It’s not enough to want it—you have to do it. Have you ever heard this phrase? Because it’s totally true—especially when it comes to strength training. If you have a question “how to get stronger with workout splits” and your goals are to gain muscle mass, burn fat, and be more athletic.
The first thing you’ll need is discipline. Discipline to stay focused and keep at your training routine but also maintain rest periods.
The other thing you need to get strong? Workout splits. Workout splits will help you reach your goals and turn your body into a results machine.
Of course, maintaining the discipline you need to see results is entirely your responsibility. But if you want a little help in choosing the best workout splits to help you gain mass, we’ll show you some of the most effective ones that you can easily incorporate into your training routine.
Before Getting Started
Before you start on your fitness journey or change up your existing workout plan, it’s important to consider a few things. What training split you decide to use depends on you, your abilities and your body’s own recovery needs.
For example, if you’re just starting, don’t immediately jump into one of the more advanced workout splits. Start with something simpler. Consider a split with higher volume and less intensity. If you want to move to more advanced training routines, consider hiring a trainer—they can help you get there quicker than if you were doing it on your own.
Listen to Your Body
Again, not all splits are created equal, just like not all bodies are created the same. Different bodies have different needs and require varying techniques to achieve maximum results. The important thing is to listen to your body’s feedback. If something isn’t working for you, your body is going to let you know.
Divide to Grow with Workout splits
For the uninitiated, a training split is a routine that separates training by region or body parts. The goal here is not to stay long hours at the gym, working out at random and without perspective. Instead, training splits are for those who want results! And that’s why the technique is used by professional bodybuilders, weightlifters and other high-performance athletes.
There are a lot of workout splits out there with different frequencies and methods, and some are better known than others. Here are the four splits that we curated that have the highest potential in helping you get stronger and build more mass.
1) Full-Body Workout Splits
The full-body training split is—as you might imagine from the name—one that targets essentially all body segments. It’s a method that’s widely used by beginners as a form of adaptation. It’s typically done two to three times per week, doing two to three sets per muscle group.
The Full-body split is also quite suitable for gaining strength and muscle. It’s an excellent training split for those who want to see fast results. For advanced training, full-body works as a way to vary your conventional training, for about two to eight weeks.
Let’s look at an example of a three-day full-body workout:
- Day one: Squats, bench press, barbell, development and curl
- Day two: Hammer curl, triceps with rope, deadlift, curved stroke, incline bench press and side elevation
- Third day: Sink, triceps forehead, calf, fixed bar, parallel to the chest and front lift
One of the most important things in a full-body training split is routine and rest periods, which need to be balanced, so it’s recommended to only train three times a week with this split.
2) Upper and Lower Workout Splits
The Upper and lower training split is divided into two stages. On the first day, you work the upper body; chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearm, among others. On the second day, you work the lower body, that is, the gluts, anterior and posterior muscles of the thigh and calf, and so on.
By dividing your workout into two distinct focus areas, you can work harder and better at each different muscle groups. The fatigue level is lower and you can increase your performance.
Another advantage is the total recovery of the muscles before working them, avoiding pain and injury and maximizing growth. No doubt, a great advantage for those looking to build mass, gain strength, and increase their conditioning and resistance.
An upper and lower split training regimen is usually done four times per week. Here’s an example:
- Day one: Upper body
- Day two: Lower body
- Day three: Rest day
- Day four: Lower body
- Day 5: Upper body
The gap in the middle of the week helps the body to recover, and it’s necessary for muscle growth and increased strength. Keep in mind that ab training can be included on both the upper and lower days.
3) Front to Back Workout Splits
This split follows the same general principle of the upper and lower split: Split the training in two. On the first day, you target the front part of your body; chest, shoulders, biceps, abdomen and thighs. The next day, you target your back, triceps, lumbar, buttocks, hamstrings and calves. Here’s a good front to back split to train with:
- Front side, workout one: Dumbbell press, decline barbell bench press, dumbbell bicep curls, machine preacher curls, hanging knee raises
- Backside, workout one: Romanian deadlift, lying dumbbell tricep extension, standing calf raise, kickback, dumbbell shrug, front pulldown
- Front side, workout two: Barbell hack squat, incline dumbbell bench press, leaning dumbbell lateral raise, front cable raise, oblique crunch, cable crunch
- Backside, workout two: Bent-over lateral raise, gluts-ham raise, lying leg curl, seated calf raise, cable press down, basic pull up
The purpose of this split is to gain muscle mass and endurance. It’s best to practice this split two to three times per week for beginners or intermediates, but endomorphs can work up to six times per week—just don’t forget about the rest day.
4) ABC Training Splits
Also referred to as the push and pull, the ABC workout splits is essential if you’re serious about maximizing strength, mass and endurance. This is a split that’s quite popular among bodybuilders and weightlifters, for example. This is because the training includes mostly multiarticular exercises.
An effective ABC method requires that you’re in the gym six times per week. As you might imagine, this isn’t a training split for beginners or the faint at heart. For maximum results, it’s essential to work with each group twice a week so that the rest time isn’t too long.
Here’s a classic example of an ABC workout:
- Day one, workout A: Legs and hips
- Day two, workout B: Back and biceps with pulling exercises
- Day three, workout C: Chest, triceps and medial deltoid (pushing exercises)
Following the logic of this split, you can see that each muscle group will have a full two days of rest before being worked again, which maximizes healing and growth.
Other Considerations on How to Get Stronger
For Those With Difficulty Gaining
If you’re among the folks that have difficulty gaining mass, targeting groups more frequently but with lower set volumes can be more effective. If you’re having trouble gaining mass, it’s worth the time and effort to experiment with a more frequent workout split.
Don’t Neglect Cardio
Cardio is immensely important for health. For starters, cardio burns more fat than weight training. But more importantly, weight training without cardio is shortchanging yourself. Why?
When you do cardio, your breathing gets deeper and faster, which oxygenizes your blood. Your heart rate speeds up and increases the blood pumping to your muscles. Your blood vessels get wider, which helps to eliminate waste in your body, including lactic acid, which is the byproduct of muscle growth. In other words, cardio can help you recover more quickly from strength training.
It’s recommended that an adult should get at least two and a half hours of moderate to intense cardio per week.
To factor this into your routine and save extra visits to the gym, break it down like this:
- A 20-minute cardio session of vigorous intensity, three times per week
- A 30-minute cardio session of moderate intensity, five times per week
Keep in mind, you can adjust the intensity and duration to meet your needs. The more intense you do cardio, the less time you need to do it.
Stay Disciplined and Safe
Training splits alone aren’t enough to increase your strength, mass and endurance: You need to reinforce them with discipline. And of course, it’s critical to have good eating habits too, paying special attention to proteins and healthy fats.
That said, if you’re dedicated, disciplined, and find a workout splits that works for you, you can increase your strength immensely.
And whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran in the world of bodybuilding, consider seeking the guidance of a professional trainer. They can help you set goals, stay motivated, and avoid unnecessary risks.