T Nation

Growth on Push/Pull and Full Body

This is something I have thought about recently but never thought to ask about. Now before I ask,I want to say that this is simply a question lets not start a huge debate on how splits are better and everything else sucks. The question is how big can someone get using push/pull or fullbody routines?

I believe an advanced lifter is going to be better off using a split because of the weight being pushed but what would you consider an advanced lifter? After reading the cardio after weights thread I saw that “king beef” was called a beginner and then a beginner at the verge of an intermidiate but, aside from a few posters he is bigger than many on here.I know this is a bodybuilding site where the goal is to get as big as possible but, that is far from reality. Obviously full body routines are not going to win you many shows but,how big in your opinion can they get you?

[quote]james28 wrote:
This is something I have thought about recently but never thought to ask about. Now before I ask,I want to say that this is simply a question lets not start a huge debate on how splits are better and everything else sucks. The question is how big can someone get using push/pull or fullbody routines? I believe an advanced lifter is going to be better off using a split because of the weight being pushed but what would you consider an advanced lifter? After reading the cardio after weights thread I saw that “king beef” was called a beginner and then a beginner at the verge of an intermidiate but, aside from a few posters he is bigger than many on here.I know this is a bodybuilding site where the goal is to get as big as possible but, that is far from reality. Obviously full body routines are not going to win you many shows but,how big in your opinion can they get you?

[/quote]

An average lifter can gain exactly 28.43lbs using push/pull splits. We consider an advanced trainee anyone who is exactly 300lbs, any other weight and he is not in that category…

So erm, did you actually want people to throw arbitrary values at you? It doesn’t matter what worked for someone else since it’s pretty much proven that almost any split routine can work(apart from TBT of course, that just makes your testicles shrink). Besides, everyone reports gains from different splits and programs, if everyone trained the exact same way then only a select few would benefit fully from it, hence why there’s a digression in training methods.

How about you try out push/pull routines then report back to YOURSELF whether it worked for YOU so that in the future, YOU will know what’s best for YOUR body.

These labels are largely arbitrary and at no point do I attempt to degrade what kingbeef has accomplished. The guy will be a freak if he keeps going the way he is. However, my own classification would never put him as an “advanced lifter”. To me, people like Mighty Stu may be advanced (something that may be defined as reaching some extreme level of development over years that few with similar genetics come close to). Stu may not be as big as I was after 3 or 4 years of training, but you can look at his body and tell he has put several years into it. That doesn’t happen overnight.

It isn’t just about how much size someone is carrying but also their experience level, time spent training and their overall progress.

I considered myself a beginner for several years even though I was way bigger than most almost immediately. I don’t think I started thinking of myself as “intermediate” until I was pushing over 240lbs. The only reason I consider myself “advanced” now is not just because of my current size, but also because of how others treat me. I get stared at when I train. People come up to me and ask how to get that big. Things like that, to me, signify that I am not “average” and don’t look like I just started training.

As far as this topic, I do not tend to believe someone truly pushing the big weights is going to get the most out of some “push/pull” split where they train every body part that “pushes” on the same day. That just doesn’t make sense to me because most of these people aren’t doing these routines because it truly make the most logical sense for their own bodies. they are doing because “guru” said so.

I train mostly one body part a day because it makes the most sense for me to do so. Period.

This question I think makes a great general example for an important principle.

Too many get tied up in theories. For example, I should divide exercises this way because this one is “push” and that one is “pull” and I am operating under this push/pull theory.

Theories like this should instead be taken as being SUGGESTIVE.

They can give you ideas to try out and see how they work for you, or for you at this time.

They can suggest to you that you might try changing something, for example that maybe you should not be doing these two exercises on back-to-back days but might do better rolling them into the same day, or having a day between them.

But that is all that bb’ing or strength training theories should be. Suggestive.

They should not dictate.

Well said professor. Few people have gotten truly big on TBT, that is definitely not to say that it cannot be done( I personally prefer tbt, but that’s an aside). Everyone has different genetics and responds to training in unique ways, so no one can tell you “how big x program can get you”. As WP said, it really would be a good idea to try out both ways and see what works best for you.

All I have to say on the matter is I’ve tried several different styles of training, upper/lower, push/pull, tbt, 3-ways, and bodypart splits.

Every single time, I have gotten the best results from a body part split. Whether that be legs, chest/tri, back/bi, delts/traps or giving arms their own day. It has always given me better results than pairing multiple large muscle groups together.

I really did not mean it as getting truly big. Obviously most are not going to get to 300 lbs using fullbody routines, I was asking how big can someone get. This of course will be based on the individuals genetics and intensity in the gym but, that being said is there not an upper level of what can be achieved? (With examples of athletes or celebrities)

I myself started training with fullbody routines I progressed nicely and was leaner than most at 5’9 165lbs but, I then switched to splits to try something different I am now 5’10.5 205 lbs with visible abs. I probably could have gotten bigger using fullbody workouts but, I decided to do something new.

As is the case with my brother, if someone has a goal of going from 140-160lbs is it better to do a split? Though it might be faster with adequate nutrition, I beileve splits require a different type of dedication. Whereas at times I could slack off with fullbody and still progress because I would hit the muscle again very soon, the same could not be said for splits. If I slack off on chest day I am fucked because I have to wait almost a week before I hit it again.As I stated earlier it obviously has to do with the individuals dedication and intensity but, if someone had the goal of looking like victor martinez is it possible? adrian peterson? brad pitt?

Ive also used many different splits just like josh86 mentioned. I made gains from all of them, but the common factor was intensity and progression. Once I got my head out of my ass as a lifter thats when things started happening. Currently Im using a 4 day split, and am having great results. The only thing that has matched it has been GVT. However, I built my foundation on TBT, Upper/Lower, and Push/Pull routines.

As many have mentioned once the weights start to climb out of novice range, the frequency needed for muscle gain on TBT or 2 day splits just becomes too much, especially on my joints. I dont know the limit of a push/pull or TBT user, but I think anecdotal evidence shows it wont be as high as using a 4-5 day split. I do however find TBT or Push/Pull type routines more effective for fat loss, which is positive progression in another direction (you know, as long as you have a little something under that fat).