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  1. #1
    Registered User RaiseItUp's Avatar
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    Where should I go next - Looking for opinions (Full-body vs Split)

    Long post warning.

    Hi everyone,

    Here's a little background on myself and my workout routine:

    I've been in and out of the gym for about 5 years now and I've finally been serious about it for about 5-6 months. My routine for the past year and a half has been full body workouts 3 times per week, alternating between Workout A (strength focused) and Workout B (Hypertrophy focused). I started at 130lbs in late June and am now 161-162lbs, so roughly 30-32lbs in about 6 months. Which I consider to be pretty good progress but for the past few weeks I've kind of hit a wall in regards to motivation and I believe it is due to the fact that I've been doing the same routine for over a year and half now. I've never switched off this routine because I've seen more progress doing that routine than I had ever before but now I am seeing myself going through the motions and not really enjoying going to the gym even tho I am still making some kind of progress each session.

    So I've been looking around trying to switch things up, mostly because of motivation but also because I feel like there are smaller muscle groups that are starting to lag behind because they are not trained directly (mainly forearms, traps, calves). I've tried adding accessory movements at the end of my workouts that would hit those muscles directly but being that my workouts are already 1:30-1:45, by the time I hit the hour mark I'm pretty gassed already and can't see myself extending an already long workout. This is why I've thought of adding an extra day, going from 3 to 4 days per week but doing full body workouts would mean hitting each muscle group 4x per week and having back to back days of full body, not ideal.

    I've heard the traditional upper/lower split but I'll be honest, legs are my least favorite muscle group to train and I won't have the motivation to go to the gym to only hit legs. I'll just end up skipping half of those workouts. Which is why I loved full body splits so much, I only had to do one or two leg exercises per sessions and i'd be done with it. I've been looking into some sort of full-body/upper-lower hybrid. Not sure if anyone has any experience doing that or not but it would look like this:

    Routine A
    Day 1 - Full-body
    Day 2 - Rest
    Day 3 - Full-body
    Day 4 - Rest
    Day 5 - Upper
    Day 6 - Lower
    Day 7 - Rest

    This would allow me to still hit every muscle group 3x per week, with shorter workouts overall. Downside for me is the dedicated leg day, which again not sure I can maintain motivation to do it week in, week out.

    Routine B
    Day 1 - Push/Lower
    Day 2 - Rest
    Day 3 - Pull/Lower
    Day 4 - Rest
    Day 5 - Upper
    Day 6 - Rest
    Day 7 - Rest

    3 days per week, hitting most muscles 3x per week. Draw back is I'm only hitting legs twice a week instead of my usual 3x per week. I guess I could add more volume to those 2 days to equal what I was doing in 3 days previously?

    Just looking for some feedback and opinions on where I should go with this. I have workouts planned in my head but not sure if I'm over thinking this a bit too much. Does anyone have a similar split to the ones I have listed above that they would suggest?

    I appreciated your time,
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  2. #2
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    You are thinking this too much. Most of the people on this website will open you post and see how long it is and then close it. It's because they see too many irrelevant details in the post that describe the workout.

    Use your brain and find something that works for you.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Deep-Voiced-One's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RaiseItUp View Post
    Long post warning.

    Hi everyone,

    Here's a little background on myself and my workout routine:

    I've been in and out of the gym for about 5 years now and I've finally been serious about it for about 5-6 months. My routine for the past year and a half has been full body workouts 3 times per week, alternating between Workout A (strength focused) and Workout B (Hypertrophy focused). I started at 130lbs in late June and am now 161-162lbs, so roughly 30-32lbs in about 6 months. Which I consider to be pretty good progress but for the past few weeks I've kind of hit a wall in regards to motivation and I believe it is due to the fact that I've been doing the same routine for over a year and half now. I've never switched off this routine because I've seen more progress doing that routine than I had ever before but now I am seeing myself going through the motions and not really enjoying going to the gym even tho I am still making some kind of progress each session.

    So I've been looking around trying to switch things up, mostly because of motivation but also because I feel like there are smaller muscle groups that are starting to lag behind because they are not trained directly (mainly forearms, traps, calves). I've tried adding accessory movements at the end of my workouts that would hit those muscles directly but being that my workouts are already 1:30-1:45, by the time I hit the hour mark I'm pretty gassed already and can't see myself extending an already long workout. This is why I've thought of adding an extra day, going from 3 to 4 days per week but doing full body workouts would mean hitting each muscle group 4x per week and having back to back days of full body, not ideal.

    I've heard the traditional upper/lower split but I'll be honest, legs are my least favorite muscle group to train and I won't have the motivation to go to the gym to only hit legs. I'll just end up skipping half of those workouts. Which is why I loved full body splits so much, I only had to do one or two leg exercises per sessions and i'd be done with it. I've been looking into some sort of full-body/upper-lower hybrid. Not sure if anyone has any experience doing that or not but it would look like this:

    Routine A
    Day 1 - Full-body
    Day 2 - Rest
    Day 3 - Full-body
    Day 4 - Rest
    Day 5 - Upper
    Day 6 - Lower
    Day 7 - Rest

    This would allow me to still hit every muscle group 3x per week, with shorter workouts overall. Downside for me is the dedicated leg day, which again not sure I can maintain motivation to do it week in, week out.

    Routine B
    Day 1 - Push/Lower
    Day 2 - Rest
    Day 3 - Pull/Lower
    Day 4 - Rest
    Day 5 - Upper
    Day 6 - Rest
    Day 7 - Rest

    3 days per week, hitting most muscles 3x per week. Draw back is I'm only hitting legs twice a week instead of my usual 3x per week. I guess I could add more volume to those 2 days to equal what I was doing in 3 days previously?

    Just looking for some feedback and opinions on where I should go with this. I have workouts planned in my head but not sure if I'm over thinking this a bit too much. Does anyone have a similar split to the ones I have listed above that they would suggest?

    I appreciated your time,
    You're over complicating things, full body takes time and dedication in the gym (heck, it takes me around 1 hour and 30, or 45 minutes total when I include a few accessories) especially when the weight on the bar gets heavier, your body will adapt and you'll eventually be able to shorten the rest time to jump into each of the working sets quicker.

    When you squat heavier the legs will develop, I sometimes do full body twice a week with good results even if I don't, or am not able to get the third day in for the week and I'm fine and I just hit it hard those two days with a few accessory movements at the end of my main lifts...incidently not even extra leg accessories (if you're pressed for time then do the main lifts that are of more importance and skip the accessories at the end on those certain days, you'll be fine...no workout is a bad workout, it's when you do nothing at all and/or lose focus by confusing things that's when it turns bad and unproductive quickly).
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 12-15-2019 at 09:38 AM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User seansmith922's Avatar
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    Smile Workout Program Help

    I honestly don't agree with people saying your over-complicating things.

    Training is a process and we all hit walls where we doubt our methods and start to critique what we're doing.

    At the end of the day your program should help you work towards your goals.

    That being said what are your goals with training? Is it to look better? Prevent health concerns in the future? Stay mobile?

    For example, my goal is to develop a strong V taper. How do I get a strong V taper? Well, I started by going from 175 to 200. Now I'm at 188. I'm 6'0". I gained weight so I didn't look skinny. I wanted volume as I develop the taper.

    Now I ask myself what does a V taper consist of?

    4 things:

    Small waist and toned stomach
    Wide Lats
    Wide Shoulders
    Big Chest

    I train abs daily.
    On back day about 80% of my lifts are dedicated to lats.
    On shoulder day I focus on side and lateral raise variations to build width
    I train chest 2x per week because it's my most lagging body part.

    As you can see my goal is very specific and detailed.

    I hope this helps with building out a new program that is tailored to your body goals.

    Keep crushing it and let me know if you have any questions about my methods.
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  5. #5
    Registered User RaiseItUp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    You're over complicating things, full body takes time and dedication in the gym (heck, it takes me around 1 hour and 30, or 45 minutes total when I include a few accessories) especially when the weight on the bar gets heavier, your body will adapt and you'll eventually be able to shorten the rest time to jump into each of the working sets quicker.

    When you squat heavier the legs will develop, I sometimes do full body twice a week with good results even if I don't, or am not able to get the third day in for the week and I'm fine and I just hit it hard those two days with a few accessory movements at the end of my main lifts...incidently not even extra leg accessories (if you're pressed for time then do the main lifts that are of more importance and skip the accessories at the end on those certain days, you'll be fine...no workout is a bad workout, it's when you do nothing at all and/or lose focus by confusing things that's when it turns bad and unproductive quickly).
    Thank you, I appreciate your response. I do agree with your mindset, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I am still making progress in the gym but mentally the motivation is starting to fade and I'm just looking for a spark and I thought maybe making changes to my routine would do the trick.
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  6. #6
    Registered User RaiseItUp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by seansmith922 View Post
    I honestly don't agree with people saying your over-complicating things.

    Training is a process and we all hit walls where we doubt our methods and start to critique what we're doing.

    At the end of the day your program should help you work towards your goals.

    That being said what are your goals with training? Is it to look better? Prevent health concerns in the future? Stay mobile?

    For example, my goal is to develop a strong V taper. How do I get a strong V taper? Well, I started by going from 175 to 200. Now I'm at 188. I'm 6'0". I gained weight so I didn't look skinny. I wanted volume as I develop the taper.

    Now I ask myself what does a V taper consist of?

    4 things:

    Small waist and toned stomach
    Wide Lats
    Wide Shoulders
    Big Chest

    I train abs daily.
    On back day about 80% of my lifts are dedicated to lats.
    On shoulder day I focus on side and lateral raise variations to build width
    I train chest 2x per week because it's my most lagging body part.

    As you can see my goal is very specific and detailed.

    I hope this helps with building out a new program that is tailored to your body goals.

    Keep crushing it and let me know if you have any questions about my methods.
    Hi,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

    My goal is to put on size mostly for aesthetic reasons. I'm the typical ectomorph with long skinny limbs and very little muscle mass. I started in June at 130lbs and am now 160lbs. Obviously, I've made gains but I still have very little muscle mass. I do understand this is a marathon but I'm trying to switch things up to get over this little funk I've been in. I enjoy doing full body workouts because I don't have to be in the gym 5-6 times a week and I can still hit most muscle groups 3x per week but I can see the smaller muscles lagging behind which is why I am think of going to a split but again, I'm still making progress with a full body. My chest is definitely a weak area for me, I have broad shoulders with a flat chest.

    This is what my current routine looks like:

    Workout A (Strength)
    Barbell Benchpress 4 x 3-6
    Assisted Pull-ups 3 x 3-6
    Barbell Shoulder Press 2 x 3-6
    Facepulls 3 x 6-10
    Tricep Pushdowns 3 x 8-10
    Barbell Bicep Curls 3 x 4-8
    Bulgarian Split Squats 3 x 4-8

    Workout B (Hypertrophy)
    Incline DB Press 4 x 8-10
    Cable Flyes 2 x 10-12
    Seated Cable Row 3 x 8-10
    Shoulder DB Press 2 x 8-10
    Lat Raises 2 x 10-12
    Tricep Extensions 3 x 8-10
    Hammer Curls 3 x 8-10
    Leg extensions 3 x 8-10
    Leg Curls 3 x 8-10

    I alternate every other workout. What would you think of adding workout C that would also focus on hypertrophy and hitting more accessory movements in that workout?
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  7. #7
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    I agree with seansmith922, with caveats. You say you've only been "serious" for the last 5-6 months. Skip everything prior to that, because you were just playing around. So you're really still a novice in all the ways that count. You're making progress, but you're getting bored. It strikes me as the same mindset you may have had when you were "in and out" of the gym. I'll guess that you quit several times out of boredom before, right?

    So stepping back and thinking about where you go from here is not a bad idea. It just might not be in the way you think you need to think.

    It's really too early to worry about possibly lagging smaller muscle groups. Those are a distraction, and could be due to your difficulty concentrating.
    It may not be the routine itself that needs to change as much as your mental approach to it. Other than sameness, what's wrong with it? Just "boring" is not really an answer. Any routine that you do consistently over an extended period of time is going to be boring if you approach it with the wrong mindset. So switching up your routine is not going to fix that particular problem.

    Review your diet and your sleep habits. Are you eating enough to support the effort you're putting in? Are you sleeping enough? Are you eating too much?

    What are your stress levels outside the gym? Are there distractions that get in the way? Time pressures? Emotional issues?

    Any of these can make the workouts just not "feel right." Correct any of them, if you can.

    Now about your programming itself. Here's where I'll agree with Deep-Voiced-One. Your routine should be simple and heavy. And it should be progressive. The one you're on isn't terrible, but it's not optimal. You say nothing about progressive overload.

    Do you log your workouts? Do you go in with goals as far as particular weight or rep numbers? Are you challenging yourself in ways that you can track how you performed with respect to your daily or weekly goals? If your workouts are not challenging, if they are not systematic and progressive, that can be a big factor in building boredom.

    If you need to change things up, do it. Now's not really a bad time. But don't just make something up, and don't try to go on intuition. Part of your motivation problem may be that you don't really understand the connection between the goals you want to achieve and the day-to-day work that you're doing. You still have a lot to learn, which is why it's a good idea to spend some time thinking about it.

    Start one of the well-established novice programs that you'll find in the stickies in this forum. If it feels like you're starting from scratch, don't worry about it. You'll progress fast enough. Follow the program as written, and track your workouts! Some of them come with spreadsheets or apps -- use them. You can even make graphs of your progress over time. And you'll know that you're building sound fundamentals that you can use to further hone your build once you begin to understand just what works and what doesn't, and how it works or doesn't.

    Watching yourself progress, seeing tangible evidence of improvement, and having goals to improve even more, is a great motivator for many of us. Don't spin your wheels. That's boring.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Deep-Voiced-One's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RaiseItUp View Post
    Thank you, I appreciate your response. I do agree with your mindset, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I am still making progress in the gym but mentally the motivation is starting to fade and I'm just looking for a spark and I thought maybe making changes to my routine would do the trick.
    Assuming you're applying progressive overload to your lifts each week and not gravitating away from the main lifts, why not lead with back squats twice a week (example Workout A and C) and lead with front squats on Workout B each week?

    That way you get bigger and stronger at both kinds of squats and front squats kind of compliment back squats well. Since front squats are a bit more quad dominant, you could even add in a few sets of RDLs towards the end, or if you want to keep in and stick to traditional deadlifts to get stronger on, you can add a few accessory sets of hamstring curls after deadlifts to balance out the front squats a bit that particular workout day.

    Edit: To address the part about hitting the chest...just a suggestion, but if you wanted to try out a Workout C, you could do incline bench that day (for example, each one of these being the second lift assuming you were leading with squats first. Workout A: Flat bench, Workout B: Standing, or seated overhead press, Workout C: Incline bench press, or incline DB bench press).

    The above is not intended to stray too far from a suggested structured program, but just a mere example of some ways you can test adding in other main variation lifts to a full body routine (and can easily be switched back to their standard versions the next time should the variation of lift not agree with you well, nor progress you towards a specific lifting goal) without throwing in too many extra variables that might otherwise make you overthink/complicate and potentially lose focus and motivation to get in there, lift and progress in the gym.
    Last edited by Deep-Voiced-One; 12-17-2019 at 12:09 PM.
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  9. #9
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    You’ve got to figure out what it is you’re training for and then run a program that will help you reach your goals.

    Figure out your own training style by learning how your body responds to training, what works for you and gets you the results you’re looking for, etc.

    This is achieved by gaining training experience. Trial and error. Trying things out in the gym. Seeing what works.

    When people are saying you’re over complicating things I think what they mean is you can overthink to the point that you end up not doing anything because you can’t make a decision. You’re too busy analyzing what is what.

    At some point you have to pick a routine and go with it.

    Try it out for a while and see how it works. You can always change to something else down the road.

    You aren’t gonna know what kind of results you will get until you actually try something.
    - Your mindset influences your outcome. It's time to take out phrases like "I can't" or "I don't have time" and replace them with phrases like "I will make the time" and "I will keep working at it until I find a way that works." Success starts with the right mindset and believing in yourself and your dreams.
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