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5/23/2015

The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2Day Split Routine For Building Strength and
Sculpting Lean Muscle
By Tom Venuto

The New Body-28 (TNB-28): Background


The original TNB program started out as an article for Men's
Fitness magazine. The editors had some very exacting criteria
for this workout: They wanted me to design a program for
building strength and muscle, but which wasn't a traditional
body part split routine (arm day, chest day, etc).
The exercises had to be all or mostly free weights - no
selectorized machines. The exercises also had to be challenging
and at least a few of them unique and not commonly performed. I gave them exactly what they asked for
and they loved it. The article appeared in the print edition of the magazine and was also reprinted here in our
Inner Circle for the benefit of our members.
It was named The New Bodybuilding (TNB) workout because it was designed to build muscle like any
bodybuilding workout, it simply did not use traditional bodybuilding split routines. That made it much more
suitable for the average guy or gal who was not interested in building the mass of a heavyweight bodybuilder
(and who certainly wasn't going to tan up, pump up and flex in posing trunks or a teeny bikini onstage under
a spotlight any time soon). In other words, this program was designed to have broad appeal and utility.
TNB became the most popular workout program I ever created. Not only that, everyone knew it was working
because so many of our Burn the Fat Challenge contestants used the program and their results were visible
for all to see.
Fast forward a few years. The Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle book was getting re-written for a brand new 10year anniversary print edition with the largest traditional publisher in the world: Random House. The mission
of taking this internet ebook classic into print and to the mainstream: To help millions of people get leaner,
stronger, fitter and healthier using the bodybuilding and fitness model style of eating and training.
To reach people in the mainstream - especially weight loss seekers who were only dieting and had never
lifted before - and to get them involved in resistance training meant that once again, we needed a training
program that had broad appeal. Resistance training programs for bodybuilding, like the 3 and 4 day splits
that were featured in the original Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle are sometimes not the ideal workouts for the
majority of recreational lifters and fitness seekers. But guess what is? TNB!
The best part was that TNB was already tested and proven. All it needed was an update and revision so it
could be presented as new once again and it could work equally for seasoned lifters and those new to lifting
or with limited experience.
The program got a slightly different name (and a number to correspond with the training cycle duration) The New Body 28. This makes it easy to distinguish this TNB program from the original. (conveniently, the
acronym remained the same as did the upper-lower split. The workout got its own chapter in the new Burn
the Fat, Feed the Muscle book, and I'm pleased to reprint it here for you, along with all the exercise
photographs (which weren't included in the book due to space limitations).
The 2 day split routine
The TNB-28 program uses a 2-day split routine, where you divide your workout into an upper body day and a
lower body plus abs day. Why not stick with a full body workout? You could, but beyond the beginner stage,
your body will respond best when you accumulate a higher volume of work. Splitting your body in two gives
you time in each workout to add those additional sets and exercises.
As you advance, it's also important to use more variation in the training stimulus, both in rep ranges and
exercises. These goals are difficult to achieve with full body workouts, without turning them into marathon 90
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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

to 120-minute sessions.
Split routines also allow you to focus your mental and physical energies more efficiently. Training your entire
body in a single session can be exhausting. When you only have to work half your body, you can give more
energy and intensity to each muscle group. There's a little more volume to be done on the upper body days,
but since leg training is so demanding, it's better that the volume is lower on leg day. It also leaves you
plenty of time to do a thorough job on your abs, and who doesn't want great abs?
For anyone who does want to move to the next level and pursue competitive or high-level bodybuilding or
physique training, the body part split routines that appeared in the original ebook are also available here at
the Inner Circle for members (For the quintessential pure bodybuilding workout, look up the 4-day split in the
workouts department).
Equipment Required
This program uses a mix of barbells, dumbbells and weight machines. You can do it in a gym or you can
follow it at home with basic equipment. If you don't have access to all the machines, you can easily
substitute an equivalent free-weight exercise.
For example, if you don't have a cable pulley machine for triceps pushdowns you can do a barbell or
dumbbell triceps extension. If you don't have a lat pull-down machine, you can do dumbbell rows, dumbbell
pullovers or even inverted rows under a sturdy table. You can also go off the TNB-28 exercise list and pick
any alternate exercise you want.
Warm-up and Stretching
It's important to warm up before each weight training session. Warming up raises your body temperature,
increases joint mobility, stimulates blood flow, and increases your physical and mental readiness for the
workout ahead.
The traditional way to warm up is to hop on a cardio machine for 5 to 10 minutes. That's fine as a general
warm-up, especially on lower-body day, but another option is joint mobility drills or dynamic flexibility
exercises. Arm circles, trunk circles, leg swings, Spider-man steps, squat-to-stand, body weight lunges and
so on, not only warm you up, they also increase mobility and flexibility in the joints you're about to train.
To increase your performance and decrease risk of injury, do at least one or two light, non-fatiguing sets of
each exercise before moving on to your heavy work sets. It's not wise to jump right to your heaviest set or
attempt a personal record if you're still cold.
It's important to remember that static stretching is for increasing flexibility, not for warming up. In fact, an
ideal time to stretch is after you're already warm. That's why most athletes do warm-up and mobility
exercises before lifting and do static stretching after the workout.
Exercise Selection
Changing exercises and other program variables at least every few months gives your body new challenges
and keeps training fun and interesting.
There are a handful of very important basic movement patterns including squats, lunges (split squats),
deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, chest presses and shoulder (overhead) presses. Master them. These exercises
should always be a major part of your training plans. However, there are countless variations on each of
these movements - barbell and dumbbell versions, different stance or grip positions, different bars and so on.
You can use these variations on the basics to mix things up without getting away from the primary
movements.
The "big lifts" - multi-joint, compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, rows ,and presses, have the
highest calorie burn and are the most effective muscle builders. They're also the most challenging. Singlejoint isolation exercises like leg extensions and small-muscle exercises like concentration curls can be a part
of any weight training program and they're especially useful for bodybuilding and fine-tuning physique
details. But avoiding the difficult exercises like squats in favor of the easier ones like leg extensions is a sure
way to short-circuit your results.
Adding more exercises on top of a beginner routine is another method of progressive overload. But more isn't
always better. For example, in workout one of the TNB-28 plan, there's only one exercise for biceps and one
for triceps. In their eagerness to build arms like Mr. Olympia, many lifters add a second or even a third
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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

exercise for the arms or they double the number of sets. On a two-day split with four workouts per week, this
is unnecessary.
Between one direct exercise and all the pushing you do on shoulder and chest exercises and all the pulling for
back exercises, your biceps and triceps get plenty of stimulation. If you add too many more exercises, your
workouts take a lot longer and could lead to overtraining. If you want to do 3 or even 4 exercises per muscle
group, use a different workout that was engineered for that - such as the 4-day split bodybuilding routine.
The exercise rotation system
One feature that sets TNB-28 apart from others is the exercise rotation technique. This means that the
program is actually two workouts, not one. Every other workout, you rotate between the two. For example,
on workout one, you do chin ups and on workout two, you do lat pulldowns. There are huge benefits to this
system.
First, it's a boredom killer. There is nothing wrong with working the same exercises for months as long as you
can keep applying the progressive overload principle. The problem is, many people get bored and lose
motivation even if they're still getting results. Rotating between two workouts keeps it interesting a lot
longer.
Rotating exercises also helps you avoid overuse injuries caused by repetitive pattern overload. If you do the
same exercises week after week for months on end, especially if you train hard and heavy, eventually your
joints take a beating. Joint pain from training is common, and rotating exercises (in addition to alternating
heavy and lighter workouts) may help alleviate it.
By rotating some of the exercises you also all hit your muscles from a variety of angles and planes with
different equipment (barbells, dumbbells, cables, and so on). This helps stimulate the maximum number of
muscle fibers and develops every part of every muscle. The variety also helps slow down the adaptations that
lead to plateaus, so you keep getting results longer.
In TNB-28, not all of the exercises are rotated, which keeps this plan a little simpler and easier. For example,
you stay with basic movements like squats through the whole program (you rotate the rep ranges), and only
the second leg exercise is rotated. As you get more advanced, rotating two workouts that are 100% different
is an option.
Alternate Exercises
Below you'll find exercises that you can use as alternates, based on your equipment availability and
preferences. TNB-28 is a plug-and-play workout template, so if you cannot do a particular exercise or if you
don't have the equipment, you don't have to worry. Simply choose another one and plug it in to the template
in the appropriate spot. When it comes time for a new routine, once again, you can keep the same workout
schedule and template. Simply choose new exercises and plug them in.
Quads: front squats, dumbbell squats (2 dumbbells or Goblet squat), barbell lunge, dumbbell lunge,
Bulgarian split squat, hack squat, leg extension.
Hamstrings: Seated leg curl machine, single leg curl machine, single leg Romanian deadlift, glute-ham
raise, one leg low back extension
Back: conventional deadlift, seated cable row, pull-ups, one arm dumbbell row, inverted row, dumbbell
pullover
Abs/core: barbell rollout (or ab wheel), crunches, swiss ball crunches, swiss ball jackknife, cable
woodchopper, hanging straight leg raise
Calves: calf press, donkey calf machine
Chest: Incline barbell press, wide grip dips ("gironda dips"), cable crossover, flat dumbbell flyes, machine
flyes, Hammer strength chest press (any angle)
Shoulders: dumbbell upright rows, barbell upright rows, cable upright rows, cable pulls to face (rear delts),
dumbbell front raise, barbell front raise, cable front raise, dumbbell shrugs, barbell shrugs.
Biceps: preacher bench curl, dumbbell concentration curl, cable curl, seated or standing dumbbell curl,
hammer curl.
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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Triceps: Close grip barbell bench press, dumbbell kickbacks, overhead cable extension, overhead barbell
extension (French press), Rope pushdown, reverse bench dips.
Forearms: Dumbbell wrist curl (one or two dumbbells), barbell behind back wrist curl, gripper machine,
cable wrist curl.
The TNB Workout Schedule
TNB-28 calls for four workouts per week:
Day 1: upper body strength and muscle
Day 2: lower body strength and muscle
Day 3: upper body muscle
Day 4: lower body muscle
Monday

Tuesday

Upper body
Strength & Muscle

Lower body
Strength & Muscle

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Upper Body Lower body


Muscle
Muscle

Off

Saturday Sunday
Off

Off

This is an ideal weekly schedule for most people because it gives you an extra day of total rest from
resistance training between the third and fourth day, which enhances overall recovery. It also leaves
weekends open.
This schedule has some room for flexibility. If you prefer, you can change the days of the week you train,
moving workouts to the weekend or inserting an off day in between two training days.
Weekly schedule variation:
Monday
Upper body
Strength & Muscle

Tuesday
Lower body
Strength & Muscle

Wednesday
Off

Thursday

Friday

Upper Body
Off
Muscle

Saturday

Sunday

Lower body
Muscle

Off

3 days per week option: If you're pressed for time, or if you feel you don't recover completely from 4
workouts a week, you can reduce this schedule to 3 workouts every 7 days. You would simply train on any 3
non consecutive days per week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Fridays (or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).
With a M-W-F schedule, you would do workout 1 on Monday, workout 2 on Wednesday, workout 3 on Friday,
workout 4 on the following Monday, and then repeat the cycle.
The 4 week periodization cycle
This program runs on a 4 week cycle that changes rep ranges within the week and progresses weekly in load
and intensity.
On strength and muscle days you'll do a mix of heavy sets for 4-7 reps and muscle sets for 8-12 reps. On
muscle days, you'll do sets of mostly 8-12 reps and an occasional higher rep set. There are no low rep
(strength) only days because this is a body transformation program, not a powerlifting or strength sports
program. However, there's enough heavy work to guarantee you'll get a lot stronger. You'll progress through
the following 4 one-week cycles:
Week 1: Introductory loading. You'll be introduced to the new exercises and training techniques. The
loads are submaximal. For example, if you estimate that you can do 10 reps with 100 pounds, you would
select only 90 pounds. The intensity level is low, which means you won't take any sets to failure - you'll
complete the entire set easily.
Week 2: Base loading. You'll increase the load in every exercise where possible. The intensity level will be
moderate, which means you'll come close to failure on your hypertrophy sets and the final reps of each set
will be hard.
Week 3: Overloading. You'll increase the loading again to above your previous max, wherever possible,
while maintaining good form. Your goal is to start beating your previous week's bests. The final reps of each
set will be very hard, and this week, you'll probably hit failure on some of your sets.
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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Week 4: Shock (PR) loading. You'll once again increase the load above the previous week's bests, and aim
to hit some personal records (PR's). Intensity is very high. This is where you push yourself. You'll take many
of your sets to failure and you may miss some reps (for example, your goal is 8-12 reps, but you barely got
7). If you have any favorite high intensity techniques such as forced reps or drop sets, this is when to use
them.
Begin new cycle: You can repeat the 4-week cycle by starting over again with introductory loading
(submaximal load and no sets taken to failure). At this point you'll be stronger, so your introductory phase
will be at least equal to your previous base loading phase. With each cycle, you continue to increase the
weights used, as your new-found strength allows.
When to Advance to the Next Workout
Most people can keep getting amazing results on the TNB-28 plan for months - even years. The training
template and weekly schedule never go bad. Simply continue focusing on progressive overload, and keep
challenging yourself to hit new personal records.
I recommend you repeat the program for at least 3 four-week cycles (12 weeks). After 12 weeks, most
people will start experiencing significant adaptation, so it's time for major changes at that point. Stick with
the TNB-28 weekly schedule and set/rep guidelines, but change some (or all) of the exercises. You can also
begin to add various new training techniques to raise the intensity level (look up the "bodybuilding secrets,"
"weight training" and "muscle building" columns here in the Inner Circle for ideas. Rinse and repeat as long
as it's still working well for you.
Men and women who are interested in competition-level figure or bodybuilding training may want to move on
to advanced body part split routines such as the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle 4-day split split routine.
Updates
Future updates will include a downloadable and printable workout log sheet.

Workout 1: Monday upper body strength/muscle


A. Barbell rows, 4 sets X 4-7 reps 120-150 sec rest
B. Chin ups * 3 sets X 8-12 reps 90-120 sec rest
C. Barbell bench press 4 sets X 4-7 reps, 120-150 sec rest
D. Incline dumbbell press 3 X 8-12 reps, 90-120 sec rest
F. Barbell shoulder press 3 sets X 6-10 reps 90-120 sec rest
E. Dumbbell lateral raise, seated 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
F1. Lying tricep extension 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 0 rest (superset)
F2. Barbell curls 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 seconds rest

Barbell Rows (upper back)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Chin Ups (upper back)

Bench Press (Chest)

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Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (Chest)

Barbell Overhead (aka "military") Press (shoulders)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise (shoulders)

Lying Tricep Extension (Triceps)

Barbell Curls (Biceps)


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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Workout 2: Tuesday, lower body and abs, strength/muscle


A. Barbell squat 4 sets X 4-7 reps, 120-150 sec rest
B. Dumbbell split squat (static lunge) 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 90-120 sec rest
C. Barbell Romanian deadlift 4 sets X 4-7 reps, 120-150 sec rest
D. Lying leg curl machine 3 sets X 6-10 reps, 90-120 sec rest
E. Seated calf raise 3 X 15-20 reps, 60-90 sec rest
F1. Hanging knee raise 2-3 X 10-15 reps 0 rest (superset)
F2. Reverse crunch 3 sets X 15-20 reps, 60 sec rest
G. Plank 3 sets X 30-60 seconds, 60 sec rest

Barbell Squat

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Dumbbell Split Squat (Thighs)

Barbell Romanian Deadlift (hamstrings / posterior chain)


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Lying Leg Curl (Hamstrings)

Seated Calf Raise

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Hanging knee Raise (abs)

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Reverse Crunch (Abs)

Plank (Abs/Core)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Workout 3: Thursday, upper body, muscle


A. Barbell row 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 1 set X 15-20 reps, 60-90 sec rest
B. Lat pulldowns 3 sets X 8-12 reps 60-90 sec
C. Barbell Bench press 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
D. Incline dumbbell flyes 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
E1. Dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
E2. Bent over dumbbell lateral raises 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
F1. Tricep Pushdown (cable) 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 0 rest (superset)
F2. Incline dumbbell curls 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest

Barbell Rows (upper back)

Wide Grip Pulldown (Lats/upper back)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Bench Press (Chest)

Incline Dumbbell Flyes (Upper Chest)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Bent Over Lateral Raises (Rear Deltoid)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Cable Pushdowns (triceps)

Incline Dumbbell Curls (Biceps)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Workout 4: Saturday lower body, abs, hypertrophy


A. Barbell squat 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 1 set X 15-20 reps, 90-120 sec rest
B. Leg press 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 1 set X 15-20 reps, 60-90 sec rest
C. Leg Curl 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
D. Low back extension 3 sets X 8-12 reps, 60-90 sec rest
E. Standing calf raise 3 sets X 15-20 reps, 60-90 sec rest
F1. Kneeling cable crunch 3 sets X 15-20 reps, 0 rest (superset)
F2. Lying leg raise/toes to sky 3 sets X 15-20 reps 60 sec rest
G. Side plank 3 sets X 30-60 seconds, 60 sec rest

Barbell Squat

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Leg Press (Thighs)

Lying Leg Curl (Hamstrings)

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The New Body 28 (TNB-28): The Upper-Lower 2-Day Split Routine For Building Strength and Sculpting Lean Muscle

Low Back Extension

Standing Calf Machine

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Kneeling Cable Crunch (abs)

Leg Raise / Toes to Sky aka "hip lift" (abs)

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Side Plank (obliques / core)

To discuss this program in the Burn the Fat Inner Circle forums CLICK HERE

All photos and text Copyright Tom Venuto and Burn The Fat Inner Circle. No reproduction of this material is
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permitted.

2014 Tom Venuto & Burn The Fat Inner Circle A Division of Fitness Renaissance, LLC Mailing Address: PO Box 5097 Hoboken, New Jersey, 07030

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