Split Training Systems is an amazing way to divide you training. Read more how find the perfect split training workout routine for you.
Weight Training not always was done the way it is done now. In the early days Bodybuilders used to work their entire bodies 2-3 times a week.
Many Bodybuilders give conflicting opinions especially to beginners who they say can make significant gains with whole body workouts. Others say that Split Training works best as the intensity and rest is of high quality.
The Split Training Ultimate Workout Program TipsBut in my opinion every beginner bodybuilder or muscle enthusiast should do at least 3-6 months of total body training before moving on to split training routines.
Inside this Article
What is Split Training
Full Body workouts Vs Split Routines
What is the Best for you - Split or Whole Body workouts?
Various 2 day, 3 day, 4 day, 5 day and 6 day splits.
Double Split Training
The Best Split Training for individual body types.
So what is Split Training?
We have already learnt theMajor Muscle Groups. Now lets see how Split Training relates to them.
Split Training is a system of dividing your training in such a way that you train different body parts on specific days.
Many famous splits are 2 day,3 day, 4 and even 5 day splits.
Now that you know what Split Training I would like you to find which is best for you. Before deciding which one to adopt lets analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Full Body Workouts
High Intensity as you will have enough rest between workouts.
Better Muscle recuperation as muscles get more time to heal and repair.
You train your body as a single unit.
Does not sufficiently hit all the major muscle groups.
Dispersed attention and low efficiency workouts.
Precise training to reshape total body is difficult.
Total Muscle Isolation gives more time to hit muscles harder.
Can work to define particular muscle groups.
Inadequate rest and recuperation in between workouts.
What is the Best Weight Training Method for you?
The Best Routine is WHAT WORKS FOR YOU and your Bodytype.
Don't be fooled around by what other people think is right. If you are having fitness maintenance goals then whole Body workouts are enough for you. But if you are looking to build Muscle, or lose weight and get fit then I suggest that you split your training.
The best way is to divide your body in to muscle groups and train them on specific days.
2 Day Splits
Here you divide your body in to 2 parts - Upper Body and Lower Body and train them on separate days. This allows the body to fully recuperate between workouts.
Perfect for - Beginners
Day 1 - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps - Triceps are used in chest and shoulder exercises so train them together.
Day 4 - Legs, Back and Biceps.
Abs can be done on either days.
You can work them any 2 days of the week - Mon/Tue , Tue/Fri or wed/sat.
I suggest that you do them every alternate days.
Mon - Upper body, Wed - Lower Body, Fri - Upper Body and Mon - Lower Body and so on.
You get the picture right.
3 day Splits
This is the famous Push/Pull split routine. This method alternates between pushing and pulling exercises. Its very logical and has worked very very well for many people. If you are busy or have very fast metabolism then I suggest that you go with this routine.
Perfect for - Hard gainer ectomorphs and Bodybuilders returning after long layoffs or breaks.
Day 1 - Chest, Deltoids and Triceps
Day 3 - Back, Biceps and forearms.
Day 5 - Thighs and hamstrings with Calves.
Abs can be trained any 2 routines. Here are a few Push-Pull Split Routines. Pick any one and start today.
You can do this in 2 ways - Mon/Wed/Fri or Tue/Thurs/Sat with complete rest on Sundays.
An advantage is that push-pull workouts are believed to be non-overstressing to the body and when used properly can reduce chances of overtraining. A weeks rest for muscle groups ensures they have rested and recuperated and are ready for next workout.
The disadvantage of the push-pull workout is that as you concentrate on major muscle building exercises like Bench Press, Military Press, squats and deadlifts, the minor muscle groups might not get the required attention of intensity of training. Another disadvantage is that some people find themselves out of energy very soon in their workouts and performing the second major exercise may be daunting. Although it is a individual ask I suggest you concentrate on your pre-workout meals and ensure you eat enough carbs and some protein before hitting the gym ,preferably 30-45 minutes before.
4 day splits
Got more time than 2 day splits but cannot manage 5 days a week? Then 4 day splits are great way to go.
Here all you are dividing chest and shoulders so that you hit them hard separately. After all a good upper body looks much more impressive, on the beach and in the bed
Day 1 -Shoulders, abs
Day 2 - Chest and Triceps
Day 3 - Back and Biceps
Day 4 - Legs and Calves
Work on abs on any 2 non-consecutive days.
As for which days to work, use your imagination.
You can work 2 days on, 2 days off and then 2 days on with rest on Sundays. OR
you can work 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on with rest on Sundays.
5 day Splits
Here you basically train arms - Biceps and Triceps together on 5th day.
Rest is the same as 4 day splits.
6 day splits
So you are a mesomorph training for a competition? Gaining mass has never been tough for you but its beating the other competitor you are after. Then why not emulate the great Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Arnold is a great fan of 6 day splits as he says it makes his training easy to manage as he says he easily knows what workout 1,2 and 3 mean to him.
But you got to be very consistent with this schedule as if you miss a day whole rhythm is lost.
If the body part you last trained is still sore on your next scheduled training day for that body part, you have not recovered.
If you are unusually tired in the morning on any scheduled training day, and you haven't changed anything in you approach, you're probably entering an overtrained state - you aren't allowing enough time for recovery.
How Many Recovery Days Are Needed Between Each Bodypart Worked?
Different Affects On Recovery
Of course, recovery is different for different people:
How genetically gifted you are
Whether or not or are "chemically enhanced"
Your eating habits
How hard you train
Your set totals
All these things affect how fast you recover. Learn to tailor your workouts to your recovery ability.
Honestly, if more lifters did just that one simple thing, trained hard on a moderate number of sets and paid better attention to their nutrition, the rate of progress would skyrocket.
Types Of Splits
Of course, types of split routines and muscle groupings are almost endless:
Body Split In Half - Lower Body On Day 1, Upper On Day 2.
This, to my mind, does not make much sense despite the fact it's a common split. The problem here is on day 1, you do legs. On day 2, you have to do everything else - that's back, chest, deltoids, triceps and biceps.
Don't forgot to include trap, forearm and ab work! So, how can you possibly train all these muscles with enough intensity to generate growth? You can't! Of course, you can change the body part groupings and do less sets and see some results.
Here's an example:
Day 1 - Legs, back, biceps, forearms, abs
Day 2 - Chest, deltoids, triceps, abs.
This type of routine usually revolves around basic exercises. It's usually performed over 4 days - Mon/Thurs for workout 1 and Tues/Fri for workout 2, allowing 3 days of recovery. Of course, you can do it however you like, taking days off anywhere in the split as needed. Those of you who read my stuff know I don't always stick to a 7 day workout week, if need be, I go to a 8 or 9 day workout week.
Also, a routine of this type - with each workout done once a week - is often suggested as a great hard gainer routine because of the recovery time. Limit the sets, perhaps do no direct arm work ( eliminate arms from the above and you can see you have a much simpler routine) or a low set total for arms and work the basics hard.
Day 1 - Legs, abs
Day 2 - Chest, deltoids, triceps, abs
Day 3 - Back, biceps, forearms, abs.
This is a very common split routine - it makes a lot of sense as well.
Day 1, you do legs by themselves, which, if you squat (and you should) makes sense since leg work, done properly, is so grueling.
Day 2, you do the pushing muscles - this makes sense as deltoids and triceps are involved in all chest exercises and triceps are involved in all deltoid exercises.
Day 3 is pull day - this makes sense as biceps and forearms are involved in all back exercises. While some people do this complete split twice in one week ( 3 on/1 off), for many of us, once a week makes more sense.
This can be done on a rotating schedule where you always allow 2 days between each workout or on a set schedule where you train on pre determined days every week, such as Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
Yet even this routine can pose problems - you may be to tired to give deltoids, triceps, biceps and forearms any real intensity.
This routine allows further dividing of body parts than the push/pull split listed above:
Day 1- Legs, abs,
Day 2- Chest, triceps, abs
Day 3- Back, biceps, forearms
Day 4- Deltoids, abs
This allows you to group a smaller body part with a larger one, or just train some of the bigger areas alone, this way you can train all muscles with more intensity. While some advanced bodybuilders will do this a 4 on/ 1 off (1 day off out of 5) routine, you can squeeze in recovery days any way you like to or need to. As if you can't guess, I would definitely add more rest days to this.
The One Body Part Per Workout Split
You can set up rest days any way you want. Many people who use this use it as an "every other day "split or will even train 6 -7 days in a row. You can divide up muscles any way you like, including sub-dividing: back into upper, lower and lats, deltoids into front, middle and rear, etc.
This is not a very popular split but may be good for pre-contest and/or for someone with a lot of time.
Arnold's split routine, really a 3 day split done twice in one week, with only one rest day.
The Double Split
This is actually Arnold's pre-contest routine: twice a day workouts, 6 days a week.
The Triple Split
An even more advanced pre contest routine where you train 3 times a day, usually a big body part such as legs in the morning, maybe cardio in the afternoon and a small area like abs at night, usually including posing practice at that time as well
Size and Nothing But Size
Let us assume for a moment that the training focus is entirely on growth, and not at all on strength. In that case, your concentration should be on the higher rep ranges: sets of 10-12, 12-15 or even as high as 20 are on the menu. As for the number of sets: well, that will be determined by the number of exercises you for a particular body part.
It helps to think of things in terms of total volume. For training programs that utilize sets of higher reps, I would try to limit a specific muscle group to around 120 reps per work out.
Here is an example using chest:
Bench Press – 4×15 (60 reps)
Incline Dumbbell Press – 3×12 (36 reps)
Dumbbell Fly – 2×10 (20 reps)
We’re looking at a total of 116 reps there, give or take any extras your were able to squeeze out, or reps you were unable to complete.
The reason for the high reps if your focus is primarily on hypertrophy is, once more, fiber make up. You are training for what is sometimes called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, or fluid hypertrophy, a term that is sometimes debated.
Either way, high rep training is the simplest, fastest, and most visibly obvious way for beginners to pack on mass. The drawback is that the higher rep schemes used in this type of training necessitate very light (in relative terms, at least) loads to complete the set.
That being the case, strength tends not to increase. In fact, in some cases you may even notice a decrease if you attempt heavier training.
This is typical “bodybuilder” type training – all show and no go, as they say.
You’ll look strong, but you won’t necessarily be strong. However, if all you’re going for is a good look in a tight shirt, this may sound like something you might be interested in.
In most cases, when new trainees hit the gym, they do some incarnation of this, although in many cases it’s as simple as three sets of 10 reps for four exercises. (As an aside, even in this case, they’re hitting 120 reps.) They progress a bit, and then stall out. As with all things: when it comes to training everything works, but nothing works forever.
From there, trainees look to change it up, bring us to option two.
Size AND Strength
On the other hand, if you’re looking to get both big and strong, you have a more difficult road ahead of you, but with a greater goal at the end. In this case, we’d be talking about training with heavier loads and lower total volume.
Strength increases are the result of training with heavy weight, which by default will place a pretty stringent limit on the amount of reps you can perform on a given set. Strength-oriented training relies on performing sets using anywhere from 1-5 reps, with the average being 3.
Heavy training is not only optimal for strength gains, but it can also be used to accrue a serious amount of muscle. Training with high weight recruits what are known as type IIb muscle fibers, which are the densest fibers and have the most potential for muscle growth. By lifting heavy, we activate these quickly, which can potentially lead to gaining mass—and fast.
As you might imagine, it becomes necessary to change things around in a given workout to meet our goals. As we’ve seen, it’s quite possible to increase size without strength, and the reverse is true here: you can get a lot stronger without getting bigger.
Once more we need to look at things from the perspective of overall volume. In order to allow for the necessary weight, we need to keep the reps per set pretty low. If you followed the same set prescription from Option One, the upper limit for sets would be 3 or 4 per exercise. With heavy training, this would leave you at about 9-15 total reps; your strength would increase, but for most people, this is just not enough volume to stimulate growth.
So, to bump up the volume to a level that will be optimal for growth, we increase the number of sets. However, because of the heavier weight and the toll such training takes on the body, it is better to aim for just about half the total volume of the previous type of training we discussed. Or, simply put, around 60-75 reps
Example using chest:
Low Incline Bench Press 10×4 (40 reps)
Weighted Dip 8×3 (24 reps)
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 2×5 (10 reps)
While we’re topping out at only 75 reps, the heavy weight makes each set pretty draining, and stimulates a lot of muscle.
Training in this way is, in the long run, generally more effective than high-rep training. Not only will you be stimulating type fibers growth, but the constant exposure to heavier weights will lead to much greater strength increases; which, in turn, will allow you to continue to push out more reps with heavier weight should you ever decide to return to high rep training.
The main drawbacks here are the effects on your body. Firstly, it must be mentioned that constant use of heavy loads puts you at much greater risk of injury, particularly if you’re training any sort of pressing movement in this way.
When you use heavier weight (as in lower reps), the stress on your joints and connective tissue is greater by far. For this reason, it becomes more important to employ proper warm up techniques and practices nearly every workout, especially as you reach the upper levels of strength work. This is often time consuming and boring sometimes multiple warm-up sets with just the bar, but it is of paramount importance.
In fact, Bench Press Tzar Dave Tate stressed the importance of warm-up sets saying, “Don’t leave the weight and jump up until you’re absolutely ready to. There’ve been times at Westside where we used the bar for eight sets. These are world-record holders who aren’t ready to go to 95 pounds.”
And if there is anyone worth listening to with regard to benching, it’s Dave Tate.
Secondly, another consequence of heavier training is how very draining it is; not only during the workout itself (necessitating longer rest periods and thereby slower paced workouts), but also after. Training with weight so heavy you can only perform it 3-4 consecutive reps is phenomenally taxing on your body, and so there needs to be more time between training sessions to allow for adequate recovery.
Weider Principles: Split Training to Build Muscle
Devote maximum attention to each body part for superior training results.
WHAT IT IS
One of the late Joe Weider’s most basic principles, it simply suggests training different body parts on different days—for example, chest and triceps one day, back and biceps on another. The current trend in fitness is to train the body more holistically instead of individual body parts; the full-body concept has merit, but it’s only one approach.
WHAT IT DOES
Splitting your training up as Joe advised allows you to devote maximum attention to each part of the body and to maintain high intensity. If your goal is to build muscle, this is a great way to train. The split system also works well for those wanting to get leaner, provided a clean diet is maintained.
HOW TO USE IT
Possible training days could include: chest and back; chest and triceps; back and biceps; quads, hamstrings, and calves; only quads; only chest; only back; biceps and triceps. Just be sure to train every major muscle group once before restarting the split. Smaller muscles like calves can be trained more frequently.
Upper Body Pump Day
1. Bench presses, dumbbell bench presses, parallel bar dips, or incline bench presses: 8 sets of 10 reps. Pick a weight where you can get about twenty reps before reaching failure. Use this weight for all 8 sets. Take only about two minutes of rest between each set. Once you have been training on the same exercise for a few weeks, change to one of the others.
2. Wide grip chins, bent-over rows, or wide grip lat pulldowns: 8 sets of 10 reps. Use the same technique as the first exercise.
3. Barbell curls or dumbbell curls supersetted with skullcrushers or triceps pushdowns: 5 sets of 10 reps (each exercise). Take each set one or two reps shy of failure. Take about a one-minute rest between each superset.
4. Lateral raises, dumbbell presses (seated or standing), or military presses (barbell): 4 sets of 10 reps. Your shoulders should be pretty pumped from all of the other exercises. This is the reason you are only going to do 4 sets.
Lower Body Maximal Strength
1.Squats, Olympic-style squats, box squats, bottom-position squats, or deadlifts (sumo or conventional style): Work up to a max set of 7, 5, or 3 repetitions. Pick one of these exercises and work up over at least 5 sets until you reach your maximum weight for your repetition range. In other words, if you chose squats, and your max set was 375 for 3 reps, your set/rep sequence would look like this: 135x5, 225x3, 275x3, 315x3, 350x3, 375x3, 405x2 (lifter reached failure on third rep with 405). Stick with the same exercise for two to three weeks, attempting to break your record each week, and then rotate to another exercise.
2. Lunges: 5 sets of 5 reps.
Perform all 5 sets with the same weight. Only the last two sets should be really taxing.
3. Incline sit-ups:
3 sets of 20 reps. Perform these on a steep incline bench.
Day Four—Upper Body Maximal Strength
1. Flat bench presses, close-grip bench presses, bottom-position bench presses, close-grip bottom position bench presses, rack lockouts, board presses, or incline bench presses: Work up to a max set of 7, 5, or 3 repetitions. Pick one of these exercises and work up over at least 5 sets until you reach your maximum weight for the chosen repetition range. Your flat bench press workout might look like this: 135x5, 175x5, 225x5, 245x3, 265x3, 280x3, 300x2 (missed the 3rd rep with 300). Stick with the same exercise for at least two to three weeks before rotating to one of the other exercises.
2. Wide grip chins, close grip chins, bent-over rows, or t-bar rows: Work up to a max set of 7, 5, or 3 repetitions. Use the same format as the first exercise.
3. Barbell curls, bar curls, reverse curls, or dumbbell curls: Work up to a max set of 7, 5, or 3 repetitions. Use the same set/rep format as the first two exercises.
Day Six—Lower Body Pump Day
1. Squats, front squats, leg presses, or hack squats: 8 sets of 10 reps. Use a weight that allows you about 20 reps before reaching failure. Use this weight for all 8 sets. Take about two minutes rest in between sets. Rotate exercises every few weeks.
2. Leg extensions: 6 sets of 20 reps.
Perform these with a weight that will allow you about 30 reps before you would normally reach failure.
3. Leg Curls: 2 sets of 25 reps.
You simply won’t need very much hamstring work due to the first exercise in this workout and your lower body maximal strength day.
4. Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets of 20 reps.
You do each exercise more often.
This advantage applies mainly to beginners. When you get started, you inflict less damage on your body. A full-body workout allows more opportunities for growth but more importantly it develops the skills for proper form. More sessions allow faster progress, but you will quickly realize your limits. 3 times a week for beginners loses its value fairly quickly.
Optimize other systems.
Some evidence shows that working so much muscle at once results in a stronger hormone response. This may aid growth. It seems premature though to conclude much based on hormones. They fluctuate too easily.
You also tend to get a greater cardio effect. Trainees without experience on full-body training often comment on how winded they feel. Your heart rate tends to stay elevated.
You get a more comprehensive training effect from your time with full-body training. Keep in mind though that only the hormone response would suit our goals of strength and size. The cardio aspect may interfere with them.
Flexibility for your schedule.
Split routines, by focusing on exercises and muscle groups, rely on order. If you need to skip a workout, your entire weekly setup can get thrown off. A full-body routine stays more consistent, and rescheduling fails to disrupt other workouts.
I do know that, at one point, Arthur Jones recommended training the whole body during one workout and that simply wouldn’t work as a bodybuilder.