T Nation

I Like Big Squats I Can Not Lie


60 Minutes of easy runs and some swim sprints in between.

Swimming is AWESOME recovery & conditioning between sessions.


Can you float? I’ve lost that ability.


Yeah, I second @T3hPwnisher’s concern. Swimming is not easy or relaxing to me in any way.

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Yessss, Swimming was by far my favorite sport I’ve done aside from Waterpolo and Strongman

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Swimming is one of those things that’s all about technique. I swam competitively when I was younger, like elementary school/jr high age, and always swam a lot recreationally. It was my cheat mode if I wanted to score a full 300 pts in the Navy PRT. Push-ups and Sit-ups were never a problem, but for the endurance part you had to run 1.5 miles in 9:00 which I couldn’t do (9:15 was my best time ever), or swim 500 yards in 7:30, which was nothing even if I wasn’t in the best shape.


How about doing a 4 day routine following
each day one of the big four for 4-5 sets of double progression 6 - 8 reps.
Followed by a supplemental 3 - 4 sets to failure with focus on the main lift muscle (quads on squat day).

finishing with a wendlerisque approach of 50 - 100 reps of push, pull, single leg/core.

Maybe it could work.


I can still float! I have to really relax. But maybe once I get up to 200 life will be different lol.

Swimming comes easy. I’ve been swimming since my dad just threw me into a pool to survive lol. For years I hated running, so swimming was my choice of cardio/conditioning.

I’ve thought about it, but 3 days a week is the perfect amount for me!


That comes from being half machine


I’m loving my current 3 days/week training schedule, It’s like my 4 day work week, I may work more hours at a time, but an extra day off more than compensates for that.

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For sure man! I especially like it because it leaves room for sport activities or conditioning. Conditioning is really undervalued, especially for newer lifters. Once I started putting more effort and consistency into my conditioning all my lifts went up and I was able to hit the gym harder and fresher each session.

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Thanks for the tag, always happy to provide some thoughts!

This is a super long thread, so please forgive me and fill me in if I missed anything. As your question was regarding full body bodybuilding program, I’m using that plus the split you posted to provide some thoughts.

First, I’ll preface by saying I am a big fan of full body programs, and I actually went 8 weeks of my first contest prep with full body and made progress, up a point, when I switched to a more typical 5 day split.

I think it would be best to clarify, (and I may have missed this earlier in the thread), what is your primary goal with your training? Is it to look like a bodybuilder and geared towards physique goals? If so, I would highly recommend moving away from this plan you constructed and focusing more on a standard bodybuilding template.

What I see when I look at your split is you’ve got a full body day, followed directly by a lower body day, and upper body the next day. I think you wouldn’t be giving your muscles enough recovery time to grow and will be burning your wheels in neutral. I’m not saying you won’t make progress, but if your goal is aesthetically based, I think you should train like those people train. For bodybuilding purposes, I don’t think you’d be hitting everything you need to with your above split, like all heads of the delt, biceps and triceps for example. You’ve got a press theme on Monday, and “chest” on Friday, which, if you do properly and really dig in to all areas of your chest, wouldn’t allow you to hit the pressing optimally again on Monday.

The full body program I did was the Leroy Colbert routine, essentially you’re taking a 5 day split and evenly splitting the volume over 3 days, hitting one or two exercises per muscle. What I found is that, while on paper it seems to even out, you’re doing the same volume overall just split differently, it does not provide the same results as a usual 5 or 6 day split, where you pick a muscle group and attack it on that day, then recover over the week. A well structured bodybuilding plan WILL have you getting stronger AND bigger, if you structure and execute it properly.

So, that being said, what are your goals?


Forget about him! :wink: (just kidding)

I am in a bodybuilding phase and could probably use some help.

Here’s where he started:


Full body could work each session just rotate the exercises and angles you hit throughout the week.

For example:

M- squat
W- leg press, extensions
Th- RDL, leg curls
F- BB walking lunges

Think heavy/ light, front/ back

The guys in the gym I workout in do full body powerlifting 5 days a week. They hit all three lifts every day or a variation of the lift each session. They do a rotation of heavy to light, to deload restore. And some minor accessories to bring up weakness.

Total volume must be considered on a weekly basis rather than session to session.

One guy is the strongest in the state and I asked him about deloading in that kind of work. He said he deloads different lifts/ body parts rotated into the system regularly…

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Thanks for the info!

@isdatnutty - BB’ers don’t do more full body because a bodybuilding split is a more efficient way to build the physique bodybuilders want. As someone who’s done numerous full body programs, (Leroy Colbert, Dan John, etc.) and various types of bodybuilding splits, if you’re trying to look like a bodybuilder, you should train like one. Full body is exhausting, and IMO you don’t get enough time working on the muscle to do some serious damage, which incurs more serious growth.

If full body is the only thing that will work for your schedule, then it looks like you’re going to be doing full body. Of course full body programs work well for strength, and can certainly build a physique. But look at any competitive bodybuilder, natural or not, and 99% of them train in some variation of bodybuilding splits.

Just because something isn’t broken doesn’t mean you can’t do better. That’s the attitude of someone who is complacent and resists change, and complacency is the #1 enemy of success and improvement. Your current program “works” for you because you’ve been doing it a while, can execute it well, and are used to it. If you want to look like a bodybuilder, training (AND EATING!) like a bodybuilder will be a better way to get there.

That’s not why it’s hard for you, it’s because you don’t want to risk failing at something new or feeling uncomfortable. Look deep down and I guarantee that’s what you’ll find. I can say this confidently from experience, as someone who trained exclusively full body, hit a wall, then made new progress when switching. I thought full body was all that worked for my schedule also. However, a benefit of splits, you can be in and out of the gym in 45min to an hour, rather than a more time consuming full body program.

To be clear, you can still progress on a full body program, obviously. But I would imagine you potentially want to get more into bodybuilding because you want to achieve a certain look, and training and eating for that look must be the priority.

Doesn’t have to be a complicated program. I very strongly recommend this one as a foundation!

Read these two articles first:

It ain’t rocket science, it just takes the consistent execution of basic principles, over and over and over again. You might not look very different in 4-8 weeks. Give it a year of consistent, smart training and developing a great MMC, eat for your goals, and I guarantee you’ll have a physique you never knew you could have.

The Dark Side (JMaier's a Bodybuilder Now)

Thanks for all the thorough responses Rob. I really do appreciate it!

I think I’m at a point where I don’t have any real concrete goals, but I want to improve my physique a bit more. I already have to the ability to push heavy weights explosively. I look jacked for my size and I’m strong enough that I think improving my physique a bit more is appealing. For example the last 3 years of just doing BB strict press, BB Bench press, and dips have left my upper chest lacking, but my shoulders and triceps huge. It’s one of those things that my chest looks better in a shirt than without one lol.

Thanks for saying that man. I needed something to light a fire under my ass! I think I have been stuck in my FB ways for too long and it’s finally time I take a clean break from it. I think I will continue to progress, probably better, once moving over to something a bit different.

I found this program on the site:

What do you think of it? I think with the switch to BBing for a bit the only thing I would say I am “scared” about is my ability to handle heavy weights. I can squat/deadlift 400+ on any given day and I wouldn’t want to lose that ability. Appreciate your insight into this man!



425 @ 3x6

245 @ 5x10

15, 15, 15, 5

100 (in 2 sets)

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The article a tried and true BB program template.
Has you doing the first exercise for 5x5 and he states if you like to do 5,4,3,2,1 reps for that, well there you have it… . every other week or three work up to a top heavy single.


I really enjoyed that program. I wasn’t eating the right way to lose fat, and I didn’t get a whole lot stronger, but I definitely got bigger, especially in my quads and chest.

My quads respond to any type of squatting, so that wasn’t that hard, but for my chest I really lowered the weight and finally learned how to achieve a good MMC and that really helped my pecs grow.

Have you read CT’s Hungarian Oak article? It’s just a leg workout - it seems like a challenge that may be up your alley. After building my strength up more I’d like to do it, and use my other lifting days in the week to work my upper body in a more BB’er fashion.


@mortdk already called it but I want to repeat it. The Tried & True templates have you start each day with a heavy lift. 5 x 5 or 5,4,3,2,1 with 2-3 minutes rest between sets will satisfy your urge to move big weights (and maintain that ability). You can also continue doing your barbell lifts. It’s the weekly split and the work done after the heavy lift that will be different for you.

I’m switching to that program. Join me!


See I think I read the article wrong. I read it again and ok this answers my question directly. @robstein thanks man! I answered my own question after reading the articles again the 2nd time! But still curious what you think of that Eastern European article split.

I will write out my programming later this week and post it here! This should be fun!