Take Your Workout to the Next Level Using Right Workout Splits According to Your Body
Let’s put the record straight – When it comes to bodybuilding, it’s never going to happen that someone gives you a workout routine, and your physique magically turns competitive overnight by following it. It takes years of trials, errors, and the essential consistency and dedication to achieve your dream body.
Tons of recommendations are given regarding best workout routines, exercises, training techniques, successful sets, and reps schemes. Still, in the end, you’re your best judge and jury.
You know better than anyone else what works and what doesn’t work on your body. Yes, it’s an individual sport.
The same is even more apparent, which can be seen while organizing your workout routine. For example, formulating your workout and training splits revolves around many specific factors for you.
That said, let’s dive into 8 best workout splits that are quite effective and help you make your routine more successful:
- Full Body Workout Split
- The Body Part Workout Split
- Upper – Lower Body Part Split Training
- Push-Pull Training Split
- Intensive & Extensive Training Split
- Agonist – Antagonist Supersets
- Primary Mover with Synergist
- Hypertrophy Specialization Training
1. Full Body Workout Split
Full body workout split is usually famous in the realms of beginners or says first-timers. If you’re someone who doesn’t have prior experience working out, then full-body workout split formulated with one single exercise per body part, with few sets, can be a good deal. Furthermore, it’s also often used by athletes because it offers easier integration of movement training not explicitly related to one body part. Sometimes, it’s used for fat loss sessions as well.
With full-body workout splits, you teach your body how to activate and utilize more muscle fibers instead of making gains in strength and fiber size. Another primary reason for this full-body workout split is that due to the intentional lower volume per muscle group person gets enough room to get adapted with the workout. It comes through the nervous system for the beginners.
However, the volume of workout is super low in full-body workout split. Ideally, it should be repeated a minimum three times a week with a maximum of 48 hrs gap in between. Another thing to take care of is that you shouldn’t make a week gap between workout split like this. Because waiting for too long can affect the previous workout session, taking you back at square one.
Another primary reason for newbies to try this workout split is that they’re often discouraged due to muscle soreness. So, heavy workout sessions can become very taxing for them, making them run away from the workout instead of enjoying and keep coming back.
On the other hand, if you’re an experienced person, and you’re quite busy with other things. Full-body workout routines can be beneficial too. However, you’ve to set up your workout routine differently compared to those rookies, for example, according to your goal.
Pros of Full Body Workout Split
- Short session time means less time in the gym and enough time for other things.
- Good recovery rates.
- If you’re a sports person, increasing your time for other sports activities.
- Reduced CNS fatigue.
- Simplified schedule.
- Less boredom.
Cons of Full Body Workout Split
- Difficult if you’re looking to focus on one muscle group.
- Not much preferable for intermediate or advanced lifters.
- It can halt your progress if you’re looking to make some serious gains.
- Low Intra-workout may delay metabolic stress.
- Not easy to train more than 3 to 4 times unless you’re knowledgeable enough and have self-awareness for assessing your workouts.
- Smaller muscles often get neglected, making it quite challenging for those who want serious muscles.
Example of Full Body Workout
- Day 1: Full body workout session – 1 exercise, 3 X 10 – 12 Reps.
- Day 2: Rest
- Day 3: Full body workout session – 1 exercise, 3 X 10 – 12 Reps.
- Day 4: RestDay 5: Full body workout session – 1 exercise, 3 X 10 – 12 Reps.
- Day 6 & 7: Rest
2. The Body Part Workout Split
Body part workout splits, often called bodybuilder workout splits are one of the popular training splits. Here, lifters have one workout session per muscle group throughout the week, spread across 5 to 6 training sessions per week.
Also, an increased amount of metabolic stress and volume provides more significant hypertrophy compared to other splits. But before you start with this workout split, be sure to have a substantial amount of training base. Also, these body part workout splits are significant if you’re looking for more variations to target particular muscles. They’re also good for shocking muscles, which leads to profitable muscle growth because of high volumes, especially for the lifters who are into total body workout splits.
Pros of the Body Part Workout Split
- Suitable for adding variations for one particular muscle.
- Helpful in targeting one muscle group.
- Gives needed shock to muscle for muscle growth.
- High volume and metabolic stress equal to higher hypertrophy.
Cons of the Body Part Workout Split
- Not always possible to train without heavy multi-joint exercise.
- Time-consuming if you’re busy with fluctuating schedules.
- Workout flow might break if you miss one workout routine.
- Your workout, nutrition, sleep, and other critical recovery stuff must be proper to have better results.
- Not suitable for athletes or beginners.
Example of the Body Part Workout Split
|Monday – Chest||Monday – Chest & Triceps||Monday – Chest|
|Tuesday – Back||Tuesday – Back & Biceps||Tuesday – Back|
|Wednesday – Arms||Wednesday – Cardio||Wednesday – Biceps|
|Thursday – Shoulders||Thursday – Shoulders||Thursday – Triceps|
|Friday – Legs||Friday – Legs||Friday – Shoulders|
|Saturday – Off||Saturday – Cardio or Off||Saturday – Legs|
|Sunday – Off Day||Sunday – Off Day||Sunday – Off Day|
3. Upper – Lower Body Part Split Training
Upper – Lower body part workout splits are more like a progression for those who have adjusted themself with full-body workout splits. It increases training volume while offering more recovery time. In this workout split, the Upper Body and Lower body are altered for four different workouts in the one-week training period.
Upper-lower body workout split also offers greater training frequency, which gives an excellent opportunity to learn and master a significant amount of loading. It’s a modern type of training frequency with moderate to high volume, hypertrophy wise.
Pros of Upper – Lower Body Part Split Training
- Gives more opportunities for compound exercises—for example, deadlift.
- Convenient as it can be performed in the gym that has limited equipment.
- It allows you to target one particular area of your muscle from more than one angle.
- The intensity of your workout can be improved.
- Suitable for those who want to increase or have more intention towards increasing Strength.
Cons of Upper – Lower Body Part Split Training
- Recovery time is shorter.
- If you’re a beginner who just started Upper-Lower body part split training, you may feel the lower body part is quite brutal. Also, it’s quite hard, even to those who are bit weak-minded.
- Quite unbalanced training times. Because when it comes to upper body workouts, it takes longer compared to lower body workout sessions.
Examples of Upper – Lower Body Part Split Training
- Monday – Upper Body with the main importance towards Push strength exercise.
- Tuesday – Lower Body with the main importance towards Strength. For instance, different Squat patterns.
- Wednesday – Active Rest or Off.
- Thursday – Upper Body with the main emphasis on Pull strength exercise.
- Friday – Lower body with hinge pattern strength.
- Saturday & Sunday – Off
4. Push-Pull Training Split
Push-pull body workout split is more a movement pattern. Here, the movements of the posterior side of the body mainly used for pulling workout, while the front or anterior side of the body part is used for pushing exercise. Also, leg workouts are often performed on pull days and not push days. It’s usually a good option for intermediate to advanced trainees.
Pros of Push-Pull Training Split
- A good option for intermediate and sometimes advanced trainees too.
- Gives flexibility in training.
- Moderate frequency, which is better.
Cons of Push-Pull Training Split
- It can be considered advanced for those beginners who don’t have much experience.
- Separates muscles that workout together, making it quite limited.
Example of Push-Pull Training Split
- Day 1 – Push (Back, lower back, biceps, legs/hamstrings)
- Day 2 – Push (Chest, triceps, shoulders, legs/quads, abs)
5. Intensive & Extensive Training Split
The intensive & extensive training split training is based on the neural demands of a workout. For instance, a heavy or an explosive workout session is often followed with a metabolic or higher volume day. In this type of training split, three or four days a week usually works the best. It’s an advanced workout strategy for athletes who want improvement in their training or looking to take their workout into another level. It’s excellent for training movement skills like acceleration along with resistance training.
Pros of Intensive & Extensive Training Split
- It’s an advanced training strategy that can be helpful if you’re an athlete.
- Suitable for taking your workout to the next level.
- An excellent option for improving acceleration skills along with resistance training.
- It offers good progressions for developing an adequate level of performance.
Cons of Intensive & Extensive Training Split
- It’s quite complicated to design.
- Not an ideal choice if you’re looking for hypertrophy type workout split.
- More focused on movement training that may become damaging in overall recovery, if you want to try hypertrophy.
- Workouts are pretty long.
Examples of Intensive & Extensive Training Split
- Monday – Olympic lifts, compound push exercises, and speed work.
- Tuesday – More focused on pull exercise along with metabolic workout.
- Wednesday – Off.
- Thursday – Similar to Monday, Olympic lifts, compound push exercises, and speed work.
- Friday – Similar to Tuesday, focused on pull exercise using weights along with metabolic workout.
- Saturday & Sunday – Active Recovery.
6. Agonist – Antagonist Supersets
Used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his heyday of training, agonist/antagonist supersets, are also called non-competing supersets. It’s the workout split, which is used for working opposing muscle groups together. For instance, bench press superset with chest supported rowing. It’s the best use of building muscle and achieve the right balance of one-to-one training on the opposing side of the body. Also, increased blood flow to antagonist muscle groups may improve your performance while giving enough metabolic stress needed for hypertrophy. Also, it’s quite flexible, permitting you to work out for three to six days based on your age.
Pros of Agonist – Antagonist Supersets
- Good for achieving balance on opposing muscles.
- Helps improve your performance due to increased blood flow to antagonist muscle groups.
- Quite flexible.
- It allows you to train anywhere from 3 to 6 days.
Cons of Agonist – Antagonist Supersets
- Quite tricky for integrating movement exercises.
- Difficult to fit with an athlete’s training regime as one of their primary methods.
- Quite advanced for beginners.
- Older lifters can face a recovery issue.
Example of Agonist – Antagonist Supersets
- Monday – Chest & Back.
- Tuesday – Shoulders & Legs.
- Thursday – Chest & Back.
- Friday – Biceps & Triceps.
- Saturday & Sunday – Active Rest Day or Off.
7. Primary Mover With Synergist
In this workout split, you combine major muscle with the second one on the same training day. For instance, Back and Biceps, Chest and Triceps workout splits. It’s often paired with an opposite side of a joint. The antagonist and one or more synergists are often involved in an action. Here, Synergist muscles are those that assist the prime muscles.
Pros of Primary Mover With Synergist
- Quite flexible for increased frequency, such as 6 days per week.
- Involved Supersets makes workout efficient.
- Training volume is higher means more muscular damage.
Cons of Primary Mover With Synergist
- Quite advanced if you’re a beginner.
- Quite taxing to your body, making it difficult to recover, especially if you’re old.
Example of Primary Mover With Synergist
- Monday – Back & Biceps
- Tuesday – Chest & Triceps
- Wednesday – Legs & Shoulders
- Thursday – Back & Biceps
- Friday – Chest & Triceps
8. Hypertrophy Specialization Training
The specialization workout split is usually focused more on your lagging body part. It involves the main focus, for instance, three or more days towards that weak body part and other days on maintaining other body parts.
It’s for specializing your workout so that it lets you bring back that stagnant gains of a particular muscle. Also, high frequency and volume give dramatic results due to increased hypertrophy on that specialized body part. It’s quite a blast for advanced lifters.
Pros of Hypertrophy Specialization Training
- Targets the lagging body part.
- Like a blast, if you’re an advanced lifter.
- The dramatic increase in hypertrophy towards that specialized body part.
Cons of Hypertrophy Specialization Training
- Entirely neglects other body parts during this workout split.
- The decrease in performance.
- Quite unbalanced if not structured properly.
Example of Hypertrophy Specialization Training Focusing Towards Back
- Monday – Horizontal pull exercise with low reps
- Tuesday – Vertical pull exercise with high reps
- Wednesday – Horizontal pull exercise with high reps
- Thursday – Vertical pull exercise with low reps
- Friday – Maintenance workout focusing towards full body
How to Assess Your Workout Split That Gives Best Results?
When assessing your workout splits, you must know that your workout plan may or may not work on someone else and vice versa. Also, many other factors play a role in deciding in setting up good workout splits. However, some everyday things that everyone must be aware of are like:
Prioritize Your Goals
You must be clear about your goals. Do you work out to maintain that baseline fitness, stay in already great shape, or want to make some dramatic physical appearance change A.k.a. Body transformation.
If you’re an athlete, focusing solely on isolation won’t be ideal for you. It requires your body to move as an integrated unit. On the other hand, if your goal is to get as big as possible, you don’t have to spend hours getting perfection on the sprint mechanism. Be clear and precise regarding your goal and design your workout according to your need.
Assess Your Workout Splits According to Your Availability
You know how much time you want to spend on what, much better than anyone else. Similar to others, you also have 24 hrs in a day. Now, how you assess that time, it’s all up to you. If you have family, kids, and the job, then it’s but obvious it’ll require much attention compared to any other thing.
If time permits you, go for the training splits where you can spend around 1 to 1.5 hrs five to six times a week. Else you can even assess the training splits that require you to perform only 3 to 5 times a week, depending upon your schedule.
Training age does make a difference, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. For instance, beginners jump directly on body part splits and isolation workouts before even getting stronger won’t reap the rewards of focused isolation. Another one is that if any older lifter tries training hard, it may backfire. It requires more significant neural requirements, stress on joints is also more, and recovery is too demanding.
Rest & Recovery Must Be Prioritized
You’re your judge. You know better than anyone else how you feel, whether you want to take rest or not. According to your lifestyle, job, and recovery abilities, along with sleep, you have to assess more or fewer rest days. Rest days shouldn’t be overlooked in pursuit of your muscle goals. Growth usually happens away from the gym by eating right and adequate rest.
However, recovery also includes mental recovery. If you feel burnout, there’s nothing wrong with taking one more extra rest day. Also, it’s suggested that you look for outdoor workouts too. Sometimes hiking or cycling helps to keep you mentally and physically fresh. Also offers a change to your mindset, so you don’t start feeling bored from regular gym routine.
Weak Body Part
If you’ve any weak body part, prioritize your workout split so that you can train it very first after your rest day, when you’re full in energy. If possible, design your training split so that you can at least hit that part twice a week – one targeted explicitly to that body part and around that.
Cardio, Abs, and Calves are not considered in a workout split. It doesn’t need muscle recovery, and muscles like abs and calves recover very quickly. So, your best bet is to train them at the end of the workout, by altering in between the days you would prefer.
Work out splits are assessed on several factors. For instance, age, experience, and many other things play an essential role in making it significant enough to give you the result it has been designed for. However, different training splits also provide variety in working out, which keeps you out of boredom and keeps you fresh.
It depends upon whether you want to build muscle, lose fat, transform your body. How much time you’ve got that it doesn’t come in between other priorities while keeping you dedicated in the gym, does make a difference.
So, when you design or choose any workout plan, it’s better to keep all such things into consideration instead of creating a workout plan that you can’t stick with. For instance, going for a workout plan of 5 days a week. And, you can’t go more than 4 days a week in the gym. Let us know what you think, have we missed anything, or you also feel the same.