T Nation

Should I Be Doing Split Workouts?


Hello all,
I am new to weightlifting as I have only been lifting since 6/1/09. Since then I have been doing full body workouts and still am to this day. I have heard different things about full body and split workouts and I am lost. Currently my workouts are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and they consist of Bench Press, DB Bicep Curls, DB Forearm Curls(for lacrosse), Rows, Tricep Dips, Calf Extensions and Squats.

Heres some numbers that you guys usually ask for:
Height: 5'8
Weight: 165 lbs
Bench: 145lbs
Squat: 200lbs
Age: 17

So basically if I should be splitting my workouts, how would I go about doing so? I've heard talk about upper and lower body days, days for specific muscle groups, etc and I am completely lost.

In addition, I play lacrosse so I would like to get Bigger, Faster and Stronger. But I was wondering during lacrosse season in the fall I will have practice 3x a week and about 5 games throughout the fall. Come spring time practice is everyday and about 15 games on the season, anywhere from 1-2 per week. Once I establish a workout split plan, what should I go about doing during lacrosse season in both the fall and spring so come when season is over, its not like I'm starting over lifting again?

All help is appreciated and feel free to PM me anything you think will help. Sample workout splits, etc would be GREAT.

On a side note, how do ya'll keep track of your workouts? Logs? Paper/Pen? Notebook?

End post...finally.


for keeping track of your workouts, spreadsheets are the best thing for me. You can't lose it anywhere, put it some place and forget where it is, can't damage it. Plus, it looks neat and organized.




Thanks for the idea deadsion. Fuzzyapple, sorry but what??


West Side For Skinny Bastards. Its a good athletic program to start for a split.


Logs on index cards.

Yes, do splits. How you split it depends on how much energy you have, how much time you have, and how long it takes for you to recover, among other things.

Eat a lot more, like maybe twice as much.

Lift at home in the morning if you have weights there. You're young enough that you should be able to lift and do lacrosse practice on the same day so long as your diet will support the increased activity and muscle growth.

I do a 3 day split. Legs, upper body push, upper body pull.


defrancostraining.com read everything on there


Just get a small note book that you can bring to the gym write down you're target reps for the day -eg one more rep than the last time you hit that excercise.
Hit the reps put a tick next to it.
Make sure your numbers are steadily going up for the big lifts(bench, Sq, deads) no need to get too anal about the rest.


Also if you're serious about lifting starting a log on this site isn't a bad idea


Thanks for all the great responses and information. I am in the process of familiarizing myself with the WS4SB workout and it looks great. Thanks for the recommendation Fuzzyapple. Keep on posting guys!


I'm actually going to play a little devil's advocate here and say that you should stick with total body training. A lot of people dog tbt advocates because that's not the training methodology that bodybuilders use. But if you aren't training to be a bodybuilder, why wouldn't you follow the advice of these coaches who actually train athletes?


I honestly was waiting for someone to do that iwong. Im not looking to be a bodybuilder obvious. Like I stated in the OP, looking to get bigger, faster and stronger. So to everyone out there, if I were to stick with the total body workouts, is there anything I should add to what Im doing or get rid of? Should I be doing 3x a week or is there something better? Do I stick with the same workout/recovery periods during lacrosse season?


Well let me get the disclaimer out of the way. I do train like a bodybuilder (ie splits) now and only did tbt for about 1 year out of my total training career. I did, however, use weight training in my earlier days as an accessory to sports. That being said, the biggest change I would incorporate into your program is the inclusion of posterior chain work.

I'd also make sure to focus on the big compound lifts (ie place them at the beginning of the workout) before the isolation stuff. As far as during the season, its a personal call. Only you know your own recovery ability. I would tend to dial it back during the season. Remember, you are trying to develop size, strength, speed etc. during the off-season and maintaining it during the season.

One last note, whether you are training for sports or bodybuilding, the key is always progression. You want to get strong, you need to lift heavier each and every workout. You want to get bigger, you need to eat more. Don't worry about the small stuff. Good luck


Thanks iwong, so youre saying hit the bench, squat and rows first and hit the DB stuff after?


Uh, such mis-information.

Training like a bodybuilder or whatever will get you bigger, faster and stronger.

Do not try and split up bodybuilders/powerlifters/athletes, they are all trying to do the same thing in the gym - get stronger.

And they all do 1 thing in common, they try to get stronger on similar exercises (Bench press, Squat, Deadlift, Overhead press, Rows, Chin ups, Curls etc.)

IMO, total body training is NOT an optimal way to do this.


I see your point of view Goodfellow and completely agree. Can you give me an outline of a split workout that would be optimal?


day1: shoulders,biceps (seated overhead press, lat raise, db shrug, bb curl, db preacher curl)
day2: legs (squat, leg press, lunges, lying leg curl, weighted abs)
day3: -
day4: chest,triceps (bench press, inc bench press, flat db press, skullcrusher, tricep pushdown)
day5: back (pull up, lat pulldown, deadlift, bb row, seated row)
day6: -
day7: repeat

That will work well. Train for about 5-8 reps for a few weeks, after that just get a weight you can do like 3-4 reps with, then keep at it until you can do 8-10. Then go up in weight again.


Ok, so one set of 5-8 reps? Thanks for the outline, much appreciated


Start with a weight you can easily do 8 reps with, to practice the form and 'get in the groove', then gradually go heavier and heavier until you reach an all out set of 5 reps.

You can do this over 10 sets (if your joints feel really stiff/beat up and you need a good warm up) or at little as 3 sets (if you feel super strong and ready).


Bench press -

95lbs x 8
115lbs x 6
135lbs x 5
155lbs x as many as you can

Just make gradual/steady jumps in weight each set to prepare yourself.


Gotcha. Normally Ill go up 10lbs each time on bench. Is that fatiguing my muscles? Is the 20lb jump better?