Are "Bro Splits" Optimal When On Enhancements?

From the information I have gathered frequency is key when natural.
But how is it when it comes to ppl on gear? Is training everything 2x a week still optimal?
Currently I do
I dont really have anything thats lacking or is behind, when I do I do that muscle only 2x a week.

Do more gathering


Nothing is optimal.


I think you’ll find that the majority of IFBB pros, who are using anabolics and are focused on building muscle and getting lean, are training most bodyparts once a week.

I’d wager that the majority of pro strength athletes, who are using anabolics and are focused on getting strong, muscular, and sometimes lean, are training most “bodyparts” once or twice a week.

Why are you training calves 3-4 times a week?


my calves suck horecock bruh

There used to be a lot of threads on this topic back in the day.

The frequency used depends on your goals and how much volume you use for a muscle or lift.

And while some bro splits might seem to have each muscle worked once per week, they are actually getting some muscles worked twice per week. For example, if someone works on chest and biceps on Monday and then works on shoulders and triceps Thursday, chest, shoulders and triceps are getting hit twice per week.

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One thing I noticed is they may only be hitting them once a week, but they are fucking destroying them in that one workout lol. I know I couldn’t keep up, I’m sure most couldn’t.


Is there a particular reason you want to challenge something you are happy with?


But is it optimal bro


Naturals thrive on a bit heavier work, but less volume per session, so they can do stuff 2-3x times a week. Protein synthesis for a natural is more or less 48 hours, so that is the only time you can repair and grow. Keep in mind that repair comes before growth. So the stimulus must be enough to get a growth response, but low enough that the recovery can take place before that in those 48 hours. If you DESTROY the muscle, all you might get is the recovery part in, and no growth.

Steroids increase protein synthesis, which means you can still recover and grow from your moronic “leg day” after 5 days. It gives your muscles more time to repair and grow, so you can do shit as rare as once every 14 days. Thats why Mentzers shit worked so well on him and few of his students.
LillieBridge Method is also built on this principle and works very good. At least for those on gear.

Of course, once a week will also work for nattys and three times a week for those who use stuff. When we talk about this kind of topic we have to understand that we dont really know HOW MUCH the difference is. It is definetly NOT that as a natty who trains 3 times a week every bodypart you would gain three times more than if you were doing once a week.
When i started training all we had was some old stuff in the magazines and everyone did bro splits as natties and everyone made progress.
So the difference might be 20% and it might be 5%… We dont know that.


All the studies I have read talk about training a muscle more than once a week is better when volume is matched. But only marginally better. Nothing earth shattering.

But a bro split usually has more volume than 3 x FB or an upper lower so it’s not a fair comparison.

Maybe bro splits work for naturals because it’s the easiest way to hit the required volume in a week without working out 6 days a week.

No way can you get arm day volume along with everything else across a 4 day upper lower without something else giving way.

technically, if you do compound exercises you are getting 90% of the volume there… tell me you can do barbell rows, followed by pullups, followed by chin ups and you still want to do some curls?
maybe im a pussy but after those 3, i maybe will do an AMRAP of 1 set of any bicep exercise and just call it a day.

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But that’s what I mean, some people do need direct arm work and it is not possible under a non bro split.

Splits work, not sure why there is such a big push to train a different way. I’ve not seen any conclusive evidence that they arn’t optimal.

As I understand it, the main advantage of AAS’s, apart from protein synthesis, is that the cell binding sites are occupied by AAS’s with no place the cortisol to bind to. Therefore, long, intense workouts that raise cortisol are not the same level of concern with the enhanced person.

It’s one million percent possible to effectively program direct arm work on any kind of split - push/pull/legs, upper/lower, full body, etc. No idea why you think it’s only possible with a bro split.

The more frequently you train a muscle, the lower volume and/or intensity you’ll use in each session, of course, but that’s not an inherently negative (or less effective) option.

Bro splits almost always require training five days a week, certainly no less than four. That schedule isn’t always feasible, making them suboptimal for those people.


I meant it’s not possible to do the same amount of volume for arms an upper lower or FB compared to a ‘bro split’ without something else giving way or training 6 days a week on a PPL.

On arm day (if I did one) it would be 3-4 exercises with 3-4 sets. Splitting that amount of volume after doing chest, back, shoulders etc would be way too much.

Except, when you’ve done 5 sets of pullups, 5 sets of barbell rows, and your biceps are already worked, and you do 5 sets of bench, and 5 sets of shoulder presses, and your tris are worked, and THEN you do 5 sets of heavy curls and 5 sets of tri extensions, your arms are fried, and if you do upper lower twice a week, then you’ll do it all over again. If you’re really lagging you can add a bit of an arm day on the 6th day (upper-lower-rest-upper-lower-arms-rest) but it won’t be necessary, and I say that from experience. Come to think of it, my arms got hammered from my upper lower splits more than anything else I ever did.

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But you arnt matching volume because on a ‘bro split’ you arms are getting indirect work as well on back, chest and shoulder day as well as arm day in theory.

I’m not saying I know what’s right, but what I am asking really is has there been any studies that actually compare ‘bro splits’ vs others?

The studies I’ve read match volume which isn’t a fair comparison.

I’m also curious when you do an upper/lower split how the body sends its growth signals? If you focus on one body part does that get 100% of the growth for that day and if you do an upper body is that 100% spread out over multiple body parts?

Anyone seen any literature, I find this stuff fascinating but not much around that’s not just people’s ramblings.

Refer to some studies that Brad Schoenfeld either conducted or refers to. He and Mike Israetel beat this topic to death.

It was also discussed at length on this board for a long time.

Also search for the Roundtable article with CT, Chad Waterbury, and Alwyn Cosgrove on the topic on this site.

What is your goal?

I look at it like this.

Several powerlifting and S&C routines involve an upper-lower split.

If you want to be physically fit, strong, and big, and “have a life” use a full-body, PPL, or upper-lower routine
For three or four days a week.

For competitive bodybuilding, which involves “no life” providing one works full time, use a split routine. I made my best gains in physique and strength in the near year I prepped for a bodybuilding show.

Refer to the article by Charles Staley, The Efficient vs. Optimal Lifter on the topic too. More involvement (sessions, volume, frequency, whatever) might provide 100 percent of one’s potential but there are people (including myself now) who are satisfied with doing the minimum to provide 85-90% of potential.

This should be considered when one looks for what they should be doing.


Do you think your goal/ focus could have been a factor?