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  1. #1
    Registered User kseminsky's Avatar
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    Critique my 5-day split plan

    Been a customer of bodybuilding.com for a while, and visited the forums, but this is my first post. I have been doing a 5-day split program that I have built on my own that suits my home gym equipment and exercises I prefer. Lots of help from the community here too, so thank you! I want to check myself that I haven't strayed too far from a good balanced program. I am officially on week 4 of this plan, and I am already feeling and noticing a nice lean gain. I like the program as it is now, so I hope you guys don't go too hard on me!! (just kidding, let me have it!!)

    Nailing down the rest days in the schedule is a little tricky some weeks, so I float the rest days, usually a day off in the week and one off on the weekend. My goal was to stagger the days so I never would have too much overlap on any consecutive two workouts. So, here is my plan:

    DAY Exercise Sets x Reps

    Shoulders
    Shoulder Press 5x5
    Upright Row (lifts) 4x8
    *Lateral Raise (side) 4x8
    *Front Dumbbell Raise 4x8
    Abs, Bent Over with Cables 3x10


    Legs
    Barbell Squat 5x5
    Straight Dead Lift 4x8
    Lunges (dumbbells) 4x8
    *Calf Raises (holding weight) 3x15
    *Barbell Glute Bridge 3x15


    Back
    Lat Pull Down 5x5
    *Bent Over Row 4x8
    *Assisted Pull Up 4x8
    High Cable Pull 4x15
    Abs, weighted on decline bench 3x10


    Arms
    *Barbell Curl 4x8
    *Tricep Extension, over head 4x8
    **Incline Hammer Curls 4x8
    **Standing Triceps, fnt pull down 4x8
    Palm Up Wrist Curls 3x10


    Chest
    *Barbell Bench Press 5x5
    *Abs (on bench) 5x20
    **Dumbbell Bench Press 4x8
    **Chest Flies (bands) 4x8
    Declined Bench Press 3x10

    * and ** = Superset

    I warm up with a one-mile run every day, except for Leg day (I'll just do half mile).

    The biggest change from any workout I have done before is my diet and supplement intake. This plan is aggressive, so I am using a pre-workout shake (ENGN Shred), BCAAs during workout, protein and creatine after workout. I take a fish oil pill and vitamins B and D. I am eating lean proteins (egg whites, white chicken, lean beef..) and vegetables. I am not really tracking macros or calories. I am eating smaller meals and subbing in a protein shake here and there for mid-day snacks.

    As far as my goal... I am not too sure. I am trying for a lean gain, but mostly I am enjoying the challenge of this workout. I am facing some hardships in life right now, and this aggressive plan is helping me feel good and think straight.

    A bit about me: I am 32, about 175lb, 5'-9". I have been working out on and off, trying different programs (5x5 plans, HST, crossfit). I used to enjoy running a lot (ran several 5ks, and even did a 12k this year).

    I greatly appreciate any comments, thank you for taking the time to read my post. Cheers! (holding my shaker with a protein shake, not a beer..!!)
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  2. #2
    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    If you enjoy it and you’re making progress awesome.

    Im not 100% you need front raises unless you’re trying to bring up tiny anterior delts.

    All the pressing is probably hitting that hard.

    I’d be more inclined to do rear delt flies or facepulls in there.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Not a big fan of bro splits here. An Upper/Lower 4x a week hitting each muscle 2x a week would be better imo. More opportunities to grow, plus higher quality workouts. Protein synthesis lasts about 48 hrs, why sit around whole rest of week waiting to hit that muscle again? Also, having to disperse the volume for say chest for example over two times a week, really forces you to use higher intensities. Volume+intensity builds muscle. If you cram all the weekly volume for that muscle in one day, it becomes very easy to start doing junk volume.

    And about your BCAAs, stick with just whey. BCAAs are a waste of money because protein already gets broken down into BCAAs. Taking BCAAs alone gets you only 3 aminos: valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Simply having more dietary protein will get you all 9 essential aminos. As far as creatine and preworkout goes, both are a waste of money too. If you want a simple preworkout without any added bs and only the essentials, have some espresso coffee with oatmeal & honey. Creatine is meh. Nothing magical. Save that money from preworkout, creatine, and BCAAs and get you whole foods with it.

    If you're trying to lean gain, that's about a 200-300 calorie surplus above your maintenance caloric intake with activity level already factored in. If you're 5'9" and 175lbs, I'd say go on a cut. 175 at 5'9" is what you should be at if you gained all the muscle you could possibly gain and you're at 10%ish bodyfat at the same time, I'm guessing you're maybe 18-20%. Google bodyfat images, find the one you resemble the most, and then cut down to 10% first at about 2lbs a week. That's about a 1000 calorie deficit below maintenance. You're gonna look way better in the end and be healthier than trying to lean gain right now as you'd gain additional fat no matter how lean your gains will be plus you'll have to learn to eat healthy. Most intramuscular fat will be gone, insulin resistance will be a lot lower, perfect set up for when you want to start gaining. Once you get to 10%, then start lean gaining from there. Keep protein high, workout hard. You'll still gain some muscle while cutting if you have little muscle to begin with, don't worry. Low bodyfat is literally 50% of looking great. You don't realize how fat you are until you start cutting, hell you'll even look bigger if you cut. Trust me. The majority of people would be in the best shape of their life if they just got lean first, serious.

    Eat your egg yolks too, you're missing some protein with that, plus the yolk has most of the nutrients. You don't really have to worry much about lean proteins to get enough protein in if you just cut out most of the processed bs containing copious amounts of sugar and fat that's taking up a great deal of your daily caloric intake.
    Last edited by Animal2692; 12-03-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User kseminsky's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the feedback. I'll re-work my shoulder routine a bit to replace the front lifts. I do a high-cable pull on back day.. should that be moved to shoulder day then? I guess I thought of that as more trapezoidal workout rather than shoulder.

    I agree, the 5-day split has long rest for the worked muscle groups. But, I like lifting every day that I can. Two rest days are enough just for when I am out of town, or with friends/family. I agree, I could trim down my body fat. I have a scale that measures BMI and some other parameters, I'll have to hop on and see where I am at. I am average build, so you're probably right at 18 to 20. Maybe I am more after the gain right now. I would like to cut, but I want to enjoy this program through January. February I was thinking of cutting, I am going on a cruise in March, so being cut by then would be cool.

    Regarding the supplements, I do not know much of the science behind it. I figure most of it is probably a waste. But, the pre-workout really seems to help. I like it, I think it is worth the $1 per serving. I'd rather have a surplus of nutrients than not enough to take full advantage of the workout. Protein and Creatine seem to be the most proven of supplements, so I'll stick with those.
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  5. #5
    Registered User kseminsky's Avatar
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    My scale (cheap "weight watchers" brand) measured me at Body Fat = 24.9 and BMI = 26.1 and I weigh 175. I am not sure how accurate that is...

    I changed my shoulder and back workouts as follows:

    Shoulders
    Shoulder Press 5x5
    *Upright Row (lifts) 4x8
    *Lateral Raise (side) 4x8
    High Cable Pull 4x15

    Back
    Lat Pull Down 5x5
    *Bent Over Row 4x8
    *Assisted Pull Up 4x8
    Low Row (w/bands) 4x15

    One thing I noticed this week is that my chest day is working my triceps pretty hard. I think I need to keep chest day away from arms and shoulder day. I am going to shift my days around as follows:

    Monday: Shoulders
    Tuesday: Back
    Wednesday: Chest
    Thursday: Legs
    Friday: Arms
    Sat/Sun: Rest/Running

    I appreciate the comments and feedback. Thank you!
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  6. #6
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    It has all the bad qualities of your standard bro split. There are twice as many muscles in your back yet your program has more pressing than pulling movements. Arms are trained pretty much everyday and even have their own day, which is a waste of a day. One day for legs is not enough. Oh and a muscle group will never need 7 days to recover. Ever. My advise would be to find a reasonable training program that has a progression plan. Extreme approaches to training always have too many cons.


    This should help go into more detail.
    https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/body...workouts-suck/
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  7. #7
    Registered User kseminsky's Avatar
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    @TAWS6 Thank you for sharing that website, there is a lot of good reading there. I have read a fair share of the downfalls of the 5-day split. I guess it was something I wanted to try despite the negatives, as I have done other splits/programs before. And, I wanted something where I can be lifting at least 5 days a week.

    I have decided to finish out this week with this 5-day split plan and switch to a Push/Pull/Leg program. I like the layout of that, it will allow me to work out everyday without worry of overlap. Rest days will be used when needed, but kept to 1 or 2 days a week max.

    Thanks all.
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