One of the things I love best about bodybuilding are the routines. When I stumble upon some new way of training, it makes me feel like a kid at Christmas.
Having made most of my gains in the late 80s, I was pretty much a prisoner of volume training. When the 90s hit, and Dorian Yates exploded upon the IFBB scene, his intense new method of building muscle landed upon my radar screen.
Dorian Yates wasn't a high volume proponent. He was a minimalist, and typically only performed 1-2 sets to failure per exercise.
This type of training challenged my dogma, but in an exciting way. Dorian opened the door to quality first, before quantity. Though I have never completely adopted his training style, my gym efforts over the last 15 years have been reduced to the bare necessities.
1990s Bodybuilding Routine
The following routine is my variation of a Dorian Yates style training program. You will be utilizing the following split:
- Day 1 - Back and Traps
- Day 2 - Chest and Triceps
- Day 3 - Off
- Day 4 - Legs
- Day 5 - Shoulders and Biceps
- Day 6 - Off
- Day 7 - Repeat, starting with Day 1
Warmup Set Percentages. Please note that the weight you use for warmup sets will be the listed percentage multiplied by the weight you use during your working sets.
For example, if you are using 315 pounds during your working sets of squats, your warm up sets would look like this:
- Warmup Set #1 - 70% x 15 reps, or 220 pounds x 15 reps.
- Warmup Set #2 - 85% x 12 reps, or 265 pounds x 12 reps.
Training to Failure. Dorian Yates advocated training to failure. I don't. Pushing for a rep when your form is deteriorating, or when a muscle is utterly fatigued is a recipe for injury.
I respect Dorian Yates, but I simply don't think most of us have any reason to train to failure. But it is still your choice. Do what you feel comfortable with.
If you do not train to failure, make sure to push every set for as many reps as possible, stopping a set when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. You will be maximizing each set this way, and maximizing progression of weight.
Listed Reps. Reps listed for working sets are general reocmmendations. If you go above them for sets, add weight the next time you perform this exercise.
|Back and Traps|
|Deadlift - Warmup 80%||1||8|
|Deadlift - Working Set||1||8|
|Lat Pull Down - Warmup 70%||1||15|
|Lat Pull Down - Warmup 85%||1||15|
|Lat Pull Down - Working Sets||2||12|
|Machine Row - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Machine Row - Working Sets||2||10|
|Seated Cable Row - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Seated Cable Row - Working Sets||2||10|
|Bent Over Dumbbell Flyes - Warmup 80%||1||12|
|Bent Over Dumbbell Flyes - Working Sets||2||12|
|Dumbbell Shrugs - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Dumbbell Shrugs - Working Sets||2||15|
|Chest and Triceps|
|Incline Barbell Bench Press - Warmup 70%||1||10|
|Incline Barbell Bench Press - Warmup 85%||1||10|
|Incline Barbell Bench Press - Working Sets||2||10|
|Machine Chest Press - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Machine Chest Press - Working Sets||2||10|
|Pec Dec - Warmup 80%||1||12|
|Pec Dec - Working Sets||2||12|
|Incline Dumbbell Flye - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Incline Dumbbell Flye - Working Sets||2||12|
|Cable Tricep Extension - Warmup 80%||1||15|
|Cable Tricep Extensions - Working Sets||2||12|
|Skullcrusher and Press Combination - Warmup 80%||1||8|
|Skullcrusher and Press Combination - Working Sets||2||10|
|Squats - Warmup 70%||1||8|
|Squats - Warmup 85%||1||8|
|Squats - Working Sets||2||10|
|Leg Press - Warmup 70%||1||10|
|Leg Press - Warmup 85%||1||10|
|Leg Press - Working Sets||2||15|
|Leg Extensions - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Leg Extensions - Working Sets||2||12|
|Leg Curl - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Leg Curl - Working Sets||2||12|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift - Warmup 80%||1||8|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift - Working Sets||2||10|
|Seated Calf Raises - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Seated Calf Raises - Working Sets||2||15|
|Shoulders and Biceps|
|Seated Dumbbell Press - Warmup 70%||1||8|
|Seated Dumbbell Press - Warmup 85%||1||8|
|Seated Dumbbell Press - Working Sets||2||10|
|Seated Lateral Raise - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Seated Lateral Raise - Working Sets||2||12|
|Smith Machine Press - Warmup 80%||1||8|
|Smith Machine Press - Working Sets||2||10|
|Bent Over Reverse Flyes - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Bent Over Reverse Flyes - Working Sets||2||12|
|Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curls - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curls - Working Sets||2||10|
|Machine Bicep Curls - Warmup 80%||1||10|
|Machine Bicep Curls - Working Sets||2||10|