Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Switching to a Full Body Training Split

For some time now (at least a year) I've been usually following a 4 x week training template with an upper/lower blody split. For most of that time I was using Joe DeFranco's Westside for Skinny Bastards program (or least something pretty similar) and it definitely has worked. Lately, I've been a little frustrated with my lack of improvement (especially with gaining size) and I've just been a little bored in general with my training. The more I read about ectomorphs (those with thin bone structure and long limbs), which I am, the more I'm starting to think I might do better with a 3x a week full body split. I've noticed that I tend to gain more mass with more frequent training, as opposed to going 3-4 days before I work the same muscles again. I 'm still going to have a specific emphasis on each day (max effort, dynamic effort, repitition effort) like WSFSB did. Here's what the basic layout for each day would look like:

1. Explosive Movement
2. Squating Movement (inculdes single leg variations like step-ups, lunges, etc.)
3. Horizontal Press/Pull or Vertical Press/Pull superset
4. Posterior Chain/Hamstring Movement
5. Abs/Grip Circuit

And here's what a typical week of training might look like:

Day 1 - Max Effort:
Dynamic warm-up/Joint Mobility drills
1. 1 arm DB Snatch 8 x 2
2. Box Squat (heavy) 6 x 3-5
3A. DB Bench Press (heavy) 5 x 5
3B. 1 arm DB Row (heavy) 5 x 5
4. Barbell Goodmorning 3 x 10
5A. DB Farmer's Walk 3 x distance
5B. Back XT 3 x 10-12
5C. Ground Ab Circuit 3 rounds

Day 2 - Repetition Effort/Accesory
Dynamic warm-up/Joint Mobility drills
1. Barbell Hang Clean 5 x 2
2. DB Bulgarian Split Squat 2 x 10
3A. Chin-up (medium) 4 x 8
3B. 1 arm DB Military Press (medium) 4 x 8
4. 1 leg DB RDL's 2 x 10
5A. DB Hex Holds 3 x 10 sec.
5B. Woodchoppers 3 x 10

Day 3 - Dynamic Effort and Rep. Effort
Dynamic warm-up/Joint Mobility drills
1. Box Squats w/ Bands (speed squats w/ heavy band tension, light weight) 10 x 2
2A. Push-up Variation (light) 3 x 10
2B. Inverted Row (light) 3 x 10
3A. Rack Pulls 6 x 2, 1 x 15
3B. Deadlifts w/ added ROM 2 x 3
4A. Farmer's Walk 2 x distance
4B. Back XT 2 x 8
4C. Ab Plank Variations 1 x each variation as long as possible

I'll try this for 3-4 weeks and let you know how it goes. My diet will stay the same so I know how well I respond to this type of training. Everyone needs to switch it up every so often... Remember that your body adapts to anything in a few or even a couple of weeks. With WSFSB, I was switching up the volume every week and changing exercises every 2-3 weeks depending on how I was feeling. I never though of changing the number of days I lift a week.

Always try to improve. Never become satisfied.

- Max