Workout Routines

How to Get Jacked With Just 3 Workouts Per Week

Knocking out three workouts each week can produce crazy results. Here’s proof.

by
Man Stretching Arms
Per Bernal
Per Bernal
Duration 6 weeks
Equipment Yes

It can be challenging to get to the gym as often as you want to. With school and family demands, long work hours, and an increasing number of reasons to stay out of the gym as Old Man Winter recedes to whatever frostbitten hole he emerged from and spring takes over. But an efficient and organized plan can ensure that you make gains without cutting into your free time. 

Enter hybrid density training (HDT), a time-efficient training method I created to build lean, fit, and muscular physiques

HDT is a type of high-intensity interval training, which is a science-backed method that improves both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness and bolsters fat-loss efforts and strength gains. Each workout is broken up into two 20-minute circuits (marked A1, A2, and A3 and B1, B2, B3) that combine an upper- and lower-body exercise with a sprint for a total of 40 minutes of work (with an optional 10-minute add-on, marked C1, C2, C3).

It will not be easy (read: Keep a bucket on hand), but busting your hump just three times a week will leave your schedule free to spend more time out of the gym. Plus, after six weeks of HDT, that’s exactly where you’ll want to be—outside, showing off your new physique.

The Training Explained

First, find your 10-rep max for the following exercises:

  • deadlift (conventional, sumo, or trap bar)
  • squat (back, front, or goblet) l leg press
  • walking lunge
  • lat pulldown
  • bentover row
  • bench press
  • seated overhead press

This is the weight that you’ll be using for all the weighted exercises, though you’ll be performing only five reps per round (circuits marked with A and B). This will prevent you from burning out too quickly and will allow you to take minimal rest between exercises before moving on to the sprint. The times for each round are indicated next to “Sets.” The goal is to get as many rounds as possible (AMRAP). For the sprint, choose your piece of equipment—whether it’s a jump rope, an assault bike, a treadmill, or an erg—and go hard for 20 seconds. Note, for the optional Circuit C: Use your body weight as resistance, and perform as many reps as possible without failing. This is indicated in the table (right) as max reps minus one. Complete as many rounds of Circuit C in a 10-minute period.

Directions

You’ll perform three HDT workouts per week for six weeks, with at least a day between workouts. (See the table below for the breakdown.)

Take a picture and measure the circumference of your waist around your belly button at the beginning, three weeks in, and at the end of the program. Lastly, retest your 10RM for all exercises to see how much you’ve progressed.

Workout A

Exercise A1

Squat You'll need: Squat Rack How to
Squat thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise A2

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise A3

Sprint You'll need: No Equipment How to
Man sprinting on track thumbnail
-- sets
20 SEC. reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise B1

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Deadlift  thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise B2

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise B3

Sprint You'll need: No Equipment How to
Man sprinting on track thumbnail
-- sets
20 sec reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise C1

Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Exercise: How to do an Eccentric Pullup thumbnail
-- sets
Max-1 reps
-- rest
10 min. Sets

Exercise C2

Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
Dips thumbnail
-- sets
Max-1 reps
-- rest
10 min. Sets

Exercise C3

Sprint You'll need: No Equipment How to
Man sprinting on track thumbnail
-- sets
20 sec. reps
-- rest
10 min. Sets

Workout B

Exercise A1

Leg Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Leg Press thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise A2

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Lat Pulldown thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise A3

Sprint You'll need: No Equipment How to
Man sprinting on track thumbnail
-- sets
20 sec. reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise B1

Walking Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Walking Lunge  thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise B2

Seated Oh Press How to
Seated Oh Press  thumbnail
-- sets
5 (With 10RM) reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise B3

Sprint You'll need: No Equipment How to
Man sprinting on track thumbnail
-- sets
20 sec. reps
-- rest
20 min. Sets

Exercise C1

Suspension Trainer Row How to
Suspension Trainer Row  thumbnail
-- sets
Max -1 reps
-- rest
10 min. Sets

Exercise C2

Push Up How to
Pushup thumbnail
-- sets
Max-1 reps
-- rest
10 min. Sets

Exercise C3

Sprint You'll need: No Equipment How to
Man sprinting on track thumbnail
-- sets
20 sec. reps
-- rest
10 min. Sets
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