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Your Workouts Reviewed: The MASS Builder

Our experts assess an amateur bodybuilder's mass-building workout.

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Everyone's got a workout of their own—your "go-to" routine. But is your 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

Jason Hewitt Men's Fitness Facebook Friend

"I'm a personal trainer and amateur bodybuilder. This is the workout I use to pack on mass. It's an upper/lower split based around compound movements and performed four days a week."

Days 1 and 3:

Deadlifts: 5 sets x 5-8 reps SLDL (Stiff Leg Deadlift): 5 sets x 5-8 reps Squats: 5 sets x 5-8 reps Jefferson Squats: 3 sets x 10 reps Calf Raise: 3 sets x 10 reps

Days 2 and 4

Flat Bench: 5 sets x 5 reps Incline Bench: 5 sets x 5 reps Bent Row: 5 sets x 5 reps Pull-ups: 3 sets x 10 reps Push Press: 5 sets x 5 reps Barbell Curl: 3 sets x 10 reps Skull Crushers: 3 sets x 10 reps

Expert Assessment #1

Rob Sulaver C.S.C.S. is the owner and founder of BandanaTraining.com Follow Sulaver on Twitter @BandanaTraining

Pros: Love that you're lifting heavy. Love that you're doing old school, sweet-ass lifts like deadlifts, squats, and pull ups. Love that you've divied it into an upper/lower split. Love that you're trying to get jacked. All very commendable. Cons: Are you on roids? Be honest. The total volume here—5 x 5-8—is a lot, let alone for three different compound lifts. Start by cleaning up your rep ranges. I'd recommend sticking with 5 x 5 (not 5 x 8) across the board—reps and sets are inversely proportionate so the more reps you do, the less sets you do (you could do a 3 x 10 block for some auxiliary lifts later in the workout.) As a general guideline, I like to heavy-load the spine once in a session, which would mean splitting up your deadlifts and squats into two different workouts. You might also break up your upper body push and upper body pull into two different workouts to keep your lifts reasonable. Comments: You've got a solid foundation to work from, but your workouts don't need to be quite so massive in order for your body to be the same. Break up this routine into more manageable workouts, then be sure to call a Vet...'cause your pythons are gonna be sick!

Expert Assessment #2

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: You're training four days a week, which gives you plenty of stimulus to grow while giving you enough rest to recover. I also like upper body/lower body splits for building size. Your rep ranges include those that will get you stronger (5x5) as well as those that will get you bigger (3x10) which is inline with your goals. Finally, you're using a lot of the great 'bang for your buck' lifts such as the squat, deadlift, push press and pull ups. Cons: I'm not a huge fan of programming squats and deadlifts in the same day. Plus you're performing them for five sets of fairly low reps. Plus your doing them twice per week. Plus you have additional squat and deadlift variations in there as well. I'm no mathematician, but that seems like it would add up to a ton of lower back pain. Your program also seems a bit disogranized as you go from 5x5 to 3x10 back to 5x5. You have some pretty heavy duty movements (squats, push press) fairly late in your program. Not a great idea trying to pull those off when you're already fatigued. Comments: I think you'd be better off breaking this program into four separate days. One lower body day could focus around squats and other knee-dominant movements. The other could be designed around the deadlift and other hip-dominant moves. The upper body days could be divided as well with pulls such as chin-ups, rows and curls being the main focus one day and pushes such as the push press, bench press variations and triceps working being the focus of the other day. A four-day split would allow you to get additional volume for each muscle group and give you ample time to recover. And volume plus recovery equals some serious mass building. Hey, maybe I'm a mathematician after all.

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