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A-B Split Help Needed

I’m going to finish the 5x5 program offered by Bill Starr and Glen Pendlay, but after that I was looking to do an A-B split. My exercise choices are:
A-
Bench
Row
Squat
Lunges
Bicep Curl
Tricep Curl

B-
Pull up
Dip
Deadlift
Seated Calf Raise
Cuban Press
Face Pull w/ DB

Can somebody please suggest a progression or set/rep cycle? I’ve found that I focus to much on designing a “perfect” workout, and that it helps to get another’s input. My goals are to increase maximal strength, as I wish to improve my lb for lb ratio. I’m 5"7, ~168 at 15% body fat.

If you suffer from “paralysis by analysis” as you claim, a helpful strategy is to incorporate flexible “tactics” within a consistent strategy or framework.

I’ll have an article on that subject appearing here at T-Mag soon BTW.

So while I don’t know much about you or your goals, I’ll offer a suggestion that you can take for a test drive and see how if fares for you:

First, create a list of “compulsory” lifts that you’re going to perform no matter what. These lifts are chosen based on their ability to get you closer to your goals. Since I don’t know what your goals are, I’ll pick them based on strength, power, and hypertrophy outcomes:

A Session:
Bench
Row
Squat

B Session:
Pull up
Dip
Deadlift

As for sets/reps, there are a thousand ways to go, so why not take 4 configurations that have been statistically successful, and rotate them on a 4-week cycle? For example:

Week 1: 5x5
Week 2: 10x3
Week 3: 3x10
Week 4: 5,4,3,2,1

Next, choose “optional” lifts that you may or may not perform, depending on time and energy constraints. Based on your original list, these would be:

A Session:
Lunges
Bicep Curl
Tricep Curl

B Session:
Seated Calf Raise
Cuban Press
Face Pull w/ DB

For these exercise, I’d stay flexible with sets & reps- do what feels appropriate at the moment.

This is getting a bit long so I’ll leave it at that for the moment- hope it provides some direction for you…

[quote]flyboy16 wrote:
I’m going to finish the 5x5 program offered by Bill Starr and Glen Pendlay, but after that I was looking to do an A-B split. My exercise choices are:
A-
Bench
Row
Squat
Lunges
Bicep Curl
Tricep Curl

B-
Pull up
Dip
Deadlift
Seated Calf Raise
Cuban Press
Face Pull w/ DB

Can somebody please suggest a progression or set/rep cycle? I’ve found that I focus to much on designing a “perfect” workout, and that it helps to get another’s input. My goals are to increase maximal strength, as I wish to improve my lb for lb ratio. I’m 5"7, ~168 at 15% body fat.[/quote]

Great advice. I suffer from this syndrome as well and I find myself constantly manipulating the details in programs, in order to try to find ‘the perfect workout’.

Thank you very much Mr. Staley! Big fan of your articles! Thanks for replying and making this clearer to understand!

[quote]Charles Staley wrote:
If you suffer from “paralysis by analysis” as you claim, a helpful strategy is to incorporate flexible “tactics” within a consistent strategy or framework.

I’ll have an article on that subject appearing here at T-Mag soon BTW.

So while I don’t know much about you or your goals, I’ll offer a suggestion that you can take for a test drive and see how if fares for you:

First, create a list of “compulsory” lifts that you’re going to perform no matter what. These lifts are chosen based on their ability to get you closer to your goals. Since I don’t know what your goals are, I’ll pick them based on strength, power, and hypertrophy outcomes:

A Session:
Bench
Row
Squat

B Session:
Pull up
Dip
Deadlift

As for sets/reps, there are a thousand ways to go, so why not take 4 configurations that have been statistically successful, and rotate them on a 4-week cycle? For example:

Week 1: 5x5
Week 2: 10x3
Week 3: 3x10
Week 4: 5,4,3,2,1

Next, choose “optional” lifts that you may or may not perform, depending on time and energy constraints. Based on your original list, these would be:

A Session:
Lunges
Bicep Curl
Tricep Curl

B Session:
Seated Calf Raise
Cuban Press
Face Pull w/ DB

For these exercise, I’d stay flexible with sets & reps- do what feels appropriate at the moment.

This is getting a bit long so I’ll leave it at that for the moment- hope it provides some direction for you…

flyboy16 wrote:
I’m going to finish the 5x5 program offered by Bill Starr and Glen Pendlay, but after that I was looking to do an A-B split. My exercise choices are:
A-
Bench
Row
Squat
Lunges
Bicep Curl
Tricep Curl

B-
Pull up
Dip
Deadlift
Seated Calf Raise
Cuban Press
Face Pull w/ DB

Can somebody please suggest a progression or set/rep cycle? I’ve found that I focus to much on designing a “perfect” workout, and that it helps to get another’s input. My goals are to increase maximal strength, as I wish to improve my lb for lb ratio. I’m 5"7, ~168 at 15% body fat.

[/quote]

Awesome advice Charles

I would suggest the 3-5 method.

Train 3-5 times per week
Using 3-5 exercises per session
Using 3-5 sets per exercise
Using 3-5 reps per set

I use a similar A-B split that CS just described and also alternate between “accumulation” and “intensification” phases.

Accumulation = using 5’s
Intensification = using 3’s

Charles is right about being flexible.

I used to be really bad about over analyzing everything I did. Iv kind of gotten over it recently though…my philosophy is simply “because coach said so”. Im doing a program that was written by a professional (Alwyn Cosgrove) and any time I start to think about changing it up, I just remember that compared to Cosgrove, I dont know shit.

I found that post by CS especially useful because it was similar to a case study. Rather than a general article talking about how things could/should be done, he took a particular situation and built up from it. The lessons can be generalized to many other situations.

Nice post!