Natural Bodybuilding as a Teen Roadmap

Oh brother. Just someone explain to me how it’s implied that a split is primarily for refining and not packing on as muscle possible onto someone’s frame! Actually, the way to pack the most mass on someone IS with a split, as other programs will usually leave areas that are lacking mass, which could have been more sizable had they been addressed from the beginning with standard bodybuilding training! The guy already knows how to lift weights from a standard LP program, and I think ALL beginners should start out with a full body program to get in shape and learn how to lift. After three to six months on a full body program, it’s time to make a decision: powerlifting, general fitness/fit guy/gymrat, physique, bodybuilding, physique, or whatever!

When I was talking about weaknesses, I was not speaking of a program specifically for his weaknesses. I was referring to a program with appropriate exercise selection and sequencing for muscle groups that appear to be lagging behind other groups! This in no way implies that that one of the most important end goals is not mass building, as every bodybuilder has the aim to build more mass.

As I said elsewhere or implied, I dislike the general term “strength oriented” program because every damn weight training program for serious people produces strength! If I increase poundages on any exercise, be it a leg curl, or bent row, or incline curl, or lateral raise, or squat, whatever the heck it is, I GAINED STRENGTH! And the only way to be the best bodybuilder one can be is not only “add weight to the bar” as all the strength-obsessed/full-body/upper-lower guys like to say, but try to add weight to the bar… to the machine… to the cable… and to the dumbbell.

For some bizarre reason, people have some notion that once some guy decides to bodybuild, he will forever remain using the same weights in every exercise! As if Dorian Yates, Mike Francois, Ronnie Coleman, Dallas McArver and other massive, strong-as-hell BBer’s would be the size they achieved by not “chasing weight”.

@RyuuKyuzo In my belief, you didn’t give him the ideal program to build mass all over the body. You gave him a program that will make him more efficient in a handful of lifts while gaining SOME mass but in the end causing problems or wasted time for his end goals. There’s no reason, after he had run an LP program that he can’t add 20 pounds to his frame (not all muscle) with a split in the next few years even though he currently weighs 150 pounds at 15% body fat (and he doesn’t even for sure know how much fat he’s carrying). And every solid split includes a squat variation, bench press variations, dips, rows, overhead press variations, and so on!

I don’t know where this notion came from that someone is either “add weight to the bar”/Mr. Compound-Power Man or Mr. Fluff-Split-Refinement Man.

One guy at my gym, we were speaking last week. The guy is 28 years old, and wants to turn pro and–get this!-COMPETE IN CP AT THE MR. OLYMPIA LEVEL! He constantly trains like an enraged powerlifter with low reps in seemingly everything. He is a very nice guy and offered to share some workouts. I said, “Well I train a bit different than you.” He replied, “Well I’m for the compounds.”

Meanwhile between our mini-convos between sets he had seen me perform bent-over rows, decline dumbbell pullovers (a damn hard exercise actually), lat pulldowns, neutral grip chins, face-pulls, and scapular retractions. Aside from the last two exercises, I felt like asking, “What the hell is not compound about bent rows, chins, lat pulldowns, and dumbbell pullovers?!”

I don’t know where this shit came from. @The_Mighty_Stu @robstein @pitbull97 @IronAndMetal


I’m not god or the best BBer in town, but my program is listed in my thread. But just to use an example, is there something not “strength oriented” about, say, one of my sessions. Take my leg day for example.

GHR’s or leg curls
Bulgarian split squats or walking lunges
Safety bar or back squats
Leg extensions
Standing leg curls
Stiff legged dumbbell deadlifts

Just what is not compound or not “strength oriented” about this session provided I chase weight or reps all the time?

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2 things:

  1. Hypertrophy is a systemic response, so it follows that a full-body routine would result in more hypertrophy from any given workout session.

  2. Hitting a muscle group every 5-7 days is not enough frequency. All the growth you’re going to get from any given training session finishes after about 24-36 hours, maybe even as low as 12 hours for advanced lifters according to some studies. So, if you want to maximize your time spent with jacked up rates of muscle-protein synthesis, you need to hit any given muscle group more often than once per week. Even only twice per week leaves a lot of potential gains on the table.

Also, 3-6 months is not enough time to know what you’re best suited for. Even the freshest of noobs with all their natty noob gains ahead of them will only gain about 5lbs of muscle in this time-span. So what, you’re saying after you’ve gained 5lbs of muscle you’ll already know everything you need to pick which discipline is best for you? Nonsense.

I know what you meant by “weakness”. That’s exactly what I was lol-ing at you for. He has no specific muscle weaknesses because every muscle group is a lagging muscle group on a 14% bodyfat 150lb beginner. Why in God’s name would you prioritize bringing up weaknesses over full-body development when everything is underdeveloped? Where would you even begin? Besides, there’s no reason whatsoever to assume you can’t target weaknesses with a full-body routine, and in fact it’s easy for him to find his weaknesses and deal with them when he has the opportunity to find them and train them every time he hits the gym, rather than just once per week. This is really common-sense stuff.

The only way for any given lifter to increase “strength” in the abstract sense of the word is to either build new muscle or condition themselves to utilize increased rate-coding. Outside of that, all you’re doing is making your body more technically proficient at utilizing the strength it already has on a particular lift. So no, lifting more weight on a leg curl, or any other given lift doesn’t automatically mean you’ve actually gotten stronger. You’ve only gained real strength if you’ve actually grown new muscle. ignorance on this concept is exactly how scammer personal trainers fool their clientele into thinking they’re making perpetual gains; every time their progress stalls, just just have them hop onto a new program. So rather than ever gaining real muscle and strength, they have their client in a perpetual state of re-conditioning to a new type of lift. Rinse and repeat.

Anyway you go off the rails in the rest of your post and start making arguments against things I never said, so… I guess I’ll just stop here.

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so an aspiring bodybuilder should spend a year not training their lats, or do any direct work for lateral delts, rear delts, arms or hamstrings?

Yup, that’s pretty solid advice there…


@BrickHead is absolutely correct. If you are in the gym (seriously in the gym, not in the gym so that other people can see that you’re in the gym), you’re going to be trying to get stronger in whatever you’re doing, be it curls, rows, bench press, calf raises, or squats (etc). As long as you’re eating correctly, any lifting program you select will add size to your frame. However, not every lifting program will address your visual weaknesses…and that’s what bodybuilding (and men’s physique) is actually all about: visual presentation.

@pitbull97 Think about it this way: When you get up on stage, the judges (and audience) will not give two shits (or one…maybe not even a fart) how much you can bench, deadlift, or squat. What they will care about is your proportions and your symmetry. We all want to get bigger, but if your goal is to compete (and compete soon), you need to worry about creating a visual presentation. A split like @BrickHead suggested (as did others…) will allow you to add more emphasis to your visual weaknesses in order to help further you towards your goal of competing.

The plan that @RyuuKyuzo offerred isn’t bad. On the contrary, it’s a very good plan if one wants to worry about one-rep maxes and adding full-body mass (as opposed to adding mass to very specific areas). His plan will put pounds on you, but it won’t necessarily help you get proportioned, symmetrical, etc.

My advice, again, is to trust your original decision and follow a more bodybuilding/split routine.

If you have any questions about the split or nutrition, just tag me or @BrickHead or @robstein in the post with your question. If you’d like, we could maybe trade info and talk off the forum (to avoid more unnecessary arguments and, therefore, confusion).

The important thing right now, for you, is to just start the split and remain consistent with it AND with your nutrition. Results WILL come…and you’ll be pleased.


I never said he shouldn’t train his lats. I never said anything about assistant work at all, actually. IMO, you decide your own assistant work based on what you felt held you back or needs extra work on that day you’re in the gym.

You listen to the dudes here with pics who have competed in, or are currently prepping for bodybuilding shows. It’s very basic common sense. Why would you even ask this question?


this thread is going to turn into another stupid thread about how nattys shouldn’t use splits and blah blah fucking blah while all the natty bodybuilders just shake their heads in disbelief and carry on doing their splits…

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Listen to, and do, what actual bodybuilders say and do. Not random internet fucktards.

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Lol the internet is filled with so much noise people just can’t see the answers dangling right in front of their faces.

real talk here for a second: do you honestly think these pictures of you put you in the same league as the guys on here who compete, like Rob, Brick or Stu?

(I’m not using myself for comparison as I don’t compete and I’m not natty, in case you were wondering…)


I don’t know what these people look like or their height/weight/bodyfat%, so… maybe?

In any case the important thing here is what the science says about the optimal way to build muscle as a natural lifter. If someone is bigger and leaner than me, this doesn’t prove anything because it could just as well be the case that they’ve been doing it for longer, or have better genetics, or use pharmaceuticals. I didn’t post my pics to suggest my physique is the best here and therefore I’m right, I posted them so you guys would know I’m not some anonymous poser.

Alright, I think I am going to go with @BrickHead recommendations, after visiting his youtube page and seeing his knowledge on the topic. I think I am going to do the routine given to me by @willisrhood the Clay Hyght article. Unless you guys have other recommendations for a split? Otherwise, I am going to start with that one, and follow the nutritional guidelines given to me by @BrickHead, and the CT article he had me read. I appreciate the responses on all sides of the conversation. I will be posting pics and update my progress in a log thread, and maybe we can discuss more training and nutrition stuff there after seeing my physique and stuff. @IronAndMetal @robstein


If you’re a natty bodybuilder near his genetic limit, then you won’t notice any improved gains resulting from doing full body vs split training because you likely won’t make any noticeable gains anyway. For these people, migrating to a split program is fine because it’s easier on the body and sufficient to maintain their mass. It’s also good for ensuring your body’s capacity for recovery is directed specifically at your weaknesses, which is fine since an advanced natural bodybuilder will be aware of their actual genetic weak-points, where a beginner would not.

A beginner shouldn’t train like they’re advanced, and you should be skeptical of advanced lifters who recommend you train like how they currently train unless their arguments are backed by more than anecdotes.

I appreciate your input, I truly do. To answer your question from before, I want to eventually compete in a physique contest, not bodybuilding, but physique. So I want to train to attain that type of physique. @RyuuKyuzo

In that case, you don’t need squats and deadlifts, strictly speaking, since you won’t be displaying the muscles these lifts primarily work. IMO you should still hit all your (relevant) major muscle groups 3x/week, so if you’re going to do split-training, then at the very least I recommend a 4-6 day split over a split that only gives you room to hit each muscle group 1 time per week.

Yeah all the info on this site can be confusing, main thing is you pick one template/approach that resonates with you, and hit it brutally hard.

While I would argue the links I posted are more innovative and slightly better for your situation you seem to be veering towards Clay Hyght’s stuff so just run with that, he is a respected author here.

After say 12 weeks you can always evaluate and try another proven program.

Thank you for the reassurance! I’ll take a second look at the links you posted in the meantime. @RampantBadger

So would the split that was linked to me from above by Clay Hyght work then? @RyuuKyuzo

@pitbull97 I’m going to say this again. Shut out all the noise and just listen to the competitors. Start a log and pester them with questions using the @ function.