Pull/Push/Legs - 5 days too much?

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misch
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Pull/Push/Legs - 5 days too much?

Post by misch » Thu May 17, 2007 7:45 pm

I started lifting about 14 months ago and usually did weight training on three days and cardio on five. Several months ago I adopted a 5-day split, since I was at the gym five days a week anyway. Currently I have dedicated days as follows:

1. Chest
2. Legs
3. Shoulders
4. Back
5. Arms

However, based on research I've done on the net and the lackluster workouts I've had this week (I think in part because my ant. delts hadn't fully recovered from my heavy chest workout by my shoulders day), this type of split doesn't seem wise, so I put together a new routine, using the 3-day split Pull/Push/Legs template found on here: http://www.exrx.net/Workouts/Workout3PPL.html .

Exrx suggests a 5-day/week routine as one possible option (XABCABX,XCABCAX,XBCABCX), and I do enjoy lifting that often, but I am concerned that even though my muscles are grouped in a more effective way than my current 5-day split, I might still overtrain or simply not get enough rest for certain muscles (if there is a difference). For example, should I be concerned about the fact that for my "Pull" day my pectoralis major is a synergist in the (assisted) pull-ups I'm doing given how chest is a target on the next day (as part of the "Push" exercises)? Or is this only a problem if the order is reversed - with a muscle targeted one day and then used as a synergist (or anything else) on the next?

Another question: might it be wiser to have rest days be non-consecutive, instead of the two consecutive rest days included in their template?

These are the main questions that I'd be extremely grateful to get any input for. In case you're not too bored to read on, here's the routine I've drawn up. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

In addition to what I've listed below I also plan on probably doing abs and obliques twice a week (on separate days). My current workout has me doing abs three days and obliques three days a week (generally three sets each of two exercises), but I'm thinking this might be a little much, especially since my main focus right now is to gain muscle mass and not so much to get a perfect 8-pack. Any ideas?

Note: When I've put two exercises on the same line, it means I'm going to alternate the two exercises on different days. Also, exercises on the left side of a slash go with other exercises on the left side of a slash. So, for example, I'm never doing Squats and Straight-leg Dead Lifts on the same day. I've omitted some of the other variants and auxiliary exercises so reading isn't too tedious.

Also, I plan on keeping up my 5-day routine of relatively intense (35 minutes incl. 5-minute cooldown on three days and 50 minutes inc. cooldown on two days w/ maximum heart rate between 170 and 180 - 21 years old by the way). I always do this before lifting - I feel like it actually gives me more energy as opposed to draining it (but perhaps that's all in my head).

A - Pull

Pull-up
Upright Row
Dumbbell Bent Row
Dumbbell Shrug
Rear Delt Rows
Dumbbell Curl/Barbell Curl
Preacher Curl/Incline Hammer Curl

B - Push
Dumbbell Chest Press/Chest Dip
Incline Press Machine/Incline Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Chest Flyes
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Triceps Dip/Skull Crusher
Dumbbell Kickback/Cable Pushdown

C - Legs
Squat/45 Degree Leg Press
45 Degree Leg Press/Lunges
Kneeling Leg Curl/Good morning or Straigh-leg Dead Lift
Calf Press
Seated Calf Raise


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P.S.

Post by misch » Thu May 17, 2007 7:47 pm

I forgot to mention I've been doing 3 sets per exercise, generally 10/8/6 reps with increasing weight.

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Post by stuward » Thu May 17, 2007 8:57 pm

You shouldn't work out more than 3 days in a row unless you really know what your doing and no more than 2 if your workouts are intense. Rest each body part at least 48 hours between working them again or longer. Your idea of splitting the rest days is a good one. You can still do 5 days a week this way. Overall your routine looks feasible. Everyone is different but I find doing a push/pull split wears out my arms too soon and my chest/back/shoulders don't get worked hard enough. I prefer a horizontal push/pull one day and a vertical push/pull a fews days later. It gives my arms a break but I'm not sure that would work on a 5 day a week schedule. I'm sure everyone has a different opinion but what's important is what works for you right now. You might try fewer exercises with more sets and fewer reps in the future.

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Post by leif3141 » Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 pm

stuward wrote:You shouldn't work out more than 3 days in a row unless you really know what your doing and no more than 2 if your workouts are intense. Rest each body part at least 48 hours between working them again or longer. Your idea of splitting the rest days is a good one. You can still do 5 days a week this way. Overall your routine looks feasible. Everyone is different but I find doing a push/pull split wears out my arms too soon and my chest/back/shoulders don't get worked hard enough. I prefer a horizontal push/pull one day and a vertical push/pull a fews days later. It gives my arms a break but I'm not sure that would work on a 5 day a week schedule. I'm sure everyone has a different opinion but what's important is what works for you right now. You might try fewer exercises with more sets and fewer reps in the future.
That's interesting...I just started doing a horizontal push/pull and a vertical push/pull day for my upper body...but when I tell people they have no idea what I am talking about!

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Post by misch » Fri May 18, 2007 9:40 am

"No idea" pretty much applies to me. I imagine it involves splitting up pull exercises into pull/chin-ups and the like on the one hand and horizontal rows and what not on the other, and same thing for push exercises. Is this basically what you're doing? I'd be interested in knowing more about this routine if you care to divulge.


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Post by TimD » Fri May 18, 2007 9:56 am

There are many possiblities, but a breakdown might look like this:
Horizobntal push pull
Bench Press or low Incline press
Barbell bent row
Another type of Chest pushing movement, say DB BP
DB rows
On vertical days (shoulder elevation and shoulder downward retraction) it might look like this
Overhead BB press
Chins
DB clean and press
Latpulls
The upper body is getting worked 2 x weekly, you're just focusing on the particulars once a week though. Not a bad way to do things.
Tim

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Post by stuward » Fri May 18, 2007 9:58 am

Keep in mind that I'm not recomending this for you, it's just an example of what I do sometimes.

Monday

Bench press supersetted with rows
some auxilary chest and middle back work
Arms

Weds

Legs

Friday

Pull ups SS OH Presses
auxilary Sholder and Lat work
Arms


Another option is to do this:

Monday
Bench SS with Rows
Pullups SS with OH Press
Arms

Weds - Legs

Friday

Incline bench SS with Wide grip pull downs
Decline bench SS with Bent rows.
Arms

The idea is to change the angle of exercise and superset them with opposing exercises. This makes a very efficient workout.

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Post by TimD » Fri May 18, 2007 11:00 am

Just to add on to what Stuard said, supersetting opposing motions is not only very efficient, it pretty much guarantees a positive balance in the groups, something many people overlook, and misbalances can result in impingments and injury.
Tim

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Post by leif3141 » Fri May 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Stuwards post is really confusing to me, so I'll put my workout on here, which I think is more simple.

1st Day-Hip dominant legs

Deadlift
Step-ups
Calf Raises

2nd day-Horizontal Push/pul

Dumbell Bench
Dumbell Row
Incline DB bench (could go either way with this I guess)
Rear Delt BB row
Tricep Extenstions
Curls

3rd Day- Knee Dominant Legs

Front Squat
Straight Legged Deadlift (yea I know this isn't knee dominant...I just do not wanna do it with regular deadlifts)
Lunges
Calf Raises

4th Day- Vertical Push/Pull

Weighted Pullups (up to 30 pounds 10 times)
Weighted Dips (up to 60 pounds on this)
Shoulder Presses
Upright Rows
Bench Dips (well actually I use a chair to put my feet on...and put weight on my lap)
Underhand close grip chin ups


And that's it...Sunday/Monday and Wednesday/Thursday are my days. I do more sets on my leg days since I have about half the exercises of my upper body stuff.

Interesting sidenote (well, more a question). Is it odd I can do more with DB rows than Dumbell bench press, but can do more weight with a dip than a pullup? If I added up my DB rows, around 80-85 pounds with each arm, obviously around 160. If I do the same with bench press, its only 130. But, I can use a dip belt/bookbag and load up about 60 pounds on my dips, but only 30 with pullups (also I am doing these about 10 times each). Is there a logical explantation for this that is just eluding me, or am I just a freak of nature?

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Post by leif3141 » Fri May 18, 2007 4:42 pm

Also keep in mind I use mostly my chest on my dips...not my triceps.

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Post by misch » Fri May 18, 2007 4:48 pm

Perhaps your lats aren't quite that strong, which probably wouldn't detract much from your DB rows but would be a bigger deal with pull-ups.

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Post by leif3141 » Fri May 18, 2007 4:59 pm

misch wrote:Perhaps your lats aren't quite that strong, which probably wouldn't detract much from your DB rows but would be a bigger deal with pull-ups.
I guess this might be true...but I try to do my rows so it involves alot of lats.

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Post by Ryan A » Fri May 18, 2007 6:38 pm

I also dumbell row more than I Dumbell bench. In fact, I almost dumbell incline bench as much as I DB flat bench so maybe I have something else happening but in theory, your back should be stronger.

I can't do dips to save my life though and pullups are also a challenge but I think I can do more pullups than dips.

How good is your setup on the bench? You might be too big (wide) to get a good setup on the narrow benches that are often found in gyms. Or you may just rush your setup/have trouble because of the way you get the dumbbells in place.


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