T Nation

Thinking of Doing Splits

Most of the top coaches on here seem to advocate a full body approach to training but after doing this for a few months I feel that I am unable to hit all the muscle groups with sufficient intensity as I near the latter stages of my workout.

Half way through my routine I dont feel as though I am giving justice to the remaining exercises. I think I need to split up my workout atleast into two parts though my beef with splits in the past has been insufficient rest between workouts.

What would you guys suggest as a good split or should I stick to full body. My goals are hypertrophy specific.

[quote]steven alex wrote:
Most of the top coaches on here seem to advocate a full body approach to training but after doing this for a few months I feel that I am unable to hit all the muscle groups with sufficient intensity as I near the latter stages of my workout.

Half way through my routine I dont feel as though I am giving justice to the remaining exercises. I think I need to split up my workout atleast into two parts though my beef with splits in the past has been insufficient rest between workouts.

What would you guys suggest as a good split or should I stick to full body. My goals are hypertrophy specific.[/quote]

Hi Steven,

Can I ask how long you’ve been doing your current TBT workout? Also, on average, how many exercises are you performing per workout session? Finally, are you performing the lower body exercises first in your workouts?

Whether you should switch to splits or not, really is an individual thing. Also, how you choose to split, if you do choose to go with splits, is also an individual thing. Some guys thrive on higher frequency, others lower frequency.

Some get good results from higher volume training, others lower volume training. It’s really all a matter of trial and error to see what you respond best to.

If you feel like your can’t give all of your muscle groups the attention they need doing full body workouts, then that might be an indicator that you should switch to a split. If you know from the past that recovery is an issue, that may suggest that you don’t do well on high frequency (in which case splits would probably once again be a better choice).

I might suggest trying a “Push/Pull/Lower” split. In this split you’ll do one workout for your upper body pushing muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps), one for your upper body pulling muscles (back, biceps, forearms), and one for your lower body (quads, hams, glutes, calves).

This will give you a whole week for each muscle group to recover, so you can pretty much go as hard as you want, and still be able to recover for the next workout.

If you find that you still can’t hit all of your muscles with enough intensity, you can split things up even more. You could also split up the lower body workout into a “hip dominant” workout, and a “quad dominant” workout. Then the workout might look something like:

Mon. Push
Tues. Lower body (hip dominant)
Thurs. Pull
Fri. Lower body (quad dominant)

There are really so many variations of splits out there, so you really just need to experiment. What really matters though is that you are eating enough and hitting the weights hard and consistently. If those two elements are in place, then the training split is just fine tuning.

Good training,

Sentoguy

I’m not sure as to the extent of your lifting experience, but that is the exact reason I started doing splits. I am a huge fan of bodypart type splits or push/pull type, basically anything that works the entire body over a 3-4 day course.

Personally my favorite split consisted of 3 workouts, one emphasizing chest, triceps and shoulders, the next back and biceps, and the final day legs. I would do ab work every other day, lift 4 days a week, 2 on 1 off, 2 on 2 off.

I tried to keep it to 6 exercises (at least 4 compound movements) each day, then say about 15 minutes of random abdominal work (basically 1 exercise for upper, 1 lower, and 1 oblique). As for setting up the workouts, my arrangement goes in an ABC type pattern so for example in the first week

Monday: A
Tuesday: B
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: C
Friday: A

then from there I would cycle through workouts A-B-C in that order (next monday B, next tuesday C, etc.) This way I ended up working out each muscle with about 3-4 days in between which I’ve found is about just enough for me.

While this split has produced the best results for me so far, I’d also reccomend push/pull splits and upper/lower splits. Ultimately you’ll need to do some experimenting. Good luck.

Westside For Skinny Bastards is the best split IMO. It’s infinately adjustable for the individual goals you may have and I find upper twice per week and lower once per week is perfect for recovery.

I’m a newbie, and I recently started doing a classical, muscle-hit-once-per-week split. Not optimal for a beginner?

Well before, I had done TBT and didn’t see much in the way of gains at all. I tried several forms of splits before getting pissed off and doing it the ‘advanced’ way.

It’s the end of the second week and I am already seeing gains in size. I’m amazed. I have also learnt the true meaning of intensity in the gym, and the power of the mind and all that Zenish stuff etc.

I love the idea of totally obliterating a muscle group and then letting it rest fully. I’m never gonna look back.

So in my opinion, you should find what works for you. That’s the best advice I have ever gotten.

Thanks guys for all your helpful replies. I think the way to go is with the push/pull/legs split which I will start in a few weeks time. Thanks once again