T Nation

Training Split Question and Advice


First off a few stats about me
-19yrs old and Sophomore in college
-Been lifting weights since sophomore year of high school. (Played football in high school)
-Started lifting more seriously and regularly summer before my senior year of high school
-Always been a hard gainer. Eat 5 full meals a day. Around 3500 cal. Make sure to get plenty of Carbs and Protein in every meal.
Current stats Max lifts are
5'10" -Bench 250
170lbs -Squat 315 (Just coming off injury)
About 10% body fat maybe a bit less -Deadlift 315

I have a few questions and looking for advice on a new training split routine. Over the past few years Ive been working out around 8pm usually 4 days on then 1 day off.
At the beginning of the new year in January I have a weight lifting class 9am Monday and Wednesday. Also want to lift as much as possible at night without over doing it. But looking at get stronger and bigger. Also upping calories to 4000. Right now I squat or deadlift almost every other day. Bench twice a week. Im looking to get some input on how I should set up my lifting days to lift twice a day on monday and wednesday without over doing it and still lift a few other days a week.

I was thinking something like squat monday morning, chest monday night. Deadlift wednesday morning. Back wednesday night. Arms, quads, hamstrings Thursday. Then shoulders/traps Friday? Good idea? Bad Idea? Im looking to get some feedback on this or get any input on changes or anything.
Sorry for the long post lol, just looking for anything I can get


This is what I have come up with as a possible workout program. I am looking to add a lot of size and strength this winter. Squat and dead lift numbers are lower than Id like but Im slowly coming back off a hip injury. A buddy recommended hang cleans for power and explosion but Ive never done them before so the weights are a rough guess till I get form down.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated!!


On the days you're not lifting, squat. You can do Oly lifts every day when you beginning because you're limited by technique rather than strength. Power cleans are like a light deadlft, so you can do those in addition to one day of DLs. Benchpressing may slow down your pogress with overhead lifts... this is because it tends to give you rounded shoulders and this makes it harder to get an efficient vertical bar path. Do some Farmers Walks, strive for a bodyweight Bent Press and a 200lb barbell Get Up.... have fun.... squatting will do the most for mass.

Your traps will grow fine with all the pulling from the floor. Skip the trap work.

Exercise choice is less important than concentrating on total weekly volume. Don't waste time with isolation exercises with baby weights. Big movements, with big weights, will get big results.

Eat More.
For your shoulders... Press! Three times a week or more. Clean the weight each set, or rep.
Don't do any endurance activity (this wastes calories). Drive, never run, walk only if you have to.
Dress warm don't waste calories on heating your body.
Be patient, concentrate on adding a pound to the bar here or a rep there. Overtime you will Grow!

Hopefully there is one good idea for you in the above.


Honestly, I suggest you do some reading. There are a lot of good articles on this site about workout programming and lifting in general. There are also books, like Rippetoe's Practical Programming or Wendler's 5/3/1. You seem serious about lifting and while experience will be the best teacher, it can only help to educate yourself as much as possible now -- it will last your entire lifting career.

I say the above because the routine you posted isn't completely terrible, but there is a lot of volume, too many exercises, and no clear progression model. E.g. Monday you're ramping to a heavy double in the squat, and one back-off set of 5. Then Friday you're doing the same thing with a slightly heavier 5. Why? How are you going to increase the weight and how is this better than straight sets, e.g. 3x3 or 4x8 or 5x5?

You will get bigger and stronger by progressing on the main lifts and eating enough food to grow. There are lots of good pre-made programs created by experts available for free on this site. It would probably be best to choose one of those and stick with it for as long as progress continues.

But if you insist on sticking with your own program, like the one above, here are my thoughts:

If you're just learning the hang clean you can do it as a warm-up exercise 2-3 times/ week. Start light and do a few sets of 5, increase the weight each workout. Once it gets heavy only do them on back days, as the first lift.

Squat heavy on Monday, 3-5 sets of 3-6 reps. Just doing 5 sets of 5 reps across (at the same weight) is simple and effective. Add 5 lbs each week. On Friday squat higher reps, less volume -- work up to a top set of 8 or 10 or do 3 sets across, but don't go too hard (close to failure) because you need to recover for Monday. Drop the direct calf work unless you really love doing it -- I think it's a waste of time, especially at 170 lbs.

Monday PM bench heavy. Don't do a million different angles, just flat bench, with a rep scheme similar to what you do for Monday squats. You can do a few sets of incline bench after at higher reps, but you don't need decline also. It is better to focus on a few lifts and get strong on them rather than try to include every exercise under the sun.

Wednesday AM deadlift heavy. Ramp up to one top set of 5 -- e.g. 135x5, 160x5, 185x5, 210x5, 235x5. Try to add 5 lbs to each set every week. Drop the leg work here -- leg extensions, lunges -- you already squatted on Monday. You can do the RDL, 3x8 if you want.

For Back choose 2-3 exercises you like and do 3-5 sets of each of them. More is not better. One horizontal pull and one vertical pull is enough. You're doing cleans already and deadlifted in the morning. Personally I'd just do a DB or barbell row (I like Pendlay Rows) and pullups/chinups.

Friday do Squats and BB Overhead Press as your main shoulder lift. Get some volume in and go heavy with the presses -- 3-5 sets of 3-6 reps. You can do some shoulder raises too but don't go crazy with it. Drop the shrugs and flies, and if you want to do more tricep work do it here at the end of the workout, not on Saturday. You are hitting the triceps with the overhead pressing, why hit them again the next day?

Saturday do Back/ Biceps -- pullups, rows, curls, and maybe some abs.

Keep it simple -- lift heavy, progress on a few good exercises (this means: add weight to the bar), eat enough food.


craze9's advise is sound. Follow it.

I didn't see your screenshot before. But on looking I have some further suggestions:-

Don't cycle or stretch before training. Do your main compound with an empty bar for about 20 reps. Stretch after, if you must.

Your Farmers Walks are too light. A beginner can start with a weight from bodyweight up to 1RM deadlift (depending on background, you are not a beginner). Note your progress my writing down the distance you carried, then progress by doing a greater dstance each time. Once you achieve a given distance e.g. 100m put the weight up next time. If you can ,use a specialised FW implement, or failing that two Oly Bars. DBs are a nuisance when doing FWs.

Don't waste time with all those arm raises. Do Bent Presses (barbell) instead, with practise you will be able to lift 2.5 times your best One Arm Press, and hit the shoulder in all sorts of ways that you wouldn't achieve by raises.

Rather than doing hang cleans, consider Doing Clean and Press instead of pressing from the rack. Also if you do choose to DB presses (despite craze9's advice) switch to a One Arm Press and clean the dumbbell each rep.... although looking at your numbers you could also do a One Arm Press using a barbell (just turn 90 degrees after cleaning so your hand is in a good position for pressing).

Again if anything I say seems different to what craze9 said it's merely a case of me splitting hairs.