Workout Routines

Shawn Perine's Muscle-Building Workout Routine

He says his workout routine involves mixing things up frequently to stave off complacency.

Shawn Perine thumbnail by Editor in Chief
Shawn Perine's Workout
Duration 3 Days
Exercises 50
Equipment Yes

5 Rules of Training

1. Follow Your Own Path

I decided to train like a bodybuilder. Others focus on strength. Still others aim to succeed in CrossFit. Each of our chosen paths are right for us, because we chose them. Choose your own path and don’t let anyone try to push you off it.

2. Squat...But Only
 If You Want To

I was fanatical about the back squat for my first two decades of training, but I’m convinced that my knee pain can be attributed to all those years of heavy squatting, so I’ve cut them out. I do miss squats, but I don’t believe I absolutely need them, despite what others may say.

3. Keep Moving

This is a big one for me. I typically rest less than a minute between sets. Sometimes a lot less. When you keep rest periods brief you increase cardio capacity, keep your pump going, and get out of the gym faster.

4. Machines Don’t Suck
Machines get a bad rap from the “hard-core” crowd, but the fact is that a lot of them are pretty good. Some are even excellent.

5. Make Sh*t Up

I like to think of the gym as my playground, and I’m there to have fun. So, consider making up your own exercises, so long as they don’t put you or anyone else in the gym in jeopardy!

Get Shawn's Training Backstory >>

Day 1 Calves, back, biceps, abs

Exercise 1

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
Seated Calf Raise thumbnail
4 sets
15–20 reps
30 sec rest
I train my calves every workout because they’ve always been my weakest point. I’ve found that they need to be trained more frequently.

Exercise 2

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
4 sets
15–20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 3

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar How to
Lat Pulldown thumbnail
4 sets
20, 15, 12, 10 reps
30 sec rest
I like to vary my grip width for each set.

Exercise 4

T-Bar Row You'll need: Barbell, V-Handle Attachment How to
T-Bar Row thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 5

V-Bar Pulldown
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4 sets
16, 14, 12, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 6

Seated Cable Row You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Seated Cable Row thumbnail
4 sets
20, 17, 14, 11 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 7

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
5 sets
10, 10, 10, 8, 6 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 8

Smith Machine Shrug
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3 sets
15–20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 9

Pullup/Dip SS
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3 sets
2/12, 10/10, 8/8 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 10

Knuckle Pushup
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-- sets
20–30 reps
30 sec rest
I will perform active recovery sets of an antagonistic exercise for back, chest, biceps, and triceps. The idea is to get blood into the muscle group that opposes the one being trained.

Exercise 11

Hammer Curl
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3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 12

Hammer Curl
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1 sets
4x8 reps
30 sec rest
Down the rack. I do one set of eight, drop the weight, move to the next lightest pair, and continue for four mini sets.

Exercise 13

Machine Preacher Curl
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3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 14

Reverse-Grip Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
Reverse-Grip Barbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 15

Knuckle Pushup
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-- sets
20-30 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 16

Hanging Leg Raise You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Hanging Leg Raise thumbnail
3 sets
15-20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 17

Cable Crunch You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment How to
Cable Crunch thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 18

One-Arm Cable Crunch
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3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Day 2 Calves, chest, triceps, abs

Exercise 1

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
Seated Calf Raise thumbnail
4 sets
15-20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 2

Leg Press Calf Raise
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
15-20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 3

Pec Deck Flye
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4 sets
20, 16, 14, 12 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 4

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
20, 15, 10, 8 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 5

Hammer Strength Bench Press
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4 sets
12, 12, 10, 10 reps
30 sec rest
Incline bench

Exercise 6

Bench Dip You'll need: Bench How to
Bench Dip thumbnail
4 sets
Failure reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 7

Pullup/Dip SS
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3 sets
12/12, 10/10, 8/8 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 8

Front Pulldown
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-- sets
-- reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 9

Knuckle Pushup
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-- sets
20-30 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 10

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension
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4 sets
10-15 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 11

Pushdown
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4 sets
20, 17, 14, 11 reps
30 sec rest
I will perform active recovery sets of an antagonistic exercise for back, chest, biceps, and triceps. The idea is to get blood into the muscle group that opposes the one being trained.

Exercise 12

Machine Triceps Extension
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
16, 14, 12, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 13

Hammer Curl
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
20 reps
30 sec rest
I will perform active recovery sets of an antagonistic exercise for back, chest, biceps, and triceps. The idea is to get blood into the muscle group that opposes the one being trained.

Exercise 14

Knuckle Pushup
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
20-30 reps
-- rest
I’m obviously a fan of knuckle pushups and like to sneak them in to nearly every upper-body workout. They’re especially good for upping the intensity of chest and triceps workouts.

Exercise 15

Ab Wheel Rollout
ab-wheel-rollout-bsn-mass-gainsj thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 16

Modified Front Lever You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Modified Front Lever thumbnail
2 sets
7-10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 17

Crunch You'll need: No Equipment How to
Crunch thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Day 3 Calves, legs, shoulders, abs

Exercise 1

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
Seated Calf Raise thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 2

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 3

Leg Press How to
Leg Press thumbnail
6 sets
30, 25, 20, 16, 13, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 4

Stiff-Legged Deadlift
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 5

Barbell Front Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Barbell Front Squat thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 6

Adductor Machine
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3 sets
10-20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 7

Abductor Machine
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3 sets
15-20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 8

Leg Extension How to
Leg Extension thumbnail
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 9

Seated Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Seated Lateral Raise thumbnail
4 sets
30, 25, 20, 15 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 10

Bent-Over Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Bent-Over Lateral Raise thumbnail
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 11

Dumbbell Front Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Front Raise thumbnail
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 12

Wide-Grip Upright Row
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 13

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
bsn-overhead-mass-gainsj thumbnail
4 sets
10-12 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 14

Hanging Leg Raise You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Hanging Leg Raise thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
30 sec rest

Exercise 15

Twist Machine
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3 sets
15 reps
30 sec rest
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