T Nation

Show Me Your Split


So...I've been so focused on the lady getting prepped that I've been, well...not coasting because despite being lighter my lifts have stayed the same and/or increased. I feel narrower front to back but that's because I've shed a bit of fat.

Typically I do a few warm up sets ramping up to anywhere from 1-3 working sets, thereafter if I feel i need it I might include a lighter blood volume set, or drop set @ the end of the exercise, I pick and choose which exercises to do this, not utilizing it for all exercises, typically just one.

As i begin increasing my calories again, particularly calories around my workout window, I'm thinking of changing my template to twice a week or something close to twice a week.

My split is/ and had been - shoulders one day, back one day, chest one day, arms one day, legs one day, abs and extra calf work 2-3 days a week, any day i feel like adding or mixing it up i do a shrug and rack pull day for extra trap/back help.

Thinking of doing a chest/shoulders day, back/bis, legs, chest/triceps...see wait...what a fucking mess!!! i come up w/ splits all the time but want to craft an effective one for myself that maximizes my growth opportunities w/ added food intake.

I'll be 37 in two days, i've been training for 5+yrs now and went from a bird of 140lbs to 226lbs...currently @ around 205 but still not as big or as lean as i'd like.

my hope is that frequency increase + food increase might push me into a chance for more later in life growing. *crazy concept.

the key might be getting the frequency up but still taking maximal opportunity to rest/recover efficiently.

My natural tendency is to beat the muscle to death and not stop until i've stimulated every fiber, so this new approach will require me to not OVER volumize my workouts.

Any insight from guys who have gone from once a week splits to more frequency, please chime in, both with insight and split layouts.

Did it work well for you, or did/do you feel like more rest less volume gave you better results.

I've been doing the same stuff for a while, and while i'm still moving forward it seems, i'm wondering if a change might spark better results.


I used to do a Push/Pull/Legs Split, 6 days a week.

The last 6 months I've been doing a bodypart split instead,
Legs(Quad dominant)
Legs(Ham dominant)

I switched originally because I felt I wasn't getting enough volume on the Push/Pull/Legs Split, but I miss the frequency of hitting the parts more often.

I've seen gains for sure by switching to the Body Part Split, but I'm curious as to how switching back will work now that I've figured out how to eat more properly to support gains.

After I get down to my goal BF% by March, and can eat to grow again, I intend on switching back to the Push/Pull/Legs Split, but with slightly more volume than I was doing before.


Just do a small change and see how it goes. You're used to working bodyparts once a week, try the nearest one which would be to start repeating the cycle before the week ends (e.g. a 4 way split done 5-6 times a week).

Volume doesn't have to change drastically this way, just shave off a few sets/exercises. A good general rule of thumb is to keep exercise selection to around 5 per session.

The biggest mistake people often make with increasing frequency is confusing muscle soreness with under recovery - they will be a little sore for the first two weeks or so until the body has adapted.

Example 4-way splits:

Chest + Tris/Back + Bis/Legs/Delts + Traps


Delts + Traps/Legs/Chest + Tris/Back + Bis


Chest + Tris/Legs/Delts/Back + Bis


Chest + Tris/Legs/Back + Bis/Delts + Traps

Put off days wherever


Also, volume doesn't have to be a constant state - better to vary it. I like CT's way of putting it; you gradually increase the sets over say 3-4 weeks, then on the 3rd/4th week, drop the sets down again and increase the load...repeat

I've kind of accidentally done variables of that in the past. IMO, that's a great way of getting a kind of rebound/super-compensation effect; you build up to the point of "exhaustion", then pull back, and when you do this the heavier loads actually feel quite light/manageable (because the body's recovery etc is in "over-drive" and suddenly gets the opportunity to catch up).

It's a good way of managing stimulation when reaching the more advanced stages where gains in strength aren't so linear anymore.


I change mine all the time right now its


the order might change though


new one for me:

chest/tri/lateral delts

back/bis/rear delts

front delts/legs

2 off days a week. I do 2 on 1 off, 1 on 1 off, repeat.


My basic split is: Shoulders/Traps, Quads, Back/Bi (mostly lats), Chest/Tri, Posterior chain, Arms, and if i want to an ab lib day whic would be some upper/middle back and some power moves. Repeat. So 6 day split maybe 7 so in the the gym that many days. Been working great. Love it. Its a CT program so it also has high frequency strength (doing the same big lifts every day sub maximally) then doing work on the body part of the day. It does a volume weight progression like just me stated. I love it


I've increased my volume over the years. Definitely more so in my mid 30's on. A lot of that decision was in realizing that I couldn't push my joints as hard as I used to. Admittedly, I used to go very heavy weights, very low volume, training 4x/week (even did 3x/week for a few periods of more powerlifting style training). What I believe balanced out the increase in volume, and allowed me to continue making progress, was a very focused approach on my diet, my supplementation, and taking days off as I feel are necessary.

Typically I use a 4 day bodypart split (with 2 extra days thrown in for interval work during contest preps). When offseason, I might go all 4 in a row, or 2 on, 1 off, or even 3 on, 1 off, 1 on.. it really will come down to your recovery. I'm a year (almost 2) older than ya Cyrus, and if you take an intelligent approach to everything, you can still keep moving forward!



I've always liked variations of the 4 day split. Right now mine looks like this:

Day1: Chest and triceps
day2: Back and rear delts
day3: Cardio
day4: Delts and biceps
Day5: Legs

Weekends are all cardio and maybe some abs/grip work.


College just started, and I had to cut my workouts to 4x a week, so I have the other 3 days for studying/reading/homework/work/grocery shopping/food prep. I use to do push/legs/pull/off/repeat, but going to 4x a week, I wanted to keep the 2x frequency, while having more off days. Like Ryan, I'm doing HFSW, so in the mornings before classes on lifting days, I get in the gym and bench, squat, and OHP sub-maximally, then in the afternoon, train particular bodyparts. So my split is:

Monday: HFS + Back(width emphasis)/Hypertrophy Triceps
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: HFS + Chest/ Hypertrophy Biceps
Thursday: OFF
Friday: HFS + Legs/abs/calves
Saturday: HFS + Delts/Back(thickness emphasis)/Power Arms
Sunday: OFF

With the HFSW, chest, delts, and legs get a good deal of volume over the week, so I only hit them HARD once a week. Arms gets hit 2x a week, as does back, though emphasis placed on different sections (carryover in inevitable though). Only been at it for about a week, but hopefully the added rest days will spark some more growth, as most say you grow when you're OUT of the gym, not in it.






If your joints could handle it, would you still like to train that way/had better results with it? Or vice versa do you think you would have had better results doing higher volume earlier on?


lol @ 90% of the ppl in here giving advice suck


hey man not everyone can handle 360 muscle ok


I do chest and abs on day 1
Ido shoulders on day 2
I do arms on day 3
I do back on day 4
I do legs and calves on day 5
I rest on Saturday and Sunday


I tried a 2x a week program, but it took too much out of me. I have been having good progress with the following:

rest (i might start again with chest this day if i am not burnt out)


My favorite split is

Day 1: Back, Chest, Shoulders
Day 2: Biceps, Triceps, Wrists
Day 3: Legs, Calves
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Back, Chest, Shoulders
Day 6: Biceps, Triceps, Wrists
Day 7: Legs, Calves
Day 8: Rest

I like this split because it allows for at least 72 hours of rest between arms and 96 hours of rest before hitting legs or heavy pushing and pulling again. As well as 48 hours between heavy pushing and pulling and legs. Rest is just as important as your eating plan in bodybuilding and both are more important then the actual training endured. I believe a lot of splits neglect this important fact.

This split also concentrates blood in regions close to each other for your workout such as the arms, legs or torso allowing for better pumps, performance, stretching of fascia, capillary production and other sarcoplasmic muscle hypertrophy.

I also feel that after the first body part is worked the nervous energy produced can be built upon and used for the next one as long as short concise rest periods (15-45 seconds between sets and 2-3mins between body parts) are used without distraction (i.e. reading a magazine, texting, talking to buddies or whatever could be considered not concentrating). Semantics aside, I believe concentration means visualizing what your going to do during the next set during the rest period and focusing on feeling the motion your going through as you do it.


Sorry, I meant to say this:

cyrus - you're an old man now, just give in and take the steroids...oh, and don't forget protein powder



I think everyone (with the occasional, odd, genetic freak being the exception) reaches a point where what has been working, no longer produces results enough to consider it still working.

There's the old bodybuilding adage that:
1-everything works
2-nothing works for very long

Given the body's ability to adapt to a repeated stimulus (ie. the more steady state cardio you do, the more efficient, and less calorically stressed, your body becomes at it), there must always be some degree of change introduced to continue making progress. That doesn't mean that you must always fluctuate along the continuum of training volume, it merely means that some variable must be addressed.

In my case, I had to factor in what was working (I was continually getting stronger), with what wasn't working, or was perceived as negative effects (I wasn't growing, and my joints were aching from the constant stress of moving such heavy loads).

Ultimately, each person's pros/cons argument may be different. If your joints are up to the pounding, then you may opt to stay with a lower volume approach,... IF IT IS PRODUCING THE RESULTS YOU ACTUALLY WANT. Too many people (I was guilty of this as well) will stay with one approach too long, simply because one factor (ie. strength) is still moving. If that factor is your goal, then keep going, because you are making progress. But if strength gains are coming, and size is your goal, you need to look at your options (that includes your diet -lol).

Would I have had better results early on with higher volume? Who knows. I had good results for a while with low volume, and I've had good results with higher volume. There are too many other variables to attribute everything to training volume.