3-Day Split - review and feedback

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  1. #1
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    3-Day Split - review and feedback

    Hi All,

    I have been on BGB routine for the past year or so. Time constraint requires that I go onto three-day split (from the current four). Based on CowPimp's articles here, this is the split I have come up with.

    Can you please provide inputs so as to streamline? Goal is to continue to stay lean building up some muscle mass.

    3-Day Split

    Mondays: Pull

    1. Deadlift: 3 X 5
    2. Chins: alternate 50-reps vs. weighted 5 X 5
    3. Bent-Over Rows: alternate 3 X 8 and 5 X 5
    4. Bent Lateral Raises 3 X 10
    5. Alternate Dumbbell Curls: 3 X 5
    6. Preacher Curls 3 X 10

    Cardio: 15 minutes treadmill (intense)

    Wednesdays: Legs

    1. Squats: alternate 5 X 5 and 3 X 15, 10, 8
    2. Lunges: 3 X 10
    3. Straight-leg Deadlift: 3 X 8
    4. Leg Curls: 5 X 5
    5. Standing Calf Raises: 3 X 20
    6. Seated Calf Raises: 3 X 20

    Cardio: 20 minutes on the stepper (medium)

    Fridays: Push

    1. Bench Press: 4 X 12, 10, 8, 6
    2. Incline Bench Press: 4 sets of 10 reps each
    3. Arnold Press: 4 X 8, 5, 5
    4. Lateral Raises: 3 X 10 each
    5. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3 X 10 each

    Cardio: 25 minutes on the cycle (alternate medium and intense)

  2. #2
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    Beings you have deads on Monday's, I would flip Wednesday & Friday's routines. This will allow you more rest time between deads & squats. Other than that, It dosen't look half bad.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakbar View Post
    Hi All,

    I have been on BGB routine for the past year or so. Time constraint requires that I go onto three-day split (from the current four). Based on CowPimp's articles here, this is the split I have come up with.

    Can you please provide inputs so as to streamline? Goal is to continue to stay lean building up some muscle mass.

    3-Day Split

    Mondays: Pull

    1. Deadlift: 3 X 5
    2. Chins: alternate 50-reps vs. weighted 5 X 5
    3. Bent-Over Rows: alternate 3 X 8 and 5 X 5

    4. Bent Lateral Raises 3 X 10
    5. Alternate Dumbbell Curls: 3 X 5
    6. Preacher Curls 3 X 10

    Cardio: 15 minutes treadmill (intense)

    Wednesdays: Legs

    1. Squats: alternate 5 X 5 and 3 X 15, 10, 8
    2. Lunges: 3 X 10
    3. Straight-leg Deadlift: 3 X 8

    4. Leg Curls: 5 X 5
    5. Standing Calf Raises: 3 X 20
    6. Seated Calf Raises: 3 X 20

    Cardio: 20 minutes on the stepper (medium)

    Fridays: Push

    1. Bench Press: 4 X 12, 10, 8, 6
    2. Incline Bench Press: 4 sets of 10 reps each
    3. Arnold Press: 4 X 8, 5, 5

    4. Lateral Raises: 3 X 10 each
    5. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3 X 10 each

    Cardio: 25 minutes on the cycle (alternate medium and intense)
    This looks pretty good. A few suggestions:

    Bolded in red are your compounds. You actually did a good job balancing the planes of motion. You have only one imbalance and that's horizontal push, of which you have two. I'd pick one of the two bench presses and keep it all even.

    I'd move conventional deads to legs. They're a pull, yes, but a lower pull.

    There's a fair bit of isolation, however. This might not be a bad thing. I don't know your training experience, but I'm guessing you threw them in because you feel you need to train those muscles directly (based on the fact that they're common isolation lifts). I'd ditch them all together and give yourself room for more volume.

    Personally, the push something, pull something, do something for your legs is good, but there can be some gray area with this concept. My approach to push/pull used to be to balance the planes of motion evenly. This meant If I did 2 lifts for horizontal push, I did 2 for all other planes. However, as there are only 2 planes for the legs as opposed to four of the upper body (horizontal and vertical push/pull) you actually end up training your upper body twice as much as lower body.

    The thing is this doesn't necessarily create issues because you have to consider the nature of the lifts. Leg lifts like deads and squats are full-body efforts and actually recruit muscles from your back, torso, arms, shoulders, etc, as opposed to, say, bench press -- which, when performed correctly, works fewer muscles. This is why you can get away with having more upper body work on a push/pull system, even though you're technically "balancing" the planes of motion. It can be tricky.

    I give a bit more attention to lower body now. My goal isn't as much to even planes of motion as it is upper and lower. For instance, tonight I'll be doing a maximal lifting session for lower pull/upper push. I'll perform 2 lower pulls and 2 upper pushes -- 1 for vertical and 1 for horizontal. If you get technical with planes of motion that's uneven, but going by upper vs lower it's even. Besides, my 2 deadlift variations will recruit more than legs, and my vertical push, DB Military Press, will recruit muscles from my back, core, and even legs.

    It can get complicated, but there's more to consider than just push/pull/legs.

    Nevertheless, I suggest reverting to a 4-day split or at least splitting legs into push and pull and alternating your weeks so that one week is upper/lower/upper and the next is lower/upper/lower, and try and find a way to organize your session so that potential DOMS issues are addresses. For instance, I might refrain from upper pulling before a lower pull session because lat DOMS could interfere with deads. I mean, there are so many things to consider, that was just an example.

    Also, though you didn't specifty intensities beyond the basic rep ranges you intend to follow, I'd suggest not limiting yourself to certain rep ranges, intensities, etc. Variety is crucial. Moreover, a lot of new lifters get the impression from others suggesting "heavy this" and "heavy that" that certain lifts like deads and squats always need to be performed at sub-maximal loads. Not that I'm saying you gave the impression, but on the note of periodization I though I'd warn you that you definitely don't need to stay at certain rep ranges on certain lifts. Anything is game. Challenge yourself with a variety of training stimuli. Just remember to not get too fancy. At the end of the day, it's progressive overload of the muscles, adequate rest, and calculated diet that will get you there, not negatives, supersets, and 1 rep maxes.

    Overall, good looking program.

  4. #4
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    I would change the isolation work on your arms. Biceps make up approximately 1/3 of your arm while triceps approximately make up the rest. Basically your tri's are twice the size of the bi's, but you have twice the amount of isolation work for the bi's compared to the tri's. Seems backwards to me.

  5. #5
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    Okay folks, thank you. Taken in all your suggestions.

    Many thanks Phineas for the detailed analysis! I've read and re-read your post to make sure we are on the same page.

    Here is the result:
    • Alternate upper/lower/upper one week with lower/upper/lower
    • Remove incline bench press to even push/pull
    • Less isolation work for biceps - added a compound for tricep


    Mondays: Pull

    1. Chins: alternate 50-reps, alternate weighted 5 X 5
    2. Bent-Over Rows: 3 X 8 alternate 5 X 5
    3. Incline Dumbbell Fly: 3 X 10 (drop the last set)
    4. Bent Lateral Raises 3 X 10
    5. Alternate Dumbbell Curls: 5 X 5 (drop the last set)

    Cardio: 20-minute treadmill (intense)

    Wednesdays: Legs

    1. Deadlifts: 3 X 5
    2. Squats: 5 X 5, alternate 3 X 15, 10, 8
    3. Lunges: 3 X 10

    4. Straight-leg Deadlift: 3 X 8
    5. Leg Curls: 5 X 5

    6. Standing Calf Raises: 3 X 20, alternate 5 X 5
    7. Seated Calf Raises: 3 X 20, alternate 5 X 5

    Cardio: 15-minute stepper (medium)


    Fridays: Push

    1. Bench Press: 5 X 12, 10, 8, 6
    2. Arnold Press: 3 X 8, 5, 5
    3. Lateral Raises: 3 X 10 each
    4. Tricep Dips: 3 X as many each set
    5. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 3 X 10 each (drop the last set)

    Cardio: 20-minute on the treadmill (medium/intense)
    Last edited by sakbar; 06-01-2010 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Removed duplicate bullet points

  6. #6
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    Adding dips didn't help with the imbalance. You just shifted from 2 horizontal pushes to 2 vertical pushes. Bench dips seem to be a gray area whether compound or not, but I say they are. Hard on the shoulders, too.

    Alternating between 2 rep ranges isn't good enough. You need to think of this as a program with no specific goals and not just going into the gym and doing a certain number of sets and reps.

    Research periodization and come back and edit your program.

  7. #7
    Greg
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    I feel like if you squat and dead on the same day you won't get the same benefit you would by placing them on separate days and devoting workouts to them. That's why I like splitting them up.

    I don't see why things have to be grouped solely based on motion planes or bodyparts. As long as you're doing deads, you should be fine.

    I'm finding it hard to see the point in alternating your rep ranges from workout to workout.

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