If you were/are training strictly for size what would your ideal routine look like?
When I switch to a "bodybuilding" routine (after I've built a strong foundation), it will look something like this...
Db Incline Press 3x10
OH Press 3x10
Tricep Extension 2x12
Leg Press 2x20
Leg Curl 2x20
Not bad. Now is this a m/w/f spilt?
If you are training for Bodybuilding (hypertrophy) 3 days per week is not enough volume to stimulate maximum growth. A minimum of 4 days per week would be needed. Can you get some results from 3 days? Yes, but realisticaly not going to produce near the results if your goal is to maximize size. Unless you have never lifted weights you would need 4 to 5 days(even 6 days occasionally if your advanced) depending on the design of the program.
Too many people want extraordinary results without putting in the time and effort and some are unfourtunately misinformed. If you can't possibly get into the gym more than 3 days per week just be realistic with the results.
Thereis no 1 optimal program. A program is based on an individuals current needs state and then you progress from one program to the next and its the collection of proper programs along with a sound nutrition plan that produces results.
As my mentor Scott Abel has stated "progression is non-linear, not linear". Which means there will be periods of plateaus and even possibly regression if there is a lot of stress, etc... in ones life.
My workout still contains three BIG lifts performed with intensity, and I just don't recover well from a mix of volume and intensity. So, I personally need as much rest as I can get. Therefore three days a week works well for me.
Also, the above "workout" represents an increase in volume and isolation for me. After training for a few years with abreviated routines, I don't think it would be wise for me to just jump into a 6 day split with tons of volume mixed with intensity.
Additionally, for the novice lifter, caloric intake plays a much, much greater role in hypertrophy than set/rep scheme or workout frequency.
Last edited by ZenMonkey; 12-28-2009 at 12:06 PM.
OM MANI PADME HUM
Here is a template that I posted in the Q&A thread that is geared toward bodybuilding:
Wednesday: Cardio / Abs / Stretching
Friday: Arms / Shoulders
- Deadlift: (2) sets of 2-5 reps
- Chins / Assisted Chins: (3-5) sets / goal of 25 total chins, 50 for advanced.
- T-Bar Rows: (2) sets of 5-8 reps
- Close Grip V-Bar Pulldown / (Superset) / Seated V-Bar Row: (2) sets of 8-10 reps each.
- One Arm DB Rows /or/ Underhand Barbell Rows: (2) sets of 10-15
- Incline Bench Press: (3) sets, 3-8 reps
- Flat Dumbbell Bench Press: (2) sets of 10
- Decline Flyes: (1) sets of 12
- Hammer Strength Incline Press: (2) sets of 8
- Cable Crossover: (2) sets of 12
- Squats: (3) sets of 5-8 reps
- Standing Lunges: (3) sets of 8-10 reps
- Stiff Leg Deadlift: (3) sets of 8-10 reps
- Superset: Option 1: Leg Extension / Leg Curl: (2) sets of 10-15 reps each
Option 2: Hack Squat / Leg Press: (2) sets of 10-15 reps each
Arms & Shoulders:
- Seated DB Military Press: (3) sets of 5-10 reps
- Dips / Weighted Dips: (2) sets of 8-10 reps
- Barbell Curls: (2) sets of 8-10 reps
- Overhead DB or Barbell Extension: (2) sets of 8-10 reps
- Lateral Raise / Front Raise Superset: (2) sets
- Close Grip Bench / Pushdown Superset: (2) sets
- Preacher Curl / Hammer Curl Superset: (2) sets
**I typically perform deadlifts every other week.
If you were purely focused on hypertrophy I would probably drop the deadlifts and then add in an arm/shoulder day. It is likely that you would not see any negative results from omitting the deadlifts but the direct training for other muscle groups would produce better size gains.
The best way to define your program might be a 'hybrid' strength/size routine. This is typically what most people are going to follow since a lot of guys want to be big and strong at the same time; not just one or the other.
I made good gains off of this intermediate bbing routine
Monday: Chest and triceps
* Incline dumbbell press 3 x 8-12
* Flat barbell press 3 x 8-12
* Pec flye machine 3 x 12
* Lying EZ-bar extensions 3 x 12
* Weighted dip 3 x 8-12
* Rope cable pushdown 3 x 12
* Chin-up 3 x 8-12
* Deadlift 3 x 8-12
* Lat pulldown 3 x 12
* Barbell row 3 x 8-12
* Seated cable row 3 x 12
Thursday: Legs and calves
* Squat 4 x 8-12
* Leg press 3 x 12-20
* Lying leg curl 4 x 12
* Stiff-leg deadlift 4 x 12
* Leg extension 3 x 12-15
* Standing calf raise 3 x 10-12
* Seated calf raise 2 x 20
Friday: Shoulders and biceps
* Seated dumbbell press 4 x 8-12
* Lateral raise 4 x 10-12
* Rear lateral raise 4 x 10-12
* Barbell curl 3 x 10-12
* Preacher curl 3 x 10-12
* Hammer dumbbell curl 3 x 10-12
If someone was doing a 3 day a week program I would not give them a 6 day per week program by any means, its all individual and why i always say a proper assesment is needed.
People who say they can't recover, and this is not pointed to you, have other issues involed, like high stressed jobs, not enuff sleep, poor nutrition, etc... that effect recovery.
No one stated that this was for a novice lifter, but even then I stated that if they were a complete beginner then 3 days would be fine in the beginning.
But the OP is a novice lifter, correct? And I was referring to a caloric surplus in a novice routine such as SS, which in that case would meet your requirement.
Recovery is definitely impacted by what you mention, but is not the recovery I am speaking about. I am talking about CNS and muscle recovery from one WO to the next. This is why people dont DL heavy 2 days in a row on a consistent basis... one cannot recover in time for another heavy session. We might be missing one another on points here if you are talking about abbreviated WOs 4-6 days a week, which I am sure is possible, but would require some thought as to what will affect the following WO. For example, I wouldnt recommend doing dips on Monday and Bench Press on Tuesday. I am a bit out of my element with advanced hypertrophy training, but for a novice, putting more weight on the bar and eating more entails more efficient size gain, which is why recovery is an important issue.
I am evidently from a different school of thought and obviously do not quite understand/agree with your school of thought, so....
Last edited by ZenMonkey; 12-28-2009 at 12:30 PM.
OM MANI PADME HUM
Your correct Tom when saying if your still going to do squats, deadlifts, and bench for max weight then that changes things a bit, but at the same time even when I have my bodybuilders or anyone traing for hypertrophy and they have 5 rep sets in their program I tell them to keep 1-2 reps in the tank in order to maximize recovery. In hypertrophy training deadlifts should not be done to complete failure and I will tend to use top end deadlifts more than regular deadlifts, but again it depends on the program. I have plenty of hybrid programs that are Strength/Hypertrophy focused but there are specific guudelines to follow when doing it.
Very interesting. Im going to start a new thread on hybrids right now, would you mind weighing in?
OM MANI PADME HUM
Last edited by Clover; 12-28-2009 at 12:38 PM.
For my first year of lifting I used a three day split, broke it down to pushes, pulls and legs. Yep that simple and I experienced some great results, I was a track guy in college and did all kinds of explosive plyometric type lifting and workouts but never really trained like a BB and that is probably why I saw the results I did.
All the advice given makes total sense but I would say that in most threads I have read we all look for the "majic" formula workout, the truth is that you will probably have to work a number of different splits and workouts before you find what works for you the individual? Time, time time that is what it takes. Now you can take all these ideas and put something together but remember it may take 6 to 8 weeks before you can tell if it is working (possible). the biggest benifit to sites like this one is you can take the experience from guys who have been at it a while and try to use that infomation to help you minus the mistakes..... I did move into a 4 day split after that year and that worked great as well, but I belive that the three day helped my to build a solid base with the three basic movements and all the compound movements I could muster on those days. If you are a little more than a beginner then a 4 day or 5 day split would be great as well. I would also say that for me, what I do in the gym has never been as important as the fuel I put into my body throughout the week...Eat a lot and eat the right foods (not so important to me now, i have started to get into some power lifting as a nice change). But bustin my but has been a way of life and effort in the gym had never been my problem it is the serious and constant focus of the BB diet that is much harder than most people think! The Hybrid thing is a great idea for a thread and will be great to read!
Good luck and keep us posted man
Your daily caloric needs may be slightly higher due to the additional training sessions but most individuals can easily train 4-6 days per week while eating 3,000 (or more) calories; assuming that they are meeting their protein requirements.
My 10 week cut results
"Sweat in training so you don't bleed in battle."
here is my take, i think a person should weight train 5 days a week if possible. hitting power exercises for overall growth, such as squats,deadlifts,bench presses, etc. also one should have some isolation exercises in their routine for really concentrating on that particular muscle part. you should listen to your body, if you are sore don't train that muscle. personally i think you can over train but!! i beleive it takes alot to over train, if you are eatting correctly and have the proper supplementation that is. not getting the wright nutrients can lead to over training. i think you body will adapt to what ever you through at it!!!
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Many interesting points in this thread. You can certainly make excellent progress relative to hypertrophy training 3 days per week. Depending on how the program is structured, 4-5 days is probably best.
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As an aside, although the above routines are geared towards hypertrophy I notice that a lot of the compounds are in the strength rep range, followed by hitting the muscle a second time with high reps (hypertrophy) - does this also result in good strength gains as well as bulk? Could this be called a hybrid routine?
We can throw around opinions all day and get no where. Everyone has their own theories and anecdotal evidence to support said theories.
For "BODYBUILDING" routine I would suggest training muscle groups more frequently than 1 x per week. 2 x per week or 2 x every 8 days seems to be the sweet spot for me.
Just because you are sore does not mean you are overtraining. It takes a LOT of intensity + volume + lack of nutrients to over train.
I would focus on ALL rep ranges. Heavy compounds in lower rep ranges definitely have their place in a "BBing" routine. As do higher rep isolation movements.
For more advanced lifters, drop sets, super sets, occlusion training, forced reps, rest pause sets all have their place.
Heres a good read on the topic as far as maximizing growth after the initial "noob gains"