Seasoned gym goers will probably already know the answer to the above question, but if you are at the beginning of your fitness journey and not sure where to start or how to structure your workouts, this article will clarify a few things about split training.
This article is aimed to help you identify which method is the better choice for your fitness goals, lifestyle and commitment level so you can make each of your workouts count.
What is Split Training?
If you ever worked with a personal trainer in a gym environment before, attending multiple sessions per week, you have probably already tried this method at least once. Split training refers to workouts that are divided up by muscle groups. Depending on the number of sessions you do a week, the split can differ.
Split training is preferred in bodybuilding because they tend to work out several times a week, often more than once a day. There’s a way to do a basic split if you only train twice a week in a gym, for example, you can work on your lower body one day and the upper body the other, or even three times a week where the split is based on pushing and pulling movements.
However, if you’d like to make the most out of your workouts, this method probably isn’t the most efficient for you and I’ll get back to this at the end.
Benefits of Split Training
There are many reasons bodybuilders prefer splitting their workouts. This way they can work the muscles involved at maximum intensity since that muscle group will have a longer recovery. As a result, they can make bigger gains in muscle endurance and size.
From a schedule point of view, training on consecutive days would be very taxing if you do full body workouts and a sure way to overtraining, but with split training, you can exercise daily so long you use the correct split and don’t train the same muscles the following few days.
With increased training hours you will also have more chance to focus on improving weak areas without inhibiting overall progress. This can be very beneficial not only for bodybuilders but for athletes who are working on a specific area of weakness to improve their overall athletic performance.
Is Split Training Better than Full Body Training?
No, but it’s not worse either. It’s just a different training method that has its benefits for specific fitness goals. If you are dedicated to train at least 4-5 times a week and have a specific physique or athletic performance goal, a split training routine will benefit you, so your training doesn’t inhibit your body’s recovery.
If you are a total beginner and/or you can exercise only 2-3 times a week, split training is probably not the best approach for you. Especially if your goals are mainly to lose weight, get fitter, build some strength and improve your overall quality of life. In that case, aiming for full body workouts and ensuring you have at least 24-36 hours recovery between them will take you further much faster in the beginning of your fitness journey.
Involving more muscles within one session may help you burn more calories and as a beginner, you will make quicker progress with less intensity too. Not to mention, if you are a busy professional and there is a chance that you end up missing a workout on a tightly scheduled week, you will still have exercised your whole body.
If you have questions about split training or still not sure which method you should choose, feel free to message me for a commitment-free chat about your goals and lifestyle.
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My name is Calumn Duthie, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people just like you get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to improve your nutrition, training and mindset then you definitely want to be part of my bigger community. Join my Facebook group,Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.