If looking like The Hulk, Wolverine, or Batman is your primary goal, then a training program with a bodybuilding focus is what you need.

If you have been struggling to grow, this program may help by giving some balance to your routine. Don’t make the mistake of training your chest, arms, and abs each day, neglecting the majority of the musculature in your body. To have a thick chest, you need to have a well developed back. To have big legs, you need to train your hamstrings. To have shredded abs, you need to have enough muscle mass to make getting lean worth it.

In this article, I introduce the sample Novice Bodybuilding Program from our book, though with abbreviated instructions so as not to overwhelm. I’ll show you how to choose exercises and adjust things for the areas where you are more advanced.

My advice is to resist the urge to skip straight to the Intermediate Bodybuilding Program just because you have been training for a while. Read through to consider whether this is more appropriate first. The less training experience you have, the faster gains you will make. You don’t need nearly as much work to make gains when you are a novice so enjoy this while it lasts.

Lastly, despite the name, this training program isn’t for those who are new to lifting (or new lifting properly). Rank beginners will probably find their time best spent learning the big compound lifts first, which is the purpose of this Big 3 Routine. When you’re competent with the bench press, squat and deadlift, come back to this.


The Novice Bodybuilding Sample Program Overview

The Novice Bodybuilding Program, unlike the Novice Powerlifting Program, is a four-day program. It has more exercises to ensure all muscle groups are adequately trained and has a higher total volume.

We have two ‘strength’ days and two ‘volume’ days. Strength development complements the accumulation of training volume and aids hypertrophy (muscle growth) by allowing heavier loads to be used over time.

Because skill development is not as important to a bodybuilder as it is to a powerlifter, and because greater volumes are performed on each day, a lower/upper split is used to balance out fatigue and recovery across the week.

Exercise preferences, limitations, and equipment availability differs from person to person. I’ve written more details on how to choose below.

Spread your workouts out across the week and try to have no more than two sessions back to back. This is better for recovery. Examples: Train-train-rest-train-train-rest-rest, or, Train-train-rest-train-rest-train-rest.

Rest ~2–3 minutes between sets.

Have a look at the program below and then I’ll explain the meaning of the ‘%1RM’ and ‘1st Set RPE’ notation and how to use it.

The Novice Bodybuilding Sample Program

Day 1 – Lower Body (Strength)
ExerciseSets x Reps%1RM1st Set RPE
Squat Variant

variations»Barbell Back Squats (either low or high bar position), Front Squats, or Safety-bar Barbell Squatsclose

3 x 582.5%NA
Deadlift Variant

variations»Conventional Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift, Good Morningsclose

3 x 582.5%NA
Single Leg Variant

variations»Bulgarian Split Squats, Lunges, or Single-leg Squats with a Kettlebell or Dumbbell (also known as Pistol Squats)close

3 x 8NA8
Standing Calf Raises

variations»Smith machine, Leg Pressclose

4 x 8NA8
Day 2 – Upper Body (Strength)
ExerciseSets x Reps%1RM1st Set RPE
Horizontal Push

variations»Bench Press, Dumbbell Pressclose

3 x 582.5%NA
Horizontal Pull

variations»Seated Cable Rows, Dumbbell Rows, Seal Rows, Machine Rows, TRX Rowsclose

3 x 5NA8
Vertical Push

variations»Overhead Barbell Press or Dumbbell Press (standing or seated), Landmine Pressclose

2 x 872.5%NA
Vertical Pull

variations»Chin-ups or Pull-ups (Use bands to assist you if too hard to reach the required number of reps, add weight if they are too easy), Lat-pull Downclose

2 x 8NA8
Flys

variations»Cable or Dumbbellclose

2 x 15NA8
Day 3 – Lower Body (Volume)
ExerciseSets x Reps%1RM1st Set RPE
Hip Hinge Variant

variations»Barbell Hip Thrusts, Barbell Glute Bridges, Cable Pull Throughsclose

3 x 8NA8
Leg Press Variant

variations»Seated Leg Press, 45° Leg Press, Hack Squatclose

3 x 8NA8
Leg Extension3 x 12NA8
Leg Curl3 x 12NA8
Seated Calf Raise4 x 15NA8
Day 4 – Upper Body (Volume)
ExerciseSets x Reps%1RM1st Set RPE
Horizontal Push3 x 1067.5%NA
Horizontal Pull3 x 10NA8
Incline Push

variations»Can be dumbbell, barbell, or machineclose

2 x 12NA8
Vertical Pull2 x 12NA8
Triceps Isolation

variations»Cable, machine or free weightclose

2 x 12NA8
Biceps Isolation

variations»Cable, machine or dumbbellclose

2 x 12NA8

If you have considerably more experience with the one lift than the others, you might consider adding an additional set to that exercise from the start. So, let’s say you’re fairly new to the squat and deadlift for example, but have a lot of experience bench pressing, (pretty much describes every dude on the planet when they start lifting seriously) perhaps start with four bench press sets for your horizontal push exercises instead of three.

Savvy readers may notice that this program has changed a little since the program in the first edition of the book. This is because newer meta-analyses have been released about training volume, and there were instances where we decided to reduce it as the first edition programs had volume that was too high based on current evidence. More on this in the first training FAQ item, here.

For convenience, I made this to save to your phone:

Follow me on Instagram for more useful graphics like this.


How To Choose Exercises

Choose an exercise option that you can perform confidently with good form, pain-free, with a full range of motion. My bigger guide to exercise selection is here, but below are the crib notes relevant to this program.

Squat Variants

This could be a high-bar, low-bar, front, or safety-bar barbell squats.

Select the variant that is pain-free, a low injury risk, one that you enjoy, that you are confident that you can master, and that suits your biomechanics. For example, if you find that you are very bent over when you perform a low-bar squat to full depth, you may wish to choose one of the other variations that allow for a more upright body position to ensure more even lower-body development.

If an injury prevents you from performing a barbell based squat of any type, a leg press variant can be used in the place of a squat variant.

Hip Hinge Variants

Hip hinge variants include movements such as a barbell hip thrusts or glute bridges. Cable or machine hinges can also be used.

Single-Leg Squat Variants

Bulgarian split squats, lunges, or single-leg squats with a kettlebell or dumbbell on the floor or off a plyo-box (also known as pistol squats). These are primarily in place to ensure equal development across legs, and to ensure adequate coordination and even contribution of force when performing bipedal exercises such as squats or leg press to reduce the risk of injury. You can select a machine based movement such as a single leg leg-press, but this will only help you ensure equal force production between legs, and not necessarily coordination and balance. Thus, the injury prevention effect will be reduced.

Deadlift Variants

Conventional, sumo, or Romanian deadlifts, or good mornings. If you select a sumo stance deadlift, do not perform it ultra-wide if you only compete in bodybuilding, rather use a stance just slightly wider than your hand position. This can be a great position for a bodybuilder to perform a deadlift as it allows a straighter back, more upright torso, thereby reducing injury risk, while also mimicking the biomechanics of a conventional deadlift. The advantage of selecting a Romanian deadlift or a good morning is that the eccentric will be automatically controlled, however, these movements take more kinesthetic awareness and time to master and perform properly with heavy loads.

Vertical & Horizontal Pulls

For the horizontal row, choose an exercise that doesn’t fatigue your lower back. I would advise a cable, single arm dumbbell, chest supported dumbbell, seal/bench, or machine row.

For vertical pulls feel free to select what you would like, however, if you do choose to do chin ups or pull ups, make sure you can perform them with the right range of motion for the required number of reps. If not, try band-assisted pull ups until you are strong enough. Then add weight when you need.

Vertical & Horizontal Pushes

For horizontal pressing, you can use the bench press, a decline, or incline press. Just don’t use a very severe angle in either direction. For vertical pressing, feel free to do either standing or seated presses. Barbells or dumbbells can be used.

Isolation Exercises

Bicep curls, triceps extensions, leg extensions, leg curls and other single joint movements should be performed with a full range of motion and in a safe manner that is pain-free. Whether you use free weights, machines, cables or some other variation you would like to employ is entirely your choice, just ensure that you are able to perform it pain-free and with a full range of motion.

Flys can be performed with cables or dumbbells or machines and can be performed at incline or decline angles if preferred.

Standing calf raises don’t necessarily need to be standing, they just need to be straight legged (for example a calf raise on a leg press).

Shrugs and direct abdominal work are not included for reasons covered here.


How to Progress with the Novice Bodybuilding Program

Choosing an Initial Weight to Lift With

The %1RM notation stands for percentage of 1-rep maximum. It is a guideline for how much you should load the bar the first time you start the program (only) and we will use this with our main compound barbell competition lifts.

So, where you see Squat 3*5 (82.5%), this means you should put 82.5% of the weight of your maximum single-rep squat on the bar, and then perform 3 sets of 5 reps.

So, let’s say that your current 1RM in the squat is 200 lbs (~90 kg). You’ll load the bar so that the total weight is 82.5% of that, 165 lb (~75 kg) and then perform 3 sets of 5. This might feel relatively easy, but resist the temptation to do more. Some people can get substantially more than 8 reps at this percentage, but our goal is to be submaximal as you’ll be making linear increases in load every time you repeat this session. Subsequent sets you will more than likely find to be a harder than the first due to cumulative fatigue. If you don’t know your 1RM you can use this calculator I created for our book readers which will show you how to calculate your 1RM.

If you don’t have a lot of experience with the lift, you are new to it, or you are coming back after time off, just warm up adding weight to the point where you can comfortably squat 3 sets of 8. Then for each successive session add a little weight each time while maintaining good form.

The 1st Set RPE notation is there to tell us the intensity of effort with which we should lift. It is a guideline for how much you should load the bar every time you train.

‘RPE’ stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion based on Reps in Reserve. It is a means of managing fatigue which can help recovery and growth, telling you how many reps, ideally, you will stay short of failure.

While you will aim to add load each session, on a scale of 1–10, a 7 means to stop the set when you could perform 3 more reps, an 8 means to stop when you have 2 more reps in reserve.

You’ll notice the RPE values for the novice programs are always “1st set RPE 8”. Meaning, you should be able to do all the prescribed sets for the day by sticking with your initial set’s load if it matched up correctly with the target RPE (close to an 8 RPE). If you “miss reps” on subsequent sets at the same load as the RPE climbs past 10, you either started too heavy, didn’t rest long enough, or perhaps made a technical fault; all of which are learning experiences for your next session.

RPE NumberMeaning
10Could not do more reps or load without form failure
9.5Could not do more reps, could do slightly more load
9Could do 1 more rep
8.5Could definitely do 1 more reps, chance at 2
8Could do 2 more reps
7.5Could definitely do 2 more reps, chance at 3
7Could do 3 more reps
5-6Could do 4-6 more reps
1-4Very light to light effort

Progression Rules

Add a little weight to each exercise every session whenever you are able to do so. I have given detailed examples in the linear progression section here. Do this for as long as you can and then move on to the intermediate progression rules. Do this independently for each exercise.

Note that if you choose to perform the same exercise on the strength and volume days (the bench press on both, for example), the load on the bar will be different. This is because the number of reps performed on each day is different. (You can bench more for 5 reps than you can for 10 reps, right?) So progress each day independently.

Though you will get stronger over time, your strength will fluctuate from session to session. This can happen if you didn’t sleep well, you are stressed, your diet wasn’t on point, you had 10 pints the night before, or it could just be some cumulative fatigue build up. So, keep in mind that you will be stronger on some days than others.

  1. Do not get frustrated with yourself and add weight to the bar when you shouldn’t.
  2. Don’t be afraid to lift a little less if you need to.
  3. Always lift with good form so that you stay safe.
  4. Do not go to form failure so that you don’t get injured.

If you would like to learn more Eric and I have put together a free email course which you can sign up for in the box at the end.

An Important Concluding Note

This is just one example of many programs that will work for a novice bodybuilder. Individuality is key to long-term success, and just like it’s not a good idea to use someone else’s diet regardless of whether your maintenance calorie intake or initial body-fat percentage is similar to theirs or not, it’s also not a good idea to jump into a program regardless of how the volume, intensity, or frequency of the program compares to what you are currently adapted to.

The Muscle and Strength Pyramid: Training v2.0

If you have found this helpful, you might be pleased to know it is just a small section taken from my Muscle and Strength Training Pyramid book, written with my co-authors Eric Helms and Andrea Valdez. The second edition, along with the Nutrition companion book, was released this January 3rd, 2019.

Join 16,000+ other readers, get your copies here.

Thank you for reading. Questions welcomed in the comments.

– Andy, Eric, and Andrea


Novice Bodybuilding Program FAQ

Can I add (exercises/sets) to the program?

If you have good reason to believe (past lifting data, for example) that doing so will benefit you, you can add anything you wish. The key is that you recover sufficiently and progress better than you otherwise would.

It can be a mistake to add more training volume than necessary too early in a training career. So, if you don’t have this data, I’d leave things as they are at this novice stage and see how you go first.

Do as much as you need to progress, not as much as possible. More detailed thoughts on this at the end of the intermediate program article below.

Read Next:

239
Comments

Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

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Steve
Steve

How long should a rank beginner with the primary goal of bodybuilding stay on The Big 3 routine before switching to this one? A few months? Or should they progress through every modification of The Big 3 routine before making the switch?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Steve,

When you’re confident in your form I think it’s fine to switch. I’ve just added this advice to my How to Choose the Right Training Program, thank you for the question.

Ali
Ali

I’m an biggner and I’m going to a cut. So should I progress the same way as when i was bulking?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Yes, use the same progression method.

How long progress will continue while cutting is a more tricky question to answer.

On average, for someone let’s say cutting from 20% body fat to a stage shredded 5%, they’ll make progress during the first 1/3 of the cut, work to maintain their progress during the middle third, and then probably regress a little in the last 1/3 as they get below 9% body fat. Now, as the vast majority of clients aren’t destined for the stage, regressions don’t typically happen to any significant extent at all. They usually make progress until they get down to around 13–14% body fat, after which point the training is often mainly about maintaining what they have.

I’ll put up an article on the topic.

Renato
Renato

“If you have considerably more experience with the one lift than the others, you might consider adding an additional set to that exercise from the start”
Why isn’t this part in the book? Now I’m confused if I should add 1 set in all my exercises or not, I’m coming from 5/3/1 for beginners (a lot of volume) that I did for 6 months so I’m pretty confident in all exercises, what do you recommend, Andy? Start with the base program then add 1 set in all exercises slowly or can I start adding 1 set at once?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Renato, thank you for the questions.

Why isn’t this part in the book?
To try to help those who didn’t have the broader context of the book to draw upon.

…what do you recommend, Andy? Start with the base program then add 1 set in all exercises slowly or can I start adding 1 set at once?
Have a read of the last paragraph prior to the book image and then the FAQ item. If you’re stuck deciding, start with the base program.

Luca
Luca

Is the reason for the low arm volume, that this is a novice program and they shouldn‘t focus on iso so much. Because 2 sets arm isolation per week sounds really low to me. Hope my answer does make sense.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Luca, thank you for the question. I’ve just added an FAQ section to the article above for you.

Luca
Luca

Appreciate the fast response, great idea with the new section. Going to leave it how it is for a while, then I’ll look further.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Most welcome, Luca.

Mattias
Mattias

Should I variate the way I do some of the exercises? For example with the flys, should I one week do them to hit the upper pecs, next week middle pecs and third week lower pecs?

I do not believe there is that much of bicep workout on day 2, and thus I would like to use the chin up instead of a pull up. Only thing is, I cannot do a chin up. Have tried Reverse Lat Pulldown for that reason. Is this fine?

I cannot really feel the lats when doing the Reverse Lat Pulldown. I guess this is the same as with bench press, that I shouldn’t train for the feeling, but to increase the weight with good form?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Mattias, thank you for the questions.

1. While there is a case to be made for changing up exercise selection periodically, it’s best to focus on executing the one variation properly and progressing with it for now. More on exercise variety here: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach.

2. Fine to use the lat pulldown like that.

3. Yes. Focus on executing the exercises with good form rather than feeling the muscles working. You’re a novice, developing the mind-muscle connection takes time.

M D
M D

I don’t use the pecs very much when I bench press. Day 2 bench press is for building strength. Should I keep bench pressing like I do now, which will lead me to being able to bench press more weight, or should I drop down in weight and instead focusing on hitting the pecs and go on from there?

Thanks.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Unless your form is incredibly off in a way I can’t quite imagine, you are using the pecs, you’re probably just not feeling it.

That’s fine for now at this novice stage. Don’t train for feeling, train to move progressively heavier weights with good form and trust the process.

Marco L.
Marco L.

Hi Andy, I’ve been on this program for about 6 months, and before that I was about 6 months on a full body routine. I progressed well in the beginning, now it seems to slow down (struggling adding muscle mass). I believe nutrition, sleep, stress, etc. is in check.

Thank you for your advice.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Marco, this article has you covered: How to Break Training Plateaus.

MarcoL
MarcoL

Thank you, the link is very helpful.
Let’s assume all is in check, volume needs to go up.
I do on a given movement 4 set instead of 3, is than the RPE at 7 for the first set or does it stay at 8?
Thank you

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

You’ll fatigue with the additional set, so, I’d go with 7 to ensure you can complete all sets at the same weight.

Rob
Rob

Hello. For the horizontal pulling I want to do barbell seal rows with an overhand grip. I am only concerned about the slight reduced range of motion from the barbell hitting the bench. I measured the thickness of my bench and it came out to 3 inches. Is this acceptable for my horizontal pulling? Thank you.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Totally fine.

Rob
Rob

Excellent! I am becoming quite a fan of your work! When it come to Single Leg Variants, I choose weighted lunges Do the lungeshave to be static lunges or can I alternate each leg at a time within a set, such as in walking lunges?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

As you wish, but choose that which you can do consistently so that you can compare your progress. So, if you’re not in a space place where you consistently have space, stick to static.

Rob
Rob

Ok. Now for horizontal pushing you wrote “Just don’t use a very severe angle in either direction.”. So does that means parallel bar dips should not be used as a horizontal pushing exercise?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

I don’t recommend people dip, period. Seen too many people eventually get injured.

Stephen
Stephen

Hi Guy’s. This is one of the best explained articles I have read. Very user friendly. What time frame would you suggest using the novice program for. Thank you. Stephen

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Stephen, thank you. As long as you continue to progress (here are the progression rules) and you can then consider the intermediate program.

Gashi
Gashi

Hi Andy,
Can I put deadlifts on lower day 2 and hip thrusts on day 1 instead of deadlifts,so Im not doing squats and deads on the same day.It makes it really hard to give my all to both movements ,I usually end up half assing my deadlift form because Im too tired after squats.
Thanks.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

If you find that you can progress better and recover, then please feel free to swap things around as you like. However, to those that don’t have good data to confirm that, I’d suggest you go with what we’ve written. An unusual level of soreness for the first time you try any new workout/exercise is normal, so don’t jump to any conclusions based on that.

Mirko
Mirko

Hi Andy, Do you recommend any type of cardio in addition to the 4 workouts? What do advice?
Best wishes
Mirko

Will
Will

Do you have any 3 day routines for hypertrophy? If not, can you advise on how best to divide this routine over three days on weeks when training 4xpw is not possible please?

Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Will,
Essentially, you just take what we have here and split it across your week in a way you find you can keep training quality high and still recover.

I’ll consider doing this at some point as people keep requesting it. For now, consider checking out this guide to building your own programs.

Nick Drizen
Nick Drizen

Is it possible to combine a novice body building program with crossfit. I feel that crossfit more or less ignores any rowing activities with weights, chest press and strict shoulder strength etc so I tend to suffer a bit as a result with my upper traps always firing as my middle and lower back is so weak. Obviously I don’t want to have excessive training volume and I was thinking maybe combining days 1 and 2 of your novice program with a couple of days of crossfit as your days 3 and 4 are training volume related. I personally don’t care about being ripped as such. My main objective is to be stronger to fire muscles better and have more body control

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Sure!

Alex
Alex

Hi Andy,

Would it be alright to add one or two more isolation bicep or triceps exercises for the volume day?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

You certainly could, but often the best way is to start off with a lower volume and see if you adapt and grow first as more isn’t always better.

Joshua Girling
Joshua Girling

Hi Andy,

Really enjoying the content.

Is the plate loaded chest press an acceptable Horizontal Push variation?

Cheers,
Josh

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

The free weight versions listed are preferable, if possible.

Nick
Nick

Hi Andy.

Great program, have just started it this week. Im interested in using either a front squat or a back squat (similar to day 1) on the day 3 hip hinge movement, or to add it as part of the training mix.

Would you recommend doing this? Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

I wouldn’t just add in volume randomly, I’d substitute. The Leg Press Variant could be considered most similar to the front squat on that third day, so consider swapping that.

Nick
Nick

Thanks Andy, would back squatting be off limits though?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

No that would be fine. (I missed that you wrote “or back squat”.)

Rob Torres
Rob Torres

Hello. Can the Leg Press Variant be replaced with a single leg variant?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

If you have to, sure. But we’ve written the program with the intention of there being unilateral work (1-leg stuff) as well as bilateral work (2-leg stuff) as this likely helps more balanced out development.

More on exercise selection this guide: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach.

Rob Torres
Rob Torres

Thank you. I’ll follow the protocol. I come from a background of doing my strength and volume work in the same workout. I barely ever progressed.

Does the research show its better to have strength sets and volume sets on different days like you have in your sample programs as opposed to having then on the same days? 

Abdulla
Abdulla

Hi Andy,
Thank you for the amazing contents, my questions are
1- not sure if I should start with the novice program, I have been training for a year doing upper lower split and my volume is the same as the one in the intermediate program, I can still make progress every week and I want to know if lowering the volume will benefit me what do you think ?

2- I’m around 12% or 13% bodyfat and a modest amount of muscles,I’m trying to do a recomp with 300 calorie deficit, my goal is to build more muscles but I want to be around 10% bodyfat, should I stick to my approach or I should try lean bulk for now ?
2-Will replacing the vertical press in the volume day with lateral rise will yield a bigger side delts since mine is a little lagging
3- which is better for the side delts. the barbell OHP or the machine OHP ?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Abdulla,
1. I have a guide to choosing a program here.
2. See here: Should I Cut or Bulk? — The Definitive Guide.
3. The vertical press trains all heads of the delts, definitely do not get rid of it to target just part.
4. You’ll get similar activation from both.

Abid
Abid

Hi Andy,
I had a back injury and Sciatica few months back and was out of training for more than a month. Now i want to get back to gym with your novice program, however I don’t feel confident with dead lift and hip hinge movements . Is there any alternates for these workouts or shall i skip them for now ? Your suggestion will be valuable.
Thanks
Abid

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

There are isolation exercises, but it’s best to speak to your doctor/physio about this so you’re not guessing.

Mike
Mike

Hi there,
What incline push exercises would you suggest given that I’m flat bench pressing on the hypertrophy day? Can it really be anything? Thank you, guys!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Simplest would be to go with a DB incline press. But yes, as long as it allows you to train in a full range of motion, pain-free.

Derek
Derek

Really great stuff on the website, I like how it’s worded slightly differently than the books, so read both and make sure I fully understand everything.
How do you recommend novices progress on a DB press variation? Would double progression be our best bet?

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Derek, thank you. From my progression article:

Which progression system should I choose for exercise [X]?

The line between “compound movement” and “isolation movement” can be a little blurry. Furthermore, for some exercises that are technically compound movements, the isolation movement progression rules can be better suited as they will allow you to progress between the jumps in weight.

The dumbbell overhead press is one such exercise that immediately comes to mind for example. You may be able to progress using the compound movement progression rules for only a short while before the jump to the next set of dumbbells (which is usually in 5lb increments) becomes too great. At this point, you want to move to using the isolation progression rules.

In terms of progression speed: Linear progression > linear periodization > double progression > advanced periodization techniques.

For all exercises, choose the one furthest to the left of the continuum that you can actually progress with. This is the way you’ll progress fastest. When you can’t do the one, you move onto the next.

Arturo Gascon
Arturo Gascon

What changes should we make to use this program for cutting to 10% BF? Thanks in advace.

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Potentially, none at all. Have a read of the section titled, “The Difference Between Cutting and Bulking” of this article: How to Choose the Most Effective Training Program for YOU.

Sam G
Sam G

Hi Andy,

I train at home and I don’t have anything to train Leg Curls or Leg Extensions. Could you recommend alternative exercises?

Thanks for all the great content and work you put in. With so much misinformation on the web, it’s refreshing to see you and your colleagues telling it the way it is. It is greatly appreciated.

All the best,
Sam G

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Sam,
Glute Ham Raises or RDLs / Lunges or Bulgarian Split Squats.

Madhu
Madhu

I am in the same boat. Can you suggest further alternatives?

Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan

Hi Madhu,
I have a guide to exercise selection here: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach.