What Split are You On?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014




Graeme Guthrie

-Certified Personal Trainer, The Gym at 99 Sudbury





What Split are you on?

       When it comes to going to the gym one of the things that has to be considered before even stepping foot inside is; what program or split is right for you? You already know why your going... to lose weight, see your six pack, get stronger, fit into your clothes from two years ago, firmer butt etc. Now, how do you get there the most efficient way?

       Firstly, if you’re a beginner determine how many times a week you are going to commit or how many days you are able too? The key here is to optimize the time you have, short or long and choose a split that fits accordingly. Planning at this stage is everything! Without a plan it’s hard to get anywhere in life and it’s no different inside the gym.

       Secondly, if you are already going to the gym then what program would best be suited to progress your fitness level? Are you reaching the plateau point of your current routine? Our bodies are very efficient, so its always a great choice to change up your routine every few months or so.

Here are a few effective splits that I like to use and find very effective.

Two times a week split

1. Two full body days

       Here you want to be doing two full body workouts. This is great if your time is limited or your just getting started. You want these workouts to be as effective as possible so you should stay a little longer then the typical hour but it will save you having to come in that other day.

Full body exercises release the largest amounts of testosterone in the body because you are targeting a large amount of muscle fibers that will increase how fast you build muscle tissue and gain strength. The majority of these workouts will consist of compound exercises. This will keep your heart rate high, giving you the ability to shed fat more quickly.

Adding in another full body day to this split would be a good progression.

Three times a week split

1. Upper/lower/full body

       I would suggest this routine if you're a month or two into you're training. The three day splits generally work best for the average gym goer, who wants results but doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands. By training the upper and lower body on separate days allows you to concentrate and target on muscle groups more intensely. The full body day allows you to tie everything together but also makes sure you hit all the same muscle groups in the same week. On the upper days your basically hitting chest/back/ bicep/triceps and lower quads/hams/calves/abs2. Upper/lower/upper - lower/upper/lower

A slight modification on the above split would be alternating weeks, upper/lower/upper on week 1 and the 2nd week would be lower/upper/lower. Generally you’d take a day off in between these workouts with 2 days off after the last workout of the week and repeat. Which looks like: lower/off/upper/off/lower/off/off.

Four times a week split

1. Upper/lower/upper/lower

This split usually involves 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on and 2 days off. Upper/lower/ off/upper/lower/off/off. This routine will be more strenuous on the body then the splits above and I would suggest an intermediate fitness level before trying this one. What I mean by that is; you want to make sure that your body is conditioned enough to recover in between these workouts. This split is a great way to put on muscle mass and to gain strength.

         Now you have a plan! With a plan you have a purpose which brings motivation which keeps you pushing harder and harder to achieve your goals! Remember, it’s just as important to follow a good nutrition plan, to maximize your results. All of these splits are great and I recommend you to give one of them a try.