3 Day Hardcore Program

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

Build Muscle
8 weeks
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
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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
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Leg Press 3 10, 8, 6
Deadlifts 3 6 (heavy)
Standing Calf Raise 6 MAX to failure
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


Wednesday - Chest and Shoulders
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
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 4 10, 8, 8, 6 reps (incr weight)
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10, 8, 8
Dumbbell Reverse Fly 3 10
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 12


Friday - Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
Tricep Dip 3 10, 8, 6
Lying Tricep Extension 3 10
Close Grip Bench Press 3 6 (slow n heavy)
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 3 8, 8, 6
Preacher Curl 3 12 slow
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 20, 15, 10 ultra slow


177 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 06/03/2019 - 07:32

I have heard that training each muscle group once per week doesn’t really help? Is that true?

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Posted Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:04
Oliver Russell


On the squats do you have to increase the weight with each set?

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Posted Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:52

Hi Oliver,

Yes, that is correct.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/11/2018 - 09:13
Oliver Russell

Awesome thank you!

I am going to start this plan today

Fingers crossed

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Posted Sun, 09/04/2016 - 19:06

Hi I was always told that you should never do Legs and Back together. Due to there 2 large muscle groups. So why do you have legs and back together? Would it be better to do legs/ tri's then chest / shoulders and back/ bi's thanks

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Posted Mon, 01/18/2016 - 16:26

Hi everyone! Is it okay if I do
Chest and Shoulders on Tuesday
Legs and Triceps on Thursday
Back and Biceps on Friday.....?
Thank you

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Posted Wed, 08/05/2015 - 15:21

Hi Steven,

Thanks for this program. It works great! I am about to complete this program in 1-2 weeks. It says that you should only do this workout for 8 weeks. Can I continue this program beyond 8 weeks if I increase weights?

MikeWines's picture
Posted Thu, 08/06/2015 - 09:51

You could likely continue it for more than 8 provided you were able to recover from the volume and you were maintaining progressive overload.

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Posted Tue, 01/13/2015 - 16:06

Hay Steve, I would do chest triceps 1 day, shoulders biceps other day and legs back other day. Still using all exercises mentioned at the top obviously. Also can you only do this for 8 weeks would it matter for longer??

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Posted Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:48

Just finishing up 8 weeks of this workout.

56 year old male just trying to stay healthy.

Recommendations for next workout?

Thank you.

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Posted Fri, 12/05/2014 - 01:30

Hey Steve I am 6,4 and about 175 maybe 10-12% body fat. I can't gain weght or get that nice sore feeling after a work out. I was wondering if you could point me to a work out and eating regiment or if you can e-mail me

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Posted Wed, 11/05/2014 - 09:45

My friend tells me that i should be doing bench pressing everyday. is this true

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:00


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Posted Sun, 10/05/2014 - 09:25

going to give this workout a go

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Posted Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:32

Hey Steve,

I have recently completed 8 weeks of this 3 day superset program (muscle builder and fat blaster): https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/blue-print-leaner-muscular-body

At first I found it quite intense, but it seems to be getting too easy now. Even with increase in weight every week. I have definitely noticed gains in my muscles and definition, but I feel I need to step it up a bit now. I weigh 175 and I'm 5'11. I am not looking to lose weight, but I would like to stay lean. Not necessarily become huge.

I am looking for something that will allow me to build some muscle, however I liked the idea of supersets because of the cardio aspect it brought to the training. Would it be wise to superset these exercises, or should I just do cardio post-workout?

Thank you!

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Posted Tue, 05/06/2014 - 23:24

Which is better. Barbell bench or dumbbell? I work out alone so I know dumbbell is safer to increase weight but for building which is better?

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Posted Sun, 02/23/2014 - 11:52

Hi steve, thanks for all your effort and advise. This looks great and about to give it ago but one question on the calf raisers working till failure! what sort of rep range is considered reasonable to fail at? because if you go to light it can go on for ever, go to heavy and its over very quickly!!

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Posted Fri, 01/17/2014 - 20:29

Hi joe i am 60 old women trying your training Program and your Program looks good i been active most of my live but since i turn 55 i went the down the hill.So now i am tryining to get back in shape thank you joe.

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Posted Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:54

Having been a mess at 43, I started going to the gym everyday. At 56, I plan to do so everyday for the rest of my life. I also stretch everyday after lifting and cardio to maintain flexibility. Keep it up!

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Posted Wed, 10/16/2013 - 17:56

Can I add in a superset for some muscle groups?

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Posted Mon, 10/07/2013 - 16:58

Can I add a superset for each muscle group?

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Posted Sun, 09/01/2013 - 00:43

Steve pls sUgest me a woRkout schedul In which i make my body and also weight not increase i m doiNg workout since last 2yeaS and i m using afaa schedul pls give me advice

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Posted Wed, 08/07/2013 - 04:27

Hi Steve - there seems to be a typo in the number of reps for Military Press, it states 4 sets but only lists 3 for the number of reps. Should this be 3 sets? If not, how many reps should we be shooting for on the fourth set?

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2013 - 18:06

Will this workout help you trim bad weight as well?

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2013 - 03:15

hi steve
im currently starting back up on the weights no machines just barbell/dumbells /bench
im tryi g to bulk up again then after 2 months ill rip
at the moment im doing 5×5 on a 3 da split week
i just wanted to know if you could advise me on a better routine
day 1 chest back
day 2 legs
day 3 biceps shoulder
and at the end of my routine a do 5×40 crunches and my obleaks am i doinv this rite or not

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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 03:11

Hey Steve.

Ive tried some of your other workouts such as the 4day splits which proved to work and for which I am grateful.

What Id like to know is if its recommended to use supersets in this workout as this would then serve as a real time saver.

Also I am searching for a sports conditioning workout specific for rugby which I will be able to use as a follow-up workout. Ive searched your site but found non.

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Posted Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:02

hey steve ,
can u pls suggest me the alternative for Cable Crossovers in chest .....

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Posted Sat, 04/20/2013 - 21:04
kevin zhang

do you do this workout in the order listed ? or can u switch off between the muscle groups ?

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Posted Sat, 04/20/2013 - 00:53
kevin zhang

I want to try this workout but is it ok if i do the workouts on tues wed sat ? my work schedule isnt allowing me to go mon wed fri.

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Posted Thu, 04/18/2013 - 09:49

I have been one this program for a couple of weeks now and its working great. Had a question would it be okay to add a few secondary lifts to help increase my muscle endurance.

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Posted Mon, 04/15/2013 - 11:07

For the arms day - could i do your 90 day arm blaster workout - volume day, rest pause day, strength day, etc.?

workout would be: monday chest and shoulders, wednesday legs and back and friday 90 day arm blaster

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Posted Mon, 04/15/2013 - 10:54

For the arms day - could i do your 90 day arm blaster workout - volume day, rest pause day, strength day, etc.?

workout would be: monday chest and shoulders, wednesday legs and back and friday 90 day arm blaster

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 18:23

I have a busy schedule so can only fit in the 3 Days in a Week. I play soccer Mon, Tues, Thurs and Sat so going to try this out Wed, Fri, Sat. I hoping to lose body fat and get stronger and more toned. Do you think this plan can work for me?

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Posted Sat, 03/02/2013 - 03:58

Pretty soild workout gonna start it monday. so you say do for only 8 weeks? whats a good routine to change to after the 8 weeks?

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Posted Sat, 01/05/2013 - 10:51

for the calf raises, it says MAX to failure. I was wondering if I could get a little bit of an explanation for this.

Joey's picture
Posted Tue, 01/08/2013 - 13:01

Do as many reps as possible with good form.

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Posted Mon, 12/17/2012 - 21:35

I will be finishing this program this week, just wanted to see what program you would recommend after this one?

I want to build more muscle and get more ripped.

Ps great workout program

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2012 - 15:54

how long would it take to see results when following this programme ?

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Posted Sun, 09/30/2012 - 12:12
Steve H

Isit possible to use this workout to burn excess fat aswel as build muscle? I have not trained for 2 years but do not wish to start on a beginners workout and instead of doing cardio on rest days do you think it would be affective to perform cardio on the same days as the weights and if so wich will be better cardio before or after the workout?

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Posted Tue, 08/28/2012 - 09:26

why should we do only for 8 weeks. any particular reason, can we continue this regimen for say 3mnths

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Posted Wed, 08/01/2012 - 08:20

Can women also do this workout?

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Posted Tue, 05/08/2012 - 21:26

Hey steve,
I'm just started working out again and need to build muscle primarily. How is doing more reps per set build more muscle if I have to use less weight, if I could lift more weight by doing less reps?
Sorry this might be a elementary question

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Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 15:25

what suprises me is why are legs/back on the same day? wouldnt that take a lot of energy out of you? is there some type of benefit for having those workouts on that day?

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Posted Thu, 03/29/2012 - 01:33

is this a really good workout routine for getting good arm definition? i have a bit of size in my arms and shoulders, but i want them to be cut and well defined while also growing in size. would this routine satisfy my request?

Thanks for the help!

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Posted Tue, 03/13/2012 - 21:25
Steve G

Hi Do you increase the weight on all exercises or just the ones that say increase weight. If so i guess you just stay with the same weight

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 03/20/2012 - 13:25

If you can, increase the weight. Generally as a muscle fatigues you will be able to perform fewer reps with a given weight.

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Posted Fri, 02/03/2012 - 11:50

please someone tell me that , the pump during the weight lifting is good for muscle gain or not ?

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Posted Sun, 01/01/2012 - 01:02

Hi Steve.

Im about to start this routine it look great. I think im gonna swap mon and wednesday over what do u think.I started working out in april 2011 using different routines from m&s and went from a slim 155 pounds to a decent 185 pounds. ive read heaps of the nutrition articles from m&s, ate a lot more regularly and constantly added more weight to help me along the way. Im gonna use this routine for 3 months and let u know how i go.
Cheers for the great workouts STEVE!!!!

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Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 16:45
Adam T

Hi Steve.

Currently doing a 3 times per week workout similar to this, but working on compound stuff.

I also tend to do cardio 3 times per week too.

The sport I do is Kickboxing. I am just wondering, being a kickboxer, I am looking to keep my speed, and also tone actually. Therefore, if I am looking to bulk up, but ALSO tone, will the balance of gym/cardio be helpful for both results I'm looking for.

In other words, size, but lean, possible through my cardio and 3times per week workout for muscle mass?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 12/21/2011 - 15:30

You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help: