T Nation

Muscle Groupings


Im just curious how some of you guys out there group your muscles for workouts?
I know most of my friends do Back/Bi one day, Chest/Tri another, Shoulders another.
How do you do yours?


Whole body.


how do you do that weekly though? every other day? is that too much?


Do your friends have legs? If so, I suggest they learn how to train them.


Bah. Ignore them. Im just curious how YOU guys do them. It didnt take me long to learn their methods werent very good.

Just curious how/when you guys do your groups.


Lower Body:

hamstring/posterior chain dominant exercises
quadriceps dominant exercises
calf exercises

Upper Body:

horizontal pull exercises
horizontal push exercises
vertical pull exercises
vertical push exercises


"group" them by movements


You break that up into a week how? just two days?


I never understood the logic in seperating horizontal push or pulling or vertical pushing or pulling? Or is it just another way of saying lats vs say chest?

Anyways i do a complete upper body workout everyother day three times a week, and a lower body workout on off days, but only twice a week.


Could someone please explain?


It matters to a degree if the push/pull is more vertical or horizontal due to the emphasis placed on certain muscles (delts vs chest, lats v biceps v rhomboids, etc). If you only do chins, for example, your rhomboids will remain relatively weak.

I split by movements - emphasis on certain movements is rotated, though, mostly in a "heavy, medium, light" format. Usually, that is - sometimes I'll split up lower and upper to put more emphasis on lagging areas.



Chad Waterbury's articles are very popular and have influenced many people on this site. Read his articles beginning with ABBH I and the Art of Waterbury (Chad, please rename this!) and you'll get what most people are talking about regarding horizantal/vertical movements. Not saying you have to agree with it.


Thats one way of keeping workouts and developement balanced.
An example of this would be overhead press combined with pullups, or bench with bent rows, low pully rows etc.
You can do this with supersets, or have a day dedicated to push movements and another to pull movements. It depends on your philosophy on training economy and time that you have to spend in the gym.

My personal preference at this point goes like this
1. deads
2. hamstring curls
3. pullups/ rows
4. romanian deads
5. lateral bends

1. squats
2. lunges
3. quad extensions
4. good mornings
5. weighted situps

1. bench press
2. barbell bent rows(prone and supine grips)
3. J.M. presses
4. delt swings
5. supine tricep extensions from high pully sup set with curls

Instead of splitting up the body by parts, you can split it up with movements greater or less emphasis on parts. This also allows you to manipulate the volume and intensity of a given body part. In this split I'm not doing anything too intensly focused on upper body pulling but including them in groups to decrease intensity but keep volme good enough to avoid chest/back imballance.

There realy are about a million ways to split this stuff up. I'm using this for now, but will probably change it when it is no longer effective or problems develope.


lifting days: skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle

rest days: smooth muscle


[quote]chillain wrote:
Lower Body:

hamstring/posterior chain dominant exercises
quadriceps dominant exercises
calf exercises

Upper Body:

horizontal pull exercises
horizontal push exercises
vertical pull exercises
vertical push exercises

pretty much spot on with this, i have found this to be most succsesful, every now and then ill do a couple of weeks whole body were i train each muscle group every day or 2 but i will go alot lighter. I feel it gives me a break to do whatever i feel like and a good change up. Ever since reading the Waterbury articles on frequency i have done this and improved alot.


That looks great. I am looking into developing a program for myelf using a lot of the exercises and prinicples I have learnt on the site. Just wanted to know how you would use that breakdown to develop a program. Would you choose one from each and do a fullbody each day? Would you split them up somehow?

Thanks in advance,


What about training your smooth muscle on lifting days? Or did it lead to over-training?


In addition to the above, you can do elbow flexion and extension exercises (biceps and triceps), calves and abs.

This is the best way to go with "grouping" parts of the body. In essence, you want to work the body as a whole, but choose exercises that accomplish the above.

You can follow upper body/lower body splits or full-body workouts and utilize the above to balance your workout accordingly.


you know, i've never really tried it .. perhaps i could apply some active recovery techniques, Waterbury's 100 Reps, or similar ... but "i only want to tone"


Just don't train that muscle to failure on lifting days...