T Nation

5 Day Split Help

I’m starting a new 5 day a week split and was hopin for some help and criticism (change anything, remove anything ect.) anyways here it is-

The set/rep scheme is to work up to 1 max set in the 8-12 range and progress in weight on the upper end of the reps

  1. Back and Bi’s
    A)DL
    B)Chest supported rows
    C)E Z bar curl
    D)Hammer Curl
    E)Shurgs

  2. Chest and tri’s
    A)Incline BP
    B)Dips
    C)HS Chest Press
    D)Skull crushers
    E)Rope pushdowns

3.OFF

  1. Legs and abs
    A)Squat
    B)Lunge
    C)Leg Press
    D)Leg curl
    E)Leg raises

  2. Back and bi’s
    A)Chins
    B)Seated rows
    C)EZ bar curl
    D)Hammer curl
    E)Shrugs

  3. Shoulders
    A)Seated shoulder press
    B)Lateral Raises
    C)Front raise
    D)Rear Delt raise
    E)Face pull

7.OFF

Looks pretty solid to me. Although it’s easy to get the title mixed up (thought you meant 5 way split), which would be completely different from the 3 way that you’ve shown.

The only person who can tell you how good a split is…is you. Once you’ve tried it, see if it feels like there’s any redundant exercises in there etc. If you’re muscle feels fully worked after just two exercises, stop there.

If it was me, I wouldn’t do quite as many exercises, but I’m in no position to say “no, cut down the volume”, if it worked for you. Also, it depends on other factors such as experience and stress etc.

If you don’t need to stick to a ridged schedule, I’d consider taking extra days off where needed.

Another thing; do the rep range that feels/works the best for each muscle group (this will be personal to you).

Like for me, I don’t like going far above 8 reps for upper body (with the exception of back and shoulders). And for lower body, I find that it works best around the 12 rep mark.

The way I can usually tell (and it seems to do the trick), is to rep to the point of a good pump (your last set should make you feel pumped). I know that the pump isn’t essential in growth, but the point where you get one seems to be a good indicator. It’s like a balance between that “bruised” feeling deep in the muscle, and a pump. If you don’t get either, you probably didn’t stimulate as much as you could have.

Hm, bit of a lack of width exercises? You only do chins and it’s easy to let the bis do too much of the work there…

If you want to limit your width work to 1 exercise per week, then I’d personally go with rack chins (pronated) ala DC.

its me whats the difference between a 5 way and a 5 day? I almost wrote 5 way in the title lol. And as for the volume thing u were right, today I did legs and felt I couldnt handle doing the leg press so I decided to substitute it with quad extensions and I also added 2 calf exercises (standing calf raise and seated calf raise). Also thanks for the advice about sets and reps, that part was kind of confusing me. I guess I’ll probably change it once I see what I like.

cephalic I actually got the idea of this split from you in a different thread so thanks. What do you think I should add for width? I was actually trying to make one back day for width and one for thickness but I wasn’t sure what else to add because pulldowns seem redundant because of the pullups

Also what do you guys think about doing dip and pull ups for “as many sets to get 50” and then add weight once I get it in like 4 sets?

[quote]spyguy92 wrote:
its me whats the difference between a 5 way and a 5 day?
…[/quote]

Well, to me there is not any difference. If someone said they are doing a “5 day split”, I would take that to mean they do a split for which it takes 5 days to do a complete rotation… same as if they said “5 way split”.

[quote]spyguy92 wrote:

cephalic I actually got the idea of this split from you in a different thread so thanks. What do you think I should add for width? I was actually trying to make one back day for width and one for thickness but I wasn’t sure what else to add because pulldowns seem redundant because of the pullups
[/quote]

Not C_C, but do you have any Hammer Strength machines at your gym - namely the front lat pulldown and/or the pullover? Both of those work well for width I’ve found. I don’t get much out of pull-ups, so I do these for width exercises instead.

[quote]spyguy92 wrote:
its me whats the difference between a 5 way and a 5 day? I almost wrote 5 way in the title lol. And as for the volume thing u were right, today I did legs and felt I couldnt handle doing the leg press so I decided to substitute it with quad extensions and I also added 2 calf exercises (standing calf raise and seated calf raise). Also thanks for the advice about sets and reps, that part was kind of confusing me. I guess I’ll probably change it once I see what I like.

cephalic I actually got the idea of this split from you in a different thread so thanks. What do you think I should add for width? I was actually trying to make one back day for width and one for thickness but I wasn’t sure what else to add because pulldowns seem redundant because of the pullups
[/quote]

There is no difference if you said it like that and meant a 5 way, but in the context in which YOU said it, there is a difference - you meant that you’d be working out 5 days a week (this has nothing to do with the split).

A 3 way split can be done working out 3 days/week, or 5 days/week…or whatever you chose.

A 5 day per week could mean using 2 way, or a 3 way split…or whatever.

Confused yet?

Split = how the body is divided
Day = how often you train

[quote]spyguy92 wrote:
Also what do you guys think about doing dip and pull ups for “as many sets to get 50” and then add weight once I get it in like 4 sets?[/quote]

If you are ramping, you will take as many sets as it takes to fully stimulate the muscle. Try not to be conditioned into counting reps/sets methodically (as if a set “formulae” knows your body better).

If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re muscle feels fully worked (pumped/bruised), then next time add weight (so long as you feel that you’d “comfortably” beat it/dominate it next time). This usually takes about at least 3 or 4 work sets (when ramping). According to what CT has said in the past, sets should be in the 6-10 range before increasing weight.

To quote CT:

Let’s assume a 400 lbs max bench press… a bench progression could look like this:

Bar x 15-20 reps (warm-up)
135lbs x 1 (feel set)
185lbs x 1 (feel set)
225lbs x 1 (feel set)
240lbs x 5 (work set)
270lbs x 5 (work set)
300lbs x 5 (work set)
320lbs x 5 (work set)
340lbs x 5 (work set)
350lbs x 5 (work set) … barely got that 5th rep = end of exercise

See how simple that is? lol…don’t make it complicated :slight_smile:

Just increase the weight on each set by 10-20lbs until you fail (or near enough) and that’s your last set.

Another good reason for ramping is that you only do what your body can handle that day - if you tried to force yourself to do “XY” because it says so in your routine/plan, then you just dig yourself further into a “pit”.

5-way = Body / work-load is split up 5 ways.

Does not say anything about how many days you actually train per week. Could be 1-7 (realistically 5-6 for most, obviously).

5-day = 5 days per week. Says nothing about how many ways you split up the body/workload.

Could be 2-way split or a 5000-way split :slight_smile:

5-way over 5 days per week = everything once a week.

5-way over 6 days a week = some bodypart/workout gets trained twice directly.

4-way over 5 days = same as above.

Get it?

The split you posted is a 4-way split over 5 days per week, not a continuous cycle but a back spec routine.

As for width exercises… Hm.

HS pulldown or HS high row on the back day where you do deadlifts (or put the deadlifts on leg day instead)

Here’s an example of what I would do with this kind of routine (assuming you want to train back and bis twice per week):

  1. Chest and tri’s (first and after off-day because a fatigued back = weak setup on the bench = easier to get injured and mediocre performance)
    A)Incline BP (possibly DB)
    B)HS Chest Press
    C)Pullover+Extensions (retracted scapulae), upper arms stop at angle, not vertical, or DSE’s or JM presses in HS incline machine (not wide incline)… Or In-Human press.
    D)DB Extensions, lying, upper arms stop at an angle, not vertical
    (E) possibly pec deck…)

  2. Back and Bi’s

A)HS low rows or whatever, mind the retraction part. Or T-bar rows.
B)HS High rows or HS Pulldowns or some other width move
C)Shrugs only as activation exercise (want fresh traps for leg day), i.e. explosive triples or so, only a few sets, not maximal weight. Or none at all.
D)EZ or Alt. Curls
B)HS Curl machine / Pinwheels / Hammers / Conc. Curls… Whatever.

3.OFF

  1. Legs and abs
    A)Sumo Deadlift (ramped in threes, dead stop, smaller weight jumps, to max force point… Then do doubles at that weight or drop 20% and rep out touch and go or so) or regular deadlift (if you must)
    B)Leg Press or Hack Squat Machine
    C)Leg curl or Hamstring leg press or Reverse Hyper Machine
    D)Ab Wheel Roll-outs
    (you can add some extensions after leg press/hack if you must… I don’t use them much… Would rather go all out on the leg press/hack)

  2. Shoulders (add a bit of tri work if you wish)
    A)Seated shoulder press
    B)Machine Lateral Raises
    C)Face Pulls or Reverse Pec Deck

  3. Back and bi’s
    A)Rack Chins (pronated)
    B)Seated rows (mind the retraction part)…
    E)Shrugs (might not do those due to sumo deadlifts)
    C)Pinwheel or Hammer Curls
    D)Preacher Machine or Cable or whatever

7.OFF

I think that’s it… Something like that, anyway. I don’t like having 1 width and 1 thickness day. It works okay for Incline/flat chest work, but for back, I find it’s too redundant on each day respectively.
Rather train both width and thickness both days with somewhat less work each.

Oh, and the reps on the top set (s) really depend on the exercise for me…

About the dips/pullups:
I don’t like them too much, but whatever… Dips suck for the shoulders long-term, and I never got much out of them even with extreme weights… Pull-ups are okay-ish but only if you can actually use your back properly… And doing a billion chins = bicep tendonitis.
Doing 50 reps of either per session is not what I’d do at all… Rather, if you want to get better at them, do them 4-5 days per week with lower volume… 15-25 total reps or so… Really depends on how strong you already are… You can probably do them 4-6 days at 1 set only per day and get up from 1 rep to 12-15 per set that way alone within a few weeks or so.

Take it easy with those two exercises if you do them and work your way up slowly if you aren’t an experienced trainee yet.

thanks guys I appreciate the help a lot

One more question for ceph- how come you don’t recommend any squats? Also you seem like your against regular deads too? just looking for your opinion cuz you seem like a knowledgable guy and everyone else on here is in love with them both

The exercise selection is just an example… What I’d personally do, basically.

You can do squats and conv. deads if you want, or rack pulls or whatever you like, just keep recovery in mind.