Well, this is a topic that most of us have seen a few times already. But because it’s still interesting for me I decided to write a bit about my experience and experience of athletes I know.
First, I am not going to speak about the “BRO-SPLIT”- when you train each body part once per week. It is not the most effective way to train for anything. As human beings, we are able to recover fast enough to hit every body part at least twice per week.
Of course, depending on your lifestyle you may not be able to train 6x per week or even 4 times per week. It’s all covered.
1 So first, for all you that loves the gym and go there 6x per week.
For you, I would suggest doing Push/Pull/Legs/Push/Pull/Legs.
This split will definitely be suitable for a majority of you regardless if you want to progress in strength or just get bigger. But keep in mind that depending on your priorities this split will have a different inner structure, may include heavy lifting and light lifting days or other variations.
2 Training 4x per week.
This is probably the best option for optimal progression. Now you can go for an upper body/lower body split day off and repeat. This will be great if you’re more concern about muscle growth as it will allow you to really fatigue your muscles and give them proper recovery time. Another way to approach 4x per week training would be traditional Push/Pull but one of the Push days is strength/skill focused and the other one is more hypertrophy focused and the same for Pull days. This way you will get stronger and bigger.
3. Three times per week training
This is my absolute favorite frequency. It allows me to make quick strength progress and get more and more aesthetic. It also doesn’t make me feel too tired throughout the rest of the week and provides me with flexibility.
So, there are two ways to go in this case.
This is a great way to gain tons of strength or learn strength based skill such as muscle ups, one arm push-ups and similar. The frequency here is that you’re hitting every muscle group and exercise every 3-5 days. You’re hitting every workout 4x in the period of two weeks. From my experience this split style allows you to do your heavy lifts on every workout and bring up your strength to the completely new level.
3-per week full body workouts
This is where most of us started. And for a good reason. This split gives you good frequency, enough time for recovery and gives you tons of freedom to adjust to your goals. You can do it by structuring it the way so that you do same exercises on every workout with different intensity which will make you get used to the movement and therefore make it really easy to progress in terms of strength on this exercises or you can do different exercises for each muscle group every workout while still hitting your entire body every workout. This helps to keep your workout fresh and fun for longer but makes it harder to increase your weights on exercises you do. This type of training is definitely effective in terms of gaining muscles but may not be the best when trying to get stronger quickly.
Remember that workouts are just the part of your day and your health depends on the rest as well.