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Strength Training: 3 Day Split


#1

I'm relatively new, I've been lifting since high school, currently a sophomore in college. I'm 5"10, about 175~180 lbs

Most of the research I've done says I should just work to get the big compound lifts up, such as deadlift, bench, military, rows, squats, etc. So this is my split, and I would appreciate any sort of feed back!

Day 1:
Deadlift
Bench
Row
Military

Day 2:
Squat
DB Incline
Kroc Row (db rows)
Tris/Bis

Day 3:
Front Squat
Deadlift
Military
Pullups

And I would just cycle through these days, don't really have set days due to coursework and such. I do know that I cycle through this split 1.5-2 times a week.

Thanks in advance


#2

You're on the right path, I would suggest that you use a pre-made program instead however, one that has progression built into it so that it takes all the thinking out of it.

The "madcow intermediate" program would be good here, or you could try out the 5/3/1 full body program. Both are solid options that are similar to what you posted


#3

This.

It really does make it a lot easier when you don't have to plan progression into it. If you like picking your own exercises, 5/3/1 is a very customizable program. Just make sure you understand WHY Jim Wendler set it up the way he did in the first place before you get too crazy with customizing it.

Also, not really a big fan of Kroc rows for newbs. I'm assuming you're not working with the heaviest DBs the gym has to offer, so you'll probably get better results with a strict one-arm DB row.


#4

Apoklyps wrote

Chris87 wrote:
You're on the right path, I would suggest that you use a pre-made program instead however, one that has progression built into it so that it takes all the thinking out of it.

This.

It really does make it a lot easier when you don't have to plan progression into it. If you like picking your own exercises, 5/3/1 is a very customizable program. Just make sure you understand WHY Jim Wendler set it up the way he did in the first place before you get too crazy with customizing it.

Also, not really a big fan of Kroc rows for newbs. I'm assuming you're not working with the heaviest DBs the gym has to offer, so you'll probably get better results with a strict one-arm DB row.

x3, and I don't usually agree with anyone


#5

I appreciate that fast responses. But what exactly do you mean by "progression"? Different exercises as I gain strength?


#6

Basically when/how much the weight increases


#7

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but my intensity level is usually pretty high, can't I just add weight every week, and if I can't lift it, drop weight, rep out, and try increasing my max the next week?


#8

That'll work up to a point. But you will only be able to add weight/reps on a weekly basis very early on. Soon enough you'll be seeing progress on a monthly basis or even slower as time goes by. Really, once you pass the newb gains stage you need to take a more methodological, intelligent approach if you want to see results. This seems to be the point where a lot of people get stuck (i.e. the ones you see at the gym year after year but don't seem to make any progress).

There are a lot of other things relating to progression that you will not have to worry about either if you choose an existing program. For example, programming deloads and resets.


#9

Yes, you can do that. There's other ways to do it too, but that's one way to do it.

The other issue is that with your program selection, your exercise order leaves some to be desired. Mainly due to the cumulative fatigue on certain muscle groups throughout the exercise session can lead to poor performance of the later lifts, which could lead to poor recovery for the following workout session, which cumulatively could work against you over time.

Sorry for being vague with that. I'll take a look at it again tomorrow with a few more specifics. Basically: your core exercise selection looks good, but the programming needs some work.


#10

Very solid info so far. Just to chime in a few cents-worth...

Am I reading it right, that you train 5 or 6 days a week, you just don't have specific days set - like Mon is workout 1, Wed is 2, Thurs is 3, Fri is 1, etc.?

If I'm following that right, then I think you'd definitely benefit from getting on a more structured, pre-designed program. Deadlifting 3 or 4 times per week and squatting 3 or 4 days a week will eventually wear you down, unless you're totally on-point managing the volume and intensity. And if your nutrition is off-track even a little, expect an issue sooner rather than later.

Ben Bruno had a great 4 day a week template specifically for college students. Take a look:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/strength_training_the_college_edition

I also think you're taking "focus on the big lifts" a little too literally. When you're doing full body workouts multiple times per week (like you're doing), you can definitely benefit from a little more variety while sticking to basic, general principles. Consider changing the sets/reps or the exercises each session (like you're kinda-sorta doing already).

Also, silly little question, but what's your particular goal? That's going to have a say in the "best" way to progress the weight, sets, reps, or whatever.


#11

Military will be affected by bench. Deadlift, bench, row. That part's good.

Besides the above comments about kroc rows, this looks overall ok.

Deadlift might be affected by the front squats. Military is at least fresh.

Overall...
Deadlift two [training] days in a row isn't the best.

Really, I'll echo the others; you should get on a pre-made program that's built around those same lifts.


#12

My goal is to build overall strength. I like the link you posted, but I have a concern. Grouping both shoulders and chest into the same day, into 4 exercises, how would I sufficiently work both groups? Personally, I value shoulder training over chest training. I've also heard that for newbs, training big lifts multiple times a week is more beneficial than once a week, but with that template, I'm hitting each group once a week. Is that really the best course of action?

Also, thank you for all the replies, I appreciate it!


#13

Good to know. Have you considered the Starting Strength program?

They'd get plenty of work on that one day, going hard on one exercise each. You can also work them on the "free day" if you really wanted to.

There's no single "best" plan for beginners. Training bodyparts once a week and multiple times per week have both brought people great results.


#14

Find a program you like, and follow it for atleast 6mths. Along the way you'll learn the answers to all your questions. Remember there is no perfect program, ther are only good programs that you make great by how much effort, and consistancy you apply. I use a Torso / Apendage split for my kids, Day 1, Push-Pull (horizontal) Day 2, Squats, and curls Day 3 Push-Pull (vertical) Day 4, Deads, and curls. We use a 531 template for the major exercise of each day.

There's lots of good 531 templates. I just found by using this one, with supersetting legs, and curls. The kids stopped missing leg days. Strong Lifts has good starting programs as well. Chris also just wrote an article last week, about beginer programs. I can't bring myself to read his stuff :slight_smile: but I'm sure there's somthing you can use there. Point is it takes years to be able to design good programs, thats why people get paid to do it. If it's worked for other people it will work for you, can't say the same about one you write for your self. You'll be able to figure it all out down the road, but better to follow the foot steps of sucess to begin with. Goodluck !


#15

This sounds roughly like my 5/3/1 routine. Minus the curls. I hate curls. Go figure. I'm a student too and thus far, I love the program. Ben Bruno's template looks very solid too. Really, what both have in common (and what is great for fitting in with a student's lifestyle) is that they pick a small number of no-bullshit exercises and leave a lot of room for your judgment because there are always days when you can only workout for half an hour because you've got a final coming up.


#16

Yeah I think there's some good advice going on here. I also put a 4 lift max on all my workouts, with one all out fininsher set at the end if i'm up to it. One main lift + 3 assitance lifts + finisher, everything supersetted.
So on Push-Pull (horiziontal)
Bench-531---supersetted with---facepulls
incline DB---supersetted with---Tbar Rows--4x8-12
100 rep set of latterals (finisher)

There's lots of options out there. Personaly for kids that don't want to hire me, I have them go to Strong Lifts, and follow that for 6-12mths, from there depending on wheather they want BBing, or Pling, I'd recomend Max OT, or 531. Even at 40 and being a trainer for 20yrs I base my workouts on proven programs. Chris Colucci is a trainer as well as an author here, and I know he follows proven programs as well.

There's nothing more I can say here, other than even a shitty program will work if you put enough effort, and consitancy in it. I do think your on the right track wqith big basic programing, so comit to somthing give it atleast 3mths before changing, and Goodluck !