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Bodybuilding Minimum Effective Dose Program
630 athletes joined
For people who care about building muscle but don't have time with "optimal" training volumes.
3.98
(41 ratings)
Program Description

This template is aimed at people who primarily care about hypertrophy and want to grow a solid amount of muscle but don't have the time or recovery resources to train with "optimal" training volumes. Watch Dr. Pak's video on this for more information.

Program Overview

  • Day 1 combines lower body with back, with exercises such as squats, hip hinges, vertical pull, and optional quad, hamstring, and calf exercises

  • Day 2 covers the upper body, with exercises including horizontal presses, rows for back work, side delt exercises, and optional shoulder and arm exercises

  • Program can be followed indefinitely (past 6 weeks)

  • Add an optional Day 3 every week if you like

Who is Dr. Pak?

Dr. Pak did his PhD on “the minimum dose required for 1RM strength in powerlifters“, a project dedicated to understanding what the least a powerlifter can do is and still get stronger.

As part of his PhD, his lab and other collaborators undertook several studies on the topic, which included a comprehensive review of the existing scientific literature, conducting training studies, and interviewing some of the world's foremost powerlifting athletes and coaches. He also immersed himself in the subject of minimum dose training, focusing on the minimal requirements necessary for achieving significant muscle size gains.

You can learn more about Dr. Pak and training information on his website, instagram, and YouTube channel.

What does the research show?

In summary, their research revealed that powerlifters or individuals trained in resistance could significantly enhance their strength for a period of 6-12 weeks by engaging in a few heavy/high intensity of effort sets for each lift weekly. Furthermore, it was found that as few as 1-4 sets per muscle group each week could lead to meaningful increases in muscle growth for both trained and untrained individuals.

This does not imply that "a few sets" are all one needs indefinitely, but it suggests a viable strategy that might be beneficial when time or recovery resources are scarce, or even when training motivation is low.

The document he prepared includes a series of 6-week minimum dose style "templates" for hypertrophy, 1RM Squat-Bench-Deadlift strength, and a combination of both.

Program Overview
Level
Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
Goal
Bodybuilding
Equipment
Full Gym
Program Length
6 weeks
Days Per Week
2 days
Time Per Workout
45 minutes
down_app
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8-10
3A
Leg Extension
2
8-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
3B
Leg Curl
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
4
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 10
5
Straight Leg Calf Raise
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 9-10
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
3A
Leg Extension
2
8-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
3B
Leg Curl
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
4
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 10
5
Straight Leg Calf Raise
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 9-10
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
3A
Leg Extension
2
8-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
3B
Leg Curl
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
4
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 10
5
Straight Leg Calf Raise
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 9-10
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
3A
Leg Extension
2
8-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
3B
Leg Curl
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
4
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 10
5
Straight Leg Calf Raise
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 9-10
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
3A
Leg Extension
2
8-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
3B
Leg Curl
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
4
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 10
5
Straight Leg Calf Raise
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 9-10
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6-8 Reps
RPE 8.5-9.5
3A
Leg Extension
2
8-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
3B
Leg Curl
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 9-10
4
Chin-Up (Weighted)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 10
5
Straight Leg Calf Raise
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 9-10
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
4
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
3
Bent Over Row (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
4
Lateral Raise (Cable)
3
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5A
Overhead Tricep Extension (Cable)
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5B
Bayesian Curl
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
3
Bent Over Row (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
4
Lateral Raise (Cable)
3
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5A
Overhead Tricep Extension (Cable)
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5B
Bayesian Curl
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
3
Bent Over Row (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
4
Lateral Raise (Cable)
3
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5A
Overhead Tricep Extension (Cable)
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5B
Bayesian Curl
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
3
Bent Over Row (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
4
Lateral Raise (Cable)
3
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5A
Overhead Tricep Extension (Cable)
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5B
Bayesian Curl
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
3
Bent Over Row (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
4
Lateral Raise (Cable)
3
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5A
Overhead Tricep Extension (Cable)
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5B
Bayesian Curl
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
2
Overhead Press (Barbell)
2
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
3
Bent Over Row (Barbell)
3
6-12 Reps
RPE 8-10
4
Lateral Raise (Cable)
3
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5A
Overhead Tricep Extension (Cable)
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
5B
Bayesian Curl
2
8-15 Reps
RPE 10
What People Are Saying(41 ratings)
Only ratings with written feedback are displayed here.
3.98/ 5
Boostcamp UserAge 28, Man
16 days ago
5 weeks complete
8 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
6 weeks in and I have seen improvements already. It usually takes a while for me to gain muscles and seeing as this program is the minimum dose it’s decently effective and manageable.
Benjamin D.Man
25 days ago
1 week complete
3 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Really time efficient. Allows you to train at a higher intensity, with less 'junk' volume.