Author Topic: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?  (Read 2088 times)

barkbomes9

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Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« on: May 05, 2020, 09:30:02 PM »
Reading through heaps of articles, some say heavy low reps, others classic 8-12, 4 day body part splits or twice a week upper lower, what's your go to routine giving the best (not necessarily fastest) results, for those who don't juice? Does it even make a difference and purely time and commitment will pay off? Thanks.

IroNat

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2020, 03:17:15 AM »
Full body 2-3 times week.

Always include a press, a pull, a squat, and a calf exercise.

oldtimer1

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2020, 06:03:56 AM »
A full body routine is the way to go. The body works in any athletic endeavor as a unit. It gets fatigued systemically and not only local to a muscle trained.  It fatigues and recovers as  a unit working out.  Using a whole body routine like Nat said will work if you use it three times a week or twice. It also gives you free days for cardio or other athletic pursuits. We have been brain washed into thinking we need four different bicep exercises.  With a whole body routine pick one or two exercises a body part and after say six workouts you can change the exercises you are using. A good protocol that is based in power lifting is to not to go to failure every workout. Let's say you are lifting Monday-Wednesday and Friday.  Pick a two week peak. Predict a goal you want for those six works in weight used. Let's say it's a 100 pounds for three sets of 8 in the curl. Back off for those two weeks of work outs for 5 lbs a work out. So work out one will be 75lbs for three sets of 8 for the curl on Monday. Wednesday will be 80lbs for the same reps and sets. Friday will be 85lbs again with no increase in reps or sets. Take your weekend off and begin Monday at 90lbs. After Wednesday, Friday should bring you to your goal of 100lbs.  Make sure planing your cycle that you don't make your goal impossible if you are a seasoned lifter. After that six workout peak change your exercises around to keep things interesting. Change every single exercise. Using a whole routine you can't go wrong with using Arthur Jones protocol of training the largest body parts first going down to the smallest. Steve Reeves disagreed with this saying it's best to warm up with smaller body parts to get into the flow of the routine.


A method that has worked for me is to use a split but train body parts directly once a week. Doing something like Monday doing Back and chest. Wednesday doing legs and Friday delt and arms. Of course days of the week are meaningless and you can get your three workouts in however they fit during the week. The reason why this workout works is over lap. It's impossible to truly isolate different areas of your body. For example on monday I either included power cleans or deadlifts. They work legs hard. So legs are being trained hard twice a week. One day directly and the other day with over lap. Monday being back and chest day both the triceps and biceps are getting hit hard with the pulling and pushing.  On Friday they get hit again directly with the Delt/ arms day. I can go through each body part and show some over lap as to why body parts are getting hit twice a week through what appears to be a once a week routine. On days off do some cardio.

So many ways to do it. If you want to train like the natural champs of the 50's, 40's and even 30's go with the full body routine. Guys who use a split are fond of saying it's a beginner routine. The truth is it's the hardest way you can train. It's exhausting to train the whole body in one shot.  Splits are no doubt easier.




IroNat

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2020, 06:10:31 AM »
Good ideas, OT.

Many ways to arrange a routine that hits the entire body.

Great point about the overlap of muscle groups when you train using bro-splits.

Using drugs allows you to recover from this but as a natty it's not as easy.


oldtimer1

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2020, 07:03:42 AM »
Good ideas, OT.

Many ways to arrange a routine that hits the entire body.

Great point about the overlap of muscle groups when you train using bro-splits.

Using drugs allows you to recover from this but as a natty it's not as easy.

People have jobs and family obligations that are exhausting. Very few guys can drive an hour to work then work for 8-10 hours to drive home to a six day a week workout. So many drug users might have part time jobs but few have a careers. In the real world we need effective realistic workouts. I once heard someone say one set to exhaustion with your exercises gets you 90% of what you can get our of your workout. Another set gets you another 5%. Each extra set is a fraction in additional benefit. I don't agree with his percentages but he was making a valid point. we need to train with the most pay to value costs.  I look at the world of running trying to increase endurance.  Running 25 miles a week will get you 90% of your potential. To get to 100% might involve 50 mile weeks. Important for an elite athlete but not us mere mortals.

jpm101

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2020, 08:29:24 AM »
K.I.S.S.   (Keep It Simple Stupid)   A motto well learned by many successful BB'ers over the years. It was also  a banner placed on the wall of a old school style gym I had used before.

Agree with IroNat, full body and with a focus on compound exercises involving two joints or more. Two or three time a week.  With a abbreviate workout program involving a few selected exercises with less sets, as 3 to 5 sets max each body part.

The general guide is to start with working the larger muscle groups at the beginning of a workout down to the smaller. Example: legs, back, chest delts & arms. If wishing to work the total ab wall with one movement, than would suggest a Ab Wheel at the end of a training session. Suggesting other Ab exercises can done in a 6-9 rep also, other than the mentioned Ab Wheel, and with extra weight added. The ab region is a very powerful short range muscle group.   

As for reps...20 reps will do for you what 5 reps won't. And 5 reps will do for you what 20 reps won't.  In other words each of us will have to explore a bit to find the rep range best suited for your goals and body types. In general BB'ing, the 6-9 rep span seems to work quite well for most. But again, you will have to use experience as your guide.

A simple program for you consideration: Squats, BB Row, Bench, Press Behind Neck, BB Curl.  Three times a week. Three to five sets each. 6-9 reps range. 

Would also suggest the tried and proven Progressive training system. The purpose is in trying to improve either the reps or poundage from workout to workout.  Even adding as little as 5lbs to a bar or one more rep is the idea. It's the advancing of either reps or weight, progressing each training session.

All of the above are only suggestions. If not filling your personal needs, than by all means do what you believe is best suited for you.

Good Luck.

F

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 12:21:09 PM »
A full body routine is the way to go. The body works in any athletic endeavor as a unit. It gets fatigued systemically and not only local to a muscle trained.  It fatigues and recovers as  a unit working out.  Using a whole body routine like Nat said will work if you use it three times a week or twice. It also gives you free days for cardio or other athletic pursuits. We have been brain washed into thinking we need four different bicep exercises.  With a whole body routine pick one or two exercises a body part and after say six workouts you can change the exercises you are using. A good protocol that is based in power lifting is to not to go to failure every workout. Let's say you are lifting Monday-Wednesday and Friday.  Pick a two week peak. Predict a goal you want for those six works in weight used. Let's say it's a 100 pounds for three sets of 8 in the curl. Back off for those two weeks of work outs for 5 lbs a work out. So work out one will be 75lbs for three sets of 8 for the curl on Monday. Wednesday will be 80lbs for the same reps and sets. Friday will be 85lbs again with no increase in reps or sets. Take your weekend off and begin Monday at 90lbs. After Wednesday, Friday should bring you to your goal of 100lbs.  Make sure planing your cycle that you don't make your goal impossible if you are a seasoned lifter. After that six workout peak change your exercises around to keep things interesting. Change every single exercise. Using a whole routine you can't go wrong with using Arthur Jones protocol of training the largest body parts first going down to the smallest. Steve Reeves disagreed with this saying it's best to warm up with smaller body parts to get into the flow of the routine.


A method that has worked for me is to use a split but train body parts directly once a week. Doing something like Monday doing Back and chest. Wednesday doing legs and Friday delt and arms. Of course days of the week are meaningless and you can get your three workouts in however they fit during the week. The reason why this workout works is over lap. It's impossible to truly isolate different areas of your body. For example on monday I either included power cleans or deadlifts. They work legs hard. So legs are being trained hard twice a week. One day directly and the other day with over lap. Monday being back and chest day both the triceps and biceps are getting hit hard with the pulling and pushing.  On Friday they get hit again directly with the Delt/ arms day. I can go through each body part and show some over lap as to why body parts are getting hit twice a week through what appears to be a once a week routine. On days off do some cardio.

So many ways to do it. If you want to train like the natural champs of the 50's, 40's and even 30's go with the full body routine. Guys who use a split are fond of saying it's a beginner routine. The truth is it's the hardest way you can train. It's exhausting to train the whole body in one shot.  Splits are no doubt easier.
Full body workouts are brutal especially after age 40.

greg2112

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 09:26:35 AM »
Have had lots of success using a two way split especially the DC 2 way training split.  Currently doing a push, pull, lower rotation on a 2 on, one off.  Push, pull, rest, lower, push, rest, pull, lower, rest, repeat.  Body parts directly hit every 4th to 5th day.  Great frequency especially for me turning 42.  With the heat approaching and training in my garage for the last 10 years.  I am all about getting in and getting out during the pre and summer months.  One big lift and a few accessories and get the hell out.

Humble Narcissist

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 10:11:35 AM »
Have had lots of success using a two way split especially the DC 2 way training split.  Currently doing a push, pull, lower rotation on a 2 on, one off.  Push, pull, rest, lower, push, rest, pull, lower, rest, repeat.  Body parts directly hit every 4th to 5th day.  Great frequency especially for me turning 42.  With the heat approaching and training in my garage for the last 10 years.  I am all about getting in and getting out during the pre and summer months.  One big lift and a few accessories and get the hell out.
Garage gorilla or basement barbarian is the way to go.

greg2112

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 07:03:55 PM »
Garage gorilla or basement barbarian is the way to go.

?  Is that a workout template?

oldtimer1

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2020, 07:31:17 PM »
Full body workouts are brutal especially after age 40.

So true especially if you train with heavy weights to failure or close. I just did three full body workouts on Friday, Sunday and Wednesday. I think I go into shock afterwards. I try to run the day after and my body is so destroyed I can't do it. I'm beginning to think mere mortals that use the full body workouts are not pushing the failure envelope and avoid it like the plague to get through the workout. I start my full body with cleans and jerks. After that I seriously wonder about my sanity trying to finish the rest of the workout. 

IroNat

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2020, 03:54:40 AM »
So true especially if you train with heavy weights to failure or close. I just did three full body workouts on Friday, Sunday and Wednesday. I think I go into shock afterwards. I try to run the day after and my body is so destroyed I can't do it. I'm beginning to think mere mortals that use the full body workouts are not pushing the failure envelope and avoid it like the plague to get through the workout. I start my full body with cleans and jerks. After that I seriously wonder about my sanity trying to finish the rest of the workout. 

I'm not sure why you are having problems but common sense indicates you are overdoing it.

Training to failure makes deep inroads into your body's recovery abilities.

That totally exhausted/in shock feeling the next day you describe means you have fried your CNS.

How long do your workouts take?

How long are your rest periods between sets?


Humble Narcissist

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2020, 04:16:59 AM »
Here's a super abbreviated routine that you can recover from.

https://www.complete-strength-training.com/body-by-science.html

greg2112

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2020, 05:28:53 AM »
Here's a super abbreviated routine that you can recover from.

https://www.complete-strength-training.com/body-by-science.html

I did a very basic routine similar to that.  Full body push pull every other.  Very upper back focused.  Limited lifts.

Monday push

Zercher squats

V bar dips

Ended with zercher carries supersetted with a accessory say laterals

Wednesday

Snatch grip Rdlís

Seal rows

Ended with farmer walks supersetted with an accessory.  Curl variation etc.  face pulls or chins

Friday

Repeat Monday but vary the main lifts.  Say zercher pin squats and close grip bench

The other main pull hip hinge variation was the reeves rdl

Upper back got dense due to the loaded carries and exercise selections


jpm101

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2020, 09:25:05 AM »
Puzzling why some believe that a full body workout need  be brutal, if approaching it with reason and a logical workout plan. Having a short and to the point training agenda has worked for thousands of men over the years.

What becomes self defeating is too many sets and/or too many exercises in one workout. The most self defeating element of all, and one that can halt and even reverse gains, is going to the point of failure at some point in a workout. Experienced weight men know and understand all this. From BB"ers to PL'ers to Olympic lifters, all are aware of the regrets of going to a point of failure and avoid it.   Stopping one or two reps away from that point seems the general rule. You may get away with reaching a point of failure in workouts for a while, but sooner or later a state of nervous exhaustion (burnout), and the non ability to not recovery completely from the last workout can subtly begin, bring gains to a standstill...

The CNS (Central Nervous System) is what is overtaxed when including going to failure in every workout, and the odds of it returning to it's normal state and doing what it's capable of doing in ways of recovery and building the body stronger, with increased muscle mass, is greatly retarded

Not going to failure does not mean your not training a muscle hard, this is a mistaken belief held by a lot of BB'ers. Your training hard (in most cases) but not to the point of damaging the ability to recovery. 

The average rest period between sets is 90 to 120 seconds. Between exercise, 3-4 minutes. The idea is to keep a good working pace. This is generally for BB'ing. And as for any workout plan...K.I.S.S..

Good Luck.
F

Humble Narcissist

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2020, 10:30:45 AM »
Puzzling why some believe that a full body workout need  be brutal, if approaching it with reason and a logical workout plan. Having a short and to the point training agenda has worked for thousands of men over the years.

What becomes self defeating is too many sets and/or too many exercises in one workout. The most self defeating element of all, and one that can halt and even reverse gains, is going to the point of failure at some point in a workout. Experienced weight men know and understand all this. From BB"ers to PL'ers to Olympic lifters, all are aware of the regrets of going to a point of failure and avoid it.   Stopping one or two reps away from that point seems the general rule. You may get away with reaching a point of failure in workouts for a while, but sooner or later a state of nervous exhaustion (burnout), and the non ability to not recovery completely from the last workout can subtly begin, bring gains to a standstill...

The CNS (Central Nervous System) is what is overtaxed when including going to failure in every workout, and the odds of it returning to it's normal state and doing what it's capable of doing in ways of recovery and building the body stronger, with increased muscle mass, is greatly retarded

Not going to failure does not mean your not training a muscle hard, this is a mistaken belief held by a lot of BB'ers. Your training hard (in most cases) but not to the point of damaging the ability to recovery. 

The average rest period between sets is 90 to 120 seconds. Between exercise, 3-4 minutes. The idea is to keep a good working pace. This is generally for BB'ing. And as for any workout plan...K.I.S.S..

Good Luck.
Full body creates much more overall fatigue than hitting split routines.  As a person gets older they do not recover as fast.  After training for a few years naturally you are not gaining more muscle size.  Bodybuilding does not create constant gains as they are not possible.  Training for maintenance is not a bad thing and you can maintain by training once every 7-10 days.

greg2112

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2020, 06:09:41 AM »
Well said!  Been on a two on, one off lately.  Push, pull, rest, lower, push, rest, pull, lower, rest, repeat.  Itís all about having fun at this point.  Hit a big compound lift, a few accessories and call it a day. 


Full body creates much more overall fatigue than hitting split routines.  As a person gets older they do not recover as fast.  After training for a few years naturally you are not gaining more muscle size.  Bodybuilding does not create constant gains as they are not possible.  Training for maintenance is not a bad thing and you can maintain by training once every 7-10 days.

Humble Narcissist

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2020, 08:20:52 AM »
Well said!  Been on a two on, one off lately.  Push, pull, rest, lower, push, rest, pull, lower, rest, repeat.  Itís all about having fun at this point.  Hit a big compound lift, a few accessories and call it a day.
It is all about having fun and that's why most people stop in their 20's or 30's.  Doing some killer routine like P90X gets you in shape fast but if you are miserable you will quit.

Primemuscle

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Re: Best routine for natural bodybuilding?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2020, 10:10:42 AM »
It is all about having fun and that's why most people stop in their 20's or 30's.  Doing some killer routine like P90X gets you in shape fast but if you are miserable you will quit.

I agree.