T Nation

2 Way Split

I’m planning on hitting the gym 3xwk because of my schedule. I’m debating a couple of options and would love to hear your guys opinion on this.

option 1

monday-chest/back
wednesday-arms
friday-chest/back

the following week would be reversed so everything gets hit 3 times in 2 wks. The idea with this split is that a muscle gets hit directly once every 5 days but indirectly on the other workout days as things like pullups, chins, dips ect hit the arms and the torso. This seems similar to Waterburys High Frequency Training and might be a good break in program to his programs

option 2
monday-chest/tris
wed-back/bis
fri-chest/tris

as above the following split is reversed the following wk. This split allows for more recovery and is alittle more of a traditional split.

What are your guys thoughts? Would the first split lead overtraining because of the overlap? Is the second split not frequent enough to elicit gains? As for sets/reps the first split would probably see slightly lower volume because of the overlap 6-8 sets per bodypart. The second split would use somewhat higher volume. Legs are getting hit as well but just simplifying the question to upper body. thanks in advance guys.

No advice, just a question. WHAT ABOUT THE LEGS?

The legs are hit 3xwk with pistols, 1 legged squats etc. We do 2x5 with Pavels methods as this is ideal for my line of work. We also deadlift every other wk. Lower body is on maintenence and is trained strictly for strength as too much lower body mass is actually in a negative for what I do.

aslater,

I’m not fond of hitting any body parts less than three days per week. Especially when you are looking for rapid gains.

I’m not saying that you can’t make gains hitting a body part every 5 days, as you suggest in one of your schedules above. However, it’s not the most efficient way to build muscle.

Bob Hoffman, owner of "Strength & Health magazine, the Olympic Weight Lifting Coach and who trained some real monsters of his day back in the 50’s and 60’s was a big advocate of three times per week training.

More recently we have seen articles from noteworthys such as Chad Waterbury regarding the benefits of frequent training.

It’s about frequency, not intensity! Not that you can’t train hard, you do. But you don’t go to failure. Hoffman was a big believer in training hard but stopping at about two reps before failure.

I would go to a three times per week schedule: M-W-F. You cut back on your sets but you hit them more frequently during the week.

Let’s say you trained a bodypart once per week and performed 6 sets for that body part. You would now train it three times per week and perform maybe 3 sets per session. At the end of the week you have a total of 9 sets for that body part instead of 6. And even better than that, you hit it on three different occasions!

Also, if you don’t do more than just pistols for your legs you will eventually become disproportioned. If weights build the upper body they also build the lower as well. Otherwise, all you would need to master for the chest, for example, is the one armed Push-up. Makes no sense huh?

Good Luck,

Zeb

i’m really not feeling that routine.

if you can only train three times per week, do a total body training program or an upper/lower split. and why did you neglect to mention any leg/lower bosy training in your original post?

Thanks for the input guys, its greatly appreciated. The reason for no mention of leg work is that my legs are a strong point and I need to keep my leg mass down because of my line of work so the pistols and deadlifts keep the lower body in shape.

My intentions with alternating chest/back day with arms on another was to keep the frequency at 3xwk for each bodypart whether its directly or indirectly to keep in line with the current trend of higher frequency which I agree with. Also I could still do this while still increasing volume somewhat by splitting them up. Instead of doing 3 sets 3 times a wk like a full body workout I could do 6 sets per bodypart each workout on direct training days and slightly less on indirect days. Any thoughts?

any more thoughts?

Are you a rock climber? Becauase thats the only thing I could see justifying your thinking here.

No Im a tactical response guard at a nuclear facility. Im having a hard time understanding why squat and deadlift variations arent enough for leg work? Do you suggest I do sissy squat, leg extension etc? My legs are far and away my biggest bodypart from a hypertrophy standpoint so I tend to lean towards strength training instead of pure hypertrophy work when training legs. 30"+ thighs arent the greatest thing when you have to climb ropes, scale a wall etc. Sorry for the sarcasim but not sure what your point was. . .