After making the decision that you want to start up on a workout program, the next question that you need to answer is what type of split workout routines you’ll want to consider.
There are a number of different ways that you can perform your sessions in the gym and by taking the time to learn what each variation has to offer, you can ensure that whatever method you chose is going to serve you well and lead to fast results.
Let’s have a look at a few of the different types of split workout routines to know about as you make your decision.
1) The Upper Body Lower Body Split
The upper lower split workout is one of the most popular forms of workout routines and for good reason.
First, it provides you with a number of days off so that you can get your cardio training into the schedule or play any sports that you happen to be involved with and second, it provides a little more specialization over that of a full body workout session.
Since you’ll be working just your upper body or just your lower body, you’ll easily be able to perform multiple exercises for each muscle group.
On a full body workout program you may only get to choose one exercise per muscle group, thus you won’t get that degree of specialization in there.
2) The 4 Day Split Routine
The second type of routine to consider is the 4 day split routine.
This routine has you working the same number of days as the upper body lower body split routine, but rather than focusing on upper and lower body divisions, you might divide it up by doing chest and shoulders one day, back on the next, legs on the third, and arms and abs on the forth.
This workout routine gives you even more specialization than the workout set-up above but neglects the frequency factor.
You’ll really only hit each muscle group once per week on this workout routine, so generally this isn’t as effective except for those who are looking to either maintain their current muscle mass or really bring up one specific lagging muscle group.
3) A 2 Day Split Workout Routine
Our next workout type is the 2 day split workout routine. This set-up is great for those who are on intense fat loss diets. Since your recovery will be lower when on a reduced calorie intake, you don’t want to be doing hours and hours of training each week.
This two day split will have you working all muscles in the body twice per week using a full body workout design, still providing you with the frequency you need but without overloading your system.
This is also a perfect workout design for anyone who wants to maintain their muscle but who doesn’t have a lot of time during the week to hit the gym.
Two, 30-45 minute sessions is all it will take with this set-up.
4) The 3 Day Split Routine
The 3 day split routine is another very common workout that some people will choose to use and can be executed a couple of different ways.
First, you could approach it from a full body perspective, performing three full body workouts three days per week. This is great for those who want to build up a high level of strength since you’re not only working the muscles quite frequently, but you’re also allowing sufficient time to relax and recover.
Or, you may choose to divide it up into one full body workout, one upper body workout, and then one lower body workout.
This type of set-up is great for those who do like the upper/lower scheme but who have poorer recovery abilities and find recovering from four days to be a bit much. Or, if you have a busy schedule and three days is all you can handle, this allows you the customization benefits of the upper lower split routine while still allowing you to hit the gym just three times per week.
Finally, some people will choose to use the four day split routine type of set-up only break it up into the three day routine instead. So with this, you would perform a workout for the chest, shoulders, and triceps on one day, the back and biceps on the second, and then finish up with some leg work on the third.
This design is good for those who want maximum specialization but a low time commitment.
5) The Five Day Split Routine
Finally, last but not least you have the five day split routine. This is the classic ‘body part split’ where you hit just a single muscle group in each workout.
This type of workout design proves to be least effective since first you’re not getting much frequency with the workout (each muscle is hit just once per week) and secondly, you don’t get very many days off either between sessions.
You’ll find that after three hard workouts in a row your CNS is really just burned out and your strength level really begins to falter.
Unless you have a very specific reason for choosing a five day split routine, you’d likely be much better off choosing any one of the above mentioned options instead.
So there you have the main types of workout designs that you should consider. Remember that you never have to choose one and stick with it forever. A better strategy would be mixing up the workout designs you choose to use over time so that you can keep your body guessing as to what’s coming next and also ensure that you don’t hit a training plateau.
For help coming up with an exact program plan, please check out the No-Nonsense Muscle Building program by Vince DelMonte.
It’s a full 29 week program that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be.
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