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Posted: 6/14/2003 9:25:08 PM EDT
I'm trying to set up my own routine but I can't figure out how to group the exercises. I've read that you should, for example, group chest & triceps on the same day because they get worked together with most exercises (benchpress also works the triceps, etc.) The problem I'm having is that pretty much all the upper body muscles get worked to some degree or another. For example, dumbell rows for lats also work the biceps. so how do I set up a split that lets one muscle group rest while the others work & vice versa?
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 12:11:11 AM EDT
Normally I would answer you (as others soon will), but I feel lazy tonight. Do a search: variations of this question have come up from time-to-time, and a good deal of info is out there.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 3:47:49 PM EDT
Here is the split I do Mon Chest/bi's Tues Legs Wed off Thurs Shoulders/tris Fri Back 6-9 work sets per bodypart 4-6 reps per set
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 2:28:14 PM EDT
There are a billion ways to organize your split. Here's my two most common: Winter/Fall: M- Chest/Back T- Off W- Legs Th- Shoulders/Arms F-Off S-Off S-Off Spring/Summer: M-Chest T-Back W-Legs Th-Shoulders F-Arms S-Off S-Off Working out hard five days a week is not preactical for everyone and OVERTRAINING is your worst enemy. I gain my size and strength in the winter months. Notice how there are days to rest each bodypart before reworking it, even if indirectly. For example, on chest day you really work your triceps. Therefore, you need a couple days to recover before a dedicated tricep workout. Just make sure you are not doing something totally silly like triceps Monday and chest Tuesday. Your bench press will suck[:D]
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 4:54:11 PM EDT
Thanks for the responses, here's what I planned: Monday - Chest and Tri's Tuesday - Legs Wed - off Thursday - Bi's and Ab's Friday - Back & Shoulders Saturday - Rest Sunday - Rest What changes should I make if any? Also, which day should I do deadlifts?
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 6:08:11 PM EDT
Hi Sumo2000, The object of splitting your routine is to get your workout back down to approximately 24 sets (across all exercises) and 45 minutes. After 24/:45, your energy and testosterone levels go way down. The ideal routine is to do the whole body in one workout and then let the body recover. Much of the strength and energy depletion that occurs is not area specific. However, as people progress with their training, they find they cannot keep their sets below 24 or time below 45 minutes so they compromise by splitting their routine. Once you plateau with a whole body workout, the first split you can try is a simple upper body / lower body split. For example, Upper on Mondays and Thursdays and Lower on Tuesdays and Fridays. Hopefully, this gets your sets and time back below the 24/:45 ceiling. After you plateau with the 2-way split, you can try a 3-way split. Legs (Quads, Hams, Lower Back, and Calves), Pull (lats, traps, bi's, and rear delts), and Push (chest, tri's, front & side delts, and forearms). Below is a 3-week cycle with 5 workout days per week. Since 3 does not divide into 5 evenly, there will be one area that you only work once per week. The others will be worked twice per week. That once-per-week area (Wednesday) should be the extra heavy day where you put in any intensity tricks like descending sets or forced reps. The days not listed are rest days. Week 1: Mon: Legs Tue: Pull Wed: Push Fri: Legs Sat: Pull Week 2: Mon: Push Tue: Legs Wed: Pull Fri: Push Sat: Legs Week 3: Mon: Pull Tue: Push Wed: Legs Fri: Pull Sat: Push Week 4 is the same as week 1. Once you plateau with that, then the 5-day splits that are mentioned above are a good bet. Be wary using splits to heap the amount of work onto your routine. Once you raise the intensity level there is really little way to go back down and still achieve results. Do just enough to get results. People who start with the "muscleheadmag" routine of 6 sets per exercise exhaust themselves and cannot really return to a 2-3 sets per bodypart without lowering their intensity and jeopardizing results. In the split routine you mentioned, I would move back and shoulders ahead of bi's and abs. Most lat work also involves the biceps and the biceps can quickly become the limiting factor (so your lats never get stressed). I would do deadlifts on your legs day. It's better to trash them with everything on one day and let them rest than to do some leg work every day. HTH, James
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 7:17:15 PM EDT
Thanks James4. About not getting too happy about doing too many splits, do you mean I should just stick with maybe a 2 way split for now? (I've been lifting for about 1 month so far) I don't think I can fit a whole body workout into 45 minutes, I'm normally doing 3 sets of 6-10 reps(depending on the exercise) with around 2-4 exercises per muscle group.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 7:37:11 PM EDT
Sumo2000, You should consider switching your bicep day and back day. Compound movements involved in working your back like pulldowns, rows, etc. work the crap out of your biceps. Having your biceps weak during your back day could hurt your strength development in the long run.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 4:45:17 PM EDT
Gotcha, thanks.
Link Posted: 6/25/2003 1:04:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sumo2000: Thanks James4. About not getting too happy about doing too many splits, do you mean I should just stick with maybe a 2 way split for now? (I've been lifting for about 1 month so far) I don't think I can fit a whole body workout into 45 minutes, I'm normally doing 3 sets of 6-10 reps(depending on the exercise) with around 2-4 exercises per muscle group.
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Hello! I would drop the number of exercises per muscle group to 1-3. One for the single-joint exercises at the end of the routine (like delt flyes) and three for the multi-joint exercises at the beginning of the routine (like bench press). I would also drop the number of reps to the 5-8 range. If you have only been lifting for a month, you should probably still be doing a whole-body routine and working on intensity and form. Stick to a few basic exercises and make sure you are adding a little to the bar each time. By a little to the bar each time, I mean that, once you have your initial gains in poundage lifted (which may take a few weeks), add a little to the bar 2.5lbs (at most 5lbs) per session for 3 workouts straight. Then, for the 4th workout, subtract 2.5lbs to 5lbs. For example, lifting whole body 2x per week. Mon#1: 100lbs Thur#1: 105lbs Mon#2: 110lbs Thur#2: 105lbs -or- Mon#1: 50.0lbs Thur#1: 52.5lbs Mon#2: 55.0lbs Thur#2: 52.5lbs For 2.5lbs, you can not insert the pin all the way into the weight stack on the cable machines and then hang a 2.5lb plate from the olympic barbell sets on the pin. Adding only 2.5lbs every two weeks may not seem like a lot, but over a 48-week year (the other weeks are rest), you would end up working with a 60lb heavier weight from the 50lbs you started at (110lbs would be your new working weight). Similarly, only 5lbs every two weeks would move your 100lb bench press to 220lb in a year, theoretically. That's not bad although you would probably plateau before-hand (then simply drop 2 steps for every 3 steps up). HTH, James
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