Workout Plans
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Per Bernal / M+F Magazine
Per Bernal / M+F Magazine

Rearrange your workout to build mass and avoid injuries.

Start this program

We know you’re anxious to get in there and move those big weights. That’s why you skimp on mobility work and stretching—or skip them entirely: so you can get to the fun part of your workout. After all, the “rule” in training programs is to put the most explosive and heaviest lifts at the front of the session because they require the most energy, right?

But what happens then? You pull a muscle, strain a joint, or miss a rep as a result.

Instead, by moving the hardest, riskiest lifts to the last part of your workout, after you’ve prepared your body with easier exercises, you can build muscle and strength more safely.


After years of putting together training routines—and using ourselves as guinea pigs—we eventually came to a surprising realization: Squats felt better if they were done after a hamstring exercise.

Even better, we learned that we could cut back on warmup time if we moved them back even further, so instead of spending 10 minutes stretching our hip flexors just to be able to squat deeply with good form, we could simply do an exercise like split squats beforehand, which stretch the hips and train the quads.

Now, that’s what we call a win-win.

The same principle applies to heavy bench pressing and deadlifts.

You may be wondering if you’ll still have the energy to do barbell lifts if they come last in the workout—and, to be honest, you may have to use 10% to 20% less weight, maybe less. But you’ll still get stronger over time. And getting strong while staying safe is the only way to make long-term progress.

So do this six-week program and we guarantee you’ll never bench-press first again. Trust us, your joints will thank you for it.


Perform each workout once a week, resting a day between each session. Exercises marked A and B are alternated. Do one set of A, rest, then B, rest again, and repeat.


The Split

Week 1