Heavy and light for big gains

As the title is not all that self-explanatory I will elaborate further. In the past I have tried quite a few different methods of training. I have trained once per day, twice per day, each body part once per week, twice per week and even 3 times per week. I personally found that training each body part to maximum intensity more than once per week was really difficult and left me feeling really over-trained. My muscles weren’t recovering in time for the next workout and I knew that I wasn’t making the gains that I wanted.


Despite not recovering properly I still felt that I was capable of training more than once per week. I just felt that my muscles were recovered within 3 days to a degree large enough that I could do some sort of workout on them again. It was this that led me to trying out a concept that I had read some bodybuilders in the past doing. This was to do each body part twice per week, but instead of do 2 normal sessions, do one heavy session and one lighter higher rep workout. Ronnie Coleman and some other top bodybuilders had advocated and used this method of training in the past so I thought It was certainly worth a try. I had the time and the resources to do it. I was training 6 times per week, I was getting plenty of rest, my job wasn’t too stressful and my diet was very good at the time.


So how do you go about starting a heavy, light training split? Well first you will need to split the body up into a 3 day split preferably. Unless you are able to train twice per day 5 times per week then this is necessary. This will still take 6 days per week training with only 1 rest day per week so it is still very tough. You will need to consider the types of exercises you are doing and how it will affect the next days training. For example you cant do heavy back the day before doing heavy legs as it is likely you will still ache too much to work your legs properly. So for that reason here is my opinion of the best possible split. This is working on a rest day being on Sunday.


Monday – Heavy chest, light triceps

Tuesday – Heavy back, light shoulders

Wednesday – Light legs, heavy biceps

Thursday – Light chest, heavy triceps

Friday – Light back, heavy shoulders

Saturday – Heavy legs, light biceps


So an example training week would be as follows:


Monday –

Bench press – 5 x 5

Incline smith machine press – 3 x 5

Flat flyes – 3 x 6

Dumbbell floor press – 3 x 5


Cable tricep pushdown – 5 x 15 reps

Bench dips – 5 x 15 reps


Tuesday –

Deadlift – 5 x 5

Underhand barbell row – 3 x 5

Underhand chins – 3 x 5

1 arm dumbbell row – 3 x 6


Seated dumbbell press – 5 x 15 reps

Lateral raises – 5 x 15 reps


Wednesday –

Leg extensions – 5 x 15 reps

Hamstring curls – 5 x 15 reps

Leg press – 3 x 20 reps


Standing EZ bar curls – 5 x 5 reps

Standing dumbbell hammer curls – 5 x 5


Thursday –

Press ups – 3 x 20 reps

Cable crossovers – 5 x 15 reps

Incline flyes – 3 x 15 reps


Decline close grip bench press – 5 x 5 reps

Weighted dips – 5 x 5 reps

Dumbbell extensions – 3 x 5 reps


Friday –

Lat pull down – 3 x 15 reps

Low cable row – 3 x 15 reps

Inverted row – 3 x 15 reps


Standing military press – 5 x 5

Standing 1 arm dumbbell press – 5 x 5

Shrugs – 5 x 5


Saturday –

Squats – 5 x 5

Hack squat – 5 x 5

Leg extensions – 3 x 8

Calf raises – 10 x 10


Concentration curls – 30, 25, 20, 15, 10

Straight bar curls – 5 x 15 reps



So if you are wanting to give  anew routine a go and want to gain strength and size, I personally recommend trying this routine. I have enjoyed great gains with this routine so I would recommend it for an advanced trainer who has hit a plateau.



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