T Nation

Chicken-Legs-No-More Split

Hey everyone, so I’ve been working out consistently for almost 9 months now, after a 2-3 year lay off. Unfortunately I didn’t know much about leg training until I found this site (was doing a lot of half-squats etc.) and I sprained my ankle in January; so I found myself getting to be quite a light bulb.

I used to do:

Day 1: Chest, Back
Day 2: Legs, Abs
Day 3: Shoulders, Arms
Day 4: Off

Now I’ve been doing for about the past month:

Day 1: Legs (Centered around the Front Squat), Abs
Day 2: Chest, Back
Day 3: Off/Light Cardio
Day 4: Legs (Centered around the Deadlift), Abs
Day 5: Shoulders, Arms
Day 6: Off/Light Cardio

Repeat Immediately or take Day 7: Rest, to round out the week if I feel I need it.

So far I’ve seen some great “newb” gains. Which is kind of cool to experience again, after they slowed down slightly on the upper body. Anyone want to throw their two cents in on this or give me some other tips about it?

PS - Lifter Profile:

Age: 20
Height: 6’1"
Weight: 205
Bodyfat: ??? (I prefer to just say 33 1/2 inch waist to give you an idea and the hell with that percentage, it’s about looks not how well I float)

Well your on the right track; moreso then before.

Same goes with keeping deadlifts and squats separated by a few days.

I typically put deads in on back days to start things off though.

your about my height, plus a few pounds; so i can tell you that making sure your parrallel/below parrallel with squatting is a great idea to get that full leg burn. try hitting ass to the grass if you have that type of flexibility.

work past the newb-gains…then it gets fun!

I see you like the front squat. More power to you, but from my experience most people can back squat much more than they can front squat. You might want to focus on back squats some more … at least, I much prefer them because they leave me totally sore all over. They do not target the quads as much but I prefer to feel it in my posterior chain.

My program is like yours. Monday and Thursday are leg days focused around squats and deads respectively. However, instead of focusing on muscle groups I focus on lifts.

Day 1 - Legs
Day 2 - Presses
Day 3 - Legs
Day 4 - Pulls

When you do heavy presses, you are putting stress on your chest, anterior and medial delts, triceps, and sometimes traps. Why focus explicitly on arms for a whole day?

The same is true for pulls. Don’t waste time with bicep curls when you can do rows and pullups. Just my two.

I’m in the bulb boat with you, bro. Motorcycle wreck in Feb. messed up my leg and knee. I’ll be focusing more on my lower body as soon as I can do heavy squats again.

I agree with you on the front squat/deadlift routine you have. Makes sense to balance quads with posterior chain. Still love doing back squats, though.

Like njrusmc said, I don’t focus on arms right now either. I just need to build up some mass. I’ll worry about my bi’s and tri’s after my shoulders, chest and back are decent shape.

Do you two that have responded actually read what you type before you hit “submit”?

“Why focus explicityly on arms”? Because they are muscle groups that won’t get bigger and stronger unless you train them to do so.

“Don’t waste time with bicep curls when you can do rows and pullups.” ??

Did the OP say he was extremely short on time?

Since when are bicep curls a waste of time? Unless you want your arms to stay small while the rest of you grows. Good luck with that.

"I just need to build up some mass. I’ll worry about my bi’s and tri’s after my shoulders, chest and back are decent shape. "

What do you think you mean by “build up some mass”? Do you really think it’s a good idea to neglect two important muscle groups in favor of other ones? Why? Who told you this was a good way to train and what are their reasons?

Do you think you can just build up your chest and back to an impressive level while never training your arms (good luck with that in the first place, actually), and then once you’re there do curls and pushdowns for a few weeks so that your arms “catch up” or something?

Do you realize it takes just as long to build and strengthen those muscle groups as it does others?

Do you realize how wrong you are yet?

It kills me when I see this kind of advice given to someone starting out, and doing extremely well for himself.

OP: what you have set up now actually looks really, really solid. Good job. Stick with that routine.

Yeah, I guess you’re right. I don’t use my arms at all when I do:

bench press
military press
bent rows
pullups
pushups
high pulls
dead lifts
pullovers

I probably should do a ton of shrugs, too. I don’t think I’m working my traps at all.

All sarcasm and insults aside (because I won’t stoop to that level on an Internet forum), I still disagree.

  1. Heavy presses and pulls work the respective arm muscles sufficiently. Just because you are not focusing whole workouts on your arms does not mean they will not grow.

  2. Doing extra exercises on them CAN lead to over-training (I speak from experience).

Seeing as how you have been training longer than I have, I respect your advice and I take it for what its worth, despite our differences. Let the OP decide what works for him given the DIFFERENT TYPES of advice he is free to receive in a FORUM.

EDIT: Allow me to add one more thing before you inevitably continue the argument (which I prefer to end). Other compound exercises like underhand pullups or dips can be better targeting exercises for the arms.

I do these regulary as a result. My argument was simply not to spend TOO much time on bicep curls or tricep extensions (both exercises I do, but not as frequently). By too much time, I meant an entire workout. Thats all.

Thanks for the humility check, njrusmc.

I guess I should have just pointed out the word ‘focus’ in my first post. I do curls and tri extensions and stuff, but I use them as accessory work.

Absolutely. To me, arms are rather ancillary. Important yes, worthy of neglect absolutely not. But I would take a strong posterior chain and perfect posture before 35" arms :slight_smile:

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Do you two that have responded actually read what you type before you hit “submit”?

“Why focus explicityly on arms”? Because they are muscle groups that won’t get bigger and stronger unless you train them to do so.

“Don’t waste time with bicep curls when you can do rows and pullups.” ??

Did the OP say he was extremely short on time?

Since when are bicep curls a waste of time? Unless you want your arms to stay small while the rest of you grows. Good luck with that.

"I just need to build up some mass. I’ll worry about my bi’s and tri’s after my shoulders, chest and back are decent shape. "

What do you think you mean by “build up some mass”? Do you really think it’s a good idea to neglect two important muscle groups in favor of other ones? Why? Who told you this was a good way to train and what are their reasons?

Do you think you can just build up your chest and back to an impressive level while never training your arms (good luck with that in the first place, actually), and then once you’re there do curls and pushdowns for a few weeks so that your arms “catch up” or something?

Do you realize it takes just as long to build and strengthen those muscle groups as it does others?

Do you realize how wrong you are yet?

It kills me when I see this kind of advice given to someone starting out, and doing extremely well for himself.

OP: what you have set up now actually looks really, really solid. Good job. Stick with that routine.[/quote]

Mr. Popular, I am curious as to exactly how big your arms are. You also seem like you have all of your responses pre-programmed and you also seem to sniff out these threads like a police dog.

I don’t think my arms are big at all, in fact one of the glaring flaws of my early training was that I subscribed to this BS idea that simply doing chinups and rows were “sufficient” for bicep growth, or that “heavy benching and military pressing” was all you needed for triceps.

It isn’t.

You are not going to find any real-world examples of this philosophy panning out.

I don’t know what you mean by pre-programmed or how i sniff out these threads since you manage to appear in most of the threads as well…

Maybe you didn’t notice but… we’re in a forum. And threads are open all the time for viewers to go into…

so i’m not sure where your disconnect is here either…

I would suggest you go back and read this entire thread one more time and pay attention to what was ACTUALLY said instead of what you THOUGHT was said.

If you still don’t get it, go back to grade school and brush up on your reading comprehension.

And quit being a goddamn troll. I went back and read a bunch of your posts.

I’m sorry but I wasn’t even responding to you.

“Reading comprehension” anybody?

Likewise, nobody said anything to you before you barged in.

Conversation terminated. Be sure to post again, just so you get the last word.

OP: One thing I forgot the mention. The whole “light cardio” just sounds so … I don’t even know the word. Hit up 10 minutes of HIIT instead and really do yourself a favor. Twice a week will be good enough and should not interfere with muscle retention.

Thanks for the responses guys, little hostile in here but still I guess that’s better than nobody responding at all.

I’m very happy with my balance of upper body work, to be a little clearer on what I do I’ll elaborate.

Chest Back day: is

3 supersets (Chest/Back, or Back/Chest)
Lately I’ve been starting with a 5x5 and ending on a 3x10/12 varying the middle one.

Leg Days: are 3 exercises each

Shoulders/Arms day: is

2 exercises Shoulders, lately standing military press and lateral raises leaning over for an extended ROM

2 Supersets (Biceps/Triceps or Triceps/Biceps)

Again, First one heavier alla 5x5 or something, second one 3x10/12.


I’m sure the amount of arm work you need varies based on body type, but this feels very balanced for me. And I’m not exactly spending hours doing curls either.


I decided to start with the Front Squat because I’ve had some terrible mobility issues in my hips and ankles, and that seems to make it easier to go deep. And I am putting a premium on at least getting below parallel, and as deep as possible.

Maybe a little too smitten with the Video fitcast from Dan John here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

But I do plan on adding back squats eventually to change it up occasionally.


I should say that although I put this here since I was interested in some minor tips on leg training, I’ve been reading all the articles (and lurking in a lot of forums) since February. In my first 9 months I gained 20 lbs (mostly in my upper body, but now I’m addressing that) which I consider to be okay gains, but I really wasn’t eating enough (something else I’m also addressing now). So this isn’t really my first rodeo, and I appreciate all the input, but I’ve got my filter on rather than blindly following everything said here.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
OP: One thing I forgot the mention. The whole “light cardio” just sounds so … I don’t even know the word. Hit up 10 minutes of HIIT instead and really do yourself a favor. Twice a week will be good enough and should not interfere with muscle retention.[/quote]

I really would prefer to, but I’ve got too much DOMS from my leg days, since they were 48 hours before the cardio days. In trying about half a dozen training splits and thinking about at least a dozen more, I’ve realized you’re virtually always going to be sacrificing something and giving emphasis to something. The key is to minimize this (in my example don’t give up and do no cardio at all), and change up your split when your primary goals start to change (every three to six months) IMO.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
I don’t think my arms are big at all, in fact one of the glaring flaws of my early training was that I subscribed to this BS idea that simply doing chinups and rows were “sufficient” for bicep growth, or that “heavy benching and military pressing” was all you needed for triceps.

It isn’t.

You are not going to find any real-world examples of this philosophy panning out.

I don’t know what you mean by pre-programmed or how i sniff out these threads since you manage to appear in most of the threads as well…

Maybe you didn’t notice but… we’re in a forum. And threads are open all the time for viewers to go into…

so i’m not sure where your disconnect is here either…[/quote]

I never said anything about the “dont curl for big arms” thing, simply that you seem to be the exact same (albeit, from a different side of the issue) as what you are accusing these guys of.

You seem to parrot the advice of certain other posters just as much as you accuse these guys of parroting Waterbury.

Eh, just do an upper/lower split, that’ll balance you out.

I’m accusing them of giving poor advice. I’m still not really following what you’re trying to say here…