DOES THE PERFECT TRAINING SPLIT EXIST?
Find the right balance between your work and your workout.
You want to know what’s the best training split for you?
It’s the one you can adhere to.
The one you can commit to in full.
The one you can progress with.
The one tailored to your specific needs, not someone else’s.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no magic training split.
If you aren’t a professional athlete whose main job is to perform at a high level and puts training as a priority number 1, then you need to be realistic with your expectations and follow a training plan that fits into your personal daily routine.
There is one important question you should ask yourself: “How many times per week can I actually commit to training?”.
In my career I’ve had many situations in which clients wanted to train 5 to 6 x per week, promising me they would follow it to the T, but due to their busy work schedule and family duties, they ended up only making it to the gym 2 - 3 x per week. Unfortunately, that ended up not providing the results they initially expected and discouraged them from stepping onto the gym floor.
How did I fix it?
By simply changing their training plan and adapting it to their schedule.
My job as a Coach is to find the most efficient and effective way to guide you towards your goals. If you already have a stressful lifestyle packed with work meetings and many other responsibilities, training shouldn’t be an addition to that list, but rather an opportunity to improve your health, fitness and overall quality of life.
Would you find a 5 x week training split effective if you can only make it to the gym 3 times x week?
Probably not, right?!
See below to find a training split more appropriate for you:
If you can only train 1 x week:
TOTAL BODY: focus on compound movements.
2 x week:
A) TOTAL BODY - TOTAL BODY
B) TOTAL BODY heavy - TOTAL BODY light
C) UPPER - LOWER
D) LOWER PUSH/UPPER PULL - LOWER PULL/UPPER PUSH
3 x week:
A) TOTAL BODY - TOTAL BODY - TOTAL BODY
B) TOTAL BODY - UPPER - LOWER
C) UPPER PUSH - UPPER PULL - LOWER
D) CHEST & BACK - LOWER - SHOULDERS & ARMS
E) SQUAT focus - BENCH focus - DEADLIFT focus
F) UPPER Heavy - LOWER heavy - TOTAL BODY conditioning
4 x week:
A) TOTAL BODY - CHEST & BACK - LOWER - SHOULDER & ARMS
B) UPPER - LOWER - UPPER - LOWER
C) UPPER Heavy - LOWER heavy - UPPER light - LOWER light
D) CHEST & TRICEPS - BACK & BICEPS - LOWER - SHOULDERS
E) TOTAL BODY - PUSH - LOWER - PULL
F) UPPER PUSH - LOWER PULL - UPPER PULL - LOWER PUSH
G) UPPER Max effort - LOWER Max effort - UPPER dynamic effort - LOWER dynamic effort (Westside Barbell)
5 x week:
A) TOTAL BODY - UPPER - LOWER - UPPER - LOWER
B) PUSH - PULL - LOWER - PUSH - PULL
C) PUSH - LOWER - PUSH - PULL - LOWER
D) PULL - PUSH - LOWER - PULL - PUSH
E) CHEST - BACK - QUADS - SHOULDERS & ARMS - HAMSTRINGS
F) CHEST & SHOULDERS - QUADS & GLUTES - ARMS & CALVES - SHOULDERS - BACK & HAMSTRINGS
What I have listed above are just some examples of how you could structure your workouts.
Start by choosing a split you can easily fit in your schedule and monitor your progress.
What I find works really well with my busiest clients, is to start them with the lower end of training frequency, primarily focusing on establishing consistency.
Consistency needs to be your priority number 1 at first. You won’t get any major results without it.
Once you have mastered that, you will be able to progress to higher frequency splits.
If you find yourself all over the place, take one step back. Give yourself time and soon enough you will be able to take 2 steps forward.
What I have learned in my career is that a simple plan that you can follow with consistency will always triumph over a more complicated one that you aren’t able to stick with.
TLDR: If you can’t adhere to it, it ain’t going to work.