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Started By CanadaMan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada)

Started on: 10/19/2004 10:59:21 PM, viewed 2685 times
Moving from Ideal to Consolidated: A Step in the Wrong Direction?

Hey Guys,

I′ve been wondering about something for a while now. In Heavy Duty II, Mike states that he inserted a lower body workout between the chest/back workout and the arms/shoulders workout in order to afford the upper body muscles more recuperation time. Thus, one would train upper body, lower body, upper body, and so on. This makes sense to me. Where the theory seems to fall apart, however, is when a person switches to consolidation workouts. Mike said once you are training every seven days(or if you do poorly on the ideal routine), switch to a full body consolidation workout. Speaking from my own experience, I would say that both consolidation workouts hit all the muscles in the body. To me this is a step in the wrong direction. With the ideal routine, one was training every 6 or 7 days, but splitting upper and lower body, thus giving individual muscle groups 12 to 14 days of rest. With consolidation, you hit EVERY muscle in the body once every seven days, which to me seems wrong.

I′ve been using the consolidation routine lately(but with seated rows in place of deadlifts), and I′m doing well on the routine. I recuperate quickly, and my poundages are going up. Also, I feel a lot stronger day to day than I did when I was doing 4-5 sets per workout. My question is this: Would I do better by splitting upper and lower body? To me, it makes more sense to start with whole-body routines, then split upper and lower body as you get stronger. Does anyone else agree with this philosophy?

I wonder why Mike didn′t suggest the following:

1. Try the ideal routine as written.

2. If you make poor progress initially(or you are down to working out every 7 days), drop the pre-exhaust and cut volume down to the following.

Workout A:


Incline Press


rest 6-9 days

Workout B:


Standing Calf Raise


rest 7 days

Workout C:


Seated Rows or Machine Pullovers(both of these exercises hit the rear delts in addition to the lats)

Curls(any type)

rest 6-9 days

Workout D

Leg Press

Standing Calf Raise


The above routine hits all the upper and lower body muscles, yet still cuts down workouts to three sets per workout. In keeping with recovery issues, upper and lower body are still separated.

As progress slowed, one could drop the ab exercises and curls. In addition, shrugs could be dropped and deadlifts used in place of seated rows in Workout D. This would bring volume down to 2 sets per workout.

Does this make sense?


This Topic has 9 Replies: Displaying out of Replies:

CanadaMan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) on 10/19/2004 11:05:33 PM

Just to clarify: when I was doing 4-5 sets per workout, I was doing whole body workouts. I was using Mike′s consolidation routine, with the addition of curls, pressdowns, and wrist curls, for a total of nine exercises, spread out over two workouts. Now I′m doing the standard consolidation routine, but with seated rows instead of deadlifts(which I find too taxing and hard on the lower back).

B-WINE (Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands) on 10/20/2004 4:54:15 AM

Good question!

One could also consider the ′athlete′s routine′ with an upper body/lower body-split. For example:

Workout A

1. Chin-ups

2. Dips

Workout B

1. Squats

2. Deadlifts

Note: I realize that there′s a certain amount of overlapping here: chins and dips both include the lats and pecs, and squats and deadlifts both include the lower back, abs, glutes and legs. And deadlifts also work a lot of upper body muscles like the lats and the traps.

Just my two cents.

dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 10/20/2004 8:36:10 AM


Yes, this is exactly what I do. Not sure if you have read my posts, but you will see I do a "super consolidated" routine that is upper body (1-2 sets) and next workout lower body (1-2 sets). I′ve been doing it for months now.

The consolidation routine IS much better for recovery than ideal, but it′s more of an "intermediate" routine in my opinion. Super consolidated (as I call it) split is much better.


CanadaMan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) on 10/20/2004 2:04:07 PM

Thanks for the input, guys.

B-Wine, interesting variation of the athlete′s routine, but I think squats and deads in one workout might be too much to handle.

Darrell, I did read over your other posts. I guess I wasn′t thinking about that when I wrote mine. You obviously figured this out long before I did. I think keeping upper and lower body split is the best way to go. Obviously you′ve had tremendous success, with no decompensation in strength occurring. What I was trying to say with this post is that the consolidation routine, though productive, is not as effective as sticking to the upper/lower split and just cutting back on volume. Once a person is down to 1-3 sets/workout, the only variable one has to play around with is rest time between workouts. As far as intensity goes, I′ve found positive failure with fighting the weight for about five seconds on the last rep is enough for me. The only exercise I might try negatives on would be shrugs on a machine. I′m going to rest a few extra days, then split up the exercises I′m currently using into upper and lower body, with a minimum of seven days between workouts. I hope this works, because even though I′ve been making so-so gains, I feel I could be doing a lot better.

Wish me luck.


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