The best muscle-building workout split for most beginners is no split at all.
Full body workouts are the premier and logical choice for almost all newbies seeking the fastest gains in size and strength.
The more muscle you can activate during a workout the greater growth stimulation you’ll receive.
It’s just that simple.
A day consisting of snatches, ring dips and squats will always dominate a day consisting of lateral raises, front raises and upright rows.
When you do a full body workout it forces you be very wise with your exercise choices.
Since your time is limited you need to make sure that every exercise has a purpose and every exercise is going to produce results. This usually leads to better exercise selection.
It’s harder to throw in some junk movements for assistance work when you need to work the entire body in one session.
You’ll get a greater anabolic stimulus and burn more calories during the session when your workout consists of squats, pulls and presses than when it consist of the pec dec and leg extension.
How to Design a Full Body Workout Properly
Pick an upper body push, an upper body pull and a compound lower body exercise.
Stick with an average of about four or five sets of 5-8 reps with a minute or so rest between sets. Some exercises can be done for slightly higher reps but not the big barbell lifts. Anything that requires maximal tension or has a risk factor involved shouldn’t be done for more than eight reps if you’re a beginner.
To kick of the workout you could start with some jumps or medicine ball throws to fire up the CNS. Those should be done for 1-3 reps on average.
You could also conclude the workout with some sled pushing or loaded carries. Just get about ten minutes of hard work in and keep each set under twenty seconds in duration.
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Upper/ Lower Splits
Eventually, when you have been training properly for more than 6-12 months and have made some serious progress you can start to break up your workouts into upper body and lower body days. But there will always still be some overlap.
If you’re going to split it up into two separate days I’d recommend training four days per week, if you can. If not, it’s fine to spread your four days over nine days instead of seven, training upper body twice one week and lower body twice the following week, etc. You could also simply do upper/lower/upper on M/W/F and sprint on Saturdays.
In an upper/lower split you’d put throws, chins, rows, presses and dips on the upper body focused days and jumps, squats, deadlifts, cleans, high pulls, ab work and sled work on the lower body focused days.
Snatches and loaded carries could really go on either day.
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And in The Renegade Inner Circle we take the upper/lower split to the next level with slightly more advanced variations.
Whichever option you choose, be sure to focus on progressive overload and keep getting stronger. It’s the most important thing you can do to facilitate long term gains.