T Nation

Newbie Converting From Starting Strength

Hey all,

When I first started lifting, I followed Starting Strength religiously, falling victim to the all too common perception that squats, deads, bench, presses, cleans, and food would get me the muscular body that I so desperately wanted. I was reasonably successful, going from 6’2 and 160 lbs body weight to 200 lbs in a 6 month period, bringing my reps for deadlift from 135 to 335, squats from 115 to 245, bench from 105 to 185, and military press from 65 to 135. I felt good about being stronger and could tell I was somewhat bigger, but I realized I wasn’t making the appearance change that I thought would come with such changes in strength.

I got to reading, and realized that I’m not the only one to achieve an oversized lower body relative to my upper with Starting Strength. I realized that I’m not lifting to get strong as my primary goal, I’m lifting to achieve a better physique, so why on earth would I continue to follow a non-bodybuilding program? So that being said, I’m looking to follow a traditional bodybuilding split. I’ve searched the forums ad nauseum and have found a few routines that I am interested in, but I am curious about one thing.

I am finishing graduate school this week, and will have 3 months with literally no responsibilities whatsoever until I begin my job July 1. Given that, I want to take this time to do everything right, from my training to my nutrition, to make the best gains possible. I won’t be able to lift this way forever, but it’s an opportunity I want to make the most of. It’ll be my first foray into bodybuilding, and I want to do it right, and forge good habits from the start that will stick with me.

Given that I have the time to eat big and eat clean and the capability of hitting the gym for 7 days a week for as much time as I need, I was hoping to get some insight into an ideal routine for someone at my level of progress. I rarely see anyone talk about six or seven day splits, and in my forum searches I’ve only seen them described as being possible with gear or someone able to focus entirely on lifting/cooking/resting. Is there a reason for that beyond that it can be tough to schedule?

Since I am by no means lifting heavy compared to most users here, is it possible for me to do this without beating up my joints too much? Are full days off from the gym entirely necessary as long as the body part you’re training has been rested for 3 days? Or would it be better still to simply follow a traditional 5 day split with 2 rest days?

I’ve searched the forum and read for a few hours and seen a lot of conflicting posts from some of the more prominent members of this forum, so I thought I’d ask. Please play nice. I understand that the most important part is just getting in the gym to lift and not posting on the internet.

tl;dr version: I have three months with nothing to do but lift, cook, eat, rest, repeat. I am a relative newbie asking about 7 day splits or if full rest days are truly necessary as long as the body part being trained has been rested.

a natural should never train 7 days a week IMO

the only guys i’ve seen do that with success (success meaning they gained strength and size from it) were on aas/gh/peptides/insulin and had perfect diets and completely dialed in peri-workout nutrition, and even then they were only able to train everyday for about 4-6 weeks before they needed a break.

anyways, a good 5 day split imo would look like this

chest/shoulders/standing calves
back/hamstrings
off
shoulders/arms/standing calves
chest/back (light/pump)
legs/seated calves
off

clean diet that follows a macro split like 40/30/15 split for protein/carbs/fats for 6 meals or so, adjusting/increasing weekly based on progress

i do the same lifts each session, but i change reps, sets, and tempo. this makes progress very easy to chart, as i record all of my sessions

im not sure how megabuff you are hoping to get in 3 months, but be reasonable

Thanks for the reply! I know that three months isn’t enough time to GET HYOOGE or anything, I just want to establish good habits both eating and in the gym on a bodybuilding routine, instead of chugging mass quantities of milk and squatting three times a week. Thought I’d ask about 6-7 day splits since I have the time for now, but if what you’re saying about needing a little pharmacologic help is necessary, then obviously that won’t work for me.

Thanks again.

Forgive my ignorance, but why does that macro split not total 100%?

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
a natural should never train 7 days a week IMO

the only guys i’ve seen do that with success (success meaning they gained strength and size from it) were on aas/gh/peptides/insulin and had perfect diets and completely dialed in peri-workout nutrition, and even then they were only able to train everyday for about 4-6 weeks before they needed a break.

anyways, a good 5 day split imo would look like this

chest/shoulders/standing calves
back/hamstrings
off
shoulders/arms/standing calves
chest/back (light/pump)
legs/seated calves
off

clean diet that follows a macro split like 40/30/15 split for protein/carbs/fats for 6 meals or so, adjusting/increasing weekly based on progress

i do the same lifts each session, but i change reps, sets, and tempo. this makes progress very easy to chart, as i record all of my sessions

im not sure how megabuff you are hoping to get in 3 months, but be reasonable[/quote]

For bodybuilding I’ve always liked the 2 day on, 1 off, 1 day on and 1 off split.

You can incorporate a push/pull/legs split into this or you can a more traditional chest/bi’s, back/tri’s, legs/shoulders. There’s a lot of combinations you can do with this kind of split.On off days you always do a light session of a weak body part. With this kind of split you can incorporate a lot of volume if you have a high workout capacity or you can train more “HIT” style and have plenty of time for recovery.

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
a natural should never train 7 days a week IMO

the only guys i’ve seen do that with success (success meaning they gained strength and size from it) were on aas/gh/peptides/insulin and had perfect diets and completely dialed in peri-workout nutrition, and even then they were only able to train everyday for about 4-6 weeks before they needed a break.

anyways, a good 5 day split imo would look like this

chest/shoulders/standing calves
back/hamstrings
off
shoulders/arms/standing calves
chest/back (light/pump)
legs/seated calves
off

clean diet that follows a macro split like 40/30/15 split for protein/carbs/fats for 6 meals or so, adjusting/increasing weekly based on progress

i do the same lifts each session, but i change reps, sets, and tempo. this makes progress very easy to chart, as i record all of my sessions

im not sure how megabuff you are hoping to get in 3 months, but be reasonable[/quote]

thats actually a pretty cool split you listed

5 days is pretty much as much as i can handle on a high volume split- i tried 6 days/week but joint/tendon issues started to creep up way too fast

[quote]MickyGee wrote:
Forgive my ignorance, but why does that macro split not total 100%?

[/quote]

no worries, it’s because the split is in grams, not percentages

That’s what I figured, but I wasn’t sure. Thanks… lol

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:

[quote]MickyGee wrote:
Forgive my ignorance, but why does that macro split not total 100%?

[/quote]

no worries, it’s because the split is in grams, not percentages[/quote]

I train alot of kids, start most of them off on some form of 5x5, the last couple years I’ve seen some good results for BB’s going from this to “max ot”, this is a training program found all over the net, it seems to work well following a 5x5 program, it focus’s on heavy weight, good form, and brief workouts, if your focus is athletics, we go to 531 program, both work well, depending on goals, after a year of one of these you should be well on your way, and able to do your own programing, goodluck

I have always prefered 4 days a week, mon/tue-thu/fri with wed-sat-sun off. Mondays and thursdays being legs and arms days, tuesdays and Fridays being back, chest and shoulders days.

This winter though I have trained only 3 days a week; mon-wed-fri. I have actually had better gains training less, but with real intensity when I do train. Mondays have been back-chest-shoulders, wednesdays legs and arms, and then fridays whole body training. I have used 4x Mass Training principles quite a lot, 1 second positives and up to 5 seconds negative reps with only 30 second rest between sets.

Now I’m going back to 4 days again and have made a 2-split program with exercises that I have made the best gains from. Since I have several exercises I feel are really good for each bodypart I have decided to use a lot of combos of 2-3 moves in each set, or giant set if you like, always moving to a stronger grip/position.
It gives me both long TUT(time under tension) and different POF(positions of flexion).

I have a really good feeling about this program (of course, I made it myself) and I’m looking forward to starting it :slight_smile:

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
a natural should never train 7 days a week IMO

[/quote]

You really think that?

[quote]optheta wrote:

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
a natural should never train 7 days a week IMO

[/quote]

You really think that?[/quote]

yes… but i think my idea of “training” is far different from most people’s around here

training 7 days a week with weights is to much for a natural trainie. I agree with mr walkaway

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
training 7 days a week with weights is to much for a natural trainie. I agree with mr walkaway[/quote]

Based on what? I train 7 days and make good gains (even on a cut). And this is with I guarantee you the same intensity as you. Grind reps on the reg. Heck look at people like ParagonA, who train a dozen times in a week.

[quote]willden wrote:

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
training 7 days a week with weights is to much for a natural trainie. I agree with mr walkaway[/quote]

Based on what? I train 7 days and make good gains (even on a cut). And this is with I guarantee you the same intensity as you. Grind reps on the reg. Heck look at people like ParagonA, who train a dozen times in a week.[/quote]

fair enough…

anyways, who is that girl in your pic?

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:

[quote]willden wrote:

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
training 7 days a week with weights is to much for a natural trainie. I agree with mr walkaway[/quote]

Based on what? I train 7 days and make good gains (even on a cut). And this is with I guarantee you the same intensity as you. Grind reps on the reg. Heck look at people like ParagonA, who train a dozen times in a week.[/quote]

fair enough…

anyways, who is that girl in your pic?[/quote]

mr.walkway has been bringing major lolz lately

Says the dude who doesn’t even have a pic? You afraid to show all the acne and bald-ass head all those AAS gave you?

[quote]willden wrote:
Says the dude who doesn’t even have a pic? You afraid to show all the acne and bald-ass head all those AAS gave you?[/quote]

lulz how did i know some aas comment was coming…

anyways acne is a result of severe hormone fluctuations hence pubery…and mpb is genetic. i know exactly what im doing when it comes to balancing my hormones so my skin is flawless and mpb doesnt run in my family

my hair isn’t even thinning u mad?

Yeah blast and cruise, brilliant let me know how that works out when you’re forced to do it for the rest of your life after ruining your t levels. Gyno prob runs in the family too? And I’m the one who looks like a woman lol.

[quote]willden wrote:
Yeah blast and cruise, brilliant let me know how that works out when you’re forced to do it for the rest of your life after ruining your t levels. Gyno prob runs in the family too? And I’m the one who looks like a woman lol.[/quote]

kiddo i know trt is in my future, i knew that going in.

like i said, hormones completely balanced so no gyno, looks like u could do with some aromasin or letro in your diet though.

my initial point was… u should not be giving advice, because judging by your pics (assuming that’s actually you), you have made nothing but noob gains.

everything works in the iron game for the first couple of months, then u have to start training instead of playing slapdick with the weights