I’m just curious how anyone who works out either four or five days a week arranges their splits. I’m well aware of the different strategies for grouping exercises (antagonists vs. matching presses, pulls, and legs). I figure that if we all throw out our current splits, we might be able to help each other out by changing things up a bit by implementing what works for others. Currently, I’m dividing the four major muscles groups up as follows:
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Delts
Day 4: Back (with deadlifts)
I use this rotation on a three-on, one-off, two-on, one-off schedule (resting Mondays and Thursdays). I’ve found that my arms have responded best to a twice per week approach, so I work biceps on Tuesdays and Fridays, and triceps on Wednesdays and Saturdays. As it works out, biceps are worked with either back or legs, and triceps are worked with either chest or shoulders. The main problem that I have is that sometimes it works out so that I am training chest the day after back, and it seems that I’m not as strong as I should be. I’ll often wait an extra day due to this. Calves and Abs are mixed in at various points. Any comments or your own programs would be interesting.

one word – overtraining

Even though you may be weaker on the days you do chest and back next to each other what about the days when they aren’t back to back. Maybe you might want to back off on the intensity on the days you do chest after back or just cut back on the volume. What kind of volume do you use on arms? I think its important to remember that we work our arms indirectly every time we work upper body. I can only think of one other answer to your dilema. Work pressing and rowing exercises (chest and back) together, quads and hams together, shoulders and lats together, and on a seperate day work biceps and triceps together. If you schedule this right you will work arms twice, albeit indirectly one time and directly the next time. One way of doing this is a two on one off schedule. Day 1 chest presses and back rows Day 2 arms Day 3 legs Day 4 Lats and shoulders You would take a day off after day 2 and day 4. There are two problems with this. You would not know exactly what days you were working out. Also some people may not recover from shoulders in 48 hours which would hamper their gains on chest. So it might be better to have two days rest after shoulders. This would fix the second problem aswell. By doing this you would lift every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, or any other sequence you wanted.
The only problem is this takes away some of your volume. If anyone else has a solution let us know.

A split I really like and employ most of the time: Monday: Quad dominant and abs Tuesday: Shoulders and arms Thursday:Hip dominant and calves Friday: Chest and back. If your priorities were different than mine, you could switch days 1 and 3 around and 2 and 4 around; I just do it this way because right now I’m emphasizing quads over hams and arms over chest and back.

I’ve trained Chest/Back on the same day in the past. Like anything, it worked for a while, but eventually I found that my presses were suffering my I supersetted, and my back lagged behind if I trained it after chest. I never thought much of pairing chest with shoulders either, which is how I arrived at giving each of the four a separate day. Chris- do you think all muscle groups are being worked too much (not enough time for the central nervous system to recover), or is it just individual ones? I know that Poliquin advocates training each group every 5 days- the routine I outlined actually trains them every sixth day (with the exception of arms, which I alternate between heavy and light). Do you just not like workouts five days per week, or do you think I need to adjust my split? I keep my workouts very short, aiming for about 10 sets per large muscle group and 6-8 for smaller ones.

Monday: Back, Chest, Calves, Abs -Heavy Lifting Day (1-5 reps Back and Chest) (10-12 reps Calves)
Tuesday: Quads, Hams, and Deadlifts -Heavy Lifting Day (1-5 reps)
Wednesday:Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Calves, Abs -Heavy Lifting (2-6 reps Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps) (25-40 reps Calves)
Thursday: Off
Friday: Quads, Hams, Chest, Calves- High Reps (12-20 reps Legs) (10-12 reps Chest) (25-40 reps Calves)
Saturday: Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Abs High Reps (10-12 reps)
Sunday: Off

I gave it some more thought, and here’s what I came up with:
Day 1: Chest, Calves
2: Quads, Abs
3: Shoulders, Calves
4: OFF
5: Back, Traps, Hamstrings
6: Arms, Calves, Abs
7: OFF
I have three calves sessions because I’m just starting Luke Sauder’s calf routine from issue #1, which has you working them every 48 hours. I might throw a brief Tri/Bi superset in on Delts day with higher reps, and maybe include some extra forearm work. I’m anxious to try training hams with back; I’ve never used that combination before. Any suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks.

I do 3on/1off. Day 1-chest/shoulders/tri’s/abs, Day 2-lats/traps/bi’s/forearms, Day 3-legs. This gives me more recovery for my arms.

EC, if your back lags behind because you train it last in the superset with chest switch it to be first it the superset. You could do this every other week or for a set time (3-4 weeks) I don’t think your approach would be all that bad, but if your working out 5 times a week you better pay close attention to recovery. In other words I’d throw in a good post workout drink like Surge or even some Mag-10. Alot of people work chest first in a cycle, and put quads or hams after. Its not a problem if your quads and hams are a strong point, but most peoples aren’t. In other words I’d give them more priority in future cycles.

Thanks for the thoughts on rearranging it. My legs definitely need to be prioritized more than my back does. I have to sit through a pretty boring class in a few minutes, so I’ll use the notebook to do a little more brainstorming…

My thoughts: you are currently only working legs ONCE per week (excluding Deadlift day). i think it was said already, but the ONLY reason that you should be doing this is 1) if you already have huge legs and your upper body lags or 2) you’ve exhausted other methods of splitting your legs up. even if it was the latter, i still think you would benefit from doing legs MORE than once per week. also, you seem to be overtraining as said by another person in regards to your upper body. with that split you are working your arms WAY too much. you’re working them on chest day, delts day, back day, and insanely you’re also doing biceps and triceps days. The only way I can see this split being beneficial to your training is if you’re using the juice.

Scott- how would you incorporate more legs in? Were you thinking of just pairing chest with shoulders or something like that and just rearranging the overall split? Or, do you think I should just add another leg day and make the split cover more time? I’m assuming that you looked at the revised version where quads and hams were split up. Thanks.