My Program of 3’s – Resistance Training

My Current Resistance Routine

After 10 rounds of my 5/5 routine I have gone back to my former regimen which I call 3’s. It consists of 3 days of workout with a day of recovery in between. 2 days consist of weight training and 1 day is for body weight. On one of the recovery days I have an abdominal routine that I run through as well as a forearm routine with some heavy iron bars given to me by my brother.


The 5/5 split was originally done to break through some serious plateaus and it did so on a couple of exercises, most notably my bench press. I’m planning on staying with the 3’s for about 10 rounds and then going back to the 5/5 and then possibly back to a 2 part split.

My 3’s program is as follows:

The first 3 exercises are the primary movements for that body part and are done with barbells and a 6 – 8 rep range for 3 sets after a progressive warm up, though I may drop this to 5 after reading a statement by Pavel Tsatsouline that anything over 5 is for bodybuilding not strength. Since I lift alone in my garage I’m very careful about pressing heavy weights, though. I allow a 2 minute rest between each of these.

The next set of secondary exercises are done with an 8 – 12+ (depending on the body part) rep range with a focus on constant movement. Each of the three movements is done one right after the other for 2 to 3 sets, depending on time and energy, with a 1 minute rest between the two groups. Then I’ll finish with some bonus movements, time permitting. The idea is to keep moving and focus more on burning calories than strength – basically circuit or PHA training.

Day 1: Legs – Chest – Back


Legs: High Back Squat
– Pre tri-malleolar ankle fracture the dead-lift held this position, but alas the dead-lift seems to really cause pain to that old injury. I feel it with the low squat as well but it stretches right out whereas the dead-lift caused pretty much constant pain. I do this exercise first because it requires the most concentration and I read in a few places on the internet that it increases GH and testosterone so it must be true.

Chest: Bench Press
– I think Alan Thrall gives the best instruction for this movement.

Back: Yates Row
– I’ve been having some pain in my anterior shoulder associated with several movements and most pronounced with the pronated grip in this one. The supinated grip of this version took care of that. I’ve seen a lot of negative press on this movement but it works well for me, so do your homework.


Round 1:
– Romanian Dead-lift
– Lying overhead dumbbell pullover (two hands)
– Dumbbell Row (one hand)

Round 2:
– Barbell front squat
– Incline barbell press
– Cable pull-down (leaning slightly back to work the upper back a bit more than the lats)

– Shrugs
– High pulls
– Face pulls
– Lat pull-downs

Day 2: Shoulders – Biceps – Triceps


Shoulders: Overhead press
Omar goes pretty deep in this video, which is part of a series

Biceps: Preacher curls
– I just wasn’t getting anywhere with a standard bicep curl so I’ve switched to these to see if I can move past my plateau

Triceps: Barbell close hand grip press
– Don’t go too narrow with the grip. Again I was experiencing pain in the anterior shoulder with this and after some research I widened my grip and it resolved without any less resistance in the triceps.


Round 1:
– Arnold press – dumbbells, 2 hands
– Hammer curl – dumbbells, 2 hands alternating
– Cable triceps push-down

Round 2:
– Lateral raises – rear to side (leaning forward to failure then standing straight)
– Concentration curl
– Behind head triceps extension (dumbbell, sitting)

– Barbell curls with partial range of motion and pauses (basically 21’s)
– Reverse grip curls
– Snatches

Day 3: Body-weight

Pull-ups: wide, underhand, overhand, and narrow grips. I can’t do pull ups for shit so this consists of training – emphasizing the negative motion and hanging static in the bottom, middle, and top positions.

Pushups: I do these with a slow 5 count for 2 sets.

Squats: I do one set of squats in between each of the above during the 2 minute rest. My progressions is
– standard air squats 3 sets then a rest
– single leg dead-lift – no weight 2 sets each leg (4 total)
– snatch position wide squat with an empty barbell overhead 3 sets then rest
– Bulgarian split squat – 2 sets each leg (4 total)

This may seem like a lot but none of these workouts should not take over an hour. My time is extremely limited so I’ve tried to really hone these workouts down. If time is really short I just shave off a set rather than reduce rest time. It’s far better to do something vs nothing!! With a days recovery between each one that’s a total 6 day routine. I don’t work a set weekly schedule so I don’t workout on one either.

I hope this gives you some ideas and if you have any to share I’d love to hear them. I’m constantly tweaking my workouts for time, effectiveness, and mainly just to maintain my interest. And sometimes to work around a sore area that I don’t want to develop into a full blown injury.

Leave a Reply