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  1. #1
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    The Viking's The Bare Bones Series

    The big guy is back with another series of novice/early-intermediate routines - The Bare Bones programs - these are actually the first routines I made, just after I got my PT certification years ago. So I pulled them out of the graveyard, dusted them off and made a few tweaks and improvements to them, based on my current knowledge and experience. There are three versions, a 3 day Fullbody workout, 4 day upper/lower split and 5 day Upper/Lower/Pull//Push/Legs split. Every version can be run by a beginner, while the fullbody routine might get a bit tough to handle as you move into intermediate territory. Figure out how many training days will keep you motivated to going to the gym and pick the routine that fits with your desire.

    The Rep Goal Progression

    These programs are based on a very simplistic progression system. You have a set rep goal you need to reach within the allowed number of sets, before you can add weight to the lift. So if we take squats for instance, where we have 4 sets with a rep goal of 32. Set 1 you may get 10 reps, Set 2: 9 reps, Set 3: 7 reps and Set 4: 6 reps... and then add some weight the next time you're squatting. 5, 10 or even 20 pounds, depending on the lift and what you're comfortable with. If you're failling to reach the rep goal, you simply stay with the same weight until you hit it. This kind of progression makes it far more self regulated than the average novice routine, which means you can stick with it for longer.

    The Fullbody Routine

    You run it with the standard rest day between the training days, taking two days off after each round.

    Day 1
    Back Squat - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Bench Press - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Barbell Row - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Seated Leg Curls - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Seated DB Press/Military Press - 2 sets - 20 reps
    Wide-grip Pulldowns - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Abs/Calves Superset - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    Day 2
    Deadlift - 2 sets - 12 reps
    or
    Romanian DL - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Leg Press - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Incline DB Press - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Close-grip T-bar or Cable Rows - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Lateral Raises/Barbell Shrugs - 3 supersets - 30 reps each
    Straight-arm Pulldowns/Facepulls - 3 supersets - 40 reps each
    Barbell Curl/Skullcrushers - 3 supersets - 30 reps each

    Day 3
    Back Squat - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Bench Press - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Barbell Row - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Lying Leg Curls - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Seated DB Press or Military Press - 2 sets - 20 reps
    Close-grip Pulldowns - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Abs/Calves Superset - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    The Upper/Lower Split

    Upper 1/Lower 1/Off/Upper 2/Lower 2/Off/Off and repeat...

    Upper Day 1
    Bench Press - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Barbell Row - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Military Press - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Wide-grip Pulldowns or Pullups - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Incline DB Press - 3 sets - 30 reps
    One-arm Cable or DB Rows - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Straight-arm Pulldowns/Facepulls - 3 supersets - 30 reps each

    Lower Day 1
    Back Squat - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Deadlift - 2 sets - 12 reps
    or
    Romanian DL - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Hack Squat - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Lying Leg Curls - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Single-leg Leg Press - 3 sets - 35 reps
    Abs/Calves Superset - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    Upper Day 2
    Bench Press - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Barbell Row - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Military Press - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Wide-grip Pulldowns or Pullups - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Lateral Raises/Barbell Shrugs - 3 supersets - 30 reps each
    Barbell Curl/Skullcrushers - 3 supersets - 30 reps each
    Overhead Cable Extensions/Cable Hammer Curls - 3 supersets - 35 reps each

    Lower Day 2
    Back Squat - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Romanian DL - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Leg Press - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Leg Extensions/Leg Curls - 3 supersets - 35 reps each
    Abs/Calves Superset - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    The Upper/Lower/Pull/Push/Legs Split

    Upper/Lower/Off/Pull/Push/Legs/Off and repeat

    Upper Day
    Bench Press - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Barbell Row - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Military Press - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Wide-grip Pulldowns or Pullups - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Barbell Curl/Skullcrushers - 3 supersets - 30 reps each
    Straight-arm Pulldowns/Facepulls - 3 supersets - 40 reps each

    Lower Day
    Back Squat - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Deadlift - 2 sets - 12 reps
    or
    Romanian DL - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Hack Squat - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Lying Leg Curls - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Single-leg Leg Press - 3 sets - 35 reps
    Abs/Calves Superset - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    Pull Day
    Barbell Row - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Wide-grip Pulldowns or Pullups - 3 sets - 30 reps
    T-bar, Cable or DB Rows - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Close-grip Puldowns - 3 sets - 35 reps
    Straight-arm Pulldowns/Facepulls - 3 supersets - 40 reps each
    Barbell Curls - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Hammer Curls, Cable or DB - 3 sets - 35 reps

    Push Day
    Bench Press - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Military Press - 3 sets - 25 reps
    Incline DB Press - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Cable Crossovers - 3 sets - 40 reps
    Lateral Raises - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Skullcrushers - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Overhead Cable Extensions - 3 sets - 35 reps

    Leg Day
    Back Squat - 4 sets - 32 reps
    Romanian DL - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Leg Press - 3 sets - 30 reps
    Leg Extensions/Leg Curls - 3 supersets - 35 reps each
    Abs/Calves Superset - 3 sets each - 40 reps each


    Hope you'll enjoy these programs and I'm all ears for your response.
    Last edited by TheViking1992; 10-05-2016 at 12:19 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Looks fun, will have to change my signature.
    Out of curiosity would you rate this version of 3 day full body over your Gladiator routine?
    Beginner Programs
    Viking's Routines - http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172565211
    Fierce 5 - http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=162916931
    Allpro - http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=169172473
    Beginner Powerbuilding - http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=169993933

    Nutrition 101
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136691851
    My Noob Progress log
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172545411
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  3. #3
    Registered User calvilloIsGod's Avatar
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    Question;

    Barbell Curl/Skullcrushers - 3 sets each - 30 reps each

    Does that mean both have to be included in the workout, or it's optional/to the discretion of the one who uses the program?
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  4. #4
    Registered User StillbornSoul's Avatar
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    Question I: Is there room in your Upper/Lower split to squeeze in a couple sets of chest dips without messing up the balance or sacrificing incline press? Like maybe taking incline down to 2 total sets and adding in 2 sets of chest dips?

    Question II: I've seen you post a very similar Upper/Lower before that is almost identical with the exception that it contains a 2 week rep periodization scheme (5-6-7-8/AMRAP) and utilizes dropsets. Since you called this one bare bones, do you recommend transitioning into the more complicated version once stalling begins to occur or do you no longer support that version?
    Last edited by StillbornSoul; 10-04-2016 at 09:24 AM.
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  5. #5
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Looks fun, will have to change my signature.
    Out of curiosity would you rate this version of 3 day full body over your Gladiator routine?
    The gladiator routine is more idiot proof, due to the more set progression scheme. But I've always favored self regulation, so I think this version is better, if you have enough self disciplin.

    Originally Posted by calvilloIsGod View Post
    Question;

    Barbell Curl/Skullcrushers - 3 sets each - 30 reps each

    Does that mean both have to be included in the workout, or it's optional/to the discretion of the one who uses the program?
    You do both as supersets...
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  6. #6
    WOATbrah of peace :) sooby's Avatar
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    I like the progression/rep scheme and the 2x squat/bench frequency for the U/L.

    say if you don't hit 32 reps (you only get 28) in 4 sets. Would you still do another set till you hit 32 or just stop at four sets?
    Starting Strength Log (old):http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=166480411
    Fierce 5 U/L (current): http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=168542023&page=5

    Current Lifts (@ 175 lbs)

    Incline 185 x 6 (on hiatus, for now)
    Bench: 205 x 9//225 x 5
    Squat: 325 x 6//345 x 3
    Deadlift: 355 x 5//390 x 2
    Military Press: 135 x 5

    herniated disc no squats or deadlifts :(
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  7. #7
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sooby View Post
    I like the progression/rep scheme and the 2x squat/bench frequency for the U/L.

    say if you don't hit 32 reps (you only get 28) in 4 sets. Would you still do another set till you hit 32 or just stop at four sets?
    You stop at 4 sets and use the same weight the next time you're squatting.
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  8. #8
    Low reps / high sets! MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Very similar to "steve Shaw: The rep goal system" protocols.

    I approve of this setup! Just hard work, pushing your sets till the last good rep, and no whinging progression is too fast or slow, Cos progress speed comes from the effort you put in.

    Top **** V. /Stillonspread
    I'll sub your log, and lurk it...but I'm crap at keeping up and posting! :-P

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  9. #9
    Registered User CW47's Avatar
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    Question #1: When you provide an option to do one of two exercises, is it best to pick only one and use it every time, or is it okay to alternate between the two?

    Question #2: On supersets, I assume each part of the superset progresses separately? So, in this example (Leg Extensions/Leg Curls - 3 supersets - 35 reps each) if I hit 35 reps on Extensions and 30 on Curls, I should increase the weight on the Extensions and keep the weight the same on the Curls?
    The Flywheel Effect - a GST Log http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172103043
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  10. #10
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Very similar to "steve Shaw: The rep goal system" protocols.

    I approve of this setup! Just hard work, pushing your sets till the last good rep, and no whinging progression is too fast or slow, Cos progress speed comes from the effort you put in.

    Top **** V. /Stillonspread
    Yeah, I know Steve Shaw uses simillar ideas, but I learned it from my two old uncles... my mentors in weightlifting. They also loved to say "everything else in weightlifting is bullshít without consistency and effort". I achieved a 315 squat and 225 bench in 14 weeks with this system.

    Originally Posted by CW47 View Post
    Question #1: When you provide an option to do one of two exercises, is it best to pick only one and use it every time, or is it okay to alternate between the two?

    Question #2: On supersets, I assume each part of the superset progresses separately? So, in this example (Leg Extensions/Leg Curls - 3 supersets - 35 reps each) if I hit 35 reps on Extensions and 30 on Curls, I should increase the weight on the Extensions and keep the weight the same on the Curls?
    1. I'd stick with the same for atleast a month

    2. Only progress in weight when you hit your rep goal. Doesn's matter if the exercise is supersetted or not... only add weight to the exercise, where you hit your rep goal.
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  11. #11
    Low reps / high sets! MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheViking1992 View Post
    Yeah, I know Steve Shaw uses simillar ideas, but I learned it from my two old uncles... my mentors in weightlifting. They also loved to say "everything else in weightlifting is bullshít without consistency and effort". I achieved a 315 squat and 225 bench in 14 weeks with this system.l.
    Seems you got a hell of an education to start out! Its some brutal old school lifting! Explains a lot :-D

    Didn't mean to imply anything but a coincidental similarly, if it sounded otherwise.
    I'll sub your log, and lurk it...but I'm crap at keeping up and posting! :-P

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  12. #12
    Registered User Stern84's Avatar
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    Really like the look of these programs. Interesting rep / set scheme, not something you see to often. Quick question though...

    How do you actually go about splitting those reps across the sets. Take squats for example (4 sets, 32 reps). Would you aim to get 25% of your target reps in the first set, 50% of your target reps etc? Or would you do as many reps as possible in set 1 (essentially going to failure) and then use the remaining sets to try and reach your total.
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  13. #13
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stern84 View Post
    Really like the look of these programs. Interesting rep / set scheme, not something you see to often. Quick question though...

    How do you actually go about splitting those reps across the sets. Take squats for example (4 sets, 32 reps). Would you aim to get 25% of your target reps in the first set, 50% of your target reps etc? Or would you do as many reps as possible in set 1 (essentially going to failure) and then use the remaining sets to try and reach your total.
    You do as many clean reps as possible on all the sets, and if you achieve your rep goal, you add weight the next time. Or you might as well use a normal 4x8 rep scheme.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Stern84's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheViking1992 View Post
    You do as many clean reps as possible on all the sets, and if you achieve your rep goal, you add weight the next time. Or you might as well use a normal 4x8 rep scheme.
    Hi mate, thanks for the quick response. Maybe i'm misunderstanding but surely there must be some sort of guideline on distributing the reps across the sets? Otherwise, what would stop someone picking a light weight for their squats (32 rep target) and doing...

    Set 1: 16 reps
    Set 2: 6 reps
    Set 3: 6 reps
    Set 4: 4 reps

    You'd still be hitting your total rep target but would barely break a sweat, compared to doing 4 sets of 8.
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  15. #15
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Stern84 View Post
    Hi mate, thanks for the quick response. Maybe i'm misunderstanding but surely there must be some sort of guideline on distributing the reps across the sets? Otherwise, what would stop someone picking a light weight for their squats (32 rep target) and doing...

    Set 1: 16 reps
    Set 2: 6 reps
    Set 3: 6 reps
    Set 4: 4 reps

    You'd still be hitting your total rep target but would barely break a sweat, compared to doing 4 sets of 8.
    I think you're overblowing the potential issue, and using an example that would never happend. If you were to pick a light weight, where you could do 16 reps on the first set, your performance wouldn't drop 60% on the following sets. It would probably look something like Set 1: 16 reps, Set 2: 14 reps, Set 3: 11 reps and Set 4: 9 reps... for total of 50 reps, which means you should add a lot of weight for the next workout. It'll even itself out automatically as you get a few workouts into the program.

    And if you think a set of 16 reps won't make you sweat, you're dead wrong.
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    Registered User nerynery's Avatar
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    Nice routine, TheViking, as always! What about a routine for high-intermediates? (both 3,4 and 5 days / week). That would be great!
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  17. #17
    Registered User Kauzza's Avatar
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    How much rest in between sets would you recommend
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  18. #18
    Registered User TheViking1992's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kauzza View Post
    How much rest in between sets would you recommend
    2-4 minutes for compound exercises, 1-2 minutes isolation exercises.
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    Very nice routine. Going to start the Upper/Lower PPL split next week. I'd have a few questions if I may.

    Question 1:
    Do you think it would be unwise to run it as U/L/P/P/L/off/off ? My schedule doesn't really allow me that one rest day in between.

    Question 2:
    What would be the minimum amount of reps to do in a single set?

    Question 3:
    What do you think would be the most appropriate substitution for skullcrushers and crossovers?

    Question 4:
    How long do you estimate each of those workouts last in minutes?

    Thanks and I am very eager to hear your answers.
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    Originally Posted by TheViking1992 View Post
    I think you're overblowing the potential issue, and using an example that would never happend. If you were to pick a light weight, where you could do 16 reps on the first set, your performance wouldn't drop 60% on the following sets. It would probably look something like Set 1: 16 reps, Set 2: 14 reps, Set 3: 11 reps and Set 4: 9 reps... for total of 50 reps, which means you should add a lot of weight for the next workout. It'll even itself out automatically as you get a few workouts into the program.

    And if you think a set of 16 reps won't make you sweat, you're dead wrong.
    Hi viking. Thanks for the response.

    I agree that if you hit 16 reps in set 1 you'd physically be able to hit 14 reps in set 2. This wouldn't be the case with this particular setup though because people have a set number of reps to hit so if they worked hard and hit 16 reps in set 1, they've got 3 more sets to fit the remaining 16 reps into. Those last 3 sets of 5 or 6 reps would be wasted as they'd only be doing maybe 30/40% of what they're capable of.

    Yes it may be an extreme example but i could see this sort of thing happening, to some extent, for people who are new and don't fully understand their capabilities yet.

    Currently i'm doing Lyle McDonald's GBR (similar to your very good upper lower split). Squats on that are 4 sets of 8, with each set going to one rep short of failure. That equals 4 intense sets of squats, with a total of 32 reps. Simple, straightforward and effective.

    Don't get me wrong, i really like these programmes but whenever i've seen clustering used like this, it's still been based around a rough guide of, lets say 4 sets of 8. If you can hit 10 reps in set 1 then great. If you only hit 7 in set 2 then you can try and push out 9 reps in set 3 to make up for it etc... The overall goal is the same (eg shooting for a total rep count rather than a set count) but it still has some structure, abeit a flexible one!
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    Originally Posted by TheViking1992 View Post
    The gladiator routine is more idiot proof, due to the more set progression scheme. But I've always favored self regulation, so I think this version is better, if you have enough self disciplin.
    Originally Posted by Stern84 View Post
    Hi viking. Thanks for the response.

    I agree that if you hit 16 reps in set 1 you'd physically be able to hit 14 reps in set 2. This wouldn't be the case with this particular setup though because people have a set number of reps to hit so if they worked hard and hit 16 reps in set 1, they've got 3 more sets to fit the remaining 16 reps into. Those last 3 sets of 5 or 6 reps would be wasted as they'd only be doing maybe 30/40% of what they're capable of.

    Yes it may be an extreme example but i could see this sort of thing happening, to some extent, for people who are new and don't fully understand their capabilities yet.

    Currently i'm doing Lyle McDonald's GBR (similar to your very good upper lower split). Squats on that are 4 sets of 8, with each set going to one rep short of failure. That equals 4 intense sets of squats, with a total of 32 reps. Simple, straightforward and effective.

    Don't get me wrong, i really like these programmes but whenever i've seen clustering used like this, it's still been based around a rough guide of, lets say 4 sets of 8. If you can hit 10 reps in set 1 then great. If you only hit 7 in set 2 then you can try and push out 9 reps in set 3 to make up for it etc... The overall goal is the same (eg shooting for a total rep count rather than a set count) but it still has some structure, abeit a flexible one!
    ^^^
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    For the Upper/Lower version, is there any reason why I couldn't switch the following sets from Upper I and Upper II:

    Straight-arm Pulldowns/Facepulls - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    And

    Overhead Cable Extensions/Cable Hammer Curls - 3 sets each - 35 reps each


    That way Biceps and Triceps gets hit directly twice a week. Or did you have a specific reason for lumping all arm isolation work together on the same day?
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    Originally Posted by StillbornSoul View Post
    For the Upper/Lower version, is there any reason why I couldn't switch the following sets from Upper I and Upper II:

    Straight-arm Pulldowns/Facepulls - 3 sets each - 40 reps each

    And

    Overhead Cable Extensions/Cable Hammer Curls - 3 sets each - 35 reps each


    That way Biceps and Triceps gets hit directly twice a week. Or did you have a specific reason for lumping all arm isolation work together on the same day?
    I would rather say i had a specific reason to keep the the straight-arm pulldown/facepulls superset away from the lateral raises/shrugs superset, while not overdoing the workload of upper workout 1.
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    Got it. Thanks.
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    Registered User TexDad's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, why do a upper/lower/p/p/l routine vs just a p/p/l? I've only been lifting consistently for the past 3 years, still learning.

    Thanks
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    Originally Posted by TexDad View Post
    Out of curiosity, why do a upper/lower/p/p/l routine vs just a p/p/l? I've only been lifting consistently for the past 3 years, still learning.

    Thanks
    I rarely use PPL routines... never followed one personally and I never use them with beginners. The few times I put clients on a PPL routine, they were always highly experienced.
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    For anyone who likes to use spreadsheets, I'm attaching a spreadsheet for all of these workouts that I made for my own use. I figured since I've already set it up, I may as well share them.

    In the spreadsheet, you'll find a series of tabs.
    Some of them are Log Sheets, which I print out, bring to the gym with me, and fill out as I go. Each Log Sheet has enough workouts to fill two pages (I usually print my pages double-sided, so that's why they're set up like this).
    The others tabs are for statistics. They allow you to track your progress on each lift over time. Personally, I update my statistics tabs after each workout.
    Here's the full list of tabs:
    - Full Body Log Sheet
    - Upper/Lower Log Sheet
    - Upper/Lower/Pull/Push/Legs Log Sheet
    - Full Body Stats
    - Upper Stats
    - Lower Stats
    - Pull Stats
    - Push Stats
    - Legs Stats

    Anyway, I hope someone else will find this useful. Feel free to modify it to fit your needs.
    The Vikings Bare Bones Spreadsheet.xlsx
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    Originally Posted by CW47 View Post
    For anyone who likes to use spreadsheets, I'm attaching a spreadsheet for all of these workouts that I made for my own use. I figured since I've already set it up, I may as well share them.

    In the spreadsheet, you'll find a series of tabs.
    Some of them are Log Sheets, which I print out, bring to the gym with me, and fill out as I go. Each Log Sheet has enough workouts to fill two pages (I usually print my pages double-sided, so that's why they're set up like this).
    The others tabs are for statistics. They allow you to track your progress on each lift over time. Personally, I update my statistics tabs after each workout.
    Here's the full list of tabs:
    - Full Body Log Sheet
    - Upper/Lower Log Sheet
    - Upper/Lower/Pull/Push/Legs Log Sheet
    - Full Body Stats
    - Upper Stats
    - Lower Stats
    - Pull Stats
    - Push Stats
    - Legs Stats

    Anyway, I hope someone else will find this useful. Feel free to modify it to fit your needs.
    Attachment 8458421
    Not bad... not bad at all...
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    Registered User CW47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheViking1992 View Post
    Not bad... not bad at all...
    It's simple, and pretty easy to customize, which is what I was going for. A person could take it a step further and build formula's into the statistics page that would automatically increase the weight X amount when the rep goal is reached. I personally like adjusting weights myself though, since I feel like I have a better idea of how much weight I can handle than the formula would.
    If anyone needs help with a modification of the spreadsheet that will better fit their personal wants/needs, let me know and I'll help (or do it for you) if I can.

    On another note, I'm looking forward to starting up with the Upper/Lower routine sometime this week. Going against the popular opinion, I started out my lifting career on a body part split about 4 months ago. I've had really good results when I've been able to lift consistently (4x/week). Due to some scheduling changes at work, and just life happening, I've only been able to lift 2-3x/week for about the last 6 weeks, and my progress has stalled as a result. It's been frustrating sometimes working out a body part once every 2 weeks.

    I think the Upper/Lower should be a good fit as long as I can continue to workout 3x/week. I've been using a rep progression system since the beginning on supplemental lifts, and I've seen really good progress (better progress than I have on my core lifts, where I've used a different progression system). I'm excited to see how the rep-based progression system and the increased frequency on core lifts works out for me.
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    Looks fun! One problem tho.. planning on a small cut come December, should I just decrease the volume for when I am in a deficit?
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