T Nation

Calves and Abs in Split


Hey guys, my current hypertrophy split is:

Mon: Quads
Tuesday: Upper Body Pull + Shoulder Rehab
Thursday: Hamstrings/Glutes
Saturday: Upper Body Push + Shoulder Rehab

I've been doing calves on the lower body days and abs on the upper body days after my main workout. My calves and abs sets are pretty much shit with this setup. I would definitely like to hit them with with more intensity and volume; so I want to give them their own days (as in twice a week) with low intensity cardio (to increase appetite and recovery.) My question is where should I put these two days in my current split? I can move things around if need be. Thanks.


You can do calves and abs every day if you like. No need to give them their own day. Hell, you can do abs while watching TV.


I agree. It's realy not worth stressing over the calves. Perhaps do them on their own (i.e main workout: morning, calves: evening - or vice-versa) so you can focus solely on the calves and throw a bit more energy at them, but as fora specific training day, probably not necessary. The calves have a huge capacity for work, and what with it being isolation work, recovery sint such a big problem.

As for abs, do they need isolating (do they EVER need isolating)?

Your routine is:

''Mon: Quads
Tuesday: Upper Body Pull + Shoulder Rehab
Thursday: Hamstrings/Glutes
Saturday: Upper Body Push + Shoulder Rehab''

Now if your quad day is a barbell squat (variation, normal or front), if you train the squat hard, your abs (whole trunk section) is getting hit hard. Same with hams and hips. Do barbell hip thrusts and some kind of deadlift and again, your abs shouldnt feel like they need anymore work, same with upper body pushes, use a barbell and your mid-section will get worked.


whats wrong with doing a bit of direct ab work wont hurt


There isn't, I am not completely against it. However it usually makes more sense for the lifter to work the abs with everything else. If the lifter has proportionally small abs, then yes, isolation work is necessary (but not normally the case).

I really think that a program which involves (variations of):

and deadlifts

will provide any serious lifter with enough ab work.

If we are talking about an advanced lifter, one who has lifted for many years, yes, maybe isolated ab work could improve his physique, or make him stronger in a lift, but I am sick of all these douches (i.e The Situation off Jersey shore) who have trophy abs, but bodies which look(and no doubt ARE) proportionally weak. Pulling their shirts up thinking they've achieved something.


I want to do more ab work to help improve strength in those lifts. I really don't see how doing a few sets of ab wheel and pallof press qualifies someone as a douchebag.


If you are doing squats and deadlifts then the Thursday could be dropped (hamstrings covered by deads and glutes by squats). Then again, if you were doing squats then deads you'd have figured out something was wrong with the split on the very first deadlift.
So what are you doing on the Monday and Tuesday?


nah some ab rollouts or situps wouldnt hurt anything


wait yarni who says you have to be advanced to do some isolation work for abs


i vote for weighted planks. see how long you can plank with 25kg on your back lolz. you might want to build up to it.

sit ups work your hip flexors mostly. the abs only really do stuff for the initial crunch part of the movement. the hip flexors tend to get a bit pissy for most people since sitting puts them in a shortened position... roll outs are pretty good, though.


i do weighted situps when i can, though i havnt really seen a huge difference just dont do them the day before heavy front or back squats. atleast with me, there pretty sore all the day after heavy situps.
claves just hammer them as much as you can is what ive heard works


You could do calves on an upper body day and/or at the beginning of a session. Or on any of your off days. You could pick literally any day - I do mine the day before legs, and there isn't any interference.

I don't agree that you can do calves every day, any more than you can train arms every day. (that is to say, you shouldn't, unless for a specific specialization purpose) You should train them with progressively heavier weight, and they should be sore to a degree, and require days to recover. Just like other body parts. There are some strange theories floating around about calves LOL I have a hunch that most people who complain about calves are simply not training them to the same extent as the rest of their body.


You're just oversimplifying what Im saying. I am saying that anyone fairly new to lifting weights will mostly be unhappy with their body in some way. At the same time, their problem isn't normally that they have a strong, good-looking body - BUT with a small weak ab section. In fact, once someone has a bigger stronger overall body shape, the abs HAVE TO have grown in line with the body because they link the top to the bottom and are used in just about every lift to varying degrees. The idea that

if I just hammer my abs directly it'll improve my overall look

is WRONG. It'll give a lifter a freakishly proportioned ab section with dangly arms and legs. And the idea that

it'll make me stronger in the big lifts

is rubbish. Want a bigger deadlift: DEADLIFT. Want to do more chins, or do them with extra weight, practise CHIN UPS!

But look, Im not attacking the idea of working abs like it's some sort of taboo! Im merely saying ab work is often abused. Look at this 'Situation' idiot from Jersey Shore. He was my example. Not 'everyone who's ever touched an ab roller'! Sure, assistance work on the abs is necessary in some cases