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Old 06-25-2008, 11:39 AM   #1
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Default Setting up an Upper/Lower Split...?

Well I'm trying to set up an all new workout. I've worked out the main points of how it will work but not really sure about the details. Here is what I know:

1) Its based around a 4 day rotation (mon,tues,thurs,fri)

2) Each day has one priority exerceise (m:Bench, tu:squats, th: M.Press, Fr:deadlifts)

3) On the priority day the priority exercises will be hit with high intensity (thinking of doing a week where you shoot for your best triple, then next week shoot for doubles, then max test...then reset to triples)

4) I'd like to do some Dynamic work on each exercise's non priority day but I'm not sure if that will be too much.

So thats what I know. My main question is, on an upper/lower split do you have to keep your accessories in their proper upper/lower places?

Here are some non-priority exercises I'd like to do(I guess you could call them accessories):

-pull ups
-dips
-front squats
-power cleans
-hanging leg raises
-some sort of oblique work
-P.Rows
-bicep work?

I have lots of upper accessories...any other good lower accessories? Anything I shouldn't be doing? I'm open to suggestions. Here is my first thought of how it will go:

Monday
ME Bench
DE M Press
Hanging Leg Raises
Oblique Work

Tuesday
ME Squats
Power Cleans (this is the dynamic work)
Dips
P.Rows

Thursday
ME M Press
DE Bench Press
Hanging Leg Raises
oblique work

Friday
ME Deadlifts
front squats (DE?)
Dips
bicep curl of some type?

Well thats all I can think of for now. Basically I'm lookin for any advice on what you think works and what you think won't work. What is inspiring the change is the fact that having more then one priority lift per day is causing me to have to sacrifice one or the other. I'd like to focus hard on all the big lifts now. Military press really deserves more attention then I am giving it now and this should help alot I think.

Its almost more of a 4 day a week full body routine...Let me know what you think>?

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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I don't know if you saw the new program I posted in my journal, but I think it's pretty cool. It's a push/pull/legs split. Just a thought.

Why are you doing dips on the 'lower' days? I would make the split a little more distinct (don't mix & match).

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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Well if I put upper accessories on a lower day, that way the accessoires don't suffer so much because you're fresh and vice versa.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:41 PM   #4
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But you're more likely to over train also. I like accessories on the same day because after my major compounds, the muscles I'm going to hit with accessory lifts are pre exhausted. On Tue when you're doing pen rows, I don't think that by itself will be sufficient work for biceps. Curls would be a nice addition. On your upper days, you're doing two presses and that will probably be sufficient for triceps. Basically the way you laid it out, you'll be having a heavy tricep workout 4 days a week if you do dips on lower days. I don't think that the accessory lifts are so important. I have a tendency to leave them out sometimes. I'm going to try to hijack the thread for a brief sec with this question and it might answer the question about the importance of accessory lifts: How important is linear progression with accessory lifts?

I'm curious to see what other people have to say. I might be off base with some of this.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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Accessories are just that. You should be keeping them on a day that has those muscle's working. In the case of dips you should put those with some sort of bench work (tricep, pec). It doesn't make much sense, to me, to do bicep curls on a day where you're primarily using your legs, imo it won't do anything since they're so isolated (meaning you can't accumulate the volume or fatigue).

The one thing I noticed is that you have ALOT of shoulder work in here. ME and DE MP, same with Bench, plus the power cleans.

The other thing is that if you're going to do an upper/lower split with doubles and triples everyday, then you should probably try and accumulate volume on a weekly basis rather than daily. Meaning a very low volume on monday and gradually increasing it til friday. The way it is set up now it looks to me like the volume would be constant everyday.

You've also got abs twice a week, but nothing really for your lower back. Deads don't really count since you're using doubles/triples and you should really have some sort of higher rep lower back work. If not for increased muscular endurance, then to at least balance the ab work being done.

@Ross: I've always tried for linear progression on accessories even if everything else isn't linear. But sometimes when your heavier movements get really heavy your accessory takes a beating. IMO that's the nature of the beast, as long as your progressing on bench, deads, squats, rows, etc. then it doesn't really matter that you couldn't curl as much or more than last week. You've gotta prioritize something, it might as well be an exercise that you can throw alot of weight on.

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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man up and get some planks in there
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:31 PM   #7
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What about:

Monday
ME Bench
DE M Press
Pullups
Hanging Leg Raises
Oblique Work


Tuesday
ME Squats
Power Cleans (this is the dynamic work)
Back endurance work(suggestions?)


Thursday
ME M Press
DE Bench Press
Planks
P.Rows

Friday
ME Deadlifts
front squats (DE?)
Back endurance work (suggestions?)


I cut dips entirely... think thats ok? Mine have really been suffering as my bench goes up anyways. Pull-ups and rows are in there once a week. I dunno if thats enough. Man I'm confused now that I actually write this down. Seemed so simple in my head. lol

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Old 06-25-2008, 10:37 PM   #8
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How do you do DE MP's and front squats? If you're considering becoming more explosive for MP's, I'd rather see you do push presses, which'll also help you get used to heavier weight.

You would probably do very well with a primary maximal effort compound, then repetition effort the rest of the way without speed work. quite honestly. Very rough on the joints lol.

Quote:
3) On the priority day the priority exercises will be hit with high intensity (thinking of doing a week where you shoot for your best triple, then next week shoot for doubles, then max test...then reset to triples)
At your level, you could progress sticking to one range. For instance, you could do a few weeks of 3 x 3's, then a 3 x 1 as your final week before rotating. None of which will be a true 1 RM. The key is to keep at least 2 sets > 90% of your max for that day.

Another route to take is to do a static 3x3, then a 3x3 pyramid, then finally a 3 x 1 (still w/ 2 sets > 90%).

Quote:
1) Its based around a 4 day rotation (mon,tues,thurs,fri)
Does it have to be those days? I ask because you may feel better just either going every other day (due to all your max effort work) or a traditional westside split (mon, wed, fri, sun). Those splits really help me recover more from session to session, and also allow myself to do my GPP (heavy sled pulls) the day after legs days.

Over time, you may even find yourself needing MORE rest and needing something like M, W, F (Upper, lower, upper... Lower, ect).

Quote:
So thats what I know. My main question is, on an upper/lower split do you have to keep your accessories in their proper upper/lower places?

Here are some non-priority exercises I'd like to do(I guess you could call them accessories):

-pull ups
-dips
-front squats
-power cleans
-hanging leg raises
-some sort of oblique work
-P.Rows
-bicep work?
You don't need to hurry up and fit everything into a single template. Why not make a four week mesocycle with some of those lifts (while keeping the volume scaled back so you can progress), then incorperate others during your next meso depending on how you progress? Now, I'm not saying to hop aboard the conjugate express either. But you can certainly retool what you need to after each meso. Personally for me, when I'm just powerbuilding, I don't like doing the actual squat and the actual deadlift in the same meso block. Instead, I'll pick a deadlift variation and actual squat, then the following meso pick the actual deadlift and squat variation. Deadlifts are extremely demanding on the CNS, and pairing the two heavyweights for some high intensity hocus pocus will drain you dry IME. Then again, I could ditch deadlifts altogether for a few meso's, then come back and get extremely close to where I left off or even hit a new PR. So go figure lol.

Quote:
Monday
ME Bench
DE M Press
Pullups
Hanging Leg Raises
Oblique Work
ME Bench
Push Press
Horizontal Rowing Variant (P. Rows)
Biceps/Triceps
Shoulder Prehab

Quote:
Tuesday
ME Squats
Power Cleans (this is the dynamic work)
Back endurance work(suggestions?)
ME Squat
Hamstrings (SLDL, gluteham's, ect)
Accessories (pullthroughs, reverse hyper, hypers, db swings, ect)
Heavy Abs
Calves if you feel like it

Quote:
Thursday
ME M Press
DE Bench Press
Planks
P.Rows
DE Bench Press (if you must, I'd only go with 6 x 3's, 45 TIMED)
Military Press (strict, sets of 3-5) - You'll find you'll be firing on all cylinders after getting primed with speed bench.
Vertical Pulls (Chinups, pullups, pulldowns, ect)
Biceps/Triceps (supersetted)
Shoulder Prehab


Quote:
Friday
ME Deadlifts
front squats (DE?)
Back endurance work (suggestions?)
Front Squats
Power Cleans (or visa versa)
Accessories (Pick something new)
Planks
Calves if you feel like it


Keep it simple. A good way to divide the workload is to seperate your back into width on one day, thickness the other vs. trying to cram it down on both days... And with deadlifts on top of that!

Accessories could be sets of 8-10, everything else depends on how well you adapt to the increase in volume. If you find yourself overwhelmed, you can consider dropping a set here or there. Or you could restructure your routine to accomidate more time off between your training days (like westside or every other).

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Old 06-26-2008, 05:29 AM   #9
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Wow, thank you for taking the time to respond with so much detail. There is alot of good ideas in there. I'm not going to respond to it quite yet because I have to read it a few more times and digest it all. I'll be back later! Thanks!

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Old 06-26-2008, 06:11 AM   #10
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Alright here is a response to some of yours comments/questions:

You said: "You would probably do very well with a primary maximal effort compound, then repetition effort the rest of the way without speed work."

My idea was that I didn't want to work the big lifts once a week because I didn't think it would be enough (other then deads). I wanted to hit them hard once a week and then just as a supplement hit them again with something (and my idea was dynamic work). However, I'm not set in stone on this. I just know that 2x per week at very high intensities is too much for me. I've tried it, my body won't let me do it anymore. So this would kinda be a 1.5x per week lol.

I will say that I do like the idea of push presses for dynamic work. It would make sense to prepare the body for the heavier weights.

You said:
"Does it have to be those days? I ask because you may feel better just either going every other day (due to all your max effort work) or a traditional westside split (mon, wed, fri, sun). Those splits really help me recover more from session to session, and also allow myself to do my GPP (heavy sled pulls) the day after legs days.

Over time, you may even find yourself needing MORE rest and needing something like M, W, F (Upper, lower, upper... Lower, ect)."

I realize this is not the optimal set up but it gives at least 2 days between major lower work and and 2 days between major upper work. I set it up this way because I'm often gone on weekends and I wont' have to miss as many workout days. I think it just works better for me right now. At least during summer. I understand that I will come to a point where I'll need more rest though and then I can switch it up.

You said:
"You don't need to hurry up and fit everything into a single template. Why not make a four week mesocycle with some of those lifts (while keeping the volume scaled back so you can progress), then incorperate others during your next meso depending on how you progress?"

I like that idea. So you're basically saying just pick a few accessories to work on for one of the 4-6week cycles and then pick some different ones next time I reset. I can agree with that. I realize alot of the time I'm always to eager to stick something into my routine when sometimes all it needs is something taken out.

The only thing I think I'd change right away with your workout you posted up is add deadlifts. They are going too well right now to sideline them I think. I really enjoy them as well.

So there are my thoughts. I hope it isn't too long,


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