78kg, 1.86m, male, skinnyfat

I've recently started training more serious again (been working out twice a week for the past 6 months). Now I'm aiming for 4 times a week.

My goal is to reduce my fat percentage so my abs will show again (became skinny fat) while not losing any/much muscle.

The gym I'm currently going printed out a quite basic 3-split hypertrophy routine, since I was training 3 times a week then. Their philosophy is: "Gain muscle, up your metabolism, eat less calories than you burn."

  • Day 1 (Mon): Chest, Triceps, bit of abs
  • Day 2 (Tue): Back, Biceps, bit of abs
  • Day 3 (Wed): Legs, Shoulders, bit of abs

I want to pick up the Thursday, Day 4. Now I'm asking myself if I should continue my current routine but not be bothered by the 7-day span, so if I would continue with the previous list:

  • Day 4 (Thu): Chest, Triceps, bit of abs
  • Day 5 (Mon): Back, Biceps, bit of abs
  • etc.

Or would a 2-split be better? Or f.e. 4th day cardio?



  • Bench press
  • Incline dumbell press
  • Dumbell fly
  • Fly (machine)
  • Cable fly
  • Triceps pushdown
  • Rope pulldown
  • Over the head pull


  • Straight bar pulldown
  • Machine row
  • Cable row
  • Biceps machine (preacher idea)
  • Hammer curl
  • Bar curl


  • Squats
  • Leg press
  • Hamstring curl
  • Leg extensions
  • Calves extension (not sure what the name is)
  • Shoulder press
  • Lateral raise
  • Front raise
  • Back fly

And the 'bit of abs' consists usually of some situps, leg raises and some rotation to hit the obliques.

  • Can I ask why you are working synergistic muscles on the same day?
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 21:31
  • This was the routine my gym printed out ans handed over. Would it be better to to f.e. train chest + biceps & back + triceps?
    – Ivaro18
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 21:34
  • Gotta re-think a few things here... #1 Remove a bit of Abs, even if you want to train muscle groups, add at least one functional exercise.....
    – Mike-DHSc
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 4:15
  • @Ivaro18 - Honestly I'd invest in a trainer at least to get some of the key concepts down and have them show you some exercises. Supplement that with questions here.
    – Mike-DHSc
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 4:20
  • @Mike-DHSc edited the question, added in my normal routine. Differs from day-to-day depending on how crowded the gym is and what machines/dumbells are taken.
    – Ivaro18
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:32

1 Answer 1



In my opinion the best sources of information you'll find are from Mark Verstegen and Gray Cook. Marks company trains the "best of the best" athletes, there's a reason why.

Follow their principles and systems and things will start to make sense with time. I'll help you integrate a plan over time if you're willing to put the work in...

Otherwise for a basic workout and split there's so many apps out there I'd just grap a free one of those. Or use Google, YouTube etc.

Energy System Development or ESD <------ Cardio

For now just keep your lifting as is, and implement "cardio" twice per week. How you're setup now the do cardio the first and last day of every week.

Rather than viewing cardio (also known as ESD) as running for X amount of time with no structured intensity or X distance. Approach it in terms of sets and reps.

Introduction to ESD

Read the Following Site

Forget everything you currently believe about cardio work. Forget keeping your heart rate in some “fat-burning” zone. Forget plodding along with the vague goal of increasing the distance you can plod. Instead of training like a plow horse, start training like a thoroughbred.

You’ll only work at the same effort level for an extended period of time, as you would with traditional cardio exercise on regeneration or recovery days. But you’re going to take the time you typically spend on cardio and develop the ability to perform at a more intense level. You’ll improve your energy levels, gaining physical strength and stamina without investing additional time.

You don’t have to head to the track and train like a middle-distance runner, although it’s not a bad place to do your ESD work. For convenience, you’ll probably want to work on a stationary bike, stair-climber, or treadmill at the gym. Even better is to find a hill or stairwell somewhere nearby. If you’re city bound, parking garages are perfect for uphill running. Sprint up the ramps and walk down.

The bottom line: Instead of slow, plodding workouts, ESD will have your muscles, nervous system, and hormones acting together into efficient movement patterns that help your body work as efficiently as possible.

Beginner ESD Plan

Stage I (Day 1 Each Week)

Equipment: Treadmill
Warmup: 3min

Work (Hard) 2 min
Recovery (Easy) 2 min
Number of Reps: 3X

Cool Down: 5 min
Total Time 20 min

Stage Ia (Day 2 Each Week)

Equipment: Treadmill
Warmup: 3min

Work (Hard) 1 min
Recovery (Easy) 1 min
Number of Reps: 6X

Cool Down: 5 min
Total Time 20 min

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