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Thread: Opinions on splitting up my week's lifts please

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
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    Opinions on splitting up my week's lifts please

    I've just got into weight training and easily made a routine out of 5 compound movements, 4 of which were done on Monday, all five done on Friday. I wanted to add in some movements, but due to limited time, this meant adding an additional workout day. But I believe that none of these movements should be done more than twice a week, so I need more experienced people to help me split up these movements with the workout days being Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I would prefer to keep Monday and Wednesday to 3 movements. I know I was doing 4 before, but I also want to experiment with increased rest times. Friday's workout can be as long as need be; it's Monday and Wednesday where I have a tight schedule.

    Movements (RPT, 3 sets each, 6 reps on first set):
    -Bench press*
    -Squat*
    -Dip*
    -Chinup*
    -Deadlift*FRI ONLY
    -Military press
    -Calf raise

    * Indicates movements I was doing on the twice a week schedule.

    Below is how I plan to do it and I would welcome any suggestions on changing it for the better

    Monday
    -Bench Press
    -Squat
    -Dip

    Wednesday
    -Bench Press
    -Squat
    -Chinup

    Friday
    -Deadlift
    -Military Press
    -Calf Raise
    -Chinup
    -Dip

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,002
    Squat first. It gives you the biggest hormonal response.

    Dip and bench are going to work a lot of the same muscles- triceps and chest. Any reason you want both of them?

    Cut one day of bench and do rows instead. You don't have anything on there for your upper back but for chins and military press, and those aren't all that great at actually targeting your back. This is the biggest weakness in your plan. Add some rows, and do some pullups instead of some of those chinups.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    513
    I would just do something simple like this:

    Example workout:
    Workout A: squats, bench, chins
    Workout B: deadlifts, bench, chins

    Do a 5 x 5 protocol. The fist 2-3 sets are progressive warm ups. Set 4 is usually your heaviest set and set 5 is usually slightly lighter. If you can complete sets 4 and 5 with the same weight, increase the weight. If you peak in strength and 2 hard sets becomes too time consuming, you can always switch to doing 4 progressive warm up sets and 1 last hard work set of 5.

    If you do this workout, constantly strive to increase the weight on the bar, and stay consistent with it, you'll be A LOT stronger in a year. I have absolutely no doubt about that.

    Keep it simple and train hard. You'll see the results.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    nj
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    i'm partial to a push/pull split for my heavy strength training. so with the exercises you like to do, something like this:

    push: squat, bench, dip, shoulder press

    pull: deadlift, pullup, and i would add a lunge movement and a row movement

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    Dip and bench are going to work a lot of the same muscles- triceps and chest. Any reason you want both of them?

    Cut one day of bench and do rows instead. You don't have anything on there for your upper back but for chins and military press, and those aren't all that great at actually targeting your back. This is the biggest weakness in your plan. Add some rows, and do some pullups instead of some of those chinups.
    I've read that dips also work the back and I'm trying to keep my movements full body motions, with as little isolation as possible. Besides, I bought a $300 weight vest a while back before I started weight lifting and I'm trying to justify it's use in the gym.

    If I cut out a day of benching, then I would end up benching only one day a week. My bench is my weakest lift, so I don't really like that idea. Are you saying that benching once a week will be fine?

    While rows is something I hadn't considered and would be open to doing, I don't understand why I should do both pullups and rows if they both target the back. I definitely want to keep chins for the sake of biceps. Would I be okay with alternating weeks in which I do chins and pullups/rows.

    As long as we're going to consider adding exercises, I can make a more general statement about my restrictions: I only have time for 3 lifts on Monday and Wednesday, with Friday being a non-issue. Would I be able to get rid of the military press? The only reason I had it listed was because it's considered one of the five primal movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ripped View Post
    I would just do something simple like this:

    Example workout:
    Workout A: squats, bench, chins
    Workout B: deadlifts, bench, chins

    Do a 5 x 5 protocol. The fist 2-3 sets are progressive warm ups. Set 4 is usually your heaviest set and set 5 is usually slightly lighter. If you can complete sets 4 and 5 with the same weight, increase the weight. If you peak in strength and 2 hard sets becomes too time consuming, you can always switch to doing 4 progressive warm up sets and 1 last hard work set of 5.
    According to your code, I'm currently doing a 6 x 6 protocol. 3 warmup sets, 1 all out set for 6 reps, then 2 subsequent sets with the weight dropped by 10% and 20%, adding an additional rep from the last set. I have time for this so long as I keep it down to 3 movements. But I feel like I should be doing more in the week besides the 4 you mentioned. I certainly want to squat more than once because I enjoy that exercise too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    i'm partial to a push/pull split for my heavy strength training. so with the exercises you like to do, something like this:

    push: squat, bench, dip, shoulder press

    pull: deadlift, pullup, and i would add a lunge movement and a row movement
    I've actually heard of this and considered it, but realized it implies a two day a week workout. And the setup you have is missing calf raises, which I feel is necessary at least once a week because I don't think even lunges or squats hit them hard enough. Also, you have listed 4 lifts per day, which I don't have time for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    California
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    Here is a solution that might work. Dividing the exercises into a push/pull routine is one way to make sure you're staying balanced.

    You could have two basic workout outs:

    Workout A (push): squat, bench, dips
    Workout B (pull): deadlift, chinup, calf raises

    For the first week you would do the A workout on monday, the B workout on wednesday, and then A workout again on Friday. Then the following week you would do the reverse starting with the B workout on Monday, A Wednesday, and B Friday. So every two weeks you'll have done 3 push workouts and 3 pull workouts.

    Since you mentioned you have extra time on friday, that could be a chance to add in any additional exercises you want. So if it's a push day you can do military press also and if it's a pull day you can add rows or lunges like some other posters mentioned.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    2,002
    Honestly, the more I read about fitness, the less inclined I am to come up with my own program. There are too many well-designed programs out there like Starting Strength, Convict Conditioning, Stronglifts, Body by Science... These guys have experience and knowledge and then write a book. Can't you trust any of them?

    However, if you really must, then here are the rules.
    1. Squat.
    2. Deadlift
    3. Push out.
    4. Pull in.
    5. Push up.
    6. Pull down.

    The bigger the muscles you work, the better your benefits.
    All exercises must have an opposing exercise, except for squats and deadlift, because they do so much on their own.

    Calves and biceps are little muscles that really don't do much but look good. You'll gain far more by developing your posterior chain. Your glutes are your biggest muscle group, and hamstrings are right up there. Your back isn't something you can see in the mirror, but a strong wide back shows that a guy is strong and knows how to develop his body. Biceps and calves and forearms tend to come along for the ride, if you are doing everything else correctly.

    The only reason people like to look at biceps is because they can see their own to compare. With biceps and calves and forearms and necks, people like to look at those to judge strength because they are usually the last muscles to become big and developed. Big compound lifts will stimulate growth throughout your body as you get stronger, whereas smoking yourself on bicep curls is not going to stimulate much of anything in the longer term.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Maine
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    Jfreaksho is wise. . .
    April 2012, SW 330 / CW 266 / GW Able to do 10 pull ups
    Personal best lifts: Squat - 315, Deadlift - 435, Bench - 275, Press - 165 Strong enough? Not yet!

    Father of 3 young boys who has gone Paleo to kick a 40-year addiction to carbs. An aspiring powerlifter who wants to be the strongest (and now fittest) dad on the playground.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    513
    Oh, and just for fun . . .
    I'll show the workout I've been doing. I do a 5 x 5 protocol twice per week.

    1. Squats 5 x 5
    2. Bench 5 x 5
    3. cleans 5 x 5
    4. chins 2 sets with body weight (increase reps on set 2 when you can get the same amount of reps with both sets)
    5. Decline Sit ups 1 set. Add weight when I can get more than 15 reps or so.

    It's been working pretty well. But it takes too long.

    One last comment I have on that is that the set/rep scheme is a pretty good one. It's designed for simple progression at a reasonable pace. I've found that doing all out sets eventually burns you out and slows you down. So I don't like all out sets anymore. Don't purposely take your sets to failure, pace yourself, and work on simple progression. Do it that way and you won't burn out. Don't burn out and you can continue to progress.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    29
    When I did a 3 day routine I did:
    Day 1: Squat, OHP, dip, other accessory moves I had time for.
    Day2: Bench, clean and press, hip thrusts
    Day 3: Deadlift, chin, etc.

    The main thing is how you split your big lifts. Personally I like having a few days in between squats and deads. Other than that it doesn't matter much. I choose accessories based on what my goals are. Right now I have way more shoulder accessories in my routine, especially posterior shoulder. I realized a month ago I had totally neglected that muscle, so I could deadlift 225lbs, but could only use 5 lb weights for bent over flys. Good luck!

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