fbpx

Please keep questions on topic, write clearly, concisely, and don't post diet calculations.

guest

Privacy policy.

127 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Niccolò
Niccolò
November 20, 2020 21:28

Hello, I really liked this article. Is there a pdf version of it?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 21, 2020 10:42
Reply to  Niccolò

Hi Niccolò, there is no PDF version of this article, but the article is part of our book, which is available as both a hard copy or PDF. You can see it linked at the end.

Michael
Michael
October 18, 2020 22:52

Hi Andy,
Thanks a lot for all the good work you are doing since years.

I was wondering if you could recommend a tool (e.g. excel sheet, app or software) that lets you enter the exercises of a routine and based on that is able to calculate weekly workout sets per muscle (muscle group). I’ve been searching for quite some time but couldn’t find one yet. Thanks a lot. Cheers Michael

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 20, 2020 10:21
Reply to  Michael

Hi Michael,
I suggest clients use a notepad and pen in the gym and then transfer it to a spreadsheet. You can download the one I use with clients via my progress tracking guide.

Lily
Lily
October 12, 2020 21:23

Hi Andy, I was reading the book just now but I’m a bit confused with one of the advice given under the chapter “Life Doesn’t Stop for Lifting”. The advice is: “If you train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for example, and you miss a Wednesday workout, just do Wednesday’s workout on Friday.”

Does this statement mean I have to combine Wednesday’s and Friday’s workout in one day?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 13, 2020 08:15
Reply to  Lily

Hi Lily, no it just means to shuffle everything along by a day. Here’s the support page for our Muscle and Strength Pyramid books. You’ll see Eric and I have answered close to 1000 questions there.

Randy R Marks
Randy R Marks
October 1, 2020 14:18

What kind of 5-6 day split is more beneficial for muscle mass push pull legs, upper lower, or the hybrid upper lower push pull legs great info mr.helms

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 1, 2020 18:15
Reply to  Randy R Marks

Hi Randy,

This should be helpful: How to Choose the Right Training Program.

Nick
Nick
September 30, 2020 04:51

Lots of great info, thanks Andy!

One thing I’m confused on though – how granularly is the 10-20 sets/wk volume recommendation applied? The sample intermediate strength program shoots for 13-15 sets/wk for upper body push, upper body pull, and legs categories. Is the 10-20 figure always in the context of those three groups? As opposed to further splitting the upper body into horizontal and vertical movements, or even as far as the individual muscles, and recommending 10-20 sets/wk for each of those more granular groups.

Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 30, 2020 10:58
Reply to  Nick

Hi Nick, we only consider the muscles worked when counting, not whether the movement is horizontal or vertical. You might consider that when choosing exercises though so that you have a balanced routine.

Ronald
Ronald
September 24, 2020 19:31

Thank you for good information Andy!

I have a question about accessories in Strength frequency matrix. Could you letting me know what is the day for espeicially?

Thank you!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 25, 2020 10:00
Reply to  Ronald

Hi Ronald. In this case, anything that isn’t one of the competition lifts.

Ronald
Ronald
September 25, 2020 14:35
Reply to  Ronald

Thank you for really quick answer!

Mahin Rahman
Mahin Rahman
August 22, 2020 06:01

Great article Andy!

I can relate with so much of your early struggles with finding the right training program. I wish I had a resource like the website and books you’ve created to build a solid foundational knowledge base before rushing to the gym.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 22, 2020 07:58
Reply to  Mahin Rahman

Most welcome, Mahin. Thank you for taking the time to write!

Amirreza
Amirreza
August 10, 2020 22:17

whats the meaning of NA?!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 11, 2020 08:45
Reply to  Amirreza

Not applicable. Thank you for asking, I’ve added it to the article now.

Andrew
Andrew
August 4, 2020 03:33

Hey Andy,
Sorry for bothering you with questions on every article. 🙂
I’m confused about this: Hypertrophy: ⅔–¾ of volume in the 6–12 rep range, remaining volume in the 1–6 and 12–20 rep range at a 5–10 RPE
Judging by your 4 day split example, total volume refers to all the exercises (compound + isolation), right? Does this make the full body day from your example strength oriented (although it’s in the hypertrophy table, it has the rep ranges you recommend for strength)? Basically, does it mean more weight for fewer reps?
Also, in the example above, compounds have 8-12 rep ranges, whereas in the example from the Intermediate program they have 6-8. So which one is correct?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 4, 2020 08:11
Reply to  Andrew

Also, in the example above, compounds have 8-12 rep ranges, whereas in the example from the Intermediate program they have 6-8. So which one is correct?

There are many ways to program based on these principles. The two program examples you’re referring to are examples of the principles in action, neither one should be considered more correct than the other.

Please consider getting our book. It’ll put everything into context.

Andrew
Andrew
August 9, 2020 18:27
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Alright, I’ve read the book and now I understand the reasoning behind the examples. However I still have a silly question. Is the leg/lower body day always supposed to go before the upper body day or is it just an example?
I’m sorry if it’s been asked on the FAQ page already, I couldn’t find anything related.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 10, 2020 10:19
Reply to  Andrew

It’s just one way of doing things. The logic in this specific set up is that as the lower body days tend to be more taxing, putting them when you’re freshest may be better.

Andrew
Andrew
August 11, 2020 01:57
Reply to  Andy Morgan

I see. Thank you for your time and patience.

Rene
Rene
July 20, 2020 21:25

Sry I looked on 12 pages on google on your homepage but found nowhere if you suggest a maximum training time and how high it would be. I am sure the answer is complicated as always. Is the maximum 1 hour rule a useful rule ? 

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 21, 2020 09:10
Reply to  Rene

Hi Rene,

No. A “1-hour rule” is arbitrary, and I like nothing arbitrary.

You go to the gym to deliver a specific stimulus. Once that is done, leave.

The time taken is a function of how many sets you have to do and the rest periods taken (to feel fresh enough to perform the subsequent sets well). This may take less or more time than an hour, but in general, the more advanced you get the longer the rest periods need to be and the longer workouts will take. If this becomes too much and training quality decreases over the course of a session, this is when you’ll split up your workouts into more sessions per week.

Bram
Bram
July 15, 2020 14:44

Hi Andy,

In the book I haven’t found anything on horizontal/vertical pushing/pulling balance. How important is this when setting up your program? What if someone only does lateral raises for a shoulder exercise and has zero vertical pushing volume? It’s just an example, I love the OHP.

Also, you mention here you don’t see a need for more bicep/tricep isolation exercises. In the book on page 92 there is a hypertrophy sample which has more bicep/tricep isolations, and also has no lower rep back work for example (so it doesn’t match the VIF recommendations, 1/4 or 2/3 in the 1-6 or 12-20 range). Could you clarify these decisions a little further?

I love the book and learnt a lot, these thi

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 16, 2020 07:53
Reply to  Bram

Hi Bram,

We have a support page for the books where we’ve answered ~1000 questions. Just use control+f to find the topic you’re after.

Bram
Bram
July 14, 2020 21:25

The table ‘Rep and RPE Range General Recommendations for Hypertrophy by
Exercise Type’ lists a rep range of 8-20 for lower body isolations.

The Intermediate Bodybuilding Program/Intermediate Bodybuilding Sample Program have these lower body isolations (leg curl etc.) for a rep range of 6-8. Why is this?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 15, 2020 10:23
Reply to  Bram

Hi Bram, well spotted. Consider that 6–20.

You’ll see we have different rep ranges for the isolations work for the two lower-body days.

Bram
Bram
July 15, 2020 14:13
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Hi Andy, thanks for your quick reply.
Does that mean 8-20 was a typo and it’s meant to be 6-20? Is that something to be fixed in a newer version of the book/article? Thanks again.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 15, 2020 14:41
Reply to  Bram

I’m not sure which, as Eric wrote the programs. I’ll of course fix any incongruencies, but I’m of the opinion that it really doesn’t matter which though, as both will work just fine.

These are just guidelines, not hard rules. Things are not black and white.

Bram
Bram
July 15, 2020 14:45
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Understood, thank you!

Bram
Bram
July 14, 2020 18:54

The intensity recommendations in step 2:

Intensity:

Strength: ⅔–¾ of volume in the 1–6 rep range, remaining volume in the 6–15 rep range at a 5–10 RPE

Hypertrophy: ⅔–¾ of volume in the 6–12 rep range, remaining volume in the 1–6 and 12–20 rep range at a 5–10 RPE

For Hypertrophy, does that mean 2/3 to 3/4 of the total training volume should be in the 6-12 range, or is that per muscle group? For example, does that mean 2/3 to 3/4 of the back volume should be in the 6-12 range and the rest in 1-6 and 12-20? Or is it meant for total volume and doesn’t it matter which exercises use the 1-6, 6-12 and 12-20 ranges?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 15, 2020 10:17
Reply to  Bram

Hi Bram, this is the volume per muscle group. Thank you for asking.

David Tempest
David Tempest
July 7, 2020 06:40

Hi Andy. I have bad shoulders and use a swiss bar for my bench press. I can’t really do any other types of bench press. Since I train chest twice a week with the same exercise and same rep range, should I just use linear periodization on one of my chest day, and do a slightly lighter chest workout at the next session, but forego the linear periodization on the 2nd chest session… just adding weight to the bar when I’ve completed a full cycle on the first chest day? Thank you

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 7, 2020 09:06
Reply to  David Tempest

Hi David, I’d do one day of lower reps and one day of higher reps.

Choose the progression scheme independently, based on ability. Novice progression should be tried first; intermediate progression after. Linear Progression and Linear Periodization | Rules For Novice and Intermediate Trainees

Lars
Lars
July 7, 2020 05:45

Is 72 hours enough rest between leg days?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 7, 2020 09:13
Reply to  Lars

Hi Lars, you’ve missed something quite fundamental to the article and I’d recommend you give it another read.

It depends entirely on how you train.

You’ll see in the first table that you can have a training split organized to work the full body (this includes legs) six days a week, you’ll also see much lower frequencies. The difference is how much training volume you assign to each day:

• Greater frequency = lower volume per day.
• Lower frequency = higher volume per day.

Your body can get used to almost any frequency of training you throw at it, as long as you adjust the variables to be appropriate (load, sets, reps, and the intensity of effort).

If on your Monday squat workout you train so hard you see Jesus on the last couple of reps, you might need a full week to recover from that workout. But if you do 3 sets of 8 while staying two reps shy of failure (an RPE of 8), you might be ready by Wednesday.

Riccardo mari
Riccardo mari
June 25, 2020 05:42

Hi Andy I have a question… for intermediate lifters you advise about 15 sets per muscle, for biceps/triceps/calves too?
Then, for example, how we count 3 sets of squat? Quads only or 3 set for quads, 1 for glutes and 1 for hamstrings?
And in this example, we have to consider if the squat is low bar, high bar etc…?
Thanks Andy

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 25, 2020 09:29
Reply to  Riccardo mari

Hi Riccardo,

1. Yes.
2. All three.

Abdullah
Abdullah
June 22, 2020 01:15

I am currently planning on making my own PPL split. Would you recommend that I stick to the same exercises or switch it up. For example, on the first pull day, suppose I was doing BB rows (3×6), lat pulldowns (3×8), and seated cable rows (3×8) as my back exercises. Would it be fine if I do different exercises on the 2nd pull day? For example instead of doing BB rows again, I would be doing DB rows in the 8-12 range, and instead of lat pulldowns I would be doing pull ups, and i’d include one heavy deadlift set. Or do you suggest I stick with the same exercises and switch it up every 4 weeks (mesocycle).

Very helpful post, thanks.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 22, 2020 08:17
Reply to  Abdullah

Hi Abdulla, this is a big question for a comment, but I’ll try to be succinct as specific is not possible:

The less training experience you have, the better it is to minimize exercise variety so that a lack of competency in the lifts doesn’t hold you back.

More about the topic of exercise selection here: A Guide to Exercise Selection When You Don’t Have Access to a Coach

Andrew
Andrew
May 16, 2020 17:01

Great article!

There is however one little thing that is not clear to me, hopefully you can clarify:
You mentioned in the rest section that if we don’t have much time, we can use rest pause sets. I am not really pressed on time, but love the idea to complete a workout in less time.

Now, I wonder, when we can complete an equally effective workout in less time, why do we not always do rest pause sets instead of straight sets? (Maybe with the exception of heavy squats and deadlifts because that’s probably too exhausting, but I am only doing Bulgarian split squats and single leg RDLs anyway)

Are straight sets more effective (for muscle growth) after all? Or what could be the reason?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
May 17, 2020 07:04
Reply to  Andrew

Hi Andrew, thanks for the question.

My co-author Eric actually released this article — “How can rest-pause/Myo reps and long rest periods BOTH be optimal for hypertrophy?” — last week which covers it. I’ll paste the conclusion and takeaway points, but the whole thing is worth a read:

This leads us to our final revision of our logical conclusion: whatever rest period allows for the theoretical “optimal” number of sets of at least ~5-6 reps, above ~30-40% of 1RM, at a sufficient proximity to muscle failure, so long as reductions in reps and load are primarily due to local rather than central fatigue, should be ideal for hypertrophy.

Is this the definitive answer to the question? Probably, but it’s possible something else might be going on. But as a hypothesis, it’s a pretty solid one that fits the data, is logical, and squares with anecdotal observations and experience.

The practical take-homes are as follows:

  • For compounds that train a lot of muscle mass, rest sufficiently so that you don’t generate a ton of cardiometabolic fatigue.
  • Only use short rest, rest-pause, high-rep, drop, and failure sets on non-tiring isolation exercises.
  • If you’re in great shape, you may get away with shorter rest periods but:
  • – To save time without hurting your gains, gradually acclimate to shorter rest periods over multiple sessions/weeks. Indeed, in two studies, a group resting 2 minutes grew similarly to a group gradually decreasing rest from 2 minutes by 15s per week, to eventually resting 30s between sets.
  • – You can also save time with antagonist paired sets. These are performed with short rest intervals after each exercise as one muscle group rests while you train the other (alternate an upper body push set with a pull, leg extensions followed by curls, etc.). This can be done with 30s to 1 min between sets. But, for compound push/pulls (vs bis/tris, or leg extension/curls), you need to be in good cardiovascular shape. Data shows this approach won’t compromise performance (if anything it might aid it).
Michael
Michael
April 23, 2020 04:56

Would you alter anything about design to accommodate resistance band-only (plus chin ups) training? Or give advice to someone wanting to use that as a primary method of hypertrophy?

I have a selection of bands that provide resistance from 5 kg up to 170 kg (and will buy more).
I’m late intermediate/ lowadvanced long-term trainee.
I’ve toyed with a few programs on my own but nothing feels “right” or gives too much fatigue. For example the couple of weeks of myo-rep band stuff just smashed me.

Ideally something like 4 days full-body. Would I do something like 4 sets per muscle 4 times a week rising to 5. What RPE though? Hinge I can load HEAVYl. Squat pattern mostly single leg split squats.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
April 23, 2020 08:43
Reply to  Michael

Hi Michael, I have an article on that here: How To Adapt Your Training Program For Home. You’ll find lots of videos I filmed using resistance bands too.

As for finding the right volume: let’s say you swapped the exercises and sets like as I describe in that guide and you’re very sore.

Soreness when doing any new exercise is natural and shouldn’t be taken a sign that what you’re doing is inappropriate. It takes a few sessions for the repeated bout effect to kick in and for this to subside.

(A band row, for example, hits the lats in a slightly different way and will cause more soreness than whatever regular row you’re used to)

But if that same level of soreness is still there a few sessions in and hasn’t gotten much better, then lower the number of sets per exercise or the number of exercises per body part.

Michael
Michael
April 23, 2020 18:57
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks Andy, I saw that article right after I posted and it was very helpful.

Yes, i’ll do what it said and just do my normal gym program sets/reps/split. The weird thing is I never thought of that as an option under lockdown if you were pretty strong.

I’m going to do that and focus on the RPE/RIR and try to hit that with a reasonable number of reps (4-20). Should be far more enjoyable.

Do you think if someone was band-only do you think they could build a similar amount of muscle compared to free weight? It obv be less but how much less?

I’m really tempted to try that as sort of “life-challenge” even after lockdown. Found I love bands and their versatility.

Drea
Drea
March 11, 2020 18:56

I am a novice with less than a year of experience. I love the 6 day LPP split but I am not making much strength progression. Should reduce volume withe LPP or should I switch to a U/L split

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
March 12, 2020 08:49
Reply to  Drea

Hi Drea, see my article on progression (How to Keep Progressing as a Novice and Intermediate Trainee) and then troubleshooting progression (How to Break Training Plateaus [Decision Tree & Checklist]).

Scroll to Top