T Nation

Upping My Frequency

I was going to post this in bodybuilding forums but I dont see many “critique my split” posts their so I just posted in beginners hopefully some big guys (or anyone) can chime in…

Alot of big guys on here recommend more frequency and a little less volume, so instead of wroking out 4 days a week, I decided I am going to start doing this…

All sets start with low weight, and increase slightly heavier on the next
all sets about 10-12 reps:

Monday- chest/triceps/front delt/ab roller
Tuesday- back/bis/rear delts
Wednesday- Legs/mid delts
Thursday- chest/triceps/front delt/ab roller
Friday- back/bis/rear delts
Saturday- legs/mid delts
Sunday- off

All exercises the same except the back workouts, tuesday would have PULL UPS, BB ROWS, ONE ARM MACHINE ROWS and Friday would have PULL UPS, BB ROWS, RACK PULLS

I don’t like this split at all. Reason being is that unless you carefully regulate the load and exercises on each day, this is overkill for most raw beginners. I don’t like how you proposed modulating the weight. In short, unless you went into more detail about exercises, sets, and reps on each day, I would call this overkill on the first impression.

Doing things such as Thib’s HP mass program are problematic for beginners for a number of reasons:

a) they don’t know how to properly and efficiently perform each exercise
b) they go too hard on exercises or grind out reps which leads to burnout over a period of weeks or months
c) they do too many exercises trying to “shotgun” all aspects of improvement
d) their work capacity hasn’t been built up to handle the volume and/or intensity, which again will lead to burnout, stagnation and/or injury, especially when combined with mistakes a) b) or c)
e) they don’t know how to regulate loading or ramping of exercises
f) their caloric intake isn’t adequate to recover in the first place, even if everything else weren’t a problem
g) their caloric intake and nutrition isn’t consistent from day to day, which is needed to survive and make progress on a program like that
h) their peri-workout nutrition sucks or is completely absent.

It’s not that high frequency doesn’t work, and it’s certainly not that Thib’s principles don’t work. They do! The problem isn’t the program, it’s the people trying the program when they are not prepared for something like that. Theoretically, a beginner who is talented and smart COULD do an HPmass program or high frequency program and make great gains. The problem is that most newbs don’t know how to regulate their training or nutrition without a coach.

To quote and paraphrase someone very large “just because a program is working for a big guy NOW, doesn’t mean that’s what worked for him as a newbie”. (Prof X)

I don’t see anything about Thib’s stuff in the OP’s post?

OP I would like to see what exercises and sequence of them you’re planning on using

I’m curious what your current split looks like. Also, don’t think that your bodypart breakdown has to fit neatly into a 7 day cycle. You could very easily hit each bodypart 3x over 2 weeks instead of choosing between 1x or 2x each week.


Hitting deltoids six days in a row sounds like a recipe for disaster. Delts are problematic because they can be both hard to develop and easy to over work. You might want to look at a more traditional split and work in deltoids two or three times in a one week period, but I just can’t see a six day run on the same muscle group as being very productive.

Thanks for all your input guys I appreciate the help, lemme specify my exercises:
(this is the split I am currently doing, you think I should stick with it?)

Monday- arms/abs: EZ bar curls, DB skull crusher palms facing each other, db curls, DB hammer press (DB’s close together), db hammer curl, DB kick backs, ab roller (3 sets 8 low as i can go)

Tuesday- legs/ mid delts: DB split squat, DB step ups, seated hamstring curls, standing DB lateral raises, seated lateral raise machine

Wednesday: chest/abs: BB decline bench (going to start doing these), db incline press, ab roller

Thursday- back/rear delts: pull ups (3 sets as many as I can each one), bb rows, seated machine row (one arm at a time), rack pulls, bent over db raises

Friday, Saturday, Sunday off

…This is what I have been doing but to be honest my diet has been half assed (not eating enough) and my workouts have not been consistent, I am getting really serious now I am ready to make a change…

What should I do?

day off

i am personally a fan of this set-up. It is what i am currently doing and it is what i feel i have had success with in my past. Doesn’t work if you can’t eat and sleep though. my lifts are finally starting to go up again after losing 23lbs this last semester and i credit that to hitting every muscle 2x a week.

I would call myself a beginner, but i feel like this is the best routine for me.

[quote]trav123456 wrote:
I don’t see anything about Thib’s stuff in the OP’s post?

OP I would like to see what exercises and sequence of them you’re planning on using[/quote]

No, there wasn’t anything in there directly about CT, but the things I mentioned are also applicable to most high frequency programs…I was just using Thib as an example of such a program.

Thib’s new HPmass stuff is certainly high frequency. He mentioned being on the bbing forum and having a lot of guys say they like a high frequency approach—that fact combined with the fact that CT’s HPMass principles are plastered all along the front page of the site (plus Daryl Gee livespill) prompted me to throw that in.

I still stand by my analysis. There’s just overkill in the OP.

OP, if you know your problem is diet and consistency in the gym, why look for a fix in programming? Fix the things you know you’re screwing up and then worry about the rest.

Work legs more, that’s a bitch routine as far as legs go. Where are heavy squat variations?

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
Work legs more, that’s a bitch routine as far as legs go. Where are heavy squat variations?[/quote]
The combination of the fact that I am 6 foot 4 and my lower vertebrate is shaped weird makes me not able to do two legged (“bilateral?”) squats without pain at the end of the set.
What other exercises do you recommend I add considering this?

And I really am not making excuses at all about legs, I really wish I could squat two legs. I KILL those exercises and they are painful so laziness has nothing to do with it. I am definately up to add more single legged exercises though

Day 1: Chest/Triceps

Exercise one - Flat BB Bench press (6 sets, 6-10 reps)

*Progressively ramping weight, e.g. 52kg 10 reps focusing on fast explosive reps, 57kg for 2 sets of 8 focusing on fast reps, 67kg for as many as possible and so on.

Exercise two - Incline BB Bench press (6 sets, 6-10 reps) *Same as above

Exercise three - DB Tricep Overhead extension (6sets, 6-10 reps) “”

Exercise four - Close grip bench press or cable tricep pushdowns (6sets, 6-10reps) “”

Day 2: Back/biceps

Exercise one - BB Bent Over Row - (6 sets, 6-10 reps) *ramping as described above.

Exercise two - DB Hammer Curls - (4 sets, 6-10 reps) “”

Exercise three - DB Curls - (6 sets, 6-10 reps) “”

Exercise four - Deadlifts (6 sets, 6-10 reps) “”

Day 3: rest day

Day 4: Shoulders

Exercise one - Barbell Standing Overhead Press - (6 sets, 6-10 reps) *ramping

Exercise two - Db Neutral Grip Standing Overhead Press - (6 sets, 6-10 reps) *ramping in small increments or two large e.g. divide into 3 sets for one weight and 3 sets for the heaviest weight your going to use.

Exercise three optional - Upright Barbell Rows - (4 sets, 6-10 reps)

Day 5: rest

Day 6: Legs and abs OR bring up a weak body part and abs.

Day 7: rest

Give this a go. It really worked for me resulting in 20lb gain in 3months. My diet wasn’t great and I know the programme isn’t great but it’s good enough for a relative ‘beginner’.