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Natural Bodybuilding Split Routine
This article will cover the most common routines out there today and describe the category requirements so that you can make an informed decision on which program will suit you best. Any of these programs will work as they are all based on progressive resistance which has proven itself to work as long as you stick to it.

The 3 day a week workout routine where each workout day is followed by 1 rest day and the third workout is followed by 1 or 2 rest days (as most people will take the weekend off entirely). This routine is typically used by beginners and involves full body workouts. The three day a week routine is great for beginners because of many reasons. The first is that it allows you to get familiar with the exercises by repeating them many times throughout the week.

Since most beginners do not possess the same strength levels as more advanced lifters, it is good to trigger the muscle more often because the amount of weight lifted is significantly lighter and you will not need as much time to recover and repair before their next workout. Believe it or not as a beginner, your body will actually experience greater gains training less rather than training more.

Take advantage of this time in your training as you will experience the 'beginner gains' that you may never experience again. You need to allow your body to adapt to exercises and recover in order to grow. 3 days is a good start for beginners and it will allow you to eventually progress to more volume and more frequency if desired.

The next routine we are going to look at is the 4 Day Split which is the next step from the 3 day full body workouts. This routine is typically performed by intermediate trainers. There are many variations that are floating around but the most common template to follow is performing upper body then lower body on the following day, then a rest day, then repeat (upper body/lower body).

As in the 3-day workout program, you have the choice to take two days off for the weekend or to continue after only 1 day of rest. The disadvantage of only taking one day off instead of the two day weekend is that it throws you off schedule for your next week (if that is important to you). Once you have completed about 3-6 months of a 3-day routine, you can move up to this split to start seeing more muscle gains.

The reason why this routine is categorized as intermediate is because now that you have been training longer and you have become stronger in your lifts, you will need more rest to allow proper recuperation between body parts you've trained in your workouts. You will back off the frequency you train each muscle but you will increase your training by one day.

Sample 4-Day Split Routine

Day 1: Upper Body
Bench Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Bent Over Row: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Bicep Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Rope Triceps Pull-downs: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 2: Lower Body
Front Squat: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Deadlift: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Lunges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Hamstring Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 3: Cardio/Off

Day 4: Upper Body
Incline Bench Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Lat Pull-down: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Barbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Front Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Dips: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 5: Lower Body
Back Squat: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
One-Legged Squats/Leg Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Hamstring Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 6 And 7: Cardio/Off

The last split routine we are going to take a look at is the 5 day split which is the most advanced routine that any trainer would recommend for anyone. There are routines that could make you train 7 days a week or even twice per day for a total of 14 workouts per week. But eventually the line has to be drawn because overtraining is a real issue that needs to be kept in mind and 5 days per week is a good split for 99% of natural trainers.

After training for many years and developing your maximal strength and growth, you may need to start training using a 5 day split routine focusing on only 1-2 muscle groups per workout. When you train for more than 2 years or so, the strength gains experienced in the beginning (due to an adaptation in your central nervous system) due not occur at the same rate. You will reach a point where it will be very tough to add more weight to your lifts or even grow additional muscle.

At this point, it is better to increase the volume trained on the muscle on the day you work it and allow a longer cycle for it to repair fully and to stimulate growth.

Sample 5 Day Split Routine

Day 1: Chest
Flat Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
Decline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps
Cable Crossover: 3 sets of 12 reps
Chest Pullover: 3 sets of 12 reps
Weighted Crunches: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
Abs Twists: 3 sets of 12 reps

Day 2: Back
Deadlifts: 3 sets of 12 reps
Weighted Pull Ups: 3 sets of 12 reps
Yates Rows: 3 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 12 reps
Lat Pull-down: 3 sets of 12 reps
Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 12 reps

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Shoulders
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
Arnold Presses: 3 sets of 12 reps
Side Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
Front Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
Wide Grip Upright Rows: 3 sets of 12 reps
Weighted Crunches: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
Abs Twists: 3 sets of 12 reps

Day 5: Legs
Squat: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
Donkey Calf Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps

Day 6: Arms
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
V-Bar Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 12 reps
Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 12 reps
Pull Downs: 3 sets of 12 reps
Bicep Barbell Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
Alternate Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
Reverse Grip Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
Weighted crunches: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
Abs Twists: 3 sets of 12 reps

Day 7: Off

A few definitions mentioned in the article above:

Beginner: 6 months or less of weight training.

Intermediate: 6-18 months of weight training.

Advanced: 24 months or more of weight training consistently.

Decide what your training level is and then choose a routine that best suits your individual requirements. Be patient and focus on one thing at a time and you should start to progress through each routine and see some very impressive gains.

For more information go to The Secrets to Natural Bodybuilding Training

 

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