Diet, Supplements and Enhancers

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mcgarnacle

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 2, 2003
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Funny how things come round again.
Old timers were basically full body 3x week, then "once a week" splits became popular, and nowadays higher frequency is making a resurgence.
I don't get splits where the trainee hits a muscle group just once a week. Just not enough frequency. Smashing a muscle from all angles for 12-20 sets and then leaving it to next week? Obviously it differs from person to person and making sure the big rocks for adaptation are in place - sleep, nutrition, (supplementation o_O), etc but the accepted window for super compensation is 48-72 hours or 2-3 days after the muscle group has been worked. So completing those sets over the week in a 3x full body, or 1x LB : 1x UB : 1x FB, or 2x LB, 2x UB split will most likely be more beneficial to progress.
 

12Chill

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 13, 2014
5,111
11,770
AFL Club
St Kilda
I don't get splits where the trainee hits a muscle group just once a week. Just not enough frequency. Smashing a muscle from all angles for 12-20 sets and then leaving it to next week? Obviously it differs from person to person and making sure the big rocks for adaptation are in place - sleep, nutrition, (supplementation o_O), etc but the accepted window for super compensation is 48-72 hours or 2-3 days after the muscle group has been worked. So completing those sets over the week in a 3x full body, or 1x LB : 1x UB : 1x FB, or 2x LB, 2x UB split will most likely be more beneficial to progress.
Probably highly popularised by golden era bodybuilding and people continued on with it. Even these days Instagram or YouTube Instagram fitness figures will follow that split and all their young and impressionable viewers will follow. Problem is, most of these guys are on the gear.

Enhanced lifters can absolutely get away with it though for obvious reasons, they’re the one group that you’d actually recommend the 1x a week frequency to, and it works well for them.

Hitting a muscle group once per week for a natural lifter though, you’re absolutely missing out on some potential gains.
 

showdownhero

Premiership Player
Oct 6, 2005
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Probably highly popularised by golden era bodybuilding and people continued on with it. Even these days Instagram or YouTube Instagram fitness figures will follow that split and all their young and impressionable viewers will follow. Problem is, most of these guys are on the gear.

Enhanced lifters can absolutely get away with it though for obvious reasons, they’re the one group that you’d actually recommend the 1x a week frequency to, and it works well for them.

Hitting a muscle group once per week for a natural lifter though, you’re absolutely missing out on some potential gains.
Half way through this book at the moment


This is the type of routine he advocates, it's completely different to the kind of high frequency training I've followed throughout my entire lifting 'career'. I'm going to give it a shot through winter and I'll be very interested to see what my results are.

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This guy gives a flavour of what the book is about https://www.elitefts.com/education/...mcrobert-training-advice-youre-not-following/
 

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12Chill

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 13, 2014
5,111
11,770
AFL Club
St Kilda
Half way through this book at the moment


This is the type of routine he advocates, it's completely different to the kind of high frequency training I've followed throughout my entire lifting 'career'. I'm going to give it a shot through winter and I'll be very interested to see what my results are.

View attachment 1091080

This guy gives a flavour of what the book is about https://www.elitefts.com/education/...mcrobert-training-advice-youre-not-following/
I’m interested to see what sort of results you see.

Initially there are a few things that stand out.

Obviously that is very very low frequency. Things like training chest and quads once a week is likely to leave gains on the table. Training is simply the stimulus needed to cause protein synthesis and it generally spikes for a few days, and if you’ve hit it pretty hard it’ll likely also take a few days for you to feel ready to go hard again. So if you hit chest on Monday by the time Thursday rolls around your muscles are ready to put in some intense work again, and protein synthesis has dipped back down to normal levels, so the muscle building process from that initial workout is finished. If you don’t work chest again around thurs/fri you’re really just resting the muscle unnecessarily when there’s another perfect 3-4 day time period before the next scheduled session in which you could hit chest again, gain muscle and recover- doubling your total weekly work.

And I completely get that his idea is to hit chest/quads/etc once per week- but every single recent study leans heavily in favour of hitting a muscle group more than once per week for optimal gains (some faster recovering muscles like calves and traps can handle 3-4 days quite easily too). Essentially, why just provide 1 stimulus for protein synthesis a week instead of 2 when there’s plenty of time to recover and build from 2 sessions on that particular muscle?

Secondly, the limited amount of exercises. Again, every new study suggests 3-4 exercises per muscle group (some more simple muscles can be suited to just 2 like the biceps) as different movements will recruit different muscle fibres in different portions of the muscle. For complete hypertrophy across the range of the muscle, a variation of movements is best.

Some pros: each and every set should be absolute quality due to the low volume and length of the sessions. No junk sets where you think you’re doing something but you’re really just too fatigued to actually hit the muscle close to failure and your limiting factors are CNS fatigue or respiratory related.

Focus on the compound lifts, they’re the crux of any workout program for a reason. But if you already do all of those things and all you’re really doing is removing isolations, you’re not really getting anything extra out of this program. Chances are you’re reducing muscle hypertrophy across the entire muscle due to limiting the amount of movements for each muscle (not that I think 5+ movements per muscle each session is required but 2-4 minimum).

At least the exercises per muscle can be addressed to some degree with the 2 additional exercises per session of your choice, if I were to program it, I’d do the following.

Deadlift
Bench Press
Chest Supported Row
LUNGES/BULGARIAN OR OTHER SPLIT SQUAT MOVEMENT
BICEP CURLS

Squat
Chin Up
Overhead Press
LYING LEG CURL
INCLINE DB PRESS/OR A FLYE MOVEMENT

So over the week you hit:
Chest x 2 days (M - Bench Press / T - Incline Press or a Flye Movemenr)
Quads x 2 days (M - Lunges/Split Squat Movement / T - Squats)
Hams x 2 days (M - Deadlift (though for hypertrophy I’d honestly recommend Romanian Deadlifts) / T - Leg Curls)
Back x 2 days (M - Row / T - Chin Up)
Biceps x 2 says (M - Curls / T - Chin Up)
Shoulders x 2 days (M - Bench Press / T - Overhead Press + either extra chest movement chosen)
Triceps x 2 days (M - Bench Press / T - Overhead Press + Incline DB Press if chosen - no isolation work here but going heavy on all these should net some decent results)

So at least hitting the muscle groups 2x times per week in some capacity (except calves, some people have decent calves without working them though so isn’t always a training necessity in a case like this where training is really stripped down) but won’t be across as many exercises as I’d like to see. Recent studies suggest at least 10 working sets per muscle group a week so there’s a chance you might not hit that with this program, but you can.

Overall I think this program would work really really well for beginners. Big focus on getting stronger on the compound lifts, full body sort of routines multiple times a week (though I think full body 3x a week is superior to 2). As someone with more training experience like yourself I wouldn’t expect huge results but I’m interested to see how you go. If you were missing some of these compounds in your last program you’ll do very well for that muscle group as change can always be good if you’ve been stuck in a routine for a while. Also if you have been in a training rut and half assing some exercises and this stripped down program motivates you to push each and every set close to failure moreso than you were doing before, obviously there’s results you’ll see there. Apart from that I personally think it’s limited and if all things were previously equal (focusing on compounds, pushing to 0-3 reps in reserve every set with a high intensity, training each muscle group 2x a week with a variety of exercises and continually overloading and feeding to grow) then I don’t think this program is going to show results that are more significant.

Note; current PT, Bachelors in Exercise and Sport Science. Far from an expert, just analysing the program in the best way I can 👍🏼

Love when people guinea-pig ideas though (I spent the last year doing barbell back squats which no one does anymore instead of back squats to see how strong I could get with an awkward movement and whether my hypertrophy was optimal, which it probably wasn’t). We’re all different so this could work super well for you and that’s the beauty of training and individuality.

Keen to hear some results in a few months time mate, best of luck with it.
 

showdownhero

Premiership Player
Oct 6, 2005
4,568
1,751
Melbourne
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
on a journey through time and space
I’m interested to see what sort of results you see.

Initially there are a few things that stand out.

Obviously that is very very low frequency. Things like training chest and quads once a week is likely to leave gains on the table. Training is simply the stimulus needed to cause protein synthesis and it generally spikes for a few days, and if you’ve hit it pretty hard it’ll likely also take a few days for you to feel ready to go hard again. So if you hit chest on Monday by the time Thursday rolls around your muscles are ready to put in some intense work again, and protein synthesis has dipped back down to normal levels, so the muscle building process from that initial workout is finished. If you don’t work chest again around thurs/fri you’re really just resting the muscle unnecessarily when there’s another perfect 3-4 day time period before the next scheduled session in which you could hit chest again, gain muscle and recover- doubling your total weekly work.

And I completely get that his idea is to hit chest/quads/etc once per week- but every single recent study leans heavily in favour of hitting a muscle group more than once per week for optimal gains (some faster recovering muscles like calves and traps can handle 3-4 days quite easily too). Essentially, why just provide 1 stimulus for protein synthesis a week instead of 2 when there’s plenty of time to recover and build from 2 sessions on that particular muscle?

Secondly, the limited amount of exercises. Again, every new study suggests 3-4 exercises per muscle group (some more simple muscles can be suited to just 2 like the biceps) as different movements will recruit different muscle fibres in different portions of the muscle. For complete hypertrophy across the range of the muscle, a variation of movements is best.

Some pros: each and every set should be absolute quality due to the low volume and length of the sessions. No junk sets where you think you’re doing something but you’re really just too fatigued to actually hit the muscle close to failure and your limiting factors are CNS fatigue or respiratory related.

Focus on the compound lifts, they’re the crux of any workout program for a reason. But if you already do all of those things and all you’re really doing is removing isolations, you’re not really getting anything extra out of this program. Chances are you’re reducing muscle hypertrophy across the entire muscle due to limiting the amount of movements for each muscle (not that I think 5+ movements per muscle each session is required but 2-4 minimum).

At least the exercises per muscle can be addressed to some degree with the 2 additional exercises per session of your choice, if I were to program it, I’d do the following.

Deadlift
Bench Press
Chest Supported Row
LUNGES/BULGARIAN OR OTHER SPLIT SQUAT MOVEMENT
BICEP CURLS

Squat
Chin Up
Overhead Press
LYING LEG CURL
INCLINE DB PRESS/OR A FLYE MOVEMENT

So over the week you hit:
Chest x 2 days (M - Bench Press / T - Incline Press or a Flye Movemenr)
Quads x 2 days (M - Lunges/Split Squat Movement / T - Squats)
Hams x 2 days (M - Deadlift (though for hypertrophy I’d honestly recommend Romanian Deadlifts) / T - Leg Curls)
Back x 2 days (M - Row / T - Chin Up)
Biceps x 2 says (M - Curls / T - Chin Up)
Shoulders x 2 days (M - Bench Press / T - Overhead Press + either extra chest movement chosen)
Triceps x 2 days (M - Bench Press / T - Overhead Press + Incline DB Press if chosen - no isolation work here but going heavy on all these should net some decent results)

So at least hitting the muscle groups 2x times per week in some capacity (except calves, some people have decent calves without working them though so isn’t always a training necessity in a case like this where training is really stripped down) but won’t be across as many exercises as I’d like to see. Recent studies suggest at least 10 working sets per muscle group a week so there’s a chance you might not hit that with this program, but you can.

Overall I think this program would work really really well for beginners. Big focus on getting stronger on the compound lifts, full body sort of routines multiple times a week (though I think full body 3x a week is superior to 2). As someone with more training experience like yourself I wouldn’t expect huge results but I’m interested to see how you go. If you were missing some of these compounds in your last program you’ll do very well for that muscle group as change can always be good if you’ve been stuck in a routine for a while. Also if you have been in a training rut and half assing some exercises and this stripped down program motivates you to push each and every set close to failure moreso than you were doing before, obviously there’s results you’ll see there. Apart from that I personally think it’s limited and if all things were previously equal (focusing on compounds, pushing to 0-3 reps in reserve every set with a high intensity, training each muscle group 2x a week with a variety of exercises and continually overloading and feeding to grow) then I don’t think this program is going to show results that are more significant.

Note; current PT, Bachelors in Exercise and Sport Science. Far from an expert, just analysing the program in the best way I can 👍🏼

Love when people guinea-pig ideas though (I spent the last year doing barbell back squats which no one does anymore instead of back squats to see how strong I could get with an awkward movement and whether my hypertrophy was optimal, which it probably wasn’t). We’re all different so this could work super well for you and that’s the beauty of training and individuality.

Keen to hear some results in a few months time mate, best of luck with it.
Cheers bro, I'll be sure to keep you posted.
 

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