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5 Day A Week! Split vs. Full Body

I Have been working out for about two years, more or less. I started out very slow, but soon I really got into it after about the first 3 months and have been taking it very seriously. But I have got to a point where I feel like its time for a drastic change as in style of my work out so I’m just looking for some advice for a new schedule to get on.

Currently I am doing a basic 5 day a week 2 a day workout.

Monday: AM Legs
Tuesday:AM Back/Bis or chest/Tris
Wendsday: AM Cardio/Abs
Thursday: AM Opposite of thursdays work out alternating
Friday: AM shoulders

In the PM each day I go back and ride the stationary bike for about an hour with a set of abs every 20 mins, so three sets of abs.

I want to completely change it up now rather then just continue tweaking the exercises like I have.

I am thinking of switching to a full body workout 5 days a week. I am looking for some suggestions or even planned workouts, to experiment with myself.

Thanks,
D

[quote]KrayzieD wrote:
I Have been working out for about two years, more or less. I started out very slow, but soon I really got into it after about the first 3 months and have been taking it very seriously. But I have got to a point where I feel like its time for a drastic change as in style of my work out so I’m just looking for some advice for a new schedule to get on.

Currently I am doing a basic 5 day a week 2 a day workout.

Monday: AM Legs
Tuesday:AM Back/Bis or chest/Tris
Wendsday: AM Cardio/Abs
Thursday: AM Opposite of thursdays work out alternating
Friday: AM shoulders

In the PM each day I go back and ride the stationary bike for about an hour with a set of abs every 20 mins, so three sets of abs.

I want to completely change it up now rather then just continue tweaking the exercises like I have.

I am thinking of switching to a full body workout 5 days a week. I am looking for some suggestions or even planned workouts, to experiment with myself.

Thanks,
D[/quote]

Goals?
Starting weight/current weight?
Diet?

Full body 5 days a week might be a great way to go, or it might be counterproductive, it really depends on what you’re trying to get out of it.

If the goal is mass, then I would not suggest doing 5 full body workouts a week. Remember that your body doesn’t grow in the gym, it grows out of the gym. The gym is just where you stimulate the growth. You then have to give the body the time and nutrients it needs to recover and improve itself.

Now, I know that some people argue that the “dual factor” theory is a superior way of going about things, and perhaps for performance oriented individuals that may be the case, or for people with truly limited time periods in which to gain mass. But, I’m still not convinced that it’s the best way to go for a bodybuilder/someone who’s primary goal is building muscle.

3 full body workouts a week would honestly be the highest that I would suggest anyone go, and even then I’d really only suggest that to beginners. Sure, you could do a conjugated approach where Monday was heavy (say 8x3), Wednesday was medium (say 2x12), and Thursday was light (say 1x24) and that can work ok.

But personally I’m a big believer in the “stimulate, rest, repair, super compensate” model. It’s worked for countless bodybuilders over literally decades of time now. If you wish to experiment with newer models of training then feel free, after all it’s your time. I’m just telling you what I’ve experienced works and what I’ve seen many other individuals use that also produced results in them.

In the end it’s your decision. But you wanted an opinion, so there is mine.

Very much appreciated Sentoguy.

Yeah My current weith is between 165 and 170 I am about 5’9 and my goals are to just stay cut and feel great. I wouldnt mind getting back to about 180, but I dont think I would go any higher then 185 max.

My current schedual works best for me to go early in the AM about 5-530 then go home and make some breakfast. And I just go in the evenings with my dad to do cardio, riding the stationary bike.

[quote]KrayzieD wrote:
Very much appreciated Sentoguy.

Yeah My current weith is between 165 and 170 I am about 5’9 and my goals are to just stay cut and feel great. I wouldnt mind getting back to about 180, but I dont think I would go any higher then 185 max.

My current schedual works best for me to go early in the AM about 5-530 then go home and make some breakfast. And I just go in the evenings with my dad to do cardio, riding the stationary bike. [/quote]

Well, honestly if your goal is just to maintain, then really you don’t need to change anything. If you want to try the 5 full body per week schedule feel free, you might just have to alter your diet slightly in order to find the right balance again.

If you want to get up to 185 then a split would probably be a better way to go. Though honestly I like Push/Pull/Legs or Upper/Lower better than traditional body part splits. If you did an Upper/Lower you could go Monday, Wednesday, Friday and alternate between Upper and Lower days and then do cardio on the off days. That’d still be 5 days a week, but in my experience that schedule works better for building mass.

As far as staying lean, that once again comes down to the diet and if needed keeping up on the cardio (which doesn’t seem like it’ll be a problem for you). Just remember that the hardest thing to do is to actually build new muscle. Maintaining that muscle is easier than gaining it in the first place, but harder than losing it. And losing muscle is the easiest thing to do.

My suggestion would be to work hard to build up to a lean 185 (since you suggested that weight) and then see where you want to go from there. If you feel like you’re too big, then it’ll be pretty easy to drop weight. If you like that weight then maintaining it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Good luck and good training.

If you’re a beginner who wants to start off by putting in a lot of effort and you’re ready to just kick your own ass from the get-go then 5 a day full-body could be good.

If you’re advanced then you could still do full body 5 days a week but you’d have to be smart about overlap and volume used. (like do vertical pulling and pushing and deadlifts tuesday and thursday but do horizontal pulling and pushing monday, wednesday, and friday and do squats or leg press then).

I am some what a beginner… I have been in great shape my whole life, through sports so my body can take whatever I put it through thats not an issue. Plus I worked out alot in highschool and my first couple year of college, so I have a muscular foundation. (I am only 21, well my birthday was a few days a go but I’m still sayin 21)

I am not so much worried about gaining weight or losing weight, but I want to stay cut or defined and eventually WORK my way back up to around 180 lbs of SOLID MUSCLE!

So that is my basic goal, and I love to WORK HARD!

Here’s something to think about for you bodybuilding dudes:

Over 10 years of training I’ve screwed around with basically every system of training I came across. Since I started training for powerlifting, I’ve done Korte’s 3x3 (which actually works very well,) a basic Westside template, linear periodization, Albert Fomin’s approach, a bunch of other shit, etc… The way that you train actually does matter w/r/t your total.

BUT…it doesn’t really matter w/r/t gaining size. It might sound wacky, but when I think back, I’ve basically gained 6-8 lbs. of muscle per year since I started training. Not much at any one time but it adds up. I’ve done all kinds of different shit but I generally train hard and have been consistent. I haven’t missed more than 2 weeks of training for any stretch over the last 10 years. If one year I gained 8 lbs and another I gained 6, the difference was almost certainly not attribuatble to how I trained over the course of that year, but to other factors. I think that’s just how it is for most people.

You have the ability to gain at a certain rate, you eat and rest and manage stress to maximize it, and you provide the stimulus. There are lots of ways to provide the stimulus, but as long as there’s sufficient stimulus to grow, it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of difference what training choices you make to provide the stimulus. Just be patient and persistent, and if you want to do something to make it happen as fast as possible, eat more, rest more, relax more. If you want to make it happen really fast, use special supplements.

How does that relate to your post? Over the long term, whether you train each bodypart once a week or five times a week, your size gains will probably be pretty close…so do what makes you happy.

Really that simple.

As a personal trainer i have been doing some solid research on the “perfect” 5 day split, and while there obviously isnt one, because it needs to be tailored to an individual, this is what i am using now:

Mon : Legs
Tues: Back
Wed: Chest
Thurs: Off
Fri: Shoulders
sat: Arms
sun: Off

Legs while fresh because it is so physically demanding, I do Back befor Chest because i dont want chest to be sore for chinups ect (for some not so educated, yes pec major does adduction too!), the rest sort of explains itself, obviously work some abs/core into it as you would see fit, but “generally” each body part should be very fresh for each workout.

Remember your periodization, low volume and high volume, incorperate full body workouts some weeks, use supersets, use eccentrics, isometrics, forced reps(occasionaly), Dont give your body a chance to adapt to what you are doing, or its straight to plateausville. And obviously eat!!!

(this is tailored towards hypertrophy).

Chad Waterbury’s HFT is by far the fastest way to put on muscle or recompose your body. It pisses all over splits in my experience.

Read ‘The HFT Handbook’ for a good 5 day routine. If you’re serious about putting on muscle, do ‘The 30 Day Mass Plan’.

The way you train DOES affect how fast you put on muscle, but methods of training which only train each bodypart once or twice a week won’t have much difference between them. Compare that to a high frequency program though and you’ll be putting on muscle twice as fast.

In 5 days i like to either do:

Mon-Upper
Tue-Lower
Wed-Off
Thu-Upper
Fri-Lower
Sat-Full Body
Sun-Off

OR

Mon-Chest+Quads
Tue-Back+Hams
Wed-Off
Thu-Delts+Arms
Fri-Back/Chest+Biceps
Sat-Legs/Delts+Triceps
Sun-Off

There is overlap there, but i like that. It is hivh volume, best of both worlds, you can have 2 totally independant whole body splits in one Microcycle.

At the moment i am ding 5 days with some specialization to pick up on some weaknesses - it would be over kill normally but all i do is lift eat and rest, literally :wink:

Mon-Off
Tue-Back w/ extra Chest
Wed-Arms w/ extra Lats
Thu-Delts w/ extra Chest
Fri-Off
Sat-Thighs w/ extra Lats
Sun-Chest w/ extra Arms

Joe

[quote]ILIKEHEAVYTHINGS wrote:
As a personal trainer i have been doing some solid research on the “perfect” 5 day split, and while there obviously isnt one, because it needs to be tailored to an individual, this is what i am using now:

Mon : Legs
Tues: Back
Wed: Chest
Thurs: Off
Fri: Shoulders
sat: Arms
sun: Off

Legs while fresh because it is so physically demanding, I do Back befor Chest because i dont want chest to be sore for chinups ect (for some not so educated, yes pec major does adduction too!), the rest sort of explains itself, obviously work some abs/core into it as you would see fit, but “generally” each body part should be very fresh for each workout.

Remember your periodization, low volume and high volume, incorperate full body workouts some weeks, use supersets, use eccentrics, isometrics, forced reps(occasionaly), Dont give your body a chance to adapt to what you are doing, or its straight to plateausville. And obviously eat!!!

(this is tailored towards hypertrophy).[/quote]

I did make gains off a 1x p/w frequency split in the beginning, but once i increased the frequency (especially when i learned to do that without sacrificing volume sometimes) i really blew up - well for a little lad at least! lol!

The 5 day split is hard to gain on IME, it requires a high high volume per bodypart in order to cause enough damage to make the most of the fact you have a full week to recover. That is dificult, impossible for some recoveries, and it is counterproductive for many. i find i end up maintaining on such a program as i begin to lose the small supercompentation made in the 2-3 days after the chest day or whatever.

I am currently doing a 5 day split but with other bodyparts added onto the end. If i set a maximum of 25-30 sets per workout (yup, i know it is alot) then i can still do 12-16 sets for chest and have 9-18 sets if i want to add more work in there.

JJ

Since your goal is to stay lean, you may want to investigate EDT (search this site) OR you could try a five day a week full body approach in Stripped Down Hypertrophy (also on this site).

Both require hard work, given you above posts, EDT may be your thing.