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Your Workouts Reviewed: Bulking Up Fast

Our expert takes a look at a young reader's workout aimed at adding mass.

Everyone's got a workout of their own—your "go-to" routine. But is your "go-to" routine good enough? We asked our Men's Fitness Facebook friends if they had a killer routine to share and subject to the scrutiny of our readers. The big catch? Our team of training experts also review it, critique it and tweak it if necessary.

Workout Submission

Men's Fitness Facebook Friend: Levi

“I'm 15 years old. My goal is to bulk up. The equipment I have are: a bench press, multi station gym, dumbbells and a chin up bar. ”

Chest/Arms

-Bench Press: 3 sets of 10
-Dumbbell Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 10
-Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10
-Dumbbell Flyers: 3 sets of 10
-Pec Dec Fly's: 3 sets of 10
-Concentration curls: 3 sets of 10

Back

-Chin-ups: 3 sets of 10
-Reverse Chin-ups: 3 sets of 10
-Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 10
-Back Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 10
-One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 10
-Straight Arm Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 10
-Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 10

Shoulders/Legs

-Bent Over Lateral raises: 3 sets of 10
-Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10
-One Dumbbell Front Raises: 3 sets of 10
-Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 10
-Dumbbell squats: 3 sets of 10
-Standing Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10

Usually at the end of each week I will try my 1 max rep to see how I'm doing.

Expert Assessment 

Dan Trink C.S.C.S., CPT is the Director of Personal Training Operations at Peak Performance NYC and the trainer in our 8-Week Fitness Transformassacre
Follow Trink on Twitter @TrinkFitness

Pros: As far as 3-day per week body part splits go, your choices of chest/arms, back. shoulders/legs is not bad. You have some great exercises in there including squats, chin ups, single arm rows and bench press. Plus, a 3 sets of 10 reps scheme is in line with your goals as it is a classic recipe for putting on size.

Cons: Just because your split is not bad, that doesn’t mean it’s optimal. I prefer a chest/back, shoulders/arms and legs split. You have a few moves that are repetitive (do you really need two different types of chins and two different types of lat pulldowns all in the same workout?) and a few exercises that are just a plain bad use of time (pec dec flyes, shrugs, leg extensions). And while 3x10 does work for building mass, there are other useful rep schemes that you could be utilizing as well.

Overall: Given that you are training to improve performance in your sport and that you are only 15 years old, I would lose the body part splits all together and train total body 3 times per week. I’d build your program around movements that deliver the greatest training effect and carryover to athletics—namely cleans, squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, military presses, bench press, lunges and farmer’s walks. Try varying up the rep ranges so you can improve both size and strength. Most importantly, at your age you should prioritize training variety and safety—not body part volume. Stop hammering the same muscle groups over and over each training session and work on developing good form and technique on the major lifts that you’ll be utilizing again and again throughout your athletic career. Doing so will make you a better, more durable player and you’ll get more value out of your time in the gym and on the field.

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