T Nation

Split/Fatigue and Hitting Muscle Groups

Hey everyone I am back to training my upper body finally…I think my shoulder is feelin prettty good I am gonna take it lighter but I have not pressed in over 4 months!!
I want to build my strength back, but in that time I learned a lot more bout training took a step back and evaluated things.

Anyways my goal is strength and size. My question is though…I want to hit muscle groups 2x per week…this seems a bit difficult and am having a hard time setting it up.

AT THE SAME TIME - how on earth do you people do a back workout and make gains?

The other day I did chest/back. (first time ever breaking it up like this btw - and I REALLY enjoyed it :slight_smile:

EXAMPLE:

Chest/Back:

Floor Press (work up to 5RM, back down set of 8)
DB Flat Bench press 3x6-8 ramped. (90x8, 105x8, 120x7) (not bad for not pressing in over 4 months)
Dips - 3x8-12 OKAY here’s the problem with dips I’ve done 100lbs for 10 reps before…I’ve never really done dips before but I did them one day and that’s what I got.

Here when I did them - I was barely doing my 3rd set with my own BW for 12 reps lol.
My upper body was just too tired. How can I split this so I can still gain strength on this exercise, I’m not going for endurance…just rest 5-10min?

Same thing happened with back:

I started out doing seated rows and was gonna do pull-ups afterwards.

I did a bunch of sets with the seated rows (helps my shoulder as well) 4 sets ramped for 6-10.

After when I went to do pullups - I was lucky to get 8 reps deadhang BW!!!

Normally when doing an Upper body day westside style if I choose to do a vertical movement (chins,pullups) I will do 60lbs for 6-8 reps ATTATCHED to my body.!!

What gives! - I just feel like I cannot improve strength properly doing it this way.

Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot. This is my first time doing a split by the way like this…I really enjoyed the workout overall, but it’s not that I leave my ego at the door or anything…but I mean it’s a little mentally frustrating knowing you can do so much more but muscles are too fatigued.

Oh at the same time my other question was how can I hit the muscle group 2x/week. I know with chest/back my tri’s are gettin hit pretty hard still.

And then I have another day Shoulders/Tri’s

But I want to work my back again…I have 2 lower body days that is more suited for strength

  • Squat (ramp, waveload or 3-5RM)
  • Glute Ham Raises
  • Hyperext.
  • Abs.
    -Calves

2nd lower body day-

Explosive movement
Rack Pulls
stiff leg deads for 5-8reps
bent over row
chin up
abs
calves

Is that okay to fit my back in 2x a week - and is 2 back exercises enough if I am hitting it 2x a week.

I see some programs have like 4 back exercises but if I’m doing it 2x a week I’m sure I’d have to lower the overall amout of volume in one session.

To me this makes sense, was wondering other opions.

Biceps can be hit again on shoulders/tricep day
And once again on Squat day after the workout.

I remember seeing some of your squat numbers in some other thread and you’re pretty strong. With these numbers it’s very taxing on your body and some of your lifts will end up suffering because you’re just too fatigued.

I think everyone will eventually get to a certain strength that will make it really difficult to workout more than one major muscle group in the same session, and really demonstrate their full potential.

If you really want to work chest and back on the same day i would go with just 2 exercises for each.

If you’re going to do pullups and rows in the same workout you need to choose to do one first and be strong on it and accept that you are going to be weaker on the second one.

I would ALWAYS do pullups first because when I did it the other way around, (rows first), when I was done I could barely do 3 pullups when my max was over 20 in a row when I was rested.

How is your peri-workout nutrition?

That makes a lot of sense angus_beef…I will see how I recover…With the westside method I can demonstate 100% strength potential because there is only ONE exercise (tricep, shoulder, row) and you hit each one hard, rest 5 min. between exercises and I can give an all out performance.

Celtics - This is exactly what I’ve run into and what I just mentioned to angus…I do not really like the fact that it gets me fatigued like that and I can’t use that potential I have…I feel as if I am short changing myself. What is the point to do 6-8 shitty reps on pull-ups with BW ONLY, when I know I can do 60lbs attatched to my body and crank the same for reps.

At the same time I want to work my back 2x a week…so I will go with what you said…I will pick a movement I want to get better at (rows or pull ups) hit that first, then go to my 2nd exercise.

IN THE SAME WEEK - cause I wanna work my back 2x a week - I will then put that 2nd exercise (or a variation of it) first and a different exercise 2nd. Voila! lol

My peri workout nutrition…well I eat a big meal a couple hours before my workout…there is no substitute for REAL FOOD…and then before my workout I take a scoop and a bit of maltodextrin and protein powder, and some BCAA’s . Then I drive to the gym and tear it up!
After workout dextrose, protein, creatine, BCAA.

By back I also only mean rows, lats, pull ups, chins and all variations. I do not include ANY rack pulls, deads, RDL’s, stiff leg etc.

That is on a seperate day of it’s own. I will actually give my split

Day 1 - Chest/Back (seated rows, pull ups, etc)

Day 2 - Squat, Ham, Low back, Biceps, Abs (glute ham, hyperextension),

Day 3 - Shoulder/Tricep

Day 4 - Deadlift variation (rack pull, stiff leg) Hamstring movement/low back (front squat, stiff leg, etc) Abs - Back (rows, chins). Biceps as finisher.

So that is my split - I am hitting everything 2x during the week…most things directly except triceps and shoulders. But I get a lot of stimulation of triceps and shoulderes from chest/back day so I think that is enough. I mean between heavy movement (floor press, reg. bench etc) and then doing DB benches, and Dips. I’m hitting triceps and shoulders here quite a bit, and my chest defiaently gets sore (never worked my chest before, first time)

Anyways - any thoughts?

Not doing both standing and seated calf raises is a mistake IMO

When I asked about peri-workout nutrition and you said you only do things before and after let me tell you that the best thing bar none that I did recently was switch from drinking water to drinking 36 oz of water mixed with 1/4 cup of kool-aid powder during my workout.

I get much more energy and an extra 220 calories.

The tub of kool-aid was $4 and lasts for 10 workouts - I have it portioned out in plastic bags which i cut the bottom out of to pour in more easily.

I have no income so expensive supplements are not an option.

OH haha sorry I thought it said pre when I was reading it…yeah peri workout…seriosuly…I’m just too damn into it to have a bunch of drinks…I mean a gatorade, water, even like you said kool aid…something with sugar and whatever is cool…I used to take BCAA’s during my workout…powder it tasted like hell so I had to gulp it with a scoop in my mouth. I just got too full from water and it was bugging me in my workouts.

I forgot to mention, I’ve never done seated/standing calf raises…my thighs are much bigger and you can definaetly see a HUGE difference between calf/thigh I mean it’s very unbalanced…so since joining the gym I am doing standing and seated calf raises, it’s so far behind my lower body haha it’s kinda sad but gotta start somewhere.

you can just do Chest, Shoulders, Tri one day, back and bis the next, and quads and hams the next, take a day off and repeat. or if your doing 5 days in the gym a week just take off a day off the body part you could get away with training the least.

Hazzyhazz24 how does that work exactly lol sorry I just never work with split like this…what are the days that you would put all these on? Is there anyway as well that shoulders could be put somewhere else. I just can’t see myself doing heavy chest shoulders and tri’s in one workout…and get a couple exercises in there without suffering huge and MAJORLY reducing the weight from fatgiue…which is not my goal…I want to add weight to the bar as much as I can or improve on reps.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Hazzyhazz24 how does that work exactly lol sorry I just never work with split like this…what are the days that you would put all these on? Is there anyway as well that shoulders could be put somewhere else. I just can’t see myself doing heavy chest shoulders and tri’s in one workout…and get a couple exercises in there without suffering huge and MAJORLY reducing the weight from fatgiue…which is not my goal…I want to add weight to the bar as much as I can or improve on reps.[/quote]

I think he means

Chest+delts+tris
back+bis
legs
off
repeat

You can do it, just rest inbetween bodyparts. Like if you were going to do chest shoulders and tris together it’d be like:

DB Bench

warm up then

120x8
120x5
110x8
or whatever

then a few minutes of setting up your next exercise, stretching and taking a few sips of your gatorade before starting the warm ups for the next bodypart.

Military press

warm up then working sets

rest/stretch/sips of drink

CG Bench

same thing

This is also why bodybuilders favor variations on exercises that don’t hit the supportive muscles as hard, like if you were going to hit chest and tris together you might not want to hit flat bench because it would fatigue your tris quite a bit so you might put incline DB bench and use mostly the bottom part of the ROM so your tris don’t get as fatigued, or he might use a machine that has a nice rom that hits the chest even better.

Also if you were going to have two sessions a week for each bodypart you could have two different exercise selections. Like if you were going to flat bench one day you might put more isolation type exercises for the other bodyparts, like:

Flat bench (if you’re chest dominant)
machine laterals
skull crushers

Then the next session you might want to hit tris with a big compound

HS incline chest press
Seated DB shoulder press
Decline CG bench

Or you might put tris first on the second day.

Actually you should ask Waylanderxx how he sets it up because he works everything twice a week with this split

[quote]celtics2022 wrote:
If you’re going to do pullups and rows in the same workout you need to choose to do one first and be strong on it and accept that you are going to be weaker on the second one.

I would ALWAYS do pullups first because when I did it the other way around, (rows first), when I was done I could barely do 3 pullups when my max was over 20 in a row when I was rested.

How is your peri-workout nutrition?[/quote]

WRT doing pullups first, it depends why you’re doing them. Some big backs have been built primarily around rows so I wouldn’t write them off for size. If doing 2 back sessions a week, it’d be entirely possible to do both whilst fresh one day and fatigued on another. Or you could just swap the order once your routine is feeling stale. Could also use rack chins instead of pullups if you’re doing them for lats, that way even at the end of the session your going to be able to crank them out with at least bodyweight.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Hazzyhazz24 how does that work exactly lol sorry I just never work with split like this…what are the days that you would put all these on? Is there anyway as well that shoulders could be put somewhere else. I just can’t see myself doing heavy chest shoulders and tri’s in one workout…and get a couple exercises in there without suffering huge and MAJORLY reducing the weight from fatgiue…which is not my goal…I want to add weight to the bar as much as I can or improve on reps.[/quote]

its really simple, matt kroc does it. check out his log on elite fts.

[quote]Hazzyhazz24 wrote:

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Hazzyhazz24 how does that work exactly lol sorry I just never work with split like this…what are the days that you would put all these on? Is there anyway as well that shoulders could be put somewhere else.

I just can’t see myself doing heavy chest shoulders and tri’s in one workout…and get a couple exercises in there without suffering huge and MAJORLY reducing the weight from fatgiue…which is not my goal…I want to add weight to the bar as much as I can or improve on reps.[/quote]

its really simple, matt kroc does it. check out his log on elite fts.
[/quote]

Matt kroc is also cutting for a show and is very energy drained. He is only doing that to burn a few extra calories and MAINTAIN his muscle mass.

for the whole year before he went to that split to cut down, he was doing 1 bodypart every 6 days. (chest,back,shoulders,arms,legs,off,repeat)

haha trav you write all that out man and then you say you should just go ask waylander!!! haha your jokes man!

I substitte the back day…one day seated rows, next exercise pull ups…other back day…regular BB rows and rack chins, or chin ups.

I also tried STU’s advice from a thread a bit ago…with the straight arm pulldown with rope, and then after that do the seated pulldown…stay upright but use neutral grip bar…WOW man I felt my lats work like I’ve never ever felt it before.

Hazzy + goodfellow - I’ll go check matt kroc’s log right now…I just realized too I was reading some articles and Brick sent one out…pump down the volume…I read that and Dante (DC training) hits the muscle group 2x a week and I think I can make my program work like that (minus DC methods though) so yeah
thanks for the advice boys.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
haha trav you write all that out man and then you say you should just go ask waylander!!! haha your jokes man!

I read that and Dante (DC training) hits the muscle group 2x a week and I think I can make my program work like that (minus DC methods though) so yeah
thanks for the advice boys.
[/quote]

lol that was kind of like my disclaimer, though I’ve always trained in an upper lower fashion so I’m used to doing multiple bodyparts in one session like that.

You know, you’re probably strong enough to do the DC 2 way, I think it would suit you actually but it’s up to you.

lol yeah i’ve always trained upper lower…but now it’s time for me to change my training up a bit you know. I know I make best gains training bodyparts 2x a week for sure. I looked at the DC 2 way…but theres like 12 exercises in one session!! Damn that’s a lot man lol esp. for someone used to doing 4 maybe 5 exercises a session.

I’ve got to look into that rest pause training as well…I used the search and went on google but I couldn’t find anything exactly solid about how to go about doing it and DC advocates all RP training primarily.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
lol yeah i’ve always trained upper lower…but now it’s time for me to change my training up a bit you know. I know I make best gains training bodyparts 2x a week for sure. I looked at the DC 2 way…but theres like 12 exercises in one session!! Damn that’s a lot man lol esp. for someone used to doing 4 maybe 5 exercises a session.

I’ve got to look into that rest pause training as well…I used the search and went on google but I couldn’t find anything exactly solid about how to go about doing it and DC advocates all RP training primarily.

[/quote]

?

There are 5 exercises a session in the 2 way. For the rest pause in DC it’s basically going to failure, taking 15 deep breaths, going to failure again, then 15 more breaths and a last set to failure.

You can also ask the guys in the DC thread on this site

haha yes sorry about that…It’s you pick ONE exercise and rotate through the 3. I thought it was 3 exercises per bodypart each session which would be 12 (chest, shoulders, back, tri’s) but my mistake. I just read it wrong the first time. It actually seems like a pretty interesting way of training…I’ll look into it more for sure. Something really caught my eye to it though, sorry if I mess it up a little but he says…you can have the same guys performing giant sets or whatever and they get hella sore, and they really feel like they are working hard but they make no gains and they can go the whole year like that. The only way to continually keep getting better is to get stronger (thats where is RP comes in)
and at the same time I can definaetly see that…I got fairly big from never training in a bodybuilding fasion…I always just stuck with lower reps and never worked the same bodypart with more than one exercise.

I would do chest (bench press variation), triceps, shoulders, and back. EXACLTY like his routine. but just completely different sets/reps, always heavy though trying to beat last weeks weight. Which is kinda the way the westside routine is set up as in exercise fashion, but they have triceps first after chest.

AND LASTLY - I noticed in the workout…I did my chest/back day. I could not do dips worth shit after doing floor presses and chest db presses. LIke I said I never do dips but I’ve done 100lbs x10 reps before for shits and giggles. Here I barely did my BW for 12 reps.
Sure it feels like I’m working hard but really am I making an improvement…I dont think so…

Just something to think about I guess.