Training Splits

BY Steve Kidwell

One of the most common questions I get from readers and other bodybuilders is: What kind of a training split do you follow? Everyone wants to know what the best split is. There is no one best split. I have used several in the past and they all have worked. I done 3 on 1 off, 4 on 1 off, 2 on 1 off, M, W, F, and now I am currently doing a 2 on 1 off - 2 on 2 off.

The key is to find out what fits best into your schedule and what works the best for you. A lot of it may depend your time with the weights. Generally, the more years you have trained consistently, the more rest you need between workouts.

A beginner or someone with a limited amount of time they can spend in the gym are best advised to follow a brief training regime. In today's terms that would be called 'HIT' or 'High Intensity Training.' It is a system developed by Nautilus inventor, Arthur Jones. The workouts are done 2 to 3 times a week preferably on a M-W-F split. They are full body workouts consisting of around 12 to 14 sets. This definitely wouldn't be an ideal program for bodybuilding or powerlifting, but for a beginner trying to learn how to use their muscles or someone with a limited amount of training time it will work just fine.

A popular bodybuilding split is the 2 on 1 off. I used to follow it almost exclusively. I would do Chest, Triceps, Abs on day 1. Calves and Back on day 2. Day 3 was rest. Shoulders, Biceps, and Abs on day 4. Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves on day 5. Day 6 was rest and then the whole program started all over again. I've made good gains with this program throughout the years.

However, after gains recently became hard to find, I decided to throw another days rest in and make it a 2 on 1 off, 2 on 2 off. This puts me hitting each body part once a week except calves and abs which are done twice. The gains have started again. I'm going to follow this program until they cease.

The bottom line? Pick a split that you are comfortable with. You won't make gains for long unless you are enjoying what [you are doing.]

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