I write this on a Friday afternoon, after having just completed a monster full body workout to kick off a three day holiday weekend. As I was driving to pick up a massive pile of Mexican food I began to reminisce and wax poetic about what my Friday workouts used to look like, almost a decade ago.
While the fitness industry has been fairly successful in it’s attempt to eliminate body part split workouts from the annals of physical history and replace them with whole body- movement based-functional-rehabilitative-mumbo jumbo-insert fitness buzz word here- workouts, there is still a contingent of people still doing body part split workouts. They serve their place and purpose, and
will never go away. I thought I’d share
what my take was on them, as it was a little out of the ordinary, it worked well for me, and as I have read in recent “cutting edge” articles, they were a little ahead of their time.
Mondays, which are known in the gym community to have their own holiday known as “National Bench Press Day,” meant that every bench in the gym was being used. So I turned to the squat rack, which was empty that day. Mondays became my Leg Day, which served two purposes, as I never again had an excuse to skip Leg Day, and I never had to wait for equipment.
Tuesdays were Shoulder Day, mainly because I knew I would be taking Wednesday off, and I didn’t want to put Shoulder Day next to Back or Chest Day.
Wednesday was a rest day.
Thursday was Back and Triceps Day. These were super sets done back to back. At the time, everyone was pairing back and biceps or chest and triceps, which I thought was dumb because it meant that the arms would end up being trained tired, and I wanted to train them fresh. So I paired up opposing muscle groups instead. (As an aside, if I could only train three days a week, I would pair Shoulders and Legs on Monday, and then work Back and Triceps on Wednesday)
Friday was Chest and Biceps Day. Like doing legs on Monday, this served two purposes. First, I wasn’t going to skip chest day, so it guaranteed I wasn’t going to skip the gym on Fridays and head straight to the bar (this was pre- married and kid life). Second, it gave the chest and arms a good pump before I headed to meet my buddies at the bar (this led to married and kid life, so I guess it worked).
If you’re curious about exercises, sets and reps, they went a little like this:
- Leg Day: 4-6 Exercises. Starting with Squats and Deadlifts, working through accessory lifts, finishing with calves.
- Shoulder Day: 4-6 Exercises. Starting with Presses and Rows, finishing with various raises and accessory lifts.(If Leg and Shoulder Day were combined, I would pick 4 of each and super set them.)
- Back and Triceps Day: 4 Exercises each, Super-setted. Start big, work to accessory.
- Chest and Biceps Day: 4 Exercises each, Super-setted. Start big, work to accessory.
Sets and reps:
- Set 1: 10-12 reps
- Set 2: 8-10 reps
- Set 3-5: 3 sets of 4-6 reps at the same heavy weight. Heaviest I could get for at least 4 reps, once I could get 3 sets of 6 it was time to go heavier.
- Set 6: 8 reps at set 2 weight.
I used the same set/rep scheme for everything, resulting in up to 50 reps per lift, with 30-40% of the reps performed at a very heavy weight. This resulted in damn good hypertrophy, and with rest intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute between sets, this also accounted for my cardio for the better part of a few years. Ironically, this was also the leanest and most muscular I’ve ever been, on a diet that consisted mainly of protein shakes, hot wings, and beer.
Thanks for letting me go bro on you for a moment, and if you ever want to mix up your training and pack on a little muscle, give it a try! (well, maybe not the hot wings and beer part, although maybe that was the trick?!!)
Chief FitRanX® Instructor