Workout Routine for College Students

Routine Type
4 days on 3 days off - High volume.
Duration
5 Weeks
Level
Advanced
Purpose
Build muscle mass and strength
Target
For those individuals looking for an advanced high volume workout.

Hi, my name is Matt. I am currently enrolled in my college’s personal training program. I have tried many different workouts, and this workout is great, as well as many others out there.

The whole concept of it is to trick your body and muscle memory. You can go to the gym a minimum of three days a week, although here is a 4, 5 or 6 day workout for the more serious lifters.

Many people always do lower back along with upper back, although I prefer to include lower back in the legs workout, since it is part of your lower body, and is being worked anyways through stiff-legged deadlifts and squats.

You never want to work Chest or Shoulders the day after you do Triceps, because Triceps are used so much those days, and also in effect you could over-train them.

Don’t do Biceps the day after Upper Back. I didn’t include abs in the workout, so you could always go a different day to do abs, or do them after any workout, except for the Legs & Lower Back day. To do abs, go to the gym on an empty stomach so you burn more of the body fat instead of the carbohydrates.

Do 20 minutes of cardio BEFORE your workout, and then do weighted ab exercises where you can bang out no higher than 10 or 12 reps. Any other day, if you wish to do cardio, then save it for after your workout, so you don’t tire your muscles out. Always do Triceps BEFORE Biceps. Doing biceps first causes the blood to flow to that muscle, and you won’t be able to get the full range of motion required to do Triceps.

You want to start off small, and each week add more sets, although you don’t want to add too much. 9 sets for minor muscles, 12-15 for major. If you are planning to take a week or two off, then it is OK to overtrain yourself during that final week, as long as you don’t do the same muscle two different days that same week.

Your split can look like this:

(I will include the sets, but not the reps. You covered the 10 week repetition cycle very well in your e-Book… For most body parts, you can use the same rep range as Chest throughout that whole week, although you don’t want to lower the reps too much for minor muscles, and for Upper Back you don’t want to go TOO heavy, otherwise you won’t get the full motion.)

The Workout

Week 1

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Day 1 - Legs & Lower Back
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 20 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
Day 2 - Chest
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 reps
Upper Back & Forearms
4 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 12 reps
Day 4 - Shoulders & Traps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
2 x 15 reps
2 x 15 reps
5 x 15 reps
Triceps & Biceps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 reps

Week 2

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Day 1 - Chest
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
Day 2 - Legs & Lower Back
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 reps
3 x 15 reps
Day 4 - Shoulders and Traps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 12 reps
3 x 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 15 - 20 reps
Upper Back & Forearms
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 reps
Triceps & Biceps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 reps

Week 3

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Day 1 - Shoulders and Traps
3 x 12 reps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
2 x 12 - 15 reps
5 x 15 - 20 reps
Day 2 - Chest
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
Pec Deck (or any Wide Chest Cable/ Machine)
3 x 15 reps
Day 3 - Legs and Lower Back
3 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 - 20 reps
Day 4 - Upper Back & Forearms
4 x 12 - 15 reps
Triceps & Biceps
Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench (Use only the top 1/3 of the motion and heavy weight)
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 reps each arm
3 x 12 reps each arm
3 x 15 reps

Week 4

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Day 1 - Shoulders and Traps
3 x 12 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
5 x 15 - 20 reps
Day 2 - Legs and Lower Back
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 20 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 - 20 reps
Day 3 - Triceps & Biceps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
2 x 15 reps
3 x 12 reps
3 x 15 reps
Day 5 - Chest
4 x 12 - 15 reps
Upper Back & Forearms
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 reps

Week 5

Muscle Group
Exercise
Sets / Reps
Day 1 - Triceps & Biceps
3 x 12 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 reps
3 x 12 reps
Shoulders and Traps
4 x 12 - 15 reps
2 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
5 x 12 - 15 reps
Day 3 - Chest
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
Day 4 - Legs and Lower Back
4 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 20 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
3 x 15 - 20 reps
3 x 12
Day 5 - Upper Back & Forearms
3 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 12 reps
3 x 12 - 15 reps
4 x 15 reps

That is an example of a good workout for the 1st five weeks of the cycle. The next 5 weeks should continue to progressively increase intensity at a consistent pace. Feel free to throw in new exercises into your workout in place of similar ones. Always change the order of muscles worked in your split, for this 10 week cycle at least. Feel free to try different types of shrugs, whether they will be neutral grip, behind the back, or with dumbbells. Don’t throw too many sets in for any specific muscle.

On some legs days, you can split the sets between squats and leg press. Once your 8-10 weeks of this workout is up, take your break. The next cycle should be for one month only, but you want to superset close to every exercise (except for lower back) for the entire month. Be creative when supersetting, whether it is Close Grip Bench to Dips, Bench Press to Flies, Pull-Ups to Lat Pushdowns… the combinations are endless.

You can even do giant sets, which are 3 different consecutive exercises for the same muscle. When doing supersets or giant sets, remember to rest at least 1 and a half to 2 minutes, but not longer than 3, between each set. Instead of avoiding exercises that you don’t like, initiate your workouts with them, and get stronger in those areas.

There are so many different aspects of weightlifting, and the personal training field is full of various opinions. What I have here is just one method of working out that works great. I do appreciate feedback whether it is positive or negative. Hope you enjoy the workout.

-Matt from NJ

Editors Note* This is a high volume workout which requires time and effort, this type of routine is for the advanced trainer.

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.