How to Use Split Training (and win the muscle building game)
This article is for anyone who wants to learn how to win the muscle building game.
You do not get your best results by going to the gym 3 days a week. You do not get your best results by doing 15-20 minute straight-set workouts. You do not get your best results by doing one of those “focus only on the compound movements” 5*5 workouts. You do not get the best results by following the infamous alternating upper/lower routine that your average Joe mindlessly follows at your local Planet Fitness.
And you certainly do not get your best results by looking for an easy way out. That’s not how competitors think.
You get your best results by lifting weights like an animal and by following a game plan. I do not care what nerdy scientific study someone has to show me.
My goal has always been to get as big and ripped as possible while maintaining overall balance. That is how I have done it for 8 years while still remaining natural. That is how I will teach it. Today, I am going to discuss how to use split training and win the muscle building game.
The game plan that most enables your physique goal is SPLIT TRAINING.
I do not care what your “ideal physique” is. If you want to achieve a bodybuilder’s physique… split training is the way to go. If you aspire to have your physique look more like Hugh Jackman’s in the Wolverine movies… split training is the way to go. If you want to just look like an athletic guy who is in shape… split training is the way to go.
Split training is exactly what it sounds like. You are splitting up your workouts by focusing on all the individual body parts over the course of a week. Full body workout sessions can give you a good workout, but there simply is not enough specified volume applied to each muscle to produce long term muscle growth.
When I first started going to the gym, I wanted to get jacked. That was my goal. But I understand that not everyone has this goal. Most people don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk. A lot of people would rather look like Brad Pitt in Troy or Hugh Jackman in Wolverine. Ironically, those are 2 physiques that were built with aide of PED’s but whatever.
The confusion people have is thinking that they should avoid typical bodybuilding workouts (split training) because it prevents them from working toward that goal. As a result, many people will try to do the bare minimum by focusing heavily on cardio and maybe throwing in some weight training. Nonsense.
Lifting weights helps you build muscle and lose fat. It will make you look and feel stronger. Again, I’ve never quite understood why guys want to come up with all these excuses not to do something so awesome with so many benefits. If your goal is lean and athletic, lifting heavy weights will help you get there faster.
Think of your physique in terms of 11 body parts that all need to be hit.
It’s very simple. You hit everything once a week. The only exception would be abs, forearms, and calves. You can hit them multiple times per week. You could also consider hitting a weak body part multiple times per week. Just remember not to work it on consecutive days.
How do you set up your splits and choose when to work certain body parts?
My suggestion is to keep it simple. Do a simple Monday through Friday split where you are hitting each body part once per week. Take the weekends off.
Creating your ideal physique is hard work. It is a job. Unlike your typical white collar slave labor situation, this is a job that you should absolutely sell your soul to.
In the interest of keeping things simple, you might as well follow a typical Monday through Friday schedule. When you are done with school or work for the day, you can go workout to unwind.
As far as the splits themselves are concerned, do what makes sense. It makes sense to train the larger body parts first. These require the most effort and energy exertion on your part.
For instance, if I wanted to train chest, I wouldn’t train my shoulders or triceps before that. If I wanted to train back, I wouldn’t train my forearms before that.
Also you should not train certain body parts on the same or consecutive days.
Here are some examples of poor split scheduling (Avoid these)
You should not train chest and shoulders on the same day (or even consecutive days). Sure, you might get a good chest workout. But if you trained chest with intensity, by the time you would get to shoulders your delts (particularly front delts) would be fried.
You should not train back and biceps on the same day (at least not in the beginning). Your biceps are heavily recruited in the pulling movements for back. If you are not particularly strong or experienced, these will not have any gas left if you decide to hit them after back.
You should not train legs immediately after back day. You need to have a full tank of gas and bring it on leg day. If you hammer back the day before, you will be sore and your lower back might be tight. Having a tight lower by the time you do your first set of squats is no bueno. Do yourself a favor and space those days out.
You should not start off the week training arms. Why start off the week fresh and waste it training small body parts like that? C’mon.
Here is my recommended IDEAL SPLIT:
Monday: Back, Traps, Abs
Tuesday: Chest, Calves
Wednesday: Triceps, Biceps, Forearms
Thursday: Quads, Hamstrings
Friday: Shoulders, Calves, Abs
Boom there you go. The perfect split. All 11 body parts are hit. And fatigue on one body part should not impact the next days’ workout.
Everyone trains chest on Monday. It’s annoying. So don’t train it on Monday. Hit back instead. After back, hit traps. Traps are your upper back muscles. It only makes sense to train them on back day. *** It’s common for people to train them on shoulder day too. It just makes more sense to me train them on back day.
Also this help your chest workouts for the following day because you lats will still have a bit of a pump to them and you will have subjected yourself to an intense workout of primarily pulling movements the day before.
Explosive pressing movements for your chest are just a lot more natural the following day. Next day is arm day. You could conceivably train biceps before triceps. It’s a matter of preference. Save forearms for last (unless you have years of experience and want to prioritize them).
On Thursday, you can train legs. Your lower back should be good to go since back day was on Monday. On Friday, you can wrap up the week by hammer shoulders. Your front delts should be fresh since the last time they were worked was on Chest Day.
That’s the game plan. That’s how you win the muscle building game… by using consistent split training and subjecting yourself to high intensity workouts over a period of time.
Days turn to weeks. Weeks turn to months. Months turn to years. That’s my story. That’s how I’ve been winning for 8 years and counting…