The Modified Hatfield Split

Modified Hatfield Split
Categorized under Training

I first learned of this split when I was 18 and did Fred Hatfield’s 80-day powerlifting cycle. In that program – specifically designed to peak for a powerlifting competition – you’d train squat, bench, and assistance on one workout, and deadlift and assistance on the other. So, four total workouts per week.

It’s a split I often do and use with clients. It’s highly motivating and a good way for those who don’t love training legs to find it more palatable. While you have two lower-body exercises per workout, you also have four upper-body movements.

It’s also the split I use in the Best Workout Plan for Natural Lifters but with a higher frequency and lower volume.

Here’s how it looks:

Workout A

  • Squat pattern
  • Compound pressing movement
  • Quad-dominant exercise
  • Pectoral movement
  • Triceps movement
  • Deltoid movement

Workout B

  • Hip-hinge pattern or Prowler pushing
  • Hamstring movement
  • Vertical pulling exercise
  • Horizontal pulling exercise
  • Biceps movement
  • Rear delts, rhomboid, or traps exercise
  • Lower back movement

The weekly schedule looks like this:

Option One (4 Workouts Per Week)

  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Workout A
  • Saturday: Workout B (no full-range hinge, just Prowler pushing or rack pulls)
  • Sunday: Off

In this first option, we skip the full-range hinge pattern on Saturday because we did squats the day before. We want to minimize muscle damage to the quads because squats are coming back on Monday.

Option Two (Every Other Day Training)

Here you roll the workouts every other day. On some weeks, you’ll have three workouts; in others, you’ll have four. This is the best option, but it can be unsettling for those who prefer to follow a rigid schedule.

It would look like this:

  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Workout A
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Workout B

Then…

  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: Workout A
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Workout B
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Workout A
  • Sunday: Off

You can keep the full-range hinge in all the B workouts.

I find this split just as good as lower/upper when it comes to being able to use it for any training goal.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.