First of All… What’s A Split?
It’s something the cast of Fame do while wearing leg-warmers. But it’s also a way of arranging your training, focussing on specific areas of the body or specific fitness qualities, rather than trying to pack everything into one workout. For example, a basic training split might see you training upper body one day, lower body the next.
So now that that’s cleared up, here are three sample training splits to suit your individual goals.
THE GOAL – Strength
THE SPLIT – Upper/Lower
Building strength is kind of a tightrope walk. To get stronger on an exercise, you need to perform it frequently enough to adapt, but not so often that you don’t get a chance to recover. That’s why the upper/lower split is so effective. For a beginner, it’s as simple as alternating between two workouts. For example
Workout A – Lower Body
Squat – 4 sets of 6
Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of 10
Alternating Lunge – 3 sets of 10
Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets of 12
Workout B – Upper Body
Bench Press 4 sets of 6
Incline Dumbbell Bench 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Row 3 sets of 10
Lat Pulldown 3 sets of 12
THE GOAL – Muscle
THE SPLIT – Push/Pull
When the goal is muscle gain, we take a different approach. You need a greater variety of exercise and a greater volume of overall work (basically, more overall reps per session).
A push/pull split looks something like this.
Workout A – Upper Body Push
This includes the chest, shoulders and triceps. Pick 2-3 exercises for each muscle and do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
Workout B – Lower Body Push
This is a quad dominant workout, so we’re thinking squats, lunges, leg press, and variations thereof.
Workout C – Upper Body Pull
This is a back and biceps workout. So chin ups, rows, and curls are all on the table, choose a couple of variations of each and stick with the set and rep schemes described above.
Workout D – Lower Body Pull
This is a hamstring dominant workout. So deadlifts, straight leg deadlifts, leg curls, kettlebell swings and variations thereof.
THE GOAL – Fat Loss
THE SPLIT – Full Body
When fat loss is a priority, we need to train lots of muscles in each workout creating a large metabolic demand so that you’re body is burning calories for hours after your workout is finished. That means training the whole body each workout. That doesn’t sound like a split does it? Well, it’s not a body part split, but we still vary the workouts by changing the reps and exercises each workout.
A failsafe method of creating a great fat loss workout is to choose one of the following exercises –
Upper Body Push – (Bench press, shoulder press, push up etc)
Lower Body Quad – (Squat, Lunge, Step up)
Upper Body Pull – (Chin up, pulldown, row)
Lower Body Hamstring – (Deadlift, leg curl, hyperextension)
Once you’ve picked your exercises, pick one of the following set and rep schemes.
3 sets of 15
4 sets of 10
5 sets of 5
And that’s your workout for the day. Do three of these a week, varying your set and rep scheme each time.
Training is a huge subject, something we could never cover exhaustively in one little blog post, but hopefully this glimpse into program design has been helpful. Now all you have to do is pick a goal, pick a training split and give it a try.
by @Zackcahill for BodyStudio