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Training Split Confusion: Breakdown Shows Clear Winner To Help You Make Gains!

With the recent invasion of powerlifting and sports performance training methods, many coaches and individuals are advocating full body routines... Here are several splits broken down to help you find what works best.

When it comes to the "best" training split for size, arguments abound. There are multiple schools of thoughts at play; some swear by the traditional one body part/once a week routine.

With the recent invasion of powerlifting and sports performance training methods into the physique world many coaches and individuals are advocating full body routines with their support being that no muscle works in isolation. Who's right and who's wrong? In my opinion, the best way to figure out what's right for you is to look at all the methods that are out there.

Trying to increase muscular size and definition isn't mutually exclusive to body part splits, there's a few other ways to get it done. Let's take a short Pro/Con approach.


Different Splits: Pros & Cons

Knowing that the three characteristics to muscle growth are volume, intensity and frequency we see that each split has their own advantages and disadvantages.


-> Body Part Splits Once A Week:

Body Part Splits Once A Week

Pros

      • Highest amount of recovery
      • Potential least Central Nervous System fatiguing
      • Highest volume per body part

Cons

      • Infrequent muscle stimulation
      • Inability to use greatest total load per session
      • Least amount of total muscle recruitment per session
      • Lower amount of calorie usage


-> Body Part Splits Twice A Week:

Body Part Splits Twice A Week

Pros

      • More frequent muscle stimulation
      • Greatest total volume per body part
      • Lack of full recovery

Cons

      • Greater likelihood of adrenal fatigue
      • Potential for wasted energy
      • Inability to use greatest total load



-> Total Body Training:

Total Body Training

Pros

      • Frequent muscle stimulation
      • Ability to use more total muscle
      • Ability to use greater total loads

Cons

      • Inability to significantly improve a specific movement
      • Lack of isolation exercises may leave specific body parts under stimulated
      • Impaired recovery


-> Upper/Lower Split:

Upper/Lower Split

Pros

      • Increased focus on specific areas
      • Appropriate mix of frequency and intensity
      • Ability to significantly increase lifts
      • Ability to focus on weak areas

Cons

      • Lack of significant volume




-> Upper/Lower Split With Body Part Training:

Upper/Lower Split With Body Part Training

Pros

Cons

      • Increased risk of fatigue if training isn't monitored correctly
      • Increased likelihood of wasted exercises on body part days


Split Breakdown
Which Is The Best?

As you can see, each split has positives and negatives. One is not better than the other and each split is appropriate at certain times. Breaking each split down according to volume, intensity and frequency categories produces the following:

Volume Splits:

      • Body part splits once a week
      • Body part splits twice a week
      • Total body training
      • Upper/lower split with body part training

Intensity Splits:

      • Upper/lower splits
      • Upper/lower splits with body part training

Frequency Splits:

      • Body part splits twice a week
      • Total body training
      • Upper/lower splits with body part training

When we look at the breakdown, we see that only one method falls into each category:

Upper/Lower Splits With Body Part Training

This method not only allows us to focus on increasing specific lifts but also to have direct work on the areas that we need to improve. In short, we have increased volume with proper intensity and frequent muscle stimulation. That's where my money goes!

We Have Increased Volume With Proper Intensity And Frequent Muscle Stimulation.
+ Click To Enlarge.
We Have Increased Volume With Proper Intensity
And Frequent Muscle Stimulation.

About The Author:

Jimmy Smith, CSCS, is rapidly establishing himself in physique and strength communities. His innovative and unique nutrition and training strategies have produced countless first place finishes and world champion physiques. Jimmy has just released the first, step-by-step, blueprint expert guided program to adding 5 lbs of lean muscle in 18 days. For a free report, visit www.ineedmuscle.com.