Subject: Hobman Workout (long)
From: Keith Hobman <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 21:39:18 GMT

Seeing as how I got a couple of emails about what I am currently doing and I was spending a long time explaining it to a couple of people on different list, I put together a post explaining my workout. Putting down all the sets and reps would be tedious, so I simply took sample weeks.

This is a powerlifting workout. It is also one that I have gotten the best results on after 4 years of experimentation on what works for me personally. It may not work for anyone else and I'm not even sure how many cycles of it I'll be able to do. I've just completed one and the results were great, but I'll wait until my next competition to offer proof of that.

Here is my current routine.

I use the following exercises:

For the squat I do: Power Squat (full gear till just below parallel), Chain Squat (hanging three chains per side onto the bar so I get about 90 lbs more resistance at the top then at the bottom), Reverse Band Squat (I hang tie-down straps from the top of my rack to the bar), Box Squat (onto a 10" high box), Hi-bar squat (carry the bar on my traps high, relatively narrow stance and go all the way down), Front Squat (olympic style squat) and OH Squat (snatch grip squat with the bar carried overhead).

For the bench press I do: Power Bench (full gear), Chain Bench (1 chain), Band Bench (only one strap instead of two as in squat), Multi-grip Speed Bench (Simmons style using narrower grips), OH Press (olympic style press), 2 Board Bench Press (putting two boards onto my chest), 3 Board Press (putting three boards on my chest for benching), Floor Press (benching with a slightly narrow grip off the floor).

For the deadlift I do: Power Deadlift (sumo style with a suit), Conventional Deadlift, Band Deadlift (I use one band), Snatch Grip Deadlift, Power Clean, Power Snatch.

For remedial exercises I do:

Reverse hypers, glute/ham/gastroc raises, Coan rows, reverse grip benches off 3 boards, ab rollouts and leg raises.

For general physical preparation I do freehand squats, push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups. I do from 100-500 squats, 20-100 push-ups or sit-ups and 10-40 pull-ups anywhere from twice to 10 times per week.

I do a 10 week cycles. Here is week one of the routine. Weights, reps and intensity as follows:

Monday am: Squat/Bench 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 5x2@80%.
Monday pm: Squat/Bench 1x5@55%, 1x5@65%, 4x4@75%.

This means I take any of the exercises above and do, for example, the first number, 1 set of 5 reps at 50% of my 1 rep maximum. I do a squat exercise, complete my sets and reps and then do a bench exercise and do the same thing.

Tuesday Workout: Either reverse hyper or gastroc 4x8, Coan Row 4x8, Reverse Bench off boards 5x10, either ab rollout or leg raises 4x15.

Wednesday am: Bench 1x6@50%, 1x5@60%, 2x4@70%, 2x3@75%, 2x2@80%, 2x1@85%, 2x2@80%, 2x3@75%, 1x4@70%, 1x5@65%, 1x6@60%, 1x7@55%, 1x8@50%.

Wednesday pm: Deadlift 1x6@50%, 1x5@60%, 2x4@70%, 2x3@75%, 2x2@80%, 2x1@85%, 2x2@80%, 2x3@75%, 1x4@70%, 1x5@65%, 1x6@60%, 1x7@55%, 1x8@50%.

Friday: Squat/Bench 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 5x2@80%

Saturday: Bench/Deadlift 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 5x2@80%

I hope this makes sense. Most workouts take between 45 and 60 minutes. The exception is Tuesday which rarely takes over 25 minutes. I never go over an hour. If I'm not done after an hour I stop. If I have time I may add a remedial exercise or do my freehand GPP exercises after any workout. All reps are done with maximum accelleration.

Every second or so squat workout is the box squat, done explosively. I can add chains or bands to any exercise if I'm capable of maintaining bar speed. I keep target weight numbers, but I know what each percentage should feel like and if I don't have it that day I reduce weight. I never reduce sets or reps and if I don't complete a workout I'm furious with myself, so to speak.

Week two goes much the same, but there is only one workout on Wednesday, which goes heavier with less volume. Week three looks much the same as week one, but on Wednesday I go much heavier, up to 90%.

Week four waves down to:

Monday: Squat/Bench 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 5x2@80%.

Wednesday am: Bench 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 2x2@80%, 3x1@90%, 2x2@80%, 1x3@70%, 1x6@60%, 1x8@80%.

Wednesday pm: Deadlift 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 2x2@80%, 3x1@90%, 2x2@80%, 1x3@70%, 1x6@60%, 1x8@80%.

Friday: Squat/Bench 1x5@50%, 1x4@60%, 2x3@70%, 4x2@75%

Week 5 starts waving up the volume again and adding in remedial exercises. I also have a couple of weeks at 6 and 7 where I go up in singles to 97.5% of my best competition lift. Once again, it is factored for psyche. If I don't have it I go to a heavy slow single.

Week 8 starts to reduce sets, reps and intensity to allow for supercompensation. Week 9 looks a lot like week 4 and week 10 is very light, never going over 70%.

Each different squat, bench and deadlift exercises is only done once per week and, except for box squats and multi-grip benches which are done throughout the cycle, each exercise will only be done two weeks in a row before it is switched. I rarely test for a max single in any exercise except for the big three because I can tell by feel when I'm at a certain percentage and have a pretty good idea where each exercise is in relation to my competition lifts. I do test the box squat and 3 board press if I'm not doing a meet for the cycle. Heavy box squats are used to analyze where I am weak in the squat and deadlift, 3 board presses tell me where I am weak in the bench. I also do a good morning squat once in a while as an analysis tool. Every cycle I can switch exercises based on perceived weakness.

Volume and intensity are waved up and down in 3 week blocks throughout the routine. Ialways do a few sets of at least 70% of my 1RM in a workout and rarely go above 85, although three workouts in the ten week period do venture into the 90's.

I anticipate a lot of people thinking this is way too much. It isn't, and I won't be responding to any criticism that it is. Each workout takes under an hour. During my highest volume week I do a total of 5 and 1/2 hours of workouts, not counting extra GPP or stretching. During my lowest week I do a total of 3 hours of workouts. As well, I have no intent to gain more weight. This routine is done purely for strength gains. I also do not use drugs.

I do use active restoration techniques. These include PNF stretches, massage, GPP and hot/cold showers. I also do mobility drills daily during my morning coffee break. I have tried creatine and notice no great improvement. I take an assortment of multi-vites, C and E, and glucosamine sulfate.

There it is. FWIW...

-- Keith Hobman