While Arnold’s Blueprint to Mass is my favorite program, many dislike how ‘old’ it is- and want a newer, more ‘modern’ workout routine. So, I found a new program, and loved it so much I had to write a modern physique review!
I mean this program is MASSIVE. There are tons of exercises, which means you will be putting on a massive amount of muscle.
Many workout programs stick with a very low list of exercises to do. This is simply incorrect and a bad way to put on muscle.
In fact, the first program I was ever on only had 3 actual exercises every day. Once I made the transition to an actual program (Arnold’s Blueprint) I noticed a night and day difference in my muscle gains.
Modern physique promises an incredibly huge, modern physique, with a fun list of exercises that are guaranteed to give you muscle.
Will Modern Physique Give Me Results?
This is the first question I’ll address in the modern physique review- as well, this is unarguably the most important question.
Yes, modern physique will give you results! And looking at the volume and amount of exercises you have to do proves that.
There is just no way you can do all of these exercises week after week, increasing the weight consistently, eating right, and not gain muscle.
This is like a mathematical equation. You plug in the intended things (the program, eating, sleep) and you WILL get results.
This is not some jank Instagram influencer program. Steve Cook made this program, and he’s actually a national competitor for bodybuilding. (Mt.Olympia!)
And if you really want to say it, this program gets a ‘Vekhayn stamp of approval’- I’ve looked at this program myself and done it and promise you it will give results.
This isn’t some ‘do 3 sets of curls lul and big biceps hahaha’. This is a serious, unforgiving, strict, and tough program to complete.
Who is Steve Cook? And why does he matter?
Steve Cook is the creator of Modern Physique. He’s going to be important in this modern physique review!
Steve cook has competed many times to become Mr.Olympia. He has almost earned the title 4 different times. Very few get to step on that stage at all.
Earning Mr.Olympia is Bodybuilding’s biggest title worldwide. And to compete at that level so many times is incredible.
Furthermore, only 11 people have ever earned the Mr.Olympia title.
So not only is this guy great at bodybuilding, you can certainly trust his workout program.
As I said, this isn’t some influencer who looks like he has lifted for 3 years selling advice. This guy has been on stage at the internationally recognized best bodybuilding convention.
Whats so different with Modern Physique?
While we will cover the actual workout program later on in this article, modern physique is different than most programs.
I actually felt this was a super important part of the modern physique review.
Sure, it has the core concepts most ‘good’ bodybuilding programs have, but it does have some things that separate it from the rest.
Dedicated Ab Day
Something unique about Modern Physique is that there is an entire dedicated ab day.
Most programs do not have a dedicated ab day, instead opting that you do 1-2 small ab exercises daily.
Many programs believe that abs are muscles that grow slowly over time and aren’t worth it to workout frequently.
While this isn’t entirely wrong- it seems that nowadays there has been more of a shift towards abs. Back in the day of ‘old’ bodybuilding, abs weren’t really considered an important muscle.
Nowadays, it seems abs are all you see. From magazine covers, to now Mt.Olympia.
And this isn’t a bad part of the modern physique review, I personally have had really bad ab definition basically my entire life.
And sometimes, those abs can turn a bad physique into a perfect one.
Variety of Exercises
Many exercise programs can get very repetitive with the same old, ‘bench, incline bench, barbell rows, gg’.
But, this program has a huge variety of exercises that will keep you not only entertained but busy.
Truthfully, many of these exercises are really good for you, and better alternatives than the many ‘repetitive’ ones we see all day.
These exercises promote muscle-building around the whole body. This can make your overall physique look way better than just doing the same old routine lifts.
Program Structure – Modern Physique Review
It wouldn’t really make sense to construct a modern physique review without covering some of the basic exercises of the program.
So this is a “5-day a week” program. You’ll have 2 rest days every week, use them wisely (eat good, sleep good, go on vacation, etc)
Modern physique is kind of a hard program to follow. It goes in this sequence:
You workout for 2 days, rest one day, then work out 3 days, then rest one day. It’s not your typical 3 days, rest, 3 days, rest program.
This isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes having that extra rest day in there can really help you push harder the next time you’re in the gym!
- Day 1: Upper Body Cardio
- Modern Physique Day 2: Legs
- Rest Day 3: REST
- Day 4: Abs and Cardio
- Modern Physique Day 5: Upper Body Cardio
- Day 6: Legs
- Rest Day 7: REST
- Day 8: Upper Body Cardio
- Day 9: Legs
- Rest Day 10: Rest
The full list of exercises is here on bodybuilding.com!
Well, Tommy, Is That A Good Split?
Honestly, this split in a workout program is very surprising. Even in my history of bodybuilding I’ve never truly seen a split like this per se.
Usually, programs do a ‘push, pull, legs, rest’ split- so this was a very interesting program to look at.
However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. In fact, it might even be better.
You see, the problem with bodybuilding is- there’s not much research done about it.
And truthfully, why should there be? I’d rather our money goes to researching how to cure different cancers than figuring out how to make my muscles slightly bigger.
But that leaves a lot of it on us bodybuilders to discover on our own. Which actually in a way- makes it kind of fun!
Why Modern Physique’s Split May Be Revolutionary
Look, Steve Cook very obviously knows what he is doing. He also is a coach for the show, Biggest Loser- where they try to help people lose weight.
Steve Cook has an incredible physique that blows people away. So, he might be onto something, let’s break it down.
Examination Of Modern Physique’s Unique Split
On the first day you have to do upper body with cardiovascular work included.
You work chest, back, shoulders, and triceps. The next day you’re straight into destroying your legs.
This rest day right after this huge first ‘load’ on your muscles is actually a really good idea. It gives your muscles a much-needed break after you’ve broken down all that muscle tissue.
This means you’ll be way more energized to head back into the weight room to finish the second chunk.
The first day of the second chunk straight-up hits you with intense ab work with intense cardio work. Not much else.
To many, this seems strange, but in our times’ people have started a shift towards abs being a huge part of men’s physique. (abs are a fake muscle by the way it’s a government conspiracy that’s why I never work mine out!)
Right after that, you’re expected to do another upper body and cardio day. This time will have slight variations in focusing on biceps and shoulders more. But overall, it is an intense workout.
Then another tough leg day, then you can rest. It’s basically wash, rinse, and repeat at this point.
The Split is Actually Effective
The split is utilizing a different way of ‘progressive overload’.
Progressive overload is the idea that your body gains muscle by you progressively overloading them with more weight and higher reps over time.
While most programs rely on you doing 3 days of work, resting, then doing 3 days of work with an increased weight- this one is expecting you to do it faster.
It’s giving you that extra rest day right away to prepare you for a harder chunk of the week.
This should give your muscles more time to recover, and therefore you’ll work harder in the gym, be able to lift more, and grow more.
Modern Physique is a ‘PHUL’ split
I’m writing this modern physique review aimed at the newer bodybuilder looking for a great program to start on.
But for some of the people that care more about the specifications, you may be interested to know Modern Physique is called a ‘PHUL’ split.
PHUL stands for Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower training. And you can see it in this program here.
You have an upper-body day, then a lower body day. The entire program is centered around switching between power and hypertrophy training as well.
PHUL vs PPL
So you may have heard these terms a lot, and may be wondering what the difference is- and if PPL or PHUL is better.
Modern physique is a PHUL program. You do upper body, then lower body, then rest.
Arnold’s Blueprint to Mass is a PPL program. You do a push day, a pull day, then a leg day, then rest.
Realistically speaking, there’s no real ‘scientific’ evidence one is better than the other.
At the end of the month, you’re doing basically the same amount of exercise. However, modern physique crams it in just a shorter amount of time than a PPL split.
So in modern physique, you get an extra rest day, but you have overall longer gym sessions.
PHUL vs PHAT
As aforementioned in this modern physique review, PHUL stands for ‘Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower training’, but what does ‘PHAT’ stand for?
PHAT stands for ‘Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training’. More or less, this is like a PHUL workout with a separate shoulder + back day included. It really is PPL with extra steps…
While it’s more complicated, ‘PHAT’ workout routines aren’t common. And they’re super new, so it’s not entirely sure if they are the most efficient at building muscle yet.
Give it time, and maybe it will be the new thing. But for now, PPL and PHUL are more reliable.
Are There Any Downsides To Modern Physique?
This would not be a good modern physique review if I didn’t list some of the negatives of the program.
While there isn’t anything inherently ‘wrong’ about this program, I did find some things that seemed a little weird.
A dedicated ab day.
- While a dedicated ab day is cool for making your abs look big- overall it’s not really a great idea. Abs recover very quickly, that means you can work them literally every day. I mean- they are the muscle that stabilizes your entire body, they recover quickly. You basically can get the same results by doing 1-2 ab exercises every day instead of one dedicated ab day a week. Although this dedicated ab day is a great step if you really want shredded abs. Personal preference I guess?
Long workout days.
- I personally go to the gym for 2 hours every day just out of habit for discipline. It’s better than me wasting time playing video games or gambling. But man, modern physique is really going to make you stay in there for a long time. If you need a shorter program, checkout Project Mass.
Those are really the only downsides I could really come up with. The program is actually pretty good!
Who Is This Program For?
As I covered in my other program reviews, I like to find who this program is built around.
For instance, there’s no reason to do Project Mass if you want to compete at a national level as the program is just not enough work to reach that level.
This program is for any bodybuilder or powerlifter that is looking for not only an interesting but a rigorous day at the gym.
This is ideally for the people with 2-3 hours to spend at the gym, 5 days a week. You get 2 rest days, so that is an appealing part of this program.
This program fits people like me. Who are busy many days of the week, so having an extra rest day helps keep everything else in order.
This is a great program for maybe the part-time employee that works 3-4 days a week.
This can help you manage that schedule better and have overall fewer conflicts.
Or even the person in sports, or school that has to study frequently every night. This program gives you more time off that you can use to manage the rest of your schedule better.
But that is given you’re willing to dedicate that 1.5-3 hours on those gym days to the gym.
Diet – Modern Physique Review
Modern physique is a bulking program. That is very important to understand in this modern physique review.
This is NOT a program you do and lose weight on. It would just be inefficient and not effective.
You need to bulk on this program. You do this by eating 500 calories surplus every day and gaining weight. And you ideally want to gain roughly 1/7th of a lb every day while on this program.
That’s right, you need to GAIN weight. Otherwise- how else is muscle supposed to form?
Try to get around 110-120 grams of protein in everyday, 8 hours of sleep minimum every night, and consistently go the gym.
After all is said and done- if you’d put on a little bit of fat you want to then try a ‘cutting’ program and go from there.
Modern Physique is a great program for somebody that is busy many days of the week. It helps give you more ‘off days’ in exchange for busier gym days when you are in the temple of iron.
I highly recommend the program, and it will for sure give you incredible muscle growth.