The amount of options you have for how to split your weight training up across a day, week, month or even a year is limited only by your imagination.
But sometimes it can be a little overwhelming with the amount of options you have.
So where to begin?
I’d always tend to start by asking a few questions and from there the pieces will tend to fall into place by limiting your options down to a less overwhelming amount.
1 – How Many Days Per Week Are You Going To Train?
Typically speaking for most people, this will either be 2, 3 or 4.
2 – What Is Your Training Experience?
This is important because the training programme I’d recommend for someone brand new to exercise would be vastly different from someone who’s a professional athlete.
We all fit somewhere on the spectrum in between and it’s a key consideration.
3 – What Is your Primary Goal?
Again, most people will fall into a category such as:
- Weight Loss
- Muscle Building
- Optimal Health
- Athletic Performance
As you will likely know by now if you’ve read my blogs before, I can’t give you all the answers to all scenarios but I’m happy to run through a couple of examples…
Scenario 1 – Beginner, 3 Sessions Per Week, For Weight Loss
Here simplicity is the key, and by that I mean standard full-body workouts every other day.
This would usually include the following:
- Lower Body Push Exercise – Eg – Split Squat, Back Squat
- Upper Body Pull Exercise – Eg – Seated Row, Lat Pull Down
- Lower Body Pull Exercise – Eg – Back Extension, Leg Curl
- Upper Body Push Exercise – Eg – Shoulder Press, Chest Press
- Remedial or Core Exercise – Eg – Reverse Fly or Plank
- Conditioning / HIIT – Eg Rower (Max Effort Sprint)
The above is a pretty solid platform and covers most bases if you workout 3 days per week, you won’t really go far wrong.
If you are a beginner, training your whole-body is a better option for most people because it will mean that the likelihood of excess muscle soreness in the 24-48 hours post-workout is reduced.
It might not be eliminated, but it will be less which means that you can push yourself each and every session rather than be limited by your recovery status.
Scenario 2 – Intermediate, 4 Sessions Per Week, For Strength & Muscle Building
Day 1 – Upper Body (Vertical Push/Pull) Eg – Overhead Press, Pull Ups
Day 2 – Lower Body – Deadlift & Assistance Exercises
Day 3 – Upper Body (Horizontal Push/Pull) Eg – Bench Press, Seated Row
Day 4 – Lower Body – Squat & Assistance Exercises
This is probably my personal favourite for *most* people who have a good level training experience with no big restrictions with injuries / lack of flexibility or co-ordination.
I’d still throw in some conditioning work on the lower body days to ensure that base is covered too.
Always go with quality over quantity for improvements to your strength and conditioning, the law of diminishing returns is very real and could actually be counter productive all things considered.
In summary, there’s no “perfect” training split that’s suitable for everyone.
Take into account the considerations i’ve mentioned above and experiment with what feels right for you.
Thanks for reading, have a great day.
Do you need confidential help with your health, fitness or nutrition? I have a range of services available, with Personal Training in my Private Gym in Manchester, also at your home or workplace in the surrounding areas. For clients further afield, I provide Online Personal Training, Nutritional Consultancy & Private Fitness Holidays.