T Nation

3 Day Split Help

Hello,

I’ve been following a basic 3 day split - training 4 days a week. It’s a basic Push / Pull / Legs split. It gives ample amount of time to recover. I was thinking of switching it up a bit. I feel that training shoulders after chest is really limiting in terms of weight used.

Does anybody have or know of a decent 3 way split that isn’t based on PushPullLegs?

Thanks

Day 1: Chest & Back
Day 2: Quads, Hamstrings, & Shoulder
Day 3: Biceps, Triceps, & Calves

OR

Day 1: Chest & Biceps
Day 2: Quads, Hamstrings, & Shoulder
Day 3: Back, Triceps, & Calves

OR

Day 1: Chest & Triceps
Day 2: Quads, Hamstrings, & Shoulder
Day 3: Back, Biceps, & Calves

Heavy weight, 6-12 reps, 3-4 sets, 3-4 exercises per muscle group.

Thank for the above.

Like i said in the original post, the only issue I really have with this split is the fact that my shoulders tire out so fast from the chest presses. Would this be a good solution.:?

  • Push 1) Incline Bench / *Standing DB press / Dips (standing because i train alone and i feel that the db’s are easier to get into position when
    standing over sitting)

  • Push 2) DB Bench / Mil Press (seated) / Skulls

I’ve noticed a lot of people on this forum choose to use a Chest/Arms - Legs - Back/Delts option as a 3 day split. This also looks good but is there a problem with hitting tri’s, bi’s and shoulders more frequently then the rest?

Thanks

Many of Poliquin’s articles recommend:

Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Legs/Abs
Day 3: OFF
Day 4: Shoulders/Bi/Tri
Day 5: OFF

Two 3 day splits I’ve used in the past and like are:

Day 1 - Chest/Back
Day 2 - Legs
Day 3 - Shoulders/Bicep/Tricep

Chest/Back and Bicep/Tricep are done in antagonistic pairing fashion.
For example:

Set 1: DB Bench Press
rest
Set 2: DB Row
rest
Set 3: DB Bench Press
rest
Set 4: DB Row
etc …

OR

Day 1 - Chest/Bicep
Day 2 - Legs
Day 3 - Back/Shoulders/Tricep

All Upperbody work is done as pairs

For example:

Set 1: DB Bench Press
rest
Set 2: DB Hammer Curl
rest
Set 3: DB Bench Press
rest
Set 4: DB Hammer Curl
etc …

Bingbeast you are right I use Dorian’s Split…

Day 1
Chest/Biceps/Triceps
Day 2
Legs/Calves/Abs
Day 3
Off
Day 4
Back/Shoulders/traps
Day 5 off
repeat

Same amount of rest as BufSaxDude’s split. That extra rest will help you make killer gains.
it is the one I am currently on, good rule of thumb is don’t go over about 9 working sets/bodypart

  • I never had problems with it, I don’t think you work bis/tris/shldrs more frequently (at least not directly)
    and it is the same for the 3day Poliquin (Chest/Back, legs, shlrds/arms) - you work arms once directly and once indirectly and always a day off between even if you ran the split 3on 1off.

thanks for all the suggestions. I really like the Chest/Back - Legs - Shoulders/Arms split. Just one other question… can this 3 day split be performed 4+ days, or is it intended for 3 days a week only?

Thanks

[quote]Bingbeast wrote:
thanks for all the suggestions. I really like the Chest/Back - Legs - Shoulders/Arms split. Just one other question… can this 3 day split be performed 4+ days, or is it intended for 3 days a week only?

Thanks[/quote]

The split is 3 out of 5 (not 7) days, so in a week (7 days) you will train at least 4 days.

It goes like this:

Monday: Day 1 - Chest/Back
Tuesday: Day 2: Legs/Abs
Wednesday: Day 3: Off
Thursday: Day 4: Shoulders/Arms
Friday: Day 5: Off

(repeat 5 day cycle)

Saturday: Day 1 - Chest/Back
Sunday: Day 2: Legs/Abs

etc…

So in the previous example you worked out 5 days in one week, but it will almost always average to 4 days per week. The annoying thing with this type of split is that you never train the same days of the week.

You can always have 4 “fixed” training days per week, but then some days you’d hit “shoulders/arms” the day before “chest/back”. It’s not the end of the world, but some guys don’t like that.

I’m surprised nobody chucked up the good ol’:

Day 1 Chest Tri’s
Day 2 Back Bi’s
Day 3 Legs Shoulders

If you want to Dead and Squat in the same week, then a rest day might be good between days 2 and 3.

Out of curiousity and not really on topic, but is there a reason you want to use a 3 day split rather than a 4 or 5 day?? Especially if you’re worried about recovery between Chest and Shoulder sessions.

[quote]Bingbeast wrote:
…is there a problem with hitting tri’s, bi’s and shoulders more frequently then the rest?[/quote]

No because smaller muscle groups recover faster than larger muscle groups. If you start to lag on recovery of your arms and shoulders just simply cut back on the frequency.

thanks for the info …

Bams: I used to train with a standard 4 split but didn’t really like it as much as a 3 day push/pull/legs split. I’m not a huge fan of high volume, so I would basically choose 1 maybe 2 lifts per movement or body part and hit it with everything I have. I honestly felt like doing more then 2 exercises per bodypart (especially the smaller ones) to be over kill.

[quote]Bingbeast wrote:
I honestly felt like doing more then 2 exercises per bodypart (especially the smaller ones) to be over kill. [/quote]

Your body will adapt to high volume if you keep on telling it to do more and more. I always have a minimum of 3 exercises for 3-4 sets per muscle group but I’m sure you know the saying, “different strokes for different folks”.

Edit: Sorry Bams for stealing your thunder, answer/statement wasn’t directed to me.

Yeah, somedays I feel the same way mate. Ill get into the gym and cant be f’d doing the exercises I planned on doing so I’ll change it up a little and try some new shit.

How about Shoulders at the start of the training week. Then you can hit chest on a day thats further into your training week. Have you tried this?

Based on the split I suggested before

Shoulders/Legs
Back/Bi’s
Chest/Tris
off
off : Possibly two off days so the residual fatigue from Chest/Tris doesnt affect the shoulder day at the start of the next training week.

All the splits suggested by the other members above are good splits, but if you want to work Shoulders and build up their work/recovery capacity train them first in the week.

[quote]Fuzzyapple wrote:
Bingbeast wrote:
I honestly felt like doing more then 2 exercises per bodypart (especially the smaller ones) to be over kill.

Your body will adapt to high volume if you keep on telling it to do more and more. I always have a minimum of 3 exercises for 3-4 sets per muscle group but I’m sure you know the saying, “different strokes for different folks”.

Edit: Sorry Bams for stealing your thunder, answer/statement wasn’t directed to me. [/quote]

Don’t worry bout it mate. No thunder to steal so it’s all good =D

again, thanks for the info. Fuzzy, I agree with your point. I should probably try to add more volume to my routine, which is actually what i used to do.

I have never used any of the above splits but they all seem good to me. I have already started by switching to the Chest/Back - Legs - Shoulders/Arms. So far so good.

Just my two cents. I have always had good success using a three day split with 5-6 workouts a week. I feel like splitting it up any more means you are not working enough muscle for systemic effect, but I also hate not hitting the gym on rest days. If your beating your log book there is nothing wrong with your frequency IMO.