T Nation

Bodypart A Day Training

Hi everyone

Ive tried training full body routines vs a bodypart a day training and seem to get much better hypertrophy from a bodypart a day training.When i seem to do the full body training programs eg-tbt and QD i get a hell of a lot stronger but end up with fuckin colds and not much muscle size :frowning: so since strengh is not really a priority of mine im sticking with a bodypart a day routine i have been doing.Does anybody else find the same thing ?

Peace
H

You’re probably overtraining on the full body workouts.

My brother swore by each bodypart 1x/week and got pretty big (up to 6-4 290 with maybe 16% BF). I think split training is fine, but personally, I need to train a muscle at least every 4-5 days. If my goal was to improve my arms for example, I feel I’d have to train them 2x per week directly, plus indirect work. Maybe I’m wrong though.

I train one body part a day and have for years. I have gained most of the size I have from doing that. If chest is trained with triceps, I usually end up training either chest or biceps twice a week. I am switching that soon in favor of legs twice a week depending on recovery.

look forr convergent phase training.

The best gains i had were on this, and it is extremely motivating.

Search under concergent or Charles Staley.

There is a lot of flexibility in what you do there and as long as you can circuit your exercises in the gym, your laughing.

Thanks for the reply’s guys.Next question.
I use about 9 sets per bodypart depending on how im feeling.Do u guys think this is enough volume for 1x week training,someone mentioned to me they do atleast 18-20 sets per muscle group but if i trained like that id overttrain like a mofo :frowning: .

Peace
H

Check the Dan John article about this (search here on T-Nation).

Prof X, quick question, could you possibly post an example of what you do as a workout plan I"m just curious.
You say 1 body part a day, do you do that 4 out of 7 days or 6 out of 7 days, just my own curiosity.

I have been doing TBT for 6 weeks now and though I have gained about 7-8 lbs (most of this newbie gains after about a year off), I can REALLY tell my strength has increased. I know CT says that it shouldn’t TOO much, but mine really has. Anyways, I’ve seen some nice hypertrophy gains, but will probably switch to a split (back/bi’s, chest/tri’s, etc…) in 2 weeks when my TBT is done as I am hitting a wall with TBT.

Most of my training consists of 9 to 11 sets per bodypart/training session. If you’re intensity is quite high and you’re training at 80% of your 1 rep max you’ll be worked after 9 to 11 sets. The real question is how many sets are you doing AND how many reps are you doing per set. I’d say on the low end you want to shoot for a minimum of 40-50 total reps per training session all the way up to 100+ total reps per training session. If I’m closer to to 40-50 total reps per training session you bet your ass I’m doing 90% of my 1 rep max on compound lifts which will make up a majority of that training session; therefore I’m worked. If I’m doing a higher volume training session, say 70-80 reps, I may be working more in the 60-70% of my 1 rep max for the majority of my reps. Does this make sense?

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Check the Dan John article about this (search here on T-Nation).

Prof X, quick question, could you possibly post an example of what you do as a workout plan I"m just curious.
You say 1 body part a day, do you do that 4 out of 7 days or 6 out of 7 days, just my own curiosity.
[/quote]

Day 1
Legs
Day 2
chest/tris
Day 3
back
Day 4
shoulders
Day 5
biceps
Day 6
chest
Day 7
sometimes a rest day is put in here, however, there are some weeks where I don’t have a rest day and some weeks where I might have two. I am usually in and out of the gym in about 30min, maybe a little longer. I lift heavy, stay focused, leave and go eat. This is also why I don’t understand those who make blanket statements about how everyone will overtrain if they trained more than 5 days a week. We aren’t all made the same and it will always be up to you to find where you own personal boundaries are.

Oh praise the gods someone else like me. I love T-Nation and everything it represents, however I just can’t get into total body training, I like to do legs and exhaust myself, I feel I hit the muscles better I get stronger and I get bigger

you really do biceps alone?
Huh.
Nothing wrong with that, just struck me as odd. But, like you say, it’s all in what works for you!

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:
you really do biceps alone?
Huh.
Nothing wrong with that, just struck me as odd. But, like you say, it’s all in what works for you![/quote]

Yes, all by themselves. I can barely scratch my head afterwards and look funny even adjusting my head phones. It works so why question it?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Day 1
Legs
Day 2
chest/tris
Day 3
back
Day 4
shoulders
Day 5
biceps
Day 6
chest
Day 7
sometimes a rest day is put in here, [/quote]

OK, questions.

  1. Hitting your chest twice, is it your best bodypart? In other words, 2x/week for a single bodypart: is it better than one or not given overall recovery rate is OK.

  2. How many real work sets do you get in in 30 minutes? I’m guessing around 7-10 real hard sets.

  3. Do you combine heavier (say 3-6 max)with lighter (6-12) all the time in the same workout, or do you vary every few weeks.

I’m really curious about how to design a hypertrophy program to alternate with more of a strenght program every 2-3 weeks, basically in terms of how much volume,what pace to work at, and whether a weak point should get doubled up each week.

And if anyone else reads this, please don’t tell me to read such and such article. I’ve read all of them at least twice back, and all the archives.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Joe Weider wrote:
you really do biceps alone?
Huh.
Nothing wrong with that, just struck me as odd. But, like you say, it’s all in what works for you!

Yes, all by themselves. I can barely scratch my head afterwards and look funny even adjusting my head phones. It works so why question it?[/quote]

well exactly, Prof! I wasn’t finding fault or questioning, it was just a little surprising.
Mostly I think because I don’t work mine at all. I hate doing biceps work, I just let back work and forearm stuff take care of it.
But my biceps aren’t as big as yours, so there you go!

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
OK, questions.

  1. Hitting your chest twice, is it your best bodypart? In other words, 2x/week for a single bodypart: is it better than one or not given overall recovery rate is OK.[/quote]

Now, aside from biceps, it probably is my best body part. My upper chest used to lag behind. That was about 3 years ago though. I started training upper chest on a day by itself and then lower chest on a seperate day. I would train triceps with upper chest. Upper chest routines would go something like; Hammer Strength Incline press, smith machine inclines and dumbbell inclines. Lower chest would be; Hammer Strength wide grip press, HS flat bench and HS declines. Over two years, my upper chest grew a lot and now stands out pretty significantly. I just recently quit dividing my chest up like that simply because I feel my upper chest is pretty decent. Just because no one has done something a certain way before is not a good enough reason for it to never be done.

[quote]
2) How many real work sets do you get in in 30 minutes? I’m guessing around 7-10 real hard sets.[/quote]

I did shoulders tonight. 4 exercises total at about 13 sets. I consider traps a part of shoulder training and only do shrugs for them. Chest training now has me ending with about 10 sets…and that is mostly because I am lacking some of the machines I usually used at my old gym.

[quote]
3) Do you combine heavier (say 3-6 max)with lighter (6-12) all the time in the same workout, or do you vary every few weeks. [/quote]

I don’t vary anything. The first set is usually about 10 reps and the last set is as heavy as possible, sometimes ending with only 3-4 reps. That is how I do it on most exercises. Why would I vary that?

[quote]
I’m really curious about how to design a hypertrophy program to alternate with more of a strenght program every 2-3 weeks, basically in terms of how much volume,what pace to work at, and whether a weak point should get doubled up each week.[/quote]

Is there a reason you think hypertrophy happens in the absence of strength gains? I train for both. I get both. Why do you think you can’t?

Prof X,
I’ve actually been wondering what you do for workouts.

It seems that you are doing the exact rights amount of volume/intensity for yourself. As long as you don’t see symptons of overtraining… You’re not.

Most people who say they wanna lift 5+ days a week usually mean for an 1 hour or more and thats why a lot of people make the blanket statement. If everyone could restrict themselves like you to under 15 working sets every single time they step in there. Well… It’d be a lot different.

On the topic of working sets… Whats your warm-up like? Pretty rudimentary, or do you do several warm-up sets? Are those included in your 10 set estimations?

Also, to HHH… When you develop naggin injuries, colds, stop progressing, feel constantly worn, don’t feel like working out. They’re signs of overtraining. You need to pull back. I’ve found myself training too hard on TBT (actually going to failure) and needing more days off. It hasn’t affected results, but its just a matter of modification… You have to see how quickly your body can recover. Also… A million other things can factor into your restoration. Diet, PWD, sleep, stress, other physcial stresses, illness etc. etc.

[quote]Garrett W. wrote:

Most people who say they wanna lift 5+ days a week usually mean for an 1 hour or more and thats why a lot of people make the blanket statement. [/quote]

It should be pretty much common knowledge by now that staying in the gym past 45min to an hour is counterproductive. Even if I spend a good amount of time talking to people (which isnt often) I still make it out in under 45min…unless cardio is involved afterwards)

[quote]
On the topic of working sets… Whats your warm-up like? Pretty rudimentary, or do you do several warm-up sets? Are those included in your 10 set estimations?[/quote]

Yes, this time they were included. However, like I have written before, I may change what I do for a warm up depending on how I feel. Your goal in the gym shouldn’t be to follow some routine simply because someone else put it together. It should be to eventually be able to trouble shoot on your own and to learn what your own body needs at a certain time. It seems many on this site like to rely on every one/thing else but themselves in that aspect.

[quote]Garrett W. wrote:
Also, to HHH… When you develop naggin injuries, colds, stop progressing, feel constantly worn, don’t feel like working out. They’re signs of overtraining. You need to pull back. I’ve found myself training too hard on TBT (actually going to failure) and needing more days off. It hasn’t affected results, but its just a matter of modification… You have to see how quickly your body can recover. Also… A million other things can factor into your restoration. Diet, PWD, sleep, stress, other physcial stresses, illness etc. etc.[/quote]

I’d say that nagging injuries can creep up on you and you may be very overtrained before you notice.

The sure signs of overtraining for me are: 1 decrease in sex drive, 2 I actually lose all body odor, 3 You feel unsure of what your going to do in the workout, or not totally eager to jump on your first hard set, 4 you may find it hard to fall asleep at night.

A cold can be indirectly related to increasing workload or intensity, even if its not necessarily too much total work. Not that this should be a problem if your training continuously, but I knew a lot of people who got sick 2 weeks into “coming back” quit again for 3-4 weeks and never made those initial adaptations.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Is there a reason you think hypertrophy happens in the absence of strength gains? I train for both. I get both. Why do you think you can’t?
[/quote]

Well, as (granted an extreme) example, Arnold benched 315 for 34 reps, but his max was a sliver over 500. In contrast, 225 for 34 reps would probably be typical for a raw 500 pound bencher.

Also, I’ve heard about Olympic lifters avoiding eccentric work and sets of more than 5 reps so that they would not gain weight and go up a class.

Also, Platz v. Hatfield.

I’m not saying that they can’t both be built simultaneously, or that they improve each other, just that they are not identical.

By the way, if your goal was to improve your powerlifting style bench press, would you still use the same protocol-pyrimiding up to a single heavy set of 3-6 reps? Just wondering.