    Because using a variety of rep ranges (lifting different RM numbers more specifically) isn't requried, your body simply adapts to the average of all your training anyways. Also if you decrease the amount of weight you use after each set you're reducing the effectiveness of the routine, instead of performing 50 total reps with 200 pounds you'd be performing 10 reps with 200, 10 with 180, 10 with 160 etc, so at the end of 50 reps you've lifted a lower amount of average weight, your total tonnage is reduced which will reduce the effectiveness of the routine.

    This can get a little confusing if you haven't sat down and thought about this kind of stuff for thousands of hours like I have, all I ask is that you trust the conclusions I've come to after all this thinking. It wouldn't be practical for me to go over 10 years worth of thoughts here although feel free to ask anything that's on your mind anyways, I'll at least provide a basic answer.
    Last edited by Kelei; 07-15-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    Your body adapts very specifically to the training you perform, you can get very strong in the low rep ranges if you only train with low reps but your high rep strength won't be very impressive because you lack strength endurance. On the other hand you could get very strong in the moderate/high rep ranges if you only train with moderate/high reps but your low rep strength won't be very impressive.

    I'm sure you've seen those tables that compare different percentages of your 1RM and tell you how many reps you should be able to perform, well it's not that simple because how you've been training alters your scores, for example take a powerlifter with a 1000 pound 1RM squat, going by the charts he should be able to perform 10 reps with 75% (750 pounds), it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that there's no way in the world he's going to be able to do this. Because he's so strong in the low rep range he could probably perform 10 reps with 600 pounds at most (60% instead of 75%).

    In regards to someone who trains with high reps like me the opposite occurs, you can lift a higher percentage of your max for 10 reps, I can lift 85% of my 1RM for 10 reps and 75% of my 1RM for 20 reps (I should only be able to get 10). This is because I'm very strong in the higher rep ranges but weaker in the lower rep ranges.

    So as you can see there are different kinds of strength, there's 1RM strength, 10RM strength and 20RM strenth etc. The guy with the highest 1RM isn't necessarily going to also have the highest 10RM and 20RM, the opposite is also true, my 20RM is higher than all of the powerlifters who train at my gym even though they all (well a least the advanced guys) have a higher 1RM than me. For example a weight I can squat 20 times they can only manage about 10 with, the closest any of them have come to matching me is 13 reps, however they blow me out of the water when it comes to 1RM strength. I'm much larger than these powerifters so I think it's rather obvious that you should be training to get strong in the moderate/high rep ranges if hypertrophy is your goal.

    Performing the split once per week on Mon, Wed and Fri works well too, the only problem is that you'll be training with half the amount of weekly volume (which will still work, it just won't produce results as quickly), that is unless of course you're feeling like a madman and want to try doubling the total number of reps (or at least increasing them as far as you can if you can't double them).

    To perform the split twice per week with only 4 days of training (upper/lower) you could set it up like this,

    D1 - D1 + D2
    D2 - D3
    D3 - Rest
    D4 - D1 + D2
    D5 - D3
    D6 - Rest
    D7 - Rest

    You can keep D3 volume at 50 reps but you could reduce D1 and D2 volume to 40 total reps or even 30 total reps if 40 is still too much.
    I like the 4 day setup. But If I keep ALL the exercises from D1 and D2 and try to put them on the same day I would probably end up in the gym for hours. What if I removed the pullups and just did chinups and then took out either the rope pressdowns or tricep extensions?
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    Originally Posted by Jooceman View Post
    I like the 4 day setup. But If I keep ALL the exercises from D1 and D2 and try to put them on the same day I would probably end up in the gym for hours. What if I removed the pullups and just did chinups and then took out either the rope pressdowns or tricep extensions?
    You'll be fine, just cut the reps on D1 + D2 to 30 instead of 50, it'll only take you around 20% longer to complete the workout (when compared to performing either day alone with the full 50 reps). Keep all the exercises in there, one of the primary reasons why the routine works so well is the variety/combination of exercises, if you start altering or dropping the exercises it's going to reduce the effectiveness of the routine.

    This isn't a minimalist type of routine, you're going to have to be able to put in the required time and hard work to reap the benefits. I can't water the routine down any further without turning it into an entirely different routine.
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    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    You'll be fine, just cut the reps on D1 + D2 to 30 instead of 50, it'll only take you around 20% longer to complete the workout (when compared to performing either day alone with the full 50 reps). Keep all the exercises in there, one of the primary reasons why the routine works so well is the variety/combination of exercises, if you start altering or dropping the exercises it's going to reduce the effectiveness of the routine.

    This isn't a minimalist type of routine, you're going to have to be able to put in the required time and hard work to reap the benefits. I can't water the routine down any further without turning it into an entirely different routine.
    Gonna get on this tommorow. Thanks!
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    one thing i've been wondering, why aren't there any back squats?
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    Originally Posted by ThatOneLurker View Post
    one thing i've been wondering, why aren't there any back squats?
    Because they're overrated for bodybuilding purposes. Back squats may allow you to lift more weight (as will standard deadlifts) but bodybuilding isn't about lifting as much weight as possible.

    It's my opinion that a combination of front squats and Romanian deadlifts is more effective for bodybuilding purposes, they train the target muscles more directly (i.e less quad involvement during Romanian deadlifts compared to standard deadlifts and less hamstring involvement during front squats when compared to back squats) while reducing your chance of injury (primarily because you need less weight to get the job done).

    There's also a greater difference (in terms of mechanics) between front squats and Romanian deadlifts than there is between back squats and standard deadlifts. The net effect is a greater degree of variety that you expose your muscles to.
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    Originally Posted by Jooceman View Post
    Gonna get on this tommorow. Thanks!
    Sounds great, keep us updated with how you're feeling and progressing. If you experience any isses or have any questions you can ask them here too.
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    Originally Posted by Kelei View Post
    Sounds great, keep us updated with how you're feeling and progressing. If you experience any isses or have any questions you can ask them here too.
    for sure. ive got a log in the workout journals section that i will post in. problem is i tend to not stick to any program for long so hopefully i can do it with this one. only issue now is learning front squats. i dont know if my arms are flexible enough at this time.
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    Wow I didn't see this! It's exactly what I needed !! Thank you very much.
    Question, on one of those Leg days, Can I also swim? or hang out at the Jaccuzi lmao (Sorry new gym, I really want to spend some time in the water)
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    Originally Posted by elJohn View Post
    Wow I didn't see this! It's exactly what I needed !! Thank you very much.
    Question, on one of those Leg days, Can I also swim? or hang out at the Jaccuzi lmao (Sorry new gym, I really want to spend some time in the water)
    There's no problem with that, cardio and general aerobic activity is fine as long as you're not training for a marathon or anything like that.
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    Wow someone posted a good routine??? Fawk
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