Welcome to the AllPro Simple Beginners Routine WikiEdit
A simple, proven, and very effective beginner's bodybuilding routine. Suitable for anyone seeking to build a better physique and improve their strength.
The AllPro Simple Beginners' RoutineEdit
The AllPro SBR was posted by the user AllPro on the forum at bodybuilding.com in 2007. Since then countless users have followed the routine and achieved excellent results in developing basic strength and an improved physique. For overweight novices, the program is effective for maintaining or building muscle while losing weight. It is also highly effective for those who are seeking to gain lean mass.
The current discussion thread can be found here.
The weekly set-upEdit
The program calls for three days of resistance training exercise per week. These are called the Heavy, Medium, and Light days.
You will do the program on three non-consecutive days each week. Typically, these will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but they could just as easily be Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, or Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The spacing of the days is important; over a full week you need to do:
- Heavy day
- Rest day
- Medium day
- Rest day
- Light day
- Rest day
- Rest day
Another way to look at this is that you will never be doing the program on consecutive days, and you should always have two days of rest before Heavy Day.
Rest days are days of rest from the program - you can still do other exercise such as ab work or cardio. Some suggestions for these days are found [tba].
The daily set-upEdit
For each of the three training days, you will do the same seven exercises. They are all compound exercises that work several different muscles at the same time, and the program is therefore very efficient at giving a full-body work-out.
The exercises should be done in order.
The seven exercises are:
- Bench Press
- Bent-Over Row
- Overhead Barbell Press
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift
- Upright Row ---OR--- Barbell Curl
- Calf Raises
While it is not hard to find general information about these exercises online, be aware that Stiff-Legged Deadlift in particular is described differently by different people. There is a particular variant that is required for this program. You should follow the variant set out in this Wiki.
For deciding whether to do Upright Row vs Barbell Curl, see this page.
Squat, Bench Press, and Bent-Over Row are the core exercises. For these you will do four sets as follows:
- One warm-up set at 25% of your working weight followed by 30-60 seconds of rest
- One warm-up set at 50% of your working weight followed by 30-60 seconds of rest
- One work set at your working weight followed by 90 seconds of rest
- One more work set at your working weight
Overhead Barbell Press, Stiff-Legged Deadlift, Upright Row/Curl, and Calf Raises you can:
- Do four sets as for the core exercises, or,
- Just do the two working sets. This is only recommended if you are really pressed for time.
You will need to calculate your working weights for cycle 1 before you start.
Heavy, Medium, and Light daysEdit
Each of the three days has the same structure, but uses different weights. Heavy Day sets the baseline working weights. Medium day uses weights at 90% of your baseline working weights. Light day uses weights at 80% of your baseline working weights.
Some rounding will of course be necessary.
For example, if your working weight for Bench Press is 100lb, then your bench pressing for the week would look like this:
Heavy Day: A warm-up set using 25lb; a warm-up set using 50lb; two work sets using 100lb.
Medium Day: A warm-up set using 25lb; a warm-up set using 45lb; two work sets using 90lb.
Light Day: A warm-up set using 20lb; a warm-up set using 40lb; two work sets using 80lb.
The five-week cycleEdit
The program works in five-week cycles. In Week 1 of a cycle, all sets will be for 8 reps. In Week 2, all sets are for 9 reps. In week 3, 10 reps. In Week 4, 11 reps, and in Week 5, 12 reps.
Within a cycle, progression is driven by the increase in the number of reps per set. From one cycle to the next, progression is driven by the increase in working weights.
The Week 5 Heavy Day is called Test Day.
If you do not successfully complete all reps during a cycle, this is not a cause for concern. Failure is addressed on Test Day to ensure long-term progression.
Week 5's Heavy Day is called Test Day. It is carried out as normal, but each exercise is graded as passed or failed depending on whether all 12 reps of both work sets are successfully completed with good form.
If you do not complete all 12 reps of both sets with good form, you have not passed.
Be aware that you should fail exercises on Test Day from time to time. This is an expected part of the program and should not be any cause for disappointment.
For exercises that are passed, you will increase the work weight by 10% (with sensible rounding) for the next cycle. For those that are not passed, you will leave the weight the same.
For all exercises, you will drop back to 8 reps per set for the next cycle.
For the rest of Week 5, you continue to perform Medium Day and Light Day as normal, with your current cycle's weights. The weight changes commence the following week.
Some more topics:
- Accessory exercises
- Am I a "beginner"? Is this program right for me?
- What are the effects of this program? Strength? Size?
- What can I/should I do on rest days?
- Get the AllPro Workout App for Android here.