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I'm looking to do a workout split (to see what the impact to my results are) with the focus on strength gain. I have the split as follows: Day 1 - Legs/Abs - Squats, Lunges (and their variations) + crunches, planks, etc.
Day 2 Back/Arms - Deads, kickbacks, Good Mornings, pull ups Day 3 - Chest/Abs - Bench Presses, kettlebell
Day 4 - Lats/Shoulders - lat raises, shoulder presses, shrugs (the exercises listed are SOME of the main ones - I'll be including the typical bar/dumbell exercises and their many variations)

with 2 days of tabata/cardio

Is the body part split correct? Does anyone have any experience to results once they moved to splits?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I would say there's really no right or wrong way to plan your split schedule, but I'm saying that with the premise that the schedule should be varied periodically.

Assuming you mean that the 4-day schedule will be done weekly, the most important thing is that you work out each muscle group every week and try to get some recuperation time in for each muscle group.

The reason for changing up the schedule is that you'll always have conflicts with overlapping muscle groups and adequate recuperation time.

For example, in the question, there are a few potential conflicts:

  1. Day 1 & Day 2: Deadlifting the day after squatting could be pretty tough
  2. Day 3 & Day 4: If you incline press on day 3, it's going to affect your shoulder presses on day 4

However, these are not criticisms of your schedule! These conflicts are unavoidable when trying to work out every muscle group during the course of a week.

So, every so often, change up your split schedule. My target is sticking with a schedule for 8 weeks, take 1 week rest from lifting, and then change everything up again.

So, maybe for your second schedule, you could do

Day 1: Chest/Abs

Day 2: Arms/Lats

Day 3: Shoulders/Abs

Day 4: Legs/Back

Changing the schedule now and then can help push progress along and make things more interesting if you get bored with the schedule. Also, you'll be really happy to replace particularly grueling combinations of workouts, such as the killer Legs/Back day above.

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thanks for the good recommendations! –  Meade Rubenstein Aug 1 '11 at 12:37
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Focusing on strength gain, there are a number of good options. The main caveat (meant for the casual reader here) is that these are all intermediate or advanced programs. That means the program gains are going to be slower than with a beginner program--but if you are an intermediate or advanced lifter your gains are slower anyways. That that disclaimer out of the way, this forum has a number of good programs as a jumping point: IronStrong - The Next Step.

I think one of the options on that page that might be up your ally is the Wendler's 5/3/1 program (link for summary information). There is a corresponding book that helps better understand what assistance exercises to include and how to tailor the program to your needs.

Another resource that might be useful is Practical Programming by Dr. Kilgore and Rippetoe as that is a more generic text on how to set up your own personal program.

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