Training

A Classic Split – Gaspari Style

It is always nice to look at another person’s training split and lifting routine. To start with, variety is important in classic split gasparitraining because muscles can easily adapt to what you are trying to do in regards to stressing them out for growth. One reason the muscle confusion principle is so highly utilized is because of its effectiveness.

This training split is one used by Rich Gaspari who was a great bodybuilder from the 1980’s era as well as a writer on fitness. It is a nice 7-day split that hits the body very effectively. Unlike some of the more common double and triple splits used by lifters in that era, this routine seems very practical for a natural bodybuilder in today’s era as well with a few exceptions. It does use a good number of sets but you also hit the body over 7 days for plenty of rest.

The Gaspari Split

Rich used a few interesting concepts in his training. For most upper body work he would pyramid the weight up but for the lower body is was higher reps in straight sets. The back ended up in-between. He also didn’t go down to the 4 to 8 range in reps very often.

Day 1 – Chest/Triceps/Abs

He would rest 90 seconds between chest exercises

  • Incline Dumbbell or Barbell Press – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, and 15 reps (alternate exercises each week and use a high rep set for the last)
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
  • Flat Bench or Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
  • Dips – 4 sets to failure

He would rest 30 seconds between triceps exercises

  • Cable Triceps Pushdowns – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
  • Lying Triceps Extension – 4 sets of 15, 12, 10, 8 reps
  • Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps

Honestly this seems like a bit of overkill for triceps because 4 sets of dips to failure is really going blast the triceps so doing another 11 sets on top is a bit of overkill. But the chest workout is very complete.

  • Abdominal Crunches – 3 sets of 20 to 25 reps
  • Knee Raises – 3 sets of 20 to 25 reps

There was less knowledge of core training back at this time but he did have very well developed abs. A bit more variety in exercises would be better these days.

Day 2 – Legs/Calves

Again he used 90 seconds rest between leg exercises but 30 seconds between calf exercises.

  • Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • 45 Degree Leg Press – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Hack Squats – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Smith Machine Reverse Lunges – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Stiff Legged Dead Lifts – 3 sets of 12 reps

A very solid routine but knowing how dangerous the leg press is would make me want to use barbell squats instead. Also dumbbell reverse lunges provide a better workout than the Smith option.

  • Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 15 to 25 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises – 4 sets of 15 to 25 reps

Day 3 – Rest

Day 4 – Shoulders/Biceps/Abs

Shoulders equated 60 seconds of rest between sets while the normal 30 seconds on biceps for a small muscle group.

  • Dumbbell Press – 5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 10 reps
  • Front Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
  • Side Later Raises – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Wide Grip Front Rows – 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps
  • Bent Laterals – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
  • Shrugs – 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps

A little imbalance here with many more sets for front and side delts compared to rear.

  • Standing Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Preacher Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Barbell 21 Curls – 1 set of 21 reps (7 bottom portion, 7 top portion, 7 full range)
  • Reverse Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps

A solid routine.

  • Abdominal Crunches – 3 sets of 20 to 25 reps
  • Knee Raises – 3 sets of 20 to 25 reps

Day 5 – Back/Calves

We go back to 60 to 90 second rest periods on back exercises. This is probably elated to weight being used more than muscle size.

  • Pull-ups – 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps
  • Seated Cable Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Barbell Rows – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
  • Deadlifts – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 10 reps

A solid routine.

  • Leg Press Calf Raises – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises – 4 sets of 15 reps

Day 6 & 7 – Rest