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Started By JLA (pevely, mo, U.S.A.)

Started on: 10/5/2007 1:07:17 PM, viewed 799 times
Full body workout vs split routine

I am fairly new to HIT type training. I have been working out for many years and am familiar with weight training, but have experienced my best gains over the past 6 months using HIT. I have only read two of Mike Mentzer′s books (HITTMMW and The Wisdom of MM), but have also read two of Ellington Dardens books. The information by both men is great, however the one thing they seem to disagree on is whole body training vs a split routine. I was wondering if anyone has any personal experience or preference of one over the other. I have been using Dr Darden′s full body routine and have gotten great results, but it is very, very difficult to sustain intensity on all lifts when your training so many body parts in one day. I feel like I need to hold back on some lifts (such as squats or deadlifts or chins) because they totally wipe me out for the rest of the workout. Mike recommends split routines which seem logical so you can concentrate on the most intensity per body part. I am just a bit reluctanct to try them yet because I have gotten such good results from the whole body routine and thought maybe I should plateau a bit before switching it up. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

This Topic has 6 Replies: Displaying out of Replies:

HD27 (N.Falls, Ontario, Canada) on 10/5/2007 2:32:17 PM


Full body workouts are exhausting.I′ve never understood how people can do 8-12 exercises per workout with any real intensity.I know there are a lot who do it,but in my experience,after doing squats or deadlifts I′m done.Mike once spoke about how exhausted he was after doing full body workouts and why they very quickly lead to overtraining,which is why he preferred split routines.If you eliminate the isolation exercises like in the consolidation routine,you are doing a full body workout.Ellington Darden seems to ignore the fact that even Aurthur Jones′s final recommendations were to do just Squats,Chins,Dips.I guess Darden wants to keep selling books!.In my opinion if you can perform 8-12 exercises,you really can′t be training that hard.For Me,Doing Squats or deadlifts is a full body workout!.

andyr (los alamitos, ca, U.S.A.) on 10/5/2007 5:51:32 PM


You are "right on" with what you said in that post.

Nilbert_Rafer (Muntinlupa, Manila, Philippines) on 10/5/2007 8:29:55 PM

JLA, here′s a share.

A friend and I were doing the Athlete′s Routine (Consolidated less isolations), to wit:

Workout 1: Chins and Squats; WO#2: Dips and Deadlifts.

That′s with 6 days of rest between workouts.

From last weekend, my friend preferred to do this kind of split (of upper & lower):

1st Sunday: Deadlifts, one set to failure

2nd Sunday: Chins, to max (finishing in negatives)

3rd Sunday: Squats, one set to failure

4th Sunday: Dips, to max

All the best on yours.

Marsalone (Phoenix, AZ, U.S.A.) on 10/6/2007 8:48:37 AM


I would stick to the full body until you stop making gains or gains start coming too slowly. Basically, it all depends on how far you are along the path. If you′ve only been working out a year or so and lifting moderate weights then you can certainly make gains on a full body routine provided that it is brief lasting no more than 45 minutes or so.

When you start to lift heavier weights, your body will know when you are trying to do to much and overtraining, you will feel it. You′ll feel lethargic, gains will stop, you stop feeling like going to the gym, you′ll know when it is time to reduce volume and either add more rest days or split up the routine.

But you can really make gains on full body for a while. I did a fullbody routine probably 35 to 40 minutes in length for a long time and I got to be one of the bigger, stronger guys at the gym doing fullbody HIT, a lean 6′0" 225 pounds working out with 325 for 7 reps on the bench, 6 reps of 415 on the deadlift, and squatting 395 for 10 reps. At that point my gains were coming slowly, I was feeling run down all the time, and I was losing motivation so I reluctantly switched to a split routine based on Mentzer′s Ideal routine but with a few additional excercises like flat bench and shrugs and curls (as in Dorian Yates video).

Now about 7 months after switching to a split routine I am a lean 237, I′m making good gains, I hit the gym with energy and enthusiasm and I am not feeling rundown everyday, something my wife appreciates…



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