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Jaden
Jaden
October 18, 2020 21:01

In the book, you mentioned for hypertrophy, RPE should mostly be 5-10.

When should we train at low RPE (RPE 5-6) for a bodybuilding program? In the routine above, all of the exercises are listed at high RPE (RPE8) for first set whereas in the powerlifting program, there is a technique building day where we should train at very low RPE.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 20, 2020 10:18
Reply to  Jaden
Miguel
Miguel
October 16, 2020 01:35

Excellent info.
I got confused as after reading many coaches, the common split for beginners is a 3x fullbody workout. Do you have any available, or the Lower/Upper split is the only one?
Thanks anyway for such an interesting content and for free!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 20, 2020 09:15
Reply to  Miguel

Hi Miguel,

Sure, here’s my three-day Big 3 Workout. The article I linked to at the top covers the differences between the programs I have available: How to Choose The Right Training Program.

Frankly, I have this program labeled as “beginner” because it performs better in a Google search than Novice, which is how it’s actually intended.

The popularity of three-day programs for true beginners is as much to do with not giving someone more time commitment than they can handle, as it is not giving them more training stimulus than they can handle. (Beginner > Novice > Intermediate > Advanced)

Hope that helps!

Leo
Leo
September 30, 2020 11:31

Hi, according to the linear progression, if I manage to complete the target repetitions for all sets, I will increase the load the following week. So how many sets should I perform for a compound exercise to optimize progress? For example, performing 3sets of squats will progress faster than 5 sets of squats right?

If I perform too much sets for a given exercise, wouldn’t that slow down my progress because it will be harder to complete the target reps for all 5 sets each week versus only doing 3 sets?

I have the book btw, so maybe it was explained in it but I missed it.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 1, 2020 18:07
Reply to  Leo

Hi Leo,

There is no “best program,” or “best number of sets for compound movements.” Different programs have different combinations of frequency, intensity of effort and load, and training volume. No one program or number of sets is for all people at all times.

This guide will help you choose a program: How to Choose the Right Training Program

This guide will help explain how the variables come together to create programs: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
September 13, 2020 18:45

Hey Andy,

I have a complete home gym with a squat rack, cable machine, and dumbbells. I read that you recommend to substitute:
Leg Press > Front Squats
Leg Extension > Barbell Bulgarian Split Squats
Leg Curls > RDL’s

Do we stick to the same rep ranges for each one, because for the RDL’s the 3×12 rep range really taxes me out. Should I lower the rep range to 8 or perhaps just really lower the weight and stick to the given 12 reps each set.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 14, 2020 07:00
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ, I can’t offer to re-work the program for you based on your equipment availability, but here’s my guide to exercise selection which should be useful. Either rep range will work fine.

Jeff L
Jeff L
September 10, 2020 09:44

For Lower Day 1 on the Deadlift Variant, would there be any benefit to doing RDL’s over a conventional deadlift?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 10, 2020 13:54
Reply to  Jeff L

Hi Jeff,

Pros and cons, but very similar exercises. Without specific reasons, I’d stick with the options we have. If you have reasons to not do those and the RDL works for you, please feel free to do that. Here’s my guide to exercise selection.

Max
Max
September 4, 2020 17:29

Hey Andy,

pretty basic question here, but what is it about “feeling the muscles work”?

On any exercise, there are basically two ways of executing them, in my opinion.
The first would just be with proper form, and without much attention paid to the “burn” etc.
The other would also include proper form, but would shift the focus on really feeling the muscles work, meaning slow negative, peak contraction with a x-second hold, and so on.
Which version would you recommend? Is there any difference between compound and isolation exercises in this regard? I find it a lot harder to progress with the second version, but there are a lot of different opinions about this topic in the industry.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 8, 2020 10:17
Reply to  Max

Hi Max, thank you for the question.

In my opinion, the place for “feeling the muscles work” is as a troubleshooting step if progress is not made after the more important things are covered. I would absolutely not recommend a novice trainee try it because they can lose themselves in trying to “feel” the muscles when they don’t have the mind-muscle connection for that yet.

1. Focus on lifting with good form and trust that the target muscles will be hit.

2. Purposefully slowing the tempo to “feel” the muscle will likely lead to more soreness (both at the time and the days after), but it leads to less training volume being done and is therefore likely inferior. Perform forceful concentric contractions and control the eccentric to some degree.

3. Soreness will happen whenever an exercise is unfamiliar, and thereafter it will come in waves as fatigue builds and subsides. But soreness (or a lack of) is not a gauge of a good workout — progression in load over time is.

Max
Max
September 8, 2020 18:35
Reply to  Andy Morgan

That’s what I was looking for, thanks a lot!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 9, 2020 07:58
Reply to  Max

Most welcome!

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
September 4, 2020 11:58

Hey Andy, I have been training with your Novice BB program for two weeks and it’s been really great so far. I had some questions for clarification.

1.Is it okay to T Bar row (Bending over) for horizontal pull even though lower back may be compromised? I would do seated row but it hurts my shoulders for some reason.

2.On lower body day 1, for Squats I typically warm up three sets building up to my working set. Since Deadlift is the next exercise do you recommend including Deadlift warm up sets as well or would it be safe to go straight into my working sets because my legs are already warmed up from squats? I feel like I am taxing myself from warming up for Deadlifts too sometimes

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 8, 2020 10:04
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ, thank you for the questions.

1. Could be a form issue (including seat height and the way you’re gripping), so I’d consider experimenting a bit more with that. But as long as your lower back feels fine, then swapping to a non-supported version fine. Otherwise, consider another chest supported row like 1-arm DB rows with the other arm supported on a bench.

2. It’s always best to warm-up for these big compound exercises. Even if your body temperature is high, you want to practice the movement pattern. Just don’t do it so much that you are fatigued. Here’s my guide to warming up.

Johnson
Johnson
August 30, 2020 22:37

Hi Andy, just curious, how come you didn’t include any forearm isolation exercises like reverse curls/ wrist curls?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 31, 2020 09:16
Reply to  Johnson

Hi Johnson, thank you for the question.

I haven’t found it necessary. The forearms are worked through the course of your regular training.

Ali Hassan
Ali Hassan
August 25, 2020 18:29

Hey Sir!
I hope you are well. I love your website. This is the best resource i ever visited. You are doing great job.
Sir i have a question … In the program you used ‘%1RM’ and ‘RPE’ scales for intensity. In one exercise you used %1RM and in the other RPE, why?
For example in Day Two.. ‘Upper Body Strength’, for horizontal push you used %1RM and for second exercise horizontal pull, you used RPE… why is that? can’t we use same for both or is there any difference/reason?
Thanks.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 26, 2020 08:29
Reply to  Ali Hassan

Hi Ali, thank you.

The %1RM is there to guide the load selection the first time you lift, for those who are new to RPE and wouldn’t know what load to choose otherwise.

For the second session onward, you’ll ignore this number.

To know the %1RM, you need to know (or estimate) your 1RM. Some exercises don’t lend themselves well to that, so we’ve omitted them. In this case, you’ll guess at the load you can do, based on experience. If you have no experience, just choose a load and see how you do. Nobody is perfect the first time.

Alex
Alex
August 24, 2020 17:37

I’m following the Novice program from the Muscle Pyramid book. It is a lower/upper 4 days per week program. Could I take all of the exercises and programming from it and spread it out into a Push/Pull/Legs 6 day per week program? Or should I stick with the suggested lower/upper?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 25, 2020 07:35
Reply to  Alex

You could, but the same work spread over six sessions isn’t likely to achieve a different result. This article may interest you: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

RJ Rafael
RJ Rafael
August 23, 2020 18:12

Hey Andy,

Thank you for sharing. What exactly constitutes a “beginner”, someone less than two years of experience?

How long should someone use this program before moving up into the intermediate program in the ebook?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 24, 2020 09:45
Reply to  RJ Rafael

Hi RJ, thank you for the comment. There are many ways to define it, but here’s how I want you to think about it:

1. Someone who can progress linearly (add load) from session to session.
2. For as long as you continue to progress with it.

Lennart
Lennart
August 21, 2020 02:38

Hey Andy,

so today I did the Bench Press and the program called for 3×10 with a heavier weight than last week.
However, I hit failure on the ninth rep of the third set, and couldn’t move the weight any further…

Andy Morgan
Admin
Renato
Renato
August 20, 2020 09:36

Would it interfere my progress if I do this program 3 days per week but with cyclic days?
E.g.:
Week 1: day 1 lower – rest day – day 2 upper – rest day – day 3 lower
Week 2: day 4 upper – rest day – day 1 lower – rest day – day 2 upper
And so on…

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 21, 2020 09:37
Reply to  Renato
Jake
Jake
August 19, 2020 05:13

Hi Andy, on the lifts that have a % of 1RM is the idea to still leave two reps in the tank as if it were an RPE of 8? Then, for progression purposes, only increase the weight if you feel that you could do more than 2 more reps? Thanks, Jake

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 19, 2020 08:39
Reply to  Jake

Hi Jake,

The % of 1RM is there to estimate the initial load that would leave two reps in the tank for an average person for that number of reps. You only use it as a guide (if needed) for the first set and then RPE thereafter.

Jake
Jake
August 20, 2020 03:57
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Ok, got it, thanks. So if I felt like I could do 3 more reps then it’s time to slightly increase the weight to where I could only 2 more reps then, correct?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 20, 2020 08:47
Reply to  Jake

Right!

Jake
Jake
August 21, 2020 01:14
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Awesome, I think I finally get it haha. Thanks!

Nidge
Nidge
August 11, 2020 19:06

Hey Andy – how important is the order each day? For example, I find deadlifts daunting after Squats, so can I do them before squats, or else do them on a separate day? Likewise, I feel better placing pull ups closer to the start of the upper day.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 12, 2020 11:41
Reply to  Nidge

Hi Nidge, feel free to change things if you believe that will work better for you.

Lennart
Lennart
August 5, 2020 02:21

Hello Andy,

1. I’ve been running the program for a while now and did seated cable rows on both upper body days. However, I find it increasingly difficult to remain proper form when doing sets of three’s on these. I just can’t feel any muscles worked then. What should I do?

2. Also, I thought it would be smart to use a row that is the most conducive to progressive overload. In my gym, the wheight increases on the seated row are 5 kg (around 11 lbs). That is just too much for me at some point. But on a chest supported t-bar row, let’s say, the smallest step would be 1.25 kg (2.75lbs). Can I switch to t-bar rows then? They’re not listed above.

Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 5, 2020 08:47
Reply to  Lennart

Hi Lennart,

1. Increase the rep range and lower the load.
2. With a higher rep range, making the jump from one loading increment to the other is much easier. Whether you use the seated rows or chest-supported T-bar rows should come down to personal preference.

Lennart
Lennart
August 6, 2020 00:00
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks!!

Jeff Kenyon
Jeff Kenyon
July 31, 2020 02:29

When should we start adding isolation work for the side and rear delts?

Also, I see you’ve recommended that people without access to leg press, leg curl, and leg extension machines should simply replace those exercises with free-weighted squat and hip hinge variations. Do you think this could have any adverse affects on recovery, given that they tend to be a lot higher stress than the original machine exercises?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 31, 2020 18:23
Reply to  Jeff Kenyon

Hi Jeff,

I don’t have a clearly defined time point, but we’ve covered the topic here: How Important Are Lateral Raises for Building Big Shoulders?

I’m sure you’ll be fine because the ‘problem’ kinda corrects itself — if you find them harder to recover from, you’ll lift a little less. — Problem solved.

Andrew
Andrew
July 27, 2020 00:56

Wow I can do all this in my home gym except the leg press on day 3. Is “barbell” hack squats or front squats closer to the leg press? I’m worried if barbell hack squats are closer to deadlifts or the front squats tax the back too much, but I don’t know. What do you recommend?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 27, 2020 08:58
Reply to  Andrew

Hi Andrew, I don’t know what you mean by barbell hack squats, but I find myself often recommending front squats in this situation.

Andrew
Andrew
July 29, 2020 01:09
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thx Andy. And do you recommend same rep range on that day 3×8 or would 3×5 or 6 be better?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 29, 2020 08:55
Reply to  Andrew

I’d keep it as is.

Lars
Lars
July 24, 2020 06:14

Would it be okay for me to UL UL rather than LU LU?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 27, 2020 08:47
Reply to  Lars

Hi Lars, thanks for the question. Someone else asked this over the weekend also so I added it to the end of the FAQ section.

Mike
Mike
July 23, 2020 21:48

Is there any reason Lower is before Upper in this split? does it matter specifically that you follow it like this or could you do upper lower strength and then upper lower volume? Thanks a lot!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 27, 2020 08:43
Reply to  Mike

Hi Mike, most people find lower body days to be more demanding, so we put those after a rest day when you’ll be freshest. Feel free to do the opposite if you prefer to do so and find performance isn’t affected.

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