T Nation

Upper/Lower Split


For awhile, I've been addicted to training Chest and Back together, with great results. So basically I can't separate them at this point, simply because I'm addicted..haha. I am following 5/3/1 for my main lifts, and doing some bodybuilding assistance work. This is what my current split looks like...

May add hang cleans or power cleans before squats, possibly box jumps
Day 1- 5/3/1 Squats, with SLDL, walking lunges, leg extensions, back raises.
Day 2- Chest/Back (5/3/1 Bench)
After Bench...
- DB rows, 4 sets of 10,10,8,6
-Incline DB press with pull ups (4 sets of 6-10 for press, and 10-12 reps for pull ups)
- Weighted Dips (may go back to doing another incline press) with Row variation for 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- cable crossovers or DB flies with pulldown variation for 4 sets of 10-12

Day 3- OFF

Day 4- 5/3/1 Deadlifts, Front Squats, Bulgarian split squats, leg curls or pull throughs
Day 5- 5/3/1 OHP with chins/weighted chins
- Close grip Incline (may change to flat close grip if I change weighted dips into another incline press on bench day.) with face pulls or another rear felt variation.
- BB/DB curls with Tricep pushdowns
- DB hammer curls with skullcrushers
- Bicep variation/Tricep variation

*Trap work is added, as well as abs and sprints

So my question is, does this split look okay? Should I change certain things up? Could I do arms on their own day and do shoulders on deadlift day? Or leave shoulders with arms?


Personally ive always found constant change the best.I never stick to any routine or program for too long before switching up.I know you feel like you've made great gains on the routine you're doing so theres nothing wrong with sticking to it until you progress slows or halts.

The work out you posted looks good but nothing wrong with switching exercises up once in a while either.Our bodies get very adaptive to every type of stimuli,training,supps,AAS,etc so by constantly changing things up it keep your muscles guessing,as well as keeping your mind hungry and motivated.

Please keep us all posted with how things go.


Looks pretty good to me, assuming you can recover from the volume of assistance work and make progress. I would leave shoulders with arms, rather than switching to two big lifts on one day and a full day for arms.


I feel like since I've done this routine for so long, I'm not seeing much gains from it anymore unfortunately. I may need to switch things up. I just get nervous of switching to something, and as soon as I don't like it after a week, I toss it aside and get back into the old routine. I just need to find a routine and go with it. Something for an athlete, but allows you to train like a bodybuilder. Perhaps CT has something I could go with??...


Try leafing through some of these:


Looks good to me, I've done similar things and was able to recover well and make gains I wanted. Regarding changing things up, yes thats always important. But knowing when is the hard part, sometimes I think people don't give routines or exercises enough time or too much time without switching. Take a hard look at everything you do in a week and ask yourself if it fits your goals.


Exactly man. I've been doing this type of routine for a couple of years, changing exercises now and then. The only real changes I made were doing deadlifts and OHP on the same day, along with shoulder accessories and maybe 1 other accessory for legs; and then having an arm day. I do feel training shoulders and arms together is too time consuming or too bunched up. Not sure what to think.

Doing Chest/Back together is something I love. I wish I could find another template similar to this one, but maybe set up better. Doing basically one body part a day is boring for me. I want something that will add size and strength, but keep me lean and explosive. I've read some of the articles but none of them have jumped out at me as far as what I would like. I do know CT likes adding in bodybuilding work, and Olympic lifts, which seems fun. I'm not looking for anything fancy, but hang cleans, power cleans, high pulls or some plyometrics would be great to add without overdoing anything...


If you want to see my general routine thats similar to compare to ill share that, I took my deadlift from 655 in May to just barely missing 700 at lockout in November.

day1: Squat (heavy or reps, if heavy DL light that week and vice versa) work up to one heavy set of 3-5
pause squat 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps
stiff leg DL beltless 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps

day2: Bench (following a linear progression)
spoto presses 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps
lots of back work, and incline pressing

day3: DL (following SQ/DL guideline) work up to a heavy set of 3-5 (if light, do 5-8 sets of 2 reps at about 75%)
safety bar squat 3-4 sets of 5-10 (this has helped my squat and deadlift significantly)
Glute ham raise or leg curls

day4: overhead pressing, usually seated BB or DB, usually for reps
weighted dips
raises and tricep isolation

optional day 5 of more back work, maybe grip work and direct arm work.


I like how that looks as well man. So do you think if I have been doing something for years, I should probably switch it up to see new gains?


Years? yeah i'd probably say make some changes, not just accessory stuff either. If you squat low bar try high bar, pull sumo if you pull conventional. Bench wider grip and so on. Dont try and rewrite everything at once just make gradual changes.


Alright. I wrote up a newer template. I am using 5/3/1 SVR for something different on the main lifts from Beyond 5/3/1. I'm going to add cleans and/or jumps before squat and/or deadlift day. I am going to play around with different assistance and also the tempo of certain lifts on certain weeks. Depending on how my week plays out, I will add an optional direct arm training on Saturday or continue working arms with shoulders, or possibly splitting up arms (Biceps on Deadlift day and Triceps on OHP day). So it will look like this..
Sunday - Squats
Monday-Chest(5/3/1 Bench)/Back
Wednesday-Deadlifts and Biceps
Thursday-Overhead Press and Triceps
Saturday- Optional Arm day, if not split up on deadlift and overhead press day.

That seem decent?


Sounds like a plan to me, make sure your squat/DL assistance makes sense for you and addresses weak areas in your lifts.