The body is essentially split into three parts, in terms of “movement”:
a) upper body movements that move resistance away from the center of your body
b) upper body movements that move resistance towards the center of your body
c) movements which target the muscles of the legs
The reasoning behind this is that there is so much overlap in these natural muscle groupings that one can deploy relatively few overall exercises and maintain maximal growth stimulation. And since the legs comprise 1/2 of the body’s musculature, they require at least one day of dedicated training. This overlap creates a “overlap effect” between the muscles involved in the heavy compound movements. After hitting chin and rows, your biceps will already be warmed up and will benefit from the extra stimulation. I have also found that this is the routine that tends to cause the least training injuries as you hit related joints on the same days and then rest them out for a week.
Training the chest, shoulders and triceps together gives the tendons in your elbows, and the front delts more recovery time than would say splitting them into separate days of the week, where you may find yourself doing triceps or shoulders just 48 hours after a heavy chest workout. Again, same goes for the bicep tendons after all the pulling on back day. Training 3 days a week on this sort of split will achieve better gains than those who split their body into 5 separate parts because of the extra recovery.
The following is the basic routine. It makes sense to strip things down to essentials as it forces you to think what works best for you, and what’s really important.
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