5 Day 2 Days Off / 16 Week Power Workout Routine

I am 32 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall and I weigh about 225. I own my own business and am married with a 3 year old daughter and a 6 month old son which means that I don’t have a lot of free time.

I’ve used this program for the past year (Jan 2006 to current) and my gains have been as follows:

– Bench Press started at 335, now is at 415;
– Squat started at 425, now is at 505;
– Deadlift started at 505, now is at 600.

All of these numbers are raw with NO equipment whatsoever except for a belt on sqauts and deadlifts. It is pretty simple and consists of a 16 week power cycle that I simply repeat over and over again. The program starts with 2 weeks of 8-10 reps per set (2 “work” sets per exercise), 2 weeks of 6-8 reps, 5 weeks of 4-6 reps, 3 weeks of triples, 2 weeks of doubles, 1 week of maxing out (on Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift, Military Press and Close Grip Press).

After completing the cycle, I take 2 weeks “off” where I do chins, dips and pushups supersetted for 8-10 total sets of 10 reps per set on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then I run 3 miles (timed for speed) on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday followed by heavy ab and calf work. This provides a nice break and gets me psyched up to start the cycle over again with a target of increasing my PR’s in each rep range by 10%, including my 1RM.

The training split is as follows:

Workout Schedule

Monday
Legs, Back, Calves
Tuesday
Triceps, Chest, Back
Wednesday
Shoulders, Calves
Thursday
Back, Calves
Friday
Chest, Back
Saturday
Rest
Sunday
Rest

The Workout

Day 1 Monday - Legs, Back, Calves Weeks 1 and 2

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Quadriceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Week 3 - 4
Quadriceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
Weeks 5 - 10
Quadriceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Weeks 11 - 13
Quadriceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Weeks 14 - 15
Quadriceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Weeks 16
Quadriceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep

Day 2 Tuesday - Triceps, Chest, Back Weeks 1 and 2

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Triceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 8 - 10 reps with weight
Week 3 - 4
Triceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 12 reps warm up no weight
2 x 6 - 8 reps with weight
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 6 - 8 reps with weight
Weeks 5 - 10
Triceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 12 reps warm up no weight
2 x 4 - 6 reps with weight
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 4 - 6 reps with weight
Weeks 11 - 13
Triceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 12 reps warm up no weight
2 x 3 reps with weight
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 3 reps with weight
Weeks 14 - 15
Triceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 12 reps warm up no weight
2 x 3 reps with weight
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 2 reps with weight
Weeks 16
Triceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 12 reps warm up no weight
2 x 1 rep with weight
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 1 rep with weight

Day 3 Wednesday - Shoulders, Biceps Weeks 1 and 2

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Shoulders
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Biceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Week 3 - 4
Shoulders
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Biceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Weeks 5 - 10
Shoulders
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Biceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 6 reps
Weeks 11 - 13
Shoulders
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Biceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Weeks 14 - 15
Shoulders
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Biceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Weeks 16
Shoulders
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
Biceps
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep

Day 4 Thursday - Back, Calves Weeks 1 and 2

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Week 3 - 4
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Weeks 5 - 10
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 6 reps
Weeks 11 - 13
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
Weeks 14 - 15
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
Weeks 16
Back
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
Calves
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep

Day 5 Friday - Chest, Back Weeks 1 and 2

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 8 - 10 reps
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 8 - 10 reps
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 8 - 10 reps with weight
Week 3 - 4
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 6 - 8 reps
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 6 - 8 reps
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 6 - 8 reps with weight
Weeks 5 - 10
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 4 - 6 reps
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 4 - 6 reps
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 4 - 6 reps with weight
Weeks 11 - 13
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 3 reps
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 3 reps
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 3 reps with weight
Weeks 14 - 15
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 2 reps
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 2 reps
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 2 reps with weight
Weeks 16
Chest
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 20 reps warm up
1 x 12 reps warm up
2 x 1 rep
 
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 1 rep
Back
1 x 12 reps no weight
2 x 1 rep with weight

I get up early Saturday morning and run 3 miles (timed for speed) and then rest on Sundays. If I feel overly tired, I take a day off and resume the program as if no day had been missed.

As far as diet goes, I eat 6-8 times per day with each meal consisting of 50g of protein, 30-50g of complex carbs (no carbs after 7pm) and one piece of fruit or vegetable (vegetables only after 7pm). The only supplements that I use are a daily multivitamin/multimineral, whey protein powder, creatine and glutamine, all of which I buy wholesale which makes this “stack” very affordable. I used to use a fat burner to give me extra energy for my workouts, but I have found that I get a better effect simply by drinking a cup of coffee or green tea about 15-20 minutes before heading to the gym.

This program is simple, cost-effective and can be repeated over and over without getting stale as it’s based around progressive resistance and the rep ranges are always changing. You could also extend the chins, dips, pushups and running routine that comes in between power cycles as I’ve found it GREAT for cutting up, especially if I’ve put on a little too much bodyfat during the heavy cycle. The diet is simple, easy to follow and cost-effective. I plan on continuing on with this program and hope to be at the following 1RM’s by the December of 2007 (all RAW lifts): Bench Press = 500; Squat = 600; Deadlift = 700. We’ll see! Thanks for your time.

Mike

*Editors Note* Please understand that this program uses a pyramid style workload. Each progressive set uses heavier and heavier weight. Because of the workload, always use a spotter for the heavier sets.

Blake Bissaillion

Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.

Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.