T Nation

One Muscle Per Day


Although my passion lies with performance training and strength and conditioning as opposed to BB style training or 1 muscle per day training, I've always wondered what it would be like to go back. BB usually train doing 1 muscle/body part training a day. Or at least primarily 1 a day. This was something I used to do a long time ago, when I was like 14. I wonder if this is the best way to train for hypertrophy with all that we know about training? I'm only asking because this is how BB's train. It's just that I have not done it in so long and when I did do it, I was 14 and knew nothing about training or nutrition. The results I got then, surely can't be a reflection of the effectiveness of this style of training. I could never imagine doing 16-20 sets of a single muscle like I used to, but at the same time although total training volume of the muscle is high, the training volume of each exercise is low. Doing 4 sets of an exercise at a fairly low intensity % is something I think I could easily do. Whether or not it would be effective though is the question. I know a lot of guys who do 4 sets, 4 exercises, 12,10,8,6 reps. The intensity would be very low in terms of the percentage relative to your 1 RM. I don't see how this could in any way be effective. I recently asked someone who's an aspiring BB about it and why it was his chosen method and he responded

"I think it's what works best for me. I like doing high volume (20-35 sets per bodypart, normally), and high intensity as well, so doing more than one bodypart per day I find to be too stressful. Lately, with the new 5-day split I'm on, I do 2 or 3 per day, but hardly ever two large bodyparts in the same day; normally something like bis and tris, chest and abs, hams and calves, etc.

Intensity, however, is not what you seem to term it as. If you completely fail at 1 rep or 50, as long as you completely fail, you're using 100% intensity. % of 1RM is more correlative to strength gains, at least for me. I do believe staying within a 4-20 rep range, though, is where maximal hypertrophy is acheived (more around 6 reps for upper bodyparts, and around 20 for legs).

One main key to inducing maximal hypertrophy is definitely to fail at different rep ranges in the same workout. For instance, one thing I like to do often is to start out with a coumpound movement, work my way down to failing around 6 reps, then later in the workout use isolating exercises and fail around 15-20 reps. I feel this is how I often get the best pump and most hypertrophy. I always keep intensity high, though, by using intensity techniques such as forced reps, negatives, partials, etc., to ensure I'm reaching total failure on each exercise."

Since I'm not training for anything specific at the moment, I'm wondering about returning to this style of training in a future cycle. Just for something new and to see what it feels like to do it again. I wonder if I applied what I know now, if I would be content with the results of a strictly hypertrophy oriented macrocycle where I used only classic BB style training. I don't know if I agree with not using intensity in regards to using weights that are of high % relative to my 1rm. I'm thinking maybe I could organize it so that they are, but it'd be tricky. I'm not even a hypertrophy guru, I just simply want to see if it works. Anyways was just wondering if anybody in the BB forum had any advice. Thanks.


Read the book "Brawn" by Stuart McRobert.

It was a way of training for "hard gainers" popularized by Peary Rader, the original Ironman magazine owner.


Seeing as you've got some knowledge about lifting and that you've been training for a while, that it would be interesting to see what happens if you went with a 5 way split. Not everyone responds the same way so what is the best hypertrophy plan for one person wouldn't be the best for another, so I say give it a shot.


I do read a ton of books, I'll ass this to my next shipment. Thanks


Appreciate the reply. I'm going to do some asking around and consider it for my next training cycle. I'm just torn as to how to organize it.


Honestly man If you are experienced then you should know not to overthink it. The stickied routine by kingbeef is awesome. I've currently switched from 2xweek per body part to his 1xweek and love it. Just do lots of volume and kill each muscle grp day by day and have fun doing it. It can be a nice change of pace to go from strength training to high volume.


Yes, 5 way split works.


I don't know any other training style. As long as you have the time and drive, DO IT.