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5 Day Split, Upper Lower, or Something Else?

Hey guys

I’m 23 years old. 5"5, 148 lbs. An intermediate lifter, did programs like starting strength before. Upper lower splits, iron addicts routine, a few.

I’m really tryna gain a lot of size and get big all over especially arms n chest. My eating and diet is all dialed in so I know this is very impt. I want to be big but also have low bodyfat.

Question is, would doing a 5 day split hitting each muscle hard once a week , 3 sets 8 to 10 reps, 3 to 4 exercises per bodypart be the best way to accompolish my goals? Or would an upper lower split like Lyle mCdonalds help me more? I’ve heard that hitting a muscle group once a week only works well for guys on steroids. Not natural lifter and I’m natural, but I’ve also heard that its the best way to train for size period. So I’m really confused. Which is the most optimal way for my goals? My 5 day split wud be also very little rest inbetween sets a minunute or less. Plz help! Thx in advance

Best lifts?

What you heard is wrong. Natural lifters have built a lot of size from hitting a muscle group once a week. Upper/lower split works too as any other reasonable split like push/pull/legs etc. Actually if you adjust the volume then any frequency can work like once a week, once every 5 days, once every 2 days etc. IMO as the the training age increases then the optimal training frequency of a muscle group should decrease. This is because advanced lifters need extreme loads to disurpt homeostasis which means high intensity/volume -----> lower frequency.

Thanks, so if you guys had to pick which would you suggest? The 5 day split im doing right now looks like this:

Mondays workout:
quads and Calves
Squats: 3 sets between 6-10 reps
Leg extensions: 3 sets… 8-10
Lunges: 3x6-10
standing calf raises 4 sets between 15-20 reps …140
steated calf raises 4 sets between 15-20 reps…65

Tuesday: Shoulders, hammies and cardio session
Dumbell presses: 3 sets between 6-10 reps…40
Side laterals 3 sets at 8-10 reps…30
Rear laterals - 3 sets 8-10 …20
Dumbell shruggs: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Straight leg deadlifts with dumbells… 3 sets of 8-10 reps
leg curls 3 sets of 8-10 reps…75

Cardio session 20 min hit session

Wednesday: Tri’s, bis cardio
Close grip bench - 3x6 to 8 reps
Skulls 3x8 - 10…
Pushdowns 3x8-10…4

Standing barbell curls: 3 sets of 8-10 reps…
single arm concentration curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps…
hammer curls, one arm at a time: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Thursday Back
wide grip pulldowns to the front… 3 sets of 8-10 reps
close grip pulldowns to the front 3 sets of 8-10 rep
single arm rowing: 3 sets with each arm reps between 6-10
wide grip bent over rowing: 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

Friday: Chest and cardio
Flat bench press, alternate between bar and dumbells 3 sets of 8-10 reps…200
incline press, alternate betwen bar and dumbells 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Dips 3 sets to all out failure
Pushups to finish up the workout: slightly wide stance and hit 3 sets to failure

^So, would I be better off and make better gains doing this program, or a different program, or an upper/lower like:

Mon: Lower
Squat: 3-4X6-8/3’ (3-4 sets of 6-8 with a 3’ rest)…
SLDL or leg curl: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Lunge 3x10
Another leg curl: 2-3X10-12/2’…
Calf raise: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Seated calf: 2-3X10-12/2’…

Tue: Upper
Flat bench: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Row: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Incline bench 2-3X10-12/2’,…
Pulldown/chin: 2-3X10-12/2’…
Biceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5’…
Triceps - 2x 12 - 15

Thurs: Lower
Deadlift: 3-4X6-8/3’ (3-4 sets of 6-8 with a 3’ rest)…
Lunges 2-3X10-12/2’…
leg curl: 2-3X10-12/2’…
Calf raise: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Seated calf: 2-3X10-12/2’…
Shugss 3x8 to 10

Flat bench: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Incline flys…3x10…
Row: 3-4X6-8/3’…
Mill press: 2-3X10-12/2’… . 10 reps
Pulldown/chin: 2-3X10-12/2’.
Triceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5’…
Biceps: 1-2X12-15/1.5’…

Dude… it doesn’t matter. Pick whichever one works best for YOU. And then get better at everything you do in that routine.

Please just go to the beginner section of the forum and pick a preset program that’ll work for your goals.

SO, either routine will work fine, whichever works for me is best?

[quote]naturalguy69 wrote:
SO, either routine will work fine, whichever works for me is best?[/quote]

Just read this - all of it. The first program you design for yourself will not be perfect and you will probably need to change a bunch of shit. However, you’re going to need to learn yourself and your body anyway, so you might as well start early.

uh im not a begginer bro, and i didnt just “make up” this routine.

just please answer the question, damn.

He did answer it, take one of those routines and progress on your lifts it doesn’t matter that your not a beginner strength is all about progression.

I guess my legs are on steroids but my chest isn’t.

The frequency that I hit a body part entirely depends on the intensity of the workout, the condition of my joints, what I’m trying to focus on, the recovery abilities of the person, ie: IT’S ALL INDIVIDUAL!

For example, I only train my legs with quad dominant movements once a week (any kind of pulling/deadlift variation can be done up to three times) simply because adding in any more work would just be overkill for my knees. Whereas I train my chest twice a week, incorporating high-incline movements into shoulder day meaning that my upper chest can get some stimulation up to three times a week.

Secondly, the assertion of you being “intermediate” might delude you into thinking simpler programs that mostly build a base of strength aren’t going to work for you. Since you can’t pick your own program without help, you’re probably not “intermediate”.

Your current routine has you performing dumbbell deadlifts and dumbbell shrugs- unless you have up to 220lb dumbbells in your gym then I’d venture to say that your level of strength in those movements isn’t that high. I doubt you’re as advanced as you may think you are, swallowing some pride and just doing something labelled for “beginners” won’t automatically halt your progress.

I suggest you click on Kingbeef’s routine thread and get going from there, as SSC said:

EDIT: If those numbers after the exercise is the weight you are using (eg 200lbs for bench press), then trust me when I say you could benefit from dropping the ego and going to the beginner forum.

Whatever happened to experimentation these days? I understand wanting a little guidance, but to feel the need to ask about which program without even having an idea what frequency your bodyparts respond to?? Completely agree with WP

One thing that really attracted me to bodybuilding was the whole “work things out” part of it. Example - train your chest, see how soon you can train it again and push more. Do squats, see how soon you can squat again and progress…etc