Intermediate Training Routine

Our intermediate training routines consists of all of the major compound movements as well as a few accessory lifts. These routines all involve 3 days of work however, I did involve one 2 day a week routine. I have given a few examples of different routines as some people feel negatively about the ever-so-popular 3-day “bro split.” You should continue on any of these routines until you feel that you are advanced enough to move on to something a little different. Please Note: These exercises are more complex than I can write about in a few simple sentences. Make sure you research the movements and don’t go just off of what I wrote here.

A Message About People Working Out From Home

Again, all of these routines can be done from home using dumbbells. That’s how I started and I believe a gym physique can easily be achieved from home using only dumbbells, and a pull up bar.

Sets & Reps

I recommend that you attack your workouts in a fashion similar to the one below.

  1. First Week Heavy weight (3 sets of 6 reps)
  2. Second Week Moderate weight (3 sets of 8 reps)
  3. Third Week Change it up using one of the following parameters of your choice (Pyramid Sets or Drop Sets See Below)
  4. Fourth Week Light weight (3 sets of 10-12)
  5. Repeat

A pyramid set is when you start with a certain weight that you can do for a 10-12 rep range. Then add on slightly more weight for the next set and shoot for 8-10 reps. Finally you add slightly more weight and shoot for 6-8 reps. Drop sets are when you start a set with a higher weight, continue until you can do no longer, then choose a lighter weight and finish off the set.

Training Frequency

More importantly than actually working out is making sure that you get some rest. The frequency of this routine is a Monday, Wednesday, Friday ordeal. If you have a busy or hectic schedule, just make sure you get 4 days of rest a week and are able to space out your workouts at least a day a part.

Abdominal Training

Abdominal training can be worked in 1-3 times a week with this routine. For abdominals I recommend doing 3 sets of 3-4 different exercises. Try to do an exercise for the upper abs, the lower abs as well as the obliques.

3-Day Bro Split (AKA Chest & Triceps, Back & Biceps, Legs & Shoulders)

Chest & Triceps Day

Since the triceps are already used heavily in pressing movements, chest & triceps day uses that fact to it’s advantage. Your triceps will already get some awesome stimulation from the pressing movements that you performed that day but adding in some extra isolation work for them will give them optimal stimulation.

Bench Press

The bench press is the exercise which everybody knows and loves. If you’re a man you’ll love the bench press because it helps you get a big chest and triceps. If you are a woman you’ll also love the bench press because it’ll help you get the illusion of more cleavage, help your breasts sit higher and look perkier as well as make them look bigger.

If you workout at home and don’t have access to a barbell these can also be done with dumbbells.

Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press focuses slightly more on the upper chest.

If you workout at home and don’t have access to a barbell these can also be done with dumbbells.

Dumbbell Flies

These can be done in many variations: incline, decline, flat or even with cables.

Skull Crushers AKA French Press

These can be done laying down, sitting or on an incline bench. You can use a straight bar, ez-curl bar or even dumbbells. Perfect for people who workout at home.

Triceps Extensions Or Kick backs

These can be done with dumbbells either sitting and behind the head in extension format. Bent over in triceps kickback format. Or with cables.

Back & Biceps Day

Since the biceps are already used heavily in pulling movements, back & biceps day uses that fact to it’s advantage. Your biceps will already get some awesome stimulation from the pulling movements that you performed that day but adding in some extra isolation work for them will give them optimal stimulation.

Deadlifts

Deadlifts are extremely important for overall body development. Deadlifts help your body to learn how to lift things off the ground. This is a very important skill to have. As well as working your hamstrings, glutes and lower back, deadlifts also help you work out your upper back, trapezius and your forearms.

Pull Up

Pull ups are a great exercise for your back and biceps. You can also alternate between pull ups (palms facing away) and chin ups (palms facing your body) in order to switch things up a bit. In fact there are many different variations of pullups that you can do to liven things up a bit.

Row

This row can be any of the major forms of rows, be it a barbell row, a single armed dumbbell row, a t-bar row. If you do a single armed dumbbell row, start with your weak arm and do as many as you can and then match it with your strong arm so you don’t create a muscle imbalance.

Concentration Curl

The concentration curl is a seated movement where you take a dumbbell in one hand, bend at the waist. Rest your upper arm on your thigh in order to isolate the elbow joint. Then use your hand to curl the weight upwards. Start with your weak arm and do as many as you can and then match it with your strong arm so you don’t create a muscle imbalance.

Hammer Curls

Hammer Curls involve you standing with two dumbbells in your hands and at your sides. You can do this either alternating between hands or both at the same time. Take the dumbbells and curl at the elbow joint with your hands holding the dumbbell handle as if you were gripping a hammer. This exercise is great for getting a pump in your biceps and working out your forearms. This exercise can also be switched out for a reverse curl. Same exercise but palms facing down.

Leg & Shoulder Day

Leg and shoulder day may not sound like a good match up. However the legs assist in a lot of Olympic movements as well as dynamic movements involving the shoulders. Such as the push press. This is a standing overhead press where you get a little bit of leg drive by using momentum from your lower body. The power clean is also a shoulder dominant move which uses a little bit of drive from the lower body.

Squats

If you workout at home and don’t have access to a barbell these can be done in a goblet fashion with a dumbbell. You can also do them goblet fashion until you are strong enough to do it with the bar. If you work out at PF, then use the dumbbells up to a certain point and then switch to the smith machine. Although the smith machine is a terrible device. If PF that’s all you can afford either save up to buy your own equipment or plan on switching to a different gym.

Romanian or Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Romanian and stiff leg deadlifts are a deadlift variation which focuses on the the hamstrings and glute. I personally prefer the Romanian version. To perform it, deadlift the bar or dumbbells up into the top position. From this position push your hips back and tip your upper body forward at the hip. Get a nice stretch in your hamstrings and then use your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and your lower back muscles to return your upper body to the starting position.

Single Leg Lunge Variation

Focusing on each leg individually is great in order to correct imbalances as well as other inherent advantages. You can do either a lunge with body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back. A step up performed with either body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back. Or a Bulgarian split squat performed with either body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are for building those meaty calves

Overhead Press

Can be performed either standing or seated and with a barbell or dumbbells.

Side Laterals

This exercise is performed standing with two dumbbells at your sides. Begin to raise your arms at your sides until you make a uppercase “T” with your body and slowly lower the weight back down.

Push, Pull, Legs

This is another intermediate training routine alternative which is becoming increasingly popular now a days. It is essentially almost the same as the 3-day bro split except the exercises are mixed around a bit.

Push Day

Push day is for all pressing movements, as well as some triceps isolation

Bench Press

The bench press is the exercise which everybody knows and loves. If you’re a man you’ll love the bench press because it helps you get a big chest and triceps. If you are a woman you’ll also love the bench press because it’ll help you get the illusion of more cleavage, help your breasts sit higher and look perkier as well as make them look bigger.

Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press focuses slightly more on the upper chest.

Overhead Press

Can be performed either standing or seated and with a barbell or dumbbells.

Skull Crushers AKA French Press

These can be done laying down, sitting or on an incline bench. You can use a straight bar, ez-curl bar or even dumbbells. Perfect for people who workout at home.

Side Laterals

This exercise is performed standing with two dumbbells at your sides. Begin to raise your arms at your sides until you make a uppercase “T” with your body and slowly lower the weight back down.

Pull Day

Pull day is for all pulling movements, as well as some biceps isolation

Deadlifts

Deadlifts are extremely important for overall body development. Deadlifts help your body to learn how to lift things off the ground. This is a very important skill to have. As well as working your hamstrings, glutes and lower back, deadlifts also help you work out your upper back, trapezius and your forearms.

Pull Up

Pull ups are a great exercise for your back and biceps. You can also alternate between pull ups (palms facing away) and chin ups (palms facing your body) in order to switch things up a bit. In fact there are many different variations of pullups that you can do to liven things up a bit.

Row

This row can be any of the major forms of rows, be it a barbell row, a single armed dumbbell row, a t-bar row. If you do a single armed dumbbell row, start with your weak arm and do as many as you can and then match it with your strong arm so you don’t create a muscle imbalance.

Concentration Curl

The concentration curl is a seated movement where you take a dumbbell in one hand, bend at the waist. Rest your upper arm on your thigh in order to isolate the elbow joint. Then use your hand to curl the weight upwards. Start with your weak arm and do as many as you can and then match it with your strong arm so you don’t create a muscle imbalance.

Hammer Curls

Hammer Curls involve you standing with two dumbbells in your hands and at your sides. You can do this either alternating between hands or both at the same time. Take the dumbbells and curl at the elbow joint with your hands holding the dumbbell handle as if you were gripping a hammer. This exercise is great for getting a pump in your biceps and working out your forearms. This exercise can also be switched out for a reverse curl. Same exercise but palms facing down.

Leg Day

Squats

If you workout at home and don’t have access to a barbell these can be done in a goblet fashion with a dumbbell. You can also do them goblet fashion until you are strong enough to do it with the bar. If you work out at PF, then use the dumbbells up to a certain point and then switch to the smith machine. Although the smith machine is a terrible device. If PF that’s all you can afford either save up to buy your own equipment or plan on switching to a different gym.

Romanian or Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Romanian and stiff leg deadlifts are a deadlift variation which focuses on the the hamstrings and glute. I personally prefer the Romanian version. To perform it, deadlift the bar or dumbbells up into the top position. From this position push your hips back and tip your upper body forward at the hip. Get a nice stretch in your hamstrings and then use your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and your lower back muscles to return your upper body to the starting position.

Single Leg Lunge Variation

Working on each leg individually is great in order to correct imbalances as well as other inherent advantages. You can do either a lunge with body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back. A step up performed with either body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back. Or a Bulgarian split squat performed with either body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are for building those meaty calves

Upper Body, Lower Body

The upper body/ lower body split is great intermediate training routine for people that can’t workout 3 times a week.

Upper Body

Bench Press

The bench press is the exercise which everybody knows and loves. If you’re a man you’ll love the bench press because it helps you get a big chest and triceps. If you are a woman you’ll also love the bench press because it’ll help you get the illusion of more cleavage, help your breasts sit higher and look perkier as well as make them look bigger.

Overhead Press

Can be performed either standing or seated and with a barbell or dumbbells.

Deadlifts

Deadlifts are extremely important for overall body development. Deadlifts help your body to learn how to lift things off the ground. This is a very important skill to have. As well as working your hamstrings, glutes and lower back, deadlifts also help you work out your upper back, trapezius and your forearms.

Pull Up

Pull ups are a great exercise for your back and biceps. You can also alternate between pull ups (palms facing away) and chin ups (palms facing your body) in order to switch things up a bit. In fact there are many different variations of pullups that you can do to liven things up a bit.

Lower Body

Squats

If you workout at home and don’t have access to a barbell these can be done in a goblet fashion with a dumbbell. You can also do them goblet fashion until you are strong enough to do it with the bar. If you work out at PF, then use the dumbbells up to a certain point and then switch to the smith machine. Although the smith machine is a terrible device. If PF that’s all you can afford either save up to buy your own equipment or plan on switching to a different gym.

Romanian or Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Romanian and stiff leg deadlifts are a deadlift variation which focuses on the the hamstrings and glute. I personally prefer the Romanian version. To perform it, deadlift the bar or dumbbells up into the top position. From this position push your hips back and tip your upper body forward at the hip. Get a nice stretch in your hamstrings and then use your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and your lower back muscles to return your upper body to the starting position.

Single Leg Lunge Variation

Working on each leg individually is great in order to correct imbalances as well as other inherent advantages. You can do either a lunge with body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back. A step up performed with either body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back. Or a Bulgarian split squat performed with either body weight, two dumbbells or a barbell on your back.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are for building those meaty calves