I'm sure anyone who has taken even a slight interest in training has heard of training splits, or international chest day (MONDAY), or even legs/push/pull, but which one is right for you and when should you use them???. We are going to clear up the terminology so it's easy to understand, and tell you why and when they are best used. FULL BODY TRAINING:- as the name suggests you train the whole body every session, normally the focus is on compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, chest press and shoulder press. This training type is usually best for new lifters looking to pack on slabs of muscle, (as newbie gains are always the best), this not only helps develop a strong and balanced physique, but also helps the new lifters refine their technique with these complex lifts, advised to be used 2-3 times a week.
SIDE NOTES: newbies - don't worry about training arms directly yet as you will have good progress from lifting heavy compounds, this system can and is used by experienced lifters with little time to train everyday. Ensure form and ability to perform these lifts are the main focus (not load). UPPER-LOWER SPLIT:- this training programme essentially separates your legs from your torso, so a typical week can look like: MON-upper body TUE-lower WED-rest THU-upper body FRI-lower SAT & SUN-rest,
This system is good for people who are natural trainers, as training frequency is high, so stimulation of the muscle for development is good, as long as the individual can recover enough between sessions. Also for people short on time to train though the week and good for people with over 6-12months training experience.
SIDE NOTES: ensure that volume of each session is less than doing individual muscle training, but weekly volume is the same or more, for example:- following a Mon-chest, Tues-back, Wed-legs, Thurs-shoulders, Fri-arms program doing 6 exercises each session 3 sets of 8-12 reps on each exercise.
ON UPPER LOWER TRAINING :- Mon-upper, Tues-lower, Wed - rest, Thurs-upper, Fri-lower doing 2-4 exercises each muscle group, 3-5 sets or 8-12 reps your daily volume is lower but weekly volume will be higher. LEGS PUSH PULL:- This is the system that I personally use as I find it's just the right volume and frequency, ideal for building muscle and recovering between sessions, the split is - LEGS including calves, the PUSH which is chest, front and side shoulders and triceps, and PULL is back, traps, rear shoulders and biceps. This system is more suited to people with over 12months training experience, it offers good training frequency and recovery also intensity (how hard you work) can increase, but the down side is you don't have as many rest days as you do with other systems, my rest day tends to be Sunday. Others could be Thursday or even done on a rolling structure for example, MON-legs, TUES-push, Wed-pull, Thurs-rest, Fri-legs, Sat-push, Sun-pull Mon-rest. This system seems to be good for natural and enhanced trainers.
SIDE NOTES: expand on your training knowledge before undertaking this system, so you can effectively prioritise exercises that will give you the best bang for your buck, ensure with the upper lower split, daily muscle group volume is less than single muscle days, but weekly volume is higher. DONT neglect compound exercises. 4 OR 5 DAY SPLIT:- (bodybuilder split), This method of training differs 1 of 2 ways, either you train arms on their own day, or attach them to another training day like chest and triceps, back and biceps or viscera, this way of training is made hugely popular by bodybuilders and magazines. Now I'm not saying it's not effective, I trained like this for years and got good results, but the studies and science show that protein synthesis drops off at best after 72 hours, and in trained people (people who have trained 12 weeks plus) it could last as little as 24 hours. This means after protein synthesis has stopped, so has the growth of that muscle, that's why the other systems have the edge on building muscle for non enhanced trainers, where as, if you are enhanced, your protein synthesis is high most of the time, so this system will work a lot better for you.
SIDE NOTES: this system can be good for a trainer using after a full body training approach, to help understand your body and what exercises work for you (everyone is different). DON'T neglect compound lifts, arm day doesn't need 20 plus sets, each day aim for 10-18 sets tops, more sets the bigger the muscle group (legs and back). All these systems have things in common, or at least should do, for example they should all include LEGS. It seems like so many want to avoid leg training, but not only does it create an imbalanced strong physique, strengthening movements like squats has positive long term longevity and health benefits, and let's be honest, if you have 16+ inch arms and get out squatted by a lady with 16 inch legs you're a pussy (truth bomb). Every system and program should have at least one compound lift in it, best strength and size developers full stop. Just make sure you learn the correct techniques, maybe worth investing in a coach or PT. I hope this has helped in clearing any confusion, or answered questions on how or why, and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact me, or if you are interested in a plan and raring to go, involving one of the systems mentioned we offer a range of plans readily available on the website, or if you want a tailor made plan to your requirements for the best results possible, no matter what the goal, contact me on WWW.ANIMALPERFORMANCE.CO.UK