Coach Don Saladino’s 3-Day Split Training Program Test and Review

As a men’s health editor, I often feel like I eat, sleep and breathe fit.

That level of commitment to gym culture can be very rewarding. I get to help people learn more about their bodies and the best ways they can use them by spending most of my working hours sharing the best bodybuilding tips. mh audience. But the approach can also have some drawbacks. There are times when I feel drained and uninspired when it comes time to put my editor brain away and hit the gym myself, so the last thing I want to do after a full day of explaining the deadlift is do a round. strong pulls. I’m usually able to combat this brain drain by designing my own training plans to be flexible based on how I’m feeling, but earlier this year, I got into a rut.

The problem wasn’t that he was struggling to get into the gym. I worked out five to six days a week, so my active time was a priority along with (and sometimes before) work and personal commitments. But I was still feeling uninspired from all those hours I spent lifting and running, and my performance started to suffer. I am a certified NASM trainer, but I knew I would be better off with someone else making the decisions. I needed a coach of my own to help me get out of my training malaise.

I turned to mh Advisory Board member and celebrity trainer Don Saladino (his clients include Ryan Reynolds, Sebastian Stan and David Harbour) to help breathe new life into my workouts. The goal wasn’t for me to spend even more time in the gym or find more goals for training; I wanted to focus on following a program, first and foremost. I also wanted any programs I followed to be offered online for anyone to purchase, as many people who exercise at home have used these types of plans for their own workout routines. I also wasn’t looking for any particular body composition or weight loss goal. I started the program at what I feel is a healthy weight for me (197 pounds) and felt good about my appearance. It wasn’t about numbers, on a scale or on the bar. My biggest goal was to find a plan that would help me enjoy my workouts first and foremost.

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Don Saladino’s 3-Day Split Gym Program

I settled on Saladin’s 3-Day Split Gym Program, which, as the title implies, is structured to require three dedicated training days a week, using equipment most people have access to with a membership. gym staple (think pulley machines, squat racks, etc.). According to the description on Saladino’s website, the plan is designed to “build lean muscle, reduce body fat, and develop athleticism, all while working on mobility and flexibility.” The six-week plan also includes a nutrition and supplement guide, but I didn’t use those resources; I was only concerned with the exercise component of the effort.

3-Day Split Program Fast Facts

● 6-week program; 3 full body workouts per week

●Stated goals: build lean muscle, improve mobility, flexibility and athleticism

●Features: PDF of the program, virtual library of exercises

● Virtual program support (email)

●Price: $49.99

I chose the plan specifically to focus my exercise energies after feeling exhausted. Instead of just putting decent effort into workouts almost every day, I would push myself as hard as possible on all three structured days of the week, then use the days off to run, do heavy lifting, or just rest for active recovery without feeling that I had lost any profit. Considering my goals, this was the perfect plan for me.

The Structure of the 3-Day Split Gym Program

The first step in starting the program was to familiarize myself with all the exercises that make up the three-day weekly split, which I was able to access via a downloadable PDF file. Saladino includes a handy downloadable exercise library with video demonstrations and explanations of each move, which was helpful in knowing exactly how he designed the routines. Like many programs, each of the training days was structured identically from week to week (with some variation in number of sets and reps on certain weeks). The idea here is to progress from one week to the next, working with heavier weights as the routine becomes more familiar. This doesn’t go on forever, because it’s only a six-week plan, but this kind of structure provides a solid framework to build on.

I split my training days between my backyard gym, where I have most of the equipment needed for the program (or at least decent approximations via resistance bands), and the corporate gym I use at home. men’s health office. I had no problem completing practices from a team perspective; all of the exercises required basic equipment that you could find (or easily imitate, in the case of a machine chest press) at your average big box club.

Each workout began with a jump, throw and carry warm-up circuit, a staple of Saladino’s training plans. This got me moving right away and helped me get off to a better start with each session; I had gotten into the bad habit of going straight into the biggest lifts of my workouts without much preparation (if any). Next, a large compound elevator. One day he hit legs, the next chest, with the finish focusing on the posterior chain. Each of the exercises Saladino chose was different from the standard selection for these big muscle movements (going with barbell front squats, for example, instead of back squats), which injected some much-needed variation into my routine. From there, a four-round superset, which was usually a couple of tug-of-wars. A four-move circuit capped off each day, with biceps and triceps exercises built into each set.

Saladino also included an option of 20 to 30 minutes of cardio at 120 to 140 BPM (see more details on what exactly that means here), but since I was running and doing other activities on my days off, I ended every workout with the circuit.

3-Day Split Gym Program Review

The consistent structure helped me stay on task and move efficiently through each workout, especially once I got through a few weeks and got used to the format. I enjoyed following my progress week by week; I added weight when the reps that were challenging the week before came easy, and by the end of the program, I wasn’t getting PR (that wasn’t the point, after all), but I was moving confidently with heavier loads than at the end. the beginning.

He was also much more focused. Saladin prescribed a specific amount of rest between each set; I kept a careful eye on my watch and did my best to stick to the format every day. This prevented me from wasting time or improvising, and I was able to finish almost every workout over the six weeks in between 55 and 60 minutes.

I also felt like I was being pressured, in a good way: When training alone, I often missed tracking my rest so closely. Training sessions ballooned past the one-hour mark, making it difficult to do everything I wanted to do physically within the constraints of my busy schedule. By keeping my eye on my break, I kept my training tight and often found myself breathing heavily but not overworked.

The program also allowed for flexibility, as I ended up traveling twice in the six weeks without skipping a session. I was able to finish my workouts before a travel weekend for the first trip, then I saved a training day for an impromptu visit to a gym I wanted to see for the other. Staying on track was easy.

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Flexion after finishing the 3-day Split program.

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Overall, I felt like the 3-day split program gave me everything I wanted: consistency, structure, and focus, and considering the ridiculous arm pump I felt every day at the end of each workout, some extra muscle too . Physically I felt very good after finishing the six weeks. Most importantly, I took off the training fatigue I was struggling with when I started.

There are training programs that can help you achieve more specific goals, like maxing out your deadlift or hitting a certain number on the scale, but for my goal of refocusing my training and making it fun again, this one hit the mark. . I’m ready to move on to more complicated plans, and with the foundation I’ve built with this split, I’m confident I’ll be able to crush any target I choose that comes next.

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