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Author Topic: best training split  (Read 2271 times)
wgtnmuscle1
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« on: February 02, 2013, 10:13:59 PM »

hi..what would be the best way to train....whole body 3 times a week or day 1 chest shoulders and tricpes and abs...day 2 legs only and abs and day 3 back biceps and abs..as can only get to the gym 3 days a week
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 11:35:27 PM »

legs,shoulder,traps
chest
back
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 03:27:39 AM »

canīt say itīs the "Best" but i liked the Antagonistic split:
1. chest/back
2.legs+calves
3. shoulders/arms

Full body is OK but better to split in my opinion.. or do:
1.upper
2.Lower
3.upper
the next week rotate so you do:
1.lower
2.upper
3.lower
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oldtimer1
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 11:08:32 AM »

Training on a three way split can work. An example is using Chest and back on Monday. Legs on Wednesday and delts/arms on Friday.

 There is a lot of over lap so you are really not training each body part once a week. An example of this is all presses on Chest day is working triceps. Then on friday you are doing tricep exercises again. If one of your tricep exercises is dips or close grips you are hitting chest again. Legs get hit twice. Once on leg day and on back day with deadlifts or power cleans. Biceps get hit hard on all pulling on back day and again on bicep day. There is over lap that isn't that directly obvious too. Remember the body tires systemically and it's not localized to just the body part trained.

If you hit a body part "once" a week as in the above it should be heavy with low sets. Using volume should be repeated more often. A chest routine could be something like this: Flat bench 2 sets of 8. Incline bar press 2 sets of 8. Flat flies 2 sets of 10. Heavy training to failure.

Having said that whole body routines are really incredible for most drug free guys but it has taken a back seat to a split routine as a result of magazines and their drug bodybuiders. I wrote this years ago about whole body routines. Whole body routines are as old as bodybuilding. You can check out the HST site that has good advice on this old topic.

  During this summer I decided to change things up concerning my training.  I usually find a program I like and then train for years using it before I switch things around.  I have used many effective routines through the years.  This summer I really did something that's radical for me.  I trained in two week  blocks changing routines.  I guess the basis of the routines were somewhat identical.  I train in what some would call high intensity fashion.  Even though no one definition of high intensity exists for me it's low sets and generally training to failure.

Just a little background to my view point.  I am not a competitive bodybuilder. I briefly competed in power lifting as a teenager and I was a sprinter in college.  I have an interest in all of physical culture.  I consider physical culture to represent every training endeavor.  So guys that devote their time to body weight exercises or even swimming gets my admiration.   I don't use bodybuilding drugs and I see my training as a means of improving athletic function not cosmetics.  Yet I'm still a fan of the golden era of bodybuilding.  For me it represents a magical time in my youthful innocence when I use to admire bodybuilding champs.  Now through mature vision I now see it for what it is.  It still fascinates me what chemicals; hard work and genetics can achieve.  I also see how very ordinary the champs look with out the syringe. 

Back to my summer of change.  I am now months away from fifty.  Like many of you I have a family and a career that makes training a juggling act. During this summer I decided to have a little fun and not be so rigid in my training.  I looked back over the past 30 plus years of training and I decided to train for a week or two on my favorite  productive routines through the years.  Realize again that when I find a routine that's productive I use to stick with it for years.  Changing routines from week to week is a radical shake up for me.
I generally use one to two work sets per exercise.  Through my training career I have always been a low set high intensity trainer.   I settled on training each body part directly once a week though the last 15 years or so.

So what have I found to be the most productive routine for me?  I made the quickest and best gains over the summer using whole body routines.  Since I was using a split routine training body parts once a week the change to training body parts three times a week was radical.  It produced fast improvement.  I was very surprised to say the least.  I noticed things like when using a split for say back I used chins, seated cable rows; one arm dumbbell rows and lastly reverse grip pulldowns.  I would use this back routine once a week.  Chins were always giving me trouble.  I was stuck on using slow cadence full range 11 rep chins. By full range I mean dead hang with no kip up.  Touching the bar to my upper chest not just clearing my chin.  My back routine using whole body routines were now chins and seated cable rows three times a week.  Suddenly my  chins were improving rapidly and my lats were growing.  Maybe stimulating the muscle to grow with three reasons to adapt to survive and grow was better than once a week.  Three stimuluses to adapt to a stressor vs one per week. 

Here are some specifics.

1.  Since you are training your whole body in one training session you can't use to many exercises.  The basics and most productive are the ones to use.  Power cleans, weighted dips, chins, deadlifts, presses and the like will form the foundation of the routine.  For athletic function do you really need three or four different calf exercises?  Do you really need to train the rear delts when from a kinesiological standpoint they are hit very hard in all back rowing moves. Are three different bicep exercises necessary?

2.  You can change the routine every 2 to 3 weeks for training variety.  This is good from a mental and physical stand point.  My last whole body routine looks like this.  Two work sets were use for each exercise.  1. Power cleans 2. squats 3. weighted lunges 4. chins 5. seated cable rows 6. dumbbell bench press 7. military press. 8. weighted dips 9. barbell curls. 10. standing calf raise. 11. hanging leg raise 12. weighted back extensions. 13. Ironmind grip work.  After 2 to 3 weeks I'll change the exercises.  For example upper back could now be reverse grip pulldowns and one arm dumbbell rows.  Deadlifts could be substituted for power cleans and squats could now be leg presses. 

3.  Have a max goal weight you are trying for.  Having said this all sets won't be to failure.  Training to failure is a tool and I will use it to the max at the end of the cycle.  Here's an example of the progression.  Let's say
your goal is to do 2 sets of 10 full range squats with 250lbs.  Count back 6 to 9 workouts.  Using 9 whole body work outs squats on day one could be 210lbs for your 2 sets of 10.  The weight feels easy yet you know you are working. This could be Mondays workout.  On Wednesday you will use 215lbs.  Still easy but you are going up.  Friday brings you to 220lbs.  Near the end of 9 workouts you are now training all out and it get brutal both psychologically and physically.  I f you reach your goal or come near it's now time to change exercises and progress again. 

4.  Don't be afraid of layoffs.  The body adapts to a stressor.  The stressor is exercise in this case.  The body will reach a point of exhaustion.  Taking layoffs is a part of training.  Don't plan for layoffs but let them come to you.  Don't use this as an excuse to not have a work ethic. 

5. One of the best parts of using whole body routines is the when you are done you hit everything.  How many times have you reached say chest day and couldn't do it due to family or work responsibilities.  Maybe it was just exhaustion from work.  With whole body routines you are still moving forward even if you can just get one workout in a week.  I believe three to two are optimal but having an occasional once a week won't set you back like chopping up a split routine.

6. Use your off days for training the most important muscle in your body the heart.  Swim, run, bike, wrestle, box, play basketball or any other athletic pursuit that you favor that trains the cardio system.

7. Don't become a cosmetic marvel that is just a mirror athlete.  It could tie in with point 6 or it could be anything in athletics that you like.  If lifting is your thing try thowing in some olympic lifting. 

8. A friend of mine said competitive bodybuilding has nothing to do with health.  Maybe he is right but I think for the  garage or basement type trainer it should be a priority.  This means not risking health with drugs.  Anyone who says there's little risk is a person who is using rationalization to justify their addiction.

9. The  body functions as a unit.  In any athletic endeavor from throwing a punch to sprinting involve a blend of explosive groups of muscles.  Don't train with an isolation mentality.  Sitting in a machine doing lateral raises is not as good as cleaning and pressing a barbell.  Also the body fatigues as a unit.  Fatigue is systemic and not only localized in the muscle trained.  Train your whole body with weights and then let it rest. 

I could go on but I have to mow the grass.    If you have a family and a demanding job do you really have the time to drive to a gym and spend 2 hours there for 4 to 6 days a week?  Using my self as an example I work 10 hours a day with a one hour commute each way.  That is 12 hours out of 16 waking hours.  If I trained every day for 2 hours that would leave 2 hours for rest and family.  I could never do that.  I think it was Arthur Jones who said in effect that everything has a cost and every thing has a value.  If training hours a day every day is what it takes for a good physique the cost is not worth it. 

Naturally most competitive bodybuilders won't find value in whole body routines.  I can also see myself for just a change drifting back on occasion into split routines. I can also say that just for fun I might do a high set routine in the future. 

 I truly feel the majority of my training from now on will be whole body routines.  Reeves and Grimek maybe knew something. Training on whole body routines is nothing new.  It is gold waiting to be found again for this trainer.
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 01:01:28 PM »

an excellent read Oldtimer1.. thanks for such a detailed and informative post...
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 06:20:25 PM »

I currently use a three-day split.
Roughly:

Mon - Delts & Arms
Wed - Legs
Fri - Chest, Back, & Traps


Regardless, the best training split is the one that gives YOU the best results. Everybody is different. You have some ideas, now. Don't be afraid to experiment some and make some discoveries.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 06:36:10 PM »

legs,shoulder,traps
chest
back


That's how I train, but why I don't know... Huh
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 06:49:19 PM »

I tried a full body routine at the beginning of 2012 for 4 months. I learned over that time it wasn't for me. But most important thing I learned is the value of isolation work. Not even from the standpoint of muscle development but injury prevention. I began to get nagging shoulder and knee pain that I have not experienced before. I struck to mainly compound movements for my full body routine and limited each workout to 5 total exercises. When I went back to my usual pull/push/lower split training 4 days a week my nagging pains started to go away.
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 09:49:42 AM »

I tried a full body routine at the beginning of 2012 for 4 months. I learned over that time it wasn't for me. But most important thing I learned is the value of isolation work. Not even from the standpoint of muscle development but injury prevention. I began to get nagging shoulder and knee pain that I have not experienced before. I struck to mainly compound movements for my full body routine and limited each workout to 5 total exercises. When I went back to my usual pull/push/lower split training 4 days a week my nagging pains started to go away.

i agree 100% and i do not believe you can fully train a muscle group with a few exercises for your whole Body. I have also done this ala..Stuart Mcrobert style with Abbreviated routines and they do work and build muscle but your point about injuries is a very important one because if you do not train the muscle groups thoroughly then you can get muscle disbalance. This can cause problems.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2013, 10:05:26 AM »

Yev33 make sure you stay around the training Q&A section because you write some good posts.
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Yev33
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 11:36:01 AM »

Yev33 make sure you stay around the training Q&A section because you write some good posts.

Thank you. We have some good people here which leads to some great discussions.
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 11:39:45 AM »

Thank you. We have some good people here which leads to some great discussions.
yes and itīs great to see diffrent opinions on training
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 12:50:16 PM »

the best training split is the one that works for you and gets you closer to your goals (whatever they are)
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 01:10:06 PM »

the best training split is the one that works for you and gets you closer to your goals (whatever they are)
yes Wooo correct
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 07:45:05 PM »

umm.... I didn't see anyone ask THIS question but, ...... um, what are your goals? that is a big fact needed to suggest what split you should be on.
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2013, 05:16:53 AM »

umm.... I didn't see anyone ask THIS question but, ...... um, what are your goals? that is a big fact needed to suggest what split you should be on.

BOOM
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 07:20:35 AM »

My all time favorite for me was.

Mon
Chest - bench as main excercise + 1 or 2 others
Back - rows as main excercise + chins
Grip work

Thurs
Military press
Deadilfts

Sat
Arms - barbell curls, close grip benches
legs- 20 rep squats, extensions, leg curls, calf raise
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 10:46:19 AM »

As WOOO suggest, the best split that works for you. The best one, that I have gone back too for years is:

Mon...upper body
Wed...lower body
Fri.....upper body

the following Week

Mon...lower
Wed...upper
Fri...lower

Alternate each Monday/week.
                                             Good Luck
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 05:04:44 PM »

I usually train 2 on 1 off


but occasionally switch to every other day
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2013, 05:40:20 PM »

I personally train every day. But I lift only 3 days per week.
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2013, 03:34:02 AM »

As WOOO suggest, the best split that works for you. The best one, that I have gone back too for years is:

Mon...upper body
Wed...lower body
Fri.....upper body

the following Week

Mon...lower
Wed...upper
Fri...lower

Alternate each Monday/week.
                                             Good Luck
how do you train your upper body? Like, do you pick 2 movements for each bparts for couple sets for example?
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 09:04:56 AM »

Meso_z:

Look at the Training Log.  My current workout. 

With that style split the upper & lower body get more rest days between workouts. If feeling the need for cardio, I will do it on the same day as a weight workout, but a couple of hours, or more, afterwards. I favor interval cardio training. 
                     
Good Luck.
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« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 09:47:45 AM »

That style 3 day a week split can also work well when breaking up the upper body in separated groups. You may want to break it up a bit differently , but the general rule of thumbs follows:

Monday....chest, delts & triceps

Wed.......legs, hams & calves

Friday.....Back/lats/ traps & biceps.

Will only be working a given body area once a week. But if each workout day is planned, with forethought, one week can be ideal for  lots of folks. If that work for you, than great. If not, than go onto something else more suitable for your body type and needs.

The above type program can also be good for older gentleman, who still wish to train with serious intent. Allowing more rest between body parts and training days.. Common mistake is not adjusting the work load, as the body ages, to a lower level. Can still train heavy, but training smart may prove to be most important. Recovery and the CNS (the key to progress) will need more time to adapt and actually heal between workout sessions. Good Luck.
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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 12:22:02 PM »

I currently use a three-day split.
Roughly:

Mon - Delts & Arms
Wed - Legs
Fri - Chest, Back, & Traps


Regardless, the best training split is the one that gives YOU the best results. Everybody is different. You have some ideas, now. Don't be afraid to experiment some and make some discoveries.
yes good split, working antagonistic muscles, chest/back and triceps/biceps. Great pump and you can superset.
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2013, 02:29:19 PM »

I've also used the  GVT  (10X10) on a 3 day split.  Doing only one compound movement for a specific workout day.

Best results have been when using the Pullover & Press (either DB or BB), as the only exercise for the upper body. This major movements gets the lats. pecs,triceps, delts and abs.  For me, big time exercise.  My other favorite compound exercise, when using GVT, is the BB hack squat. Which gets the legs and also the traps/back. Think of it as a reverse DL, with more leg involvement..

The Pullover & Press and Hack Squats are major growing movements and have used them like:

Mon.....P&P

Wed....BB Hack

Friday...P&P

next Monday, the BB Hack, etc, etc, etc..
                                                                            Good Luck.

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