Especially from beginners, about what type of routine to use.
Your mate told you to use a full body routine, but the muscle websites suggest a 4-day “weight lifting” split.
You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.
But there is so much information out there that sorting through what to do can be difficult and hopefully this will help a few of you out there.
2-Day Split Routine:
when you get stronger and when you feel that the full body routine isn’t challenging you enough its time for a split routine.
You may also find that you want to add in a few isolation exercises to bring up your weak areas, or you may want to begin focusing more on each core lift.
Another issue is recovery; as you get stronger, you are able to work out more intensely, and that means longer recovery times.
So at that point, it makes sense to “split” things up by only doing a part of your previous full routine on any given day.
A logical place to make your first split is into an Upper / Lower type routine.
This will have you doing your upper body work like bench press, rows, overhead pressing on 1 day, and your lower body work like squats on another day.
Another way to go would be a “push/pull” type split where you do all your pulling exercises (rows, deads).
On one day and your pushing exercises (squats, overhead press, bench) on another day.
Exactly how you do it is up to you, but the point is to divide the workload per session.
This will give you more time (and volume) per body part, and also give you a bit more recovery before you work that muscle again.
Most people will typically cycle through a 2-day split like these twice per week.
So instead of every muscle being stimulated 3 times per week with the full body, now it’s twice per week with the 2-day split.
3+ Day Split Routine:
3, 4, (or more) day splits come in when you again feel the need to divide your workload to match your recovery abilities, or increase the amount of work you want to do on specific muscles or lifts.
Generally, these type of splits are mostly bodybuilding related.
But even strength athletes may chose to split so they can work on speed lifts one day, strength work another, etc.
At this point (speaking to bodybuilding) many lifters will only hit each muscle group once per week.
This has the advantage of letting you really rip up a muscle group with a lot of weight and volume.
Then give it plenty of time to recover while you’re bringing the pain to the next group.
Your full body effort is broken down into segments that are manageable from a workload, energy, and recovery standpoint.
If you are an experienced lifter with decreased recovery abilities, this type of split often is useful for staying healthy due to the increased recovery time per body part.
There are so many variations of splits that I won’t even attempt to talk about all of the routines.
If you follow the advice in this post, by the time you need a multiple day split.
You’ll know your body, your goals, and have a pretty good idea of what you want to do.
Typical split routine:
- Monday: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
- Tuesday: Pull (Back, Biceps)
- Wednesday: off
- Thursday: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
- Friday: off
- Saturday: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
- Sunday: Pull (Back, Biceps)
I believe it’s a really good idea to start with a full body routine.
Begin splitting only when you feel the need to increase your recovery or increase your volume.
If you stick with the concept that you’re trying to hit a muscle as often as you are able while still recovering adequately, and let that be your guide, you’ll do fine.
Hopefully, this gives some idea to help you decide what type of routine you should use.
Ultimately, however, it’s worth saying that you can do fine with any well throughout program even if you begin with a split routine right from the beginning.