In my last blog I briefly touched on my training split so for this blog I wanted to go into more detail about my split and how I set my workouts out.

I have a manual job, which involves a lot of heavy lifting so I take a lower volume approach to my training. I want my workouts to be short and sweet, but as effective as possible and obviously my recovery needs to be as effective as possible too.

I've tried other training splits and styles - push, pull, legs, a higher volume approach and although I enjoyed them initially, after 3 weeks I was always tired and failing to recover from my workouts.

I train 4 days a week hitting each muscle group once a week bar calves, which I hit twice a week - my calves are poor so I needed to try something a little different with them!

My current split is as follows;

  • Monday.. Calves, Chest, Triceps
  • Tuesday.. Back, Traps 
  • Wednesday.. Rest
  • Thursday.. Calves, Shoulders, Biceps
  • Friday.. Rest
  • Saturday.. Quads, Hamstrings
  • Sunday.. Rest

My rest days are always after back, and before and after legs. These being the two largest body parts they take a lot out of me, both physically and mentally, so the rest after these body parts is very beneficial. If I need an extra rest day I'll take one, but only when I feel I really need it, there is a big difference from being lazy and actually listening to your body!!

I'll use Chest as an example of how I set my workouts out (let's face it everyone loves training chest). Now my gym is old and very cold so I'll use as many warm up sets as necessary on my first exercise usually between 3-5 sets until I feel good to go, I'll then do two working sets

Exercise 1: Incline dumbbell press or incline hammer press 
Working set 1: A max set to true failure within the 6-8 rep range. 

Working set 2: Drop the weight by 10-15 per cent and complete another set to failure within 10-12 reps (I want to be as strong as possible over every rep range). Once reaching failure I add a couple of forced reps.

By now I’m nice and warm so I do 1 "feel" set for exercise 2 before moving on to my working sets.

Exercise 2: Flat press machine or decline press 
Working set 1: A max set to failure within 10-8 reps

Working set 2: Using the same weight as set 1 but adding a drop, if set one was performed correctly you should be getting 6-7 reps out before dropping the weight down by 10-15 per cent and pushing a few more reps out.

I then move on to shallow incline fly and straight into working sets aiming for 10-12 reps forcing a hard contraction and full stretch on each rep.

I finish on 2 sets of dips or press ups the first set is body weight to failure and the second set I add weight and go again to failure.

If this is performed with the correct intensity your chest will be annihilated.

I use this format for every body part, it’s intense quick and effective, I get in the gym, train and get out. My training style doesn't change from off season to pre contest what built the muscle will keep it, if you start messing about using lower weights pre-contest your muscles will adapt and have no reason to stay big and strong.

Find what works for you train as hard as you can and see where it takes you!