Training schedules and the right formula is a hot topic amongst fitness folk.
You may have heard about the “bro” split which has increased in popularity over the years.
Should you “bro” split?
The idea behind bro training is to workout 3-6 times a week, isolating your muscle groups and targeting one group per session. The theory behind this is that each muscle group is worked hard only once a week.
However, research has shown that the “bro” split is probably not the most effective training model. For best results I recommend training each muscle group a minimum of twice a week.
When training your muscle groups twice a week
You need to be selective with the reps and sets combinations you choose.
The general rule of thumb is:
• Low weights + high reps = build muscle size
• Heavier weights + low reps = build muscle strength
For best results I recommend you include a mixture of the above rep and set combinations into your training program. This variation will reduce the possibility of a plateau and allow you to obtain the optimum ratio of strength and muscle size for you.
How often should you work out per week?
As always this depends on the time you have available for workouts, what your goals are and what your individual needs are. As mentioned earlier, my recommendation is to work each muscle group at least twice a week. Taking this into consideration, let’s look at some weekly routines:
2 or 3 days per week
Compound movements are particularly good for those strapped for time to workout. Two or three days a week should be enough to meet your goals.
Monday: Whole Body
Wednesday: Rest or Whole Body
Friday: Whole Body
Feel free to be flexible with this schedule should you need to. The key is to have a rest day after each whole body workout.
3 days per week
With an extra day at your disposal you can now add lower and upper body focused sessions to the above training plan:
Monday: Whole Body
Wednesday: Upper body
Friday: Lower body
Again, you can be flexible with were you place your sessions. Just be sure to have a rest day between each session.
4 or 5 days per week
Now that you have more days to play with you can alternate the muscle groups at work, remembering not to train the same muscle group two days in a row.
Monday: Lower Body
Tuesday: Upper Body
Thursday: Lower Body
Friday: Upper Body
Saturday: Rest or Weakest muscle group isolation workout
This training routine allows for a more targeted workouts that can be completed in a shorter amount of time.
Ultimately, the best training split for you is highly dependent upon the time you have available, your goals, motivation and recovery.
3 – 4 weight sessions a week seems to be the optimum workout to rest ratio for most. The margins for improvement here are high. The recovery between sessions is adequate for most and you find that many people simply do not want or have the time to work out more than 4 times a week.