Before you can decide if a split workout schedule is right for you, you have to know exactly what it is. If you’re working all parts of your body at one session, you’re doing a full body workout. If you’re working the upper body at one session and the lower body at another, you’re doing a split workout. You can refine the workout split in a variety of ways, depending on your goals.
It’s not just upper/lower body splits.
Even though working out the upper body on one day and the lower body another is the most common type of split workouts, there are other types also. Why split your workout into different areas? It’s especially important for strength training, which requires resting your muscles for up to 72 hours to allow them to heal. It also refines the training and ensures every muscle is worked on all planes. Another type of split workouts are push-pull muscle workouts, which works opposing muscles and breaking down your workout to four different areas.
Split workouts are great for people who want to build specific muscles.
One of the biggest categories of people who use split workouts are bodybuilders. Because they often train at high intensity to build muscles, it allows them to workout every day and still provide time for recovery, allowing the muscles to heal. You can work muscles to failure with more intensity, which is the way to stimulate growth, making small micro tears and allowing those tears to heal stronger. The muscles have at least 48 hours and up to 72 hours to recover, the amount of time necessary for repair.
If you’re new to exercise or have a busy schedule, a full body workout may be right for you.
Most people opt for a full body workout three to four times a week, with one or two of those days devoted to strength-building. If building your body for competition isn’t your goal, then a full body workout might be the option for you. A full body workout not only focuses on the entire body at once, it also burns more calories than workouts that just focus on one muscle group. That’s because more muscles and joints are involved at once.
- Some people use a full body workout, but take one day to focus on a specific area of the body, such as the arms, to get the look they want without burnout before the session ends, even if they aren’t bodybuilders or weightlifters.
- One problem with a split workout schedule occurs if you miss a workout. Even if you simply skipped one day, it’s hard to get back on track, so you often lose even more progress.
- If you plan on working out more than three or four days a week, a split workout could be right for you. It allows intense strength-building every day, as long as you don’t work the same muscles within 72 hours.
- Whether you select a split workout or opt for a full body workout, consistency is key to success. Since a split workout requires more planning, beginners are always better starting with a full body workout. You can always switch after you get more adept.