I'm sorry. This is an apology for all of you out there who thought I was going to spend my sweet time writing about banana splits today. Another apology goes out to all of the people out there who thought I was going to be writing on the extreme improvement of flexibility in order to complete the splits. If I'm ever spending a lot of time writing and talking about the latter, please sit me down and have a good heart-to-heart with me. Maybe a slap in the face to finish the job.
So what are you you actually writing about?
Well, self, thanks for asking. Today I'm going to talk splits. Training splits, that is. For the population reading this that doesn't know what a split is, no worries, here's the Poehlmann Fitness definition (it was the from the most credible source I could find, too):
A training split is a fancy way of describing how you separate your workouts throughout the week in order to optimize your goals.
Let's put this in a real life scenario.
Bro 1: "Yo yo yo, uh, hey bro, like, what kinda split are you doing bruh?"
Bro 2: "Oh hey broseph. I've got chest on Monday, biceps on Tuesday, chest and abs on Wednesday, then traps, abs, and arms on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday."
Bro 1: "Right on, bruh. You'll get super jacked doing that bro."
Bro 2: "Brooo... I'm hoping so bro."
*Both bros take a swig of weight gainer shakes and walk away*
Is this only for the bros?
When it comes to being a bro, there are some items that are distinctly "brotems" or "bro items." Things that are included on this list are items like bro tanks, stripes in the hair, and cut-off tanks that look more like a poncho because his tiny muscles can't fit into it.
Thankfully, training splits are not only for the bros. Sing praises.
So if I'm not a bro, what does a split look like?
Great question. The truth is that there is no right or wrong training split. There isn't a template that everyone has to follow, thankfully. It really all just comes down to where your body is at now, and what your goals are. So let's break this down step by step.
The Body Part Split
This is the most common split done by almost anyone trying to put on mass and add strength. This split assigns a muscle group to each day of the week.
For example: Monday - Legs, Tuesday - Chest, Wednesday - Back, Thursday - Shoulders, Friday - Arms, Saturday - Off, Sunday - Off. Accessory muscle groups (abs, lower back, forearms, calves, etc) are trained on the days preferred by the individual. This would be considered the traditional bodybuilding split. The reason this is so popular in the bodybuilding world is because assigning one muscle group each day allows for a lot of intensity and volume applied to those muscle fibers without spending 6 hours in the gym, which ultimately leads to extreme muscle activation and breakdown for growth. If you're just beginning to get into intense muscle activation, this split is perfect for growth and building a great physique. Eventually, what ends up happening is that your muscles get used to the stimulation, and protein synthesis doesn't last as long as it used to after your workout. Bodybuilders that are juicing can excel with this split too, because their PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) can enable protein synthesis to last much much longer.
What if I'm not a juicer or a beginner?
Also a great question. Since you don't have the benefits of extremely shocked and confused muscles or high quality steroids, you're going to have to take a different approach in order to see your body make changes. For those of us that train to look good naked and live longer, frequency matters much more. Several studies have come out that show training splits with higher frequency may lead to more mass gain. A study done in 2015 compared training muscle groups once per week versus 3x week. The 3x/week group had more mass gain in three different muscles. It seems that this is the way to go.
Cool, but what does that split look like?
Well, if your goal is to build muscle and burn fat (which it should be and if it isn't, get out. Kidding. Kind of.) You can start by training each muscle group twice per week and work your way up.
Monday - Legs, Tuesday - Chest/Back, Wednesday - Shoulders/Arms, Thursday - Legs, Friday - Chest/Back, Saturday - Shoulders/Arms, Sunday - Off
Once you begin to plateau, one approach you can take is bumping your frequency up to 3x/week and turning your training sessions into upper/lower body push/pull days.
Hear this: your training split is YOUR training split. The worst thing you can do is psyche yourself out by thinking you're doing everything wrong. Keep up with your nutrition and track your progress. If you plateau for a few weeks, then look at what you might need to change. If you don't know what to change, that's what I'm here for. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll help you out.
Thanks a bunch for spending your valuable time here, I really appreciate it! I'd love a follow or a subscription on my YouTube channel too. Check out my new video for a nutrition hack by clicking the YouTube icon below!
Thanks for reading!
Schoenfeld, Brad J., Nicholas A. Ratamess, Mark D. Peterson, Bret Contreras, and
Gul Tiryaki-Sonmez. "Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on
Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men."
Journal of Strength and Conditioning
Research 29.7 (2015): 1821-829. Web.