T Nation

BroScience VS You Guys


#1

Newbie here, 5.6, Spare Tire. Would like to become something between shredded and freight train.Nutrition I've got down, I get it. It's also working.

Weights.... all I've got is bro-science given to me by a couple of guys I know who like to stand at the water-cooler at the local gym who are the same shape as they were when they started. So I'm ditching that situation, I'm saving gym money for Krav Maga lessons, and I've picked up some hope equipment: Bench Press Bench, Barbell, Dumbbells. My local store sells plates galore (hey that rhymes).

Apparently 5x5 is the way to go, with lots of compound movements. But, I personally couldn't understand how things like biceps specifically were targeted by these kinds of exercises, I stressed over missing out muscles and getting an uneven look...

Can someone PLEASE annihilate my Bro-Science programming and give me some advice on a routine, with tips on how to advance?


#2

I don’t understand. You asked the guys in the gym who are not progressing for advice? Why don’t you just ask the BIG guys instead?


#3

[quote]dt79 wrote:
I don’t understand. You asked the guys in the gym who are not progressing for advice? Why don’t you just ask the BIG guys instead? [/quote]

University Gym. Nice and full of Bro-Science, Shake-guzzling guys with no more muscle than I have only there to sniff around the girls on the ellipticals. Long story short, didn’t see anyone that stood out. Even the guys on the football team didn’t have anything to offer. In fact, I tried out, and hurt the current defender. It’s laughable. Save me!


#4
  1. Choose a split from here:
  1. Select one compound exercise for each bodypart. Do it first in the workout. Use the 5/3/1 progression model.
    (optional)

#5

You’re pretty spot on with 5x5 being a good place to start for beginners. Even better is Starting Strength, or in your case Greyskull LP since that has a great reputation for getting people stronger and bigger and does include some direct arm work to keep you happy.

What you need to bear in mind is that your arms WILL grow from upper body compounds (bench, press, chins, rows, pull-ups, dips) AND some lower body compounds (deadlifts, cleans, etc because of the gripping). Spend your energy resources on those first, because those will ALSO make you stronger and bigger everywhere else. They also take much more energy. If you’ve got time and energy AFTER doing your main lifts, there’s nothing wrong with some curls and pushdowns or something. I actually had to start doing them to keep my elbows happy.

Don’t worry about getting an uneven look from not doing direct arm work. You’ll get an uneven look from prioritsing it over the big lifts; you’ll get an uneven look from prioritising upper body over lower body and vice versa; from prioritising front of body to back of body (this was me in the legs especially, and it started to affect my competition lifts), etc. But not from missing direct arm work.

Just for shits and giggles here’s something that would probably work OK for you, even though Greyskull is probably a better bet based on what you say.

Day 'A’
Squat - 3x5 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set), 1xAMRAP @ 50%
Press - 3x5 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set), 1xAMRAP @ 50%
Rows - 3x6-8 @ press weight (barbell) or 3xAMRAP per arm at half press weight (dumbbell)
Dips - 3xhowever many you can do with a couple of reps in the tank each set
if you must tricep extensions - 3x10-12

Day 'B’
Bench press - 3x5 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set), 1xAMRAP @ 50%
Deadlift - 5x3 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set)
Back extensions/GHR - 3XAMRAP
Chin-ups/pull ups - 3xhowever many you can do with a couple of reps in the tank each set
if you must curls - 3x10-12

Go A/off/B/off/A/off/etc

or

A/off/B/off/off/A/off/B/off/off, etc

or anything else as long as you recover enough. I wouldn’t recommend training back to back days. Three to four times per week is generally good.

In terms of progression, if you can add 5-10 lbs to the squat and DL and 5 lbs to the presses and rows every week/every time you have done one or two workouts of each day. Ideally you add weight every time you train until you can’t, and then you either drop the increments or increase the number of sessions between increments. What worked well for me when I started was going 10 lbs/session for lower body, 5 lbs/session for upper. This lasted about six weeks until it became unsustainable. I then went to 5/lbs every two sessions for both upper and lower, and this worked well. I could probably have happily gone 10 lbs for lower that way. That lasted another three months and by then I had a better handle on things generally. Arguably you could continue that for a fair bit longer, say six months. Once that no longer works, then you need to start looking at adding more manipulation of volume and intensity a la Texas Method.

For the accessories (dips, chins, etc) IMO adding weight/reps isn’t as important as long as you do add something over time. The nice thing with the chins/dips/GHR/back extension etc is that you can either add weight OR reps OR a combination.

Finally, focus on getting your technique down as you go. Better technique = more weight and less injury = better progress overall.


#6

I know everyone loves the Kingbeef thread but some of those splits are pretty bad imho, especially for beginners. Like, classic bro-splits – 5 days in a row, full day for arms/abs, shoulders, calves everywhere, etc.

To wit, one of the grossest workouts I’ve ever seen:

Friday - Traps/Calves/Abs/Forearms

Shrugs - 3x4-8
Standing calf raises - 3x4-8
Seated calf raises - 3x4-8
Cable Crunches - 2x10-15
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x10-15
Reverse wrist curls - 2x8-10
Behind Back wrist curls - 2x8-10

I would not go to the gym and just do that even if I lived right next to it.

Yes I’m nitpicking, and not saying those splits won’t work at all, but I think that thread is showing signs of its age (4+ years old now). The 4-day and push/pull/legs are good, though.


#7

This is a good place to start:

The way this is laid out is to do just 3 exercises per workout but it’s quiet common for lifters to add Dips to one workout and Pullups to the other.

Edit: Do that for around 4 or 5 months then you can progress to an Upper/Lower split such as this:

You could stay on that program for 6 months if you liked. How you do that is change exercises slightly. This means a like for a like. So if you have done T Bar rows for 8 weeks and you feel like a change you could switch that for Bent Over Barbell Rows. Skull Crushers could be switched to Dumbbell PJR Pullover and so on. As long as it’s like for like then that’s fine.

After 4-6 months of that you could then try a 3 way split such as Push/Pull/Legs and so on.

So there’s your first 18 months taken care of.


#8

[quote]craze9 wrote:
I know everyone loves the Kingbeef thread but some of those splits are pretty bad imho, especially for beginners. Like, classic bro-splits – 5 days in a row, full day for arms/abs, shoulders, calves everywhere, etc.

To wit, one of the grossest workouts I’ve ever seen:

Friday - Traps/Calves/Abs/Forearms

Shrugs - 3x4-8
Standing calf raises - 3x4-8
Seated calf raises - 3x4-8
Cable Crunches - 2x10-15
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x10-15
Reverse wrist curls - 2x8-10
Behind Back wrist curls - 2x8-10

I would not go to the gym and just do that even if I lived right next to it.

Yes I’m nitpicking, and not saying those splits won’t work at all, but I think that thread is showing signs of its age (4+ years old now). The 4-day and push/pull/legs are good, though.
[/quote]

Actually, these splits and the pyramiding style(or ramping or whatever its called now) have stood the test of time since I started training 2 decades ago.

Not that I’m downplaying the effectiveness of other programs, but I am currently of the opinion that all a beginner needs is basic direction and a reminder that he needs to add weight to the bar or increase reps every week. I refrain from even mentioning programs sometimes because I fear he gets the idea that programing is the be all end all, starts reading too many articles and forms fixed opinions of things without enough practical experience to separate fact from bullshit, and finally starts regurgitating it to other beginners online and at the water cooler.


#9

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
You’re pretty spot on with 5x5 being a good place to start for beginners. Even better is Starting Strength, or in your case Greyskull LP since that has a great reputation for getting people stronger and bigger and does include some direct arm work to keep you happy.

What you need to bear in mind is that your arms WILL grow from upper body compounds (bench, press, chins, rows, pull-ups, dips) AND some lower body compounds (deadlifts, cleans, etc because of the gripping). Spend your energy resources on those first, because those will ALSO make you stronger and bigger everywhere else. They also take much more energy. If you’ve got time and energy AFTER doing your main lifts, there’s nothing wrong with some curls and pushdowns or something. I actually had to start doing them to keep my elbows happy.

Don’t worry about getting an uneven look from not doing direct arm work. You’ll get an uneven look from prioritsing it over the big lifts; you’ll get an uneven look from prioritising upper body over lower body and vice versa; from prioritising front of body to back of body (this was me in the legs especially, and it started to affect my competition lifts), etc. But not from missing direct arm work.

Just for shits and giggles here’s something that would probably work OK for you, even though Greyskull is probably a better bet based on what you say.

Day 'A’
Squat - 3x5 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set), 1xAMRAP @ 50%
Press - 3x5 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set), 1xAMRAP @ 50%
Rows - 3x6-8 @ press weight (barbell) or 3xAMRAP per arm at half press weight (dumbbell)
Dips - 3xhowever many you can do with a couple of reps in the tank each set
if you must tricep extensions - 3x10-12

Day 'B’
Bench press - 3x5 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set), 1xAMRAP @ 50%
Deadlift - 5x3 @ 80% (or something that’s tough but you can do one or two more reps of each set)
Back extensions/GHR - 3XAMRAP
Chin-ups/pull ups - 3xhowever many you can do with a couple of reps in the tank each set
if you must curls - 3x10-12

Go A/off/B/off/A/off/etc

or

A/off/B/off/off/A/off/B/off/off, etc

or anything else as long as you recover enough. I wouldn’t recommend training back to back days. Three to four times per week is generally good.

In terms of progression, if you can add 5-10 lbs to the squat and DL and 5 lbs to the presses and rows every week/every time you have done one or two workouts of each day. Ideally you add weight every time you train until you can’t, and then you either drop the increments or increase the number of sessions between increments. What worked well for me when I started was going 10 lbs/session for lower body, 5 lbs/session for upper. This lasted about six weeks until it became unsustainable. I then went to 5/lbs every two sessions for both upper and lower, and this worked well. I could probably have happily gone 10 lbs for lower that way. That lasted another three months and by then I had a better handle on things generally. Arguably you could continue that for a fair bit longer, say six months. Once that no longer works, then you need to start looking at adding more manipulation of volume and intensity a la Texas Method.

For the accessories (dips, chins, etc) IMO adding weight/reps isn’t as important as long as you do add something over time. The nice thing with the chins/dips/GHR/back extension etc is that you can either add weight OR reps OR a combination.

Finally, focus on getting your technique down as you go. Better technique = more weight and less injury = better progress overall. [/quote]

Edit: My Grammar was awful.
Ah see, now I had no idea that pull ups were counted as an upper body compound. Here’s what I was told:
Bench Press
Squats
Dead lifts
Barbell row (Which I thought just helped the lower to mid areas of your back)
Literally that… I figured something was wrong when the guy referred to it as the big 5… Which now that I write that out… is so ridiculous it hurts.

I see what you mean now that I see the pull-ups and dips listed there, about the arms I mean. That seems fair enough. Here’s a question: How can I make sure that when doing those in particular that I’m giving them an equal amount of stress compared to what I’m giving to other areas of my body with those compound lifts? Obviously as those are more isolated I’m guessing they need/can handle less anyway and still grow proportionately? Is that right? I’ve seen and read that people go for weight belts/Vests and here’s another question; the idea of those weight belts terrify me, I just can’t get round the fear that they really really look like they’re going to pull my spine out of alignment or something especially if I’m going heavy; Is this just a noobie fear?

Thanks for all the advice, do you have a link to the Greyskull LP?


#10

[quote]craze9 wrote:
I know everyone loves the Kingbeef thread but some of those splits are pretty bad imho, especially for beginners. Like, classic bro-splits – 5 days in a row, full day for arms/abs, shoulders, calves everywhere, etc.

To wit, one of the grossest workouts I’ve ever seen:

Friday - Traps/Calves/Abs/Forearms

Shrugs - 3x4-8
Standing calf raises - 3x4-8
Seated calf raises - 3x4-8
Cable Crunches - 2x10-15
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x10-15
Reverse wrist curls - 2x8-10
Behind Back wrist curls - 2x8-10

I would not go to the gym and just do that even if I lived right next to it.

Yes I’m nitpicking, and not saying those splits won’t work at all, but I think that thread is showing signs of its age (4+ years old now). The 4-day and push/pull/legs are good, though.
[/quote]

With massive respect, I have no idea what you’re talking about. :frowning:


#11

[quote]Angus1 wrote:
This is a good place to start:

The way this is laid out is to do just 3 exercises per workout but it’s quiet common for lifters to add Dips to one workout and Pullups to the other.

Edit: Do that for around 4 or 5 months then you can progress to an Upper/Lower split such as this:

You could stay on that program for 6 months if you liked. How you do that is change exercises slightly. This means a like for a like. So if you have done T Bar rows for 8 weeks and you feel like a change you could switch that for Bent Over Barbell Rows. Skull Crushers could be switched to Dumbbell PJR Pullover and so on. As long as it’s like for like then that’s fine.

After 4-6 months of that you could then try a 3 way split such as Push/Pull/Legs and so on.

So there’s your first 18 months taken care of.[/quote]

A heavy/light split? That’s interesting, isn’t the light split rep count quite high? I thought that was more for toning or endurance? Is it to help with repair from the heavy days or something? I’ve read it and I get the guy means to say exactly what he says that it’ll “get my swole on”, but… how? Saying that, thanks for the link that’s a really interesting routine.


#12

[quote]CaptainGymRat wrote:
[
Ah see, now I had no idea that pull ups were counted as an upper body compound. Here’s what I was told:
Bench Press
Squats
Dead lifts
Barbell row (Which I thought just helped the lower to mid areas of your back)
Literally that… I figured something was wrong when the guy referred to it as the big 5… Which now that I write that out… is so ridiculous it hurts.
[/quote]

Really? That’s ridiculous to you? I mean granted, this is only 4 lifts rather than 5, but you can get very, very big and strong doing just these movements. I’d probably add overhead pressing to this list, and I believe barbell rows and pull ups are mostly interchangeable, but other than that, these are great lifts. They’re pretty much all I do. And btw, both rows and pullups work your entire back, and your biceps.

My split looks like this:

Day 1 - Squats

Day 2 - Bench press, pull ups. sometimes some arm stuff if I’m feeling frisky

Day 3 - Deadlifts

Day 4 - Overhead press, pull ups.

That’s it. I vary reps and sets, but these are the lifts I do. And I’m one of the strongest lifters in the US in my weight class.

Just because you think something’s ridiculous, doesn’t make you right. Keep an open mind.

And I would bet a large sum of money your diet isn’t as good as you think it is.


#13

Just to echo some similar sentiments: it’s honestly pretty hard to train “wrong”. The internet will lead you to believe that there is some sort of optimal program out there and that you most likely aren’t doing it and that your efforts will yield no progress, but honestly about the only variables common among successful trainees is effort and time.

5x5, 3x5, Full body, Upper Lower, 5 day split, Big 3/4/5/12/96, Westside, Cube, 5/3/1, etc etc, it’s all just A way to train. Getting way too caught up in the details will just screw with you. It’s a learning process. I’ve been training since I was 14, I turn 30 this year, and I’m still learning new stuff. You’ll figure it out as you go.

Pick A program, commit to it, give it your all, and when I stops working, pick a different program and do the same thing. Eventually, you’ll really understand what does and does not work for you, and then you can quit following programs and just follow principles.


#14

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Just to echo some similar sentiments: it’s honestly pretty hard to train “wrong”. The internet will lead you to believe that there is some sort of optimal program out there and that you most likely aren’t doing it and that your efforts will yield no progress, but honestly about the only variables common among successful trainees is effort and time.

5x5, 3x5, Full body, Upper Lower, 5 day split, Big 3/4/5/12/96, Westside, Cube, 5/3/1, etc etc, it’s all just A way to train. Getting way too caught up in the details will just screw with you. It’s a learning process. I’ve been training since I was 14, I turn 30 this year, and I’m still learning new stuff. You’ll figure it out as you go.

Pick A program, commit to it, give it your all, and when I stops working, pick a different program and do the same thing. Eventually, you’ll really understand what does and does not work for you, and then you can quit following programs and just follow principles.[/quote]

This.

I would recommend picking a program to follow on which you can get feedback as you’re going through. Jim has a whole forum in which he supports people doing 5/3/1, Thibs also has his own forum, Alpha has many people he supports through this site with a more unusual style of training and personally I’ve always found Th3Pwnisher to be incredibly generous with his time and expertise. All of these guys are big, strong and will be able to guide you to getting results.


#15

[quote]CaptainGymRat wrote:

[quote]Angus1 wrote:
This is a good place to start:

The way this is laid out is to do just 3 exercises per workout but it’s quiet common for lifters to add Dips to one workout and Pullups to the other.

Edit: Do that for around 4 or 5 months then you can progress to an Upper/Lower split such as this:

You could stay on that program for 6 months if you liked. How you do that is change exercises slightly. This means a like for a like. So if you have done T Bar rows for 8 weeks and you feel like a change you could switch that for Bent Over Barbell Rows. Skull Crushers could be switched to Dumbbell PJR Pullover and so on. As long as it’s like for like then that’s fine.

After 4-6 months of that you could then try a 3 way split such as Push/Pull/Legs and so on.

So there’s your first 18 months taken care of.[/quote]

A heavy/light split? That’s interesting, isn’t the light split rep count quite high? I thought that was more for toning or endurance? Is it to help with repair from the heavy days or something? I’ve read it and I get the guy means to say exactly what he says that it’ll “get my swole on”, but… how? Saying that, thanks for the link that’s a really interesting routine.
[/quote]
Actually I would rather you focus on the first link I gave you. It is a good place for beginners to start. Each training day alternates between 2 workouts of 4 lifts which gives adequate frequency and builds strength and muscle.
Adding dips and pullups takes care of your arms yet at the same time works chest and back respectively.
It’s a good program to do for at least the first 6 months of your training life.

After that time you will probably want to progress onto something else such as an Upper/Lower split so that’s why I gave you a look at that 2nd link (in hindsight perhaps I shouldn’t have). It has changes in rep ranges and focuses more on individual muscle groups. This is a natural transition that lifters go through but I would start on that first program I sent you before trying this.


#16

[quote]CaptainGymRat wrote: I’ve seen and read that people go for weight belts/Vests and here’s another question; the idea of those weight belts terrify me, I just can’t get round the fear that they really really look like they’re going to pull my spine out of alignment or something especially if I’m going heavy; Is this just a noobie fear?

Thanks for all the advice, do you have a link to the Greyskull LP?
[/quote]

I’ve got one and it does nothing of the kind. I’ve even found for pull ups that having a plate to grip with my legs hanging off the belt makes me get into better position. Same for dips.

I just sit the belt above my butt and the weight pulls it down. There is literally zero loading on my spine at all as far as I can tell.

Don’t overthink things too much in terms of making sure all the muscles get evenly stressed. You don’t want the same amount of stress on all the muscles because some respond differently than others in terms of recovery especially.

Example (based on me): I can bench every time I train, and it doesn’t affect my bench anything other than positively. I’d be nuts to deadlift every time I train. Same for pull ups. I used to do them almost every session because of how awesome they are but all that did was give me elbow tendonitis that still bothers me. That affected my squatting, and that wasn’t good.

If you just focus on getting strong on squats, deadlifts, presses and upper body pulls you won’t need to worry much if at all about your arms. They’re so involved in a large portion of those lifts that they’ll come along nicely. Some direct arm work IF you have the time and energy would just be the icing on the cake.

I haven’t got a link to Greyskull but I’m pretty sure there’s one on powerliftingtowin in the program review section.


#17

[quote]CaptainGymRat wrote:
Thanks for all the advice, do you have a link to the Greyskull LP?
[/quote]

The bare bones of Greyskull LP is this:

Monday -

bench OR overhead press (alternate each workout) - 5, 5, 5 or more
squat - 5, 5, 5 or more

Wednesday -

bench OR overhead press (alternate each workout) - 5, 5, 5 or more
deadlift - one working set of 5 or more

Friday -

bench OR overhead press (alternate each workout) - 5, 5, 5 or more
squat - 5, 5, 5 or more

You then add more exercises depending on what you’re trying to achieve. I strongly recommend rows and/or chinups. other options include pushups, dips, curls, and ab work. (Do not add more than two or three exercises per session - just a personal caveat)

The two principles that separate greyskull from starting strength are these: 1. You do your upper body work first. This way you can do the comparatively easy benching and pressing first before you go for broke on the heavy stuff. 2. On the main exercises, you will push the last set to the limit. So if you bench 170, you might do a set of five, another set of five and then do nine o nthe last one. This ensures that you really push your limits even when lifting lighter weights. Basically, this is starting strength with some Wendler thrown in.

Whenever you can get at least five on the last set, you increase the weight. IF you can’t do this for several workouts in a row, reduce the weight by 10% on that exercise alone and try to get more reps with the lower weights than the last time you used them.


#18

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
I know everyone loves the Kingbeef thread but some of those splits are pretty bad imho, especially for beginners. Like, classic bro-splits – 5 days in a row, full day for arms/abs, shoulders, calves everywhere, etc.

To wit, one of the grossest workouts I’ve ever seen:

Friday - Traps/Calves/Abs/Forearms

Shrugs - 3x4-8
Standing calf raises - 3x4-8
Seated calf raises - 3x4-8
Cable Crunches - 2x10-15
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x10-15
Reverse wrist curls - 2x8-10
Behind Back wrist curls - 2x8-10

I would not go to the gym and just do that even if I lived right next to it.

Yes I’m nitpicking, and not saying those splits won’t work at all, but I think that thread is showing signs of its age (4+ years old now). The 4-day and push/pull/legs are good, though.
[/quote]

Actually, these splits and the pyramiding style(or ramping or whatever its called now) have stood the test of time since I started training 2 decades ago.

Not that I’m downplaying the effectiveness of other programs, but I am currently of the opinion that all a beginner needs is basic direction and a reminder that he needs to add weight to the bar or increase reps every week. I refrain from even mentioning programs sometimes because I fear he gets the idea that programing is the be all end all, starts reading too many articles and forms fixed opinions of things without enough practical experience to separate fact from bullshit, and finally starts regurgitating it to other beginners online and at the water cooler.[/quote]

I agree with you about beginners and just getting them lifting. Even in these forums it’s all too common for someone to just get confused by all the conflicting advice they get. So I’m not against your advice, but I’m a little confused about people always linking that Kingbeef thread when it includes a bunch of splits that look pretty mediocre to me. And to tell a beginner he needs to lift 5 days / week to make progress, and 3 days / week is simply not enough, is not only wrong but also the kind of thing that actually de-motivated me when I was a beginner.

I mean, the volume in those routines isn’t even very high - it could be done all in 3 days, and would that be worse? More rest days = bad?

The very first split linked it:

Monday - Chest/Calves
Tuesday - Back
Wednesday - Legs
Thursday - Arms/Abs
Friday - Shoulders

OR the one I pulled that ugly workout from:

M - Chest/Triceps
T - Back/Biceps
W - Legs
Th - Shoulders
F - Traps/Cavles/Abs/Forearms

These are splits that I’ve never seen a T-Nation contributor or experienced coach recommend. And I think it’s not a particularly smart way to distribute the volume over a week, given the heavy CNS days are all stacked 3 days in a row (legs next to back and no deadlifts included), entire days are devoted to small muscle groups, and no rest days in between.

Sure, it will work, but even if you keep the exact same volume and exercise selection you could do both of those splits in 4 days easily. And include rest days in between. They just don’t look very well thought-out to me.

At least, I don’t get why people always recommend that Kingbeef thread when there are all these splits to use:

From CT:

Day 1 â?? Back and deadlift
Day 2 â?? Chest and shoulders
Day 3 â?? OFF
Day 4 â?? Biceps and Triceps
Day 5 â?? Legs
Day 6 â?? Chest and Back
Day 7 â?? OFF

OR

Day 1 Chest/Bench Press
Day 2 Legs / Squat
Day 3 Lats/Biceps/Abs
Day 4 Shoulders/OHP
Day 5 Deadlift / Back

Or John Meadows:

Legs
Chest/Shoulders Heavy
(off)
Back
Chest/Shoulders Pump
Arms

Or Stu’s split:

1- Chest/calves
2- Back/Biceps
3- Delts/Traps/Triceps
4- Legs

Or other 4-days like:

Chest/Biceps
Legs/Abs
(off)
Shoulders/Triceps
Back

or

Legs
Chest
(off)
Shoulders/Triceps
Back/Biceps

Obviously if we’re talking about just getting a beginner to do a program then I’m nitpicking / changing the subject, but I don’t understand the Kingbeef thread thing.


#19

^ I don’t either. I mean, I get the whole progression system, but yeah I think if I walked over to every bro in my old college gym curling in the squat rack and asked for a split recommendation he’d give me something that looks very similar. Also the guy says something like everyone should be able to train four days/week. I think some guys with heavy familial obligations, work, & travel would disagree.

EDIT: It does seem than the OP is after physique > performance. Obviously, some advanced guys go full bro, but for a beginner it just seems like he could be directing his energies at getting awesome at the basics, and not worry so much about the small muscle groups for the time being unless they’re significantly underdeveloped.

Op, maybe do something like Greyskull LP. You’re hitting the basics frequently, it has the option to condition on off days, and has blank spots for exercises you want to plug-in like curls & abs & such. That, and read up on some diet articles from this site.


#20

[quote]craze9 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:
I know everyone loves the Kingbeef thread but some of those splits are pretty bad imho, especially for beginners. Like, classic bro-splits – 5 days in a row, full day for arms/abs, shoulders, calves everywhere, etc.

To wit, one of the grossest workouts I’ve ever seen:

Friday - Traps/Calves/Abs/Forearms

Shrugs - 3x4-8
Standing calf raises - 3x4-8
Seated calf raises - 3x4-8
Cable Crunches - 2x10-15
Weighted Leg Raises - 3x10-15
Reverse wrist curls - 2x8-10
Behind Back wrist curls - 2x8-10

I would not go to the gym and just do that even if I lived right next to it.

Yes I’m nitpicking, and not saying those splits won’t work at all, but I think that thread is showing signs of its age (4+ years old now). The 4-day and push/pull/legs are good, though.
[/quote]

Actually, these splits and the pyramiding style(or ramping or whatever its called now) have stood the test of time since I started training 2 decades ago.

Not that I’m downplaying the effectiveness of other programs, but I am currently of the opinion that all a beginner needs is basic direction and a reminder that he needs to add weight to the bar or increase reps every week. I refrain from even mentioning programs sometimes because I fear he gets the idea that programing is the be all end all, starts reading too many articles and forms fixed opinions of things without enough practical experience to separate fact from bullshit, and finally starts regurgitating it to other beginners online and at the water cooler.[/quote]

I agree with you about beginners and just getting them lifting. Even in these forums it’s all too common for someone to just get confused by all the conflicting advice they get. So I’m not against your advice, but I’m a little confused about people always linking that Kingbeef thread when it includes a bunch of splits that look pretty mediocre to me. And to tell a beginner he needs to lift 5 days / week to make progress, and 3 days / week is simply not enough, is not only wrong but also the kind of thing that actually de-motivated me when I was a beginner.

I mean, the volume in those routines isn’t even very high - it could be done all in 3 days, and would that be worse? More rest days = bad?

The very first split linked it:

Monday - Chest/Calves
Tuesday - Back
Wednesday - Legs
Thursday - Arms/Abs
Friday - Shoulders

OR the one I pulled that ugly workout from:

M - Chest/Triceps
T - Back/Biceps
W - Legs
Th - Shoulders
F - Traps/Cavles/Abs/Forearms

These are splits that I’ve never seen a T-Nation contributor or experienced coach recommend. And I think it’s not a particularly smart way to distribute the volume over a week, given the heavy CNS days are all stacked 3 days in a row (legs next to back and no deadlifts included), entire days are devoted to small muscle groups, and no rest days in between.

Sure, it will work, but even if you keep the exact same volume and exercise selection you could do both of those splits in 4 days easily. And include rest days in between. They just don’t look very well thought-out to me.

At least, I don’t get why people always recommend that Kingbeef thread when there are all these splits to use:

From CT:

Day 1 �¢?? Back and deadlift
Day 2 �¢?? Chest and shoulders
Day 3 �¢?? OFF
Day 4 �¢?? Biceps and Triceps
Day 5 �¢?? Legs
Day 6 �¢?? Chest and Back
Day 7 �¢?? OFF

OR

Day 1 Chest/Bench Press
Day 2 Legs / Squat
Day 3 Lats/Biceps/Abs
Day 4 Shoulders/OHP
Day 5 Deadlift / Back

Or John Meadows:

Legs
Chest/Shoulders Heavy
(off)
Back
Chest/Shoulders Pump
Arms

Or Stu’s split:

1- Chest/calves
2- Back/Biceps
3- Delts/Traps/Triceps
4- Legs

Or other 4-days like:

Chest/Biceps
Legs/Abs
(off)
Shoulders/Triceps
Back

or

Legs
Chest
(off)
Shoulders/Triceps
Back/Biceps

Obviously if we’re talking about just getting a beginner to do a program then I’m nitpicking / changing the subject, but I don’t understand the Kingbeef thread thing.

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My opinion is very simple. The split doesn’t matter unless it’s retarded. I don’t see why you’re so hung up on it.

And I would like the beginner to understand that things like this do not matter in light of the bigger picture for reasons given in my previous post.