Dave's V.I.F Mass Building Program

This program tackles 3 of the 5 different types of workouts that will hopefully keep your body growing in the right direction. Each phase is 4 weeks.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
12 weeks
4
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

This program tackles three of the five different types of workout programs that will hopefully keep your body growing in the right direction: Volume Dominant, Intensity Dominant, and Frequency Dominant or V.I.F for short. Each phase is 4 weeks long for a total of 12 weeks.

VOLUME DOMINANT PHASE

In the first phase or the "Volume Dominant" phase we utilize a high number of sets per muscle group to stimulate growth. Before the 4 weeks are up the number of sets you perform for most muscle groups will grow from 8 sets to 20 sets.

Because of the high volume of work for a muscle group, only one or two muscle groups can be trained in a session which also means that you can (and should) train each muscle group only once per week.

Workout Volume For Large Muscle Groups (Small Muscle groups):

  • Week 1 = 2 Sets of 10 Reps Per Exercise (Same)
  • Week 2 = 3 Sets of 8 Reps Per Exercise (Same)
  • Week 3 = 4 Sets of 6 Reps Per Exercise (No More than 10 Total sets)
  • Week 4 = 5 Sets of 6 Reps Per Exercise (No More than 10 Total sets)

Rest 60 seconds between sets in weeks 1 and 2, 90 seconds in weeks 3 and 4.

INTENSITY DOMINANT PHASE

The second phase or the "Intensity-Dominant" phase revolves around the use of heavy weights, in the 80-90% range. Reps are in the 6 - 8 range. During this phase, the number of sets per exercise is fairly high but the overall volume of work is fairly low because you focus only on 1-2 exercises per muscle group. Because overall training volume is low for each muscle group we will work each muscle twice a week, splitting the workouts into Upper and Lower body.

Each week you should aim for slight increases in the weight you are using for each exercise.

Workout Volume:

  • Week 1 = 3 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Week 2 = 3 Sets of 8 Reps (increase weight)
  • Week 3 = 4 Sets of 6 Reps (increase weight)
  • Week 4 = 4 Sets of 6 Reps (increase weight)

Rest 60 Seconds between sets in weeks 1 and 2, 90 Seconds in weeks 3 and 4

FREQUENCY DOMINANT PHASE

The last phase or the "Frequency Dominant" phase relies on training each muscle group more frequently, 3 times per week. It works by improving neural drive to the muscle and 'forcing' the body to add muscle because it needs them to work hard almost every day. With this type of training the volume of work needs to be super low to avoid overtraining. You will do 3 "Whole Body" workouts.

You will use "Undulating Reps" which means the rep ranges for the particular whole body workout will change each week, giving your body an extra shock.

Workout Volume:

  • Week 1 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 12 Reps
  • Week 2 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 12 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 6 Reps
  • Week 3 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 12 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 10 Reps
  • Week 4 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 12 Reps.

Workout Loads:

  • 2 Sets of 6 Reps - 85% of 1 RM - Rest 90 Seconds Between Sets
  • 2 Sets of 10 Reps - 75% of 1 RM - Rest 60 Seconds Between Sets
  • 2 Sets of 12 Reps - 65% of 1 RM - Rest 30 Seconds Between Sets

The Workouts

Volume Phase - Week 1

Week 1 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP      
2 Barbell Rows 10 10      
3 Seated Cable Rows 10 10      
4 Hyper Extensions 10 10      
5A Upright Rows 10 10      
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
Week 1 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 10 10      
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP      
3 Dumbbell Military Press 10 10      
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 10 10      
Week 1 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 10 10      
2 Leg Press 10 10      
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 10 10      
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 10 10      
5 Standing Calf Raise 10 10      
Week 1 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 10 10      
2 Close Grip Bench Press 10 10      
3A Lying Tricep Extension 10 10      
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 10 10      
4A Preacher Curls 10 10      
4B Tricep Kickbacks 10 10      

Volume Phase - Week 2

Increase Weight and Number of Sets, Decrease Reps

Week 2 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
2 Barbell Rows 8 8 8    
3 Seated Cable Rows 8 8 8    
4 Hyper Extensions 8 8 8    
5A Upright Rows 8 8 8    
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 8 8 8    
Week 2 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 8 8 8    
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 8 8 8    
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
3 Dumbbell Military Press 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 8 8 8    
Week 2 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 8 8 8    
2 Leg Press 8 8 8    
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 8 8 8    
5 Standing Calf Raise 8 8 8    
Week 2 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 8 8 8    
2 Close Grip Bench Press 8 8 8    
3A Lying Tricep Extension 8 8 8    
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 8 8 8    
4A Preacher Curls 8 8 8    
4B Tricep Kickbacks 8 8 8    

Volume Phase - Week 3

Increase Weight and Number of Sets, Decrease Reps

Week 3 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
2 Barbell Rows 6 6 6 6  
3 Seated Cable Rows 6 6 6 6  
4 Hyper Extensions 6 6 6 6  
5A Upright Rows 6 6 6 6  
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6  
Week 3 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
3 Dumbbell Military Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 6 6 6 6  
Week 3 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 6 6 6 6  
2 Leg Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 6 6 6 6  
5 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6  
Week 3 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 6 6 6 6  
2 Close Grip Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3A Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6    
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6    
4A Preacher Curls 6 6 6    
4B Tricep Kickbacks 6 6 6    

Volume Phase - Week 4

Increase Weight and Number of Sets, Reps Remain The Same

Week 4 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP
2 Barbell Rows 6 6 6 6 6
3 Seated Cable Rows 6 6 6 6 6
4 Hyper Extensions 6 6 6 6 6
5A Upright Rows 6 6 6 6 6
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6 6
Week 4 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 6 6 6 6 6
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6 6 6 6
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP
3 Dumbbell Military Press 6 6 6 6 6
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 6 6 6 6 6
Week 4 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 6 6 6 6 6
2 Leg Press 6 6 6 6 6
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6 6
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 6 6 6 6 6
5 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6 6
Week 4 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 6 6 6 6 6
2 Close Grip Bench Press 6 6 6 6 6
3A Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6    
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6    
4A Preacher Curls 6 6      
4B Tricep Kickbacks 6 6      

Intensity Phase - Week 5

Upper & Lower Body Workouts Twice a Week

Week 5 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
2 Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Military Press 8 8 8    
4 Barbell Shrug 8 8 8    
5 Lying Tricep Extension 8 8 8    
6 Hammer Curls 8 8 8    
Week 5 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 8 8 8    
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 8 8 8    
3 Seated Calf Raises 8 8 8    
4 Weighted Crunches 8 8 8    
5 Cable Pull Ins 8 8 8    
Week 5 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 8 8 8    
2 Incline Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Arnold Press 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 8 8 8    
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 8 8 8    
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 8 8 8    
Week 5 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 8 8 8    
2 Dumbbell Lunges 8 8 8    
3 Standing Calf Raise 8 8 8    
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 8 8 8    
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 8 8 8    

Intensity Phase - Week 6

Increase Weight. Sets and Reps Stay the Same.

Week 6 - Day 1
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
2 Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Military Press 8 8 8    
4 Barbell Shrug 8 8 8    
5 Lying Tricep Extension 8 8 8    
6 Hammer Curls 8 8 8    
Week 6 - Day 2
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 8 8 8    
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 8 8 8    
3 Seated Calf Raises 8 8 8    
4 Weighted Crunches 8 8 8    
5 Cable Pull Ins 8 8 8    
Week 6 - Day 3
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 8 8 8    
2 Incline Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Arnold Press 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 8 8 8    
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 8 8 8    
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 8 8 8    
Week 6 - Day 4
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 8 8 8    
2 Dumbbell Lunges 8 8 8    
3 Standing Calf Raise 8 8 8    
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 8 8 8    
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 8 8 8    

Intensity Phase - Week 7

Increase Weight, Add a Set and Reduce Reps to 6

Week 7 - Day 1
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
2 Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Military Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Barbell Shrug 6 6 6 6  
5 Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6 6  
6 Hammer Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 7 - Day 2
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6 6 6  
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6  
3 Seated Calf Raises 6 6 6 6  
4 Weighted Crunches 6 6 6 6  
5 Cable Pull Ins 6 6 6 6  
Week 7 - Day 3
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 6 6 6 6  
2 Incline Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Arnold Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6  
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 6 6 6 6  
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 7 - Day 4
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 6 6 6 6  
2 Dumbbell Lunges 6 6 6 6  
3 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6  
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 6 6 6 6  
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 6 6 6 6  

Intensity Phase - Week 8

Increase Weight, Sets and Reps Stay The Same

Week 8 - Day 1
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
2 Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Military Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Barbell Shrug 6 6 6 6  
5 Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6 6  
6 Hammer Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 8 - Day 2
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6 6 6  
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6  
3 Seated Calf Raises 6 6 6 6  
4 Weighted Crunches 6 6 6 6  
5 Cable Pull Ins 6 6 6 6  
Week 8 - Day 3
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 6 6 6 6  
2 Incline Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Arnold Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6  
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 6 6 6 6  
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 8 - Day 4
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 6 6 6 6  
2 Dumbbell Lunges 6 6 6 6  
3 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6  
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 6 6 6 6  
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 6 6 6 6  

Frequency Phase - Week 9

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 9 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 6 6      
3 Seated Calf Raise 6 6      
4 Seated Cable Row 6 6      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 6 6      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 6 6      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 6 6      
Week 9 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 10 10      
2 Leg Curls 10 10      
3 Seated Calf Raise 10 10      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 10 10      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
6 Military Press 10 10      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 10 10      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 10 10      
Week 9 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 12 12      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 12 12      
3 Barbell Rows 12 12      
4 Barbell Bench Press 12 12      
5 Arnold Press 12 12      
6 Rear Delt Raise 12 12      
7 Upright Row 12 12      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 12 12      
9 Preacher Curls 12 12      

Frequency Phase - Week 10

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 10 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 10 10      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 10 10      
3 Seated Calf Raise 10 10      
4 Seated Cable Row 10 10      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 10 10      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 10 10      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 10 10      
Week 10 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 12 12      
2 Leg Curls 12 12      
3 Seated Calf Raise 12 12      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 12 12      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 12 12      
6 Military Press 12 12      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 12 12      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 12 12      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 12 12      
Week 10 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 6 6      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 6 6      
3 Barbell Rows 6 6      
4 Barbell Bench Press 6 6      
5 Arnold Press 6 6      
6 Rear Delt Raise 6 6      
7 Upright Row 6 6      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 6 6      
9 Preacher Curls 6 6      

Frequency Phase - Week 11

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 11 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 12 12      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 12 12      
3 Seated Calf Raise 12 12      
4 Seated Cable Row 12 12      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 12 12      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 12 12      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 12 12      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 12 12      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 12 12      
Week 11 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 6 6      
2 Leg Curls 6 6      
3 Seated Calf Raise 6 6      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 6 6      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6      
6 Military Press 6 6      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 6 6      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 6 6      
Week 11 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 10 10      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 10 10      
3 Barbell Rows 10 10      
4 Barbell Bench Press 10 10      
5 Arnold Press 10 10      
6 Rear Delt Raise 10 10      
7 Upright Row 10 10      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 10 10      
9 Preacher Curls 10 10      

Frequency Phase - Week 12

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 12 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 6 6      
3 Seated Calf Raise 6 6      
4 Seated Cable Row 6 6      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 6 6      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 6 6      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 6 6      
Week 12 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 10 10      
2 Leg Curls 10 10      
3 Seated Calf Raise 10 10      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 10 10      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
6 Military Press 10 10      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 10 10      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 10 10      
Week 12 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 12 12      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 12 12      
3 Barbell Rows 12 12      
4 Barbell Bench Press 12 12      
5 Arnold Press 12 12      
6 Rear Delt Raise 12 12      
7 Upright Row 12 12      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 12 12      
9 Preacher Curls 12 12      

Nutrition Information

Okay you're MASS BUILDING trying to add QUALITY MUSCLE MASS, not just WEIGHT. So you've got to take nutrition as seriously as you do when you CUT.

1) Calories:

Figure out your BMR by using the BMR Calculator.

The typical recommendation is add 500 calories to this number. But everyone is different, so I'm going to exercise caution here and ask you to add 10% to that number to get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE. If you find that your not gaining .5 to 1lbs of body weight each week, then you can bump it up to 15%.

So if your BMR is 3000 calories, add 300 calories to make your TDEE = 3300.

2) Macronutrient Ratio: 20-30-50

a. Protein: Protein should be 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
i. Your weight X 1 = ____ grams Protein
ii. 200lbs X 1gram = 200 grams Protein
b. Fat: Fat should be about 30% of your TDEE.
i. TDEE X .3 = ____ Calories/ 9 calories = ____ grams Fat
ii. 3300 X .3 = 990 calories / 9 calories = 110 grams Fat
c. Carbs: Carbs should make up the remainder of your calories:
i. TDEE - Fat Calories - Protein Calories = Carb Calories
ii. 3300 - 990 - 800 = 1510 Calories/ 4 Calories = 377 grams Carbs

If you have any questions about nutrition planning ask in the nutrition section of the forum.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why do you have to be 18 years old or have intermediate level training experience to do this routine?
    Because the routine uses near maximal weight, it's important that your body's growth plates have sealed. There have been several studies conducted on teen weight lifting that suggest that certain types of weight lifting may damage the epiphysis, or growth plate, of your bones. There is evidence that lifting heavy weight could speed up growth plate closure, which would stunt your growth. So if you are under 18, stick with the teenage training guidelines in this article. Intermediate level experience is a requirement because you have to understand how to logically increase the load you'll be using every week. Most people with 2 or more years of training experience know their bodies well enough and the weights they can handle to push their body to the limit and know what a logical increase would be. If you have no clue on how to set your own personal loading parameters for an exercise, you will not be able to perform this routine effectively.
  2. I thought working a muscle twice a week wasn't recommended for gaining mass? In the Intensity Dominant Phase you have us working each muscle twice a week and in the Frequency Phase it's 3 times a week, what gives?
    Because the total volume of work that is done per muscle group is decreased in both the Intensity Dominant Phase and the Frequency Phase you will be able to work your muscles twice or three times a week without entering an overtrained state. The workouts are spaced far enough apart to allow for proper recovery and if you are practicing supportive nutrition you should be able to make solid gains, even though the work volume is low.
  3. I don't have XX Equipment or Can't Do XX exercise, can I use a different exercise?
    Of course, just make sure you swap it with an exercise that is close to the movement of the original exercise. Switch compound movements for compound movements, not isolation exercises. Not sure which exercise to pick? Browse 600+ videos of different exercises organized by body part in the exercise videos section.
  4. After increasing the weight on a exercise I can't get the required reps, should I go back down to the previous weight?
    Absolutely not! If you want muscle mass you have to subject your muscles to an overload, so REGRESSING IN WEIGHT MOVED isn't going to help. Stick with the heavier weight and strive to do "One-More-REP!" the next time the workout is performed until you can reach the required reps. If you still can't get the prescribed reps you probably were a little aggressive in the weight increase. Try to jump up in weight in smaller increments.

This program was developed by Dave Herber

212 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 08/06/2016 - 13:37
James Corner

Can you do this routine when your cutting.

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Posted Mon, 07/25/2016 - 15:48
Kontrabas

So, I've been going to the gym 1 month back, and I don't have that much progress, if anyone has gotten to the middle/finish of this program, can you tell me is it a good routine and worth starting it?

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Posted Thu, 11/26/2015 - 15:38
josue

in the 3th day of the frequency phase there is 3 shoulder exercises and non calf exercise, can I take off one of the shoulder exercises and add for exemple leg press calf raises?

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Posted Tue, 04/07/2015 - 15:35
Casey

Awesome workout so far. I'm in the middle of week 4 (Legs and arms left to do). My t-shirts are starting to get pretty tight. I've tweaked it a little bit. I replaced hyperextensions with standard deadlift and regular pushups instead of decline pushups because I would have fallen on my face, and since I got used to it, I'm just going with it. Again, awesome gains. I'm much stronger, I'm almost at my Air Force peak from 3 years ago, I gained 10 lbs already and that's only 3 and a half weeks into it. I'm excited to where I'm at in another 3-4 weeks.

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Posted Tue, 01/13/2015 - 14:07
John

After I complete the 12 week program, do I start over or find another program or continue on with similar workouts?

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Posted Sun, 09/07/2014 - 19:20
Patrick

I was wondering, the exercises for example 5A and 5B. Are there suppose to be done as supersets?

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Posted Sun, 08/31/2014 - 08:42
Jonathan Janvier

Week five is completely messed up.
Why is there a leg press in the arm workout please?!

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Posted Sat, 07/19/2014 - 13:37
Phiddy pence

Just wanted to add, on the intensity dominat phase week 10 - 12 do NOt try and do 12 reps with weight you where lifting during the previous week, you will fuck your muscles and your central nervous sytem up BIG TIME i found this out the hard way. Last of the 12 reps need to be almost impossible due to over work not due to being too darn heavy. higher reps lighter weight still stands, i'm back on track for week 11 now , high reps low weights and sets and all over body workouts and seeing some good gains and feeling great. :)

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Posted Wed, 07/16/2014 - 08:50
mehrdad1991

Hey
I wanna ask something about this program which i am beginning to workout "daves-vif-mass-building"

i wanna know do i have to lift same weight while i have to do sets with same reps?
for example while it's 4 sets of 6 reps do i need to pick a weight which i can do 4 sets of 6 reps with that wieght? or should i pick heavier weight on first set and lower it each set?

thanks

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Posted Fri, 07/11/2014 - 06:48
Duke

Hi, please guide me on the weight criteria in this program. That is, do we have to increase the weight after each set of an exercise or the weight lifted remains the same. Because e.g if we look at the Volume Phase week 1 day 1 then for seated rows we have to perform 3 sets of 8 reps each. Now should I perform those sets with the same weight or should I increase the weight after each set while the reps will remain constant at 8 ? Because if I choose a weight with which I have to finish the last set with 8 reps then it will feel lighter on the first set and if I choose a weight with which I can finish the first set with 8 reps then I may not be able to reach 8 reps with that weight on the third set.

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Posted Thu, 07/10/2014 - 20:52
Duke

hey Steve
u said we should do Vol. part like this

Day 1 - Back and Traps
Day 2 - Chest and Shoulders
Day 3 - OFF
Day 4 - Legs
Day 5 - Arms
Day 6 & 7 - OFF

How about Intensity and Frequency?

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Posted Wed, 07/09/2014 - 19:15
khaled

can i add abs workout in day 1.3and 5

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Posted Wed, 06/25/2014 - 11:34
Ahmed

I am currently on week 7 of this workout plan and am seeing great results. Unfourtunately, Ramadan is around the corner (this Saturday), and was wondering how I should go about this workout. I plan on eat extensively when the sun goes down, but know that gaining muscle will be hard during this month. Should I continue with the workout with hope of atleast maintaining the muscle I have, of should I maybe avoid the Frequency phase while I'm fasting.

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Posted Mon, 06/23/2014 - 05:01
Sunil Kamble

Hi Steve,

Should the rest days be same for all the three volume, intensity and frequency programs?
Or should they be changed? If so, please give the breakup / rest days for all the 3 programs.

Cheers!!

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Posted Tue, 06/10/2014 - 20:02
Ryan Lambert

My buddy showed me this workout plan the other day. Started on Mon and I like because it gives me time to out 3 miles in afterwords. Ive only done full body because I wanted to burn more calories. I've also been told more muscles, more calories burned. Just trying something diff because my plan gets boring and this one switches it up and it's all laid out there infront of me. My question though is what's a good core workout to do on leg day. Not worried about a 6 pack just want to strenghten my core. I work at home so it would have to be body weight/dumbbell/barbell/yoga ball only. Thank, Ryan.

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Posted Sun, 06/01/2014 - 06:38
Chris

I am 25preping for a npc comp and i want to throw on alot of size what workout wold you recomend for me

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Posted Sat, 05/17/2014 - 12:39
Jake

In this article it doesn't say anything about increasing weight on lifting. Should I?

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Posted Sun, 04/20/2014 - 09:32
alias

what do you mean by the workout loads
Workout Loads:
• 2 Sets of 6 Reps - 85% of 1 RM
• 2 Sets of 10 Reps - 75% of 1 RM
• 2 Sets of 12 Reps - 65% of 1 RM-

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Posted Mon, 04/14/2014 - 14:12
lawrence

what do you mean when you say 5a and 5b

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Posted Mon, 04/14/2014 - 14:08
lawrence

more of a question when you say work 5a 5b when do u mean cause i do the regular sets/reps need to know if i put 2 sets in between the regular sets

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Posted Sun, 04/13/2014 - 10:57
Akhil Pathak

Hi, please guide me on the weight criteria in this program. That is, do we have to increase the weight after each set of an exercise or the weight lifted remains the same. Because e.g if we look at the Volume Phase week 1 day 1 then for seated rows we have to perform 3 sets of 8 reps each. Now should I perform those sets with the same weight or should I increase the weight after each set while the reps will remain constant at 8 ? Because if I choose a weight with which I have to finish the last set with 8 reps then it will feel lighter on the first set and if I choose a weight with which I can finish the first set with 8 reps then I may not be able to reach 8 reps with that weight on the third set.

Thanks.

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Posted Mon, 02/03/2014 - 15:22
Mike

Do you suggest any other of your workouts after having completed this 12-week one?

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2014 - 01:29
Kenny

so i noticed that the workout description it says - Workout Volume:

Week 1 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 12 Reps
Week 2 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 12 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 6 Reps
Week 3 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 12 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 10 Reps
Week 4 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 12 Reps.

so in week 1 under back n traps it says -5A 10. 10. .. but workout A for week 1 is 2 set of 6 correct? and there are other workouts through out the weeks that have similar statements. SO, do I ignore what the chart is saying and pay attention to the workout description, in the VOLUME section?

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Posted Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:37
John S

Hey,

What should i do once the program is finished? Start over> Go for another one? Just maintain?

Thanks.

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 20:47
Antonio

Hi

The exercises that have A and B, need to be do as a super set?

Thanks

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 10:32
Oliver

Would it be alright to add extra ab exercices to this routine?

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Posted Fri, 12/06/2013 - 02:57
Balili

At week 8 I was late to gym and I had one hour to work out. So I rested only for 40-45 seconds between sets. I was able to do it. Is this normal? Why am I resting 60 or 90 seconds if I am able to do the workout with 45 seconds rest?

Thanks.

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Posted Sat, 11/30/2013 - 07:36
Mazen Samy

hello steve, i was wondering how much rest days should i take in the 3rd phase? thank you for this amazing program.

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Posted Wed, 10/23/2013 - 12:46
mike

Hello,

I've had success with this routine in the past. What do you suggest as a routine following this or can I just repeat this workout with more weight/reps in each phase? I have seemed to plateau and would like to break through it!

Thanks

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Posted Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:58
yasir

How much weight i shall increase in my workout plan weekly ?

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Posted Wed, 10/16/2013 - 19:50
Matt

What percentages are supposed to be used in the first month of the program? Do we use the work loads as described in the 3rd month?

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Posted Tue, 09/17/2013 - 16:36
Kyle

Steve,
I am 46 and weigh 212. I have worked out before so I'm not a total beginner, but I just started again after about a one year rest due to a shoulder injury. I into my 3rd week with a similar program on this page. I am using "The Body Sculpting Bible for Men" by Villepigue and Rivera. Their philosophy is work opposite muscle groups together; like day 1 back/chest, day 2 bi-ceps/tri-ceps, day 3 shoulders/traps and legs. Your routine is very similar. What are the pros and cons do you think with your routine verses this one? Or what lead you to couple your sets together this way?
Another question that maybe you can help me with. Depending from who or what you read, one can get conflicting instructions concerning Glutamine, protein, creatine, ect. If I want to loose weight (my gut) but at the same time build muscle mass, what is best? Do I take Glutamine, protein, creatine before I work out or after, or both? Also, I am using the "My Fitness Pal" app which suggests I eat around 1600 calories a day with about 200 burned by exercise to reach my goal of 190 lbs in 16 weeks. Is that an unrealistic goal or should I aim higher if I want more mass?
Thanks, Kyle

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Posted Fri, 08/23/2013 - 15:28
Travis Trego

Can someone post a video or give an explanation for a cable pull in?

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Posted Mon, 08/19/2013 - 09:05
Travis

yeaaaa

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Posted Sat, 06/22/2013 - 23:28
Brett

I suppose it's no coincidence that when I copied and pasted this work out into word - - One weeks worth of workouts fit on each page! Thank you for that!

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Posted Tue, 06/18/2013 - 01:12
Matt

Can I substitute the stiff-leg deadlifts with conventional deadlifts?

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Posted Tue, 06/18/2013 - 17:18
mnsjason

If you're more comfortable with conventional deadlifts, then by all means substitute them.

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Posted Sat, 06/15/2013 - 18:16
Matt

When you get to the 4x6 part of thr program, would I be increasing weight after each set or keeping same weight till next week?

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Posted Sun, 05/12/2013 - 10:41
Mayank

My lower chest is weak can I replace the bench press with decline bench press
N keep the rest same.
Kindly suggest

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Posted Sat, 05/11/2013 - 12:46
Mayank

Hey steve
While performing the super sets of exercise A n B of 2sets,it should be done alternatively
Like 5a+5b and second set of 5&+5b

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Posted Sat, 05/11/2013 - 11:36
JacobC96

Does any part of this workout plan target the abs and obliques or should I add a day strictly for that?

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Posted Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:37
viswa

after the completion of 12 weeks shall i start from 1st week??

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Posted Sat, 05/04/2013 - 08:25
preet

hey steve,

I doing hard workout everyday but i cant loss my stomach fat, pls. advis.

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Posted Tue, 04/30/2013 - 03:17
s3rcan

What about dumbbell flies?

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Posted Wed, 04/03/2013 - 09:47
Bryanquick

Great workout and I thought I would never get back into shape. Went from 150 lbs to 200 lbs in four months. Within 2 weeks I'm 193 lbs with rock hard 8 pack and chiseled chest whoop whoop

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Posted Tue, 03/19/2013 - 17:21
Hadi

Hi steve iwounder to know what is mean of AMAP also ifind it hard to calculate fat and carbs help plzz Thanks alot

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Posted Fri, 04/12/2013 - 16:43
s3rcan

AMAP = as many as possible

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Posted Tue, 03/19/2013 - 01:54
John

I'm just starting this workout so I'm still in the first week.
The entire workout only takes me 20-25 minutes total to complete. Is this enough?
I guess I'm just used to P90X where I'm killing myself for an hour+.
My question is should I add something else to this workout?

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Posted Sun, 03/17/2013 - 06:27
Peter

I want to add ABS WORKOUT to this program im on the 6 Week now can someone help me ? cuz i dont know how and...

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Posted Fri, 03/15/2013 - 23:22
prasanth

Hi Steve,
I am 31 year old, 5.5 ft height I have started noticing that I have gained some fat around my stomach and my belly is starting to show specially on the lover ABS. I am not very happy with the forming belly and would like to get rid of it ASAP. Please advice. i doing GYM weekly 3 days for my various parts, and ABS as well and the rest of the day i doing my cardio (20 min) and ABS (25) work out at home.
But the lower ABS are still looking flabby. but the rest of the body are looks good. And since i started to cut dawn my calories and increase the intensity of exercise now my chest and arm muscles are looking smaller compare to the previous and the flabby ABS still there.
Please advise a programs through which i can cut dawn my lower belly as well as build up a good looking upper body.