T Nation

Question: Back Day/Leg Day/Arm Day

I am obviously knew to the lifting scene however, I keep reading about people having specific muscle groups worked according to which day of the week it is. Such as, mondays back and chest, wednesday quads and calves etc.

Is a muscle grouping getting a full work out 1 day a week really that beneficial? Can someone clear this up for me please?

you’re talking about a split routine, where you literally split your whole body into muscle groups and section them off to different days. If ur really new, then i’ll just tell you know that this question you pose is one of the oldest questions flying around the training world.

There are advocates for both sides of the argument, the argument being, what is better: split training or total body training? The right answer depends on the goals you have in mind, but, as it often is in life, no one extreme is right, the right answer is an average of both extremes.

Both split training and total body training (which i haven’t clarified yet, if you don’t know, refers to training essentially your total body in one day, the strict formula seeming to be 1 upper body push+ 1 upper body pull+1 lower body exercise= total body day) work, in the end your progress depends on a few things.


if you take care of those 3 most basic (alas at the same time being the most vague) things, you will reach your goal whether it be fat loss, hypertrophy, strength gain, etc.

IN GENERAL, (and that is a very loose term) split training to the extreme you mention (1 muscle group a day) is usually optimal for hypertrophy because generally one will perform high volume work on that muscle to maximize microtrauma on the muscle, which leads to muscle growth.

IN GENERAL, (loose term, remember) total body training is used to get someone “in shape”, this type of training is more used for beginners, ppl looking to lean up, or people focusing on strength gains.

Now like i said before, there is no black and white answer for any aspect of training. Split training can be used for hypertrophy and fat loss, strength gain, and vice versa for total body training.

P.S. Read a lot, this site is a great source, the authors are great, but don’t neglect the opinions of T-Nation members who have hands on experience and have their own opinions on training (everyone’s got their own). As a new guy, you have to filter all this info, do that bruce lee quote, something like keep what is essential throw away what isn’t, and most importantly gain YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.

Just cuz ur book learned doesn’t mean jack shit if u don’t got the hands on experience to back it up

-That One Guy

In my experience, which granted is nowhere near as valuable as others around here, I felt as if a total body workout did wonders for me when I was just starting out. Of course, I was lifting 5 days a week with the football team so limited equipment and space for all of us gave us no other choice.

I had the pleasure of having a former college strength and conditioning coach as my head coach though so all I had to do was do what he said and put in the effort and got stronger. Sure, you shouldn’t just follow anyone elses opinion blindly, but I’m sure that listening to an experienced coach at 15 years old was alot more beneficial to me than wandering into a gym by myself and screwing around. When I got to college I started doing a split and enjoy it more when I completely wear down a specific part of my body. Is it more beneficial? Who knows…but it keeps me in the gym.

Summary: When you’re starting out, everything works. If you do alot of bench, you will get better at the bench press. The most important thing for you to remember is to stay dedicated and listen to the advice of people with more knowledge on the subject.

Thanks you two, very helpful! Ill keep a lookout for more information.