Hello fellow T-men. I’ve been lurking for well over a year, but this is my first post. I’m a Norwegian living in Norway, I hope my English isn’t too terrible.
Now, before I get to my question, I should briefly tell you about my training background…
(Edit: this part deleted due to being long and boring and largely irrelevant)
After about three years and some experimenting (tried HST, for example, which is when I finally learned how to squat and deadlift, because the program called for it)I quit again, never having gone beyond an unimpressive 200 lbs (studies and work and other life stuff played a role in that too).
Around Christmass 2005, I decided it was time to start yet again. In my search for some more solid information I found this site. Whew! Had I been doing everything wrong before! Clearly, I had been training like only drugged-up genetic freaks should be training.
In addition, my previous training had obviously left me horribly unfunctional. I started to implement all the stuff I learned from the articles of coach Davies, Cressey & Robertson, Waterbury, Dan John etc. Single-leg Romanian deadlifts, one-hand power snatch, Zercher squats etc etc. 3-4 days a week full body workouts.
Again, I gained muscle, probably about 12 lbs in 7-8 months. Then I reached a plateau which I haven’t been able to overcome until now. I then started to experiment with a very low-carb/“paleo” type diet about 6 months ago, which I’ve concluded is NOT conducive to gaining muscle, at lest not for me.
It’s safe to say that I lost a little muscle on the diet. I also got extremely lean, and realized that I look better with some more subcutaneous fat on me, as long as I’m not carrying more muscle than I am now.
It’s only been a few weeks since I started eating carbs again, and I’ve gained back at least 10 lbs. I’ve decided that my goal now is to gain muscle mass and strength. I’m currently about 195, I’d like to at least get up to 225 (100kg) and then take it from there. I’m fairly tall - between 6’1 and 6’2 - and I think I need to get to at least 225 to “fill out”.
So this is what I’m doing: I’m on a high-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet I’ve also gone back to the good old once-a-week bodypart split. I’ve tried the full body, compound lifts only routines and I don’t think they’re optimal for my current goals. I feel a split allows me to focus on the specific muscles in a way that full body or upper/lower doesn’t. It currently looks something like this:
back: barbell row, pull-ups, t-bar row, barbell shrugs, haney shrugs, face pulls, maybe some “body rows”.
legs: back squat, leg press (one or two legs), leg curl, calf raises, seated calf raises.
chest and shoulders: seated db press, incline db press, standing behind the neck press, gironda dips/wide grip bench press to neck, lateral raises, rear delt flyes.
legs again: front squats, split squats, walking lunges or something like that.
arms: weighted dips, weighted supinated close-grip chin-ups, neutral grip flat bench db presses, EZ bar (cheated) curls, rope push-downs, EZ bar reverse curls.
- other stuff I want to do, there should always be an element of spontaneity to training, I feel.
It all amounts to quite a lot of work over the course of a week. Each session lasts about an hour and the intensity is all out. Which (finally!) leads me to my question: would it be a better idea to reduce the volume right away?
I feel I have the energy for it at the moment, but I’d love to hear from people who have used/are using a similar split (and who are natural). What are your experiences with it? Is it too much for a skinny bastard who eats a lot but who has no intention of juicing?
Is the frequency too low for each muscle group (though on the subject of frequency, my lats and chest are sore after “arms” day, and my biceps is sore after “back” day…)? Or would it be better to limit legs to once a week too? I just feel three days for upper body and only one day for legs is a little unbalanced.
One of the authors here wrote that very few natural people get away with training 5 days a week. I know I should listen to my body and all that (for the time being, my body is saying go ahead), but I’d love to hear anyone’s experience.
BTW, I’m 28, single, with a fairly normal work week and no major commitments outside of my work.