Both split-training and whole-body approaches are conceptual ways of organizing your weekly training schedule.

 

  • A split-training approach involves apportioning different muscles or body regions to specific workouts (for example, chest and quads on Mondays, back and hamstrings on Wednesdays, and arms, abs, and calves on Fridays).
  • A full-body approach typically emphasizes “big” (meaning multi-joint) exercises each and every workout (for example, squat and chins on Mondays, bench and lunge on Wednesdays, and deadlifts and overhead presses on Fridays).

 

Not many people use the former option, and here’s why: a true split routine limits you to mostly single-joint exercises. After all, if you squat on quad day, you’re also training low back, core strength, and hamstrings (just to name a few). A true quad day pretty much limits you to leg extensions.

 

How to Utilize a Split Routine

Few, if any, serious physique or strength athletes limit themselves exclusively to single-joint exercises these days. This means very few people use true split-training routines, and neither should you. The exercises that produce the most results are the ones that involve the most joints (and muscles) simultaneously. Examples include squats, bench presses, chins, lunges, overhead presses, Olympic lifts, and deadlifts. None of these can be performed using a split routine.

 

With all of that said, there is a variant of a split routine that does permit the use of multi-joint exercises: the upper-lower split. On your upper-body day, you can perform things like bench presses, chins, rows, overhead presses, and so on. On lower-body day, you can use Olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step-ups.

 

For the best results, alternate between the lower- and upper-body sessions, training a total of four times per week. This is pretty much how my own training is organized, as you may have noticed).

 

This Week’s Training

This will be a short entry this week, partly because there’s not too much to report, and also because I’m having a busy week due to a few professional obligations.

 

That said, I did manage a 265lb bench press, which is my best bench this year, and only five pounds shy of my best paused-bench press ever. I also hit a 425lb pull without warmups, a belt, or chalk.

 

On the less positive side, my last two lower-body sessions have been abbreviated - the first one due to knee issues and the second due to scheduling issues. Not the best thing to happen this close to competition, but sometimes life doesn’t cooperate with your best intentions.

 

That’s about all for this week. Sorry for the brevity, but I hope your training is going well, and please leave any questions or comments you might have below!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 21,410 lbs (Last Week’s Volume: 48,424 lbs)

 

Significant Lifts:

  • Bench Press 265x1
  • Deadlift 425x1 - No warmup, belt, or chalk

 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bodyweight: 201 lbs

 

Volume: 1,290 lbs

 

Squat

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 185 lbs × 1

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Free Workout

 

Bodyweight: 201.6 lbs

 

Volume: 11,264 lbs

 

Bench Press

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 215 lbs × 1

Set 6: 235 lbs × 1

Set 7: 247.5 lbs × 1

Set 8: 247.5 lbs × 1

Set 9: 247.5 lbs × 1

Set 10: 225 lbs × 2

 

Chin Up

 

Set 1: +35 lbs × 1

Set 2: +35 lbs × 2

Set 3: +35 lbs × 3

Set 4: +35 lbs × 4

Set 5: +35 lbs × 6

Set 6: +35 lbs × 4

 

Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)

 

Set 1: 80 lbs × 8

Set 2: 80 lbs × 8

Set 3: 80 lbs × 8

Set 4: 80 lbs × 8

Set 5: 80 lbs × 5

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Free Workout

 

Bodyweight: 201.4 lbs

 

Volume: 8,856 lbs

 

Bench Press

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 205 lbs × 1

Set 6: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 245 lbs × 1

Set 8: 255 lbs × 1

Set 9: 260 lbs × 1

Set 10: 265 lbs × 1

Set 11: 225 lbs × 6

 

Deadlift

 

Set 1: 425 lbs × 1 (Video Below)

Notes: No warmup, no belt, no chalk

 

 

Chin Up

 

Set 1: +45 lbs × 3

Set 2: +45 lbs × 3

Set 3: +45 lbs × 3

Set 4: +45 lbs × 3

Set 5: +45 lbs × 3

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions.

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