Why do you want to do a 3 day full body split? Not saying that it’s necessarily the wrong choice of action depending on your goals, but it might be.
The answer to your question is that you can’t possibly fit in work to directly hit all of the major muscle groups in each workout. So, you have a couple options:
follow a Waterbury type of split like the template mentioned above and throw in some isolation stuff at the end. Realize though that unless you have great genetics this type of program with that kind of frequency is likely to leave you with some body parts not getting hit/not developing up to bodybuilding standards.
Do the above, but up the frequency to 5-6 days. This will allow you much more variety with your exercise options and give you a better chance of being able to hit all of the muscles sufficiently
stick to the 5 way body part split. In all honesty that is the best method for hitting all of the body parts directly and with enough intensity to build a proportional, bodybuilder physique; which is probably the reason why the vast, vast majority of successful bodybuilders (both natural and assisted as well as amateur and professional) train that way.
In the end it’s your body and your choice though.[/quote]
First off, thanks to all the previous posters for helping me out. I felt I’d reply to your post Sento as I feel you may be able to take some weight off my chest, as I’ve had issues with some of your points.
The reason I’ve thought about switching to a 3 day full body workout, as opposed to my usual 5 day bodypart split is due to a number of reasons. My current 5 day split looks like this:
Mon - Chest
Tue - Back
Wed - Shoulders
Thu - Legs
Fri - Biceps/Triceps
I’ve been training using this routine for a long time now, although I was getting worried about overtraining. Using this routine, my triceps get trained 3 times per week (indirectly on Mon/Wed, and directly on Friday), my biceps get trained twice and my forearms are being used pretty much every workout, even on leg day due to Stiff Leg Deadlifts. My arm growth in comparison to the rest of my body seems like it’s lagging behind, and I fear that my 5 day split could be causing overtraining.
Anyway, once I started looking up ways to add some extra rest during the week, I came across 3 day full body workouts. I started reading up on them, and it seems that a hell of a lot of people recommend them for (their numbers) 90% of the drug free population. I’m no super genetic monster as far as I know, so I figured I probably lay within that percentage.
Here’s an article by Chad Waterbury who seems to strongly recommend 3 day full body training - http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/totalbody_training
And I also came across this article (http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/full-body-vs-upper-lower-vs-body-part-split/) which says that 90% or so of natural bodybuilders would benefit more from training muscles 2-3 times per week as opposed to once per week, due to protein synthesis etc which apparently dissipates after 48 hours. I’ve read a lot of things recently, such as muscles not needing a full week to recover, and that ideally natural bodybuilders should be training a muscle more frequently (i.e. 2-3 times per week).
I’m not saying all of this is true, it’s just what I’ve read. I came here to try and get some clarification from people in the know really, about all of this as I’m a little lost at the moment. I’m in the middle of trying to settle on a routine, and it’s unfortunately all I can think about at the moment.
Thanks for your help.[/quote]
Ok, thanks for clarifying your reasoning.
Alright, you’re concerned that your arms aren’t getting enough recovery and that you are therefore overtraining them. Assuming your nutrition is in order (which if it’s not would definitely be the first thing to address), there are some pretty simple adjustments to your split that you could make without having to go to the extreme of completely throwing it out the window and replacing it with a 3 days a week Full Body routine. In other words, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
Also, considering that you are concerned with not getting enough recovery and your arms lagging behind, a Full Body routine like Waterbury advocates would be about the worst choice you could make as it pretty much mandates that you are working your muscles multiple times a week; so it certainly isn’t going to give you better recovery.
Why not just switch up your split to allow for more recovery between workouts? Something like:
Mon- Chest and Triceps
Tuesday- Back and Biceps
Wednesday- Calves, Forearms, and Abs/Core
Friday- Quads, Hams, and Glutes
Mon- Chest and Back
Tues- Calves, Forearms, and Abs/Core
Fri- Biceps and Triceps
Mon- Chest and Shoulders
Wed- Calves, Forearms, and Abs/Core
All of those options would mean less frequency and thus more recovery for your arms (the first option being the best in that regard) and still allow you to hit all of your muscle groups directly and from multiple angles.
There is of course also the question of exercise selection, set/rep schemes, and mind/muscle connection (neuromuscular control/recruitment).