In the fashion of Derek Sivers’s now page, I’ll be updating this page with my current training routine.

This keeps me accountable and hopefully provides inspiration for your own training.

If you don’t know a certain exercise, a quick search on YouTube should help.


I put myself on a program that I will call Muscles are Made at Home. Since I did a lot of “pure” strength training and focused on building skills in the past few months, I’m now changing gears and am experimenting with bodybuilding.

I treated myself to a lovely wall mounted pull-up bar and attached some gymnastic rings to it. I also have a few resistance bands and two 24kg kettlebells. I can do all my training at home now.

This kind of convenience has become a true necessity to my peace of mind. Since I’ve become a full-time software developer, leisure time has become a real luxury.

And while I could afford a “real” gym membership, I still prefer my home gym. I never liked working out in public and I don’t need all that much equipment.

My muscle building program still evolves around big-bang-for-the-buck compound exercises. For every movement pattern (push/pull/squat/hinge) I picked one exercise and a rep+set+weight short-term goal.

Pull-ups: 4×10
Ring Dips: 5×5
Bulgarian Split Squats: 5×5 (one 24kg kettlebell in each hand)
Swings: 100 one-arm swings in under 5 minutes (24k)

I already got the last one. So I ordered a 32kg kettlebell and am really stoked about that 😀

Bear in mind that my shoulders are causing me a bit of an ouchy, so excuse the modest goals for upper body strength.

The pull-ups numbers are geared more towards hypertrophy (4×10), while split squats and dips are focused on strength (5×5).

How do you work towards this? Well, for hypertrophy work, I start with at least 2 sets. When I can do 10 reps straight (2×10), I add a set. My last workout was 10, 10 and 6. When I get to 3×10, I add a set.

For strength work, I start at 3 sets. Once I can do 3×5, I add a set, etc.

This way, I slowly accumulate volume. These 4 movements make up the bulk of the training and I do each of these 1-2 times a week.

Then, I have a few killer assistance exercises that I can use for pump work. They’re basically variations of the 4 movement categories that can be used for high-rep work.

Squat Options
Goblet Squat
Cossack Squats
Hover Lunges
Double KB Front Squat
Sissy Squats

Hinge Options
Double Kettlebell Hover Deadlift
1-legged Romanian Deadlifts
Valslide SHELCs
Frog Pumps

Pull Options
Ring Rows
Chins
Bent-over KB Rows
Renegade Rows
Ring Face Pulls
Various Band Pull-Aparts

Push Options
Push-ups
Light Bottom-up Press
PIke Presses
KB Press

On most training days, I pick two “big” moves and pair them with 2 assistance exercises.

Workout Template
A1. Push
A2. Hinge
B1. Pull
B2. Squat
C. More assistance work (optional)

Perform block A as a super-set and then block B as a super-set. C sometimes has isolation work like frog pumps and valslide SHELCs. I also do lots of reps with band (pull-aparts, side raises, front raises, W-pull-aparts) to get my shoulder back in check.

On weeks where I know I won’t have much time, I do an upper body day and a lower body day and really smoke everything.

Sometimes I tweak up the workouts and rep-schemes to really kill it with a certain exercise combination. For example. the double kettlebell deadlifts are pretty light for me. I can up the ante by doing this:

Hamstring Smoker (kettlebell does not touch the ground for the whole set)
5 DKB Deadilfts
5 seconds paused hold at the bottom position (kettlebell hovers 1″ above the ground)
4 DKB DLs
4 seconds hold

1 DKB DL
1 second hold

You see, with a bit of creativity, you can play with the time under tension even if you don’t have big weights to throw around.

The girlfriend already complimented my leg gainz. Something I’ve never quite accomplished with barbells.

I enjoy the training so much at the moment, I might be doing 2 or 3 more cycles with different goals.