Full Body Workout Vs. Split Routines

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Full Body Workout Vs. Split Routines

Bench press setup

Of the many aspect in your workout routine that determine how fast you grow, one important aspect to consider is how often you should train a muscle. Classic splits have a frequency of once a week per muscle, full body workouts can have a frequency of 5-6 times a week. Let’s look into the science of which is better.

A full body routine may hit each muscle many times a week, but you are not hitting each muscle as hard each workout, that is the VOLUME isn’t as high per workout. Does this matter? Probably NOT! Training a muscle often (high frequency) is better for muscle growth, EVEN IF VOLUME IS KEPT THE SAME. 2 sets of chest exercises 3 times a week is better than 6 sets once a week. Full body workouts are a good way to achieve this.

Your Experience May Matter

More experienced lifters might still benefit from lower frequency using a classic “split routine”, as they need higher workout intensity and longer recovery to keep growing. Split routines are less tiring and may thus allow for more total weekly volume. We need more studies on this topic.

A good balance could be to train each muscle group twice a week, with a high intensity session and a low intensity session to get frequency and time for recovery. That is what we do personally!

Sources (DOI):

  1. 1519/JSC.0000000000000970
  2. 1249/01.MSS.0000053727.63505.D4
  3. 1519/R-12842.1
  4. 1097/00005768-199905001-00443
  5. 1249/01.MSS.0000053727.63505.D4
  6. 1519/JSC.0000000000000970
  7. PMID: 17326698
  8. ISBN-13: 978-0976805410
  9. ISBN-13: 978-0736056281

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