Today I want to talk to you about structuring training over a week, and specifically if you should follow a body part split.
My friend Meghan reached out because she’s interested in increasing the number of days per week but she goes to the gym and isn’t quite sure and how to break it down.
I want to talk to you about using a body part split versus full-body training, and the benefits of each.
In bodybuilding, a body part split is when you focus on a particular muscle or body parts for an entire workout, like doing back and biceps, chest and triceps, or legs, shoulders, and abs.
Body part splits are popular because it’s what evolved from the bodybuilding days of the 80s and 90s. They can be really useful, but I’m not sure sure they’re the best option for most people.
On the other hand, modern strength and conditioning tend to focus more on full-body workouts that tend to emphasize certain movement patterns or qualities of fitness without entirely forgoing certain movement patterns.
The phrase we often use is “Movements, not muscles” and that’s because it’s easier to focus on 6-8 major movement patterns than it is to focus on the hundreds of muscles in our body.
In most of my programming now I try to include all of the major movement patterns while diversifying for the energy systems being used.
This basically means that the sets, reps, weight lifted, and rest periods vary a lot, but the exercises themselves are more similar than they are different.
It may mean that some days you’re doing sets that are 5 reps with really heavy weight, and then resting for 2 to 3 minutes, well other day gets lighter sets of 15 reps, but with minimal rest.
Ultimately I like to think about using as much of the body as possible during any given work out, and then adjusting programs based on the energy systems we’re trying to target.
This means that some days you’re truly focused on strength, other days are dedicated 2 muscular endurance, and still, other days are dedicated to cardiovascular endurance.
Our body is capable of generating energy in a lot of ways, and if we can diversify our workouts through a variety of energy systems, I think that’s the most people that are actually better than doing a body part split.
That’s it for today y’all – Train your entire body each time to go to the gym, and change the focus you’re putting on strength or cardio.
As always, let me know if you have any questions, and please send me a message if you’d like to talk more!