Build muscle and strength with this workout program that combines two strength based weekly workouts with three hypertrophy size building weekly workouts.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

A topic that is constantly under debate in the bodybuilding community is how to build muscle at the fastest rate possible.

One camp has the opinion that it’s all about getting strong.

The other camp will argue back that most powerlifters look like fat guys who don’t even workout.

The truth of the matter is, gaining strength and nutrient delivery (i.e. the pump) are equally important. It would almost be like asking which organ is more important; your heart or your liver? You would be dead without either.

This size and strength training program focuses on gaining strength and blood volume training so you get the best of everything.

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Training Frequency

Studies show that muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is elevated 2-3 days after training a specific muscle group.

To maximize MPS, each muscle group will be trained once every 3-4 days in the size and strength training program.

Athlete Performing EZ Bar Bicep Curls

Overtraining and Stress

Muscle mass gains don’t happen in the gym. It’s after your workout when you are resting that your body actually repairs and rebuilds the muscles you broke down during your workout.

Doing another workout before your body has had a chance to fully repair the broken down muscles from your first workout would obviously be counterproductive. Workouts in the size and strength program are intense to stimulate the muscle to grow, but short so you don’t over train.

There are three main stress hormones in the body; cortisol, catecholamines and Neuropeptide Y (NPY). NPY is only released during times of perceived chronic stress.

NPY is particularly evil in that unlike the catecholamines and cortisol, which are mainly catabolic hormones (i.e. they burn fat), NPY makes you gain fat. When NPY is released in large amounts, it causes fat cells to go from immature baby fat cells to full-grown, mature fat cells. To make matters even worse, cortisol enhances the efficiency of NYP to develop more fat cells.

Other negative effects of overtraining include:

  • Reduced muscle protein synthesis and increased muscle protein breakdown
  • Reduce growth hormone release
  • Metabolism slowdown
  • Water retention
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

Strength Phase

The first 2 workouts in this program focus on big compound movements such as the deadlift, squat, and bench press. The goal rep range is 4-6. Rest periods will be 2-3 minutes between sets. The strength phase is all about moving as much weight as possible.

I recommend rotating your strength phase movements every 4-5 weeks so you make consistent progress. For example, you could substitute squats with front squats.

Size Phase

The next 3 workouts in this program focus on blood volume and nutrient delivery. The goal rep range will be 8-12. Rest periods will be 60-90 seconds between sets. The size phase is all about getting as big of a pump as possible.

Make sure to use exercises in the size phase that you have a good mind to muscle connection with. Feel free to swap out one of the exercises I have listed for a different exercise if you get a better feel from that exercise. For example, you could substitute standing dumbbell bicep curls with standing EZ-bar bicep curls.

Athlete Performing Bent Over Rear Delts Flys

Ab Training

Some people might argue that direct ab training is not needed since the abs get so much indirect work from big compound lifts like squats, overhead barbell press and deadlifts.

Although that is true, I personally feel that to make the abs really ‘pop’, direct ab work is needed. At the very least, it can’t hurt. In the size and strength training program, you will be training abs three times per week. Add the ab workout to the end of three workouts each week.

Cardio

I do not recommend doing a lot of cardio on an intense workout program like this. Cardio taps into your body’s recovery ability and puts you at risk of over training. It’s also simply not needed.

Cardio isn’t magic. It simply burns calories. You could achieve the same effect by simply removing calories from your daily diet. Keep cardio minimal on this program. If you want to add in cardio, keep it low intensity.

Supersets

Supersets are when you perform two exercises back to back with no rest in between.

After finishing the first exercise, you immediately start the second exercise. After both exercises are completed, you take the prescribed rest period.

5 Day Muscle & Strength Workout Weekly Schedule

  • Monday: Upper Body Strength
  • Tuesday: Lower Body Strength
  • Wednesday: OFF
  • Thursday: Back/Shoulders Size
  • Friday: Chest/Arms Size
  • Saturday: Legs Size
  • Sunday: OFF

Monday: Upper Body Strength Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Weighted Wide Grip Pull Ups 2-3 4-6
2. Bent Over Barbell Row 4-5 4-6
3. Narrow Grip T-Bar Row 2-3 4-6
4. Standing Overhead Barbell Press 4-5 4-6
5. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4-5 4-6
6. Weighted Dips 2-3 4-6
7. EZ Bar Skullcrusher 2-3 4-6
8. EZ Bar Bicep Curls 2-3 4-6

Rest periods: 120-180 seconds between sets.

Tuesday: Lower Body Strength Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squats 4-5 4-6
2. Hack Squats 2-3 4-6
3. Deadlifts 4-5 4-6
4. Lying Leg Curls 2-3 4-6
5. Standing Calf Raise 4-5 4-6
6. Seated Calf Raise 2-3 4-6

Rest periods: 120-180 seconds between sets.

Thursday: Back/Shoulders Size Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Wide Grip Pull Down 4-5 8-12
1b. Narrow Grip Pull Down 4-5 8-12
2. Chest Supported Machine Row 4-5 8-12
3. Narrow Grip Low Pulley Cable Row 2-3 8-12
4a. Straight Arm Rope Pull Down 2-3 8-12
4b. Lower Back Hyperextensions 2-3 8-12
5. Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4-5 8-12
6. Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise 2-3 8-12
7. Standing EZ Bar Front Raise 2-3 8-12
8. Dumbbell Rear Delt Lateral Raise 2-3 8-12
9a. Cable EZ Bar Upright Row 2-3 8-12
9b. Rope Face Pull 2-3 8-12

Rest periods: 60-90 seconds between sets.

Friday: Chest/Arms Size Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Incline Barbell Bench Press 4-5 8-12
2a. Flat Machine Chest Press 2-3 8-12
2b. Incline Dumbbell Fly 2-3 8-12
3. Cable Crossover 2-3 8-12
4. Narrow Grip Bench Press 2-3 8-12
5. Seated Overhead EZ Bar Tricep Extension 2-3 8-12
6. Single Arm Cable Press Down 2-3 8-12
7. EZ Bar Preacher Curl 2-3 8-12
8. Standing Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2-3 8-12
9. High Pulley Single Arm Bicep Curl 2-3 8-12

Rest periods: 60-90 seconds between sets.

Saturday: Legs Size Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Seated Hamstring Curl 4-5 8-12
1b. Leg Extension 4-5 8-12
2. Front Squat 4-5 8-12
3a. Leg Press 4-5 8-12
3b. Barbell Walking Lunge 4-5 8-12 Each
4a. Abductor Machine 2-3 8-12
4b. Adductor Machine 2-3 8-12
5. Glute Kick Backs 2-3 8-12 Each
6. Donkey Calf Raise 4-5 8-12
7a. Seated Calf Raise 4-5 8-12
7b. Single Leg Calf Press 4-5 8-12 Each

Rest periods: 60-90 seconds between sets.

Ab Workout: 3X Per Week

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Hanging Leg Raise 3-4 8-12
1b. Decline Sit Up 3-4 8-12
2a. Lying Leg Raise 3-4 15-20
2b. Cable Crunch 3-4 15-20
3. Cable Wood Choppers 3-4 15-20 Per Side
4. Barbell Ab Roll Out 3-4 Failure

Rest periods: 60-90 seconds between sets.

95 Comments
HD
Posted on: Wed, 06/15/2022 - 11:19

I'm trying this program and I really like it but I make some changes because I don't have enough time to do a full workout on saturdays and If I have time, doing active recovery helps me better to recover than an off day.

Mon: Lower Body Strength + Abs
Tue: Upper Body Strength
Wed:Legs Size + Abs
Thu:Back/Shoulders Size
Fri:Chest/Arms Size + Abs
Sat:Active recovery (Running or Cycling) or Rest
Sun:Rest

Any comments or suggestions? Thank you.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 06/16/2022 - 08:07

Roll with it, and let us know how it goes, HD.

JoeJoe
Posted on: Mon, 05/30/2022 - 13:16

Hi
I really want to start this routine. I read that cardio must be kept to a minimum low intensity 30 minutes but how many times in the week should I include it? Thank you.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 05/30/2022 - 19:15

What's good, JoeJoe? If you want to do cardio, schedule 2-3 sessions for 15-20 minutes each at a moderate pace. You can do this first thing in the morning, or after your weight training is done.

JoeJoe
Posted on: Mon, 05/30/2022 - 23:19

Thank you roger. Very much appreciated

Sal
Posted on: Mon, 05/02/2022 - 15:07

Hi Roger,

I'm starting the workout today but I'm abit confused overtwo things:
1-why are some workouts A / B? Do we get to pick either A or B?
2-when do we do supersets in this workout?
Thanks in advance
Sal

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 22:00

Hey Sal!

A and B means that the exercises are in a superset. Do A first, then B. Anytime you see A and B, those are the supersets.

Sean
Posted on: Thu, 04/07/2022 - 13:29

Hiya, I was wondering would a solid 5 day Monday / Friday program work with this routine, and possibly switching some days about, so strength on Monday Tuesday fine. Wednesday back/shoulder, and alternating Thursday with Leg size and Friday with chest and arms, rest on the weekend? What do you think?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:21

Hi, Sean. If you've been training for a while, and you feel you could recover properly, then yes. That would be okay. Not sure how long you've been in the iron game, though. That wouldn't work as well for beginners because training could take a greater toll on them without recovery in between.

Muhammad
Posted on: Sun, 03/06/2022 - 04:11

Hi Roger, How are you? thanks for that workout program
I have a question you add in Legs Size Workout

a Seated Hamstring Curl and Leg Extension

why that

thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 03/13/2022 - 19:41

Hello, Muhammad! All good here, and I hope you are as well.

This isn't my program, but my guess is that the author feels that warming up the hamstrings and quads with these will help you have a more productive workout. They are also good for preparing the knees for more intense work. I hope this helps!

Farhan
Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2022 - 05:45

Hey, this program is definitely what I am looking for. I just want to ensure do we need to add weights on every sets? During 10 weeks, do we maintain the same weights? or we need to add the weights every week? Also what to do after completing this 10 weeks program?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 03/10/2022 - 19:30

Hey Farhan. You can start light and add weight each set until the last set takes you to failure. Or, you could use the same weight for each. It's up to you. I would choose the first option myself. What to do after the 10 weeks depends on what your goals are at that time.

Muhammad
Posted on: Tue, 03/01/2022 - 20:54

Hi Roger, How are you? and thanks for that amazing program

I want to ask you why you add in leg day a biceps like that and why a superset

1a. Seated Hamstring Curl
1b. Leg Extension

Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 03/02/2022 - 20:42

Hi, Muhammad! Thanks for reading. The seated hamstring curl is actually for the back of the thigh, not the biceps. I get the confusion because of the word "Curl". Hopefully knowing that makes the superset part make sense. The hamstring curl trains the back of the thigh while the extension trains the front of the thigh.

Muhammad
Posted on: Mon, 03/07/2022 - 22:13

Hi Roger, Thanks again I was open the video and it directly to biceps curl not hamstring curl

thanks you

Luiz
Posted on: Thu, 02/03/2022 - 13:36

Hey Trevor,

Thank you for putting this workout together, it's great!
What's your recommendation on how to add Beta-Alanine and Citrulline Malate in my current stack?

I get up at 4:30am, at the gym at 5am.

Before Gym
Pre-workout + multi-vitamin

During work out
BCCA - half dose (approx. 10g)

After-workout
Whey (1.5 scoops) + half dose creatine approx. 2.5g

Late afternoon
Whey (1 scoop) + Collagen (1 scoop)

Before bed
BCCA - half dose (approx. 10g) + half dose creatine approx. 2.5g

Thank you very much.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/05/2022 - 19:48

Hi, Luis. Take the citrulline and beta-alanine before your workout. Taking it later in the day may affect your sleep, and the ingredients would be best served if you had them before you train. Hope this helps!

Luiz
Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2022 - 00:01

Thank you Roger, just one more question regarding the workout.
I just want to make sure which cross-over variation we are talking about here. Is the cable crossovers (upper chest) the one I should execute?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/26/2022 - 20:11

The version with the pulleys high that you bring down is the version recommended here, Luiz. Hope this helps!

Zuhran
Posted on: Fri, 12/10/2021 - 03:12

Hi, what would be the best calory intake for this program if you want to gain weight plus is this workout suitable for beginners? Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 12/10/2021 - 17:47
Ahmed
Posted on: Mon, 09/27/2021 - 02:58

What does it mean in some exercises a1 b1
Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 15:54

That means you should perform both exercises in a row without taking a rest in between.

Chris
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2021 - 00:48

What would a be good calorie intake with this program for a forty year old man?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2021 - 20:20

Hi, Chris. What is your goal? Calorie intake will differ based on whether you're trying to gain size or lose bodyfat.

Michael
Posted on: Mon, 08/30/2021 - 10:04

What is recommended rest time between reps? Between sets it’s 60-90 or 120-180 depends on a day.
Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 09/13/2021 - 20:19

Hi, Michael. Complete all reps in a row without rest before resting between sets.

Michael
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 21:07

Ah - sorry, my bad. I meant between exercises. What is a rest time when I finish all sets in an exercise and want to move to another one?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 10/07/2021 - 11:41

60 to 90 seconds rest.

Jade
Posted on: Wed, 05/12/2021 - 06:18

Can you recommend this workout plan for beginners, or will it fit more experienced lifters? Thank you, I am in need of a 5 day split suited for beginners.

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Abigail
Posted on: Thu, 05/13/2021 - 10:20
Bart
Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2021 - 13:34

Hi M&S Team... If I’m pressed for gym time but need to get my abs in, can I do an sets during my 180 second rest periods on strength days?

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Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2021 - 09:56

Hey Bart - that wouldn't be ideal, but yes, you could do that.

Lalo
Posted on: Mon, 11/09/2020 - 12:02

God this workout is terrible. It basically copied PHAT training, except made it bad. Like wtf he just crammed a bunch of random exercises into one workout and was like here do it. Like it makes no sense, especially on the strength day, you are doing 4-6 for CURLS AND SKULLCRUSHERS? lIKe wtf guys seriously. And on chest and arm day, you have like over 15+ sets for ur chest.

stephen
Posted on: Sat, 09/05/2020 - 15:13

goal is too add as much mass as possible do i have too used the exercise selection for full 10weeks and i train at home for some exercise i need too substitute

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Abigail
Posted on: Thu, 09/24/2020 - 11:26

Hey Stephen - which exercises are you needing to substitute?

Bart
Posted on: Tue, 08/18/2020 - 08:25

I don’t have access to abductor or adductor machines. What would be a good alternative for these?

Krean Emmott
Posted on: Mon, 12/16/2019 - 04:06

Just wondering could this be done with saturday and sunday off instead due to work demands it would suit more to do 5 weekdays

Roham
Posted on: Sun, 11/17/2019 - 14:13

Hi, I've been training for nearly 2 yrs. For the past 2.5 months have followed this program, just wondering what would suit me best for next step for 5days strength/size/gain contains more shoulder expertises!? Thanks

justin
Posted on: Sun, 11/10/2019 - 17:53

Hi what calorie intake would you recommend for this workout. I'm 27 5'9 197 lbs.

omar kamal
Posted on: Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:00

i started this workout plan last week and i love it, i used to workout last year but i've been off for sometime now, is this routine good for me as i want to gain weight ( muscle mass ) or should i go with a beginner routine for the first two months instead

malindu
Posted on: Thu, 06/06/2019 - 06:57

I was using 5 days split like chest,back,leg shoulder,arms..
now i start this and this feel great..can u advice me after 10 weeks wt is the best next schedule,
other wise i will lose every thin..please rep

Anthony Dillon
Posted on: Sat, 04/06/2019 - 19:41

What the??? 3 high intensity ab workouts in one week? That's so incredibly counterproductive as they do not have enough time to rest fully, and that's not even counting the heavy compound movements that require a lot of core stability.

Alex C
Posted on: Tue, 04/02/2019 - 18:00

Quick question. On the size phase are we suppose to use the same weight as the strength phase? or we suppose to go little bit lighter?

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Wed, 04/03/2019 - 10:26

Hi Alex,

You'll need to go lighter given the higher amount of volume during the size phase.

Alvin
Posted on: Sat, 03/02/2019 - 05:41

Hello, thanks for the very helpful plan.
I have a question on the weight. For the 4-6 reps; how should I calculate the weight to lift? Or is it supposed to be at my 4-6 reps failure weight?
Thanks in advance.

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2019 - 10:55

Hi Alvin,

Finish each set feeling as though you have 1-2 reps still left in the tank.

Mehdi
Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2019 - 00:38

Hey Josh,
Thanks for your workout plan. since I am using this workout, I was just wondering how much calories do I burn approximately ?

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Wed, 02/27/2019 - 09:03

Hi Mehdi,

Calorie expenditure will depend on the workout, weight used, and the individual performing the workout. If you have the myfitnesspal app - try to enter in the duration of your workout under the exercise field for "moderate weight-training". It should help provide some relatively accurate calorie counts.