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My lifting plan

My lifting plan

(In case you were wondering, the guy in the photo isn't me ;) )

My bud, John, gave me this plan. It's the same one he was using at the time. I used it for a couple of months and really liked it. So, as I'm getting back into lifting I've simply gone back to it.

When it comes to lifting, there are a lot of opinions out there about exactly what you should do and when. It all depends on your goals, but what I've found to be more important than anything else is simply having a plan. Here's a few reasons why:

• You're more efficient. You know exactly what you're going to do and when to leave.

• You ensure you're working all major muscle groups and not just those you enjoy exercising.

• You can more easily measure progress. Sticking to a routine means you can see your gains easily.

A few notes about the plan I'm using:

• For now I'm simply aiming for 3 sets x 8 reps for everything (weight obviously varies between sets)

• There are 6 exercises in each workout so I'll do super sets, meaning 2 exercises at a time, alternating sets (eg for Workout 1 I'll do bench press and squats together: one set of bench, then squats, then bench, and so on until i've done 3 sets of each).

• I'll be working out 3 times a week so my exact workout won't be the same from week to week.

The Plan

Workout 1

Flat bench press (dumbbells)

Squats (free weights on a rack)

Incline bench (dumbbells)

Lunges (dumbbells)

Arnie press (dumbbells)

Calf raises (machine)

Workout 2

Bent over row (barbell wide grip)

Dead lift (barbell)

Chin ups (palms out, wide grip)

Hanging leg raises

Bicep curls (barbell)

Shrugs (barbell)

Workout 3

Flat bench press (barbell)

Squats (free weights on a rack)

Decline bench press (dumbbells or barbell)

Leg press (machine)

Dips (free hanging)

Shoulder press (barbell)

Workout 4

Bent over rows (barbell narrow grip)

Dead lift (barbell)

Pulldown (narrow grip palms in)


Bicep curls (dumbells)

Shrugs (barbell)

What do you think? Do you have a plan? If so write a post about it and stick a link in the comments below!

2 Replies

What is the thought behind 3 sets x 8 reps to start with?


That's a great question. Pretty much everyone has a different opinion on how many sets / reps you should do, usually associated with your goal (size, strength, etc.). I think the idea is to 1. keep it simple 2. easily track gains. For instance, I might start benching with some dumbbells and relatively confidently hit my 8 reps on the first set, up the weight and get there with more difficulty on the second set, up the weight again and only end up eeking out 7 reps on the third set. I write it all down and can see that, say, next time I hit all 8 on the third set. I don't think the exact number is THAT important, but being consistent with your approach and writing it down as you go is what really matters.