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Are body-part split workouts dead?

You know the deal – you train 2-3 body parts per workout. And each muscle group gets hit with direct stimulation once per week. You then do it all again the following week.

The other option is to train your whole body in each and every workout (fewer sets per muscle than a split). And do this about 3 times per week (with at least 48hrs rest in between).

My own experience, and some fairly recent study findings, suggest that a body-part split may indeed be the inferior option i.e. you make better gains by training your whole body, not by splitting it up.

And it all rests on one word…

FREQUENCY

 

As stated above, with a body-part split, each muscle group gets direct stimulation once per week.

With a full-body routine, each muscle group gets direct stimulation 3 times per week. A 300% increase in training frequency is not something to be taken lightly.

My free THT Training routine has both split and full-body workouts for you to use. Personally, and I have stated this before, over the last couple of years I have only used the full-body routine. I get better results this way.

But let’s have a look at some scientific findings to see what they can reveal…

BODY PART SPLITS OR FULL-BODY FOR GAINS?

 

This study [1] suggests that a 3-day full-body plan is actually superior for size/hypertrophy gains. The researchers stated at the outset…

“The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of training muscle groups 1 day per week using a split-body routine versus 3 days per week using a total-body routine on muscular adaptations in well-trained men.”

The subjects were 20 males, aged ~20-25, with good training experience (so no newbie gains).

They tested for both size and strength gains…

“Subjects were tested pre- and post-study for 1 repetition maximum strength in the bench press and squat, and muscle thickness of forearm flexors, forearm extensors, and vastus lateralis.”

The results…

“Results showed significantly greater increases in muscle thickness for TOTAL [full-body 3-day routine] compared to SPLIT [5-day split].

The researchers concluded…

“The findings suggest a potentially superior hypertrophic benefit to higher weekly resistance training frequencies.”

A META-ANALYSIS

 

Now consider this meta-analysis [2] (a study combining the results of many other studies).

This meta-analysis agrees with the above findings and confirms that higher training frequencies produce superior gains in muscle size.

Researcher said this this is probably the case because of the increased number of times each muscle is broken down, which in turn stimulates more frequent increases in protein synthesis.

Full-Body Workouts Produce Better Muscle Size Gains. Click here for proof Click To Tweet

 

CONCLUSION

 

No, body part splits are NOT dead. Yes they work. But my own experience coupled with recent study findings does seem to indicate that frequency is a major major factor when it comes to optimal size gains. And yes, there’s no difference when on a cutting cycle to get ripped. I still train my whole body 3 times a week.

In fact, my research over a decade has lead me to believe that there are 3 fundamentals in bodybuilding.

  1. Intensity
  2. Volume
  3. Frequency

I start my free THT training manual with an explanation of what these mean and why I call them the fundamentals. You can’t know much of anything in this game until you master these 3 factors. It’s no different from trying to teach a kid algebra who hasn’t yet mastered basic arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

DO IT!

 

The bottom line is this: If you’ve never trained full body, do it! And if you don’t do it because you’ve been told it’s the inferior option, stop putting it off and start – you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

And don’t be scared that you’re “only training 3 times a week”. Each session lasts longer than a split workout (perhaps 90mins). And total time in the gym across the week is virtually the same, anyway.

So if you want to use the same workout as I do to build muscle, or you want my 5-day split, just pop your email below and click the button.

You don’t have to go to your email to click a confirm link; the download will appear immediately after you enter your email. Enjoy them gains! 🙂

 

Try it! Why not at least give it a trial run? What have you got to lose? Nothing. What have you got to gain? Muscle!

Mark McManus

References:

[1] “Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men.”

 

[2] “Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Sports Medicine November 2016, Volume 46, Issue 11, pp 1689–1697

 

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Cool! You are going to love your fast gains on THT :)

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Cool! You are going to love your fast gains on THT :)

Join thousands over the world who are packing on slabs of new muscle for free with Targeted Hypertrophy Training (THT)

Cool! Click here to take you to the download page. (or check your email for the download link)