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Upper/Lower Body Split

Hello everybody, I am new here.

I am 20 years old, 180cm (5ft 11") and currently weigh 77kg (169,4lbs). I have started building mass on 8th of March las year, so I am going almost a year now. Before I weighed 65kg (143lbs) so I gained quite some mass already without much fat. Let me also state that I am an ectomorph.

Recently, I have decided to start with upper/lower body split routine. Here’s what I managed to create:

Upper body A:
Bench press 4-5
Incline bench press 3-4
Dips 3-4
Shoulder press 3-4
Siting row 4-5
Cable pulldown/ chin up/ pull up 3-4
Isolation exercise for biceps 3

Upper body B:
Incline bench press 4-5
Dips 3-4
Shoulder press 3-4
Siting row 4-5
Weighted inverted row (not sure) 3-4
Cable pulldown/ chin up/ pull up 3-4
Isolation exercise for biceps 3

Reason why I have incline bench press in both routines is because I need to work on my upper chest a bit more.

Lower body A:
Squat 4-5
One leg squat variant 3-4
Deadlift 3-4
Standing calf raise 4-5

Lower body B:
Deadlift 4-5
Stiff leg deadlift 3-4
Squat 3-4
Standing calf raise 4-5

Maybe I could put these two together into:
Squat 4-5
One leg squat variant 3-4
Deadlift 4-5
Stiff leg deadlift 3-4
Standing calf raise 4-5

I cycle my reps every 12 workouts (6 for lower, 6 for upper body part) from 12-15 to 6-8 to 10-12 to 4-6.

Any comments about this highly appreciated.
Take care!

A:i think at 170lbs at 5ft11", you need to work on everything, not just upper chest.
B: there are twice as many pressing to pulling exercises, dumb
C: in fact, there are so many pressing exercises per seesion, you will end up using about 50% of the weight you should be using by the time you get to dips and OHP.
D: you will burn out on two squat and two deadlift variations every lower day, while using less than optimal weight.

Also, diet?
read the stickies and follow a tried and tested BB split

Caveman gave a whole bunch of good, if succinct, advice. If I can be as bold as to expand on a few points (no offence, Cavey).

[quote]Caveman101 wrote:
A:i think at 170lbs at 5ft11", you need to work on everything, not just upper chest.[/quote]
Solid point. You could post a picture if you want, but the overwhelming odds are that you’re not really at the stage where you need to be worried with fine-tuning your physique the same way a competitive bodybuilder does.

You need more chest muscle, period. And more total body muscle, overall.

Not only is the chest a relatively-small muscle group on your body, but focusing/emphasizing your back will help long-term with shoulder-health, strength, and overall muscle growth.

As you progress and start moving major weight, your recovery is going to be noticeably impacted by frequent heavy squatting and deadlifting.

Yes, some lifters train the squat and deadlift several times a week, but not usually at the same intensity. One workout will be heavier with lower reps and the next will be a bit lighter with higher reps.

It’s great that you’re not avoiding the big lower body lifts. Don’t change that. Just consider not doing squats and deads in the same workout, or if you are doing them on the same day, don’t do them both with the same sets and reps.

Very important. You gained about 25 pounds in about a year, which is slow and steady progress, emphasis on the slow. But I’m sure your nutrition could be tweaked for even better results.

What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

[quote]Prevtzer wrote:
Let me also state that I am an ectomorph.[/quote]
Why do you say that?

This is a lot of change on a pretty regular basis. It’s unnecessary and it’s most likely slowing down your overall progress. I get that you want to work in different rep ranges, but you’re changing them so often that you’re not

Consider switching to something like Dr. Clay Hyght’s Size and Strength template:

It’s a four day a week plan (2 upper, 2 lower), with higher rep days and heavier, lower rep days throughout the week. I think that’ll get you farther along than switching things up so much, like you’ve been doing.

Thank you both for the answers, you were absolutely right. Right now I am looking at Westside For Skinny Bastards program which has a lot of good critique on here so I am probably going to try that out. But first I am going to read all about it, will post an update later.
I stated that I am an ectomorph because some people say it’s supposed to be relevant.
About my gains and diet- in first months I was definitely not eating enough, I was slowly building up calories and I started progressing on my month nr. 4, which was way late.

Here’s what my diet looks like:
5g creatine (if I am on it)

200g oatmeal
48g whey powder
20g nuts
3g omega 3 capsule
vitamins, minerals

either:
250g recorded curd
150g oatmeal
20g nuts
or:
150g full corn bread
150g chicken breast salami
20g nuts

150g basmati rice
150-300g chicken breast/ tuna
big bowl of salad with some olive oil, vinegar and garlic
(don’t worry, I brush my teeth afterwards)

either:
100g full corn bread
32g peanut butter (Naturally More)
250g recorded curd
20g nuts
or:
4 eggs
100g full corn bread
or:
4 eggs
100g oatmeal

250g recorded curd

If it’s a training day I add 35g maltodextrin and 32g whey powder before and 50g of both after workout, also I drink pre workout.

I’m pretty sure some of the expressions (like recorded curd) are not correct, because I am not from English speaking country and my vocabulary is not that specific.

Take care

what the heck is recorded curd?

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
what the heck is recorded curd?[/quote]

Cottage cheese.

I have now completed my training template following Westside for Skinny Bastards.
First number is sets, second is rep, third is rest time.

Monday- upper max effort
x 3-5 Incline barbell bench press 2-3min
3-4 6-10 Dumbbell bench press 60-75s
4 10-15 Seated row 60-75s
2-3 12-15 Face pull 60-75s
3-4 8-15 Wighted hanging leg raise 60-75s

Tuesday- lower max effort
x 5 Deadlift 2-3min
3-4 8-15 Barbell reverse lunge 60-75s
3-4 6-10 Leg curl 60-75s
3 X Dumbbell holds 75-90s

Thursday- Upper dynamic
3 max Dips 75-90s
3-4 5-10 Dumbbell triceps extension 60-75s
4 8-12 Lat pulldown 60-75s
3 10-15 Dumbbell shoulder press 60-75s
3 8-10 Biceps curl 60-75s
ABS

Friday- Lower dynamic
3 15 One leg squat variant 60-75s
3-4 10-15 Leg curl 60-75s
3-4 10-15 Reverse weighted hyperextensions 60-75s
3-5 8-12 Standing calf raise 60-75s

So, what do you think?
Thanks!

i would rather front squats instead of one legged squats on lower body dynamic, get stronger and bigger on these

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
i would rather front squats instead of one legged squats on lower body dynamic, get stronger and bigger on these[/quote]

Will do, anything else?

What’s the difference between the “max effort” and “dynamic” workouts (besides exercise selection)? I don’t really understand why you are training back and chest each just a little bit on two different days. But I’ve never looked at WS4SB, either.

I would put shoulder presses before direct arm work. No way I would be able to put up good numbers on the press if I did arms first.

in ws4sb the upper days are actually split between max effort and repeated effort (i.e. rep day).

if i may comment on a few things:

on dynamic leg day, the emphasis is supposed to be on a dynamic exercise, like a jumping one. i guess if you’re tweaking the program, putting in a one-legged squat exercise could work, but that’s not what the program recommends.

also, instead of doing leg curls as your hamstring-dominant movement in both sessions, try 45 degree back extensions or romanian deadlifts on one of those days.

[quote]Nate86 wrote:
What’s the difference between the “max effort” and “dynamic” workouts (besides exercise selection)? I don’t really understand why you are training back and chest each just a little bit on two different days.
[/quote]

Max Effort - work up to a 1-3RM, going heavy as hell (depends on the exercise and the particular day)
Dynamic Effort - speed and explosion (traditional westide uses sets of 3 for bench, 2 for squat, and singles for deadlifts)

Hello,

so I’ve been looking at this template I created following Westside for skinny bastards and I didn’t really like it. So, I’ve looked around a bit more and created another one, but this time following Westside for bodybuilders.
First column is exercise second is number of sets and third is number of reps (number in bracket is repRM, for example (10) means with a weight with which I can perform 10RM).

INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS X od 3 do 5
WEIGHTED DIPS 5 10 (10)
WEIGHTED PUSH UPS 5 8-12 (12)
BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW 5 8-12 (12)
SITING ROW 5 8-12 (12)
CHIN UPS/BICEPS CURL 5 8-12 (12)

BARBELL BENCH PRESS X 8
WEIGHTED DIPS 5 4 (7)
DUMBBELL PULLOVER 3 5 (7)
SHOULDER PRESS 3 5 (7)
LAT PULLDOWN 3 5 (7)
BICEPS CURL 3 5 (7)

INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS X od 3 do 5
CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS 4 10 (10)
WEIGHTED PUSH UPS 4 8-12 (12)
BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW 4 8-12 (12)
SITING ROW 4 8-12 (12)
CHIN UPS/BICEPS CURL 4 8-12 (12)

BARBELL BENCH PRESS X 8
CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS 5 4 (7)
DUMBBELL PULLOVER 4 5 (7)
SHOULDER PRESS 4 5 (7)
LAT PULLDOWN 4 5 (7)
BICEPS CURL 4 5 (7)

BARBELL BENCH PRESS X od 3 do 5
INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS 5 10 (10)
WEIGHTED DIPS 3 8-12 (12)
STANDING ROW 3 8-12 (12)
LATERAL RAISE 3 8-12 (12)
CHIN UPS/BICEPS CURL 3 8-12 (12)

DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS X 8
WEIGHTED DIPS 5 4 (7)
DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS 5 5 (7)
T BAR ROW 5 5 (7)
PULL UPS 5 5 (7)
BICEPS CURL 5 5 (7)

BARBELL BENCH PRESS X od 3 do 5
DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS 5 10 (10)
WEIGHTED DIPS 4 8-12 (12)
STANDING ROW 4 8-12 (12)
LATERAL RAISE 4 8-12 (12)
CHIN UPS/BICEPS CURL 4 8-12 (12)

INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS X 8
DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS 5 4 (7)
DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS 4 5 (7)
T BAR ROW 4 5 (7)
PULL UPS 4 5 (7)
BICEPS CURL 4 5 (7)

DEADLIFT X od 3 do 5
LEG PRESS 5 5(7)
STANDING CALF RAISE 5 5(7)

DEADLIFT 5 8
LEG PRESS 3 8-12 (12)
STANDING CALF RAISE 3 8-12 (12)

SQUAT X od 3 do 5
STIFF LEG DEADLIFT 5 5(7)
STANDING CALF RAISE 5 5(7)

SQUAT 5 8
STIFF LEG DEADLIFT 3 8-12 (12)
STANDING CALF RAISE 3 8-12 (12)

DEADLIFT X od 3 do 5
HACK SQUAT 4 5(7)
SITING CALF RAISE 4 5(7)

DEADLIFT 5 8
HACK SQUAT 4 8-12 (12)
SITING CALF RAISE 4 8-12 (12)

SQUAT X od 3 do 5
ROMANIAN DEADLIFT 4 5(7)
STANDING CALF RAISE 4 5(7)

SQUAT 5 8
ROMANIAN DEADLIFT 4 8-12 (12)
STANDING CALF RAISE 4 8-12 (12)

Comments appreciated.

That does not look readable so let me try this again:

Weak 1:
Incline barbell bench press
Weighted dips
Weighted push ups
Barbell upright row
Siting row
Chin ups/biceps curl

Deadlift
Leg press
Standing calf raise

Barbell bench press
Weighted dips
Dumbbell pullover
Shoulder press
Lat pulldown
Biceps curl

Deadlift
Leg press
Standing calf raise

Weak 2:
Incline barbell bench press
Close grip bench press
Weighted push ups
Barbell upright row
Siting row
Chin ups/biceps curl

Squat
Stiff leg deadlift
Standing calf raise

Barbell bench press
Close grip bench press
Dumbbell pullover
Shoulder press
Lat pulldown
Biceps curl

Squat
Stiff leg deadlift
Standing calf raise

Weak3:

Barbell bench press
Incline barbell bench press
Weighted dips
Standing row
Lateral raise
Chin ups/biceps curl

Deadlift
Hack squat
Siting calf raise

Dumbbell bench press
Weighted dips
Dumbbell shoulder press
T bar row
Pull ups
Biceps curl

Deadlift
Hack squat
Siting calf raise

Weak 4:
Barbell bench press
Dumbbell bench press
Weighted dips
Standing row
Lateral raise
Chin ups/biceps curl

Squat
Romanian deadlift
Standing calf raise

Incline dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell bench press
Dumbbell shoulder press
T bar row
Pull ups
Biceps curl

Squat
Romanian deadlift
Standing calf raise

[quote]Prevtzer wrote:
I stated that I am an ectomorph because some people say it’s supposed to be relevant.[/quote]
Two things: 1) I meant, what makes you think you’re an ectomorph? Just because you’ve always been skinny? And 2) No, it really isn’t relevant. You’ll do better in the long run if you forget you’ve ever heard of ectomorphs, mesomorphs, etc.

That’s probably because something got fouled up along the way. I have no idea which of the three versions of WS4SB you looked at, but your template didn’t really match up with any of them.

That’s a bench press specialization plan which is, still, not what you need. You need to focus on building total body size and strength.

Really, it seems like you have a tendency to overthink things. So something as simple as the Texas Method (with a bit of arm work once a week) should be fine if you’re consistent with it.

And as far as the diet info you posted, it looks like you’re really relying on cottage cheese as a main protein source. Is that due to convenience, budget, or something else?

It’d be great if you could setup your eating along the lines of the article below, including the foods it suggests to focus on. When you have a meal, you want to end up feeling pretty full, not like you’ve just been snacking all day long:

Hi,

I think I am an ectomorphnot just because I was always skinny but mostly because I have very thin arms, and my whole upper body was really thin. I think my body construction is definitely ectomorph.
I was following 1st WS4SB and added 2nd leg day according to DeFranco himself.

I really hate that I am thinking this much about new routine, I decided for previous one in about an hour…
Anyway, I really don’t like the idea of following somebody else’s routine just like it’s golden.

So, I have once again gathered my knowledge and created my own routine. As you will see it’s a push/pull split and if there won’t be any major concerns I will stick with it along the lines of just f*cking traind and eat.

Here it is:
Squat
Dips
Bench press
Incline bench press
Shoulder press
Calf raise

Deadlift
Lat pulldown
Bent over row
Upright row
Biceps curl
Hanging leg raise

About the diet: I have now included 4 eggs and 100g oats as my last meal so I don’t eat that much cottage cheese, from reading my diet it really seemed I eat a lot of it.

I will read the article you posted and we’ll see what I will do about it.

Thanks!

5/3/1

[quote]Prevtzer wrote:
I really hate that I am thinking this much about new routine[/quote]
Quick question: You started this thread five days ago. How many workouts have you done in that time?

If the answer is less than two, marinate on that for a minute and then re-confirm to yourself that you’re going to stop overthinking things and get to work.

This makes no sense at all for a beginner, especially when you consider that the “somebody else” is a successful coach giving advice based on a professional history of producing the types of results you’re looking for.

But maybe I’m just kooky like that.

No it isn’t. It’s a routine for a dude who’s still hung up on emphasizing his chest above all other muscle groups.

[quote]Squat
Dips
Bench press
Incline bench press
Shoulder press
Calf raise

Deadlift
Lat pulldown
Bent over row
Upright row
Biceps curl
Hanging leg raise[/quote]
Drop either the bench press or incline press, add lunges or step-ups after squats, add a triceps exercise after the shoulder press, add in leg curls after deads, drop the upright row, add a dumbbell row after bent rows, and I’d like it more.

[quote]About the diet: I have now included 4 eggs and 100g oats as my last meal so I don’t eat that much cottage cheese, from reading my diet it really seemed I eat a lot of it.

I will read the article you posted and we’ll see what I will do about it.[/quote]
Good stuff, man. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Hi Chris,

in the mean time I did 3 workouts.

The thing is that routines other pro instructors wrote all seem to be great but they are not even slightly alike. Somebody says this somebody that… That’s what I don’t like.

About emphasizing the chest: I can currently deadlift about 255lbs (+bar), squat about 210lbs (+bar) but only bench press about 125lbs (+bar). I know pretty much everybody can deadlift and squat a lot more than they can bench (obviously back and legs are much bigger than chest) but the difference is usually way smaller than mine. That’s why I wanted to add another chest exercise.

Anyway, I did listen to your tips and here is my modified workout plan.
Push:
Squat
Back lunge
Bench press
Dips
Shoulder press
Close-grip bench press
Calf raise

As you can see I did add another triceps exercise after SP as you suggested but it is not isolation movement, it is also working the chest. I consider this a mediation between your suggestion and me being stubborn.

Pull:
Deadlift
Good morning/ leg curl (I’m not sure about leg curl machine in my gym, I have to test it)
Lat pulldown
Standing barbell bent over row
Upright row
Hanging leg raise
Biceps curl

Any further comments welcome,
thanks!

Today, I did push training, it was OK but I have a few questions.

  1. I really don’t like doing barbell bench press, it sucks when I can’t get the weight up but I don’t have a spotter. I always did dumbbell bench press, but have some issues wit that as well. So here is my question: would it be ok to substitute barbell bench press for slightly incline dumbbell bench press (just a tad incline, so I am able to see my self in the mirror, until I get it 100% right)?

  2. When you do bench press, when you come down, where are your elbows, are they 90° or are they slightly bent to the torso. I know- it’s pretty stupid to ask this after all this time but I really could use some pointers right now.

  3. I also hated doing close grip barbell bench press, it was just weird, would it be all right to substitute that for (weighted) close grip push ups. I really love doing that!

  4. I always did squats in smith machine, but now I am starting to do them with barbell, because I feel it’ better. My problem is that I am not stable enough to go to maximum, when it’s really hard to push upwards (squats are probably the hardest exercise) I tend to tilt a bit which makes the lift impossible, so I can’t get up but my legs still are not burned out. Would it be OK to do half the sets with free weight and second half in smith machine. This way I would progress in free weight execution and be able to go to max.

Thank you for your answers!