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The perfect split under the perfect circumstances

xpoc

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I heard an interesting take on this from a Jordan Peters interview/broadcast. He was taking seasoned guys who already had a significant amount of muscle and switching them over to a simple UPPER/LOWER split. Why? Because it was a novel experience for these particular guys. Many younger bodybuilders go right into bro splits from day 1. So the fact they never trained like this (upper/lower) subjected their muscles to new a new stimulus and they grew (despite being advanced). Perhaps one way to effectively achieve this hypothetical goal would be to simply structure your training in a manner significantly different than you ever have before.
 

xpoc

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No such thing (perfect split or routine). (IMO only).

Individual thing.
Diet and intensity (of that routine), (and recovery) are king when it comes to growing.
I think the title of this thread is throwing people off. I wish I would have titled it "What would you do if...."
 

Dens228

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I think the title of this thread is throwing people off. I wish I would have titled it "What would you do if...."
I know what you were trying to do with this thread. Funny how people read what is the best vs what would you do.......lol
I looked forward to it as just reading how different people's views are.......beginners or veterans. Yes, this is "Professional Muscle" but to the reply that it's such a beginner question that the vets will ignore it I can show you pages and pages of "beginner questions" on this forum and would also bet my life's savings that the non competing members of this site vastly outnumber those that do.
I didn't view this threads intentions as "what should I do" I viewed it as "what would YOU do".
 

b-boy

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so what would you do if the conditions changed to:
you weighed 220 pounds now at 12% bodyfat, next year same date i want you to be 225 pounds 12% bodyfat. I want you to build 5 pounds additional muscle. No water, no food in gut, no piss in bladder.

I assume bodybuilding is your full time job. I am not sure if you have family. I am not sure how tight your budget it right now.
Lets assume you dont have a family and no worries about money. Also no coaching etc. I will also give you a cook.
What would you change to your current routine, diet, art therapy conecept, ....? or is your current "doing" already the non-plus ultra, nothing to improve on?
Honestly the only thing that would change would be diet wise, my calorie intake would have to increase significantly more than it is now, I would add in more carbohydrates to my diet and even a little insulin here and there sprinkled in. THATS IT. Training wouldn't change, I have been training since age 13, I got that covered in spades, work output would increase, training program and style would remain the same.
 

OuchThatHurts

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I know what you were trying to do with this thread. Funny how people read what is the best vs what would you do.......lol
I looked forward to it as just reading how different people's views are.......beginners or veterans. Yes, this is "Professional Muscle" but to the reply that it's such a beginner question that the vets will ignore it I can show you pages and pages of "beginner questions" on this forum and would also bet my life's savings that the non competing members of this site vastly outnumber those that do.
I didn't view this threads intentions as "what should I do" I viewed it as "what would YOU do".
I'm guessing I put on 10lbs of LBM in the last 6 months but it's been getting back muscle I've lost through taking an almost 3 year break. I'm natty for last 3 years, retired well, I've got no financial constraints, but I do have a family, two young daughters. So I've been stuck at 220lbs but my strength and endurance are roaring back with absolutely visible decreases in my flabby areas so I assume recomping considerably. If I get back to 220lbs with visible abs and close to previous bests, that is where I would have to start. And yearly gains past that would be a gift. Heck, maintaining would be a gift at my age TBH.

So if I had to do it natty, and gain the maximum amount of muscle in terms of straight LBM, and no consideration for symmetry or proportions, well hell. I'd just do Mon: squats, squats, squats, squats, more squats, leg press, leg press, rest a day, Wed: bench, bench, bench, cleans, cleans, cleans, clean and press, clean and press, clean and press, again and again, rest a day, Fri: deadlifts, deadlifts, deadlifts and more deadlifts. Track sprints on weekends 100m, 200m. I wouldn't do a concentration-style bbing split at all. Not without juice. I'd apply the shotgun method, not crosshairs. I would be looking to compound exercises which increase growth factors (chemically) naturally. And a ton of rest and clean nutrition. Old school? You bet. I'd vary hack squats, inclines, declines, weighted dips, straight overhead presses, etc, but the idea would be the same.

Nothing did more to change my entire morphology and bodyweight than making progressive strength training the only thing that mattered.

It's an interesting proposition, and maybe I'm just subjectively hearkening back to my heyday, but that's what I would do.
 

maldorf

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I'm guessing I put on 10lbs of LBM in the last 6 months but it's been getting back muscle I've lost through taking an almost 3 year break. I'm natty for last 3 years, retired well, I've got no financial constraints, but I do have a family, two young daughters. So I've been stuck at 220lbs but my strength and endurance are roaring back with absolutely visible decreases in my flabby areas so I assume recomping considerably. If I get back to 220lbs with visible abs and close to previous bests, that is where I would have to start. And yearly gains past that would be a gift. Heck, maintaining would be a gift at my age TBH.

So if I had to do it natty, and gain the maximum amount of muscle in terms of straight LBM, and no consideration for symmetry or proportions, well hell. I'd just do Mon: squats, squats, squats, squats, more squats, leg press, leg press, rest a day, Wed: bench, bench, bench, cleans, cleans, cleans, clean and press, clean and press, clean and press, again and again, rest a day, Fri: deadlifts, deadlifts, deadlifts and more deadlifts. Track sprints on weekends 100m, 200m. I wouldn't do a concentration-style bbing split at all. Not without juice. I'd apply the shotgun method, not crosshairs. I would be looking to compound exercises which increase growth factors (chemically) naturally. And a ton of rest and clean nutrition. Old school? You bet. I'd vary hack squats, inclines, declines, weighted dips, straight overhead presses, etc, but the idea would be the same.

Nothing did more to change my entire morphology and bodyweight than making progressive strength training the only thing that mattered.

It's an interesting proposition, and maybe I'm just subjectively hearkening back to my heyday, but that's what I would do.
The old Russian system 5x5 powerlifting program promoted by Fred Hatfield worked great for me.
 

qbkilla

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I feel like the hardest part of designing an optimal routine is that the science and real world evidence conflict. Science says high volume high frequency. But most guys got big by lifting heavy weight to failure and hitting a muscle 1 or 2x per week. In addition most of the science guys aren't that big. I read something the other day showing the body compensates for doing cardio. Then you have to worry about as you bulk and accumulate bodyfat your rate of muscle to fat gain gets worse.

So I guess my answer is I wouldn't know where to start lol. A good guess would be low volume heavy progressive lifting with an occasional high volume mesocycle thrown in from time to time.
 

b-boy

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so what would you do if the conditions changed to:
you weighed 220 pounds now at 12% bodyfat, next year same date i want you to be 225 pounds 12% bodyfat. I want you to build 5 pounds additional muscle. No water, no food in gut, no piss in bladder.

I assume bodybuilding is your full time job. I am not sure if you have family. I am not sure how tight your budget it right now.
Lets assume you dont have a family and no worries about money. Also no coaching etc. I will also give you a cook.
What would you change to your current routine, diet, art therapy conecept, ....? or is your current "doing" already the non-plus ultra, nothing to improve on?
O yeah, NO bodybuilding is my hobby, my career is a chemical operator in a chemical plant.
 

airman

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O yeah, NO bodybuilding is my hobby, my career is a chemical operator in a chemical plant.
I suspect, someone with your genetics/discipline/knowledge if you had nothing else to worry about other than bodybuilding (unlimited resources) you would be the most likely to achieve the 10lb gain.
 

b-boy

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I suspect, someone with your genetics/discipline/knowledge if you had nothing else to worry about other than bodybuilding (unlimited resources) you would be the most likely to achieve the 10lb gain.
LOL but the kicker is DRUG FREE, at my level of muscularity making a 10lb increase in lean muscle tissue without AAS would be a far stretch, as I'm WELL PAST my genetic limit at 5ft5 with the mass I now have. I could eat an increase of 10 lbs bodyweight but not lean muscle tissue without a bunch of fat to go along with it.

Now could I train a natural guy to put on 10lbs of LMT? Yes I could, I would use the powerbuilding routin that I used when I was younger. Bench press, squat, bent over barbell rows, barbell shoulder press all pyramidal up in weight, down in reps like 10,8,6,4 going up in weight each set. I would add other exercises like calves, arms, pull-ups 4 sets of 12 (pull-ups would be as many reps I could in 4 sets). This is how 20yr old Brad trained.
 

airman

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LOL but the kicker is DRUG FREE, at my level of muscularity making a 10lb increase in lean muscle tissue without AAS would be a far stretch, as I'm WELL PAST my genetic limit at 5ft5 with the mass I now have. I could eat an increase of 10 lbs bodyweight but not lean muscle tissue without a bunch of fat to go along with it.

Now could I train a natural guy to put on 10lbs of LMT? Yes I could, I would use the powerbuilding routin that I used when I was younger. Bench press, squat, bent over barbell rows, barbell shoulder press all pyramidal up in weight, down in reps like 10,8,6,4 going up in weight each set. I would add other exercises like calves, arms, pull-ups 4 sets of 12 (pull-ups would be as many reps I could in 4 sets). This is how 20yr old Brad trained.
Yeah, this is 100% true about you being maxed out. I guess my point was, that you were capable of accomplishing this much, while working full time, taking care of a family, most likely limited by finances (putting family first, as I've seen you pull out of shows before), and yet you were still capable of reaching the highest level in this sport. So I could only imagine what you could have accomplished if bodybuilding was your only focus.

Myself, since insulin is natural (and I'm no where near maxed out) would just offer Milos 100K if he managed to put on 10lbs of muscle in a year.... and if someone could find a way, I'm sure he could :D
 

OuchThatHurts

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The old Russian system 5x5 powerlifting program promoted by Fred Hatfield worked great for me.
Yeah. Something very similar to 5x5x5 for me also. It was to where people didn't even recognize me.
 

maldorf

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Yeah. Something very similar to 5x5x5 for me also. It was to where people didn't even recognize me.
Its a very solid way to build size and strength. I would use that to get stronger and then do a bodybuilding routine carrying over that strength. Do one or two 5x5 programs in a year.
 

tokon

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Your responses are shedding some light onto how I view your input now as compared to how I previously viewed it. Thank you for opening my eyes.

I've just read through this thread and I'm a bit surprised at those responses too tbh.
 

tokon

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@xpoc The reason you're not getting good replies from most experienced veterans is because this is a place for real-world, nuanced bodybuilding discussion, not thought experiments on topics that have been and will continue to be debated forever, particularly ones that require being 'natural'.

This is why guys like b-boy and Kaladryn replied dismissively. It's why guys like myself, TheOtherOne55, BigDaveSmith, DOGGCRAPP, and luki7788 didn't bother replying. It's another spin on shit we've seen a million times and it's not what we're here for.
It's just like bodybuilding "shooting the breeze" though really, isn't it?

A little bit of harmless fun to either indulge - or not?
 

xpoc

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The only reason I mentioned natty in my OP was because I didn't want this to turn into an AAS thread. I really wanted to focus on the training aspect of it. So if the scenario changed from natty to "not more/different AAS than you are currently using" that would work too.

There are several ways to approach it but these 2 jump out at me:

1. dance with who brought you. this was like BBOY mentioned when he said he already knows what works for him, so essentially nothing about his training would change.

or conversely, the approach mentioned by Jordan Peters in that interview I mentioned

2. try to shock the system and create a novel stimulus. the saying goes if you keep doing what you have always done you cannot expect different results. so if you are not gaining any significant amounts of tissue now, perhaps throw your body a curve ball and do something outside the box (total body training 7x per week)....just something you have not experienced before.


I was thinking this through and had an idea of how I would structure it and thought to myself...why am I not doing that now? I am not totally stress free (I doubt that will ever happen), but heck, I am retired, I am comfortable with my finances, I have access to a few good gyms nearby. Food and supplements are not an issue. Perhaps I should give a run at it with a challenging but (hopefully) realistic goal of 4 lbs. of lean muscle (i am a TRT guy, so not "natty"). And like others have stated as far as limitations: I have been lifting consistently since 1984, early 50's so I am likely very very close to my genetic limit. But COULD I squeak out another 4-5 lbs while staying on the same exact TRT protocol???? Hmmm
 

xpoc

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It's just like bodybuilding "shooting the breeze" though really, isn't it?

A little bit of harmless fun to either indulge - or not?
BINGO. Exactly. I have ONE buddy at my gym that I can BS with about this stuff. We will go to breakfast after training and just BS about stuff, but ultimately at some point we touch on training, supps, etc. This message board gives me 100+ guys like my buddy I can shoot the shit with and instead of hearing just his point of view, I get 100+ other points of view. The best part is, if a pro doesn't want to respond because the question is beneath him, so be it. I am cool with that. I certainly did not want this benign hypothetical scenario to become some type of flashpoint for flaming.
 

OuchThatHurts

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1. dance with who brought you. this was like BBOY mentioned when he said he already knows what works for him, so essentially nothing about his training would change.

2. try to shock the system and create a novel stimulus. the saying goes if you keep doing what you have always done you cannot expect different results. so if you are not gaining any significant amounts of tissue now, perhaps throw your body a curve ball
This is not flaming. Nothing offensive was said and nobody is above or below anyone else. I would say what I'm saying to you in between a set at the gym or over some eggs and sausage afterward. It's all good. All these responses and what have we gotten? I think that's all this was. An exercise with just far too many personal variables to translate into something we could all solidify behind. I have no doubt your intentions were good. Nobody is questioning that. I'm not. It made me think and I even got a little nostalgic remembering crawling up the locker room stairs after leg day in high school. That old leg press/hack squat combo machine that we exceeded the max capacity on every night.

Once, one of my teammates had it overloaded and he was just barely bending his knees. We said, "Come on! Deep squat! Do it!" He bent his legs just an inch too far and his upper string bean arms got pinned between the sled and the lockout. Took 5 of us to get it off him. Next day in school we asked him how he was because his arms were all bandaged up. He said, "The doctor said I would have been better off if my arms woulda just broke." We laughed and laughed. Cruel, I know but we were just 16, 17, and 18 yr old kids. Thereafter, that machine became known as the "The Iron Cross" all because it crucified that poor kid. I went off on a tangent there.

Anyway, regarding what you said above:

Regarding Number 1.
This translates to me as, "keep doin' what yer doin".

Regarding Number 2.
Presumes that we haven't already tried every bandaid, every variation, multiple split types, push/pull, upper/lower, back biceps/chest triceps, et al, fasting, loading, every bit of spit and polish, elbow grease, blood, sweat, and tears out there just to get this far. I know these pros have. I'm not even a pro bber and I think I tried, changed, altered, and tried or took almost every program and supplement out there over the last 30 years inside the gym.

So we've circled around to back where we started. The answer is just simply that there is no ideal split for everyone. That's what happened here. Come away from threads like this realizing we have so many effective routines, we have no excuses. 👍
 

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I haven't done a bodypart split routine in 3 years. I've been all about the full body training in recent years

some type of chest press
squats
pull ups or pull downs
some type of shoulder press
some lower back exercise, either deadlifts, bent over BB rows, bent over DB rows, or cable pulley

3 sets of each, every other day.
 

qbkilla

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I haven't done a bodypart split routine in 3 years. I've been all about the full body training in recent years

some type of chest press
squats
pull ups or pull downs
some type of shoulder press
some lower back exercise, either deadlifts, bent over BB rows, bent over DB rows, or cable pulley

3 sets of each, every other day.

No direct arm or side delt , traps work? Did you find that when you dropped direct work for those parts you were able to retain size or make gains?
 

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