Best Workout Split for Maximize Muscle Gains
One of the biggest decisions you have to make when starting out at the gym is choosing what workout split you’re going to use, in other words, simply figuring out how you’ll organize your workouts throughout the week.
Let’s have a look at our choices first. During each workout, one common alternative is to train certain muscle groups together.
The Upper-Lower split is a good example of this and involves training your upper body together and your lower body together. Also a Push-Pull-Leg split is another comparable concept, where again multiple muscles are worked simultaneously each workout. Another popular option, which is basically the opposite of the bro split, is a full body routine in which you train all of your muscles during your workouts, Mainly through the use of compound exercises and these other workout splits are likely superior to the bro split for a variety of reasons.
Main reason, when volume is matched, exercising each muscle at least twice a week produces considerably more muscular development than training each muscle once a week, as in a bro split.
In fact, stated in a further meta analysis by Greg Knuckles, subjects training at a higher frequency grew 38% faster than those training at a lower frequency y and a similar result was found for upper body strength gains as well, which is In fact, according to Greg Knuckles’ further meta analysis, subjects who trained at a higher frequency grew 38 percent faster than those who trained at a lower frequency, and a similar result was found for upper body strength gains as well.
This is likely due to higher training frequencies not only being able to better optimize the protein synthesis response throughout the week, but also enabling you to perform high quality sets. For example, if you do 16 sets of chests per week with four exercises using a bro split, you would start to fatigue after your first exercise and your performance would decrease from then on.
If you break it across two sessions each week, for example, as part of your push days, you’ll be able to do those exercises with more quality because you won’t be doing as much volume at once.
You can see now how the bro split may not be the best option for these reasons, and opting for a split that instead trains each muscle at least twice per week is likely optimal, but now moving forward.
As for which of these splits is best for you, it depends on a variety of factors, but mainly on your training experience. For example, if you’re a beginner who is just getting started in the gym, I’d recommend doing a full body workout split two to three times per week, with primarily compound exercises to hit every muscle.
Because, as a beginning, your primary aim should be to master the main movements in the gym by improving your motor learning, coordination, and developing a foundation of strength and endurance without causing undue muscular injury.
So, since a full body training split enables you to perform these movements more frequently when compared to other splits, you’re able to match faster then more effectively and build a solid base of strength faster than you would.
Otherwise, despite the fact that you could just keep raising the volume of your full-body exercises, your workouts would eventually become too long and exhausting to finish. Indeed, research on rats suggests that there may be a limit to how many sets you can perform for muscle in a single workout before the benefit on muscle protein synthesis plateaus.
Although the exact number is unknown, it appears that once we reach a certain level of training volume, dividing it into several workouts throughout the week will result in higher muscle growth and performance than doing it all in one go.
Why I recommend switching to a four day upper, lower split or something similar once your progress with the full body split stalls, so you have more training days to fit in extra volume, and then, as you gain more experience, switching to a five day routine or six day push pull like split or something similar to once again fit in extra volume.
But as you can see, although some routines have various advantages over others, really isn’t a best workout split. Your training routine should be simply viewed as a tool to organize your workout volume in a way that is most enjoyable and most practical for you.
Whether you go with a bro split, as I did when I first started, or something entirely different, remember that training volume and consistency are the most important factors.
So, regardless of the exercise split you choose, focus mostly on those two variables to achieve great results.