Split Training Tips

Man in rusty gym

Split Training Tips

Are you new to split training? Here are some split training tips to remember when you’re changing from an old routine to a new one:

  • Evaluate your weak points. It makes sense to begin your weekly split routine with your weakest body part.
  • Work big to small. Smaller body parts such as your shoulders, biceps and triceps function as support muscles for your basic exercises. These include the bench press, squat, military press and so on. Begin with your heaviest exercises first when you are strongest. Then work down to lighter exercises. This means you’ll start with the bigger muscles, then work down.
  • Get plenty of rest. Most bodybuilding pros sleep anywhere from 8 to 10 hours a night.
  • Keep intensity levels high, regardless of your goal.


Take a minute to think about your present training strategy. It’s not enough to just meander from one machine to the next. You shouldn’t base your exercises on whatever equipment offers a clear view of the hotties. You won’t get results that way.

Consider it like this: you’re going to the gym anyway, right? So you might as well get all the muscle-building results you can for your effort.

So, what’s a split? It’s simply a plan of attack for training your body so that all bases are covered. There are plenty of different ways to divide your workouts. Here’s a list of split training tips and rules:

  • Do compound exercises before single-joint ones
  • You can train long and you can train hard. You can’t do both at the same time
  • Everything works, but nothing works forever

Rest is a very significant element of bodybuilding. This is true at any level. Whatever training split you decide on, make sure you have enough rest days in between. Here’s an example of a 4-day training split:

  • Monday: Quads
  • Tuesday: Shoulders and traps
  • Thursday: Back, hamstrings and biceps
  • Friday: Chest and triceps

The days can change as needed. For example, you might do Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.

Split Training Tips – Upper/Lower Split

If you’re trying to gain mass, you can do an upper body/lower body split. Stick to compound movements and try to keep the total sets per day no more than 20. Any more than that and you will not have the energy to do them with intensity.

The split below is perfect for intermediate level bodybuilders/athletes who have a good understanding of the fundamentals. It’s a good mass building routine. It takes place over a four-day time period. Rest days run as follows:

  • Monday: Upper Body Workout
  • Tuesday: Lower Body Workout
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Upper Body Workout
  • Friday: Lower Body Workout
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Split training tips include never training more than two days in a row. Here’s a good four-day split that demonstrates this:

  • D1: Back, traps
  • D2: Chest, delts
  • D3: Rest
  • D4: Arms
  • D5: Legs
  • D6: Rest
  • D7: Rest

Split Training Tips – The 3-Day Split

Some beginners do well with a 3-day split. One example would be to train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as follows:

Monday: chest, triceps, abs

Wednesday: legs, lower body, shoulders

Friday: back, biceps, abs

Another variation of the 3-day split is training chest and biceps together on the first day, back and triceps on the second and shoulders and legs on the third day. The benefit of this split is that you will not fatigue an opposing body part while training another. For example, by training the chest the triceps get worked. The biceps will still be relatively fresh after you have trained the chest.

Other Factors

Here are some factors that will variably affect how frequently you should train each body part. Also, here’s how best to split your routine:

  • Red vs. white fiber proportions
  • Tolerance to pain
  • Degree of “psych”
  • Amount of rest since last workout
  • Perceived exertion
  • Amount of eccentric stress
  • Incentive level
  • Strength to weight ratio
  • Time of last meal
  • Type of foods eaten at last meal
  • Use of ergogenic techniques or substances
  • Musculoskeletal leverage factors
  • Motor unit recruitment capabilities
  • Skill level at exercise being performed
  • Equipment quality and design
  • Environmental factors
  • Size of muscle being exercised
  • Various intra-and extra-cellular biochemical factors
  • How close you are to your maximum potential in size and strength

Split Training Tips – Frequency

With a split program each muscle group can be worked with greater frequency. You work more than just once a week. You can use a little more volume. In addition, more rest days can be implemented for greater recovery. An example is the upper/lower body split workout performed four days a week.

Split Training Tips – Whole-Body Routines vs. Split Routines

The first benefit of whole-body routines is the endocrine response. The second benefit is increased bone and joint strength. Muscular strength and functionality are other benefits. Split routines first came on the scene in the late 50’s or early 60’s. The rationale was that they allow the lifter to train the individual muscle groups with greater focus and intensity. This develops greater size and strength in those muscles. The split routine that works best for you depends on your schedule. Choose a split based on when you can train. The 3-day is popular because you have scheduling room. You have 4 days a week off. If you need to you can adjust your training days. If you do not have to make adjustments, you’ll have the 4 days off of your choosing every week.

Split Training Tips – Recap

“The best program is the one that works best for you,” is an axiom in strength training that will never change. The most successful strength routines have the following things in common:

  • Full body strength
  • Heavy training
  • Explosive strength

The main benefits of a split training versus a full body program include:• Less time in the gym.

  • Less likelihood of overtraining
  • Higher intensity levels
  • Keener focus
  • Increased energy
  • Increased strength

When it comes to split training tips, this article has provided some good ones. One of the most important is to know you have the freedom to schedule your workouts as best fits your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to move workouts around as needed. Just make sure you aren’t skipping workouts.


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