My muscle mass (bodybuild routine)...

This is a short program… I will not explain theoretycal background of it… Read Siff and Zatsiorsky :slight_smile:

Split System

  1. Monday Legs + Shoulders
  2. Tuesday Back + biceps
  3. Wednsday Pecks + triceps
  4. Thursday Rest
  5. Repeat

Explanation: I packed Back + biceps and Pecks + triceps because when you are tiring your muscles, then tire them good… Doing Back exc. tires biceps, and doing pecks exc. tire triceps, so then work them tottaly. I gived up my old split Back + triceps, and Pecs + biceps, because your arms are always tired and never worked maximaly.
Other issue is to avoid over-working of shoulders, wich is worked when you do pecs exc. so there is a two day gap between shoulder work and pecks… Again doing legs exercise need a rested athelete because they are coordinately harder than any other split part so they are worked first…
Acc to Zatsiorsky, rest between sessions of each split part is about 72h. Here you get 96h! Some other author (Metzner) said that there is need for more rest (7-9days) to alow muscle to grow… But I think 4 days are enough, so I gived up a 3x week workouts (with one day rest between them)


  1. Legs
  • Dead lift
  • Squat (front and back)
  • Lunge
  • Step up
  1. Shoulders
  • Vertical rowing
  • Press (behind)
  • Flyings (front, side NOT reverse)
  1. Back
  • Lat pull down (front, back)
  • Rowing
  • Reverse flying (lying on a bench on stomach)
  1. Biceps
  • Scott table (preachers)
  • Standig OZ curl
  • Dumbells (concentrated)
  1. Pecks
  • Bench press (flat, inclined)
  • Flyings
  1. Triceps
  • Narrow bench press
  • Press from the head (lying on bech)
  • Lat pull-down (standing)
    No machines, only free-weights and lat
    Use functional, multy segment exercises
    Choose 3 exercises for each group in one workout (or 3 for bigger, 2 for smaller)

-Do one set for warm-up with submaximal load (less than 50% 1RM) without fatigue experienced

  • Do a 4 sets of 8-12RM (platoue method) with same weight (or you can increase it, or decrease, but keep it within reps limits)
  • Try to do each set till failure and then 3 more. You have to have spotters. Avoid this dangerous practice when you do "dangerous :slight_smile: " execises like squat and dead lift… Do them till fatigue (not till failure).
    I dont remeber the reference but I think that sets are not to be done to failure, but only to a fatigue… Effects are little less and you will not spend so much energy nor fry your CNS! Choice is yours… but if you do till failure decrease number of sets and if you do it till fatigue do a more sets!
  • Rest between sets is about 1-2mins
  • Do all the exercises for one group and then for the other.
  • Rest between exerc for same group 1-2min
  • Rest between exerc for different groups: individual



Don’t you think that 12 sets of 8-12 RM leg work (+8 sets for shoulders) are hard to recover even in 96hrs, especially when you have two other hard workouts in between?

Did you mean to integrate such approach with a sport activity?

First, drop the specialized shoulder work on day 1. You don’t need it. All of the shoulder muscles are worked during the pushing and pulling days. Additional work will just overtraing the muscles, especially since you’ll be hitting them three days in a row.

Second, if you’re doing deadlifts on leg day, reverse the order of the pushing and pulling days so that there is a day’s rest between the deadlifting and the other back work.

Might I suggest a simpler program:

Mon: Back squats, bench press, dumbbell rows

Wed: Deadlift, incline press (no need for additional back work)

Fri: Front squats, miltiary press, pull-ups

I found that when I dramatically cut my weight lifting volume and simplified my program (2-3 lifts for 2-3 work sets each), my strength and muscle mass shot up, and I wasn’t even trying to gain mass.

I can’t say I’d recommend going to failure and then 3 more. You’re talking about saving your CNS with the Squats and Deads but you’ll kick the crap out of it with everything else.

You’ll be overtrained in 3 weeks max.

I agree. I think going to failure is unnecessary. I recommend finishing most sets with a rep or two in reserve.

Duxx, what events do u do? and what are ur personal bests? Before and after weight training?

Hi guys… tnx for reply!

The split system is based on Zatsiorskys book Science and practice of strength training.
Yes it is hard to follow this program so I gived up… later on this topic in this post

No… it is for recreative activities! You can do tempo paralel with it, but if you are going to do sets till failure you wil fry your CNS (Central fatigue) and have no energy for other high-intesity activities… So this is only for recreational activities!
The other issue is what is done before this program, and what follows… Before this I did 2 weeks of general whole-body exerc 3 sets of 15 reps (with 20RM load) - not to failure - to prepare myself because I had paused 2month withoud 1 kg lifted :slight_smile: What follows, will be discused…

Isnt overtraining of muscles goal in mass building programs? You can allow longers rest after 2-3 cycles for about 3-4 days for spercomp. Tnx for advice

No need… Deadlift work legs and lower back (erector spinae) and on Back day you are concetrated on latissimus dorsi and middle back (rhomboideus, lower trapesius) - middle back, you do not work lower back!
Yesterday I sensed fatigue in my legs when I did rowing exerc… Maybe because isometrical tension in them?

True… feeled yesterday

Only weight-lifting and tempo! I study… and try to find a work (as a soccer conditioning trainer… so there is less time for training (myself) :frowning:
My PB? In sprinting? Do not know, but about 12secs… Before pause I did half-squat 200kg, deadlift 150kg, bench 100kg if you wanted to ask that…

To conclude…
The pupose of this program is a transfer between 15reps to 1-5 reps (my favourite zone) so I wanted to try Zatsiorskys split (not the same as his )… This was a test!
So when I tryed to do this I found it very heavy…
Doing things to failure is, so damn, heavy and CNS-sucking… so dont do it! So I concluded that muscle buidling regime is not for me… I will leave it to Schwarceneger-like guys… :slight_smile:
Last year (beggining year) I did a transfer from 15 to 1-5 RM by introducing couple-of-weeks doing 10 reps, less exercises and doing whole body every day 3x week. 3-4 sets (not to failure)… This year I wanted to try spliting… bu there is no need I guess!
My normal program (for strength) is


  1. Snatch
  2. Bench
  3. Squat
  4. Suplemmentary exercises


  1. Clean
  2. Press
  3. Dead-lift
  4. Suplementary


  1. Jerk
  2. Bench
  3. Squat
  4. Suplementary

There is offcourse variation in this scheme but basicaly it looks like this… When I feel bored I do fronts squats, lunges etc to change it a lttle bit
Reps are about 1-5RM, for 5 sets but I will cut it of to 3sets (as Flash stated). Rest is about 3-5mins
Suplementary exerc can be done in 8-15 reps in easy fascion (lats, rowing, biceps curl etc)

Guys tnx for your time and critical analysis :wink:

I think you could still do a split routine, if you wanted to, but with a different set up (e.g., no more than 2 days in a row, lower/upper body x2 per week, so you train each body part twice with some rest between, perhaps with a better order in exercises, so you cover your whole body to the same extend and of course with progression in reps/load rather than failure week in, week out).

But back to your x3/week routine; since bench press is there as the main exercise twice per week, I would consider having a rowing -or similar- exercise at least once per week. I know you have the deadlifts in there, but I don’t think it’s exactly the same. Also, with Press and Jerk in there, another exercise in the opossite direction should be good (e.g., chin-ups, or similar?).
Good luck with the job searching! :wink:

No. Overtraining means your body can’t adequately adapt to the stimulus. The main reason most people have difficulty putting on muscle mass is precisely because they’re chronically overtrained.

Deadlifts work the entire back, including the upper back. In fact, the deadlift will demand more from your traps, rhomboids and lats than any other upper back exercise you can do. If these muscles do not contract forcefully during the deadlift, your upper body will collapse under the load. This is why Ian King is such a fan of the deadlift, because it is often the only pulling exercise that is heavy enough to counterbalance bench pressing loads.

any EMG studies on the lat and rhomboid activity with deadlifts? I respect Ian but are you positive about this Flash?

I’ve never looked at EMG studies. However, I doubt many successful coaches have relied on them. Here’s a more practical question, how many lat pulls and pull-ups do Olympic lifters do? Can you name another group of athletes with better overall back development?

Maybe No. 2 can shed some light on this. I know he’s coached some Oly lifters. I’d be interested to know how much he supplements their pulls with upper back lifts.

You might be interested in reading this article from Joseph Horrigan about over training:

The rest of his online articles can be found here:

Joe is definitely someone to listen to when it comes to the subject of proper strength training and the avoidance of overtraining. He and Charlie go way back, and it was Joe’s article on Charlie in the June '90 issue of Ironman that first brought Charlie’s methods to my attention.

The main exercises are OL, squat and bench, not the bench alone. Other things are covered as supplementary exercises as you stated they should be (rowing, lats etc) but the emphasis is less

TNX dude!

True, I agree. The whole body works to provide stability and mobility (wich is prerequisite for any mopvement), and traps, rhomb and lats in the case of squat and DL works to make spine and shoulders stiff and stable…
I got huge traps and rhomb (I did brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling) and I think that one contribution to this is squat and DL.
But in this stability case (in DL and squat) those muscles work isometricaly… dont you think Flash that for purpose of muscle development (bodybuilding, not for sport execelnce) you should do some dynamic contraction, for spending more energy in muscles?
BTW, EMG (acc to Latash) is more the art than science, because it provide fuzzy (confusing and partial) information wich is again strongly depent on its proccesing (raw, integrated etc.)
Try using simple palpation…

I didn’t say to only do deadlifts for the back. My concern was that you were doing upper back work the day after deadlifts, which might overtrain the back muscles. A lot of people think of the DL (and OL) as only lower body exercises and then pile a bunch of specialized back work on top of that without thinking about the total load on the back.

the only reason I suggested balancing front and (upper) back movements with another exercise is because this balance will come (only) by specifically practicing a rowing or similar exercise, or at least initially and perhaps in the reverse order, as I. King suggests, until your back side is developed well enough to help you execute much better and rely on the rest of the main movements for back development, such as the OLs and proper Deadlift, as you say. If your technique is perfect/sound in these three movements, then perhaps, yes, you don’t need an exercise specifically for your back and/or you are covered by supplementary lifts…