T Nation

Upper/Lower Routine And Comments

Mon - Lower
Back Squat, Stiff Legged Deads, Lunges, Leg Curls, Standing Calves

Tues - Upper
Bench, DB Military Press, Pulldowns, Rev. Curl, Cable Flys, Lateral Raises, Upright Row, Hammers

Thurs - Lower
Deadlifts, Front Squat, Side Lunges, Leg Extensions, Sitting Calves

Friday - Upper
DB Incline Bench, Barbell Military Press, Chins, Alternating Curl, DB Flys, Front Raises, DB Rows, Tri Presses

Here is a split I want to try out, besides any comments on my exercise selection or whatever. I have a few general questions. I plan to do a bodybuilding specific routine where I go a few weeks with higher volume and reps at a lower intensity for hypertrophy followed by periodic strength weeks where increase the sets, the weight, and derease the reps.

A few things confuse me and I would like some opinions if possible…

For the isolation lifts like curls and leg extension…Should the rep range usually stay high (8+) for these. I mean…does anyone with bodybuilding goals do strength cycles with curls or do you just let the compound lifts take care of that.

For that matter, should i just drop the isolation lifts during my strength cycle and stick to putting up some serious weight in my squats and bench? I will already be having a hard time finishing all my sets since I’ll be doing schemes like 8*3 and such.

Finally, I was under the impression it was a good idea to keep reps in the hole when lifting during the bodybuilding portion of my cycle, but for the strength periods is it okay to go close to failure on some movements.

I know there are lots of ways to achieve goals here, but at the risk of being too anal I would still like to know what others think. The “just lift hard” mentality has only taken me so far.

[quote]msundi83 wrote:
Mon - Lower
Back Squat, Stiff Legged Deads, Lunges, Leg Curls, Standing Calves

Tues - Upper
Bench, DB Military Press, Pulldowns, Rev. Curl, Cable Flys, Lateral Raises, Upright Row, Hammers

Thurs - Lower
Deadlifts, Front Squat, Side Lunges, Leg Extensions, Sitting Calves

Friday - Upper
DB Incline Bench, Barbell Military Press, Chins, Alternating Curl, DB Flys, Front Raises, DB Rows, Tri Presses

Here is a split I want to try out, besides any comments on my exercise selection or whatever. I have a few general questions. I plan to do a bodybuilding specific routine where I go a few weeks with higher volume and reps at a lower intensity for hypertrophy followed by periodic strength weeks where increase the sets, the weight, and derease the reps.

A few things confuse me and I would like some opinions if possible…

For the isolation lifts like curls and leg extension…Should the rep range usually stay high (8+) for these. I mean…does anyone with bodybuilding goals do strength cycles with curls or do you just let the compound lifts take care of that.

For that matter, should i just drop the isolation lifts during my strength cycle and stick to putting up some serious weight in my squats and bench? I will already be having a hard time finishing all my sets since I’ll be doing schemes like 8*3 and such.

Finally, I was under the impression it was a good idea to keep reps in the hole when lifting during the bodybuilding portion of my cycle, but for the strength periods is it okay to go close to failure on some movements.

I know there are lots of ways to achieve goals here, but at the risk of being too anal I would still like to know what others think. The “just lift hard” mentality has only taken me so far.[/quote]

Your exercise selection looks ok, I am guessing that you have been looking at CT’s programs becasue the selction is very simular.

Anyway I suggest during you BBing phase that the isolation exercises be paired up into to suppersets.

Where the first exercise in the superset would be a gross movement (One that hits the muscle group across the board) using a lower rep scheme 6-8 reps with a good decent weight ( want to tray and have 2 reps in the hole).

The second exercise in the set would be a true isolation exercise using a highter rep scheme 10-14reps with a much lighter weight (1-2 reps left in the hole.)

For example

A1.Deadlifts 4x6
A2.Leg Curls 4x12

Also you would perform A1 then immediatly A2, resting after the completion of A2, generally 1-2 min

As for the strength training, it is ok to do some isolation work if you wish, but you would perform those exercises after your compound lifts, IMO.

hope this helps, Good luck!

Also ditch the upright row, big chances of injury with that one.

Instead try an exercise called “Old Time Standing Rows”

This used to be one of the most popular exercises among old-time strongmen. It’s very similar to the Haney shrug except that it’s performed with dumbbells. Stand up with a dumbbell in each hand (by your side), then bend your torso slightly forward. Row the weight up and back (trying to bring your elbows pointing directly behind you) while keeping the elbows as close to your body as possible.

Pictures here in about middle of article.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1076164

Also I suggest you read the following CT programs for your hypertrophy programs.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459276

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459214

Your exercise selection looks ok, generally. I’m not a fan of upright rows for extensive training, but if you can do them fine, go for it. See EC’s article on them before you do though.

I suggest doing all your rowing work before your shoulder isolation, unless shoulders are a serious weak point.

Example–your db rows are behind curls, flyes, and front raises. Your upright rows are behind lateral raises. You can handle much more weight in both the row variations than in the shoulder and curl work. Not to mention, rows are generally more draining than shoulder isolation (raise variations) and curls. So do the rows first. Besides, your back makes up a lot more of your body mass than your shoulders. If you have a serious lack of shoulders, forget what I’ve said. Other than that, good job of getting your compounds done first.

Thanks for the input thus far. I like the idea of supersetting the compounds with the isolation. I would however, like to keep the rep ranges consistant between exercises each week. Like is it okay to have my deadlifts the same reps as curls whether that week be a strength (less than 8 reps) or hypertrophy (more than 8 reps) week.

I’ll take the advice on upright row as it is quite uncomfortable for me and I know exercises I can substitute. Right now I’m just trying to get a basic plan together that I can follow for about a year and tweak after a while when I start noticing my weak points. As soon as I get the base down I’ll figure out what concepts like exercise order, changing lifts, and advanced things like drop sets, etc. can be employed.

Oh and how do you all feel about going to failure during hypertrophy or strenth weeks. I’ve heard for strength gains it is not advisable, but I’ve heard conflicting views on hypertrophy work. I don’t go to failure on some lifts where i don’t trust spotters or can’t really use one and not risk injury. I just am curious if it is really necessary or maybe even couterproductive to my goals.

[quote]msundi83 wrote:
Thanks for the input thus far. I like the idea of supersetting the compounds with the isolation. I would however, like to keep the rep ranges consistant between exercises each week. Like is it okay to have my deadlifts the same reps as curls whether that week be a strength (less than 8 reps) or hypertrophy (more than 8 reps) week.

I’ll take the advice on upright row as it is quite uncomfortable for me and I know exercises I can substitute. Right now I’m just trying to get a basic plan together that I can follow for about a year and tweak after a while when I start noticing my weak points. As soon as I get the base down I’ll figure out what concepts like exercise order, changing lifts, and advanced things like drop sets, etc. can be employed.

[/quote]

#1 Yup its ok not sure why but yes its ok. Id rather stick my DL’s to 5 rep and less most time but do throw in crazy 20 rep days and the occasional 8 or twelve from time to time. Just a move every liking to heavy loads and low reps.

#2 ok sounds good Im one of the few I think not affraid of Upright rows always treated me well but sure you can sub them and your plan sounds good.

now just get to it bro,

Phill

[quote]msundi83 wrote:
Oh and how do you all feel about going to failure during hypertrophy or strenth weeks. I’ve heard for strength gains it is not advisable, but I’ve heard conflicting views on hypertrophy work. I don’t go to failure on some lifts where i don’t trust spotters or can’t really use one and not risk injury. I just am curious if it is really necessary or maybe even couterproductive to my goals.[/quote]

Failure is a tool to be used like any other. Try it and see how you react over doing it Not great advice. Normally if In goig heavy NO I train to hit all lifts 1-3 rep range but yhea failure happen.

Some failure on rep work sure I use it again listen to your body. I mean doing heavy ass squats to failure sometimes not smart or DL’s but hey it happens and can be good just be wary train HARD and smart.

Clear as mud :slight_smile:
Phill

Thanks again!