T Nation

Beginner 4 Day Split


#1

So I'm 18 yo and just stopped swimming. I was training 8 times a week 3 three one our gym sessions that a pt used to take us a group for, unfortunately I don't have time for swimming anymore so I've had to quit and have decided to go to the gym to keep healthy and put on some muscle.

I know that a lot of people advise full body 5x5 for beginners but I like the sound of upper lower better.

I designed my own split and it feel like it works me pretty good was wondering what you guys think it looks a little like this.

Upper
Barbell Bench 4x8-12
Incline Bench 4x8-12
Flies/Cable crossover (alternating each workout) 4x8-12
Bent Over row 5x8-12
Lat Pull down 5x8-12
Cable Rows 5x8-12
Overhead Press 3x8-12
Side lateral raises 3x8-12
Face Pulls 3x8-12
Barbell Curls 3x8-12
Hammer Curls 3x8-12
Decline situps using barbell 4x10
Cable Crunches 4x12
Hanging knee raise/leg raise 4x4-6 of each
Weight oblique crunch twists 4x8

Lower + Tris

Squat 4x8-12
Dead-lift 5x8-12
Leg Press 4x8-12
Leg Curl 5x8-12
Leg Extension 4x8-12
Calf Exercise 5x8-12
Calf Exercise 5x8-12
Tricep Extension 3x8-12
Skull crusher/Tricep Extension 3x8-12

I know some people are gonna say to many dead lifts and volume but it feels good.

Also for bodybuilding my current idea about body building is that you need to stretch to maintain flexibility and have good blood flow, good nutrition reaching macros and having meals spread throughout the day, and that when you work out you are pumping the muscle to fill with water and nutrition after to stimulate growth.

Any input would be great thanks and any youtubers/websites/articles that will educate me would very much appreciated thanks!!!!!!!!!


#2

So you are going to do 8,000 movements on one day? Just do any beginner program you like on this site im not going to search it for you but there are tons, just type in beginners 4 day split or something. What you’ve put together is just a list of exercises with no tracking of progression and the same rep/set scheme over and over again.


#3

Quality is far better than quantity.
Just doing more and more exercises can be counterproductive and at a beginner level totally unnecessary.

Upper/Lower splits are a great way to train but not they way you have it.
Try this one instead:


#4

I count 58 work sets on upper day and 38 on lower day. I find it hard to believe you are going to manage to maintain any kind of intensity while doing these.

The key thing I tend to notice when I see big and strong people train or see their training logs is that there is not a lot in their workouts. Check out flipcollar/Reed/ThePwnishers logs or my description below of the “Litvinov” workout lifted straight from a Dan John book/article.

3 rounds of:
405lb front squat x 8
sub 75second 400m
rest as needed.


#5

That’s a shit ton of volume and far more than I’d consider necessary. That being said, if you make progress on this, the proof is in the pudding. If you don’t, you know the reason.


#6

Thank you very much for the replies, you gave them in a fairly friendly and kind manner which makes me feel very welcome here.

You all have said I have to much volume so I’ll find a new program and certainly check out the ones suggested. I thought I’d give it a shot designing my own but clearly I lack the experience thank you very much :slight_smile:


#7

What specifically are your goals and current progress towards them? Odds are there’s people on here who’ve already achieved them and could help steer you further in the right direction.


#8

I’m general put on muscle mass (basic) but in the next 1-2 years I’m not sure which is more achievable I would like to be able to deadlift/squat about 2-2.5x bodyweight row/bench 1-1.5x my body weight and shoulder press my bodyweight. To go with that put on 10-15 clean kilos to reach those goals(this is about how much I think I might need to put on but I honestly have no idea) and develop a solid understanding of bodybuilding and nutrition :slight_smile: hope that makes sense


#9

Want to train those weights for reps about 5 would be great if I could do more even better :slight_smile:


#10

So strength and size are the goals?

How far towards these goals are you now?


#11

Yes that’s the goal.

For strength my current lifts are these for reps of 5
Bench 60kg (132lb)
Row 50kg (110lb)
Squat 70kg (154lb) (I broke my foot last year and was on crutches for 3 months and unable to exercise for 6 so my legs shrunk and the muscle on my injured leg was nonexistent lol so I’m just working it up )
Dead-lift 70kg (154lb)
Shoulder Press 27.5kg (60lb)

I currently am 183 cm (6 foot) and weigh 72kg (158lb)

As for nice not where I want to be not sure how to explain my goals for size to you photos perhaps?


#12

Was also considering these programs



Or possibly 5/3/1 I’ve heard theres 4 day splits that could possibly be good for me?
Maybe this one?


Thanks for your responses :slight_smile:


#13

We’re the same height, and for a long time we weighed about the same. I’m closer to 190 now. As a tall slim guy, I know the struggle, and I’ll tell you now that weight & strength will not come quick; but it will come.

As far as programming, any of those should work. I’ve done 5/3/1 and liked it, but the program’s not as important and making sure you get in the weight room every week. Whichever program motivates you to do that is the one you should pick. There’s also nothing wring with moving from program to program, so long as you give each one you move to an honest run and allow it to work. training ADD doesn’t produce great results unless you REALLY know your body and what you’re doing.

The most important factor is eating. Now I’m not sure how much you’ve been eating for swimming, but if your goal is size you’ve got to eat! The amount you’re actually eating can be tricky, so I’d suggest using MyFitnessPal for at least a couple of months to really get a feel for how much you should be eating. Lot’s of great nutrition info on this site in regards to timing, macros, etc. As a fellow ex-beanpole, shoot high as opposed to low in terms of caloric intake. It’ll help you progress and if you’re like me it’s easy to shed fat if desired.

Good luck!


#14

Just pick one and get started.

The worst thing you can do in training is get injured or waste time.


#15

[quote]AdamHilton wrote:
I currently am 183 cm (6 foot) and weigh 72kg (158lb) [/quote]
Wow, man. Even if strength is your primary goal, food will be tons more important than your particular training program.



[quote]Was also considering these programs



https://www.T-Nation.com/training/blending-size-and-strength-20[/quote]
Those are all upper/lower splits that have one day of moderate to higher rep work and one day of heavier/lower rep work. There is seriously very little difference between them. Even “regular” 5/3/1 training (not that 5/3/1 for bodybuilding plan you linked to) is basically an upper/lower split. Pick any of the plans, follow them to-the-letter for a few months, eat plenty the whole time, and you should be on your way.


#16

Your upper day has like every upper body move, and your lower has both squat and dead each session. You’ve just got to come up with a smarter way to structure and seperate all the good lifts on your list over the course of a week. All the routines you are looking at are mostly just different arrangements of the same effective lifts.

5/3/1 separates upper lower, and splits them further into bench/ overhead, and Squat/ dead. It almost divides your body into “quadrants” based on the 4 lifts. This is good because it spreads the work around, and gives you plenty of recovery time.

But as an athlete, it may feel strange for you to “divide up” your body like that. I think thats why you’re trying to do your “whole” upper body(chest/shoulders/back) each upper session. If this seems better to you, try the Charles Staley / Clay Hyght setup where you do heavy upper/heavy lower, then light upper/ light lower, but using different, lighter exercises for the second day.

The Staley/Hyght set ups “look cooler” and seem more fun. 5/3/1 will teach you a lot about programming and planning your training.


#17

[quote]AdamHilton wrote:
Yes that’s the goal.

For strength my current lifts are these for reps of 5
Bench 60kg (132lb)
Row 50kg (110lb)
Squat 70kg (154lb) (I broke my foot last year and was on crutches for 3 months and unable to exercise for 6 so my legs shrunk and the muscle on my injured leg was nonexistent lol so I’m just working it up )
Dead-lift 70kg (154lb)
Shoulder Press 27.5kg (60lb)

I currently am 183 cm (6 foot) and weigh 72kg (158lb)

As for nice not where I want to be not sure how to explain my goals for size to you photos perhaps?
[/quote]

Photo’s would be helpful for a long term goal, for yourself as well as us. For now, I think you should find yourself a short term goal for the next few months and go at it hard. If size and strength are the goals, perhaps a weight goal and a small handful of realistic performance goals, might be the way to go.


#18

[quote]AdamHilton wrote:
Was also considering these programs



Or possibly 5/3/1 I’ve heard theres 4 day splits that could possibly be good for me?
Maybe this one?


Thanks for your responses :)[/quote]

All of those programs are good and will work. Just pick one and work the hell out of it.
I personally would go with the Wendler template -a bunch of people on this site have had stellar results


#19

Thankyou all for the replies to my thread especially those of you who have posted multiple times! I will definitely take your advice about nutrition generally I eat a lot but i believe that all of the swimming burnt it off, and its good to see that other people have had a similar weight at height as me and had success! As for programs I think I will follow this 5/3/1 unless there a strong reason why I shouldn’t I won’t do otherwise


As for goals I wish to increase my Bench and row by 15kg Shoulder Press by 10kg and my lower body lifts by 30kg in 3 months time.
Weight Wise I’m aiming to weigh 77kg in 3 months time
As for long term I have a photo attached
Thank you all once again


#20

[quote]AdamHilton wrote:
I’m general put on muscle mass (basic) but in the next 1-2 years I’m not sure which is more achievable I would like to be able to deadlift/squat about 2-2.5x bodyweight row/bench 1-1.5x my body weight and shoulder press my bodyweight. To go with that put on 10-15 clean kilos to reach those goals(this is about how much I think I might need to put on but I honestly have no idea) and develop a solid understanding of bodybuilding and nutrition :slight_smile: hope that makes sense[/quote]

I like how you’ve given some thought to those goals and quantified them. Just based on my own experience, they all sound very achievable and quite possibly in less time than you think. I’d recommend either one of the programs on this site already recommended or a 5/3/1 variation.

If you eat well and train intelligently and consistently, the results will come.

IMO your estimation of needing the extra muscle mass to reach those goals is probably about right, but again that’s just based on my own experience and what I define as ‘clean kilos’ - which isn’t pure muscle, just increased weight without much or any increase in bodyfat. It may end up being less, or may end up being a bit more. My understanding is that bench tends to require a larger weight gain to increase than the deadlift, with the squat in between the two.

I’d suggest just focusing on getting stronger and eating well and enough to grow. Don’t worry about much else as long as your lifts all keep going up, even if they don’t progress at the same rate (your squat might increase way faster than your bench or vice versa, for example). My own experience ios that if your training consistently gets you stronger and you eat at least reasonably well you’ll get bigger and not gain much or any significant bodyfat in the process.