5 Day Gym Workout Routine for Men

Here is a 5 day routine that utilizes a 5×5 scheme for the compound movements and a higher 8-12 reps for accessory movements. This routine is designed to be ran as long as you are seeing results. In order for you to get the best results with this program, be consistent and always strive for progression.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

I would recommend going on a slow bulk for this routine to get the most out of it. It is easier to cut some fat afterwards than trying to make strength gains on a calorie deficit.

If you keep your weight consistent and need some tips to add calories into your diet, here are some of the best and healthiest ways to do so:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheese on everything
  • Protein shakes
  • Peanut butter
  • Olive oil
  • Extra dressing

These all add flavor and healthy fats to your diet. Personally, I prefer adding calories through this means instead of going to McDonalds and smashing a couple McDoubles.

You will feel better, have more energy, and your stomach will thank you.

Note: A little bit goes a long way, so be sure to know how many calories you are adding.

Recommended Supplements

Without a good diet, supplementation is mostly a waste of money. I will be the first to tell you to spend money on some good meats than a jug of protein.

For those who have their diets in check, here are the supplements I would use with this routine.


MTS Nutrition Clash

I personally like apple mango, but all flavors are good.

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.


MTS Machine Whey Protein: 5lbs

This is in my opinion the best tasting protein on the market. Period.

Great blend with no secrets, no amino spiking, and it is some of the best in the industry.

So far I’ve had Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream, and Key Lime. All are A+.

MTS Nutrition Protein


MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel

Marc Lobliner has his sweetening on point with these supplements.

I’ve used mixed berry and grape and I love them both.


Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine

I have a review of Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine and it’s a tried and true supplement. It will help with performance and recovery. I highly recommend this.

Cardio and Conditioning Schedule

Conditioning is one of the most important things you can work on to improve your lifts, endurance, and stamina. Improving conditioning also improves life out of the gym.

This particular routine focuses a bit on conditioning, core strength, and mobility.

Once you start lifting relatively heavier weights, you’re going to start breaking form because of muscle weaknesses, lack of conditioning/muscle endurance and mobility issues; so lets address them here.

Warming Up

For your pre-workout warm up, start by walking for 3 minutes and follow-up with a 30 second balls-to-the-walls high intensity sprint. Finish off with 90 seconds of walking.

This “shock” is going to prime your body to train hard and helps get your core body temperature up.

Post Workout Conditioning

I’m not big on citing research materials and I sure as hell am not interested in doing the scientific leg work, but doing high intensity interval training will help improve your muscle and strength gains.

The Plan:

  • 5 minutes brisk walking
  • 30 seconds jogging
  • 30 seconds walking
  • 30 seconds sprinting
  • 30 seconds walking
  • 45 seconds sprinting
  • 1 minute walking
  • 1 minute jogging
  • 1 minute walking
  • 30 seconds full sprinting
  • 1.5 minutes walking slowly tapering down to finish

Cardio and Conditioning Tips

This sounds like some special formula but it isn’t; this is a template, if you don’t follow it exactly, you’re fine.

What I want to make you aware of is warming up and priming your body for high intensity training.

Don’t get stuck on the numbers, if you have poor conditioning, add longer walk (resting) periods and strive to recover faster.

Workout Schedule

A sample workout schedule will look something like this:

  • Day 1 – Workout A
  • Day 2 – Workout B
  • Day 3 – Workout C
  • Day 4 – Workout D
  • Day 5 – Workout E
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off

The benefit to starting on a Monday is while everyone is benching and hogging the dumbbells, you are deadlifting and on the other side of the gym.

I would recommend doing a short 20-30 minute cardio session post workout at least twice a week for optimum muscle growth and recovery.

When doing a gym session 5 days a week, you must eat a lot of healthy whole foods. Chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bacon, ground beef, lots of veggies, and whey protein will give your body the fuel it needs to get bigger, stronger, and faster. Eating enough food and getting enough sleep is what builds your muscles. Going to the gym lifting heavy ass weight is the easy part.

Workout A
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Deadlifts 5 5
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 8
Seated Rows 3 12
Standing Bent Over Laterals 3 12
Planks* 3


Workout B
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Military Press 5 5
Arnold Press 3 8
Front Lateral Raises 3 12
Side Lateral Raises 3 12


Workout C
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Bent Over Barbell Rows 5 5
Pull Ups 3 8
Dumbbell Curls 3 12
Straight Arm Pulldown 3 12


Workout D
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Flat Bench 5 5
Incline Dumbbell Bench 3 8
Close Grip Bench Press 3 12
1 Arm Tricep Extensions 3 12


Workout E
Exercise Sets Rep Goal
Squats 5 5
Calf Raises*** 3 8
Hamstring Curls 3 12
Leg Extensions 3 12
Planks* 3


* – Planks aren’t the same rep goal scheme as other lifts. When you are supposed to do planks, do 3 sets of 1 rep and record your results for each set. The goal to beat for next time is to beat the combined time of those 3 planks. Keep the rest short; 60 seconds and really squeeze the abs and back and keep that core tight.

*** – There are many different calf raise variations, pick the one that works best for you. Examples are: Seated Calf Raises, Standing Calf Raise Machine, Standing Calf raises in the Smith Machine. Choose the one that works best for you and stick with it.


If you are man enough to do this extreme workout, leave a comment below and in 8 weeks come back and tell us how you are progressing.

154 thoughts on “5 Day Gym Workout Routine for Men”

  1. johnathan west

    Greetings Mr.ct Fletcher

    I am looking into getting back into the gym was wondering if the five day workout would be a good one to start with I am 30 years old also ,265 want to get down to ,195 also love your videos and I am a native from Jonesboro Arkansas any ideas for a good routine

  2. Johnathan West

    So I’ve started the 5 day program, and my question is about Dieting. I’m kind of a newbie to working out and dieting. Since I’m wanting to go from 265-195, should I be following a strict calorie intake diet, or should I be doing a portion diet with only like 5meals.There are a lot of choices out there and its kind of confusing. Also I know cardio is a must since I’m wanting to burn fat should I just go 3-4 times after workout or before. Any advise would be great, also feel free to email me more details for the diet at [email protected] once again thanks for the motivation and inspiration you give us.

    1. Jonathan,

      I’ll be emailing you as well to go more in depth, but for all readers, dieting is going to give you results with gaining muscle and losing fat. Cardio helps burn extra calories which can help lose weight, but should not be the main thing you do to lose weight. You can’t out-cardio a crappy diet :).

      There are so many different types of eating and diets, strict calorie, frequent feeding, intermittent fasting, if-it-fits-your-macros, and the list goes on. The thing is that you need to utilize the best way that will work with you and your schedule. There are a lot of pieces of information and ideas out there that really only are worth worrying about if you are an elite athlete and working on a show (IE the thermogenic effect of certain proteins, drying up for an event, etc) and don’t worry about things like that.

      As simple and crude as it sounds is, if you are too fat, eat less, if you are unable to gain weight, eat more. I would advise doing cardio 2-3 times a week for active recovery from your weight training and to help improve your conditioning, but changing your diet is going to make you lose the weight.

      Check this article out and this article. I will email you shortly and get you some more info.



  3. Dear Cutty,
    I have begun this workout and I am loving it so far. I am not sure how long of a rest I should take in between sets or if I should even take one. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Don Cordova

  4. Elijah vargas

    Hello I’m 15 and I’ve been working out since the end of 8th grade year. I have got a lot of gains but I want to build more muscle. What is a good routine so I could put on a lot of muscle

  5. hey cutty, great videos

    i was wondering which workout plan would help me get ripped, well getting bigger and add more muscle faster in the next 2 mouths before college fall track indoor begins.

    1. Any workout you see listed on my website is geared towards getting bigger and stronger. A tip with you since you are going to be doing college track, your body is well adapted to using healthy foods for fuel.

      In order for you to really grow I would encourage you for the next 2 months to add 350 calories to your diet and eat as much whole foods as you can. If you are eating relatively clean now, adding calories with sweet potatoes and brown rice, whole milk, and heavy whipping cream will give you an anabolic boost.

      You will gain as much muscle as genetically possible in those two months. You will gain a little body fat which when track starts you can cut the calories back down to maintenance (which will be more than right now because of more muscle and faster metabolism) but you will be able to burn off the body fat during track training.

      Hope this helps, feel free to ask more questions!


  6. Started this yesterday officially, i had last week to find out the max weight to start with and so far i enjoy this work out. Ill be reporting in 8 weeks from now with some results. Ups on the website!

    1. Thanks Rick!

      Good luck on the journey. Be sure to keep a log and record everything you can. It will help you learn what works for your body and what doesn’t.

  7. Hey cutty. Names mo. You know how it says flat bench are those with dumb Bells? And Im trying to get my chest bigger is there something extra I can throw in with the routine ?

    1. Hi Mo,

      Chest development comes with a heavy bench and time. You could do dumbbell flies instead of incline bench, although incline is great for developing upper chest and front delts. I think you should run the routine how it is designed for 12 weeks and then record progress, then go into a specialization to help bring up lagging body parts. With a heavy bench and incline bench you will be surprised how much your chest will grow. Add flies in if after 4 weeks you feel great and not too stressed.


  8. I’m going to give this work out a try. I’ve been looking for something to help me push a little harder. 5 days is going to be tough but I’m up for the challenge.

  9. Hi cutty will this workout put size on me or do u have another workout u recommend im tryn to gain i have been doin this workout with 4 sets of 10 of of everything wats ur take

    1. All workouts I write accompanied with enough rest and healthy foods will help you gain muscle. The trick is to keep with it and follow what works with you. I have 2, 3, 4, 5 day routines and they are all helpful to make working out around your schedule easier. Some people do not have 5 days a week that they can workout.

      Just keep working hard, follow any of my routines and eat healthy foods. You will start to see gains if you do this.


  10. I am a huge fan and a CA native! I am looking to start something new in terms of a routine. My current build is 511 173 pounds, and 7 percent body fat.
    I have been having a lot of trouble with calorie intake and holding on to muscle definition. Tried to start eating more greek yogurt, almonds, oats, chicken, gound turkey to help mantain. Any thoughts?

    1. Johnny,

      Thank you for the kind words and congrats on your current status. Fortunately you are in good shape and you can focus on eating healthy and getting quality exercise. Are you not able to eat enough calories during the day because you aren’t hungry or what is the problem there? There are a lot of tips for eating healthy foods and increasing your calories so I wanted to try to clear up why you are having problems.

      What type of lifestyle do you have? Do you stay active or are you more sedentary? I know I can get you where you want to be, just ask all of the questions you have and I’ll do my best.


    2. I am pretty new at living on my own (22 years old) and have a lot of trouble getting myself to cook sometimes. What do you suggest?

      I use to swim at a D1 college and because of that I was never really able to hold onto mass. I am pretty active still though, go to the gym about 5-6 times a week, with a more cardio resistance training mindset (3 day split: chest/tri; back/shoulder; lower body). I am currently coaching swimming at a university, so I have some freedoms. What would you suggest as a plan to stay lean, but add a little more mass. Thank you! I really appreciate the thoughts and advice.

      “I command you to grow!”

    3. It sounds like you have a lot of great things going for you, just needing some tweaks. First of all, learning to cook is going to be the most vital thing you can do if you want to live a healthy life. Cooking is a lost art and is something I want to get into my clients’ and friend’s heads.

      If you’ve never cooked at all, see if you can get in the kitchen with someone who can cook to pick up the basic skills. Trial and error can be costly to experiment with, so having someone who can at least be around if you’re cooking can make a big difference. That is your first goal.

      In order to help you add mass, since you have a higher activity level, you are going to have to eat lots of food to add mass. Eating extra healthy foods is going to help you build muscle and keep you lean. Whatever you are doing now to stay in shape and stay lean is going to be fine, just add in extra calories. If you are already eating so much you don’t know how you could possibly eat more, you will have to start adding in more calorie dense foods like drinking whole milk, using butter, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, etc into your diet. All of these foods are good for you and will help you gain more lean mass.

      Start out by adding 200-300 calories extra a day for a month and see how your body responds. Add these calories in with healthy foods and calorie dense foods like I stated above. Keep in touch and we’ll get you more lean mass. It’s all about the food, so learn to cook.


    4. True, I really do appreciate all the advice. I will make this priority number one. Your inspirational videos are great. There used to be a pool in Long Beach we would swim at sometimes, I want to visit your guys gym though. The pictures look awesome. Anyway, thanks for all the tips. And keep blasting


    5. Cooking is easy you just have to try. Practice with ground beef, that’s the easiest thing you can make. Learn to season and you are going to be set.

  11. Cutty what is a good workout for a teenager he wants to play football and run track. I also wanted to know if dips work for mass and whTs a good ab workoyt

  12. Hi,
    I have been struck by two times by typhoid fever in a row and it took away all my muscle mass. Now I am just fat. I dont want to build muscle anymore just want to get rid of the fat and want to do it through weight lifting. Will strength training be good?. If not what other work ut plan can I follow, I am 25 years old and weigh 100 Kg and want to get back to 75-80 kg that I used to be.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Eat plenty of protein and healthy foods and train hard in the gym. Eating at a calorie deficit is what will help you lose fat, going to the gym and lifting weights and eating healthy foods will help you maintain the muscle. This plan will help you keep the muscle you have and will help you lose weight and tone up. If you were to just eat less and do a bunch of cardio, you will end up losing weight, but you will still be skinny-fat.

      Be sure to ask any more questions. Lift hard and keep with it, you’ll get back to the weight you want.


  13. Cutty:

    I just finished my second week and feel s good about my self. Im excited to see what the results will be. I also have a question about beer. Is it ok to drink once in a while? Mahalo from Hawaii.

    1. William,

      Thank you for the question. I wish I could come visit you in Hawaii :).

      Congrats about the higher spirits, the results will come over time. Beer is good, I do not know the articles offhand but there are some articles that promote alcohol consumption. Just don’t overdo; the only downside is your body has to process it, if you drink a lot, your body has to process and work harder. But for a few beers every once in a while it’s fine. Remember the carb and calorie consumption if you are trying to lose bodyfat!

      Have some for me!


  14. Hi Cutty,
    I beginning this split workout starting this week and I’m looking forward to it. I used to workout quite a bit but over the years have lost motivation. I need to lose about 30 pounds over the next year while gaining my lost lost muscle back. My question to you is; with needing to lose so much weight, can I begin taking creatine ?I understand that creatine can bloat you which is NOT what I need right now. I have also been told that the benefits outweigh the cons. Thanks

    1. Congrats on getting back into the gym, work daily to cultivate motivation and remember why you started this in the first place. Losing 30 pounds over a year while gaining muscle will be easy if you stick to a healthy diet. Taking creatine you are going to add weight from the extra water in your muscles but I haven’t ever had experience with bloating perse. I have felt much fuller and I most definitely can tell a difference in my strength when I take creatine. Just drink plenty of water and stay active, you will be fine on creatine. You aren’t going to get fatter on creatine, no matter what anyone says.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

      Good luck!


  15. I am a 51 yr. old male coming back from a torn meniscus injury in both knees and hernia last yr. I have to loose some fat in the stomach area and build some mass on the rest of the body. I don’t want to go real heavy. Will these exercises help me gain muscle with lower weight and lots of reps, combined with the proper foods, supplements and whey protein? I would like your input. I am 5’2″ tall , 160 Lbs. Would love to be 170-175 if possible.

    1. Yes, going lighter with more volume will help. Instead of doing a goal of 5 and 8 rep sets, try to do 3-4 sets of 12-15 for everything. This will stimulate some muscle growth since you will be going lighter, instead of lifting heavy.

      As always proper food and rest will be the best medicine for everyone. Supplements and whey protein you don’t HAVE to use if you have a balanced diet, but they never hurt.

      With some time and rehab I think you will definitely be able to recomp your body and look the way you want to.

      Just work towards progressing heavier, there is a point where doing more volume will not give you any more gains so you will be wasting your time and energy going too much more volume than 3 or 4 sets of 12-15.

      Let me know your progress and if there’s anything thing else be sure to ask!


  16. Cutty:

    I am intrigued with your 5-day program and am going to start Monday. I have done a few rounds if p 90 x and am in need of a change! My question is about how long should each workout take? I did a trial run of workout c yesterday and it took about 35 mins. Is this correct? Thanks!

    1. There’s no set time or goal, ideally you go when you feel you can do them safely and still push yourself. The reason why I ever mention anything about time limits is so you don’t get off track and lose focus by talking to people or on your phone, etc. Of course the faster you can push through a workout and do it with quality work, the less time you lose on other life things, but I’ve done sessions that last 30 minutes to 2 hours.

      Push yourself and get stronger Kyle πŸ™‚


  17. Cutty,
    I just turned 40, recently completed a marathon and now will be turning my attention to building muscle and size. I have promised myself to be in the weightroom 5 days per week. What kind of split would you recommend to allow me to add as much mass a possible? I also ask that I be reminded as often as possible that I must keep my promise. Please help to keep me motivated, Cutty.


    1. Scott,

      This routine would be great for you to add strength and muscle. Congrats on your completion of a marathon! You are disciplined enough to know that you need to train to get results so learn to cultivate motivation every day. I would recommend going to http://www.muscleandbrawn.com/forums and signing up for a membership there. You will find me under Cutty, you could say I referred you even. I would invite you to create a workout log and have people motivate and cheer you on daily, this will be a great way to be held accountable and helped along the way.

      Feel free to message me and ask any other questions you may have!


  18. well today was day 1 with this work out, I will say it worked places I have never felt before, im going too keep this up as long as I can, I have dropped 85 pounds in the past few years, now its time to tone up and get some of that muscle back….im 200 pounds now looking to put on 10 to 15 pounds of pure lean muscle…..

    1. Glad to hear man, if you have been eating and maintaining your weight, add 200 calories a day to start to help supplement your muscle growth. This is going to keep fat gain minimal, and promote muscle growth.

      As long as you work on getting stronger and eating right, you’re going to see some great results.

      Keep me updated.


  19. Amazing results for this after 2 weeks. Really good workout changed Tuesday and Thursday sessions over as i found after high deadlifting doing shoulder press next day pulled my back too much. Although my lats do kill aswell which effects my bench also.
    Guess I can’t win
    Neways amazing workout bulking on this. Seeing big results πŸ™‚

    1. Your body will adapt to the work load. If you need to switch days around, try it and see how it works.


    2. I find even with the change around that my bench is so tough I’m stuck with no progression I find as my last are soo torn up fro. Dreads and rows my bench dropped considerably

      Any tips on what to do for bench ?
      Thanks again

      Overall big gains in others workouts just bench and shoulder really

    3. Did you try to switch workout D with workout A yet? Basically try to bench on Monday and see how that goes.

      Great to hear everything is progressing!


  20. Cutty,

    I posted a few weeks back, and I am just inside week 8. I have put on about 7-9 pounds of weight, eating pretty clean with a cheat day once a week. I have seen major improvements in all exercises except deadlifting, lower back muscles just seem too weak. Anyway, thanks again. I learned how to cook! And I try to hold around 3700-3900 calories a day.

    Keep blasting and keep pushing !

    1. Johnny,

      Good job, I’m glad to hear you are seeing improvements. What problems are you having with deadlift? Is there a way you can upload a video so I can see your form and what you are talking about?


  21. Hey Cutty,

    Just started yesterday, loved the first workout. This plan is perfect for me because I have severe forearm tendinitis and these workouts work around using my forearms resulting in no pain. I’ll update in 8 weeks to let you know my progress. Thanks.

    1. Keep working hard, I’ve had great success with this routine so stick with it. I can’t wait to hear the updates!


  22. Hey Cutty,

    I’m Richard, I’ve been looking for a new program for a while to try out but haven’t seen any decent ones, but yours has really interested me. I have been to the gym for a few months and have seen some changes but i do the same thing so i get bored and kinda unmotivated. I go 5 times a week so this is perfect. my only question is would you recommend people to stick to your rep count, because normally for everything i used to do 3 sets of 10 sometimes 12, but a few of the things here i have never tried. and when you say 5 sets with a rep goal of 25, that means 5 sets of 5 reps yeah? just in case i dont get the chance or forget to look at this, can you email me too [email protected]

    thanks your help would be great

    1. I would prefer you to stick to the rep ranges I give on my workouts. Yes that would make it a 5 sets of 5. I know the gym can get boring doing the same thing every time, hopefully this routine keeps you motivated to keep training!


  23. Cutty,

    Thanks for the input. I am pretty new to the straight bar deadlift, mainly used the trap bar in the past.
    I took a video of 1 working set of 4 or so reps, where would be the best place to send it? I really appreciate the help


    1. I would invite you to upload it to youtube, you can set the video to private so only people with the link can view it, if you do not want other people to see it. Then you can email me the link @ [email protected] and I’ll look at it and give you some tips. I would also invite you to read my article: Build a bigger deadlift.

      Can’t wait to hear from you!


  24. Thanks for the info, im going to start fresh monday and i shall be returning with my comment in 8 weeks time, look forward to getting started

  25. Howzit Cutty
    im a Male, 20 year old varsity student that loves to gym and wasnt doing to bad at it. 3 weeks of exams has killed my body and i have lost size, strength and picked up alot of fat. i love a work out that leaves me broken at the end and i like to think i push harder than most people in my gym as i have been called mad and crazy a good few times. Please can u give me suggestions for a killer routine that will shed the fat and pack on the muscle.
    Many thanks Dana

  26. Hi Cutty,
    This website is a lot of help! I’ve looked and looked for such a website but with no luck. Finally, got a website where the type of workout for each day is given in a clear manner. SO now i know what type of exercise to daily, coz ive been going to the gym for over a year now and i have seen some major changes but i think ive reached a plateau of sorts or i dont know what the problem is. Maybe its coz i do a select few kind of exercises only :/ . But i constantly increase the weights ,still i feel there’s something not right. I basically am just aiming to get bigger arms, guess thats the mistake. Anyway , the question is how heavy should be the weights that we’ll be using for the exercise. Coz its easy to do 3 – 5 sets on moderately heavy weights. Any inputs on this would be greatly appreciated. Also, some kind of advice if time permits πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot for this informative website nonetheless . πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for the kind words,

      The weight should be just heavy enough to barely get your reps clean. By clean I mean you’ll have to push pretty hard to get it but you shouldn’t be going as heavy as you possibly can. Usually when starting a new workout with different parameters you are used to I always give the first couple of weeks time to “try out” the weights. So if you’ve never done volume like this before, try to pick something reasonable and try it.. go up more if you need to. You will find a spot where you have to work to get the sets and reps and that’s where you work from. Try to add 5 pounds to the bar every week and strive to push harder.

      Sometimes taking a week off or doing very light work for a week will help with recovery. My last powerlifting competition I went to I trained hard and took a week off before the meet and was my strongest ever. Sometimes you hit a point where your nervous system and body needs to recover more.

      Come back at it hard as you can and you’ll see results if you’re consistent.

      Any more questions let me know,


  27. Thanks Cutty for the valuable input. You’ll never know how much you’ve helped! πŸ™‚ Just two final questions :-
    1) How long should the duration for each type of the given 5 workouts(A to E) be every day?
    2) I’ve been eating a lot now(basically bulking) but i don’t seem to be gaining any major weight :/ . Am i doing something wrong? If you could guide be on this i’d be really grateful πŸ™‚

    1. Push yourself to complete all of the exercises in a timely manner, no need to push yourself to the point of getting hurt. Try eating a little bit more, you might be burning all of your calories off already, so trying to add more calories should help you gain some weight. I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, but I think you could definitely eat more :).

      Any other questions let me know,


  28. I am active Army, everyday we conduct morning physical training anywhere from 60 to 90 mins alternating between cardio, strength endurance, and a ruck march one day a week. Should i modify the 5 day workout above as this would be me second workout of the day?

    1. Since you are staying extremely active, I would cut the volume in half. Just cut the sets in half and see how you feel and work from there, I know I probably wouldn’t be able to do all of the active army duties and physical training and then go train a full workout! πŸ™‚

      Test out cutting the sets in half and see how you feel and let me know how it goes man.


    1. Nothing special really, it all depends on how you structure the rest of your meals throughout the day. If you are going to start training at night and you eat before bed, I would suggest changing things where you get a good portion of your daily calories at night. So have a decent breakfast, snack lunch, good post-workout dinner.

      If you don’t want to eat heavy at night, eat a huge breakfast, snack lunch, then a protein shake or two at night maybe some cottage cheese. This will help you build strength and recover and then in the morning you will be able to smash some awesome food.


  29. I hit a plateau I am no longer seeing results so I am starting this today. (March 11th, 2014) But I am starting with Day 2 because I had my first workout for the week already.

    Weighting in at 177lbs. Supplements I am taking are Creatine, AllMax Carbion for carbs and Whey Protein.

    I will post again in 8 weeks πŸ™‚

  30. This is my 2nd week of this program and I am enjoying it so far. I am 33 yrs and 202 lbs trying to get lean and drop 10lbs. I have been doing 30 mins of cardio everday before I start lifting is that right or do you suggest it doing later?

    1. I always suggest a good 5 minute pre workout to help get the blood flowing and getting warmed up. There’s nothing wrong with doing it before, I just prefer to do it afterwards. I wrote an article about cardio after working out you should check out too.

      Keep up the hard work and let me know how it goes!


  31. Hey cutty, been doing this routine since February and I think I plateaued a couple weeks ago. I still need to train strength and strength endurance for work and I now weigh 200lbs (my target weight) and I’m bigger and leaner. What should I switch it up to for continuing results? Also on a side note, while doing heavy deadlift, I heard a pop in my right pec. Hurt pretty good 2 days ago, only kinda hurts a little now. And ideas? Thx for everything bro!

    1. Take a week to deload and then start the routine over again at 80% of what your last weights were. If you were doing 5 sets of squats at 315, jump down to about 250 and then start adding weight after a week. You can always try another routine, most of them are for strength and muscle building so trying something new never hurt.

      Just take it easy I think you just may have got in a rush and something tweaked a bit in your pec. If things don’t get better I’d get it checked out though. Any more questions hit me up.


  32. Sorry to bother u again cutty, this time I heard a pop in my ankle while doing heavy squats. (I’m falling apart obviously) I injured that area in 2008. I realized that it was due to the lack of range of motion in my ankle. During squats when I try to hit 90 degrees, it seems my posture compensate. I know you told me to de load for a week, but I’m finding it hard to keep out . Should I just skip legs till it heals, (I would hate that, favorite training day ) , modify the excercises? Also what can I do to correct my form? Thanks bro!

    1. Leg presses aren’t a replacement for squats but see how leg presses feel on the ankle. My right elbow, right knee, right wrist, left ankle and lower back are all torn up on my body and I still am going heavy so I guess that’s just something you either do or don’t do πŸ™‚

      You aren’t bothering me,


  33. Thx, I do presses as well. But I would miss squats way to much. Any idea how to work on form? Go super light, put a box under my ass?

    1. Go lighter, put a box under and force yourself to correct your form. Try different stances and widths to see if there’s something that feels more natural. I can’t hardly get parallel without a bit of weight on the bar but doing box squats for me has helped. I know some people who has helped and those who haven’t.

      Add in some goblet squats in too and work on getting deep as hell with them. You have any form vids?


  34. Not yet, as soon as this ankle feels a little better ill record one. Thanks for the advice once again bro, keep up the great work.

  35. Sup cutty! Mobility gettin better on the ankle, thx for the advice! Getting 90 degrees, great form, had to drop weight to 225 for 5 sets of 12 to get muscle memory for form for now, goin up slowly. Quick question, I’m gonna start taking Pump-HD pre workout drink. As it contains creatine monohydrate, should I take it on off days? I’m only off I-2 times a week… Thx bro!!!

    1. Glad to hear things are progressing. If you have extra creatine mono to take on your off days it wouldn’t hurt to take creatine for sure, but you’re just wasting pre workout if you take it on off days.

      Keep me updated.

  36. Thinking about doing this workout, I want to gain muscle and lose fat Im 6’5″ 240 … Was thinking of incorporating swimming and running in for fat burning… Would this be a good idea? Thanks!

    1. I am a huge fan of doing activities you like to do as a form of cardio and conditioning. I think that would be beneficial to you as long as you gauge your calories to not lose too much too fast, you will bee able to build and maintain muscle while you lose fat.

      Sorry I didn’t get to this earlier, I am moving today so I have been busy since the newsletter release. πŸ™‚

      Keep me updated,


    1. Scott,

      It doesn’t hurt to as long as recovery is involved. The heavy compound movements mixed with the static ab holds are plenty to build a solid foundation. If you are wanting to get a 6 pack you need to look into starting to cut bodyfat.. otherwise you are just wasting energy and recovery on exercise that could be spent doing better things. πŸ™‚


    2. Cutty,
      What do you recommend for cutting body fat? Not necessarily looking for a 6 pack but want to get rid of some fat… To cut body fat I’ve been doing interval sprints as well as hitting the pool and swimming laps,

    3. Start slowly cutting calories. For example if you drink regular sodas, try to cut out 300 calories worth of them.

      Try to cut excess processed foods out of your diet and slowly decrease calories with the same amount of exercise.

      The goal isn’t necessarily to drop so many calories that you lose weight, but getting a good balance of eating and exercise to keep your metabolism up and healthy.

      No need to overdo it on the cardio and conditioning but walking is another great way to burn fat. In the morning when you wake up has worked well for me and many others.

      If you have more questions let me know,


  37. Cutty,

    My buddies and I have recently started lifting again. We are trying to gain lots of muscle and lose weight. We have been doing upper body every other day with legs and abs on the alternative days. Do you have any recommendations on reps, sets and what kinds of workouts we should do? Also kinds of preworkout/post workout mixes you suggest?


  38. Hey Cutty,
    Been doing the workout for a while and have seen good results! Reached personal bests across the board… Haven’t plateaued yet but think it’s coming soon what should I do at that point? How can I switch around the workout to get results again? I am a fan of a 5 day routine

  39. Cutty,

    I found your article and started it this week. I just started back to working out again 2 months ago. I stuck with calisthenics at first. Your workout will be my return to weight lifting after several lazy years. I am looking forward to checking back in touch with you in 8 weeks.

    1. Good luck Zack. The great thing is the gains start to come back slow and within a week or two you start feeling as good as you used to when you trained consistently.

      Clean up some of the diet and you’ll really see some changes after 8 weeks.


  40. Hi I’m starting this in the morning. Just wondering how long should you stay with a program before you change things up

    1. Most programs are meant to be run as long as you are progressing. Some programs like Madcow 5×5 and others specifically will say how long. But for most of my workouts I recommend running for at least 8-12 months before you decide to change up.

      If you are making progress then I recommend not changing until you start to plateau after you’ve deloaded and exhausted other options to keep progressing. The only reason I say this is most people switch programs so often they never get into the meat of a program which means you won’t make any progress.

      If you have any other questions, let me know.


    1. That varies person by person and your activity levels but you could start with 2200 and see if you maintain your weight. Add or Subtract by 200 depending on if you wanna bulk or cut.

  41. Sounds like a really solid routine.

    I had two questions:
    1. Why start with a powerlifting set every day with 5 sets of 5 reps. Why not do 3 sets of 8 reps. instead/

    2. For the plank, say I complete 3 sets of 1 min each, Does that mean that the next time I plank i should aim to complete 3 sets os 3m each?

    1. 1.) 5 sets of 5 reps seem to be a good compliment for strength training. 3 sets of 8 works well too but I would like to see you use heavier weights. I would recommend 3 sets of 8 reps for a powerbuilding routine.

      2.) No, you would aim to complete 3 sets of planks for 1 minute 1 second – aim for more time than last time… doesn’t have to be that huge of a jump.

      If you have any more questions, let me know πŸ™‚


  42. I’m starting this workout Monday 100%, I’ve already started working out doing a lot of cardio. I had a open heart surgery Aug 2014, so I’m just easing into it. I will start this work out on Monday like I said , hopefully I will be writing back in seven weeks. thanks for the tips Cutty.

    1. Jake,

      Good luck! Glad to see you back at it after a huge surgery like that. Be safe and I can’t wait to hear back from ya.


    1. Hello,

      For rowing use an overhand grip and on pull ups you can also use overhand or if you would like to incorporate more of your bicep into the movement, underhand (chin ups) are a good alternative.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  43. Hey Cutty,

    Just wanted to thank you for putting together this workout – of all the workout routines I’ve tried, this one has worked best for me and has given me great results. Thanks!

  44. Wow! I am revisiting this routine about three years later. I really appreciate the previous dialogue we had on this message board. It is pretty funny to see what I wrote and how my perspectives have changed since 2013. Thanks again


  45. Hi cutty ,
    I am 20 years old guy . I want to get ripped. I am a bit on the skinny side. Which workout you advice me to follow .and how many times a week i should go to gym

    1. Pick a workout routine that fits your schedule and go with it. Start eating a couple hundred extra calories a day and push yourself in the gym and you’ll start to notice a difference.

  46. Hey cutty

    I’m from India. My weight is 75 kg and height is 5’11. I’m doing gym from long time but I’m not getting any good result. I have no idea about what plans I should follow. Please help me!!

    1. Find a workout plan you like and start eating more. Eat more protein or even rice to get more calories to help your body have fuel to build muscle.

      Start with 200 calories extra a day and start working on any program you’d like. You should start to see gains within a month.

  47. Hey cutty, loving the routine so far. Question about workout E: would replacing squats with the leg press be as equally effective, or are doing actual squats that much more beneficial? also my gym doesn’t have a calf machine, do you have any recommendations for strengthening the calves? thanks!

    1. Leg presses are useful in application but they don’t hold a candle to squats. I highly recommend learning to squat. For the calf machine this may sound ghetto but you could bring a 2×4 in your bag that’s a little longer than shoulder width and then you can stand on it with the balls of your feet. Use the smith machine, regular barbell, or you can sit on a bench and then load a couple plates up on your lap and use it like that.

  48. I have recently been trying a split where I do chest/triceps, legs/shoulders and back/biceps. I am doing this 6 days in a row then taking day 7 off. I’m doing two exercise per body part per day, plus abs 4 days. I can typically get this done in 45 minutes then get in 1/2 hour of cardio. My goal right now is to lose fat while maintaining and toning muscle. I can’t seem to find any articles on a split like this and am wondering if it seems reasonable to anyone or if there is a better option. Any advice is appreciated.


    1. If you’re consistently hitting that, time to start adjusting macros and watching intake. That’s a lot of time in the gym but at least you aren’t going overboard with exercises per part. Depending if you come from a (too fat) or a (thinner) background I would suggest to up protein and either increase fat and decrease carbs for now if you’re on the (too fat) side and then if you’re on the (thinner) side then I suggest up the protein, up the carbs, and drop the fats to a reasonable level.

  49. Do you believe in a push pull legs regiment? If I would want to workout 5 times per week would I be able to do push and pull twice a week and legs once?

    1. I have a few push/pull workouts but I would not recommend doing 5 days set up like that. You will never recover properly and eventually you’ll burn out. Recovery is where growth is made, not beating the muscles down.

  50. Hey Cutty,

    I wasn’t ever much of a gym rat. I was track and cross country in high school. Since then, I have had two kids, been in the Air Force for 12 years and have definitely gotten out of shape. Finding a workout program that would fit my goals of getting rid of the gut, and overall body fat, and gaining muscle and strength is hard to find that is as spelled out as you made this. I am starting today. I have restocked my kitchen with healthy foods, and will be cutting out the beer intake as much as possible. I created a log book and will be able to do all of this no matter where I go so there shouldn’t be any excuses. I am 5’7 and 200 lbs and looking to cut inches of the waist while getting bigger in the places that are supposed to be. lol I will return in a month to give an update. Thanks man.

    1. Tyler, good luck and thank you for your service. You know exactly what you need to do nutrition wise and you certainly know how to build up conditioning. I think you’ll be just fine.

      Don’t worry about jumping back into heavy weights quick, spend a week or two relearning movements and getting the flow back and then turn up the intensity. You’ve taken every step you need to turn things around.

      I will say once you start noticing fat loss and you manipulate calories and macros, don’t get discouraged if you start seeing weight loss slow down or go up, be sure to check for other signs (clothes fit better, etc) because you’ll be doing a body recomposition.

      You’ll start building muscle and your initial water weight loss should drop an easy 20lbs just off limiting beer and eating better in a couple weeks. A long time ago when I first started this site I got discouraged because of a recomp I did, started seeing 300lbs on the scale again and I went and got a body comp test and I was down to 15% bodyfat. Don’t let all of the numbers confine you to how you feel on your progress. You know what to do so do it.

      Good luck

  51. Hello does this workout fall in helping in losing weight as well if not is there one that you recommend? One primary goal of mine is to lose weight but also gain muscle if you can help in any way ill appreciate it.

    1. You lose weight by making better nutritional choices. Those better nutritional choices will build muscle. Any routine will work if you stick with it.

  52. I am a 41 year old marine and army vet. I became terribly lazy over the years and reached a horrible 275 lbs at 5’11”. Had surgery in one knee and both are slowly getting better. This will be day 3 of your program and before work this morning i weighed in at 271. So far i like it because i can incorporate managable weight until my body remembers how it use to be. I was a little nervous but so far i am not hurting as bad as i thought i would. Hope to keep up the pace, thanks Keith

    1. Keith, getting started is the hardest part. I think within 2 weeks you’ll feel like a completely different person. Be sure to do active mobility and getting active outside of the gym to reap the most benefits.

    2. I hear ya. Actually friday nights is my bowling league. I didnt get my gym time in this past friday before bowling because i had to do my civil, veteran duty as a neighbor and responded to a neighbor that had passed out with some sort of complication. Needless to say, my heart rate was still at the healthy level. Back at it monday. Even with today being the third day off i am still 4.5 lbs under my starting weight.

  53. Hi Cutty,

    Really enjoying the workout. It’s simple and easy to follow and cram in 5 times a week.

    I really struggle with all the row exercises though. The seated row machine at my corporate office doesn’t actually really let my thighs fit in as it is not really a gym for big training. The bigger problem is with bent over rows, db rows etc where no matter how I do them I just seem to end up with knackered biceps and triceps but no real back workout. Even inverse rows which I was told were good wasybsubstitues just feels like I’m bicep curling my body weight. Any tips??


    1. Oli, thank you for the kind words.

      I actually used to have this issue and I have something I’d invite you to try. When doing rows of any kind, think about your hand as the anchor. You simply hold onto the weight.

      When doing the row, make it feel like you have a string attached to your elbow that you are pulling. You eventually will eliminate your biceps and start using your lats correctly. Try using a false grip when rowing to see if that helps eliminate some bicep pull. Rows do include the bicep, but if you practice “pulling your elbow” you’ll start to understand what I mean. If you’ve ever had to pull start a push mower a bunch, you’ve probably made this motion.

      Let me know if that helps.

  54. Curty, im a 57 year old young ma started using 5 day plan 9.2217. Made great gains.mac bench was 225lbs when shit hit the fan 255. Just last week got triple by pass. I will back better can we work pn a plan to get back in the game in about 5 weeks. Takes 6 weeks for chest bones grow back.

    1. I removed your phone number so you wouldn’t have crazies calling you. As for the routine, we’ll build one to suit you as time gets closer. It’ll consist more of recovery, rehabbing your chest and starting to get some mobility back in the affected area.

      We’ll get you back running soon.

  55. 57 yr old man, trying to regain my strength. Just started your 5 day plan. Let you how it works.

    1. It really depends on your goals but in general, 60-90 seconds for small accessory lifts and 2-5 minutes on heavy compound lifts are a good place to start.

  56. 59 years of age started lifting year ago, have got my bench up to 335. Trying to get to where I can bench 315 5 to 8 times. Any thing I can t do to improve

    1. That’s great! There are a few things you could do. If you are running this routine, you could change the set and rep scheme up. Try using a lighter weight with four sets of 12 reps.

      For added intensity, focus on performing a slow negative (lowering bar to chest), take a slight pause, and then press the weight up. Be explosive on the press. Adding a few paused reps at the end of your sets could work. Record yourself to see where you are failing. Are you struggling to get it off of your chest? Do you have trouble locking out? All of those are things you can add into your current routine. Adding in a couple more tricep exercises or some chest dumbbell exercises to address weaknesses will help most.

      Add in a few sets of hammer curls and bent over lateral raises β€” it will you maintain tightness and improve your bench.

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