What’s The Best Workout Split?

Bodybuilders have followed a number of different training splits over the years. The full-body routine was popular amongst Silver Era bodybuilders, such as Steve Reeves & George Eiferman. As bodybuilding moved into the Golden Era the push-pull-legs routine grew in popularity. This was a technique used by Jim Haislop. Bodybuilders of the modern era now prefer the body part split, focusing on one muscle group per session. 

There is no right or wrong answer when deciding on a training split. They each have their own benefits and negatives. It’s up to you to decide which best suits your lifestyle and goals. 

What is your experience level?

Time spent lifting weights is a big factor in deciding which workout split you should follow. All programmes will eventually yield results, but we want to get the best results in as short a time as possible. Novice lifters should focus on several body parts per workout. Each muscle group needs less volume as your muscles are unconditioned to the stimulus. Train each muscle group several times a week with a full-body or PPL routine. 

More experienced lifters can handle more volume per session. After several years of training, the muscles are conditioned to the stimulus and can handle more weight and more volume. Following any of the three splits would be beneficial to an advanced lifter. If you’ve followed one programme for a while, now might be the time to try something new. 

How much time can you commit per week?

The amount of time you can commit to the gym will determine which workout is optimal. If you train five days a week, the body part split might work for you. If you can’t commit to that many sessions, then focus on full-body or PPL routines. It’s important you stick to whichever programme as missing sessions will result in body parts being neglected. Over the long run, this will cause imbalances in your physique. 

What do you think you’ll enjoy most?

Don’t pick a workout programme just because somebody else does it. Steve Reeves focused on full-body routines, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Do some research on each programme and decide which you would enjoy most. The programme you enjoy doing will yield the best results as you’ll stay consistent. 

There’s no perfect workout split and you don’t have to stick with one forever. Trial and error is the only way you will know which one suits you. However, make sure you commit at least 8-12 weeks to each one before switching. Give it enough time to work.  

You’re better off following a bad programme consistently, than a good programme rarely. 


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