So, what is the best training split to put on lean muscle mass? An age-old question.
For those you who may not be very familiar with training splits, the term simply refers to the way you split up the muscle groups that you train over the course of a week!
Now, to answer the question (well, there’s no universal answer, but I’ll at least give my thoughts around it). There are a few different training splits that a trainee should consider.
First, let’s talk about the full body training split. As the name implies, this training split directs you to train all of the muscle of the body each time that you step into the gym. So, since you need to allow some time for muscle recovery, you’ll typically train 3-4 times per week (every other day). These workouts are typically composed of compound exercises, those exercises which train multiple muscle groups at the same time. Think bench press. During a bench press, you’re training your chest, your shoulders, and your triceps. Think Lat Pulldowns. During lat pulldowns, you are training both your back and your biceps. Think squats. During squats, you are training…. well, pretty much every muscle in your body! This is the type of training split that I would recommend for a brand new lifter. It will allow the new lifter to establish a strong foundation!
Secondly, let’s discuss the upper/lower split. This is a three-day training split. The first day is designated for muscles of the upper body; the second day is designated for the muscles of the lower body; and the third day is designated as a rest day. Repeat. This split is one that I would recommend for an intermediate level lifter, as it allows the trainee to train each muscle of the body with a bit more intensity and training volume (more “work”).
Finally, there’s the body part split (the “bro” split I like to call it, lol). This split calls for 1-2 muscle groups to be trained per day. An example is shown below.
Obviously, since only 1-2 muscle groups is being trained per day, the trainee can hammer that body part with a great deal of volume and intensity. With that much stress placed on the muscle, the muscle group needs more time to recover. This split allows the trainee to lift with extreme specificity and intensity, and for that reason, I recommend this training split for the advanced lifter!
So, to sum things up, there are a variety of different training splits that are at your disposal (we’ve only covered three here). Determining which split is right for you depends completely upon where you’re at on your fitness journey, what your schedule looks like, and how much recovery you need. And remember, you need to follow an appropriate diet as well!
If you have any questions around how to set up your training split and diet, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.