AllPro Routine: 17 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

high angle shot of a woman doing a bench press

These are the answers to common questions with the AllPro routine. The routine can be found here- 3 Day Beginner Workout Routine by AllPro.

How many sets am I doing?

You are completing two working sets for each exercise. You are also doing two warm up sets on the first three exercises. The rest of the exercises in the AllPro routine do not require warm up unless you feel the need to. Here is what the sets should look like:

Squats: warm-up, warm-up, work-set, work-set
Bench Press: warm-up, warm-up, work-set, work-set
Bent Over Row: warm-up, warm-up, work-set, work-set
Over Head Press: work-set, work-set
Stiff Legged Deadlifts: work-set, work-set
Curls: work-set, work-set
Calf Raises: work-set, work-set

How do I know what weight to use when I get started?

You will want to use your 10 rep max for each exercise. This is a weight you can do for ten reps but not for eleven.

If you are new to lifting, start with the bar and work up from there to find it. It’s better to start with accurate weights. If you are not new to lifting but still aren’t sure of your ten rep max do this:

1. Make sure you are rested and two to three days have passed since your last workout.

2. Go to the gym and do all of the exercises in the routine (in the order they are listed in the AllPro routine), using any weight that you think you can do more than 5 reps with. Aim for something you think you can do between 5 and 15 reps of.

If there is not a gym available to you, you could Will I gain muscle mass with the AllPro Routine?

Gaining muscle mass is not just about lifting weights. The training is only stimulating the muscles and creating the conditions needed for muscle growth. However, to actually build muscle, you need to eat at a calorie surplus (consume more calories than you burn). There is no way around this but you can figure out how many calories you need here.

If you want help tracking your calories to gain mass, use this app.

I am out of shape and have never lifted. Is the AllPro Routine right for me?

This routine is designed with someone exactly like you in mind. This is a great place to start!

I have completed the first 2 weeks and the weight seems too light. Should I increase the weight?

Avoid increasing weight mid-cycle and only do it with the beginning of the next cycle if necessary. The AllPro routine is designed so that the first 2-3 weeks will feel relatively easy – this is true for everyone. Finish the first cycle completely (full 5 weeks) without adding any weight to any exercise, even if it does feel too simple.

If at the end of the 5th week of the first cycle you still feel that some of the weights are way too low, you may attempt to increase the weight by slightly more than 10% for the next cycle – however, this only makes sense if it was REALLY too easy for you. if it was just a “little” easy, you’re better off sticking with the program. All of these dilemmas can be avoided if you simply test your 10 rep maxes for each exercise properly, so make sure to take your time doing that properly.

Why is there no direct triceps work in the AllPro Routine?

Triceps are being hit quite hard during both Bench Presses and the Overhead Presses. As a beginner, you do not need more than that. Do not add any extra triceps work or you are almost guaranteed to fail on one of the other lifts.

Can I add other exercises to the AllPro Routine?

Do not add any extra exercises until you have completed a minimum of 3 cycles. Once you’re going into the fourth, if you feel like you need to do some extra work on certain muscles, you can add an isolated assistance exercise for them. Do only one set and at the very end of your routine (after calf raises). The assistance exercise follows the same rep scheme as all the other exercises. Never add more than one assistance exercise per cycle. If you do so, and some of your other lifts stall, you won’t know which of your new additions might have caused you to stall.

Why are there no deadlifts in the AllPro Routine?

Two reasons:

1) By doing squats + stiff-legged deadlifts you are hitting all the muscles you need to.

2) Squats and regular deadlifts are two exercises that are very taxing to the central nervous system. As a beginner if you did both of those exercises on the same routine, you are more likely to burn out sooner than later.

What should I do for cardio on the AllPro Routine?

Jogging Bodybuilder
If you need some cardio, jogging is an acceptable option on the AllPro Routine

It’s actually best not to do cardio on the AllPro routine, since it can get you fatigued enough to hamper your performance in the gym. Two 30 minute jogging sessions (moderate heart rate or HIIT) per week should be enough if you would prefer to include it. Make sure that none of your cardio takes place on the day right before any of your heavy days. Do any cardio you want to do on rest days.

If you plan on doing HIIT What do I do for abs?

Everyone responds to different ab exercises, so you will just have to try for yourself and see which one works best for you. If you go for crunches or something similar, make sure to do them with extra weight – aim for 15 reps on the first week of the cycle, and add 2 extra reps per week for a total of 25 reps on week 5 of the cycle. Remember though, your midsection is getting tons of workout in this routine since it acts as a stabilizer in basically every single exercise.

Are there videos that will help me with the AllPro Routine?

A good place to get started is this playlist:

Can I trade out any of the lifts in the AllPro Routine?

Unless you have an injury or condition that is preventing you from doing a certain lift it is better to stick to the routine. One exception being the curls, which can be substituted for standing upright rows. This is more of a compound exercise and it actually fits the rest of the routine more nicely. Curls were added by AllPro mostly because “everyone would want to do them anyway”, so if your ego will survive it, go for the upright rows instead of the curls – it’s a far better overall body exercise.

Can I use dumbbells instead of barbells?

Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that the program was designed with a barbell in mind; some of these exercises are more difficult to perform correctly with dumbbells, not to mention that as the weights you lift increase, your grip on the dumbbells will become a limiting factor (not so with a barbell). Do everything you can to get your hands on a bar, and only use dumbbells as a last resort.

I missed a medium training day. What should I do?

If for some reason you are not capable of performing three exercises on a given week, you can perform only two, however both will then have to be heavy days. Allow a minimum of 2 rest days both before and after your second heavy day on such a week. However, doing this too often will hinder recovery. The routine was very carefully designed for 3 weekly workouts, and changing that should only be done in extreme cases.

I completed all the reps for both working sets on all exercises for heavy day of week 5. How much should I increase my weight on them?

You should add 10% to each exercise that you passed, and don’t forget to include the weight of the bar. For example, if you use an Olympic 45 lbs. bar, and you load that with 55 lbs. for squats, you would increase the weight up to (55 + 45)*1.1 for the next cycle, which would make it 110 lbs. (again, this includes the barbell).

I completed all the reps except on one lift. Can I still increase that left for the next cycle?

No. You can only increase the weight for the next cycle by 10% if you manage to complete 12 reps for each work-set on heavy day of week 5. Not a single rep more, and not a single rep less. If you failed even a single rep, you will need to repeat the weight for that failed exercise for the duration of the entire next cycle. This is a safe-guard designed to make sure you do not keep infinitely stalling on the same exercise and to give the involved muscles enough time to rest and recover.

How do I know if I’m a beginner?

Generally speaking, anyone who cannot squat twice their body weight, and bench press 1.5 times their body weight, for one repetition. So if you weigh 200 lbs for example, you should be able to squat once for close to 400 lbs. and bench press once for close to 300 lbs, in order to be considered to have moved beyond the “beginner” stage. It has nothing to do with how long you have been lifting weights – there are many people who have been going to the gym for a few years and who are still considered beginners. As long as your lifts are noticeably below the threshold above, you are still a beginner and you’ll benefit greatly from this routine.

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