The Lee Haney Training Program!


Lee Haney is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won the Mr. Olympia contest a record 8 times in a row from 1984 – 1991.

Lee Haney was known for his high-volume workouts and his electrifying personality. If you want to train like Lee Haney then this article is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Lee Haney’s Chest / Arms Routine
  • Part 2: Lee Haney’s Lower Body Routine
  • Part 3: Lee Haney’s Back / Shoulders Routine

In this comprehensive guide I will show you how Lee Haney trained during his professional bodybuilding career.

Lee Haney dominated the bodybuilding scene in the 1980s the way Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the 1970s.

Just take a look at his video of Lee Haney performing his 1987 Mr. Olympia posing routine:

What an incredible physique!

 Lee Haney trained 3 out of 4 days using a high-frequency bodybuilding training split. He trained his chest and arms on day one, his legs on day two and his back and shoulders on day three. Check it out:

The Lee Haney Training Split

  • Day 1: Chest / Arms
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Back / Shoulders
  • Day 4: Off
  • Day 5: Repeat!

Lee Haney believes this type of high-frequency training split is the way to go if you want to build maximum muscle mass. Lee Haney’s split lets you train each muscle group once every 4 days.

This is a great strategy if you respond well to higher-frequency training programs.

Of course you need more than a great training split to become the Mr. Olympia champion. Lee Haney says that it was his hard work, dedication and unbreakable spirit that pushed him over the top. Check it out:

“The success I achieved as a bodybuilder took a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication, but what follows those is what takes me a step beyond.”

Lee Haney liked to rotate through 2 different workouts per body part. In each of these workouts he used a different set of exercises to hit each muscle from all angles. Check it out:

The Lee Haney Training Split

  • Day 1: Chest / arms workout #1
  • Day 2: Legs workout #1
  • Day 3: Back / shoulders workout #1
  • Day 4: Off
  • Day 5: Chest / arms workout #2
  • Day 6: Legs workout #2
  • Day 7: Back / shoulders workout #2
  • Day 8: Off
  • Day 9: Repeat!

Lee Haney believes that performing 2 different routines per muscle group is a great way to train. Many other bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman used a similar approach in their training programs.

I hope you found this overview helpful. Now let’s take a closer look at the workouts of one of the all-time legendary bodybuilders, Lee Haney.

Part 1: Lee Haney’s Chest / Arms Workout

Lee Haney trains his chest and arms first in his 4-day training split. Lee likes to focus on the 6-8 rep range for his chest and arm exercises.

He says nothing builds your chest and arms like lifting heavy weight with perfect form. Check it out:

“We’re keeping the repetitions low and the energy high!”

Here is Lee Haney’s first weekly chest / arm routine. Check it out:

Lee Haney’s Chest / Arm Routine #1

  • Exercise #1: Bench press, 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Exercise #2: Flat dumbbell press, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #3: Incline bench press, 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Exercise #4: Incline dumbbell press, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #5: Barbell curl, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #6: Preacher curl, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #7: Cable triceps extensions, 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #8: Skull crushers, 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

Lee Haney likes to start his chest workouts with the flat bench press. He is an old-school bodybuilder who still believes in the value of this exercise.

Many modern bodybuilders like Kai Greene and Fouad Abiad are also big fans of this exercise.

After the flat bench press Lee performs a variety of exercises for his chest and arms including dumbbell presses, preacher curls and skull crushers.

Later in the week Lee Haney performs his second chest / arm workout with a different set of exercises. Check it out:

Lee Haney’s Chest / Arm Routine #2

  • Exercise #1: Bench press, 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Exercise #2: Incline bench press, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #3: Flat dumbbell fly, 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Exercise #4: Chest dips, 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Cable crossover, 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Exercise #6: Barbell curl, 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Exercise #7: Incline dumbbell curl, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #8: Concentration curl, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #9: Cable triceps extension, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Exercise #10: Seated one-arm dumbbell extension, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #11: One-arm cable pushdown (reverse grip), 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

Lee Haney performs several more exercises for his second chest / arm workout.

In total Lee performs 5 exercises for his chest, 3 exercises for his biceps and 3 exercises for his triceps. Now THAT is a lot of exercises in one workout!

Part 2: Lee Haney’s Lower Body Routine

Lee Haney trains his legs on the second day in his training split. Unlike his other training days Lee actually performs the same workout twice per week.

Lee believed that one properly organized workout was enough to build a world-class set of legs. Check it out:

Lee Haney’s Lower Body Routine

  • Exercise #1: Leg extension, 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: leg press, 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Back squats, 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #4: Leg curls, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #5: Stiff legged deadlift, 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps

Here is a great video of Lee Haney performing squats:

For this workout Lee Haney uses the pre-exhaust method. He performs machine exercise like leg extensions and leg presses before moving onto more compound exercises like squats.

Many other world-class bodybuilders like Dorian Yates and Branch Warren also liked to pre-exhaust their quads with leg extensions.

Here is Lee Haney describing his form on the leg press machine:

“Leg presses are great for isolating the quadriceps and also the hamstrings. The key is to get the most out of each and every repetition.

The squat is more of a power movement but with the leg press you can really flex your muscle against the weight.”

After performing the leg press Lee Haney moved onto the king of leg exercises: the back squat.

Lee Haney says that most bodybuilders go too low in the squat. If you go to parallel then you are doing just fine. Check it out:

“Parallel is enough. Going below parallel is not necessary, especially for a taller lifter.

For a shorter lifter it’s A-OK but you always have to be careful about not putting too much stress on the joint.

If you’re going below parallel then make sure it’s controlled.”

Here is Lee Haney showing his preferred form on squats:

Lee Haney Squat

I’m not saying I agree or disagree with Lee Haney when it comes to proper form on back squats. I’m just trying to show you how a world-champion bodybuilder trains his legs.

Part 3: Lee Haney’s Back / Shoulders Routine

Lee Haney trained his back and shoulders on day 3 of his high-frequency training split.

Lee Haney trains his back and shoulders with two completely different workouts to hit both of these muscles from all angles. Check it out:

Lee Haney’s Back / Shoulder Routine #1

  • Exercise #1: Lat pulldowns (wide grip), 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #2: Barbell rows, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #3: Seated cable rows, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #4: Military press, 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Exercise #5: Dumbbell lateral raise, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #6: Upright rows, 4 sets of 6-8 reps

For his first workout Lee Haney performs three exercises each for his back and shoulders.

Once again Lee Haney performs most of his sets in the 6-10 rep range. This is radically different from other bodybuilders who like to focus on the 10-15 rep range to maximize the pump in their muscles. It’s like Lee always said:

“We’re keeping the repetitions low and the energy high!”

Here is Lee Haney’s second weekly back / shoulder workout. Check it out:

Lee Haney’s Back / Shoulder Routine #2

  • Exercise #1: Pull ups (wide grip), 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Exercise #2: T-bar row, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #3: Seated cable row, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #4: One-arm dumbbell row, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #4: Military press, 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Exercise #5: Dumbbell lateral raise, 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise #6: Upright rows, 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Lee Haney performs slightly more volume for this workout with 4 exercises for his upper back and 3 exercises for his shoulders.

Lee says that the only way to fully develop your upper back is to use a wide variety of exercises. Check it out:

“The back consists of three major muscle groups: the traps, the lats and the spinal erectors. In order to develop a full and complete back we need to use a variety of exercises.”

One of Lee Haney’s all-time favorite exercises for his upper back is wide-grip pull ups. Here is Lee demonstrating this exercise:

If you want to build “cobra” lats like Lee Haney then add some wide grip pull ups to your routine. They are one of the best exercises you can do for the upper lat muscles, aka the ones that contribute the most to your lat width.

Conclusion

Lee Haney is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won a record 8 Mr. Olympia competitions in a row and dominated his competitors in a way that no one had seen sense Arnold Schwarzenegger in the early 1970’s.

The thing that I admire most about Lee Haney is not his unbelievable physique. It’s his willingness to serve a cause that is greater than himself.

Lee Haney was chairman of the US President’s Council On Physical Fitness And Sports. He also started his own television show, “TotaLee Fit with Lee Haney,” where he talked about the importance of physical and spiritual growth.

If you want to live a truly fulfilled life then follow in Lee Haney’s footsteps and choose to serve a cause that is greater than yourself.

Here is a very important quote by Lee Haney to pump you up even more:

“It’s my job to help people so that God can continue to help them live out the mission that they have… they’ve got to be healthy to do that.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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