T Nation

Need Help with a 2-Split Program


Hey T-Nation (my first post) and hallo from Denmark! (english grammar is not my strong side)
I need some help with a 2-split program i am designing for my friend.

The goal of the program is mass

I have chosen a push+quads / pull+hamstrings split:

Day 1 and 5
Deadlift 5x8 (90 sek)
BOR 5x8 (90 sek)
Goodmornings 4x10 (60 sek)
Pulldowns 4x10 (60 sek)
DB Curl 5x8 (90 sek)
Hammer curl 4x10 (60 sek)
Standing calves raises 4x10 (60 sek)
Sit-ups 4x10 (60 sek)

Day 3 and 6
Squat 5x8 (90 sek)
Bench press 5x8 (90 sek)
Military press 5x8 (90 sek)
Dips 5x8 (90 sek)
Lunge 4x10 (60 sek)
Flies 4x10 (60 sek)
Lateral raises 4x10 (60 sek)
French press 4x10 (60 sek)

I does seems okay for a guy with 6 months of experience in the iron game?


I personally have never like splitting up quads and hams because exercises overlap so much. Back squats and lunges are going to hit hams too. Dips will involve some lats. You can make some form tweaks and stuff to avoid that more, but I don't think I personally would be up to doing these routines back to back on days 5 and 6 or doing this amount of training frequency.

I've always preferred on a split like this to do 1 day on 1 day off, or 1 on 1 off 1 on 2 off. Of course that doesn't fit a weekly schedule.

If he's training 4 times a week though, why are you choosing a 2-way split?


See you point...

I just thought a 2-split would fit 4 trainings days a week, and the fact that he only have 6 months of iron game experience. But maybe im wrong at that point...

Which split do then fit a 4 trainings days a week?

Thanks for the fast answers :smiley:


531, starting strength, WSFSB est.

Why not just use a tried and true approach until you have some experience to figure out what does or doesn't work for a person.

A lot of this also depends on goals. General strength? maybe powerlifting? Look good naked? get looks from people on the street? est.

But I think hitting muscles 2 to 4 times a week is a bit of an overkill starting out.


His main goal i muscle mass, which I dont have much experience with (I have trained 3 years but mainly strength training sheiko, smolov, WSB etc.)

Is it better to do e.g.

Day 1: Chest + tricep

Day 3: Back + bicep

Day 5: Shoulders + abs

Day 6: Quads+Hamstring+calves



If you are trying to gain muscle, I personally think something like that is a better way to go.

Hopefully someone else will chime in, I don't want to to change your whole program based on my opinion.


That program is one of the most tried-and-true you will find, as far as bodybuilding goes. However, I don't believe you need to take a day off after every training day lol... Most guys would do something like a 2on/1off schedule with that program.


Okay then i will use this program type

My friend is a beginner (bench: 150 ib, Squat: 240 ib, Deadlift: 230 ib) so I think he need some more recovery.

Im planing to do some kind of estimated progression in deadlift, barbell row, squat, military and bench press, do you have any tips for that approached?

Rest of the exercises are just form of the day


ya what they said! or an upper/lower split with heavy and light days? could work maybe.

monday -heavy lower
tuesday - heavy upper
wed- off
thursday - light lower
friday - off
saturday - light upper
sunday - off


I really like this, but it seems more like a good template for strength. And I would replace the word "light" with dynamic...as in max force "speed" sets at fraction of 1RM.


This is also what I usually connect with strength. Good strength program thoug...

His goal is mass, so the "one muscle group" a week program is better suited if im not mistaking? (He only has 4 times a week)

I know what exercises to choose and know the rep/set range. But I would like to put some kind of estimated progression on: Barbell row, Military, squat, deadlift, bench press, any advice on that point??


why do you think there is such a big disconnect between getting stronger and getting bigger? i dont understand?

beyond that, if he is new to lifting, a little bit of frequency to learn the major lifts might not be horrible. heavy bench on tuesday, speed bench on saturday. its twice the practice on something that is likely an unfamiliar movement pattern. but this is just my opinion.


I agree with you... but he has 6 month of experience, in which he has done a 6 week introduction program to sheiko, so his technique is actually very good

I know that strength and growth is closely connected, but the main goal of the workout is mass (he only weigh 120 ib). So a "mass"-workout + some extra calories.

I know which excerises would fit his physique and know the rep/set range,
its the actually split (4 days a week) and the progression im not so sure about?


Because generally when people talk about getting strong they are talking about max weight, low reps. And training to maximize low rep work is different than training for max muscle.

Adding muscle is going to make you stronger, but not always in the way people mean when they talk about training for strength. Which in large part includes nervous system training and movement training as much as building muscle.

For example, a big difference between something like bodybuilding and powerlifting is that A bodybuilder may use bench to train his chest. If it isn't hitting his chest the way he wants, he may change setup, switch to a variation, change to a different rep range, pre fatigue something, or drop bench all together in favor of a better chest targeting exercise, REGARDLESS of weight involved.

That isn't at all why a powerlifter benches. He benches to get a bigger bench. He will choose reps and variations and setups to address weak points in the movement, NOT his build. If he can make a tweak to add 10 pounds to the bar, he makes it, regardless of how it affects his chest activation.

This difference in basic mindset ultimately can change pretty much everything in a program.

Now, that said, neither the OP or his friend sound anywhere near advanced enough to start considering most of that. Other than, you need to train what you want to be strong/developed. If you want to be good at low weight compound movements, then make sure you do those and put your effort there. If your goal is a big chest then make sure what you are doing hits your chest hard.

So really, pick a tried and true program and make sure you train what it is you want to be trained. Oh, and eat a bunch.




Does training one muscle group one time weekly qualify as tried and true?


Day 1: Quads+hamstrings+calves

Day 3: Chest+abs

Day 5: Back+bicep

Day 6: Shoulder+tricep

Should (conventional) deadlift be placed on Day 1 or Day 5?

Btw thanks for the good replies! :smiley:


ya thats pretty standard. conventional deadlift could be placed on either i guess. personally, i'd put them on back day just because i like to squat. i wouldnt wanna squat and deadlift on the same day. but thats just me. im sure others have done it and are ok with it but once you get up in weight it might become a low back issue.

also, chest + triceps and shoulders + traps. calves every other session. personally, before DC i never did calves on leg day. i did them almost every session except legs. too tired by the end. Abs can be thrown in whenever or done at home. no point in neglecting traps in favor of abs.


Yeah seems like a good idea :slightly_smiling:

I was also thinking of a split like this:

Day 1: Quads dominant
Day 2: Pull (back, biceps, traps)
Day 3: Recovery
Day 4: Hips dominant
Day 5: Recovery
Day 6: Push (chest, triceps, deltoids)
Day 7: Recovery

Throwing calves and abs training in somewhere

Would maybe be even better?


this is getting excessive dude. now you are just listing every possible split in existence. they will all work and considering "your friend" is such a nooob, why are you looking for such a complex answer. pick one of the 1251890350975207 splits we just talked about and set it up, go to the gym, and do it.


the fly had been fucked enough i think... :smiley:

then it's time for some action 3:)