T Nation

Thinking of Changing up my Program


#1

For the past six months I have been training 4-5x a week and hitting each body-part once.

I sorta hit my legs twice, since I squat one day then deadlift the other, and they have been growing the fastest out of all my bodyparts.

1-squat + accessory (leg press/leg curl/calves)
2-chest/biceps
3-off
4-deadlift + accessory (back raise/abs/calves)
5-shoulders/triceps
6-upper back
7-off

I have made good gains, i've gained 50lbs so far (about 30lbs or so is muscle) and over doubled the weight ive been lifting on all exercises. But... I'm not sure if i'm selling my upper body short by only training those muscle groups once a week.

From reading the Big beyond belief thread, and reading how some big guys had accelerated progress when switching to training body-parts 2x a week (waylander,MODOK,bauer etc.), I thought I might try it.

I was thinking of doing something like this:

1-Chest/Back
2-Legs(squat focused)
3-Shoulders/Arms
4-Chest/Back
5-Legs(deadlift focused)
6-Shoulders/Arms
7-OFF

I thought that this would help my upper body catch up to my lower body since i'd be hitting it twice a week also, and the extra training would help me burn off some of my excess fat (I'm really not fond of dropping my carbs or doing morning cardio).

Would really like to hear some thoughts from the big guys on this board, cheers!


#2

Hm if you can deadlift the after training back, then go for it. At least, I always did deadlifts for back, and it developed the upper back muscles (traps, rhomboids) too. Oh, but I’m far from being big.

otherwise good, with less volume it’ll work. Everything new works… for a while ;o)


#3

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
For the past six months I have been training 4-5x a week and hitting each body-part once.

I sorta hit my legs twice, since I squat one day then deadlift the other, and they have been growing the fastest out of all my bodyparts.

1-squat + accessory (leg press/leg curl/calves)
2-chest/biceps
3-off
4-deadlift + accessory (back raise/abs/calves)
5-shoulders/triceps
6-upper back
7-off

I have made good gains, i’ve gained 50lbs so far (about 30lbs or so is muscle) and over doubled the weight ive been lifting on all exercises. But… I’m not sure if i’m selling my upper body short by only training those muscle groups once a week.

From reading the Big beyond belief thread, and reading how some big guys had accelerated progress when switching to training body-parts 2x a week (waylander,MODOK,bauer etc.), I thought I might try it.

I was thinking of doing something like this:

1-Chest/Back
2-Legs(squat focused)
3-Shoulders/Arms
4-Chest/Back
5-Legs(deadlift focused)
6-Shoulders/Arms
7-OFF

I thought that this would help my upper body catch up to my lower body since i’d be hitting it twice a week also, and the extra training would help me burn off some of my excess fat (I’m really not fond of dropping my carbs or doing morning cardio).

Would really like to hear some thoughts from the big guys on this board, cheers!

[/quote]

A few suggestions:

  1. Phil Hernons system (similar split to what you’ve set up). Start off every exercise in the 6-10 range on work-set 1, then reduce weight so you can get 10+ or so after resting, and 15 or more reps for the final set.
    or go with 4, 8, 12 or whatever you like (there is another way as well which ScottM wrote about), 3 different rep ranges basically per bodypart (back gets width and thickness, legs get quads hams calves but you can keep doing what you were doing for legs if it worked).

  2. Go with the BBB program. Ebook is cheap, or use the slide-share link in the bbb thread.
    6-day version is every bodypart 3 times per week though.

  3. Yates 3-way in 5-day cycles or so

  4. Take Ronnie’s split from his book and just do 2 exercises per bodypart as he suggests to less experienced guys :slight_smile: (hey, it works)


#4

In my opinion, you could spend every 6 months looking for an “optimal” way to grow or you can stick with your current routine in which you are already growing.


#5

Might sound silly but if your training 6 days a week… why not run BBB 6 Day a Week Program ??

As you said plenty of people have given it their highest regards… why not try it yourself ?

As they say Success leaves clues :slight_smile:


#6

If you’re worried about shortchanging your upper body, despite your gains having been very good, then why throw the whole thing out, rather than just make an adjustment?

This (of course you know, but to make the post clear) is what you’ve been doing:

[quote]1-squat + accessory (leg press/leg curl/calves)
2-chest/biceps
3-off
4-deadlift + accessory (back raise/abs/calves)
5-shoulders/triceps
6-upper back
7-off [/quote]

So for example if you feel that the chest has been shortchanged, you could train chest again on day 5.

If you want to give more empahsis to biceps, you could train them again on day 6.

Shoulders? They could be done also on day 2.

Lats and midback: Could be done additionally on day 2.

Now, I would probably not do all these additions at the same time. At any given time you could pick 1 to perhaps at most 3 of them and get this extra emphasis you are looking for.

I don’t know what your total volume is, so cannot judge whether that might be an excess. It likely would not, unless you make too many of these additions at one time.


#7

I’m not training 6x a week just yet. The program isn’t really the problem.

I’m just worried if i’ll burn out doing it, I put quite a lot of intensity into my workouts and there has been a week or two where I had to go very light so I could get back on track.

Though I suppose my genetics are pretty good considering my progress in the past 6 months.

I am growing with my current program, but my chest/shoulders/arms are falling behind my legs and back, I think the extra work could help me shed some unwanted fat I mentioned above.


#8

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
I’m not training 6x a week just yet. The program isn’t really the problem.

I’m just worried if i’ll burn out doing it, I put quite a lot of intensity into my workouts and there has been a week or two where I had to go very light so I could get back on track. [/quote] That’s normal… Also depends on how you go about your sets. Do you ramp, do all sets at the same weight etc? Obviously training everything twice or more per week doesn’t allow for a lot of volume per session. [quote]

Though I suppose my genetics are pretty good considering my progress in the past 6 months.

I am growing with my current program, but my chest/shoulders/arms are falling behind my legs and back, I think the extra work could help me shed some unwanted fat I mentioned above.
[/quote]


#9

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Goodfellow wrote

A few suggestions:

  1. Phil Hernons system (similar split to what you’ve set up). Start off every exercise in the 6-10 range on work-set 1, then reduce weight so you can get 10+ or so after resting, and 15 or more reps for the final set.
    or go with 4, 8, 12 or whatever you like (there is another way as well which ScottM wrote about), 3 different rep ranges basically per bodypart (back gets width and thickness, legs get quads hams calves but you can keep doing what you were doing for legs if it worked).

  2. Go with the BBB program. Ebook is cheap, or use the slide-share link in the bbb thread.
    6-day version is every bodypart 3 times per week though.

  3. Yates 3-way in 5-day cycles or so

  4. Take Ronnie’s split from his book and just do 2 exercises per bodypart as he suggests to less experienced guys :slight_smile: (hey, it works)

[/quote]

what is the BBB program?


#10

Goodfellow,
If you are enjoying success with the current split, look at modifying it frequency wise to meet your 2x week and perhaps reduce the volume ~ go to a maintenance phase for your legs:

Day 1 chest/Bis/forearms
Day 2 Quads/calves/Abs (squat)
Day 3 Shoulders/Tris
Day 4 Back/Hams/Abs (deadlift)
Day 5 off
Repeat
Jay Cutler and Chris Aceto have this same split in their books, but Back is by itself and legs are trained together. All bodyparts got 9 sets.
Yates did the same split, but reversed the order starting with back, then shoulders, etc and did a 2 on 1 off, 2 on 2 off split. I have done this split too and enjoyed it, but probably used too much volume and could have gotten more out of it. If you look at this split closely, the biceps are getting indirect work on back day, and shoulders tris are getting indirect work on chest day. so you “technically” are hitting them twice a week as well.

Yates also has a great 3 day split 2 on 1 off, 1 on 1 off, repeat
Day 1 Chest/Arms
Day 2 Legs
Day 3 off
Day 4 Back/Shoulders
Day 5 off
repeat
Also has approximately 7 sets for major bodyparts like chest (3 sets main ex, 2 sets for 2 exercises supporting ex: bench press 3 sets, incline DB press 2 sets, incline flyes 2 sets) and 4-5 sets for smaller bodyparts like arms. I have been following this particular split for 3 weeks and weights have been going up every workout. I think I just needed the extra rest.

tons of ways to skin this cat. I would tell you to just keep a logbook and monitor your progress and re-evaluate.

Lastly, I would say from experience that you cannot outtrain a crappy diet. If you need to drop some lbs, just watch the diet and remain consistent with the training if you are making progress. I did waaaaaay too much volume in an effort to burn up calories and just wound up overtraining and not making progress like I should have. keep the training simple, just watch that fork in mouth thingy.

Cheers!


#11

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Goodfellow wrote:
I’m not training 6x a week just yet. The program isn’t really the problem.

I’m just worried if i’ll burn out doing it, I put quite a lot of intensity into my workouts and there has been a week or two where I had to go very light so I could get back on track. That’s normal… Also depends on how you go about your sets. Do you ramp, do all sets at the same weight etc? Obviously training everything twice or more per week doesn’t allow for a lot of volume per session.

[/quote]

I just ramp up to an all out set on 3-4 exercises. I think that last set is more intensive on your nervous system than anything else, it kicks the shit out of me.

If I drop back the ‘final weight’ a bit and do 3-4 straight sets it feels so much easier, I rarely do this though.