Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Every Other Day Split Routine









There are advantages and disadvantages with all systems of training. The system that stands out as probably the best for the average intermediate bodybuilder is the four day per week split. But this method has one major flaw: You still have to train on two consecutive days. 

Although in theory it would seem quite practical time-wise to follow one day's training for, say, your chest and back with your shoulders and arms, you simply might not recover enough to keep yourself gaining. 

Consider what happens when you take a workout.

You break down muscle tissue which requires about 48 hours to fully recover. You create all kinds of stresses on your nervous system which may take even longer, depending on the individual. 

You have probably experienced the lethargic feeling of not wanting to train the following day after a hard workout. This is not because your muscles don't want to be trained, it is because your system is still trying to recover from that workout, and that means your body wants to rest, not to train.

So if you don't think that it's all that wise to train on two consecutive days, and you don't think it's good to train the whole body at one workout, what's the answer? The answer is, an every other day split.

Simply train one half of your body (legs, chest, back) on Monday, rest Tuesday. Train the other half of your body (shoulders, arms) on Wednesday, rest Thursday. Repeat Monday's workout on Friday, rest Saturday. Repeat Wednesday's workout on Sunday, rest Monday . . . and so on. 

The advantages of an every other day split are many - 

1) Shorter workouts. You only train half your body at one time.
2) You get one complete day's rest following every workout.
3) You can train harder because you know it will be a full 96 hours before your train those particular parts of your body hard again.
4) You get 4 days rest every 8 days.
5) No chance of overworking.

The only disadvantage to the every other day split routine is if you work out at a commercial gym that's not open seven days a week. If you train at home or at a 7-day a week gym, you should have no problem.

Here is an example of an every other day split routine.


Day One - Legs, Chest, Back

1) Leg Curl - 4 x 12
Lie flat on the leg curl bench and do a very slow warmup set of 12 reps with about 60% of your best 12 rep poundage.

Now put on your best poundage and fight out 12 reps in good style, which means keep your hips down. 

Rest no more than 40 seconds and do another set with a 5-lb. reduction in weight.
Rest a final 40 seconds and do another set with another 5-lb. reduction in weight. Work hard and strictly for the most burn and ache you can.


2) Leg Extension - 4 x 12
Without much rest from your last set of leg curls do a warmup set of leg extensions with about 60% of your best 12 rep poundage.

Now pile on as much weight on the machine as you can so that you have to fight to get 12 reps in good style, which means holding the legs in the contracted position for two seconds each rep.

With only 40 seconds rest reduce the poundage by 5 pounds and do another set to complete failure.
Finally, reduce the poundage by 5 pounds again and do another burnout set.

You have now nicely worked your hamstrings with the leg curls and your quadriceps with the leg extensions. Now that you have temporarily pre-exhausted them you can further work thighs even harder by going straight into some heavy squats.


3) Squats - 5 x 5

Do your first set with 50% of your best 5 rep weight.

Without too much rest do another set with a poundage about 75% of your best 5 rep weight.

For your third set use all the weight you can and go all out to get 5 reps in flawless style. 

Rest two minutes and do another 5 reps with a 10-lb. reduction in weight.

Rest a final two minutes and do another set again with a further 10-lb. reduction in weight..

Do your squats slowly and carefully with your back flat at all times. Do not bounce at the bottom, keep erect, and don't round your back coming up.


How to Keep Your Thigh Training Progressive

As soon as you can do a full 12 reps on the second set, which is the set after your warmup, on leg curls and leg extensions, then you must increase the weight by 5 lbs. next workout. Always try to do get one more rep.

When you can do the last 3 sets of reps on the squats with the same weight (without reducing them) then you must increase the weight by 5 lbs. the next workout.


Calf Training

1) Standing Calf Machine supersetted with
2) Toe Raise on the seated calf machine.

Do a warmup set of each exercise and then increase the poundage so that you can just get 15 reps on each exercise.

Alternate like this until your calves are on fire, which will probably take about 5 supersets.

If you find yourself dropping below 10 reps don't be afraid to drop the poundage slightly each set.

Try to stretch your calves as much as possible on each exercise.


How to Keep Your Calf Training Progressive

As soon as you can do 20 reps on each of the two calf exercises then you must increase the poundage by 10 lbs. for your next workout.


Chest Training

1) Decline Dumbbell Flyes - 4 x 12
Lie on a shallow decline bench holding two dumbbells at arms' length above your face, palms facing each other. Slowly lower the dumbbells outwards with your elbows bent and feel those pecs stretch. Return to starting position.

Do the first set with about 60% of your best 12 rep weight.

Do another 3 sets with only 30 seconds rest using the same weight each set!

2) Dips 4 x 12
Do your first set with bodyweight only, and do about 8 slow reps to warm up the area.

Next do an all out set of 12 reps to failure with weight attached to your waist.

Rest one minute and do another set with 10 lbs. less weight.

Rest another minute and do a final set with bodyweight only.

As with the thigh training you have fatigued your chest muscles with the flyes and dips so now you can move on to some bench pressing.

3) Bench Press - 5 x 8
Do your benches smoothly and strictly.

Do your first set with about 50% of your best 8-rep weight.

Do a second set with about 75% of your best weight for 8 reps.

Pile all the weight on the bar you can so that you have to fight to get 8 reps in this next set.

Do another 2 sets reducing the poundage by 10 lbs. each set and rest only 40 seconds between each set.


How to Keep Your Chest Training Progressive

When you can do the last three sets of decline flyes for 12 reps with the same poundage, increase each dumbbell by 5 lbs. for your next workout.

When you can get a full 12 reps on your second set of dips (after the warmup set) increase the weight by 10 lbs. next workout.

When you can get a full 10 reps on your third set of bench presses, increase the resistance by 10 lbs. next workout.

When you can get a full 8 reps on your fourth set of bench presses increase the weight by 5 lbs. next workout.


Back Training

1) Straight Arm Pulldown 4 x 12
To do this properly you should kneel down in front of the lat machine holding a slightly bent bar with a false grip (thumbs on top) about 10 inches wide.

Your upper arms should be resting alongside your ears, and your hands will be holding the bar directly above your head.

With both elbows slightly bent, pull down the bar with straight arms until it eventually ends up at your thighs.

You should feel a tremendous contraction of your lat and serratus muscles. Try to hold this position for a second or two and then slowly return to the starting position.

Do the first set with about 60% of your best 12 rep poundage.

Do a second set with all the weight you can.

Do another two sets using the same weight each set, and rest only 30 seconds between each set.

2) Chins to the Front 3 x 10
Use a fairly wide grip on these, and you will feel it much better if you can use a pair of straps to help keep your grip on the bar.

The chins will be fairly hard to do after the pulldowns, so you may not be able to use any extra weight at first.

Do a warmup set of 7 or 8 reps using only your bodyweight.

For your second set go all out to get 10 reps using extra weight if you can.

Do a final set with bodyweight only.


How to Keep Your Back Training Progressive

As soon as you can get a full 12 reps on the second set (after warmup set) of pulldowns and chins you should increase the weights next workout.

That concludes your training for this workout. Rest the following day and then train your deltoids, biceps and triceps the day after.


Day Two - Shoulders and Arms


Shoulder Training

1) Seated Dumbbell Side Lateral - 4 x 12
Sit at the edge of an exercise bench holding two dumbbells at your sides. Lean your body slightly forward and keep this position throughout the exercise. Slowly raise the dumbbells outwards and slightly forwards keeping your elbows bent. Rotate your wrists so that the little finger side is always higher than your thumb side.

Do a warmup set of 12 reps with a weight 10 to 15 pounds lighter than your best weight for 12 reps.

Next do 3 sets resting only 30 seconds between each set. Use the same weight each set and tgry to do as many reps as you can.


2) Wide Grip Upright Row - 4 x 12
Use a shoulder width grip for these so you can activate the lateral head of the deltoids.

Pull the bar upwards and slightly away from your body until you reach neck level.

Do a warmup set with about 60% of your best 12 rep poundage and then do another 3 sets in quick succession using the same poundage each set. Try to do as many reps as you can and keep going until you can't move the weight past your waist.

You have at this stage nicely pre-fatigued your side laterals without involving the strength of your arms. Take advantage of this by finishing off your shoulder routine with some very heavy standing presses as follows:

3) Standing Press - 5 x 5
You need not do these in super-strict style, but that doesn't mean you should cheat excessively. You want to build up your press poundage as much as possible but don't throw too much of the strain onto your back. Lift the bar from the squat racks and hold it on the front of your shoulders.

Smartly push the bar to arms' length and return again.
Do your first set with a weight about 50% of your best poundage for 5 reps.
Do a second set with about 75% of your best 5 reps poundage.
Now pile on all the weight you can and go all out to get 5 reps.
Rest two minutes and do another set with the same weight.
Rest another two minutes and do a final set.


How to Keep Your Shoulder Training Progressive

As soon as you get the 12 reps on the second set of laterals and upright rows, increase the weight the next workout.

As soon as you can get 5 reps on the last 3 sets of standing presses, increase the weight next workout.


Biceps Training

1) Incline Dumbbell Curl - 4 x 10
Set up a fairly steep incline and lie back holding two dumbbells at arm's length, palms facing front.

Slowly curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders and then rotate your wrists outwards so that you feel your biceps contracting. Slowly lower.

Do your first set with only about 60% of your best 10 rep poundage.

For your second set of curls pick up the heaviest pair of dumbbells you can use for 10 all out reps.

Rest about a minute and do another set with dumbbells that are about 5 pounds lighter.

Do a final set with another 5 pound reduction to each dumbbell.


2) Heavy Barbell Curls 5 x 5
Do the first set with only 50% of your best weight for 5 reps.

Rest one minute and do a second set with about 75% of your best weight for 5 reps.

Now load up the bar and try to get 5 reps on the next three sets using the same poundage for each set. Do the curls fairly strictly and try to use as much weight as you can. As you start to lower the bar try to slow down the movement, placing more stress on the biceps.


How to Keep Your Biceps Training Progressive

As soon as you can get a full 10 reps on the second set of incline dumbbell curls you must increase the weight next workout.

When you can get 5 reps on the last 3 sets of curls you should increase the weight the next workout.


Triceps Training

1) Pressdowns, Elbows Out 5 x 8
This is an unusual triceps exercise. Take a close grip on the pushdown handle, which should be slightly bent. Bend slightly forward and hold the handle at your chin. In this position your arms will be in the same position as though you had just completed an upright row.

Smartly push down with triceps strength only. Tense at the bottom and then slowly return.

Do a warmup set with about 60% of your best poundage for 8 reps.

Do another four sets with the best weight you can, and try to get 8 reps each sets.


2) Lying EZ Bar Bench Press 5 x 6
Lie on the bench and hold the EZ bar above your chest with a close grip. Lower the weight down as far on your chest as you can and then push it back again concentrating only on those triceps. Tense your triceps hard as you lock out.

Increase the weight as much as you can so that you can just manage 8 reps in perfect style.

Reduce the weight by 5 pounds each set and do another 3 sets resting only 40 seconds between each.


That's it for this particular workout.

Rest the following day and then do the other workout the day after. 
Rest the next day following, and so on. 





 


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