Introduction

How do you structure your weight lifting workouts to ensure that each target muscle is hit at least once per week? Do you randomly select free weights and machines that are in close proximity to you in the hope that by the end of the training week you would have magically obtained all of your training needs or do you follow an equally divided and regimented program that simply leaves nothing to chance?

Whether you’re the former or the latter there will come a point in your training when you have to make an informed decision; do you opt for a full body workout each and every time you attend the gym or do you vary your sessions through split training routines. A full body workout, as the name suggests, covers all target muscle regions in a given workout. Conversely, a split training routine breaks your training days down into certain target muscle groups, for example Monday: Chest and back, Wednesday: Triceps and biceps and Friday: Shoulders and legs. This would be an example of a three day split routine.

As with everything in life and in the world of health and fitness, there are a series of pro’s and con’s with every decision you make. Therefore, it is important that you are able to make an informed decision, one that best matches your training requirements and one that will provide you with optimal conditions for you to take your training to the next level. The purpose of this article is to assist you in this choice, by highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of both split training routines and full body workouts.

Full Body Work-outs

Firstly, let us take a closer look at full body workouts:

Advantages:
  • Ideal for novices and those that only have a limited amount of time for weightlifting.
  • Creating a full body training regime is a simpler task, requiring less thought processing.
  • Provides you with the ability to include more compound movement exercises.
Disadvantages:
  • There is not enough time to identify and focus on any specific muscle weaknesses
  • Isolation exercises are often omitted at the expense of compound movements
  • The potential to add both strength and size to a particular region is affected
Split Training Routines

Have you made your mind up yet as to whether you’re a fan of split training routines or full body workouts? Before you do, check out the selected pros and cons of a split routine:

Advantages:
  • Ideal for advanced lifters and bodybuilders, looking to explore further exercise variation.
  • Your training can easily be manipulated to aid both growth and recovery.
  • The training regimes differ on a daily basis, enhancing intrinsic motivational levels.
Disadvantages:
  • Creating a split routine training regime is a complex task, involving a degree of knowledge.
  • Compound exercises can often be omitted because they impact the proceeding session.
  • Not suitable for beginners or those that cannot guarantee their next training session.
Final Word

So what’s it going to be; split training routines or full body workouts? You have to remember that whichever option you select is going to have benefits and pitfalls. So think about your lifestyle and your training needs and requirements and make an informed decision on those factors and those factors alone. Remember, this isn’t a test. There’s no right or wrong answer.

If you do opt for split training routines then be sure to check back to the site regularly, as in the coming weeks, the FitnessBeans team will be exploring ways in which to most effectively and efficiently split your workouts. Definitely not one to be missed!