Splits vs. Full Body training.

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    Splits vs. Full Body training.


    So my step dad has some ideas about lifting and he used to lift and he's a pretty big guy (6' 5" 290 lbs in his prime). I'm doing a four day split and he keeps telling me, I'm not working out right, because I won't really gain a lot of muscle mass if I'm benching and deadlifting and curling less than three times a week. He has also always done three sets of ten reps for each exercise. He knows I listen to the guys on the forum and has been bugging me to ask you guys what do you think, even though I already have an idea what you guys are going to say. This is more just to humor him.

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    I'm a big proponent of training each body part at least once every 5 days - whether its in the form of a split or a full body workout. You just need to make sure recovery is in check. Nutrition is king, recovery is queen.

    Doing 3 sets of various chest presses 3x per week is going to progressively overload the pecs to a greater degree than doing 9 sets of chest work in one session once per week.

    Adjusting the exercises and volume/intensity take some trial and error. For example, deadlifting 3x a week is excessive and will probably result in over training. However; deadlifting once per week (very high CNS), squatting once per week (moderate to higher CNS), and doing a unilateral lower body movement once per week (say split squats or travelling lunges - low CNS) allows you to do the same work with a higher relative intensity than cramming everying into one session

    Br
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    I agree with Zir Red. Plus, full body workouts are really tremendous for people focused on building mass over strength. I don't know what it is about full body workouts, but people who do them /grow.
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    I do get better results training everything twice a week. I do train once a week during PCT and a month past PCT.
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    I've gained the most when doing fullbody / HST type routines. If you're not on, I found hitting the same part twice a week to be best. Fullbody routines mean more compound lifts, which are the best for overall size gains. Problem comes when you have to force yourself not to focus on strength, or else you will overtrain yourself quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    So my step dad has some ideas about lifting and he used to lift and he's a pretty big guy (6' 5" 290 lbs in his prime). I'm doing a four day split and he keeps telling me, I'm not working out right, because I won't really gain a lot of muscle mass if I'm benching and deadlifting and curling less than three times a week. He has also always done three sets of ten reps for each exercise. He knows I listen to the guys on the forum and has been bugging me to ask you guys what do you think, even though I already have an idea what you guys are going to say. This is more just to humor him.
    3x10 is a pretty generic set and rep range to use - this is what you might put a beginner on, to acclimatize them to training, before progressing them. That's not to say that experienced lifters can't do this as well, depending on their goals and needs of any certain phase.

    Doing splits or full-body training is up to the individual, their training history, goals and needs, and what is going to be most effective and optimal for them. I have personally done both and continue to use both, as well as an amalgamation of them - for example, I usually train each muscle (except legs, since I don't do a lot of work - if any - for legs, and if so, usually only in a Full-Body session) 2-4 times a week, and I am currently doing two full-body sessions a week, but working my upper body muscles in EACH of my four resistance sessions. Both splits and full-body training have their pros and cons, and both can definitely be beneficial.

    I recommend periodizing your training - it doesn't have to be cyclic as long as it is specific to you and what you are trying to do or aim for (i.e. an end goal or event, etc.).

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    In for more feedback. I've been thinking about this as well just to change things up for a bit. I'm fairly certain Trip does full body workouts. I'm going to PM him.
    RcB Since 09-06-2011 20:55 EST, Post 49
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    From what I have seen there is an endless amount of ways to train and gain size/strength. It's best to do a wide variety of things and see what works best for you. Some people respond to low volume such as HIT and some people do very well on high volume like German volume training. You can't expect everyone to respond to one type of training equally well. If that was true we would all be doing the exact same workout.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    So my step dad has some ideas about lifting and he used to lift and he's a pretty big guy (6' 5" 290 lbs in his prime). I'm doing a four day split and he keeps telling me, I'm not working out right, because I won't really gain a lot of muscle mass if I'm benching and deadlifting and curling less than three times a week. He has also always done three sets of ten reps for each exercise. He knows I listen to the guys on the forum and has been bugging me to ask you guys what do you think, even though I already have an idea what you guys are going to say. This is more just to humor him.
    At the very least I would give it a try. How a person responds to a routine will vary greatly between different people i.e some people respond great to high volume while others dont. Dont just humor him, give it a honest try and see how it works. Is 4 weeks of training the way he suggested going to kill you? Do you have a show you are prepping for and cant possibly spare the time?

    Squating, deadlifting, or doing other compound lifts 3x a week isnt unheard of and some people respond extremely well to it. Look into the book super squats or starting strength to get an idea for a program layout and give it a shot.

    Worst case scenario is you wasted 4 weeks but in the grand scheme of life how insignificant is 4 weeks really
    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." - Socrates
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    Squating, deadlifting, or doing other compound lifts 3x a week isnt unheard of and some people respond extremely well to it. Look into the book super squats or starting strength to get an idea for a program layout and give it a shot.
    I'm actually about to start a new routine of this - Rippetoes' starting strength which is 3 days a week of squating, deadlifts, bench, pull ups and weighted dips, increasing each week on every lift by 5 pounds. It's new to me, wanting to give it a shot. I'm a little nervous about the lack of accessory work though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutterpump View Post
    I'm actually about to start a new routine of this - Rippetoes' starting strength which is 3 days a week of squating, deadlifts, bench, pull ups and weighted dips, increasing each week on every lift by 5 pounds. It's new to me, wanting to give it a shot. I'm a little nervous about the lack of accessory work though.
    I understand your concerns and it is part of the reason why I don't personally use the program. However I think in his book he mentions accessory lifts briefly. I think he wrote that 1 or 2 accessory lifts can be included at the end of the program, the key point to be made with then is that they are not to be taken to failure and limited. With SS your main goal is to progress in your main lifts and by spending too much time with the extra lifts you will hider recovery and in part defeat the purpose of the program. I do want to note though that your choice of accessory lifts will make a difference and can actually help you with your progress in the main lifts. Good luck with the program
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    Thanks. I'm hoping recovery won't be an issue. I used to train HST style in the past, using a mix of compound and accessory lifts, so this will be similar but looks more intense, with higher volume.

    The recovery hopefully won't be an issue, I'm on TRT (cruising on 250mg test per week) and using CJCw/DAC and GHRP-6/ipamorelin. I may boost up the test and add some epi for a little recomp action. I think the peps will help enough with recovery so that I can add a couple accessories (rear delts, cable curl and a few sets per week of heavy cable flies). My chest only responds well to high volume so the flat bench + dips + cables should really kill it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudoJosh View Post
    At the very least I would give it a try. How a person responds to a routine will vary greatly between different people i.e some people respond great to high volume while others dont. Dont just humor him, give it a honest try and see how it works. Is 4 weeks of training the way he suggested going to kill you? Do you have a show you are prepping for and cant possibly spare the time?

    Squating, deadlifting, or doing other compound lifts 3x a week isnt unheard of and some people respond extremely well to it. Look into the book super squats or starting strength to get an idea for a program layout and give it a shot.

    Worst case scenario is you wasted 4 weeks but in the grand scheme of life how insignificant is 4 weeks really
    This is excellent advice. Give it a try for 4 weeks, log it, takes some pics, you be the judge.
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    This kind of thing is the only thing that works for me. Even for strength. It also allows you to do less cardio if you are supersetting (I work out at home so I'm not hogging someone's equipment). I've moved away from full body workouts recently and pretty much completely stopped gaining.
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    i pretty much do full body. well its split up a little bit, but by far my favorite
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    I have found the trick is to be able to train a bodypart more frequently but recovered before every training session. The only way to do this is to cut down on sets to enhance recovery ability. If you train your chest 5x in a 2wk period and are 100% recovered before every lift then you'll get faster results. But def have to cut down on sets, 1-2 sets/workout max
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutterpump View Post
    I'm actually about to start a new routine of this - Rippetoes' starting strength which is 3 days a week of squating, deadlifts, bench, pull ups and weighted dips, increasing each week on every lift by 5 pounds. It's new to me, wanting to give it a shot. I'm a little nervous about the lack of accessory work though.
    My only real issue with rippetoe is the lack of horizontal pulling work - and why he is so dead set against horizontal pulling as a major movement is beyond me. Add in some type of horizontal pulling (ie: bent over barbell rows, supine rows, seated pulley rows with a wide grip, etc.).

    Br
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    I switched the power cleans for bent over bb rows + chins. I think I need to add in some bb or db curls too once per week.
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    Different physiologies adapt differently. I typically emphasize full body in a workout and only split to periodize, to focus on a lagging section, or as part of an active rest routine. A gym rat buddy of mine emphasizes splits and we are very similar in both size and strength (more or less).
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamlau View Post
    Different physiologies adapt differently. I typically emphasize full body in a workout and only split to periodize, to focus on a lagging section, or as part of an active rest routine. A gym rat buddy of mine emphasizes splits and we are very similar in both size and strength (more or less).
    I completely agree, When i first began lifting i did absolutely crazy amounts of volume (6 days on 1 off training everything up to 3x a week) and i actually grew a good amount! But after about 1-2 months i was fried so i changed to Chest,Back,Legs 1x and Shoulders/Arms about 2x a week*Including it all being worked on chest/back day* with about 3-4 exercises at 3 sets. Workouts took about 2 hours to finish but i grew like a WEED i was eating like a horse so i packed on a LOT of weight including a decent amount of fat. But looking back now i know why my shoulders/arms didn't grow as considerably as my chest/legs. My body responds well to hitting it really really hard and then giving it a week off to rest. My strength shot up a good amount but i feel i could of benefited a ton more from my current routine which is Chest/Shoulders/Triceps...Legs...Back/Biceps. I'm thinking about possibly switching to just a full body 3x a week but i want to see how my body responds. It's really hard to explain how it worked for me but you'll know for yourself sooner or later. There will be a point where 1 more set feels like just too much and not doing 1 more set feels like you short changed yourself, That's why 2 hours just feels perfect for me. Hope this helps!
    I hope everybody thinks i'm crazy, because you cannot be a sane person and go through the type of pain i am willing to put myself through to be where i want to be, Once I completely win the war between my mind and body, my reign will begin. ~Me
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    Just reporting back on my progress with Rippetoe's SS program. I haven't really been bulking on it, more of a recomp (high and lower cal days, but still fairly high).

    Just starting week 4. My squat is up over 80pnds. This is the most noticeable improvement. I knew this # would explode since I used to just train legs with a lot of volume due to weak lower back. Well things aren't so weak anymore, especially since I've kept things raw, no belt, and been sleeping a ton.

    Gotta say I loved the program and may do it again in the future. All my lifts went up quit a bit, but mostly deads and squats. I was going to keep at it for 2 months, but I've been more aggressive with it, raising the weight faster than it calls for, and now I need to deload a bit before switching to more of a recomp routine.

    Going to give Dr D's recomp routine a shot now and add in some metabolic training.
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    Btw, I have to say as a short boost for great strength gains, this has been the best program I've done... But the rest and proper diet is def needed.

    Totally shocked myself tonight, after my workout was done (which consisted of PR's in squats and deads), I managed to load 12 45pnd plates onto the prowler and pushed it (high bars) from one side of the gym to the other and back. I workout at a decent sized warehouse / crossfit box. I think the total weight was 610 pnds. Never would've thought of even trying this before the program.
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