Whether you’re trying to get in shape or build muscle you cannot work the same muscles every single day. For best results and to reduce the risk of injury, you need to split strength training days. People who are new to strength training often make the mistake of trying to push themselves to complete five workouts per week and while that drive is commendable, if you aren’t careful about which muscles you target, you could end up doing more harm than good.
It’s for this reason that so many experienced athletes and bodybuilders will split strength training days to be able to keep up their workouts without overdoing it with any specific group. This provides the muscles and joints enough time to properly recover and grow before they’re put through another intense workout.
That said, knowing exactly how to split strength training days isn’t just about trying to work out with one day on and one day off. There is a careful balance for you to achieve to make sure you’re properly cycling through your entire body.
Coming up with a good split is something quite personal. What will work for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Therefore, you need to know what to keep in mind before you make up your own training split. As you come up with your own division of the body parts you’re working over the course of a week, consider the following:
Experience and fitness level – If you’re just getting started as a beginner in your strength training, you’ll need to put less into the intensity of your training to get results. That said, you will need greater frequency to your workouts to make up for the reduced intensity. If you’re a more advanced strength trainer then you will need fewer workouts with greater intensity.
Workout goals – The balance of your split will heavily depend on the purpose for doing the workouts in the first place. Are you looking to get in shape, maintain your current fitness level, lose weight or build muscle mass?
Time availability – Ask yourself quite honestly how much time you can devote to your workouts. Are you prepared to carve out enough time for five strength training workouts per day and will you have the motivation to keep up with that, or is it more realistic to think that you’ll do three? Your split will need to suit the number of days you’re actually working out.