Which Workout Split Should I Use?
It can be massively confusing for people to know when to work out, what exercises to pick and what number of sets & reps to do, so I want to break down a few ideas as simple as possible for people to follow, especially if you're new to the gym.
The first you need to do is to decide how many times a week you can realistically attend the gym. There is no point in planning a 6 day a week routine when by Week 2 you can only make it 4 times a week.
If you want to work out 3 times a week or only have time for 3 sessions a week then the below is four ways to split your training. This might mean going on Monday, Wednesday, Friday for example or whenever you can fit it in during the week. Ideally, you'll have a rest day between each session.
Day 1 - All upper body push exercises like bench press, shoulder press, dips etc, working mainly chest, shoulders and triceps
Day 2 - All upper body pull exercises like pull-ups, rows, bicep curls etc, mainly working back, biceps and forearms
Day 3 - All lower body work like squats, deadlifts, leg press etc.
The upper workout includes all upper body push and pull exercises outlined above, the lower workout includes all leg exercises. With this split you may start the week with an upper-body session on Monday, a lower on Wednesday and upper again on Friday, the following week you would reverse the order to achieve 3 upper/lower workouts every 2 weeks.
3. FULL-BODY X 3
This involves working the full body in each session three times per week. For example, one day may include squats, bench press, pull ups, shoulder press, bicep curls, and tricep extensions. Day 2 might include deadlifts, incline dumbbell press, barbell row etc.
4. CHEST & TRICEPS/BACK& BICEPS/LEGS & SHOULDERS
Similar to push/pull/legs except shoulders are paired with legs.
Any of these splits will work provided you are training with intensity, which is likely the main ingredients in stimulating muscle growth. Just pick one that works for you and try it out, the best one is the one that you stick to.
If you plan to go 4 days a week I'd recommend Upper/Lower x 2 or cycle through a push, pull, legs split.
3-4 days of weight training will be enough for the vast majority of people, other days can be spent on other activities or resting. I do recommend some form of activity most days, that might just be a walk, yoga class or a cycle some days.
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