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The Great Eight – Fast Track Your Results

Back when weight training first became popular many decades ago, most lifters would do full body routines on non-consecutive days. And while some thrived on such a program, many were not able to achieve significant progress due to the tremendous length of such workouts. As a result, gym-goers began experimenting with the concept of splitting up muscle groups, and working them on separate days. This allowed one to better target specific areas of the physique without spending many hours in the gym at each session. The most popular “body part split” back then, and still today, seems to be a 4-day per week version. However, there are many ways to approach such a program, and thus I will explore several different options below. I encourage experienced trainees to try all of these splits, perhaps using each for 8-12 consecutive weeks before switching to the next. This is a great way to keep things fresh in the gym, while avoiding boredom and stagnation.

SPLIT #1 (No Specialization)

Mon Chest/Front and Side Shoulders/Abs
Tue Quads/Hams/Calves
Thu Back/Rear Shoulders/Traps/Abs
Fri Bis/Tris/Calves

SPLIT #2 (No Specialization)

Mon Back/Traps /Calves
Tue Chest/Tris/Abs
Thu Quads/Hams/Calves
Fri Shoulders/Bis/Abs

SPLIT #3 (Lower Body Specialization)

Mon Quads/Hams/Calves
Tue Chest/Back/Abs
Thu Quads/Hams/Calves
Fri Shoulders/Arms/Abs

SPLIT #4 (Chest Specialization)

Mon Chest/Bis/Abs
Tue Quads/Hams/Calves
Thu Chest/Tri /Abs
Fri Back/Shoulders/Calves

SPLIT #5 (Back Specialization)

Mon Back/Bis/Abs
Tue Quads/Hams/Calves
Thu Back/Tri /Abs
Fri Chest/Shoulders/Calves

SPLIT #6 (Shoulder Specialization)

Mon Chest/Back/Calves
Tue Shoulders/Bis/Abs
Thu Quads/Hams/Calves
Fri Shoulders/Bis/Abs

SPLIT #7 (Biceps Specialization)

Mon Chest/Tris/Calves
Tue Back/Bis/Abs
Thu Quads/Hams/Calves
Fri Shoulders/Bis/Abs

SPLIT #8 (Triceps Specialization)

Mon Shoulders/Tris/Abs
Tue Back/Bis/Calves
Thu Chest/Tris/Abs
Fri Quads/Hams/Calves

Honestly, I could probably come up with a dozen more splits, but these eight should give you some great options for your own training. As for what days to perform the specific workouts, my preference is a 2 day on, 1 day off, followed by 2 day on, 2 day off protocol. I have trained most of my career on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, which kept me out of the gym on weekends (making my family and friends rather happy). However, you have to do what works best for you and your “life’s schedule.” That said I believe that the majority of lifters do best when they get at least a full days rest after two consecutive days pounding the iron.

Train hard and be consistent and you cannot lose!

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