The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Came up with 2 splits, now I need to pick 1.

    I'm going to be taking a week off from lifting, and want to change my routine around (slightly) when I come back.

    I've been doing this:

    Monday: chest/triceps
    Tuesday: back/biceps
    Wednesday: off
    Thursday: shoulders/traps/abs
    Friday: legs
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: off

    These are the 2 splits I've come up with, and I'm just trying to pick one.

    Monday: shoulders/traps/abs
    Tuesday: legs
    Wednesday: off
    Thursday: chest/triceps
    Friday: back/biceps
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: off

    OR

    Monday: shoulders/triceps/biceps
    Tuesday: legs
    Wednesday: off
    Thursday: chest/abs
    Friday: back/traps
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: off

    I realize either one is perfectly fine, I just need to pick one. Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    I don't like any of them.

    I'd much rather see you go with an upper/lower/upper/lower split (if you are absolutely regulated to m-t-t-f) or better yet, a full body routine 3x a week and maybe 1-2 days of conditioning/skill/sport work.
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    I don't like any of them.

    I'd much rather see you go with an upper/lower/upper/lower split (if you are absolutely regulated to m-t-t-f) or better yet, a full body routine 3x a week and maybe 1-2 days of conditioning/skill/sport work.
    Why, exactly?

    From my experience, my body appears to respond better to hitting each muscle group once a week than twice or three times.

  5. #4
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Really? Have you tried Anthony's suggestion for any period of time? How long have you been training? What are your goals?
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Stagg View Post
    Really? Have you tried Anthony's suggestion for any period of time? How long have you been training? What are your goals?
    I've been training seriously for about 5 years. But, in the middle I had a shoulder problem which stopped me from doing a lot of upper body work for about 6 months. Also, due to personal stuff, I'd say I spent 1 full year just showing up and going through the motions. If you subtract all of that, it's more like 3 and a half full on years, but I usually say 5 when asked.

    I spent most of the beginning (a year or 2) with an each muscle twice a week split. It was when I switched to a once a week split soon after that I actually felt like I was getting good results.

    I started at 120lbs (5'10.5). I'm 170lbs now doing a slow cut probably down to about 160ish.

    I'd like to be a lean 180lbs.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Because any routine that is divided by muscle groups makes about as much sense as a routine divided by tan lines. Your body works as a unit - train it like one. Start thinking about movements instead of muscle groups.


    And it has been scientifically proven that higher frequency benefits strength and size.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member EvanH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    Because any routine that is divided by muscle groups makes about as much sense as a routine divided by tan lines. Your body works as a unit - train it like one. Start thinking about movements instead of muscle groups.


    And it has been scientifically proven that higher frequency benefits strength and size.

    I am doing BGB. Would that fall into the whole "movements" thing?

    On a side note: I <3 BGB

  9. #8
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    From what I've seen, BGB covers most of the important movements with good frequency.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    From what I've seen, BGB covers most of the important movements with good frequency.
    Doesn't BGB hit each muscle group once per week?

  11. #10
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    No, bgb hits different muscle groups a few times a week by using compound exercises.

    You have a whole day dedicated to shoulders and abs... why? The shoulder is one of the smallest muscle groups, and abs can be done whenever.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altephor View Post
    No, bgb hits different muscle groups a few times a week by using compound exercises.

    You have a whole day dedicated to shoulders and abs... why? The shoulder is one of the smallest muscle groups, and abs can be done whenever.
    I've been doing chest with tris, back with bis and legs by themselves. That leaves shoulders, traps and abs, so I did them all together on one day.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unstop View Post
    Doesn't BGB hit each muscle group once per week?
    No. She addresses this point - it's even in bold.
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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    No. She addresses this point - it's even in bold.
    I saw her address this point in bold, and then I saw her say this afterwards:

    Day 1 Horizontal push pull
    Day 2 Quad dominant
    (off)
    Day 3 Vertical push pull
    Day 4 Hamstring dominant
    (off)
    (off)

    A quick skim of that looks like each muscle is hit once a week... unless I'm missing something else?

  15. #14
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unstop View Post
    A quick skim of that looks like each muscle is hit once a week... unless I'm missing something else?
    List the movements for each day and you'll have your answer.

    For example:

    chinups
    tbar rows
    deadlift

    All different movements on different days, but can you tell me what muscles they hit?
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  16. #15
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Yeah you would be hitting the smaller muscle groups 1+/wk but the larger only once.
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
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  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericg View Post
    Yeah you would be hitting the smaller muscle groups 1+/wk but the larger only once.
    If so, then what was so bad about this one:

    Monday: shoulders/triceps/biceps
    Tuesday: legs (quads, hams, calves)
    Wednesday: off
    Thursday: chest/abs
    Friday: back/traps
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: off

    or

    Monday: shoulders/triceps/calves
    Tuesday: quads/hams/biceps
    Wednesday: off
    Thursday: chest/abs
    Friday: back/traps
    Saturday: off
    Sunday: off

    With maybe calves again on Friday. Then bis, tris and calves would get hit twice during the week, with back, chest, legs and shoulders getting hit once? (Actually, shoulders get some indirect work on chest day, so they get hit twice as well)
    Last edited by unstop; 12-13-2006 at 12:00 PM.

  18. #17
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    The same things that were wrong the first time you posted it.

    We don't know the movements you plan to use.

    Your frequency is low.
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  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    The same things that were wrong the first time you posted it.

    We don't know the movements you plan to use.

    Your frequency is low.
    Ok, I'm a little confused then. Please bare with me (and thanks for the replies, by the way. It's very much appreciated).

    You said you don't like the splits I mentioned above because the frequency is low, but you like BGB and said it's a good frequency. I've been reading all about BGB over the last hour or so, and the above splits I mentioned don't seem THAT far off.

    For example, horizontal back, vertical back, chest and vertical shoulders are all hit just once per week on BGB. Unless I'm wayyyy dumber than I think I am, isn't the same true for the splits I just mentioned in my previous post?

    (And about movements, bench press, squats, overhead press, SLDL, pull ups, barbell rows, cable rows, barbell/dumbell curls, skull crushers, press downs, lateral raises, etc.)
    Last edited by unstop; 12-13-2006 at 12:21 PM.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Yeah, you're comparing apples and oranges.

    Horizontal pull on one day and Vertical pull on another day use different MOVEMENTS but the same MUSCLES. So the same muscles get hit at least twice a week.

    Your routines are divided by muscles, so they get hit once a week. There is some overlap between exercises like you mentioned, but it's for the small stuff like biceps. You have low frequency for all the important stuff.
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  21. #20
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    Ok, I'm getting closer to understanding. A few more questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    Yeah, you're comparing apples and oranges.

    Horizontal pull on one day and Vertical pull on another day use different MOVEMENTS but the same MUSCLES. So the same muscles get hit at least twice a week.
    This is true, but it's only fully 100% true for back (rows one day, pull ups another).

    For legs, it's a full quad workout once a week, a full ham workout once a week, and then a lesser version of each (BGB shows leg extensions for quads, leg curls for hams) one other time during the week. So they get hit twice, but too a much lesser and lighter extent the second time. Is that correct?

    And chest appears to only get hit (directly or indirectly) just once really. Is that correct?

    Biceps and triceps are getting hit one way or another 3 times per week. Correct?

    Shoulders once directly, once indirectly with chest, so twice total. Correct?

    If this is all correct, would you agree that a routine that consists of sort of variation of BGB where, for the most part, each muscle gets hit the same amount of times as BGB hits them, would be good?

  22. #21
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert on BGB, I think its design is a little more complicated than necessary and it excludes a couple of pieces I feel are important.

    However, my understanding from looking at it is that everything gets hit at least twice. There were discussions about chest, and that's easily resolved (add dips in some where or whatever).

    Bottom line, essentially it's an upper/lower/upper/lower split. They work because they increase your frequency (scientifically proven to work), and because of time constraints, they force you to focus on big compound movements.
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  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    I'm not an expert on BGB, I think its design is a little more complicated than necessary and it excludes a couple of pieces I feel are important.

    However, my understanding from looking at it is that everything gets hit at least twice. There were discussions about chest, and that's easily resolved (add dips in some where or whatever).

    Bottom line, essentially it's an upper/lower/upper/lower split. They work because they increase your frequency (scientifically proven to work), and because of time constraints, they force you to focus on big compound movements.
    That's one thing I'm liking about BGB. Like I mentioned before, directly hitting each muscle twice a week, for me, seems like too much. I have some experience working out that way, so it's not just a guess.

    With BGB, nothing is really being hit the second time to the extent it was hit the first. There's no second day of pull ups, or bench presses, or squats. It's pull ups for back one time, rows the next time. Squats one time, leg extensions the other. If I were to increase frequency at all, this seems like the best way for me to do it.

  24. #23
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Anthony, get off your lazy ass, climb up the table with your midget ladder, and write up some decent "official" splits!

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  25. #24
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Hahah, YOU do it and I'll get Daniel to post them!
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  26. #25
    Journalist galileo's Avatar
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    No Anthony, you do it. We'll be waiting.

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