T Nation

Setting Up Exercises

If anyone could help me set up this push/pull/legs split done 2x a week it would be greatly appreciated. It would be basically a 3on and 1off and maybe an extra rest day if needed. Following CT’s advice and doing OH pressing before my benching has helped a ton with shoulder health and my shoulders feel a lot more “greased up” when I move onto my benching. If there are any superior exercises you believe i should sub in or a better exercise sequence or maybe a rep range that you feel works better for a particular exercise please do tell.

Pull 1
A. Chin ups- 3sets
B. Rack BB Rows- 4x6-8
C. Close Grip lat pulldowns- 4x6-8
D. Seated Cable Rows- 4x6-10
E1. BB Curls-max reps
E2. DB Hammer-max reps
E3. Preacher Curls-max reps

Push 1
A. Push Press- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Incline Bench- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. CGBP- 3,2,1,6,6,6
D1. skulls- max reps
D2. DB laterals- max reps
D3. Rear Delt Flyes- max reps

Legs 1
A. Front squats- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Romanian DL- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. Leg Press- 4x6-10
D1. Leg Ext- max reps
D2. Leg Curls- max reps
D3. Calves- max reps

Pull 2
A. Chin ups- 3sets
B. Rack pulls- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. Lat Pulldowns- 4x6-8
D. Seated Rows- 4x6-10
E1. BB Curls- max reps
E2. DB Hammer- max reps
E3. Preacher Curls- max reps

Push 2
A. Military Press- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Flat Bench- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. Decline- 3,2,1,6,6,6
D1. Skulls- max reps
D2. DB Laterals- max reps
D3. Rear delt Flyes- max reps

Legs 2
A. Trap Bar DL- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Back Squat- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. Leg Press- 4x6-10
D1. Leg Ext- max reps
D2. Leg Curls- max reps
D3. Calves- max reps

Also, im not 100% sure if i’m doing the 3,2,1,6,6,6 correctly but this is what my front squats looked like today:
Front squats
45x5, 95x3, 115x3, 135x3, 155x3, 175x3 (all activation sets),
195x3, 205x2, 215x1,
135x6, 140x6, 140x6
does this look about right?

I apologize for the long post, I appreciate any and all advice/constructive criticism.

Too many exercises. How about on pull days you just perform a shitload of snatch-grip high pulls and on press days you do a shitload of overhead presses off pins and slight decline bench off pins.

Like ramp to a 1RM with the high pulls, perform 3 cluster sets at 90% of that weight, drop down to 70% of your 1RM, ramp to a 2RM and then drop to 90% of that weight, perform 2 clusters, drop down to 70% of that weight and then ramp to a 3RM, drop down to 90% of that weight and perform 1 cluster.

Do the same with slight decline press off of pins and front squats or back squats off of pins.

Unless you’re taking a ton of supplements for recovery I’d say you’re doing wayyyyyyy too much, and it will probably kill your progress. NOT because you might be “overtraining” but because of the way you’ve organized too many lifts. For example doing too much bicep work before a pressing day will lead cause dips in progress simply because your biceps/triceps will be fatigued. Try reducing the amount of exercises and focus on ones that actually will help you progress. Push pull legs is great until you try to over do it.

Put simply, work smart (and hard), not (just) hard.

Edit: the way you have it, some of those movements would be great to sub in and out for each other every few weeks (I’d say 4) or so to get variety if you get bored, but not all at the same time.

thank you for the replies. yeah i realize it is a ton of volume but at the same time i’m not moving around too much weight so i feel i need the extra stimulation since i’m not gna be working with a ton of weight. someone whos push pressing 200+lbs and benching 300+lbs might not need extra isolation work since theyve already hit the muscle pretty hard whereas someone whos doing half those numbers would need some extra volume elsewhere.

my pressing numbers are really low right now, and is something i would like to focus on this summer, so its not like im doing multiple sets of 300+lbs which would def lead to “overtraining/under recovery” with the amount of work i’m doing. i hope i’m making sense? regardless, i will take what you guys are saying and will lower the volume. Also, for the “max reps” exercises it is just one circuit/set of the 2-3 exercises. I think having 3 main movements each day and then doing a quick circuit for the smaller bodyparts isnt too bad. How’s this look?

Pull 1
A. Chin ups- 3sets
B. Rack BB Rows- 4x6-8
C. Close Grip lat pulldowns- 4x6-8
D1. BB Curls-max reps
D2. DB Hammer-max reps

Push 1
A. Push Press- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Incline Bench- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. CGBP- ramp up to 3, 6,6,6
D1. skulls- max reps
D2. Rear Delt Flyes- max reps

Legs 1
A. Front squats- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Romanian DL- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C. Leg Press- 3x6-10
D1. Leg Ext- max reps
D2. Calves- max reps

Think about this: what does “extra stimulation” do? If you’ve already gone and stimulated growth in the muscle, what is going to come of giving it more stimulation? The answer as most of us have learned is not much else. You don’t need EXTRA, you need the RIGHT stimulation!

As for “overtraining” or just doing too much work anyone can burn out and stall your progress. Not just those who lift heavy constantly, so even beginning with light weight you may over do it to some extent. And I still think you’re doing too much on the “Press 1” Day in terms of that much overhead work before that much bench press work, that is just my opinion though, CT may feel otherwise.

I do not like to do too many exercises. I always prefered to do more sets of fewer exercises (if you want more volume add sets, not exercises). A lot of people do way too many different exercises, probably because they are insecure… they are afraid of missing out on growth if they do not do more exercises: “well if I do not do decline bench my lower chest will suck…”.

Let me tell you, the strongest and biggest people who are not using growth-enhancing drugs are focusing on very few basic lifts.

Every pressing exercise hits every pressing muscle… there is no need for 2-3 angles of bench pressing in one workout… if you hit one bench press variation HARD during a workout, the whole chest will be stimulated. Now, you might need an overhead movement, especially if your delts are a lagging body part, but that’s it…

Really a pressing session where you do more sets of bench press and overhead press will be a lot more effective than doing fewer sets of more exercises.

The goal of a training session is NOT to go through a grocery list of exercises: it’s to stimulate growth by having your body initiate the cell signaling that results in growth. And it is the INTENSITY of the stimulus that does that… not the amount of work done.

I will tell you that I always had WORSE results when I did more exercises and more volume (and thus was forced not to train as hard on each set) than when I focused on fewer movements hit harder.

And do not tell me “I can do more because I don’t move much”… unless you are someone with a VERY physical job, it shouldn’t come into play much… if anything, psychological stress is much worse than physical activity.

There are plenty of athletes/bodybuilders who do nothing but train (no other job) and who take drugs that still have a hard time recovering and growing from a highish volume of training.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I do not like to do too many exercises. I always prefered to do more sets of fewer exercises (if you want more volume add sets, not exercises). A lot of people do way too many different exercises, probably because they are insecure… they are afraid of missing out on growth if they do not do more exercises: “well if I do not do decline bench my lower chest will suck…”.

Let me tell you, the strongest and biggest people who are not using growth-enhancing drugs are focusing on very few basic lifts.

Every pressing exercise hits every pressing muscle… there is no need for 2-3 angles of bench pressing in one workout… if you hit one bench press variation HARD during a workout, the whole chest will be stimulated. Now, you might need an overhead movement, especially if your delts are a lagging body part, but that’s it…

Really a pressing session where you do more sets of bench press and overhead press will be a lot more effective than doing fewer sets of more exercises.

The goal of a training session is NOT to go through a grocery list of exercises: it’s to stimulate growth by having your body initiate the cell signaling that results in growth. And it is the INTENSITY of the stimulus that does that… not the amount of work done.

I will tell you that I always had WORSE results when I did more exercises and more volume (and thus was forced not to train as hard on each set) than when I focused on fewer movements hit harder.

And do not tell me “I can do more because I don’t move much”… unless you are someone with a VERY physical job, it shouldn’t come into play much… if anything, psychological stress is much worse than physical activity.

There are plenty of athletes/bodybuilders who do nothing but train (no other job) and who take drugs that still have a hard time recovering and growing from a highish volume of training.[/quote]

I agree. I also think this is one of the main reasons why some of the guys in prison are yoked out of their mind. They do few exercises for a lot of sets, sometimes throughout the day.

i understand what you guys are saying, i guess i just had the whole “you have to DESTROY your muscle with multiple angles/exercises to gain muscle” philosophy that most people preach. thank you for the responses.

i have lagging delts and tris so CT how would you set things up? an overhead press, a bench variation, and then a couple isolation movements for the delts and tris sound good? maybe something like:
Push
A. Push Press or Military- 3,2,1,6,6,6
B. Flat or decline or incline bench- 3,2,1,6,6,6
C1. Dips
C2. Skulls
C3. Side Delt Raises/Rear Delts
doing the circuit 1-2x depending on feel?

Hey Thibs. I definitely agree since I’ve had the best gains focusing on progressing on a small number of compound movements. As far as volume/intensity, what do you think about higher volume/lower intensity programs that seem to make dudes super strong but not too big (e.g. Sheiko)? Is that more for pure strength and maintaining a weight class, so you’ll sacrifice a lot of muscle growth? Or do some people just respond better to different stimulus, such as better genetics or being younger so recover better from higher volume? (Ben Rice comes to mind, almost 1800lbs@198 at 23yo raw and (I honestly believe) natural).

I’ve been keeping a log to see exactly how my body responds to everything, and in my training years I’ve had the best gains from beast building, 6 weeks to superhero, hp mass and now the powerlifting layers, so pretty much whatever you say I take as dogma lol.