Body Part Splits
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- August 31, 2008 at 4:47 am #23309propGuest
What is everybody’s opinion on body part splits. Poliquin reccomends often in his articles chest/back, legs and shoulder/arm days. Others are big on upper/lower splits, like westside and still others reccomend whole body days. Does it depend on the situation?August 31, 2008 at 7:25 am #24500bris83Guest
For rugby purposes a lower/upper body split is fine. You will find it near impossible to pack on serious muscle without a split similar to that. Further split into arms/chest/back etc is not necessary in my opinion unless you are a bodybuilder.
Also too much variation for athletes with a training age sub 5 years can halt progress. Poliquin states that the upper body needs more variation and that leg workouts should be changed every 6 work outs and that they need less variation.
In pre-season this year my players had 2 leg workouts per week which were the same and then 3 upper body sessions which were all different. One was horizontal push/pull, the other vertical push/pull and the third was a mixture of grip training and arm work.
Any of the articles on here by Ash are a great resource to see how a weekly split can be set out.August 31, 2008 at 10:53 pm #24497ashleyGuest
@prop 622 wrote:
What is everybody’s opinion on body part splits. Poliquin reccomends often in his articles chest/back, legs and shoulder/arm days. Others are big on upper/lower splits, like westside and still others reccomend whole body days. Does it depend on the situation?
Definitely depends on the situation and the individual, we will use both full body and upper/lower splits throughout the year with different players, to revisit a great quote from Louie Simmons `everything works, but nothing works for ever` personally I feel that we need to find what best get results and leaves the player fresh to perform on game day in season not how much can a player tolerate, cheers, ashAugust 31, 2008 at 11:30 pm #24502fergusGuest
IMO one of the the first questions is whether strength, power or hypertrophy is the primary aim, then worry about splits after.September 1, 2008 at 12:03 am #24498ashleyGuest
Once again Fergus spot on the money, thanks for your continued input, ashSeptember 1, 2008 at 2:16 am #24504luketGuest
Great stuff guys, its awesome to hear everyone’s ideas. I also totally agree with Fergus, firstly determine the goal then the means. I though I might add my two cents. Athletes typically perform a lot of neurally demanding exercises throughout the season so performing upper/ lower splits allows for the nervous system to have a break. However, Thibaudeau suggests the optimal training frequency per week of movements or body parts is x 2-3. At the moment my inseason athletes are hitting each movements twice via Fullbody workouts (One size or strength orientated, the other power). By doing this they are receiving all of the split benefits while training with optimal frequency.September 1, 2008 at 2:37 am #24501damianGuest
@fergus 631 wrote:
IMO one of the the first questions is whether strength, power or hypertrophy is the primary aim, then worry about splits after.
I agree with Fergus and would also add training age, time of the year and other training the player is undertaking as other variables to add to the decision making process.
I tend to use total body programs for the following reasons
1) Effieciency e.g. If time is short and I only have 1-2 sesions per week available such as in season
2) If strength is not my main focus with the player and we are only maintaining with 1-2 sessions
3) Beginning to intermediate players who can’t handle the volume within a session to a smaller number of muscle groups for a split program
4) If i want a greater frequency of lifting within a week for an exercise or muscle group
However, there is a point of diminishing returns where the player may eventually have to use a split routine to get in enough volume within a session to cause a training effect. Despite its lack of support I even use body part spits for players on occassions if they need to increase size.
For example, Chest & Bi, Legs & Abs, Back & Tri, Shoulder & Traps
Typically, however if liffting 4 x week I would use 2 x upper & 2 x lower. The upper session could be a combo of horizontal & vertical push & pulls or 1 day devoted to horizontal push/pull and the other vertical push/pull.
I also like Dan Bakers philosophy where if training an exercise or muscle group 2 x per week then one day would be devoted to lower reps and greater mechanical loading and the other would involve higher reps with greater density and time under tension for the musculature. For the lower body the lighter day could focus on speed rather than time under tension.
DamianSeptember 1, 2008 at 12:23 pm #24503fergusGuest
I don’t usually think in a body-part split mindset personally, but my only ‘problem’ with body-part splits is that they often tend to be or develop into hypertrophy sessions which is where they are most successful.September 1, 2008 at 11:35 pm #24499ashleyGuest
I agree Fergus, bottom line it is all about recovery and your end point goal, as I mentioned on a post a wee while ago, one Christmas break I trained front squat 3 times per day on Mon/Wed/Fri and 2 x per day on Tues/Thurs/Sat and once on Sunday, the volume was low and the intensity varied but after a couple of days rest at the ed of this training week. my 1RM Front Squat went up 11% and my squat clean which I had not trained went up by 7%, cheers, ashSeptember 2, 2008 at 3:21 pm #24505jmc404Guest
From reading the last few posts it would seem that we all have different ways to cook the perfect dish, we just vary the ingredients according to our taste. The success or other wise of these culinary masterpieces is not down to taste but success on the pitch which unfortunately we have not got a great deal of control over. Ref decisions, coaching decisions etc. Who would be a fitness coach?? Just some random thoughts 🙂September 4, 2008 at 3:50 am #24506onspeedGuest
thats where we are lucky in athletics – the recipe has the same complexities but the taster only cares about us getting across the line – as most ref and linesmen cant run sub 10s 100s we dont have to worry about them :>>
Again Ash is on the money for other sports as well – with sprinters their training will depend on their progress relative to the identified needs of that training block – at times they will be doing splits, then may move onto a period of whole body or even multiple day olympic lifting as Ash has tried on himself.
For continued progression the body needs continues stress punctuated by enough recovery – once you adapt to a programme that stimulus is no longer present …. aka what works now doesnt work forever!
It great to read what the rugby guys prescribe – ot crosses over well to other sports – thanks guys
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