T Nation

Workout Split to Increase Mass?


#1

I’ve been hearing a lot lately that temporarily increasing training volume on select muscle groups to twice a week can help a lot.

How does this split look:

Monday - chest/triceps
Tuesday - back/biceps
Wednesday - shoulders
Thursday - legs
Friday- chest
Saturday- arms

I’d make sure to workout at the same time everyday to ensure consistency in rest time.


#2

So you’re going to train your upper body five times a week and your lower body once? That’s very unbalanced and a great way to beat your shoulders and elbows up. Plus you’re doing your chest and arms twice a week and your back once. Do whatever works for you, but I doubt that most knowledgeable people would recommend for you to do this.


#3

Look up the kingbeef thread or try this below -similar but better…


#4

This split is nearly identical to what you posted, but is a total program


#5

I agree you are underestimating the importance of legs. There are so many great leg exercises that I’d have three leg days and three upper body days, especially if you use a program like German volume training, star complexes, or even a basic 8x3 program that can take up a lot of time.


#6

Or maybe you just personally care more about leg training than he does.

It’s cool that you, personally, think 3 leg days is an awesome idea, but that is FAR from the norm. 1 leg day per week is not crazy. I’ve been doing 1 leg day per week for a really really long time, and I’ve got some of the strongest legs, especially pound for pound, of any regular poster on this site. Your assertion that he’s undervaluing leg training simply because you’re only seeing 1 leg days shows exactly why you shouldn’t be giving advice at this point in your training life. What if that 1 leg day is 2 hours of squats? I’d be willing to bet he’d develop some pretty fucking awesome legs with 1 exercise selection, 1 day per week, if that’s what he chose to do.

There really is nothing to critique about the outline the OP posted here. It’s just a set of days and muscle groups. Without any information on exercise selections, set and rep schemes, I couldn’t possibly assert whether this makes sense or not. ‘Balance’ is not determined by how many sessions you devote to particular muscles or muscle groups. It’s far more dependent on the intensity and volume of those sessions.

The one thing the OP mentioned at the very beginning about temporarily increasing volume for particular muscles absolutely makes sense. That’s the other thing that kbama and paules seem to have ignored. The OP did NOT suggest this was a plan he intends to follow for an extended period of time. He’s describing a training block dedicated to working on selected muscle groups. I’m of the opinion that this is a fantastic idea, and that more people should do it. It’s something I’ve been doing over the last year in my strongman training. I started doing it because I started to stall across the board, because there are just too damn many events in strongman to constantly improve at all of them. So I’ve had blocks where I prioritized overhead movements, blocks of deadlift-focus, and blocks of moving events.

OP, if you want a real critique of your plan, give us more info about what you intend to do on each day.


#7

The only thing I’d say from personal experience is that I’ve never been happy with just a shoulder workout. When I was younger I went through a similar split, but if I had the same amount of time every day to train, I was always happier training shoulders with chest.

You could be much better at programming and/or your gym may have better equipment selection so that you don’t have the issue, but I did and after about 3 or 4 weeks of this I adjusted and put shoulders with chest. Other than that, this is very similar to the first split I learned as a young gym lad from a very knowledgeable guy. As long as you’re smart about managing intensity and volume I don’t know any reason it wouldn’t work.


#8

I don’t understand when people say you train upper body X times compared to Y times for legs and that is bad. You should train upper body more often if you want equal volume for body parts. Legs have all of what, 3 (4 if calves) muscle groups people normally train? “Upper body” has chest, back (with a couple different muscles), shoulders, biceps, triceps, traps. Forearms if you really want to isolate.

So I don’t get it when people argue you need an equal amount of upper or lower days. You’re either gonna do a 3 hour “upper session” or else your volume for those upper body groups is gonna be fairly small in comparison. There’s like 2-3x the muscle groups in upper body, it’s not crazy that people would/could train “upper” muscles more often and get a balanced physique.


#9

The fact that you train legs more doesn’t make your dick any bigger.


#10

If your legs get bigger it may actually make it appear smaller.


#11

[quote=“jakew425, post:1, topic:231881”]
I’ve been hearing a lot lately that temporarily increasing training volume on select muscle groups to twice a week can help a lot.

How does this split look:[/quote]
You didn’t actually write anything about training volume, so it’s impossible to tell. Knowing the volume requires knowing the exercises, sets, and reps done in each workout.

If you meant training frequency, then I’d point out that the only things you’re hitting with higher frequency are the bro muscles - chest and arms. Chest twice a week, bis twice a week, and tris getting worked a total of four times a week. Twice directly and twice indirectly.

If you want to hit things more frequently, I’d suggest hitting everything twice a week. Blending Size and Strength is a solid upper/lower split, ABBH is another.

Unless you were using it as a chest/arms specialization phase, then give it a go as-is for 4-8 weeks, eat plenty to maximize results, and keep an eye on elbow health with that tri work.


#12

“When you git biggah, everyfing else looks smallah”
-Lee Priest


#13

I generally do some back work on my overhead pressing days, which could be considered ‘shoulder’ days. but last night i did just shoulders. Started with the circus dumbbell, then some strict barbell pressing, then seated one arm presses, then lateral raises. that was plenty of work for me. if i didn’t do strongman though, it would be hard for me to really have a dedicated shoulder day.


#14

You should train everything at least twice a week.

The body adapts to stimulus. Stimulus in the gym is weight.

Mass = Strength = ( Weight * Reps * Sets ) / Years trained

I am going to go on a bit of a rant because that split is super popular and is super straight up garbage and for some reason it just wont go away.

-2 Push days to 1 Pull and the way most people train shoulders it is 3 push days. That is guaranteed posture problems and shoulder injuries.

-Having entire workout/days dedicated to Arms or Shoulders is a wasted day unless you would normally do cardio/nothing there. It’s a waste because literally every upper body movement you should already be doing trains them more efficiently than the typical exercise selection on those days. Add in that if your split is right you could have a much more effective workout here instead of focusing on 2% of your muscles.

-If you want to grow you need to train Squats, Deads and often. Your body adapts to stimulus and Squats and Deads are the kings of stimulus.

To train 6 days a week this is literally the best split you could use:

Day 1 Lower - Squats, Deads, Calves (lunges optional)
Day 2 Pull - Barbell Rows, Pullups, Biceps (T-Bar Rows, Back Flys optional)
Day 3 Push - Bench Press, Military Press, Triceps (Dips, Incline press and dumbells optional)
Repeat

Deadlifts can go on Day 2 if you prefer.

For reps/sets 5-3-1 periodization is pretty good.

Or even simpler just do 5 rep sets slowly adding weight until you fail to get 5 reps. Take 5-15% off the bar and do some more sets for volume.


#15

How often do you train strongman? I am trying to think of a strongman exercise/event that doesnt use the legs as a primary mover but cant.

These are the first 2 studies that pop up on google both with the same conclusion that higher frequency is superior for hypertrophy.


#16

I think there is a substantial difference between training something like an overhead log press, which utilizes leg strength, and actually training leg strength. I USE the leg strength I’ve built to press a log overhead, but that’s not going to build more strength. Make sense?


#17

I think if your chest and arms are a weak point & you are hitting legs, shoulders & back with plenty of volume then, yeah, that split makes perfect sense. I mean , I personally like to train 3 on 1 off…so: legs, press, pull, rest, repeat…but, just do whatever works for you I would say.


#18

You do have a point that everyone has different priorities, but…

Yes, if he did tons of squats on that leg day, he could have great squat muscles, but what about dead lifts and loaded carries?

Did you notice that he specifies arm exercises three times that week? And since triceps work with chest and shoulder exercises, he is stressing his triceps four days a week (unless he is using a lot of flies, which he didn’t mention). I’ve never seen this or any other website even hinting that it is a good idea.


#19

What exactly constitutes ‘a good idea’? You seem stuck on your own values. Not everyone has to deadlift. And I know very few people who do loaded carries who don’t compete in Strongman. I fucking hate carries, and only perform them when I’m preparing for a show. When was the last time you saw a bodybuilder doing them? Those things are simply not necessary for every goal. You seem very dense here. I think it’s pretty obvious the OP wants to focus on getting bigger arms, wouldn’t you agree? This seems to be a fine split for reaching that goal. And btw, you’re STILL ignoring the fact that he mentioned he would be doing this for a short period of time, not indefinitely.


#20

You really don’t like carries? I mean, the shin splints suck & all but…