T Nation

5-Day Split

I’m getting bored with my current routine, and would like to try a 5 day split next. What do you think about the following:

Monday - Chest

Tuesday - Back

Wednesday - Biceps/Triceps

Thursday - Legs

Friday - Shoulders/Abs

I’m planning on 4 total exercises and 3 sets/exercise for each day (4 chest exercises, 2 biceps/2 triceps exercises, etc.).

You might want to throw legs in on the 3rd day. 1)chest 2)back 3)legs 4)arms 5)shoulders or however. I need the break on the upper body running consecutive days. personal opinion of course

Looks fine to me.

I don’t think biceps get hit as hard during back work as triceps do during chest. Though thats me!

[quote]forlife wrote:
I’m getting bored with my current routine, and would like to try a 5 day split next. What do you think about the following:

Monday - Chest

Tuesday - Back

Wednesday - Biceps/Triceps

Thursday - Legs

Friday - Shoulders/Abs

I’m planning on 4 total exercises and 3 sets/exercise for each day (4 chest exercises, 2 biceps/2 triceps exercises, etc.). [/quote]

Can you train on weekends? I find it hard to go 5 days in a row. It’s best to be flexible on a split so you can train instinctively.

I do:

Monday - Quads/Hams
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - Chest
Thursday - Back
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Off
Sunday - Shoulders/Traps

It works really well. I personally do a lot of volume though. I.e - 5-6 exercises (4 on chest day) of 4-6 sets.

I prefer to have more than one day between back and leg workouts. Here’s what I’m currently doing. It’s the routine I always go back to every I experiment with other stuff (stuff that just never seems to click for me)

Monday - Back
Tuesday - Chest/calves
Wednesday - off
Thursday - Legs
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Delts/Traps/calves

I also like this setup because everyone in the world does chest on monday and I don’t have time to wait for equipment.

Edit
one other thing. For the arms day. Unless you have a significant difference in bicep and tricep development I’d recommend alternating which you do first week to week. Currently I’m doing 2 weeks of tri’s first and 1 week of bi’s first and rotate it that way.

[quote]Clown Face wrote:
Looks fine to me.

I don’t think biceps get hit as hard during back work as triceps do during chest. Though thats me![/quote]

I agree, that is why my split looks just like that, except I do chest/bi.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
I prefer to have more than one day between back and leg workouts. Here’s what I’m currently doing. It’s the routine I always go back to every I experiment with other stuff (stuff that just never seems to click for me)

Monday - Back
Tuesday - Chest/calves
Wednesday - off
Thursday - Legs
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Delts/Traps/calves

I also like this setup because everyone in the world does chest on monday and I don’t have time to wait for equipment.

Edit
one other thing. For the arms day. Unless you have a significant difference in bicep and tricep development I’d recommend alternating which you do first week to week. Currently I’m doing 2 weeks of tri’s first and 1 week of bi’s first and rotate it that way. [/quote]

Do you do any trap work on Monday also?

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
I prefer to have more than one day between back and leg workouts. Here’s what I’m currently doing. It’s the routine I always go back to every I experiment with other stuff (stuff that just never seems to click for me)

Monday - Back
Tuesday - Chest/calves
Wednesday - off
Thursday - Legs
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Delts/Traps/calves

I also like this setup because everyone in the world does chest on monday and I don’t have time to wait for equipment.

Edit
one other thing. For the arms day. Unless you have a significant difference in bicep and tricep development I’d recommend alternating which you do first week to week. Currently I’m doing 2 weeks of tri’s first and 1 week of bi’s first and rotate it that way.

Do you do any trap work on Monday also?[/quote]

Well I rack pull as my third exercise of the day. I used to do them first and go all out heavy as possible but I don’t anymore. Now I focus more on pulling my shoulders back which means I can’t use maximal loads. My traps get work from that.

On shoulder/traps day I just do shrugging variations.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
countingbeans wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
I prefer to have more than one day between back and leg workouts. Here’s what I’m currently doing. It’s the routine I always go back to every I experiment with other stuff (stuff that just never seems to click for me)

Monday - Back
Tuesday - Chest/calves
Wednesday - off
Thursday - Legs
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Delts/Traps/calves

I also like this setup because everyone in the world does chest on monday and I don’t have time to wait for equipment.

Edit
one other thing. For the arms day. Unless you have a significant difference in bicep and tricep development I’d recommend alternating which you do first week to week. Currently I’m doing 2 weeks of tri’s first and 1 week of bi’s first and rotate it that way.

Do you do any trap work on Monday also?

Well I rack pull as my third exercise of the day. I used to do them first and go all out heavy as possible but I don’t anymore. Now I focus more on pulling my shoulders back which means I can’t use maximal loads. My traps get work from that.

On shoulder/traps day I just do shrugging variations. [/quote]

Cool thanks.

[quote]Monday - Back
Tuesday - Chest/calves
Wednesday - off
Thursday - Legs
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Delts/Traps/calves

I also like this setup because everyone in the world does chest on monday and I don’t have time to wait for equipment.
[/quote]

Blasphemy.

100% agree. It’s an epidemic in my gym. Especially in the 5pm-8pm hours.

I’ll try this to give my upper body a break mid-week:

Monday - Chest

Tuesday - Back

Wednesday - Legs

Thursday - Biceps/Triceps

Friday - Shoulders/Abs

I like the idea of alternating biceps/triceps order each week, although I’ll still probably do supersets since I’ve heard you build more muscle that way.

I put chest on Monday because for me it takes the most effort, and I feel best rested after a weekend off.

Splits are so one can increase volume per bodypart… why would you split the body into groups and then only train with 12 sets…

For example, 12 sets for a chest workout is ‘OK’, but if training JUST the chest and having a full 6-7 days off afterwards i would be opting for over 12 sets personally (built up over time of course… dont jump from 6 sets to 12 from one day to the next) for a natural but conditioned trainee…

Also… Chest is more of a Medium sized bodypart… with thighs and back being large. So you have the same amount of work for the whole lower body as you do for your bicep and triceps - yet this is still only 6 sets each muscle, they are small muscles but i find that when trained fresh (not after back and chest for example) they can handle a good 8 sets at least…

With a week off between sessions 12 sets PER WORKOUT is not pushing it.

I’ve done 5 day a week split, for a while:

Mon: Chest

Tues: Back

Wed: shoulders

Thur: Arms

Fri: Legs.

I now find that I have inbalances, and need to change it so im interested in hearing other peoples 5 day split. My major weakness is my chest and have crazy genetics for legs and glutes.

[quote]J-J wrote:
Splits are so one can increase volume per bodypart… why would you split the body into groups and then only train with 12 sets… [/quote] That was an uncharacteristically ignorant statement. [quote]

For example, 12 sets for a chest workout is ‘OK’, but if training JUST the chest and having a full 6-7 days off afterwards i would be opting for over 12 sets personally (built up over time of course… dont jump from 6 sets to 12 from one day to the next) for a natural but conditioned trainee…

Also… Chest is more of a Medium sized bodypart… with thighs and back being large. So you have the same amount of work for the whole lower body as you do for your bicep and triceps - yet this is still only 6 sets each muscle, they are small muscles but i find that when trained fresh (not after back and chest for example) they can handle a good 8 sets at least…

With a week off between sessions 12 sets PER WORKOUT is not pushing it.[/quote]
Why the obsession with sets? If doing more sets were somehow the key to growing larger and stronger, 90 percent of the people in this forum would be four times my size…

[quote]J-J wrote:
With a week off between sessions 12 sets PER WORKOUT is not pushing it.[/quote]

It depends. If you’re doing 8-10 reps/set and going to near failure on every set, 12 sets of chest can be an intense workout.

That said, I believe in listening to your body rather than following a mechanical formula. I usually workout for 90 minutes, so whatever it takes to maximally work the target muscles during that time is what I’m going to do.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
J-J wrote:
Splits are so one can increase volume per bodypart… why would you split the body into groups and then only train with 12 sets… That was an uncharacteristically ignorant statement.

For example, 12 sets for a chest workout is ‘OK’, but if training JUST the chest and having a full 6-7 days off afterwards i would be opting for over 12 sets personally (built up over time of course… dont jump from 6 sets to 12 from one day to the next) for a natural but conditioned trainee…

Also… Chest is more of a Medium sized bodypart… with thighs and back being large. So you have the same amount of work for the whole lower body as you do for your bicep and triceps - yet this is still only 6 sets each muscle, they are small muscles but i find that when trained fresh (not after back and chest for example) they can handle a good 8 sets at least…

With a week off between sessions 12 sets PER WORKOUT is not pushing it.
Why the obsession with sets? If doing more sets were somehow the key to growing larger and stronger, 90 percent of the people in this forum would be four times my size…
[/quote]

Either you missed the point or i didn’t do a good job at explaining it. I am most certainly not obsessed with volume and it is but a single factor of intensity.

The point is, his workout is dry… it has no intensity principles, straight sets (IIRC) AND a low frequency… in those circumstances volume is going to be the deciding factor to increase the intensity to the muscle worked.

Of course it would be fine to suggest an increase in frequency, the addition of intensity principles, lowering rest times, or some loading protocol such as pyramiding or waves… but then it wouldn’t be his workout.

The only reason i was using sets as the measurement of volume is purely down to simplicity…

For example, while some may consider total volume to be equal to (sets x reps x load), in this case, with the sets and rep range given - assuming he chose the rep range for a reason and is going to be using maximal weights for that TUT… THEN the number of sets is the simplest manner to suggest he increase (or decrease) volume in this particular program.

[quote]The1andOnly wrote:
I’ve done 5 day a week split, for a while:

Mon: Chest

Tues: Back

Wed: shoulders

Thur: Arms

Fri: Legs.

I now find that I have inbalances, and need to change it so im interested in hearing other peoples 5 day split. My major weakness is my chest and have crazy genetics for legs and glutes. [/quote]

hat do you mean you have imbalances? I find that with these types of splits, they lend themselves better to FIXING imbalances simply as i have more time to spend on a bodypart if i desire.

As per the chest thing… i would suggest you try training it more often… say 2x/wk for a while.
Maybe do a 4 day split, dropping the work on the other bodyparts a little and adding a second chest day.

[quote]J-J wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
J-J wrote:
Splits are so one can increase volume per bodypart… why would you split the body into groups and then only train with 12 sets… That was an uncharacteristically ignorant statement.

For example, 12 sets for a chest workout is ‘OK’, but if training JUST the chest and having a full 6-7 days off afterwards i would be opting for over 12 sets personally (built up over time of course… dont jump from 6 sets to 12 from one day to the next) for a natural but conditioned trainee…

Also… Chest is more of a Medium sized bodypart… with thighs and back being large. So you have the same amount of work for the whole lower body as you do for your bicep and triceps - yet this is still only 6 sets each muscle, they are small muscles but i find that when trained fresh (not after back and chest for example) they can handle a good 8 sets at least…

With a week off between sessions 12 sets PER WORKOUT is not pushing it.
Why the obsession with sets? If doing more sets were somehow the key to growing larger and stronger, 90 percent of the people in this forum would be four times my size…

Either you missed the point or i didn’t do a good job at explaining it. I am most certainly not obsessed with volume and it is but a single factor of intensity.
[/quote] Perhaps you forget that for a drug-free bodybuilder, just adding shit so that some internet guy things your routine is no longer “dry” is not such a good idea?
We can’t rely on test to boost our strength gains.

Modok’s “bodypart once weekly?” thread touched on that subject nicely… For a natty, doing everything once a week with, say, 4 sets of 12 (all sets at working weight) and 3-5 main exercises per bodypart eventually has you stall out and progress in general is ridiculously slow.
You can get away with shit like that via vitamin T… But even most Pro’s would not train that way. The only one I can think of right now is Evan Centopani, who was also 260 or whatever before he hit 20 y.o…

Add intensity techniques and what is going to happen? You stall even faster.

[quote]
The point is, his workout is dry… it has no intensity principles, straight sets (IIRC) AND a low frequency… in those circumstances volume is going to be the deciding factor to increase the intensity to the muscle worked.
[/quote] You said the purpose of a split is to allow you to increase the volume…
If you look at, say, PX’s old splits, he did everything once a week (2 main exercises usually per muscle-group, with shoulders and legs getting 3 originally… +1 for the pump with no regards to progression) and simply trained a single muscle-group twice a week to bring it up faster… He also does no “sets across/all sets with the same weight”, but ramped (and still does) with fairly large weight-jumps between sets.
CT has been talking along the same lines recently… Put emphasis on a muscle-group you want to bring up, have the rest at regular frequency.
I got up to 230+ from 120 by actually training everything once a week, that was
Day 1 Chest+Back
Day 2 off
Day 3 Legs
Day 4 Delts
Day 5 Arms (that includes heavy pressing for tris)
Day 6 off
Day 7 off
For example… Again, 2 main exercises per bodypart, perhaps one for the pump if I felt like it…
Of course it would be fine to suggest an increase in frequency, the addition of intensity principles, lowering rest times, or some loading protocol such as pyramiding or waves… but then it wouldn’t be his workout. I worked up to a single top-set on each main exercise, too, generally for 6-8 or 8-15 or whatever… Not that this is the only way or anything…

Now the more gifted you are (or if you get some extra t), the more useless shit you can add and still get stronger (though you can easily off-set most of the strength-gain-boost you get as a gifted or assisted trainee that way, but no one likes to hear that.). But the margin of error is rather small for a drug-free guy looking for the fastest possible gains.

[quote]

The only reason i was using sets as the measurement of volume is purely down to simplicity…

For example, while some may consider total volume to be equal to (sets x reps x load), in this case, with the sets and rep range given - assuming he chose the rep range for a reason and is going to be using maximal weights for that TUT… THEN the number of sets is the simplest manner to suggest he increase (or decrease) volume in this particular program.[/quote] There are very, very damn few large people who care about “TUT”, “total volume (tonnage)” and so on.

[quote]forlife wrote:
I’m getting bored with my current routine, and would like to try a 5 day split next. What do you think about the following:

Monday - Chest

Tuesday - Back

Wednesday - Biceps/Triceps

Thursday - Legs

Friday - Shoulders/Abs

I’m planning on 4 total exercises and 3 sets/exercise for each day (4 chest exercises, 2 biceps/2 triceps exercises, etc.). [/quote]

I wouldn’t plan your exercises out that way if I were you… Rather start with 2-3 main exercises per muscle-group and go from there.
If you find that, say, 3 main bicep moves make it difficult for you to keep progressing, just ditch one.
At the same time, you will likely not need 4 exercises for the chest… What’s the point?

I’d also suggest that you pick one muscle-group which you want to bring up and train that twice per week…
Alternatively, you can get a little higher overall-frequency by using a 4-way and rotating that over 5 days per week.

Your previous routine was a kind of semi-full-body thing, no? Perhaps start with a 3-way first or so, you still get higher than 1/week frequency…

2 favs of my “trainees” are:

Yates 3-way (not for guys who get shoulder pain from benching, though, as that will cause your arm sessions to suck major donkey balls)
Day 1 - Chest, Bis, Tris
Day 2 - Legs, Abs
Day 3 - off
Day 4 - Delts, Back
Day 5 - off
Day 6 - repeat or off if necessary

You could alter the frequency, do the routine 3 out of 5 like above or 6 out of 7… Or even just 3 out of 7.
It’s generally 2 exercises per muscle-group, legs usually get 3 total with a widowmaker (unless you go for sets across for some reason).

Alternative:
Chest+Back
Legs+Abs
Delts+Arms (free-weight CGP, if you do them, goes first)

Same frequency options etc as above.