Dual-factor Bodybuilding routine for Intermediate and Advanced lifters

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by weighted chinup, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. This is a bodybuilding routine for intermediate and advanced lifters whose primary goals are aesthetics and hypertrophy.

    Routine is 6 days a week with 1 rest day.

    About this program:

    (1) This program is not a traditional bodypart split. We are structuring our workouts around movements. You will look forward to each of your sessions because they will likely all involve a muscle or at least movement you enjoy training. This will play a huge role in your success.

    (2) Frequency is high. Almost every muscle is being worked every day and all your lifts are going to be hit 3x a week. You will make dramatic improvements in your main lifts as well as see fantastic size gains and growth from the increased frequency (muscle protein synthesis will stay high throughout the week).

    (3) This routine is dual factor. Most bodybuilding routines are absurdly simple to the point where you are training and recovering, training and recovering, etc. This is not viable for intermediate and advanced lifters. We incorporate another variable, fatigue (dual factor approach) so you can make optimal progress.

    (4) This routine will make use of scheduled deloads as another measure to manage fatigue from the workload.

    (5) Daily undulating periodization is used for this program as a periodization technique. You will be changing intensity and volume requirements for each workout every day a session is repeated during the week. The changes will be wave like. This is ideal for intermediate and advanced lifters since progress is not always made in a linear fashion past a certain point.

    (6) Daily and weekly volume requirements for each lift was designed using prilepins chart.

    Recommended Exercise Selection:
    Front Squat, Romanian Deadlift, Weighted Chinup, Weighted Dips, Incline Barbell Bench, Weighted Pullup

    Accessory and isolation movements:
    rear delt fly or reverse flies, prone y-raises (just use a very tiny amount of weight for these), tricep pressdown, dumbbell lateral raise, seated row, leg ext, leg curl, bicep curls, scap push ups

    No failure.

    This routine as mentioned earlier is intended primarily for hypertrophy but I always intend to strike a good balance between hypertrophy and performance and I feel this lift selection addresses both amicably with more emphasis towards aesthetics.

    Routine is 6 days a week with 1 rest day in a week. You can have a rest day at the end of the week on Sunday or you can take your rest during the week whenever you feel like it if you wish.

    Day 1:
    Front Squat @ 80% 1RM 3x8
    Weighted Dips @ 80% 1RM 3x8
    Weighted Chinup @ 80% 1RM 3x8

    Leg extensions 3x10, Tricep pressdown 3x15, Lying Cable Curl 3x10, Reverse flies 3x15

    Day 2:
    Incline Barbell Bench @ 80% 1RM 3x8
    Weighted Pullups @ 80% 1RM 3x8
    Romanian Deadlift @ 80% 1RM 3x8

    Leg curl 3x10, Seated Row 3x6, Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3x25, Prone y-raises

    Day 3:
    Front Squat @ 85% 1RM 3x5
    Weighted Dips @ 85% 1RM 3x5
    Weighted Chinup @ 85% 1RM 3x5

    Leg extensions 3x10, Tricep pressdown 3x15, Lying Cable Curl 3x10, Reverse flies 3x15

    Day 4:
    Incline Barbell Bench @ 85% 1RM 3x5
    Weighted Pullups @ 85% 1RM 3x5
    Romanian Deadlift @ 85% 1RM 3x5

    Leg curl 3x10, Seated Row 3x6, Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3x25, Prone y-raises

    Day 5:
    Front Squat @ 75% 1RM 3x10
    Weighted Dips @ 75% 1RM 3x10
    Weighted Chinup @ 75% 1RM 3x10

    Leg extensions 3x10, Tricep pressdown 3x15, Lying Cable Curl 3x10, Reverse flies 3x15

    Day 6:
    Incline Barbell Bench @ 75% 1RM 3x10
    Weighted Pullups @ 75% 1RM 3x10
    Romanian Deadlift @ 75% 1RM 3x10

    Leg curl 3x10, Seated Row 3x6, Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3x25, Prone y-raises


    Attempt to add either weight or an additional rep(s) every week for each movement at each intensity.


    Every 3-4 weeks

    either take a week off from the gym

    or alternatively

    go to the gym but only perform the first set for each of your lifts. Don't attempt to increase poundage's or volume.

    Time off is far more effective at dissipating fatigue but I only include the second option because many lifters refuse to take any time off from the gym.

    You WILL need a deload at some point.To put it into perspective, in a whole week you are doing about 70 total reps for EACH of your main movements with intensity undulating around 75-85%, with each movement being trained 3x in a single week.

    Don't let this put you off, this routine is periodized and designed to be sustainable, but one of the methods used is the scheduled deload.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Miscellaneous: Intensity, Workout Structure, and Auto-Regulation Techniques

    In order to get the most out of any program, you must enjoy what you are doing. This post will attempt to address a few optional concepts a lifter can utilize in order to make each workout more enjoyable and productive for them and even more suitable to their preferences.

    That being said, I always advocate following the authors instructions for any routine and would not recommend making changes until you have a good understanding of the routine and have been running it for at least several months or even longer.


    I stated in the OP that this is a hypertrophy routine foremost. The intensities we are undulating between are 75%,80%,and 85%. Basically, between a 5-10RM. My rationale for choosing this intensity range for this routine was because it is simply the most time efficient intensity for the purposes of hypertrophy.


    That being said, higher intensities can be just as effective for hypertrophy, it just might not be as TIME EFFICIENT because although rate of protein degradation is high, the number of repetitions performed is low, so total degraded protein (hypertrophy) could be low if not enough work is performed.

    This can be solved by simply doing more reps at the higher intensity, but this is more time consuming.

    If you want more emphasis towards performance you can choose to use intensities such as 80%,85%,and 90-95% and undulate between these. See my training log for the volume targets I used for higher intensities (80-90%).

    Workout Structure:

    You can structure the lifts performed for each of the 2 workouts that are repeated differently if you prefer, however, you must maintain 2 variables when it comes to workout structure:

    (1) each lift should be trained 3x a week
    (2) every muscle or almost every muscle should get hit every day you're in the gym

    You also need to make sure the workouts are sustainable. Trying to do something like Incline and Front Squat and Weighted Pullups on the same day is very challenging, but doing something like front squat and dips and chinups on the same day is a lot more viable and sustainable.

    Be smart with this and reasonable as well, this routine is hard enough.

    My current recommendation based on the lift selection I suggested is to use the exact same structure I outlined for the workouts. IME it is the most sustainable.

    Auto-Regulation Techniques:

    This can be a thread on it's own but I want to make mention of a few fun and simple to incorporate auto-regulation techniques a lifter can implement on this routine and possibly see benefits from.

    These are very optional.

    (1) Regulate accessory work based on fatigue and time. If you are really fatigued, feeling bad, tired, didn't get enough food, low on time, have to go work, etc then you can just perform the main 3 lifts for each workout and go home, you can skip the accessory work and isolation.

    If you frequently are low on time when you're training you can incorporate this. However, at the minimum you should at least make sure each workouts accessory movements get performed at least 2x a week (this means you can have 2 days a week where you don't perform accessory movements). I wouldn't go any lower and ideally I would recommend doing accessory work as indicated in the OP (everyday).

    (2) Use total tonnage requirements for each lift instead of aiming for a specific number of reps per set.


    Instead of aiming for Front Squat 3x5 @ 85%, do Front Squat @ 85% for 15 total reps. The amount of total tonnage is the exact same, however you are not focused on getting a certain number of reps in each set.

    Simply do as many sets as you need to achieve your total volume goal. It might look something like 5,4,3,3. The same amount of work is performed, you are just taking as many sets as you need to achieve it instead of requiring you to get a certain number of reps per set.

    You can reduce fatigue by exploding a volume goal across more sets too.

    This is a fantastic technique and I am seriously considering reverting to this as my standard way of handling volume. I have had fantastic success with this in the past.

    (3) RPE. Look it up.

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  3. insaiyan93

    insaiyan93 Member

    Good read, I do have a couple questions.
    1.in my case i only have 5 days a week that I am able to get to gym due to work and bus schedule over the weekend. Would I be able to chop off that six day and just add a little extra volume on the other two days I do that exercise?

    2. Would changing exercises from week to week hurt?
    For example week one you're doing
    Incline BB press
    Weighted chinup
    Romanian deadlift

    For the following week could you make it
    Flat BB press
    Watever a good chinup replacement is
    Conventional deadlift
    weighted chinup likes this.
  4. Just take 2 days off instead of 1 and pick up from where you left off. Only downside is progress will be slightly slower because one of the sessions only gets trained twice during the week instead of 3x but nothing too bad.

    If you were to do this a week will look like

    Workout 1 80%, Workout 2 80%, Workout 1 85%, Workout 2 85%, Workout 1 75%, Rest, Rest, Workout 2 75%, Workout 1 80%, Workout 2 80%, Workout 1 85%, Workout 2 85%, Rest, Rest

    You get the idea.

    I don't see why this wouldn't work but I haven't tried it. Would be interested to see. I can help you set up a program based on how many days you have to train if you like. I always like following routines as designed so if you are interested let me know.

    I don't like the idea of increasing the daily single lift volume on some sessions in order to make up for dropping a day. It makes more overall fatigue even if weekly volume is the same.

    I'm not a fan of constantly switching out movements. Everybody changes things just for the sake of it and the magic never happens because just when things were getting good, they switch programs, switch movements, etc etc.

    There are 6 main movements being trained during the week, this is pretty limited by bodybuilding standards but a limited lift selection is an integral part of the programming. Most templates for DUP actually don't advocate using that many lifts (only 3) but my lift selection is more graceful. Weighted chins and pulls aren't as fatiguing as conventional deadlifts for example so you can get away with more lifts in the rotation.

    It is better to get really good at a limited lift selection then just being average at a large lift selection. The lift selection although limited is ideal for intermediate and advanced guys without being too excessive.
  5. insaiyan93

    insaiyan93 Member

    Ok cool, yeah I mean if there was any way I could get there besides a $18 dollar cab ride each way, or a 15 mile bike ride each way I would be there, the weekend always drags on endlessly for me because I can't workout, the weekend for me is the regular week for most people lol. However, gotta work with what I got for the time being. Will hopefully have a vehicle within the next 6 months.

    I would be interested in that, I know in my thread I said I would create my own buy I think if you're willing I might be better off following someone who knows what they're doing, atleast untill I have a better working knowledge of it.

    I'm all for keeping it simple, the question I think maybe I should have asked is if movements like RDL and front alone will be sufficient for improving my conventional DL and back squat? I know incline press is gtg as far as bringing my bench up, I've always done more incline work than flat as far as benching goes.
    weighted chinup likes this.
  6. romaleos

    romaleos Member AnabolicLab.com Supporter

    Love it! Great job!
    weighted chinup likes this.
  7. In order to get better at conventional deads and back squat you will have to perform those movements. The carryover from training exclusively with other movements will not be enough in my experience.

    There is something called SAID principle - specific adaption for imposed demand. It does exactly what it says on the tin - every specific thing you do results in a specific adaptation and adaptations are VERY specific.

    If you want to get better at something - you need to do it. There will be some carryover from doing other things of course (that's one of the reasons we do variations or certain accessories that address weak points in our main lifts) but never enough to become truly proficient or to make fastest progress at something if you aren't doing it. SAID principle always applies.

    You would be amazed at how specific adaptations are and how many things get taken into account that your body 'averages' out when producing an adaptation.

    All of these movements are viable but this is a bodybuilding routine foremost and this is kind of a special situation where the lift selection I indicated is actually kind of important to the sustainability of the routine.

    This routine strikes a very good balance between performance and aesthetics but the lift selection is unique in that it isn't centered around the big 3. This has been my lift selection ever since I started lifting and I never felt that it was all show and no go, quite the opposite.
  8. insaiyan93

    insaiyan93 Member

    Ya know, I'm actually cutting and actively doing cardio for the first time in my training career,that in itself is odd for me, I think I may just get completely weird with it and give this a shot, it's pretty different from what I'm used to but screw it, I have plenty of time to make a little deviation on my journey.
    weighted chinup likes this.
  9. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member AnabolicLab.com Supporter

    Appreciate the time put in to this

    My issue with the program is there isn't enough work being done. Yes your training more OFTEN. But 3 sets of this and 3 sets of that with no failure is really hard for me to chew.

    That's alot of weighted pulling. Everyday a weighted pulling movement.
    I have always been a once a week guy. Every muscle group gets hit once a week. Total annihilation each body part. I have gone to 2x a week for some lagging parts but have found undeniably it sets me in a deep recovery hole. I cannot train myself to work out less hard. No matter how hard I try. I cannot stop a set short of total effort. Often that means spitting, foaming at the mouth, face as red as a tomato and unbelievable body tremors.

    All aside tho this seems much more sports oriented. Designed for performance
  10. Docd187123

    Docd187123 Member

    Try doing the math and see how much the total volume actually differs. You might end up being quite surprised.
  11. I disagree that there isn't enough work being performed.

    Let's break down just one of the workouts, for example

    Day 1 is Front Squat 3x8 @ 80%, Weighted Dips 3x8 @ 80%, Weighted Chinup 3x8 @ 80%

    That's 24 reps for EACH movement using 80% of 1RM.

    72 total reps performed across just 3 lifts with 80% of your 1RM.

    I do not feel that that is a low workload, even for single session. 80% of 1RM is not a low intensity either, those sets will be challenging.

    Not to mention the accessory and isolation work that is prescribed which adds up to about 150 reps across all those accessory movements for just that one day.

    222 repetitions of work performed for just one day in the gym. Not bad imo.

    The workload is on the higher side of what is sustainable, and even then I would not neglect the scheduled deload on this program.

    The sessions will take quite a bit of time in the gym to complete, they are not short workouts by any means.

    I am a firm believer in keeping weekly volume for movements that adress your back at or around 2x that of push movements. Too many guys have imbalances because of poorly planned programs that have absurd amounts of push volume but not enough work addressing back muscles.

    I don't just accomplish this by prescribing a bunch of vertical pulls though, this routine also includes accessory and isolation movements to increase back volume, Seated Rows and Reverse Fly's, and maybe even the prone y-raises fall into this category but that is being generous.

    Vertical pulls are used to address back width and weighted chinups and pullups are my preferred type of vertical pulls that I believe are ideal for bodybuilding purposes. I prescribe 2 vertical pulls because I feel this ideal and beneficial for intermediate and advanced lifters.

    My old programming had me doing Weighted Pullups after Weighted Chinups on Back and Bi day and I was still able to progress. When I switched to this I had them on 2 separate days and my strength on weighted pullups absolutely exploded. You might be pulling everyday, but you will make progress and fast.

    I incorporate 2 periodization techniques to handle recovery - DUP and scheduled deloads. I carefully programmed the volume requirements to make the program sustainable. If a lifter is going backwards or regressing on this program - they didn't deload.

    I consider that statement to be high praise actually :). But it is a bodybuilding routine and it is geared primarily towards hypertrophy. But anyone who runs this routine will love the performance benefits - they will see even more if they use higher % of 1rm and undulate between higher intensities.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  12. I will demonstrate that this routine is challenging as fuck objectively using the numbers.

    There are 6 main lifts trained in a single week.

    Each lift is trained 3 times a week at the following intensities with the following volume requirement: 3x8 @ 80% , 3x5 @ 85% , 3x10 @ 75%

    Weekly Volume for Each Lift:

    Front Squat: 69 total reps with intensity ranging from 80%, 85%, 75%
    Romanian Deadlift: 69 total reps with intensity ranging from 80%, 85%, 75%
    Weighted Dips: 69 total reps with intensity ranging from 80%, 85%, 75%
    Incline Barbell Bench: 69 total reps with intensity ranging from 80%, 85%, 75%
    Weighted Chinup: 69 total reps with intensity ranging from 80%, 85%, 75%
    Weighted Pullup: 69 total reps with intensity ranging from 80%, 85%, 75%

    Almost 70 total reps performed for each lift in a single week with intensity going as high as 85%...that is not light weight, and that is a very high weekly volume relative to intensity.

    This doesn't include the volume from accessory and isolation work btw......workout 1 has about 150 total reps from accessory and iso work and workout 2 has about 120 repetitions performed. Accessory and isolation work is performed 3x a week....although the intensity there is low.

    For those familiar with Prilepins Chart (this is the tool I used to handle loading):

    These are the WEEKLY INOL's for each lift:

    Front Squat: INOL 3.4
    Romanian Deadlift: INOL 3.4
    Weighted Dips: INOL 3.4
    Incline Barbell Bench: INOL 3.4
    Weighted Chinup: INOL 3.4
    Weighted Pullup: INOL 3.4

    What does this mean in the real world?


    One more thing to consider: Prilepins chart was originally created for oly lifts, not conventional bodybuilding lifts or power lifts.....but my lift selection is kind of forgiving so I know for certain that these volume requirements are sustainable for this lift selection.

    This routine is challenging, but you will make dramatic increases in strength and size. I challenge anyone to try this and tell me they weren't impressed by the increases in strength and more importantly, the dramatic improvements in their physique.
  13. kap73

    kap73 Member

    Nice read. Interest in doin this for my next cycle.


    What sort of rest time between sets?

    Can i change incline bench to flat bench?

    Is the prone y raise for posture purposes? (Pull shoulders back) reason i ask is i feel rounded

    Would you still recommend cardio 3 times a week after workout?
    weighted chinup likes this.
  14. Take as long as you feel you need for the intensities being worked. 85% day might have you resting longer then 75% day in between your sets but I don't indicate any specific rest time - take however long you feel you need as long as it's reasonable. I personally just handle rest time instinctively - whenever I feel good for my next set I will perform it.

    I don't recommend short rest periods here, except maybe for some of the isolation stuff if the lifter prefers to do them that way (but avoid failure), the intensities and poundage's prescribed will be too high for the main movements to train with short rest periods imo.

    This should work no problem.

    Prone y-raises target the lower trapezius which is useful for the purpose of maintaining scapular health and stability. I included a few movements in here for the purposes of shoulder, postural, and scapular health and stability - things that are often neglected but end up causing problems later on. I also suggest doing scap push ups as well.

    You can do that no problem, I don't have any cardio prescribed in the routine but you can certainly do it if you like. 3x a week after a workout should be just fine, I don't see how it would harm progress at all.
  15. kap73

    kap73 Member

    Cheers for your response mate appreciate it, i actually think i will give this a shot through winter. With the prone raises do u do them on incline bench or laying on the ground?
    weighted chinup likes this.
  16. No problem man, I'm certain you will be very satisfied with this routine should you give it a try.

    I personally do the raises on an incline like this with just a tiny amount of weight:

    But you can certainly do them lying flat if you prefer.
    MarkW44, Mr.B66 and kap73 like this.
  17. kap73

    kap73 Member

    To be honest i had to google the movement lol and i thought the incline looked more comfortable, just thought i would check thats what your doin

    weighted chinup likes this.
  18. I'd like to thank everybody who has checked out this thread for taking the time to read the program, if anyone has any questions regarding anything at all please don't hesitate to ask.

    I will give a detailed response to any questions anyone might have about anything involving this routine, the methodologies used, it's effectiveness, etc. If anyone decides to give this routine a go I will be more then happy to follow your progress and provide input / suggestions along the way, as mentioned earlier, either message me or post up in this thread.

    Also, one more thing:

    For performance oriented lifters: I mentioned earlier how those interested in performance can simply make a small change (the intensities used) and see more benefits towards athletic capability and performance. I will make a post in short order with the volume and intensity requirements you should use to make the routine sustainable and effective with higher intensities involved if you decide to make this (very optional) change.

    Again, thanks everybody for checking out the routine.
    anfee, Eman, Mr.B66 and 10 others like this.
  19. @weighted chinup
    well done Sir respect.

    Christ though I don't think I could sustain that amount of volume @ that intensity I would be crushed! Love the exercise selection and frequency...great contribution thank you.
    Oldschool, weighted chinup and turcao like this.
  20. turcao

    turcao Member

    I was thinking the same thing about recovery but. @weighted chinup, what do you think about running this program 4 days per week or 3 days like an A & B routine that alternate say M-W-F?
    TANGO.ECHO.KILO likes this.