#-Day Split Training for Mass Gains (Advanced)

Hi all,
Was was diagnosed with Snapping Elbow Syndrome last summer, over the last 3 years I have lost over 15 lbs of muscle mass, luckily also some fat. I was not able to train due to the injury. Since last summer I managed to get some of my gains back, partly thanks to j4gga2’s recommendations in this thread I posted.

Now, my gains plateaud and I was thinking of changing my routine. I took a personal trainer, but he kept insisting I do exercises my doctor strictly forbid.

I don’t have a lot of time since I workout during my lunch break so I always combine two exercises.
For example, I do a set of pushups and without break a set of bicep curls, then I take 30 seconds break and repeat. Except on legs day I take 1 min breaks between sets and don’t combine exercises.

Warm up 5 min cross trainer at high speed with medium resistance.

I aim for 3 set x 10 reps with weights, on the last set I usually fail at 8 reps.
And I aim for 3 sets x 20 reps with body weight, on the last set I usually fail at 15 reps.

My current program is:
Day 1 - Back & Shoulders:
Romanian Deadlift 3 sets x 10 reps // –
Bar rows 3 sets x 10 reps // Military press very wide grip (to avoid elbow strain) 3 sets x 10 reps
Pull downs 3 sets x 10 reps // Lat raises 3 sets x 10 reps
Rows 3 sets x 10 reps // Front shoulder dumbbell lifts 3 sets x 10 reps
Lat dumbbell raises 3 sets x 10 reps // Rear dumbbell flies 3 sets x 10 reps

Day 2 - Legs
Squats 3 sets x 10 reps (1 min break between sets)
Deadlifts 3 sets x 10 reps
Standing calf raises on Smith machine 3 sets x 10 reps
Barbell Hip thrusts 3 sets x 10 reps
Seated leg curls 3 sets x 10 reps
Leg Extension 3 sets x 10 reps
Abductors seated 3 sets x 10 reps

Day 3: Chest and Arms
Incline dumbbell press 3 sets x 10 reps // Bicep curls 3 sets x 10 reps
Flat dumbbell press 3 sets x 10 reps // Hammer curls 3 sets x 10 reps
Cable cross over standing 3 sets x 10 reps // Cable curls 3 sets x 10 reps
Cable cross overs sitting at 45 degrees 3 sets x 10 reps // Cable hammer curls 3 sets x 10 reps
Wide grip hands out reverse incline push ups 2 sets x 20 reps // Cable bar tricep pull down 3 sets x 10 reps
Wide grip hands out flat push up 2 sets x 20 reps // Cable rope tricep pull down 3 sets x 10 reps

I thought of getting into push-pull-leg splits, but I am contemplating.
If anyone has a recommendation with exercises I would be very thankful, also considering my elbow injury. I can’t push weights bending my elbow more than 90 degrees, better is 80 degrees max bend.

Thank you all

How many days a week do you want to workout, still 3 or more now?

I think claiming “advanced” may be a bit premature but I’ll take your word for it.

As for the best number of days to train? People have had massive success with anything from 3-6 days per week, most would be in the 3-4 training day range but it is dependent on you.

Fortitude Training is 3-4x per week
DoggCrapp is 3x per week
5/3/1 is 4-5x per week (pending program add-ons, ie 5/3/1 Forever)
Super Squats is 3x per week
(These are some of the best programs in existence)

Or you could keep doing bro splits. Just expect that any ‘program’ you didn’t pay for to produce subpar results.

Let’s talk about diet and recovery before claiming this. How much protein do you get daily? Sleep?

Let’s go back to my first line saying “claiming ‘advanced’ may be a bit premature”… if:

  1. Your training still consists of only bro splits
  2. your diet isn’t on point
  3. your recovery is subpar

And you’ve actually plateaud (you probably haven’t, you’ve likely just stopped getting newbie gains)… You aren’t advanced. This is a good thing because it means you still have a lot of gains left on the table.

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Ideally, 3 days and I would add a fourth whenever possible to train whole body and core.

You are right for tnation it’s more intermediate. I looked at intermediate workouts on Google and those Men’s health workouts were not that challenging. But for the pros here I think intermediate is better.

I will try the programs you mentioned, thank you. Btw. I don’t mind paying for a program, just not from the personal trainer I had last time :slight_smile:
Going back, I agree advanced is very premature.

  1. I used to go 6 times per week hitting each muscle group twice, but I don’t have this kind of time due to work at the moment.

  2. I try my best with food, but I am not eating like a body builder, my goal is 2500 cal per day of unprocessed food (white meat, red meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes…)

  3. How can I improve my recovery. I aim to sleep 8h per night, mostly I get that. But I do sleep awful most nights, without melatonin I can’t fall asleep at all.

So it’s good news that I am not advanced.

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Food selection is good, but you will need to eat more if you want to grow. 2500cal would be 500 cal deficit for me at 5’9 and ~215lbs… This is where the whole cut/bulk thing comes into play. Try eating a bit more and aiming for 1g/lb protein to bodyweight - carbs and fats just eat however you prefer, just know that carbs are good for gains.

definitely keep taking melatonin lol, but also get yourself into a pre-bed routine. Try to go lights out (or reduce blue light as much as possible at this time) an hour before bed, cool down the bedroom, no social media before bed! Maybe some targetted carbs before bed or a protein shake if thats easier.

It is very good news!

If you really want to make progress, I recommend starting a training log here. It helps you keep yourself accountable as well as getting relatively fast feedback. No one will coach you, but you will probably get some pointers along the way - or even read into other people’s training logs for inspiration.

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Why i asked about the amount of days you want to train, is that if you pick a programme based on how many days you want to train it will be achievable. Then pick something you enjoy and give it 100%.

All of @Andrewgen_Receptors advice is 100% bob on. But pick a programme that you will enjoy, stick to and make progress on.

A 4 day bro split works wonders (Legs, Chest, Back, Arms (look up some John Meadows mountain Dog training)) or a 531 BBB variant, or any of the others above.

The biggest thing is pushing hard on the programme you choose as all programmes can work.


Like a damn boss


Great, So I will choose the number of days then pick a program based on those days. I’ll check out John Meadows mountain Dog training the program, thank you :slight_smile:

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Okay I will try to increase my calories, I am the same height and sitting at 170lbs, I’ll aim for a 1/3 split in protein, carbs, and fats. I saw that others do that during bulking. I guess cutting means less carbs.

I didn’t plan to stop melatonin, it’s be a wreck without that. Lights out is a good idea. I bought smart lights a long time ago on a black friday sale, have been too lazy to set them up, I guess now I have a reason. I’ll tell my wife no more TV after 9 PM. The social media rule I already have done, it’s more evil than good. The pre-bed routine is a great idea, I will try some oats and nuts before I go to bed.

I just read your training log, congrats on the progress. It works like a charm for you. I will try it too, it also holds me accountable publicly. But it’s great to go back in time and see the progress. I don’t expect free coaching it’s a lot of work, but I’d be happy to give and get tips here and there. Thank you for all the tips, very helpful.

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You can’t wrong with Mountain Dog programs. Baby Groot or Avalanche could be a nice choose

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Thank you, I will searched for them, didn’t find anything on T-Nation or Google. Do you have a link?


These are general lines about Meadows principles.

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Interesting read and very helpful. Thank you.

Greet thank you very very much.


Max Grossenbacher

I made some great progress on reactive pump training……

But also made some great progress on 531 BBB……

Also made great progress on an upper/ lower……

And on a rubbish internet Chris Hemsworth thor programme as well……

The only thing the same was being 100% on my nutrition.

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That is what I hear sometimes too, any program helps, but nutrition matters most. But I would think that there are better and worse trainings.

Better or worse means whatever fits best for you and you’ll stick to/ work hard at.

After hours of online discussion I think this forum has come to the conclusion that the perfect programme with less effort/ compliance will be worse than the non perfect programme with 100% compliance and effort.


Purely semantics, but in my eyes a program can never be “perfect” if the participant is non-compliant.

A “perfect” program motivates a participant to train appropriate movements at suitable volumes, intensities and frequencies to maximise adaptations. That can never be done without high compliance and a high motivation to train.