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6 Day Split vs 2 Day Split 3x/Wk

I’ve done a bit of googling and looking through these forums but not seen a thread specific to my question.

At the moment I’m doing a 2 day split, 3 times per week - Workout One, being Chest and Back, them arms. Workout Two, being Shoulders and legs. Abs at the end of each routine.

Naturally, I’m drawn to this because it means I’m hitting each area 3x a week. Though I’m curious as to how it compares to working just one body part per day. Hitting it only once per week, but with higher volume and intensity.

What are people’s experiences of this comparison? Or would it be best to cycle between the two on, lets say a monthly basis?

Thankyou for your time.

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/bodypart_once_weekly

Good thread.

Curious to hear people’s input. Do the same split as you, T3C. Hope this is a good discussion.

I like to train hard on the body part so 2day split wouldnt do it. I cant comment on hypertrophy though it might be perfectly viable.
I dont like 6 day split either, rather 3d split twice a week with first three hard and next three light

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:
Curious to hear people’s input. Do the same split as you, T3C. Hope this is a good discussion. [/quote]

I’ll say this, though anyone reading should take with a grain of salt of course since I don’t have pics on this site.

Spidey is running BBB, which is 3x/week frequency. I ran that for roughly two years on and off but always kept the split, whether I was following rep ranges/timing parameters or not.

I loved BBB and think it’s a great intermediate program in some respects. I had always been taught the 3x/week dogma from football in high school, so that was desirable to me.

Right now, I’m doing the following push/pull split (EDIT: realized I miswrote this):
Chest/Arms
Back
Shoulders/Arms (or off if I feel the need for an off day)
Legs
Chest/Shoulders
Back
Legs

for the week. I’m doing arms with chest because it doesn’t seem like chest demands the volume that back does, so I like a whole day of just back. If I learn otherwise, then I’ll change that. Should note that I still consider myself intermediate, and that I regret having done BBB insofar as I was probably not experienced enough when I started the program (just being honest there) to really understand things like mind-muscle connection and whatnot. I basically just tried to move the heaviest weights I could. The primary upshot of the program is that it taught me how to work very hard, particularly with the high rep squatting.

I’m going to discuss squatting as a control because I did it then and now and consider it probably my only ‘performance lift.’ My squatting has definitely improved since I went to 2x/week frequency. On BBB, I got to a top set of 350x13, which isn’t that impressive I know, but I stalled for a long time right around there and just wasn’t recovering enough from session to session.

This may make me a total pussy, but honestly the psychological factor of 2x/week has been huge for me on squats and other exercises as well. I’ll admit at this point that I’ve been doing reps/sets and rest periods by feel lately. Today I did my working sets with 375 at 6 sets of 5 with 75-90secs between, then 3 sets of 350 for 8-10 w 90 seconds. Then after 135 secs rest, I dropped to 315 and did a set of 21, which smoked me bigtime, particularly because I’ve been battling a rib issue. After that I did hacks, ham curls, and leg press.

Honestly, there’s just not a chance that I would do even the squats like that if I knew I would have to be back in there doing it again in two days.

The other obvious point is that doing 3x/week will probably (though I guess not definitely) lead to neglecting some muscles in favor of others. On 3x/week, I would squat each day and then either leg press or do SLDLs. Two exercises for any muscle group is probably not going to be varied enough.

I know this isn’t a thread about BBB, but I just thought I’d mention one other thing I realized when I decided to do something different: strength is very performance-specific, and BBB does a crappy job of developing absolute strength. I could squat 350x13, but at that time I could not squat 405. I don’t think that’s the case for most people who can do 350 like that.

Clay Hyght has a good article on here about frequency: he says that it really takes about 5 days for a muscle to fully recover and supercompensate. I’ve been thinking of moving to a 5-day split for that reason, and I’ll probably do so when my current program stops being as effective.

Just wanted to add that I didn’t mean to trash BBB in that post: my first squatting day on it was like 125lbs for endurance reps, lol. So it definitely got me stronger.

Not sure how I feel about Push/Pull splits at the moment, I tend to get through my workout quicker if I do 4-6 exercises in 2 or 3 supersets on just one body part (Today was a variety of Chest presses with Flyes). It goes against what I understand, but I seem to work at a better intensity than if I did Chest and Back or Chest and Arms.

Though, at the same time, when I’ve been training like this I just tend to hit one major Body part and keep going at it for a while until My strength has noticeably lowered, then I’ll go for the smaller group (today was Tri’s after Chest) before hitting my Main body part once again whilst pulling a variety of Sex Faces.

In a nutshell, I’m noticing I can stimulate a muscle much more if I attack just that, but at the same time, I’m conscious that I’m giving it a lot of time to rest through the week too. As you said, hitting each group 2x week may be a happy medium.

As for development, I’m still happily adding about 2.5kg (5.5lbs) to compound lifts quite regularly and I’ll try and add half that to smaller lifts to keep in sync. I’m not going through a big dilemma, I just wondered if one could top another. I might try and figure out my weekly intensity of each muscle group an see how they stack up in that regard

I understand what you’re saying about BBB T3C. I’ve tweaked it a bit to be more suitable long term. I think the key is solid exercise selection. I do Oly Back and Front Squats and SLDL’s, which naturally limit the amount of weight (and mostly the stress on my joints that I’ll rack up hitting everything 3x a week) I can handle vs doing Low-Bar Squats or Full Deads. I choose Decline BB movements, Floor Presses, PJR’s, and DB’s for pressing, as they seem friendly on shoulders and such. I also decrease the rest periods a bit more for small stuff. If I’m doing 5 sets of a lift with only 60s rest, I’m inevitably going to be using ‘light’ weight, which won’t probably run my recovery in the ground as much.

Phil Hernon is kind of the mastermind for the system, so reading what HE feels is the best exercise selection and stuff was a lot of help. Honestly, BBB or hitting everything 3x a week in general is probably not a good idea if you don’t know what exercises work for you AND you don’t have your nutrition on point.

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:
Honestly, BBB or hitting everything 3x a week in general is probably not a good idea if you don’t know what exercises work for you AND you don’t have your nutrition on point. [/quote]

At this point, I think it’s basically unsustainable once you reach a certain strength level.

they all work. 1 time a week 2 times a week 3 times a week.

smarter people than me support multiple times a week is best and I have gotten my best gains working out every bodypart twice a week.

I just overreach really fast and 1x a week brings me slower gains but I don’t plateau as quickly.

What I would reccomend for a newb is once a week. then as he progresses as a lifter to increase frequency…then eventually figure out what works for him best

IMO One muscle group a day is best.

Legs
Chest
Cardio/Abs
Back
Shoulders
Arms
Cardio/Abs

^ Had this split for years and dont plan on changing.

[quote]The3Commandments wrote:

[quote]Spidey22 wrote:
Honestly, BBB or hitting everything 3x a week in general is probably not a good idea if you don’t know what exercises work for you AND you don’t have your nutrition on point. [/quote]

At this point, I think it’s basically unsustainable once you reach a certain strength level. [/quote]

I know people overuse this example… but Oly Lifters train BP’s quite frequently. I think that’s because they train in a fashion much like CT advocates… Fast concentric, non-exaggerated eccentric…

Phil Hernon, if you look at his writings, does similar things. When training BP’s less frequently (1-2x a week) he incorporates heavy negatives, shit like that. But for the higher frequency stuff, he is says to make the weight ‘feel light’. Be explosive, do ROM that’s is best for performance and muscular stimulation, etc.