Mike Israetel 5 Week Hypertrophy Routine [Workouts + Spreadsheets]

By Nader Qudimat ·
Updated Apr 7, 2021

Dr. Mike Israetel is one of the most respected coaches in bodybuilding. 

He has a PhD in Sport Physiology and he is behind this program, the Landmarks Hypertrophy Routine. 

It's a 6 day hypertrophy that goes for 4 weeks and has a deload period on week 5. 

The hypertrophy concepts goes in depth and Mike has an entire guide on this program. I recommend reading it

To save the spreadsheet, please follow these instructions if you're on your mobile, or click here if you're on desktop

Recommended

4.6/5

Yes, Mike Israetel has designed this program quite well.

Experience Level

4.6/5

Intermediate to advanced level

Periodization

5/5

Follows a linear periodization and undulating periodization

Reps

5/5

Uses RPE

Dr. Israetel has a comprehensive guide that we recommend you read before starting this program. 

He goes in depth and breaks down the program's principles.

There's 4 main volume training topics that he dives into which you'll see broken down below. 

For the spreadsheet, you'll need to do some adjustments like choosing starting weights, and it'll also be important that you track your RPE (or RIR) per exercise so you can keep track of your training history to make adjustments for the future.

Table of Contents

Hypertrophy Workout Routine Spreadsheet 5 Weeks

This is a 6 day workout routine with 4 week runs and a week to deload after. 

It's shared by LiftVault.com and it uses the recommendations made by Mike Israetel. 

Here's the spreadsheet:

Dr. Mike Israetel Training Volume Landmarks Hypertrophy Routine

His volume recommendations are as follows:

  • MV: Maintenance Volume 

How much volume needed to maintain your gains.

  • MEV= Minimum Effective Volume

What's the least amount of volume required to increase gains

  • MAV = Maximum Adaptive Volume

Range of volume that's optimal for gains. It can change from week to week

  • MRV = Maximum Recoverable Volume

It's when you start hitting a plateau as the volume is too high and your recovery suffers.

These principles will allow the trainee to focus on the muscle group they want to develop the most. 

This also allows the trainee to adjust according to their preferences as each trainee will have different MV, MEV, MAV, and MRV.

Understanding these variables for the trainee will allow them to understand their ideal volume numbers and this can change throughout the program.

How To Find Your Ideal Training Volume For Hypertrophy

This is how you'll find your training landmarks. 

The volumes below will reference rep strength or performance…

Using RPE or reps in reserve, you can measure your rep strength or performance. 

For example, say you did 4 sets of 12 reps with bench press with 135lbs and on the 4th set, you've felt you had 2 reps left in the tank, and then you repeated this same exercise and felt like you had 4-5 reps in the reserve in the final set, congratulations, you've increased performance. 

You'll increase performance with any exercise that you're able to to decrease the RPE after a mesocycle. 

How To Find Your Maintenance Volume

It's recommended that you have at least 2-3 times per year where maintenance training and eating is done to “reset” your body to stimulus and growth. 

Do this by following the MV volume recommendations laid out in the spreadsheet's “sets per weeks summary” tab in the spreadsheet or in the article by Dr. Mike.

If you find your rep strength was conserved at the end of the mesocycle at the volume recommended, then the volume was sufficient, then try lowering the number of sets to see if you can lower your MV in the next mesocycle. 

If you found your rep strength lowered, volume wasn't sufficient and your MV is higher than the volume of work down from the last mesocycle, then increase the number of sets to see if rep strength can be maintained in the next mesocycle. 

You'll want to keep your MV low as you can easily overestimate it. 

How To Find Your Minimum Effective Volume

Dr. Mike has two methods for finding minimum effective volume.

Method 1:

For one mesocycle, begin with recommended MEV that's noted in Mike's article or in the spreadsheet with the “sets per week summary” tab. 

Each week, increase the weights but not the sets. Your performance on the main exercises should be tested at the end of the mesocycle. 

If the volume of the last mesocycle met or exceed your MEV, then it improved. 

Test by lowering volume by removing 2 sets each week and see if progress can continue. 

Do this until you find a volume that doesn't increase performance, which then you would add 2 sets to the volume that didn't increase performance. 

If your strength on a main exercise didn't improve and the volume was under your MEV, then add 2 sets per week until performance improves. 

Method 2:

To see if a session was within your MEV, ask these questions:

Did you get a pump from the session?

  • No pump = 0 points
  • Some pump = 1 point
  • Great pump = 2 points

Did the target muscles get challenged in the training session?

  • No = 0 points
  • Lots of tensions and fatigue = 1 point
  • Muscles felt like they were about to go to failure and near their limit = 2 points

Did the session make you sore?

  • No = 0 points
  • Stiff after the session for a few hours or a bit sore the next day = 1 point
  • Sore for few days = 2 points

A score between 2 and 4 is probably going to be within your MEV, if you're:

  • Training a muscle group 5-6x per week, you'll likely see more 2's or 1's
  • Training a muscle group 3-4x per week, you'll likely see more 3's
  • Training a muscle group 2x per week, you'll likely see more 4's

How To Find Your Maximum Adaptive Volume 

Soreness is measured to help find your MAV. 

To do this, you would need to add sets until soreness becomes overwhelming to the point where your performance suffers. 

Here's how you can measure too much soreness and lowered performance:

  • Soreness at the end of a workout:

No soreness = 1

Feel a bit sore or stiff but not sore by the time the next session on the same muscles comes = 2

Lots of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) but disappeared just in time for the next muscle group's session = 3 points

DOMS are going into the next training session for that muscle group = 4 points

  • During workout performance:

You had at least 2 reps left in reserve (RPE 7 or lower) = 1 point

You had 1 rep in reserve (RPE 8) = 2 points

You made all the reps with barely a single rep left in reserve (RPE 9/9.5) = 3 points

Some reps were missed or had lower performance compared to last week, accounting for different weights etc. =4 points

  • Based on points, how many sets to add:

1+1 = 2 or 3 sets added to that exercise

Any 2's = 1 set added to that exercise

Any 3's = no sets added

Any 4's = take time to deload, lift light or take some days off

Warm Up

For warm up, it's a good idea to take 5-10 minutes to walk until you feel warm. 

Once you do that, perform a few light sets of the muscles you're about to workout. 

You should do at least 3-4 warm up sets before your actual workout, and then follow the program's workouts. 

You can do 1-2 warm up sets before a specific exercise. 

Signs of Burnout?

By paying attention to the signs that your body gives you, can prevent a burn out. 

Here are some overtraining signs to look out for:

  • Pain at joints like knees, elbows, shoulders, etc.
  • Soreness at distal portion of muscle.
  • Like feeling sore near joints.
  • Lack of proper sleep
  • Suddenly feeling sick or a cold coming on- immune system is compromised.
  • Loss of libido
  • Depression

If you ignore these signs and keep exercising, you will eventually hit a plateau and will increase chance of injury.

If you're already experiencing these symptoms, take it easy and avoid pushing yourself for at least a week or two.

Dr. Israetel's Landmark Program

Dr. Mike has used and incorporated multiple variables to help distinguish the needs of different lifters and trainees. 

This program is perfect for the advanced or intermediate trainee as it is complex and will help individuals progress using different factors. 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave one below or contact me here

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