Best Hypertrophy Split/Routine

Hi coach ,

Obviously there are many ways to build muscle , but what would you say is the best split/workout/routine you recommend for maximum muscle gain ??

This question is way too vague.


ok fair point …
I just meant which routine and split would you favour if you was looking to put on as much muscle as possible for a natural.

Example for me would be push pull legs rest repeat
Using a one work set method trying to progress lifts/weight max load on each workout.

But most are not interested in my view lol hence why I would love to know which the coach would favour …

Its like asking which is the best way to make money -there are many ways and no one magic answer.

Saying that run through a bunch of Thibs programs over the course of the year and you can make huge progress. Look up Complete power look and Athlete lean for a start

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@RampantBadger thanks will have a look at these the power look programme sounds more like my thing …

if you like focused efficient routine do the layers program. closest thing to magic when it comes to speed and amount of muscle mass created

cycle through key compound movements (emphasize sghp) and it is just months and months of fun, gains, and results.

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@Sigil cheers just what I wanted to hear … Spolit for choice now thou ! Lol not sure whether to go with the power look or layers .

There is no such thing as a best program.

  1. what is very effective for someone might only be mildly effective for another person

  2. what worked amazingly well for you last year might not work so well this year as your body changes as does its response to training

  3. The amount of work somebody can have positive adaptations from will vary wildly from one person to the next… someone working a physical job cannot do the same amount of work as someone who is unemployed. Someone who is very fast twitch-dominant or has a super efficient nervous system cannot handle the same volume as someone who is more slow twitch, etc.

  4. Your diet has a large influence on what type of program will work. When muscle glycogen stores are depleted, AMPK increases. AMPK inhibits mTor. MTor is thje “light switch” that turn on protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is what builds muscle. When you do more volume you use more muscle glycogen and thus the risk of depleting muscle glycogen is higher. So someone who is on a low carbs diet or on a fat loss phase cannot do the same volume of work as someone who consuming an ample amount of carbs and calories daily.

  5. Not everybody has the same psychological profile, as a result not everybody will get the same results from a program. You will tend to get more results from a program that fits your psychological profile.

I do not believe in a “perfect program”, I believe in solid principles on which a program is built on.

I currently use a push/pull/leg split in my own training, but not necessarily in that order. I use to do each pattern twice per week (so 6 workouts) but find that I do not recover properly from that and do no progress optimally.

I need to either do 3 on/1 off/2 on/1 off or a simple pattern of 2 on/1 off… I simply roll through the workouts (for example “Monday” will not always be a piush day, it could be a pull or leg or off day).

One thing I will say though: those who are either passionate about training or impatient about getting gains all tend to do way too much training.

Just because you “can do it” (get through the workout and not die) doesn’t mean that it will lead to an optimal progression. The more energy you burn, the harder it is to grow (excess volume/glycogen depletion raises AMPK, which can inhibit mTor which will turn off protein synthesis/muscle building). You do need to do enough work to stimulate growth, but doing too much will actually inhibit growth even though you will not feel it.

I, myself, made the mistake of training too much in the past and I know I severely limited my gains because of that.


Your final part of the post is exactly what i’m…
The hardest thing for me is to do the right amount of work… And i don’t know how to measure it… It’s a really big deal for me!

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Thanks Coach appreciate the advice and great info :slight_smile:
Think I could fall into the category of doing to much but like you say it’s hard to determine what works best … Guess it’s all trail and error abit.
Definitely like the high frequency approach as it has worked for me before but as you mention doesn’t mean it will always work, hence the search for a new programme …

Do really like the look of the power look programme thou think I will give a try.

Honestly it can totally ruin your progress and I’m not kidding here.

The sad thing is that I am great when I train clients when it comes to not having them do too much work BUT I’m really bad with myself.

The only thing that allows me to get the right amount of work is training with my friend Nick. I design the program for him and I train with him. That way I’m more objective.

But here are some of my beliefs and observations:

  1. If you look at the world’s best powerlifters they tend to train hard 4 days a week, sometimes 5 but in that case the 5th day is normally an easier workout. High level strongman also tend to train 4 days a week.

  2. I personally know several pro and high level amateur bodybuilders, heck I’ve trained many myself. And honestly except for some rare exceptions they tend to train 4 or 5 days a week.

  3. Most athletes (hockey, football, etc.) tend to have 4 weekly training sessions.

  4. Charles Poliquin who (like him or hate him) is a pioneer in the field of strength training uses a 3 days split with the following pattern: 2 on/1 off/1 on/1 off/repeat …so training 3 days out of 5 (or 6 out of 10).

  5. My most successful clients/athletes train 4 or 5 days a week.

Now there are some exceptions: elite Olympic lifters tend to train up to 6 days a week. But many of these days are low in demand/stress level and are mostly technique sessions.

I have also put out programs based on a high frequency and lower stress per session. So it can be done.


  1. STIMULUS ADDICTS HAVE A HARD TIME LIMITING HOW HARD THEY GO IN ONE SESSION. Personally if I plan on doing an ‘‘easy’’ workout I will end up doing too much or going too hard. Those of us who like to go as hard as possible, who tend to do too much, cannot use a 6-7 days a week program … for it to work you need to limit the amount and intensity of work you do in each session, and stimulus addicts can’t do that.

  2. If individuals genetically built for strength and designed to tolerate hard physical training (and maybe using drugs) can only have 4 or 5 hard sessions per week why would average Joes be able to handle more training than that?

Stimulus addicts have this reflex: take a program by a high level lifter (for example Westside Barbell training) and ADD MORE WORK TO IT. How dumb is that? You are likely a lot less efficient at recovering form intense physical work then they are, so doing more work is the last thing you should do.

  1. Do not pride yourself in how much work you do. In reality it doesn’t matter. The ONLY thing that matters is how much progress you are getting. If someone is progressing faster than you BUT is doing a lot less training than you are doing HE is doing a better job than you, PERIOD! There are no points for how much work you do, only points for the finish product.

  2. I personally find that if I train as hard as I want in one session, I can only train 2 days in a row. If I do 3 hard days in a row I will show signs of a catabolic state (flat muscles, retaining water, mood swings, lack of focus, high blood pressure) and the 3rd workout is usually bad.

I CAN train 3 days in a row occasionally BUT the first workout of the 3 days need to be an easier session. NOTE: the natural tendency when training 3 days in a row is to put the easier workout on day 3, that is a mistake. After 2 hard sessions you will be on the edge of being in a bad place, any workout done in that state will push you over the edge. Doing the easier workout on the first day will make it much easier to avoid that.

But I would recommend that until you are good at knowing when to back off, you should stick to training 2 days on/1 day off.

  1. I do 2 big lifts per workout. That is planned. The assistance work done after that can vary depending on how I’m feeling but I try to avoid doing more than 2 assistance exercises, sometimes 3 but rarely. And when it doubt, do less, not more.

Great info coach ! Thanks again :slight_smile:

very well said! for me anymore all I can handle is EOD at the moment. work, natural, and being the father of a 3 and 6 year old takes up a lot of time but those EOD workouts are intense with big lifts. even if I could I could never lift 3 days in a row. like you said, that 3rd day would have to be light/moderate

I’ve one thing to tell you juste absolutely love your infos!
Actually if i tell you what i dou actually, you will be surprise…
I train 11x per week, doing the big 3 each time i enter in the gym!
For example today i did 26 sets of squats (3reps) without counting the ramping , 4 of deadlift (single) , 8 of bench (triple) , 5 on C&J (triple) , 110 pull-ups all of this without couting the ramping… Of course, none of them was pushed to failure!
I don’t know how to manage my volume and all of this…
Actually, since i’ve been anorexic i’ve some serious hormonal issues… Do you think it’s related?


I became really curious about Norwegian powerlifting after your recent article mentioning it. I’m wondering how to reconcile the success people see on that with what you’ve said here on trying to avoid too much work. Is it because the Norwegians keep the weights relatively light day in and day out? (i.e. 70-80% 1 RM).

Regarding the difficulty of knowing the right amount of work, how would you use an accelerometer (Tendo unit for example) to determine in which moment of the workou you have to change exercise and/or finish the workout?

How would you use it in the next workout of that same bodypart to see if you are enough recovered to give another stimuli=?

I really liked the way you addresed to deanomag´s question since you didn´t answer what he was asking but what he was needing to know to make his own choices.

Have a nice day

Could be … but the fact that you were anorexic is not translating to your training. The same excessive thing is happening with your training as it was with your eating. You will end up having some issues if you keep this up. And excessive training WILL absolutely lead to hormonal issues.

The amount of volume they are doing is actually low; 2 work sets per lift per session, 5x a week. That is a total workload of 10 sets per movement per week. Not a lot of volume really. And the loading they are using is fairly ligfht. So that’s not an issue.

But as I mentioned in my article, the issue with that type of training is that it works mostly via an imporovemnent in neural efficiency and technical mastery. It is not ideal if you want to build muscle or have to correct weaknesses.

Thanks for clarifying. And that does make a lot of sense. The internet has given me somewhat of a false impression on their training style (surprise, surprise).

Everything can work (within reason) but you must understand WHY it works and FOR WHOM it will work. Be convinced by facts not seduced by concepts or the romantic notion of a foreign country program.

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