Stuart McRobert’s Hardgainer Routines

Stuart McRobert routines

If there is one person who is most responsible for the resurgence of “abbreviated routines”, aimed primarily at those with fair metabolisms and genetics, it is Stuart McRobert. His books “Brawn” and “Beyond Brawn” are must-haves for your weight training library, as they comprise the clearest and most commonsensical knowledge and hype-free training advice ever written on the subject. His routines are designed for natural trainers who do not rely on temporary, self-cheating shortcuts like drugs. The major premise in most of his writing is that the vast majority of trainers simply do not have the recovery ability to train full-time, year round on the typical routines we see in muscle magazines (written by and for those with genetic advantages and taking drugs). Those routines, McRobert maintains, will either be ineffective or induce injury if one structures their training around them. He is also a promoter of: abbreviated training, progressive resistance, sleep and recovery, compound exercises, free weights.

 

Stuart McRobert’s Abbreviated Hardgainer Routines:

The following are templates suggested by McRobert which the individual can use as a base for structuring their training routines. Most of these routines are done 2-3 times a week and anyhwere from 2-4 working sets per exercise are to be done, not counting warmup sets.

 

Template 1 – Full-body-routine program

General warmup
a.  Squat
b.  Parallel bar dips
c.  Stif-legged deadlift
d.  Dumbbell press
e.  Pulldowns or pullups
f.  Barbell curl
g.  Calf work
h.  Crunch situps
Cool down

 

Template 2  – Twice-a-week divided program

Monday
General warmup
a.  Squat
b.  Bench press or parallel bar dip
c.  Pulldown or prone rows
d.  Calf work
e.  Back extension
f.  Crunch situps
g.  Grip work
Cool down

 

Thursday
General warmup
a.  Sumo deadlift or stiff-legged deadlift
b.  Overhead press
c.  Curl
d.  Side bend
e.  Neck work
f.  Lying L-fly (rotator cuff)
Cool down

 

Template 3 – Three-days-a-week divided program

Monday
General warmup
a.  Squat
b.  Stiff-legged deadlift
c.  Pulldowns
Cool down

 

Wednesday
General warmup
a.  Calf work
b.  Crunch situp
c.  Grip work
d.  Side bends
e.  Curl
f.  Neck work
g.  Lying L-fly (rotator cuff)
Cool down

 

Friday
General warmup
a.  Bench press
b.  Overhead press
Cool down

 

Template 4 – Super-abbreviated program

Day one
General warmup
a.  Squat
b.  Parallel bar dips
c.  Prone rows
Cool down

 

Day two
General warmup
a.  Trap Bar deadlift
b.  Bench press or incline press
c.  Pullup (or chin)
Cool down

 

Template 5 - Abbreviated Push Pull

Day one
a. Deadlift or Deadlift variant
b. Chin-up/Pull-up or Pull-down
c. Rows
d. Curls

 

Day Two: (1-3 days later)
a. Squat
b. Lunges
c. Military Press
d. Dips

Repeat workout one 3-4 days later.

 

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