T Nation

Too Much for TBT?


#1

Hi All,

Do you think that 8 exercises per day (3x8-10 each) 3 times a week with a Full Body routine is too much volume? I noticed that most full body programs only have 4-6 exercises per day and often use lower reps. Am I better off splitting those 8 muscle groups across a 2 day split (Upper/Lower or Push/Pull) rather than risking just too much for Full Body training? My recovery seems to alternate where some days, I am fine on Wednesday or Friday where others, I pushed too hard on the previous workout and I am still sore.

As for myself, I am in my early 30s and the primary goal for the lifts is size and not just pure strength so I prefer the 8-10 reps over 3-5. I also do NEPA walks in the morning for 45 minutes for fat burn. I would not consider myself a 'beginner' but am not aiming to be a bodybuilder or compete in any strength or physique competitions; I just want to get bigger and stronger on a good program that I can use for years to come (with increased weight of course over time). I have read MANY TBT articles and so I just want to check and see if this is just too much to recover from.

Thanks!


#2

A traditional BB split would be optimal for building size, but a 2-day split would be better than TBT. Do whatever gives YOU the best results. Don't worry about over training, it's incredibly hard to do if you are eating enough. Post your height, weight and the exercises that you are planning on doing


#3

I am 5'5", weight is about 225 (down from 242). Not sure on BF levels but I would say around 20%.

I currently do a Full Body Routine with 7 Exercises (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Legs, Calves) and recently added an 8th to target the Hamstrings directly. Unfortunately, sometimes I am just not recovered for the week's 2nd or 3rd workout because I like to push intensely for my 3 sets. Maybe I should drop from 3 sets to 2 or make Wednesday a lighter day and not push it as hard.

I am thinking of a Push+Abs/Pull+Legs System or an Upper/Lower System, all on a 3x8-10 set/rep (except Abs, 3x25 or so).

Push/Pull+Legs would be something simple like:

Monday & Thursday
Bench Press
Incline Bench Press
Military Press
Upright Row
CG Bench Press
Triceps Extension
Crunches
Reverse Crunches

Tuesday & Friday
Squats (Alternate between Back and Front)
Deadlift (Alternate between Stiff and Regular)
Bent-Over Row
PullUps
Barbell Curls (Normal Grip)
Barbell Curls (Narrow Grip)
Standing Calve Raises
Seated Calve Raises

Upper/Lower would be:

Monday & Thursday
Bench Press
Incline Bench Press
Bent-Over Row
PullUps (Alternate with Chins)
Military Press
Upright Row
Barbell Curl (Alternate Normal and Narrow)
Lying Triceps Extension

Tuesday & Friday
Squats (Alternate between Back and Front)
Lunges (For both Quads and Hams)
Deadlift (Alternate between Stiff and Regular)
Standing Calve Raises
Seated Calve Raises
Crunches
Reverse Crunches

My problem with Upper/Lower is that I would not be able to directly hit my arms with more than 1 exercise without pushing 10 exercises in 1 sitting and I believe that my biceps are probably my weakest link right now. Would it be too much to add in CG Bench Press and Narrow Grip Curls if they are already getting hit by the presses and pulls indirectly?

I've considered a Push/Pull/Legs 2 times a week (6 days) but perhaps this may be TOO much even though the volume for each day would be lower. I would not like to just have my legs fall behind with 1 workout a week but 6 days may be a bit much. Thoughts?

I have never tried to check my 'max' due to having surgery on both elbow tendons and being a 40% disabled veteran from the Marines so I can't push some things TOO hard. I currently workout with 225 on the bench press and get around 10/9/7-8 reps on my 3 sets, squats with 275-295 (depending how my knees feel) ATG for 10 reps per set and my Deadlift is lagging since I have not trained it, or my grip, for many years.

As a note, I also do all of my workouts at home. I have a sumo squat rack with safety bars, olympic & ez curl bar, a flat bench, and plenty of plates. Every morning (Mon-Sat), I do 45 minutes on my treadmill at around 2.3-2.5 speed walk for fat loss. I am short so the usual 3.0-3.5 is a pretty brisk walk for me that requires long strides and so my knees tend to bother quite a bit. I used to do a similar routine to the Push/Pull/Legs in the Military but only 1 exercise per muscle group as I never had much guidance and was not pushing myself hard enough to grow as I could with FB or 2 Exercises per group. I would like to keep the splits no more than 3x a week Fb or 2 Days 4x a week. I am not looking to do further splits since I just want overall fitness, size, and strength but also because my home gym has just enough to do about 2 exercises per bodypart without requiring additional equipment.

My current diet is about 2,000 calories and around 230g of Protein. I plan to increase it to about 2800 calories but I would like to drop closer to 10-15% bf before I do that. I don't care about a 6 pack but I would like to drop at least 2 more sizes in pants. I am also probably going to keep my NEPA walks after that, but will probably not do them fasted, to stay lean and fit as I cannot run due to stress fractures on the legs of my bones (once again, thanks Military).

Well, I hope this provides more information for any assistance.

Thanks again!


#4

Sounds like you'd be better off doing something more like a typical BB'ing split to me.

Training lots of different exercises in one session 3 plus times a week can easily negate many of the positives many basic TBT training templates can give you (especially, if like you say you like training in the 8-10 rep ranges).


#5

The main problem is the lack of equipment for such diversity though GorillaMon. I am fortunate to have a second job that I work from home for and so take advantage of being able to workout before starting but due to this, and others responsibilities that I have to take (single dad as well), I would not be able to attend a gym to get access to all of that equipment.

With this in mind, do you think that maybe one of the 2 day splits 2 times a week would still be effective? Unless I did 10 sets of each exercise, I don't think I would get the volume I need for such a split. I really like the 1-2 exercises and work the bodypart 2-3 times a week approach as well and think it may keep me more motivated to continue than only 1-2 muscle groups at a time. Your feedback is definitely appreciated though, thank you.


#6

I think you may well be best off either pairing a big body part such as chest with a smaller body part like triceps & training like that once every four days OR about twice a week.

OR

If you were going to go down the TB route, switching military presses to a different day would be really beneficial IMO. Also, if you were to hit chest 3 times a week just focussing on ONE slightly differrent variations can be pretty effective. Example: Day 1) BB flat bench Day 2) BB Incline bench Day 3) Pin presses or Close grip benches.

With regards not having 'much equipment' I don't think is neccessarily such a major problem (especially if you have or get some adjustable dbs + consider a few optional extras such as: Resistance bands, home made pulleys/kettle bells etc to help add a little variety to your routines).