T Nation

Split Schedule Problem

I have been doing a lot of Thibs’ splits. My current work out schedule is:
day 1. chest and back
day 2. legs
day 3. arms, shoulder, traps
day 4. rest
day 5. rest
day 6. repeat

I am 22 years old university student, a lot of stress and shit; 5’7 tall, 155lbs with shoes, shorts and t-shirt on. I always do 5 min bike ride at moderate intensity to warm up, then do progressive loading before I hit the weights below, ie; bench 95lbs for 30reps, 135lbs for 20reps, 185lbs for 10 reps.

chest:
1.bench press 4x5 at 225lbs(I’d do 5x5 but takes too long, I take long rests between sets, 3-4 mins)
2.incline barbell bench 4x12 at 135lbs(now switching to dumbell or I do progressive loading instead of same weight)
3.seated chest press 3x8 at 115lbs each side.
back:

  1. overhand grip pull up 3x5 with 2x45lbs plates
  2. bent over dumbell row 55lbs x12, 65lbs x12, 75lbs x12, 85lbs x12 ( heavier if i feel stronger or if i have more time)
  3. bent over overhang grip row, 135lbs x20, 185lbs 2x12, 225 2x8( no straps, with straps i do more sets at 225lbs.)

the problem is when I do my chest and back, it takes very long in the gym, and I gotta go to classes after and often do too much damage to triceps and biceps(especially during pull ups) during the work out and won’t recover fast enough on day 3 to do arms, shoulder, traps.

I read in a magazine, a sample work consistent of day1, chest and tricep and delts, day 2 consists of back and biceps, day3 legs, rest 2 days and repeat. Is that better? it would make more sense to do the primary muscle group then the agonist on the same day(chest and tricep). Then I read somewhere on T-Nation article, the author said he learned a tip from world class lifter, do biceps on chest day, then triceps on back day. I don’t understand how that is going to work. After you finished with your chest and bicep, you hit back and tricep next day; your biceps won’t recover in time, and your back exercise need huge amount of bicep activation and while same goes for triceps.

So I need some help to reinvent my work out, or am i doing something wrong?

It looks too convoluted. Either give Chest and Back their own days or remove the third exercise for each.

You need to pick one workout and stick to it: don’t mix and match routines, especially split routines. You mentioned that you were following one of Thib’s programs, but you are also following advice from a magazine, and then from yet another article from T-Nation.

I would suggest that you follow Thib’s routines exactly as written, otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

CT knows his stuff, so everything is there for a reason (includng body part pairings). Don’t try to second guess things.

where can i find Thibs’ workouts?

[quote]roybot wrote:
You need to pick one workout and stick to it: don’t mix and match routines, especially split routines. You mentioned that you were following one of Thib’s programs, but you are also following advice from a magazine, and then from yet another article from T-Nation.

I would suggest that you follow Thib’s routines exactly as written, otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

CT knows his stuff, so everything is there for a reason (includng body part pairings). Don’t try to second guess things. [/quote]

I am sticking to Thibs routine right now, I didn’t mix and match, I was just referring to the stuff I have read, thinking if I should switch out of Thibs program.

The Thibs program is right here http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/the_thib_system_training_frequency_and_rest_periods

If I do chest on one day and back following day, do I do chest and tricep on the same day or chest and bicep? This goes back to what I have said in my original post; Chest and bicep on same day won’t allow recovery for biceps and triceps on the following day when I do back and triceps.

[quote]BigSausage wrote:
If I do chest on one day and back following day, do I do chest and tricep on the same day or chest and bicep? This goes back to what I have said in my original post; Chest and bicep on same day won’t allow recovery for biceps and triceps on the following day when I do back and triceps.[/quote]

Train arms on a separate day then.

…You don’t have to have Back and Tri and Chest and Bicep right after another… You could have Chest and Biceps, then like Legs and Shoulders (or however you split the body up), then Back and Tri. You could add in a rest day after or before Leg and Shoulder Day (or whatever other day(s) you have in the split) if you’re still not recovered by Back and Tri day (but you should be anyway)

Seems like common sense to me…but i guess some people just don’t have it…

[quote]BigSausage wrote:
I have been doing a lot of Thibs’ splits. My current work out schedule is:
day 1. chest and back
day 2. legs
day 3. arms, shoulder, traps
day 4. rest
day 5. rest
day 6. repeat[/quote]

An immediate fix when a problem is, two workouts seem too close together and the rotation is less than 7 days, to add a day. It is not as if training bodyparts once per 6 days (or 7 for that matter) instead of once per 5 days is inadequate.

If there is not enough time for what you want to do, as you say is the case, this warmup schedule has a ton to do with that problem.

There is no way that all this is necessary or beneficial.

IMO, this falls into the category of either a crutch – a perceived dependency – or into the category of finding enjoyment in spending considerable time in the gym doing truly easy stuff, in preference to having to spend the same or nearly as much time working hard. No offense intended but I really believe that is a big part or often the entire part of why so many spend so much time doing such unchallenging work.

Think of the time you could save getting rid of most of that.

I find it hard to believe that a single set of 10 or so with a very light weight will not be sufficient (or more than needed) for most exercises, or in some cases a quick pyramid of triples rapidly leading up to the work weight. But once actually physically warm, most exercises won’t require that.

[quote]
chest:
1.bench press 4x5 at 225lbs(I’d do 5x5 but takes too long, I take long rests between sets, 3-4 mins)[/quote]

Doing even one further set of hard work would take too long, but all those warmups do not?

[quote]2.incline barbell bench 4x12 at 135lbs(now switching to dumbell or I do progressive loading instead of same weight)
3.seated chest press 3x8 at 115lbs each side.
back:

  1. overhand grip pull up 3x5 with 2x45lbs plates
  2. bent over dumbell row 55lbs x12, 65lbs x12, 75lbs x12, 85lbs x12 ( heavier if i feel stronger or if i have more time)[/quote]

You’re probably already physically warm at this point including the lats from the pull up, so if you have the strength for 85 by 12 even after these other sets, why all this time with lighter weight and the same number of reps? Just do some number of sets with the 85 or if you’ve got to, some quick lead-in to it.

Yes, but not because of the actual work sets.

Add a day in between (as noted up front.)

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
…You don’t have to have Back and Tri and Chest and Bicep right after another… You could have Chest and Biceps, then like Legs and Shoulders (or however you split the body up), then Back and Tri. You could add in a rest day after or before Leg and Shoulder Day (or whatever other day(s) you have in the split) if you’re still not recovered by Back and Tri day (but you should be anyway)

Seems like common sense to me…but i guess some people just don’t have it…[/quote]

I was just following Thibs routine, ofcourse I thought about adding more rest days in between but then it wouldn’t be a Thibs Routine. I just don’t understand how Thib can stay comfortable with this kind of routine.

I don’t find I get enjoyment out of doing the warm up, it is winter and it is COLD. in fact i want to jump straight in and hit 5x5 at 225. But if i do that, i’ll probably injure myself. The progressive loading warm up serves quite well. If i just jump in do 20 reps of 135 without any warm up, the weight will feel very heavy. This is also what I see in the gym, people who can’t even bench 200lbs start with 135, they just feel like putting on a 45lb plate on each side… i thought you always be modest, start with 50% of your max and warm up.

Right now I will switch to
day1: chest, biceps(or triceps)
day2: legs
day3: rest
day4: back, triceps(or biceps)
day5: rest
day6: rest
day7: repeat

The question now i have is whether to do triceps on chest day or biceps on chest day. Because i am thinking if you are doing the major muscle group, you might as well do the agonist muscle as well? or is this overkill for the agonist on the same day?

A thought: what you see “everybody” in the gym doing, most of these guys look the same as they did 5 or 10 years ago (assuming they had been training for many years as of that date.)

While it’s generally a mistake to go the opposite route and assume that something that nobody does is the greatest way to go, or is even likely a decent way to go, there are all kinds of useless things done for many reasons having nothing to do with success.

But I’m not going to beat my head against a wall. I already pointed out the contradiction that you say you can’t do a 5th work set that you consider desirable because one extra work set would take too much time, but you DO have time for these vast numbers of warmups that go WAY beyond the point of what is needed to get the muscle physically warm and the nervous system going.

I really don’t know why you posted. You don’t want to change the plan because then it wouldn’t be Thib’s routine. It doesn’t sound like there’s any sort of answer you’re going to accept at all.

So keep doing the same, then. Death will not result. You could improve on your routine – and I really doubt Thibs would have you wasting so much time on warmups for that matter – but it does not look like there is any acceptance of changing anything whatsoever, no matter what you’re provided with. I just don’t get why people ask when coming from that viewpoint – it is something of a waste of everyone’s time.

On the off chance (as I perceive it) that you actually are willing to change something, while you would be better off doing less warmups as what you’re doing is way beyond sensible, if you’ve just GOT to do them out of a psychological fear that your body just can’t posssibly handle an 85 lb dumbbell or a 225 lb barbell without tearing itself apart unless you do all this, then you could at least save time with this method:

Warm up for one exercise BEFORE the rest period of the previous exercise. This is most convenient if, as is usually reasonable, having only one warmup set. Instead of feeling compelled to wait say 3-4 minutes after the last set of the previous exercise, then do the warmup of the next exercise, then rest some more before the first work set of the next exercise, have the next exercise ready while resting between sets of the previous exercise, and do the warmup pretty promptly (say 30 seconds or so) after completing the last exercise. Saves time.

If feeling compelled to do more than one warmup, then you could warm up the next exercise after (again, say about 30 seconds after) later work sets of the previous exercise.

There is NO WAY that you can’t manage to save the time to get in that 5th work set that you now consider you don’t have time to do.

As to your problem of finding two of the workouts too close to each other for your needs, but being unwilling to add a day “because then it wouldn’t be Thibs’ plan” I don’t think anyone but yourself can help you there.

Big Sausage,
I just read the article you linked to and it looks like you have been following the setup intended for trainees with good recovery ability and a low level of stress.
I don’t think that this is a good option for you (you already said that you have a lot of stress).

The article gives several options for training, each with a different setup for body part training, so I really don’t understand why you had a problem in the first place: the solution is right there in the article - if one option doesn’t work, then choose another.

I think the main problem is this: you have been following a a program that is too much for you given your stress and commitments, and it is not specific enough for you at this level in you training - there is no real detail about what you do in a given workout, just the order of body parts to be trained.

You need to choose another, more detailed program (OVT, for example). This one, it seems, is meant more as a reference. You are getting confused because the article is raising more questions for you than it answers.

I started off with the program back in summer, when I had no school. So now back to school, I am still using it. I thought making a sudden change is going to be helpful since my body adapted to this routine already.

I have to stress that I am willing to change. That is why I am here to ask for advice… I have already outlined my new schedule in my previous post and I am open to suggestions. So far the question I have ask about triceps on chest day or biceps on chest day still not answered…

That One Guy has already answered your question in full.