I very recently posted an article about Steve Reeves, an iconic bodybuilder who always worked his entire body in one session three times per week. He was very successful with this training philosophy, to state the obvious.

Since I often used Nautilus machines in the past, I was also aware that Arthur Jones, founder of Nautilus, believed that we should work our entire bodies in one session. He also believed that only one set per muscle was all we needed, assuming we would work slowly and carefully with our negatives (the eccentric part of a movement). Nautilus machines were quite effective and well-received by most fitness practitioners.

For some time, however, split routines have been used by most bodybuilders (or so it seems). This allows us to give more attention to specific muscle groups without taking more total time.

Below is shown a couple of split routines that cover all major muscle groups.

My experience with split routines was quite simple and followed these steps:

  • I began with upper torso, legs and abdominals in one session 3 times per week
  • Next, I tried separating upper torso from legs and abdominals on alternate days
  • At one point after knee damage, I would do bodybuilding one day, hiking the next – no more squats
  • I tried push/pull (pushing exercises one day, pulling the next), but this separated triceps from biceps and I preferred flushing my arms in one session
  • Now, at age 81, I do light bodybuilding one day, physical therapy the next (about 20 minutes each)


6 day split:

  • Day 1: push – chest, shoulders, triceps
  • Day 2 : pull – back, biceps, forearms
  • Day 3: legs – quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves
  • Day 4: push – chest, shoulders, triceps
  • Day 5: pull – back, biceps, forearms
  • Day 6: legs- quads, gluts, hamstrings, calves
  • Day 7: rest

This seems like a good way to cover the entire body, with one exception. What about the abdominals?

5 day split:

  • Day 1 – chest
  • Day 2 – back
  • Day 3 – arms
  • Day 4 – shoulders
  • Day 5 – legs
  • Day 6 – rest
  • Day 7 – rest

Again, abdominals are missing)

4-day split :

  • Day 1 – back and biceps
  • Day 2 – chest and triceps
  • Day 3 – off
  • Day 4 – quads, hamstrings and calves
  • Day 5 – shoulders, traps and forearms
  • Day 6 – off
  • Day 7 – off

My observations – the above will present typical structures of split routines. The abdominal work may be included in any of these splits. The same body parts (arms for example) are worked on consecutive days, which I grew up being told not to do, but opinions differ.

Split routines may work well when we have lagging body parts along with well developed parts. This gives us the opportunity to concentrate our efforts on our specific needs.

It seems to me that split routines will demand more attention to quality rest times than the basic 3-day per week workouts. The above 4-day split is addressing this.


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Adjustable dumbbells

Light dumbbells

Resistance bands with handles

Loop resistance bands – I use these for physical therapy. They also work well for light bodybuilding.

Adjustable workout bench


Bullworker is the only equipment company – to my knowledge – that gives us the opportunity to do isotonic and isometric movements within one set of repetitions.
Martial artist Bruce Lee used Bullworkers to develop his striking power. I use Bullworkers for these reasons:

  • They are small and easily portable
  • Bullworker springs allow us to choose our level of resistance and change this quickly as needed
  • They are quality workout tools
  • They last for decades or longer
  • All Bullworkers come with workout manuals and carrying cases
  • We get a free entry to a Facebook group for questions, answers and motivation

I have at home the Bullworker Steel Bow and the Bow Classic.

The Bullworker Steel Bow is shown below. This is excellent for chest development:

Here is my Bullworker link. I also have a link to Bullworker at the side of my website as a permanent fixture. Check it out!


One thought kept flitting through my mind as I was writing this article. In my past, I have seen arguments between people who worked out in different manners, with different equipment or at different places.

The only workout that is not effective is the one you do not do.

Choose a workout that suits your needs and that allows you to avoid injury. Experiment with different equipment, different exercise movements and different intervals. Don’t forget that your muscles heal and grow as you rest after breaking down muscle fiber.

Move your body, challenge your muscles and don’t be one of these (see below):

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well and stay safe!


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