T Nation

Ideal 3 Day Per Week Routine?

I lift with a partner and due to a new job he is getting, he will need to cut down from 5 sessions per week to 3 sessions per week. We were dissecting as to what the ideal 3 day per week routine would be, but couldn’t come up with anything good. Currently, we do chest w/rear delts, legs, back with some bis,off, shoulders, bis w/tris. I am not really sure how ppl do 3days per week. I can’t imagine doing anything besides legs on leg days because it would just be unfair to that other bodypart.

So that really leaves two sessions for the entire upper body! I have seen some routines where people mix and match, and supposedly, it gives results. Anyone wanna chime with some input on how to best go about doing this? Thnks.

Well, look into DC. The standard (see: recommended) routine is 3x per week, and you’ll need no more.

There’s threads and countless Google articles about it everywhere.

Push, legs, pull is always good.

Same with Chest and back, Legs, Shoulders and arms

The actual split means very little. Make sure your training and diet is 100% and you will make progress no matter what program you are on.

I was doing … squats, and deads, with ham-glute on monday… overhead pressing on and some back stuff, with some minor biceps stuff, then bench pressing , shrugs and triceps on friday and that worked well.
Within each workout I would rotate what I did first ok. so one week I’d do squats first then some type of deadlift, then the next session I would do deadlifting first and squats secondly. THe same with benching alternating between flat benching with a normal olympic bar and then the next time doing them with a swiss bar…

5/3/1 3 day a week template is very solid

Also: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/reg_parks_5x5_program

Do any of you guys do chest + back the same day and have seen results? Alternating between chest and back exercises wouldn’t be a bad idea, but I am sure the vol and weights would suffer.

Currently, for chest we do warmup, then low incline bench 4sets of 8 reps, decline smith 4 sets from 6-12 reps, then flat db or bench press 4 sets 6-10 reps - sometimes rest paused, then finish off with cable flies and serratius dips 3 set superset. Back day is pulldowns to activate, barbell or db rows, close grip lat pulldown, HS row, mid-shin rack deads, then a face pulls + lower trap finisher. The more I think about it, the more I realize this pairing up will significantly reduce vol and the amt of wts pushed…

[quote]Gup wrote:
Do any of you guys do chest + back the same day and have seen results? Alternating between chest and back exercises wouldn’t be a bad idea, but I am sure the vol and weights would suffer.

Currently, for chest we do warmup, then low incline bench 4sets of 8 reps, decline smith 4 sets from 6-12 reps, then flat db or bench press 4 sets 6-10 reps - sometimes rest paused, then finish off with cable flies and serratius dips 3 set superset. Back day is pulldowns to activate, barbell or db rows, close grip lat pulldown, HS row, mid-shin rack deads, then a face pulls + lower trap finisher. The more I think about it, the more I realize this pairing up will significantly reduce vol and the amt of wts pushed…[/quote]

I almost always do chest + back on the same day and see my best results that way. I have the best results doing my first chest exercise, then first back, 2nd chest, 2nd back.I do not see a drop in strength for either muscle group. If you are in a hurry, you can alternate sets. 1set set chest, 1set back, etc. By doing an antagonist superset such as this, I do notice a drop in strength. If you were to do chest and back on the same day, the volume that you have listed above would be way to high. I would recommend 2 compound exercises per muscle group followed by an isolation exercise only if you feel it is necessary for growth.

Why not just lift by yourself the other 2 days when your partner is not there?

DeFranco’s Built like a Badass is great

I would train legs all 3 days and do a variety of upper work everyday.

Day 1: squat, bench, pendlay rows, DB bench

Day 2: Deadlift, OHP, pullups, good mornings, DB rows

Day 3: Front squat, incline bench, leg press, cable rows

Ths is a rough estimate of what I would do, but that is me. I think higher frequency is more advantageous. If you don’t want to train with this much frequency, I would still definitely recommend training legs at least twice a week!

everyone knows full body 3X a week is the best program for mass. come on guys youre misleadin this kid

[quote]BIG-GEORDIE wrote:
Why not just lift by yourself the other 2 days when your partner is not there?[/quote]
Agreed. Dont tailor this to him. I have a similar situation which is easy fixed.

Just make sure all the major muscles are trained on the 3 days he can train and if he needs to he can add some extras at the end while you save them for other days. For instance

LEGS
BACK (partner can add biceps at the end)
CHEST (parnter can add triceps and/or shoulders)
ARMS
SHOULDERS

Did back w/ chest and alternated a,b,a,b,a,b - crazy pump and did about 3 sets each anywhere from 6-12 reps

straight arm pulldown w/ pec deck
incl db bench w/ db rows
flat barbell bench w/ pulldown
machine chest press w/ hammer rows
face pulls w/ rhomboid rows for finisher

[quote]bignate wrote:
everyone knows full body 3X a week is the best program for mass. come on guys youre misleadin this kid[/quote]

Are you being serious?

[quote]ryno76 wrote:

[quote]bignate wrote:
everyone knows full body 3X a week is the best program for mass. come on guys youre misleadin this kid[/quote]

Are you being serious?[/quote]

I do believe he was mocking my suggestion. Perhaps it should be considered that I don’t even train for bodybuilding and yet I at 5’7, 215lb and ~11% bodyfat with no ‘pharmaceuticals’. So yes, training this way works very well.

If it works for you, great. However, out of the biggest guys I’ve ever known almost none of them trained full body. Not saying you can’t add mass, but if a guy in a bodybuilding forum is asking for a bodybuilding routine why suggest a non-bodybuilding routine?

I suggest it because I think it is a way better way to train for non-chemically enhanced bodybuilders. Not too many people get to the size+leaness I have got to in like 2 years of training.

[quote]arramzy wrote:
I suggest it because I think it is a way better way to train for non-chemically enhanced bodybuilders. Not too many people get to the size+leaness I have got to in like 2 years of training.[/quote]

In your hub you state you are an inch shorter and roughly 20lbs lighter than what you stated above. This leads me to ask how old are you as in are you still growing? I would also like to know what you are basing your statement that full body is the better way to train for non-chemically enhanced bodybuilders on.

[quote]ryno76 wrote:

[quote]arramzy wrote:
I suggest it because I think it is a way better way to train for non-chemically enhanced bodybuilders. Not too many people get to the size+leaness I have got to in like 2 years of training.[/quote]

In you hub you state you are an inch shorter and roughly 20lbs lighter than what you stated above. This leads me to ask how old are you? I would also like to know what you are basing your statement that full body is the better way to train for non-chemically enhanced bodybuilders.
[/quote]

True, I should update my hub. I am 21 actually.

I base this on the fact that when it comes to natural lifting, the body obsiouly can’t recouperate as quickly. Thus, studies have shown more frequent yet less intense stimulus is more advantageous for increasing lean mass and maintaining leanness. The thing is, no matter what you do in the gym, your muscles will recover in 48 hours at the most. The problem is that when you do 24 sets of chest in one workout and go to failuare on 12 of them, you cause way more othr problems - inflammation, damage to neural connections etc etc that wayyyy longer to recover from. This is why lots of people can only bench once a week or even less.

So, if you go in and train for example, legs 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 tiems week, you obviously don’t do as much volume and avoid failure, but then you have the opportunity to stimulate the muscles more frequently without having to wait days and weeks to recover from things like inflammation. For example you could do something like:
Monday: squat 80% 5x3
Tuesday: front squat: 70% 5x5
Thursday: deadlift 80% 5x3
Saturday: squat 75% 4x4

or something similar. I am a powerlifter personally so I will do:
Squat: monday AM, monday PM, Friday
Deadlift/variation: wednesday AM, Wednesday PM, saturday

Some valid points. Regulating intensity and avoiding muscle failure will obviously allow for greater training frequency. A few things I want to point out:

One, you’re 21. That means you are in the age group that your body can take far greater frequency and get far better results than people in other age groups.

Two, while muscles can recover quickly with regulated intensity, joints and tendons don’t always recover as quick. This is something you realize as you get older.

Three, you state you are a powerlifter. Great sport, but the training principles have only so much carry over to bodybuilding. For example, in the workout example you gave in an earlier post, there is no direct arm work and no isolation exercises. This will not lead to a balanced, well developed physique in the long run. That’s fine if you are a powerlifter, but not if bodybuilding is your interest.

My point is this, I do some sprinting for conditioning reasons, but I don’t go onto the Runner’s World forums and tell people to do leg extensions and concentration curls to improve their run times. I also don’t go into the powerlifting forum and give advice on improving someone’s equipped bench press as I have no experience with it despite knowing how to perform a bench press.

I’m not doggin’ you, I’m just saying that I don’t agree with full body being the best way for most people to reach their BODYBUILDING goals and there is no real evidence to the contrary. I’m not saying high frequency full body workouts have no purpose outside of bodybuilding, though.

Anyway, good luck with your training.