In short, No. Generally, building mass is all about recovery, so there is no split that is superior to another in regards to putting muscle onto your body. However, WHERE you put mass onto your body can largely be controlled by the split that you choose.
Again, in short, No. It is my belief that this is where volume comes into play (sets and reps rather than the exercise in and of itself).
This can be a complicated situation depending upon how you look at it.
- Muscle is built when the body repairs broken down muscle. Muscle is only broken down by force/tension that it isn’t accustomed to. (i.e. Progressive Overload)
- Strength is an adaptation where the body adapts to a force/tension that it isn’t accustomed to, and the only way to get STRONGER is to introduce more force/tension. (i.e. Progressive Overload)
Thus, Progressive Overload gets you bigger and stronger. Subsequently, this becomes a question of how much stronger you want to be or how much size you want to add and where that size is to be added.
If you want a very easy, cut and dry answer…here you go:
The big compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, overhead press, rows, bench press) incorporate the most muscle groups and are therefore likeliest to promote strength improvement or hypertrophy in the most areas ‘at the same time’.
Then again, it is very hard to get stronger without getting bigger, and it is very hard to get bigger without getting stronger.
If this is your goal, I’m going to echo what @T3hPwnisher said: It’s all about creating an illusion of being big. You don’t need to be the size of Phil Heath to look enormous in every day life. So, how do you create such an illusion? Depends on who you want to impress. (and this advice will be assuming you are just walking around in clothes…not posing trunks)
If you’re looking to impress people that actually lift and know what they are looking at:
I think the simplest approach has been one that @EyeDentist has touted for years: Place emphasis on developing your upper back, your shoulders and your upper chest to create the appearance of depth AND broadness, while working your abs to look shredded and help maintain a relatively small waistline.
If you want to impress random people (chicks on the beach for example) that have don’t understand the ‘big picture’, get big arms and abs.