If you’ve heard of bodybuilding, then you’ve probably heard of the Hodgetwins. Individually known as Keith and Kevin Hodge, the Hodgetwins took the bodybuilding world by storm when they began uploading “workout videoswith a twist” to YouTube in 2008. Since then, the twins’ unique, yet effective workout style has inspired thousands around the world to emulate their routine.
In this article, we take a closer look at the Hodgetwins’ workout program, plus their views on nutrition and dieting. We also lay out an exercise schedule that you can use to get started on your journey to Hodgetwins-inspired bodybuilding.
The YouTube phenomenon collectively known as the Hodgetwins is actually Kevin and Keith Hodge, twins born and raised in Virginia. Originally, the brothers chose to pursue careers in finance and as Marines in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2008, an unhappy Keith eventually convinced Kevin to quit their corporate jobs and attempt success in the entertainment industry.
The two began calling themselves the Hodgetwins, and uploading fitness videos to a YouTube channel they called TwinMuscleWorkout. Though their uploaded videos were anything but big-budget productions, each video became a bigger hit than the last.
If you are familiar with the twins’ YouTube channel then you know that the brothers are just as funny as they are strong. Even as children, Kevin and Keith were comedians. That wit has become a major part of their brand, and most of their workout videos include a dose of edgy humor. The twins call this “no-bullshit fitness.”
Today, the Hodgetwins remain just as influential in the bodybuilding world as ever before. In addition to workout videos, they routinely post political commentary, appear in commercials and on television, and sell their clothing line via their website.
When the Hodgetwins first captured the attention of the masses, many questioned their unique workout strategy.The twins work on each body part twice per week. The number of reps they complete is determined by whether an exercise is a compound movement or an isolation movement.
Explains one of the Hodge brothers, “Working each body part twice per week using a rep range of 5-8 reps for compound movements, such as squats, deadlift, and bench presses, and 8-12 reps for isolation exercises, such as concentration curls and triceps pushdowns, seems to be the formula we’ve had the most success with.”
Science seems to support the brothers’ strategy. Studies have shown that lifting less weight more times is just as effective when it comes to bodybuilding. It also makes injury much less likely. Just as importantly, the twins never train to failure, as they have found it is not necessary and they can build muscle without it.
Interestingly, Keith and Kevin change their workout routine every four to eight weeks. They also schedule full rest weeks. They credit this periodized approach to exercise with the fact that they have mostly avoided injury and the stresses that come with overtraining.
Both of the Hodge brothers are International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) certified personal trainers. This is a role that they take very seriously, and it prompts them to continuously research the body and adjust fitness routines as needed.
“It was important for us both to become certified because we do take fitness seriously. We wanted to have access to the best information, so, we’re constantly doing research and updating our knowledge on what’s new in fitness and nutrition.”
As previously mentioned, the Hodgetwins vary their workout routine every month or two. However, their rotations typically include their preferred exercises, some of which we’ve detailed below.
Cable Hammer Curls: This is a popular arms exercise consisting of a rope and handle attached to a weight stack via a cable. Holding the handle with your palms facing one another will work the forearms, biceps, and brachialis muscles.
Decline Barbell Bench Press:
Before you press, set your bench to a decline of 15 or 30 degrees, then angle your upper body on the downward slope. This will ensure it’s your pectoral muscles that receive the best workout.
Dips: To complete dips, you can position yourself over dips bars, rings, or even a chair. Lower your body until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbows. Then lift your body back to your starting position.
Dumbbell Lunges: Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your body. With your right leg, step forward as far as you can while bending your left knee until it almost touches the floor. Use the heel of your right foot to bring yourself back to a standing position. Then repeat with your left leg.
Glute Ham Raise: Glute Ham Raises require the use of a dedicated machine, though you can also make do with a barbell. With your feet anchored by the machine (or the bar), cross your arms over your chest and lift your upper body. This exercise works your hamstrings and glutes. There are also a number of good alternative exercises.
Hanging Leg Raise: This core exercise requires you to hang from a bar with your torso hanging freely. Once ready, pull your knees to your chest as far as you are able. This exercise is great for working abdominal muscles, hip flexors, and obliques.
Leg Extensions: Use a Leg Extension Machine to work out your quads for this resistance exercise.
Leg Press: Leg presses require a Leg Press Machine. Once settled on the machine, use your legs to press the resistance weights and work out your lower body.
Leverage High Row: Known also as the Hammer Strength Row, the leverage high row requires pulling weights towards your core using a dedicated high row machine.
Leverage Shrug: Using a Shrug Machine, grasp onto the dumbbell with your arms and shoulders tensed. Then shrug your shoulders as high as you can while you simultaneously exhale.
Push Ups: To pull off a perfect push up, start by getting down on all fours. Your hands should be just a little wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms and legs, and make sure your toes are planted firmly. Then lower your body until your arms have formed a 90-degree angle. Use your arm strength to push yourself back up to your starting position.
Russian Twist: This simple abdominal exercise does not require the use of any gym equipment. To start, sit down with your back leaning backwards and your legs raised so that your feet are just off the ground. Once in position, twist your body as far to the right as you can, then as far to the left as you can.
Two exercises that keen eyes will notice are missing are squats and deadlifts. The Hodge brothers avoid these popular exercises because of lower back injuries sustained during time spent in the Marine Corps. However, the Hodgetwins have found that high volume leg workouts -- such as leg presses, lunges, lying leg curls, and leg extensions -- are just as effective for working those parts of the body.
Before you start your workouts, a pre-workout supplement can help prep your muscles and, later, aid in recovery.
Day 1: Chest, Abs, Triceps
Four sets each of:
Day 2: Legs, Abs
Three sets each of:
Four sets each of:
Five sets of:
Day 3: Back, Arms
Three sets of:
Four sets each of:
Day 4: Shoulders, Abs
Four sets each of:
Day 5: Abs
One-hour jog on the treadmill, plus four sets each of:
Days 6 & 7: Rest Days
In order for muscles to grow, they must first be damaged and repaired. Help your muscles repair themselves faster with a recovery formula.
The Hodgetwins make it clear they don’t feel the need to stick to any routine no matter what.
As they explain, “We are all different, and everyone’s body reacts differently to different exercises and nutrition, volume, and rep ranges. What may work for you may not work for someone else. We are very clear about that in our advice to people. Sometimes you have to try a number of different approaches or a combination of routines to reach your fitness goals.”
Kevin and Keith Hodge follow a daily diet consisting of 2,500 calories, though they aren’t nearly as strict about dieting as you may be assuming. In fact, the brothers have gone on record saying, “There ain’t nothing wrong with tracking your nutrients, but we ain’t be doing all that. I eat what the fuck I want to eat wherever I want to eat it: Taco Bell, KFC, Chili’s -- wherever.”
Still, the two men aren’t completelylaissez-faire when it comes to their diets. For example, they try to consume all of their daily fats in just one meal (even if they estimate those fats instead of determining an accurate count). They also limit their daily protein to just 120 to 140 grams.
Kevin explains that while this may seem low, consuming one gram per pound of their bodyweight would mean consuming too much for their kidneys and colons to bear.
“Find the calories you need to maintain growth, and then make sure you have enough protein. Some days it’s real easy to get carbs because they’re in everything, and in one meal you can consume all your fats for the day.”
In general, and especially when it comes time to lose weight, the Hodge brothers follow six dieting rules:
Though they have expanded their resumes to include political commentators and evening clothing designers, Kevin and Keith Hodge are still best known for their YouTube bodybuilding videos. The twin brothers work out smarter, not harder. They take up to two rest days per week, and change their exercise routine every four to eight weeks.
When they do work out, it is a variety of exercises that target every inch of the human body. Though their YouTube channel is full of the brothers trying various fast food dishes, Keith and Kevin also prescribe to a 2500-calories-per-day diet that has been thoughtfully designed for their bodies and workout goals.