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A "Better" Bro Split

xpoc

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Nov 19, 2016
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There is a saying that sacred cows make the best burgers. I know I will get some heat off this because, the BRO SPLIT, aka the PRO SPLIT is a sacred cow. It has been used by many pros time and time again and is proven to be an effective split. BUT, the fact is, pros are different. They are genetically superior to the stimulus of lifting, the effects of drugs nutrition etc. I have seen pics of natty versions of Ronnie Colemen, BBOY, Dorian and others...the fact is those are the 1% ers. They have both the genetics and work ethic needed so separate themselves from the rest of us humanoids (shout out to Bobby the Brain Heenan for that term).

There is a thread on this site trending about does your leg size match your AAS size. Here it is:

If you read the comments I mention several times about a bro split having (essentially) 4 upper body days and 1 lower body day. All body parts get stimulated 1x per week in a typical bro split: Mon (Chest) tue (Back) wed (Legs) Fri (Shoulders) and Sat (Arms). My argument against the bro split is that 80% of your training currency (4 days) goes to upper body and only 20% to lower body (LEGS). AND...with the upper body there is crossover stimulation. On chest day, you will get some delts and triceps crossover. On back day you will get biceps. On shoulders day you get traps. On LEGS day, there is no crossover.

For those "less gifted" who struggle to keep their legs in proportion to their upper body which is 99% of the gym goers I offer a "Better Bro Split."

MON= CHEST/TRICEPS
TUE= BACK/TRAPS
WED= QUADS/CALVES/ABS
THU=OFF
FRI=SHOULDERS/BICEPS
SAT= HAMS/GLUTES/ADDUCTOR
SUN= OFF

By doing this, lower body now gets 2 days of stimulation instead of 1. Upper body gets 3 days instead of 4. It is a paradigm shift because we are engrained to think LEGS is one muscle (when it is really half the body and has so many different muscle groups). But, when it comes to upper body we have no problem separating body parts out like a jiggsaw puzzle. Front delt, side delt, rear delt generally all get an exercise. Upper chest, lower chest, mid pec all get an exercise. Even biceps and triceps get separated out by outer/inner heads. But to consider LEGS as a day and checking the box is popular simply because MOST people don't like training legs because it is hard. So the last thing they want is to add a second leg day. And, IMO if you were to try to train all the muscle groups in "LEGS" 2x per week it would be very difficult to successfully do that for an extended period of time.

By separating out the muscles of the legs (JUST LIKE WE DO WITH MUSCLES OF THE UPPER BODY) you likely can train them super hard 1x per week and get some crossover stimulation a 2nd time....just like upper body does in a traditional bro split.

Example quad/calves/ab day

Quad biased squat variation such as hack squats or pendulum squats or sissy squats (crossover stimulation to hams and glutes)
Leg Extension
Leg Press (crossover stimulation to hams and glutes)
Standing Calf or other gastroc biased with crossover to soleus
Seated Calf for the soleus with crossover to gastroc
1-2 ab exercises

That is 6-7 exercises at 2-3 working sets per

Example of hams/glutes/adductor day

Leg Curl variation
Deadlift variation (some quad crossover)
Glute Thrust
Lunge (quad crossover)
Adductor machine
Some type of GNH raise or back extension

That is 6 exercises with 2-3 sets per


NOW, for the majority of gym rats I personally see this as a superior BRO split than having just one day dedicated to legs which would then get the same attention as "arm day" or "shoulder day."

Barbeque me now...like I said, I know this is a sacred cow. But if you detach emotion and detach "what worked for you", this split makes sense IMO.
 
Barbeque me now...like I said, I know this is a sacred cow. But if you detach emotion and detach "what worked for you", this split makes sense IMO.
I don’t think anyone is going to barbecue you lol. This is an extremely common type of split ran by many people (maybe some people put traps on shoulder day, biceps on back etc. but generally this is a very common body part split). If it works for you go for it man.
 
I like your idea and feel legs definitely need more work, for me at least. Its why I've been doing a PPL split for some time now. Two upper body days to one lower body day, and repeat.

I guess my question is; if someone is training with the proper intensity, can they handle this? I realize that is up to the individual, but that would be my concern if i were doing a split like this. Are things like diet, sleep, supplementation all on point to allow someone to train like this?
 
I like your idea and feel legs definitely need more work, for me at least. Its why I've been doing a PPL split for some time now. Two upper body days to one lower body day, and repeat.

I guess my question is; if someone is training with the proper intensity, can they handle this? I realize that is up to the individual, but that would be my concern if i were doing a split like this. Are things like diet, sleep, supplementation all on point to allow someone to train like this?
18 working sets close to failure is a lot. I personally would not do 6 exercises in one session for any body part
 
My best bro split/PPL compromise is:

Chest/tris
Quads
Back thickness/bis
Shoulders/tris
Hamstrings
Back width/traps/upper back/bis

If you really need to you can add chest or shoulders to the “push” days. The only reason PPL never worked for me was my chest and shoulders couldn’t recover and progress with only a couple of days inbetween, I needed a whole 6-7 days.
Back and legs could recover in that time. Can throw extra quads or hams on each respective leg day. Quads = mainly squats movements/hacks, whereas Hams = deadlift
Variations, RDL/SLDLs

This is the best mixture of both I could come up with that works. Personally I’ll put a bit of shoulders in on chest day, so really what I do it closer to a PPL than a strict Bro split
 
18 working sets close to failure is a lot. I personally would not do 6 exercises in one session for any body part
I am currently doing six (6) exercises per workout with 2 working sets (to or close to failure) per exercise. 12 total sets. Most workouts last about 40 mins but anything involving legs takes about 10-15 mins longer simply due to having to load/unload the leg press or hack squat. Also I do more prep sets for these lifts along with SLDL, lunges etc.
 
I have done many types of bro splits with different reps and sets good results. Just depends on how i set them up and if i am recovering and then growing from it. If not i change parameters.
 
I like the general gist of what you're doing here, however your split should be tailored to your specific needs regardless.

The concept of a better generic brosplit has some merit but ultimately any split needs to be based around your needs.
 
I like the general gist of what you're doing here, however your split should be tailored to your specific needs regardless.

The concept of a better generic brosplit has some merit but ultimately any split needs to be based around your needs.
I agree. The general concept is good but I think the purpose of a bro split is to keep it as simple as possible. It's appealing to people who want to focus on upper body and give more attention to arms and shoulders which are usually just tossed in an u/l or ppl x2. Those would be the splits for people who want to focus on legs. I've used a bro split with extra bicep or tricep work on chest back day and liked it to get more volume and frequency for those parts.
 
One I always enjoyed was

Chest and Shoulders - Consists of a press, and fly, and a dip. Lat raise, upright row (shoulder press rotates in an out)
Back and Rear Delt - horizontal pull, vertical pull (1 / 2 ) flip flops each back day. Face pull, rear delt row
Legs (quad focus with some hams, flip flops each leg day)
Arms / Heavy Abs / Neck (Iron Neck)

Rest

Repeat

Nothing is on a set day of the week. the split just keeps running. The beauty is you can take an additional rest day if needed and any point, just pick the split up right where you left off.

Then you create a rotational overlay for the rep schemes.
L - 15+
M - 10-12
H - 6-8

So I go L/L/M/H, then the next is L/M/M/H, then L/H/M/H/ and it just keeps repeating, this provides a wide range of reps used over the course of the weeks for each body part
 
Meadow’s and Hany have been doing this for years. Meadow’s called it “traditional bodybuilding” split as that’s what it is. Every magazine you picked up in the 2000’s had it in there- one body part a week.

Meadow’s called it training blocks or pump days. It’s one of the many things that make his programs so great today. Hany added his FST-7 spin in the mix which has a place as well. Most of his guys had two leg days in his core FST workouts.

But I agree that you should maximize workout blocks for legs. I’ve shared pieces of my split, but should be more specific as legs do get hit twice a week with one core workout and a second pump day as Meadow’s called it.

Monday: Back/Chest touch up (heavy incline movement)

Tuesday: Shoulders/Triceps

Wednesday: Quads/FST-7 seated leg curls at end of workout (hamstring pump day)

Thursday: Off day (cardio, PT work, etc)

Friday: Chest/Biceps

Saturday: Hamstrings/ FST-7 Hacksquats at the end of the workout (quad pump day)

Sunday: Full off day

Within each workout I use DC methods, FST, Rest pause etc according to the muscle group being worked.

Glutes are worked on both legs day through movements and exercise selection.
 
I’m just doing

Day 1: Chest/tris
Day 2: Back/bis
Day3: Legs/ shoulders

And after I complete it I do 2 sets of 20-60 on abs, behind the back smith shrugs, and some sort of press for legs..it’s a 3 day routine so I keep going until I need to take a rest day..everything gets hit 2x per week..I also run, and usually swim everyday
 
I train:

1) Back
2) Shoulders and Tris
3) Hams
4) rest
5) Chest and Bis
6) Quads
7) rest
---

Before i was a fan of:
Push
Pull
Rest
Legs
Rest
---
 
How are you able to train back with legs in one session? Doesn´t make a lot of sense for two huge muscle groups.

At the surface, it does seem weird. I started doing it in my mid 20's when I trained with nasser and saw him do it. I don't know how to describe it, but since it is all posterior chain you can get into a flow that feels really good exercise wise. For instance...

leg curls
leg extensions
front squat (this gives the back a ton of work)
barbell row
pullups

or....

leg curls
deadlift
row
leg press
leg extension
pulldown

There are a million ways you can slice it but they go together remarkably well. Where it gets a little obnoxious is if you are a higher volume person that sets up shot with 4-5 back exercises for 3-5 sets it and the same for legs it gets really, really time consuming. If you are moderate to low volume it's pretty sweet.
 
At the surface, it does seem weird. I started doing it in my mid 20's when I trained with nasser and saw him do it. I don't know how to describe it, but since it is all posterior chain you can get into a flow that feels really good exercise wise. For instance...

leg curls
leg extensions
front squat (this gives the back a ton of work)
barbell row
pullups

or....

leg curls
deadlift
row
leg press
leg extension
pulldown

There are a million ways you can slice it but they go together remarkably well. Where it gets a little obnoxious is if you are a higher volume person that sets up shot with 4-5 back exercises for 3-5 sets it and the same for legs it gets really, really time consuming. If you are moderate to low volume it's pretty sweet.
When I did powerlifting I always did legs and back together because I did deadlifts on squat day..so, it was all accessories
 

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