If I am being honest with myself, the differences between natural and steroid lifters do not necessarily mean that fullbody workouts are the only way to train. The lack of frequency, volume and high intensity techniques does not necessarily equate to a fullbody. This issue is too broad to be stuffed into an either-or container.
But I think I am comfortable in saying that it does imply 2-4 days per week with a reasonable volume, focus on compound lifts and some form of progression.
This, of course, opens the door to other popular forms of natural training such as John Christy's approach and even Wendler's 5/3/1. Even though Wendler's is not a a natural routine as such, it is a reasonable workout with a focus on compound lifts.
For that matter, most powerlifting workouts tend to be 3-4 days per week. A natural lifter and trainer I respect, Iron Addict (Wesley Silveira), believed that a Westside-style training was more beneficial for naturals than elaborate splits. Both Westside and Wendler are a form of Upper/Lower splits.
I myself believe that the best options for naturals are:
1) Fullbody workout 3x a week.
2) John Christy or Stuart McRobert 2-3x a week.
3) An upper/lower split that runs 3-4x a week (Doggcrapp falls in this realm).
4) A push, pull, legs split.
5) A mutated upper/lower 4 day split - Press (chest focus), Posterior (deadlift and back focus), Press (shoulder focus), Posterios (leg/squat focus).
But once Pandora's box is open and we start to get into buffet training, worrying about turning compound lifts into isolation lifts, worrying about muscle confusion, worrying about bombing muscles from 72 angles, or hitting muscle groups with 4-6 exercises or 20+ sets on a given day, I think we are missing the mark. This sort of stuff I do not care for in any way...no disrespect meant to anyone. This is Arnold/Weider hoo-ha, and I yet again feel the need to say that even Arnold himself made the majority of his gains on a fullbody. Weider...that's a topic for another thread. Anyone that researches Weider knows that he did some pretty shady things in trying to build his monopoly.
At the end of the day people are more important to me than my dogma. I respect all lifters who work hard, and would rather have then as a friend that crucify them over something as trivial as pumping iron.
When I say I really don't care how intermediate lifters who have made good strength and muscle gains train, I mean it. At that point they know their body, and do not need to be "told" how to lift.
My main concern is always over average Joes who are sucked into the Weider vacuum and spin their wheels for years, never making gains. Unfortunately, they make up 90% of the lifters in gyms. They are the lifters I want to help and guide.
"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 04-10-2011 at 12:00 PM.