What’s your default, go-to, favorite way to organize your training week? Why?
Off the top of my head, we usually split our training according to 1) muscle groups, 2) movement patterns, or 3) physical capability being trained.
For the last 1.5 years, my default has been an upper-lower split. I’m able to recover, do the lifts I love, and balance variety with consistency. My journey so far has been thus:
In my teens and early 20s, I didn’t know any lifting style existed other than a bodybuilding-style, body part split. Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding was my primary reference material. For those decades, I always did upper-lower, opposing muscle groups, or push-pull-legs.
In my late 20s, after reading Starting Strength articles T-Nation, I learned about full-body training and began splitting time between full body and the aforementioned splits.
In my early to mid-30s, I returned to school for a couple degrees, so training efficiency took precedence. For a few years, I preferred full-body workouts two or three times per week, supplemented with a couple cardio sessions. I stuck with full-body workouts as my primary method for several years. At that time, I began melding movement pattern and full-body workouts, with hinge/ vertical push/pull and squat/ horizontal push/pull as the framework.
Nowadays, in my early 40s, I have to focus on recovery more. Full body workouts more than twice a week are tough for me, and I enjoy exercising more anyways, so I’ve reverted to an upper-lower split as the default. Depending on equipment availability and joint crankiness, I like a press - squat - bench - deadlift structure, which is just another way of blending an upper/lower split with movement patterns.
I’ve again tried PPL and bro splits and, while I’ve learned valuable techniques from each, the formats don’t really enthuse me. In the future, I’d like to try a physical capacity split, something like a day each week for power/explosiveness, hypertrophy, and limit strength. That’d look a lot like a three days per week, full body split.
So, how about y’all?