Body part splits. You sources of information.

Ask or answer questions, discuss and express your views

Moderators: Ironman, Jungledoc, jethrof, stuward, parth

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:06 pm

I think we're getting into semantics here. What I would call a back and biceps workout other people here would call a pull workout, but whatever it's called we're all working the same muscles with the same compound movements. Obviosly, the body is a single unit, not merely a collection of parts, and compound movements like bench presses and squats work multiple muscle groups, but I wouldn't expect to build thick muscular legs by doing bench presses, or a powerful chest by doing squats.


Post by MATT Z » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:26 pm

For example, if I could only train 3 days a week I would train quads, hamstrings and calves on Mondays, chest, delts and triceps on Wednesdays and back,traps and biceps on Fridays. Others might call this a legs/push/pull routine, but is there really any difference. The only difference I can see is that I include a few more isolation exercises than most of the people on this site.


Post by Guest » Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:28 pm

I like Matt Z's workout; it's just like mine.

Ryan A
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Davis, California

Post by Ryan A » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:48 pm

So here is a good example for you guys who like isolation, Karl Malone. later in his career did mostly isolation stuff, got pretty bulky but not nearly as athletic as he was in his younger years.

Obviously a muscle split is one such that it works specific muscles. Obviously, Push/Pull is a muscle split since a muscle doesnt PUSH and PULL so muscles get in one or the other.

I think the problem arises when we start doing single muscle days or atleast when we have disagreement on effectiveness.

For KPj, we arent saying an arm day is bad, we are saying its effectiveness is the exception, rather than the rule. If you find your arms lagging, you can add an arm day, but once they catch up (and they should catch up if your arm day is effective), then you can drop the arm day in favor of more efficient exercises.

matt z, certainly, there are always exceptions to the rule, but on average, pound for pound, bodybuilders are very weak compared to powerlifters and olympic lifters.

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:41 pm

It seems to me there are two types of bodybuilders. Those who only care about building muscle, and those who wish to be both big and strong/athletic. Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot fewer of the latter type today then there were in the sport's golden age.

PS.) Not coincidentally my favorite bodybuilder of all time is Franco Columbo.

User avatar
Stephen Johnson
Exalted Seer
Exalted Seer
Posts: 2097
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:20 pm
Location: New York City

Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:53 pm

certainly, there are always exceptions to the rule, but on average, pound for pound, bodybuilders are very weak compared to powerlifters and olympic lifters.
Someone posted a link not too long ago that contrasted the muscular hypertrophy of strength athletes to bodybuilders, claiming that the latter has more normal sized fibers, as opposed to thicker, stronger fibers. Anyone know about this?

Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:53 am

Post by elemental » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:29 am

I'm 3 months into this whole wieght training/nutrition/cardio thing. When I first started I hired a trainer and he put me on a body part split (Chest/Tri/Shoulder : Back/Bi/Trap : Legs). Being a begginer I of course made good progress initially, but I noticed I lacked intensity on my 2 exercise for each body part. When I redid my workout plan I again did a body part split, changed up the exercises themselves and set/rep combos. Been doing that for the last 2 weeks and notice the same problem with intesity on my second set. So I've just finished making a new plan that is a 2 day split, 4 days a week. This one is one exercise per muscle group (7exercises total) and works antagonists together, ie. bench and chinups. I have 2 routines for split and will do it like this:


a1 and a2 work the same muscle groups but use different exercises...

My hope is that I will be able to work each group 2x a week at full intesity, still get all my muscles worked and see more strength gains. I plan to periodize this new routine every 2 weeks by switching up set/rep configs (maintaining a 24-36rep total) and changing the order of the pairings around. Some one said plane of motion to me and this big ol light bulb has been following me around every since...

Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:28 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Post by hindsight » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:38 am

Thank you Ironman, its good to know that there are people around willing to pass on valuble information, because what you said about there being a LOT of BS to sift through is absolutely true!
I have done a lot of internet research of late and the more I do the more apparant it comes that there is so many contrasting views in weight lifting. I suppose, in the end, it does just boil down to finding what works best for you.

Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:53 am

Post by elemental » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:06 am

Steve, this article touches on that and talks about putting together routines that make you stonger, not just prettier.

George G
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:38 pm
Location: New York

Post by George G » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:33 am

I think everyone has already taken something out of this discussion. I do not wish to drag it out too much longer, so some concluding comments:

Ironman wrote:George, multiple sets are a proven thing. The one hour thing is also, at least for hypertrophy. Hence the splits.
Alteenate the following two workouts and you will have multiple sets with workouts that are under 1 hour:
A: Squat 5x5, Bench 5x5, Row 5x5, + 3 isolation moves
B: Deadlift 5x5, Shoulder press 5x5, Pull-up 5x5 + 3 isolation moves
This is just off the top of my head.


I guess I there is something to be said for training in the way that is satisfying to you. It seems that you already know that how a workout 'feels' is irrelevant. But I wanted to post this anyway: ... ticleID=22

Volume vs Frequency

There is a certain volume threshold per muscle group in order to achieve optimal hypertrophy. I think this threshold is much lower than what many people on body part-splits attempt to do in the gym. This mindset of needing a gazillion sets leads these same people to design 2-hour full body workouts.

I don't think anyone here is in that category ;) But for those that are, the following might be helpful:
-do as less volume per muscle group per workout
-increase frequency to 2-4 time per week instead of just once

But how can you possibly recover from such frequent exposure? Don't go to failure.

This is my current mindset on hypertrophy training. I am no hotshot trainer. I am just a regular guy who likes to train. I think that's it for me in this thread unless I change my mind :)

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:25 am

As most of you probably know by now, I'm a big believer in high-intensity/low-frequency/moderate-volume weight training. However, this type of program isn't for everyone. My contension is not that everyone should be using my brand of split routine, but merely that split routines are worth considering, both for hypertrophy and for functional strength.


Post by Guest » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:41 am

George G - Thanks for the article, found it very interesting...


Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:02 am

Post by Eric » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:12 pm

straight opinion from personal experience, 6' 185lbs 10% bf, have been a long distance runner all my life, did 3000 5000 10000 15000m track runs, played lacrosse for 11 years football for 5, never very big or strong, usually a weaker player, but what i lacked in strength i was far greater than others in speed, agility, stamina, conditioning, i prided myself on that. so i couldnt bench my body weight but i would out last any athletes that i played with, could play a full lacrosse game without subbing and play ironman football, without really being winded at end of game.
i do not play competive ball for either now, but i my job is very physically demanding, white river guide during summer, dont need to be as strong as just good general conditioning and stamina.
i started out doing full body workouts but didnt gain much size or strength, maybe did things incorrect when i was young and just starting, but switched to split routine which i outlined in another thread for splits, i have really gained in mass and strength, my stamina and cardio have gone way down since my running and lacrosse days but i am better rounded physically now then i ever was when playing sports. the splits have really worked for me whereas full body didnt.
for my split sched i incorporate multi joint and core movements to get the most of my time at the gym.
honestly when it comes to doing a routine it doesnt matter what the so called experts or the professionals say, what matters is what really works for you the best.
i have friends that are strict split such as chest tri etc and other complete body and dont like other methods.

sorry for the long post i just got off work and still feeling good from the workout this morning and was excited about some of the threads.

p.s. im done
p.s.s about bloody time too