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3 Day Hardcore Program

Average: 4.1 (73 votes)
4.1 5 73
This 3 day workout hits all major muscle groups. The first day targets legs/back, second day is chest/shoulders and the last is dedicated to arm training.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

This 3 day workout hits all major muscle groups over a 3 day period. The first day hits legs/back, second day hits chest/shoulders and the thrid day is dedicated to arms. Ideally you should use this workout on Mon-Wed-Fri.

This workout is excellent for hardgainers. If you combine this workout with a high calorie diet you should be able to increase you weight and lean muscle mass. You should only do this workout for about 8 weeks, then switch to keep your muscles growing.

Monday - Legs and Back
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Horizontal Leg Press 3 10, 8, 6
Deadlifts 3 6 (heavy)
Standing Calf Raise 6 MAX to failure
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Pull Up 3 8, 6, 4
Seated Row 3 10, 10, 8
One Arm Dumbbell Row 2 10, 8
Hyperextension 3 12
Notes
None.

TUESDAY - REST DAY/CARDIO/ABS

Wednesday - Chest and Shoulders
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 4 10, 8, 8, 6 (incr weight)
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10, 10, 8
Cable Crossovers 3 10-12
Incline Dumbbell Flys 3 8-10
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 10, 8, 6 reps (incr weight)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10, 8, 8
Dumbbell Reverse Fly 3 10
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 12
Notes
None.

THURSDAY - REST DAY/CARDIO/ABS

Friday - Arms
Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
Tricep Dip 3 10, 8, 6
Lying Tricep Extension 3 10
Close Grip Bench Press 3 6 (slow n heavy)
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 3 8, 8, 6
Preacher Curl 3 12 slow
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 20, 15, 10 ultra slow
Notes
None.

WEEKEND - REST

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Comments (163)

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Jim
Posted Thu, 05/20/2010 - 14:08

Going to give this routine a try but have a question. A few of the exercises (e.g., barbell bench press) say to increase weight, which I'm assuming means to increase weight with each set to try and reach specified reps. What about the other exercises like incline dumbbell bench press that don't say to increase weight. Should I also increase the weight as the number of reps decrease with each set for those exercises as well?

thanks

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 05/20/2010 - 14:28

Use the same weight on exercises that don't specify weight increases.

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Taswoor
Posted Wed, 07/07/2010 - 01:42

in all exercise cn i increase weight in all exrecises to increase its intenceness !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Steve
Posted Wed, 07/07/2010 - 14:14

Hi Taswoor,

Always try to push yourself by adding more reps, and ultimately more weight.

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Taswoor
Posted Mon, 07/26/2010 - 11:15

u mean i cn increase reps of barbell curl more thn 8 rep if i m felling that muscle has more strenght left ...

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Steve
Posted Mon, 07/26/2010 - 13:27

Hi Taswoor,

When you reach the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

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Taswoor
Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 06:16

Thank's Steve.....ur schedule is working good .......Thank u again...

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Pombo
Posted Fri, 10/21/2011 - 07:16

Continue adding weight until it becomes tough to complete 8-12 reps. Your goal
is to train in the range where you reach muscular failure at 8-12 reps

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Taswor
Posted Thu, 09/23/2010 - 15:44

hi Steve
this schedule is awesome ..thanks you vary much .i found great results in my body ...i had been using this workout from 8weeks now i need a new Schedule could u pl z suggest me Another workout plz.......

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 09/27/2010 - 08:25

Hi Taswor,

I would choose a 4 day intermediate muscle building split. Use the one that best suits you, and motivated you to train.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-building.html

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sergio
Posted Tue, 05/14/2013 - 18:51

hey steve, my question is how many reps for the military press?? it looks like a typo there,... sets don't match.

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Corey W
Posted Fri, 05/28/2010 - 23:04

Wouldn't it be more ideal to switch Monday and Wednesday? You are already getting a decent arm workout with chest and shoulders which could lead to fatigue on Friday. Just a thought.

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Steve
Posted Sun, 05/30/2010 - 13:04

If I were doing this workout I would probably do chest and shoulders on Monday for the reasons you stated.

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Alejandro Vasquez
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 23:10

going to give this routine a try looks good! can you replace deadlifts with anything? it says you should only use this routine for 8 weeks but should you switch excercises in between?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 09:24

I wouldn't replace deadlifts. They are a great muscle mass builder. And stick with the exercises as presented during the course of using this workout.

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Alejandro Vasquez
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 09:48

Thanks! I'll keep the dead lifts but can i replace the horizontal leg press with the 45 degree leg press and cable cross overs with pull overs or decline bench? and the 1 arm D.B. row with a row machine? and I cant do wide grip pull ups so can i do assisted wide grip pull ups?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 17:43

Sounds good.

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Alejandro Vasquez
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 23:01

which should I replace with cross overs decline or pull overs? and if I want to gain weight how intense should the cardio be and for how long

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Steve
Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 15:56

I would go with decline bench.

Weight gain is all about eating enough. You can continue to do cardio several times per week, but just make sure you are eating more then it takes to maintain weight so you can pack on muscle.

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Alejandro Vasquez
Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 23:13

ok thank you so which is best to replace crossovers with?

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Alejandro Vasquez
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 10:12

sorry what I meant to ask is do I go with same sets and reps if i replace it?

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Steve
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 14:05

3 sets of 8 to 12 reps would work.

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Alejandro Vasquez
Posted Mon, 06/07/2010 - 18:44

can I increase the reps of the shrugs?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 08:34

Absolutely.

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Jim
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 14:22

I've only been lifting for about 1 year and read a lot about split routines vs say choosing 10 multi-joint/muscle exercises and doing them 3 times a week. Some say multi-joint ones are best because split routines only work each muscle group once a week and that's not enough. Any thoughts on this issue?

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Steve
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 14:32

Full body routines are a very effective approach, especially for beginners. There is no real urgency to complicate things early on. The body is willing to grow and respond from hard work on basic exercises. With that said, simple splits also work well if they contain solid, basic exercises like squats, bench press, etc. Either way, stick to training no more then 3 to 4 days per week as a beginner.

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Jim
Posted Tue, 06/15/2010 - 08:03

Thanks Steve. One more question. Some say rep rang of 4-7 is best for hypertrophy, others say 8-12 and still others say it's best to vary between those two ranges. What's your thoughts on best rep range for hypertrophy?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/15/2010 - 08:26

Rep range isn't nearly as important as progression of strength. In general, muscles will grow best in the 5 to 12 rep range when pushing for more strength.

A simple guideline is:

For compound lifts (bench press, barbells rows, overhead press), train within the 5 to 12 rep range.
For isolation lifts (flyes, laterals), train within the 10 to 15 rep range.

Legs can be trained up to 20 reps.

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rikesh
Posted Sun, 06/27/2010 - 14:46

From this build lean muscle workouts, wondering how do you lose weight on your stomach with it?

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 13:03

Losing fat is all about diet. You need to eat so that you are losing about 2 pounds per week, while training hard and eating at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours.

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jordan
Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 08:09

The back workout seems really low on sets. It only has basically 8 sets cause hyperextensions only works the lower back and not upper right? Is this really enough to stimulate growth in the back?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 09:42

Hi Jordan,

This is actually a very high volume program.

Deadlifts work the upper back heavily, so there are 11 sets for upper back.

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mrsam
Posted Mon, 07/05/2010 - 01:58

what does it mean when it says "to switch to keep muscles growing" switch the days you do these workouts?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 07/07/2010 - 11:31

Hi Mrsam,

It means to switch to a new routine every 8 weeks or so.

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murat
Posted Tue, 07/13/2010 - 15:22

Hi Steve,
What should be the rest period between reps and sets?
30 seconds between reps and 60 seconds between sets...?

Thanks.

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Steve
Posted Wed, 07/14/2010 - 13:18

Hi Murat,

Rest up to 2 minutes between sets, and up to 5 minutes between sets on very taxing lifts like squats.

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murat
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 12:06

Sorry Steve,
Last question...
When we have to do,say 3 sets consisting of 10 reps then 8 then 6 at a particular weight of whichever exercise it may be,when do I raise the weight?
If I can do 10 then only 7 then 4 do I just raise the weight on the first lift the next time I am on that exercise and keep sets 2 and 3 at the lower weight until I can hit 8 reps then 6,or do I only raise the weight when I can complete a full 10,8,6 at the same time.
Very wordy I know but hopefully it makes sense...
Thanks again.

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Steve
Posted Sat, 07/17/2010 - 09:07

Hi Murat,

In most cases, you will use the same weight. You want to use as heavy of a weight as possible on the first set without training to failure. As your muscles fatigue, odds are you won't be able to perform as many reps on the second and third set.

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hugh
Posted Sun, 07/18/2010 - 10:11

hi gona start this routine but was wondering u no wen it says do 3 sets of like 10,8,6.dose that mean u do the 10,8,6 three times or do u do the first set 10, second set 8, third set 6?could u clear this up for me thanks

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Steve
Posted Mon, 07/19/2010 - 15:07

Hi Hugh,

You perform 3 total sets...first set is 10 reps, second is 8 and third is 6.

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drew
Posted Sun, 07/25/2010 - 00:56

anyone had any luck on this program and i was wondering if it would work if i brought in a crossfit for the off days to get cardio

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brendan
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 22:15

Hey Steve,

I was wondering about all this "training to failure" business. I've noticed that on most or all of the advertised workout routines provided, training to failure is hardly ever recommended. I've only been lifting wights for about four months now, and have been basically going till failure on almost all sets. I'm wondering why NOT training to failure is so important. Thank you.

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Steve
Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 12:03

Hi Brendan,

Training to failure is easier for a beginner because the weights are lighter, and there is less stress on the central nervous system joint, tendons, etc. But as you get stronger, it can start to take it's toll.

If you look at lifting from a longevity standpoint, and realize you want to be lifting and have a good body when you're still 40, you'll want to take care of it the best you can.

I am not a fan of training to failure simply because it's not needed. Push for more reps, and when you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set add weight. this progression of weight, along with a solid bodybuilding diet, will be all you'll ever need to reach your goals.

So simply stated...training is hard enough. You can certainly use failure, but it's not needed, nor is it the best way to train over the long haul.

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austin
Posted Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:51

So if we are just starting out with this program, how much weight should I be starting out with? You say to increase reps until you reach the number you are supposed to, and then add weight. Does this mean that I should be using more weight when I start out so that I can not reach the desired rep amount? For example, with the bench press, if I can just reach 10 reps the first set, am I using enough weight or should I not be able to reach 10 until after several weeks of doing the program?

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jon
Posted Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:26

Excited to try this one out as a hardgainer. When you say "heavy" for deadlifts and close grip bench press, what exactly do you mean?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 08/12/2010 - 13:00

Hi Jon,

It means use as much weight as possible for the rep range...to the point where it would be difficult to perform another rep.

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Joe
Posted Fri, 08/20/2010 - 01:13

Hello Steve : I have working out on and off for 35 years and been lifting consistantly now for 3 years. @ age 50 do you feel that this planwould be more affective than hitting each body part 2x per week?

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Steve
Posted Fri, 08/20/2010 - 11:44

Hi Joe,

This program has quite a bit of volume so I think it would be plenty of work. I would recommend trying it, and decreasing the volume a bit if it seems like too much.

Twice a week can be tougher if you are lifting heavier weights, so depending on where the weights are at, it might be a good approach.

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murat
Posted Sun, 08/29/2010 - 08:31

Hi Steve,
I have just started week 7 of this routine, it has certainly helped me bulk up some but I think I may now be hitting the limit of progression, understandable as you do recommend it as an 8 week routine.
My questions are...
1) when I finish week 8 should I take a week off from training to let my body adjust before starting my new routine, or just carry on with the new one after a day or 2 rest ?
2) which routine would you suggest I move onto to continue trying to bulk.
3) as well as hopefully suggesting a routine for me, is it possible, due to work commitments, that the routine be no more than 3 days a week and no more than 30 mins start to finish (this would mean I could leave the house at 06:00am rather than 05:30 ! If it has to be longer than 30 minutes though that is fine )
Thank You,
Murat.

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Steve
Posted Tue, 08/31/2010 - 12:50

Hi Murat,

1) A week of after these 8 weeks can help you heal up and rest a bit. It's a good idea.
2) I would suggest a full body routine. There are some routines in the following article. You may have to cut back the sets a bit to stay at 30 minutes.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/forget-steroids-5-fullbody-wor...

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