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  1. #1
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Simple volume ramped BB routine

    This is a 6 day volume ramped routine designed for intermediate+ mass gain. Be sure to read the notes below.


    Rotation - 3 day cycle repeated with minor variations

    Barbell bench (3x5) (0)
    Pendlay row (3x8) (0)
    Lateral delt (2)
    EZ bar curl (2)

    Back squat (3x6) (0)
    DB overhead press (3x8) (0)
    Hip thruster (2)
    Pec fly (2)

    Neutral grip pullups (3x8) (0)
    Romanian deadlift (2x8) (0)
    Ab wheel (2)
    Leg extension (2)

    DB bench (3x8) (0)
    Pendlay row (3x8) (0)
    Lateral delt (2)
    Curl (2)

    Back squat (3x10) (0)
    Seated BB press (3x10) (0)
    GHR (2)
    Pec fly (2)

    Wide grip pullups (3x10) (0)
    Snatch grip deadlift (3x5) (0)
    Ab wheel (2)
    Sissy squat (2)


    Base sets: sets across shown as e.g. (3 x 8)
    - do sets across with the same weight. Last set done to 1 rep before failure.
    - increase the weight when last set exceeds the stated reps (e.g. you get 8, 8, 10)

    Drop sets: shown as a single number of sets - i.e. most start with (2)
    - select a weight on the fly that will yield 8-15 reps (this choice is not critical - it is the base sets that drive progression)
    - train to 1-2 reps before failure in each set

    Volume ramp:
    - Every week, add 1 drop set to each bodypart (chest, shoulders, quads, posterior chain, back) to an exercise of your choice
    - To be clear: this means you should have 5 more sets each week in total. If an exercise is repeated (like Pendlay row), don't add the set to both days.
    - You can add drop sets to main lifts (which start at zero drop sets) or to accessories (which start with 2)
    - Keep doing this until you start overreaching. Then deload and start again.
    - Ab wheel doesn't really fall into any category. I would be inclined to treat it as an honorary posterior chain movement when it comes to adding sets.

    Add prehab exercises at the end of each session as required e.g. these are mine:
    - L-fly
    - One arm DB overhead shrug
    - Hip abduction machine
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 01-03-2019 at 06:09 AM.
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  2. #2
    alhamdulillah Gaston40's Avatar
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    Brilliant mate. I was just thinking of adding 1 or 2 drop sets to my set up as well.
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  3. #3
    Registered User gcoulson's Avatar
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    Adding drop sets on top of AMRAP. Brutal!

    How long do you anticipate someone running this program?
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  4. #4
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gcoulson View Post
    Adding drop sets on top of AMRAP. Brutal!

    How long do you anticipate someone running this program?
    Well it's not quite AMRAP. 1 set before failure is obviously still pretty taxing in a main compound though.

    So it's starts with 12 sets per bodypart per week. After 6 weeks, it would be 18. This is still sustainable by some but others might be overreaching about here IMO.
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  5. #5
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    If it hadn't been S.P. posting this I'd have asked if the work put in to BB Bench + DB Bench + Pec fly > Pendlay. So whether the Sissy squats or something should be swapped for something from: reverse fly, one arm row, seated row, facepull, perhaps.. cuban rotation. Weak upper back is a particular problem of mine though. But maybe I should keep quiet?
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  6. #6
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Haha. If it's any consolation, my shoulders feel great. There is plenty of lateral and posterior delt in there - plus you should do the extra external rotation (L fly) and trap work which I suggest at the bottom. The old adage of matching presses with pulls is a crude but effective way of getting structural balance but not the only way.
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  7. #7
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Haha. If it's any consolation, my shoulders feel great. There is plenty of lateral and posterior delt in there - plus you should do the extra external rotation (L fly) and trap work which I suggest at the bottom. The old adage of matching presses with pulls is a crude but effective way of getting structural balance but not the only way.
    Was just thinking out loud... Understood that the rule of thumb is in no way a fixed law. I asked a coach (this time last year) about what he thought about this balance for horizontal pull and he literally laughed at me. He said if I was a wrestler he'd recommend very little extra but since I'm an office worker he recommends quite a Lot extra - and there is no such thing as a rule of thumb (he kind of told me there! )
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  8. #8
    We know lol Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    Was just thinking out loud... Understood that the rule of thumb is in no way a fixed law. I asked a coach (this time last year) about what he thought about this balance for horizontal pull and he literally laughed at me. He said if I was a wrestler he'd recommend very little extra but since I'm an office worker he recommends quite a Lot extra - and there is no such thing as a rule of thumb (he kind of told me there! )
    Asking that push/pull balance question of some online accessible coaches or other forums has a similar response, and posters/lifters chiming in similarly to

    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Haha. If it's any consolation, my shoulders feel great.
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  9. #9
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I don't think it's wrong to recommend that kind of balance to a mass audience like we have here... you can customise more once you have experience or if you have individual coaching.

    I forgot to add - the pullups and deadlifts contribute a lot. I've noticed the scapular retraction demands of Romanian deadlift really starting to ramp up recently as this lift has been getting heavier.
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  10. #10
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Update:
    - end of week 5,
    - I'm up to 16 sets per bodypart per week (from 12) and it's still going well,
    - I'm still progressively overloading.
    - Hoping to reach 7-8 weeks before overreaching sets in.
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  11. #11
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    End of week 7, started to feel tired all the time and have sleep issues. Up to around 18 sets per BP per week...

    No real drop in performance yet but still seemed like a good time for deload.

    Gained around 2kg without any apparent change in waist size (I realise some will be glycogen uptake and inflammation).

    Overall pretty pleased and will run it again after a deload / change of pace.

    I'm going to lose some weight for about 3-4 weeks using a
    Bulgarian lite style cutting phase:

    Every day, 6 days a week. Work up to training max in singles for:
    - front squat
    - overhead press
    - power clean

    Then do some abs and burn about 150-200 cals doing cardio (yes, it's dat spot reduction time).
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 02-19-2019 at 02:25 AM.
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  12. #12
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    You have me really interested in this type of setup. My only issue is that training 6 days a week is a bit much for me, especially once the volume is high so I might actually try to work this volume ramp into a 4 day U/L. Instead of increasing the volume by 1 set per muscle per week, I'm thinking of increasing the number of sets every 4 weeks (equal to the total number of ramp increments to that point, so 4 sets in the case of the OP). The only thing that would change within those 4 week periods is the weight from normal progression. An example for a main lift/assistance/accessory lift:

    Week 1 - 2x6/2x10/2x12
    Week 5 - 3x5/3x9/3x11
    Week 9 - 4x4/4x8/4x10
    Week 13 - week off
    repeat

    I know there's not one exact method, but how does this sound?
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  13. #13
    eye of the tigress etet1919's Avatar
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    You guys think too much.....JK. See, when you work on increasing the volume, you become better at it....and it's not because of "slow twitch muscle fibers"....It's simply due to improving your fitness level....Good work SP.
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  14. #14
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    You have me really interested in this type of setup. My only issue is that training 6 days a week is a bit much for me, especially once the volume is high so I might actually try to work this volume ramp into a 4 day U/L. Instead of increasing the volume by 1 set per muscle per week, I'm thinking of increasing the number of sets every 4 weeks (equal to the total number of ramp increments to that point, so 4 sets in the case of the OP). The only thing that would change within those 4 week periods is the weight from normal progression. An example for a main lift/assistance/accessory lift:

    Week 1 - 2x6/2x10/2x12
    Week 5 - 3x5/3x9/3x11
    Week 9 - 4x4/4x8/4x10
    Week 13 - week off
    repeat

    I know there's not one exact method, but how does this sound?
    There's no reason why you couldn't do that.
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  15. #15
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    I use a simple progressive overload method personally and switch setxrep ranges on the compounds for the time being every so often (4-8weeks), but very interested in different methods for later down the road.

    I was curious to see how your starting working weights are calculated with the varying setxrep ranges in additional with the volume ramp up methods. I would guess you need to start out relatively low ?
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  16. #16
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I don't do any calculations as such. I just pick a weight which is probably too light. If my target is 3x10 and I get 10,10,13 then I immediately up the weight for next time. So it quickly autoregulates - plus when you've come back from a deload, you should be quite sensitive to any kind of lifting so it's not like you will be wasting time due to undertraining.
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    Yo SP, followed you advice and checked this out. Just had a few questions tho. Why do you opt for seated BB press over the usual standing OHP? Similarly, why the snatch grip deadlift over a usual grip? Was also wondering if you didn't see the importance in having a hamstring curl anywhere in there or do you consider than unnecessary due to having the GHR?
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  18. #18
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JohnTitor101 View Post
    Yo SP, followed you advice and checked this out. Just had a few questions tho. Why do you opt for seated BB press over the usual standing OHP? Similarly, why the snatch grip deadlift over a usual grip? Was also wondering if you didn't see the importance in having a hamstring curl anywhere in there or do you consider than unnecessary due to having the GHR?
    Those are just variants - I wrote this for me and wanted a change on what I was doing before (i.e. endless Romanian deadlifts and standing barbell OHP). Really, this is just a template not an exact prescription. You could use a totally different set of exercises or split (some people don't like the higher frequency approach) and still apply the progression and periodization methods.

    Yes, I often do hamstring curl but in this instance chose to do GHR instead.
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    Just so I understand correctly, when you say add 1 drop set you mean you do your base sets and on the last set of those base sets, you drop the weight ONCE and rep out another set? Because I've seen a single drop set be defined as this:

    (% as working weight) - 100% > 80% > 60% > 40%.

    By what you've defined, the drop set would end at the 80%? As in, a single drop in weight as opposed to the 3-4 drops you see in a traditional drop set? If that's the case, how does a drop set in the way you've defined it differ from a back off set? Perhaps the lack of rest between sets.

    Thanks
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    Are you still following this program SuffolkPunch or have you dropped it?

    How has progress been? Any rep PR's yet?
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  21. #21
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Yes I am using the basic premise but have relaxed the exercise rotation shown above.

    Now I just go into the gym with a target number of compound sets and isolation sets (currently 7 and 5 respectively). I tend to work on 2-3 bodyparts each time, being slightly conscious of what I did yesterday and what I might do tomorrow.

    I tend to do legs all in one go and have a day off the next day. So upper body is more spread out across all days. I tweaked my back a couple of weeks ago and blame it on doing posterior chain stuff the day after squats. So it all gets done together now.

    I do strategic deconditioning so rep PRs are always relative to the start of the mesocycle - they are reliably climbing. All time rep PRs are rare for me and I don't have a good record of them in any case. I suppose one recent good one was back squats 122.5kg: 12, 11, 10 reps
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    It sounds like a pretty relaxed training regime.

    Any reason why calves and arm volume is relatively low/non-existent? After all it is titled a bodybuilding routine and calves/arm are quite important to bodybuilding, if not one of the most important bodyparts.
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  23. #23
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I have naturally large calfs, I've never trained them. Arms get a lot of work from all the pullups, rows, presses. I do have a few sets of curls per week and now I'm even doing some tricep extensions too.
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  24. #24
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Just for fun, I did this today

    1 set of everything to RPE 9-10, most things in 8-15 rep range

    Back squat
    Romanian Deadlift
    Barbell hip thruster
    Standing overhead press
    Bench press
    Close grip bench press
    Hamstring curl
    DB overhead press
    Leg press
    Reverse fly
    curl - 2 sets... just because

    I was bone tired by the time I left the gym...
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  25. #25
    eye of the tigress etet1919's Avatar
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    ^^ You left too early, SP...you forgot the upright row......JK.
    When I hear people say, " You should tone down your physique," I know I've achieved my fitness New Year's resolution:)

    Cheers to everyone having 2020 vision/insight this decade...
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  26. #26
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Going to do this one again! It's definitely the best BB routine I've designed... I just tweaked the posterior chain movements for a little more separation from squatting days. Hip thruster is now a core exercise because dat ass.

    Barbell bench (3x5) (0)
    Pendlay row (3x6) (0)
    Lateral delt (2)
    EZ bar curl (2)

    Back squat (3x6) (0)
    DB overhead press (3x8) (0)
    GHR (2)
    Pec fly (2)

    Neutral grip pullups (3x8) (0)
    Hip thruster (3x10) (0)
    Ab wheel (2)
    Leg extension (2)

    DB bench (3x8) (0)
    Pendlay row (3x8) (0)
    Lateral delt (2)
    Curl (2)

    Back squat (3x10) (0)
    Seated BB press (3x8) (0)
    Hip abduction (2)
    Pec fly (2)

    Wide grip pullups (3x10) (0)
    Romanian deadlift (2x10) (0)
    Ab wheel (2)
    Sissy squat (2)
    Last edited by SuffolkPunch; 09-16-2019 at 05:17 AM.
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  27. #27
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    ^ On week 6 and still the best routine I have written... almost no changes needed. The only thing is I might be slower to add volume to posterior chain because it just doesn't seem necessary and other bodyparts can take more. This might just be a personal thing tho...
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  28. #28
    Registered User TopHeavyMirin's Avatar
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    starts off with lets say 9 weekly sets of chest work... adding 1 drop set each week to one exercise (might be doing this wrong but...)
    so if you run this program for 12 weeks you will have 21 weekly sets, this seems pretty good in terms of max volume you can handle but running this program for 6 months would give you 33 weekly sets of chest which for most naturals is impossible to recover from. but it seems like a good idea if your running it for 3 months or so.

    Also why dropsets? why not use straight sets?

    also one week 2 would you be doing 4 straight sets of bench + drop set? or 3 sets +dropset + dropset ?
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  29. #29
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You don't run it for that long. You'd have to deload long before that happens unless you are a very unusual case (or just not working hard enough in each set)

    Straight sets are kept the same length so that the RPE profile in each set is the same and progress can honestly be measured. Add dropsets purely to add extra volume without disturbing the pattern of the base sets.
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  30. #30
    Registered User TopHeavyMirin's Avatar
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    makes sense thank you! may implement this dropset addition idea somewhere
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