T Nation

Optimal Split for Natty?


Okay, so natural lifter here 22 years old been lifting since I was 12 but didn’t actually know what I was doing till a few years ago. In that time I’ve competed in many different sports and that cut into my lifting time along with a plethora of injuries. Now I’m fully recovered no longer competing in any sports would like to focus strictly on the barbell. I would rather do less with more as far as training but not opposed to hard work. I’m not on any gear but my body is used to reecovering from years of sports (baseball, wrestling, football, rugby, lacrosse and MMA). My question is do you guys think id be better off on a 3 day a week or 4 day a week split? Or if you have any other suggestions please let me know. My main goal is to be strong second goal look and feel good. Also not opposed to gear, but in the future when I plateau and I can actually afford it. My current lifts are 310SQ 290BP and 435DL. 6’1 and about 215lb


It depends on how much time you can devote to lifting. If you have a lot of free time 4 days is probably better.
Also the younger you are, the more days and volume you can generally tolerate. It’s a personal thing though. You have enough experience to make your own choices.
Also it may vary . I did 5 -6 days a week last year and only 3 days a week this year. Days off allow the nervous system time to recover.


Months off would regenerate the spirit. But if it comes to that, you better make sure your diet is on point.

Optimal Split would be:

Day 1
Total Body
Day 2
Upper Body
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

I would try that.


You will get used to it . You don’t need drugs (especially as you are 22 ). I start working again soon which is why I am quitting the 5/6 day a week stuff (that and burn out) . If you keep your workouts short , you can train very frequently . You don’t have to lift maximal weights all the time , lift 50 -70 % and that allows for rapid recovery.
Also fish oil will help with the inflammation drastically. There are so many different splits you could use I like Westside for strength and size. Don’t deadlift with heavy weights regularly.


My deadlift is my strongest lift.

In the past, I trained it on lifts that conform strictly to Olympic WL standards. Shoes, stance, reps, technique and style of pulling.

You can imagine what that means. I’d only train it only for a couple of months before my competition.

Spend more time squatting and doing heavy weighted pullups.

If you must do both:

Day 1:
Squat 1RM
Partial Squats: 1RM
Deadlift: 1RM

Day 2:
Squats (Out of pins - start from partial position)
Heavy Weighted Pullups (10 sets)

Day 3:
Block Deadlifts (from height)
Rest for squats

Day 4:


Pause squats will not help the deadlift IMO.

We pause it to experience axial loading. The deadlift is the opposite of that.

Do you do paused deadlifts?

You pause because the fibers haven’t reached maximal strength production. You want to be as fast as possible.

Paused squats is being as slow as possible on the way up. It basically trains your ability to mention tension.

That’s the only benefit when grinding out a deadlift. But if you pause during a deadlift, that’s possibly because of a technique deficiency like mine (NOT because of insufficient strength).

Both have pauses, but the reason behind them is vastly different.


The title of this thread is ridiculous. PEDs will allow you to recover from more volume and will give you better results, but either way it is totally individual how much volume, frequency, or intensity you can handle. If you are making progress then your program is working, if you are tired and burnt out and not making gains then you are doing too much.