From my experience, split workout routines are superior to full body workouts when it comes to hypertrophy. I’ve never run into a serious weight lifter or bodybuilder who doesn’t use a split workout routine training only certain muscles on certain days. I myself have experimented with multiple training methods and split workouts have always yielded superior results in putting on muscle and gaining strength. Full body routines have their benefits though, if hypertrophy is not your primary concern and your workouts aren’t too intense, they will work fine. They are ideal for women who aren’t concerned with muscle hypertrophy.
Why are split routines superior for gaining muscle? Well, there are multiple reasons. Let’s list the best ones.
1) First reason is that you are able to train your muscles at higher intensity when you only focus on one or two muscles per workout which results in better muscular development.
2) Second, your rest period is better. In a typical 3-5 day split routine, most muscle groups are only directly trained once every 7 days. This gives your muscle optimal resting time to recover and grow.
3) Third, You get stronger because of the higher intensity you are able to perform exercises at when the volume is not so high. Which in turn increases muscle gain.
As you can see above the benefits are many, so if you are serious about gaining muscle then it’s a no brainer that split workout routines are the way to go. Now let’s get into the good stuff.
Here is a 4 day split workout routine that I’m currently using myself that has been yielding great results.
Monday: Chest and Triceps
Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Machine Flies: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
Dips: 4 sets of reps to failure
Tricep extensions (cable, straight bar): 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Tricep extensions (cable , curved bar) 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Skull Crushers : 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wide Grip pullups: 4 sets to failure
Deadlifts: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
Lat Pulldowns: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
Cable Rows: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
DB curls: 4 sets of 8-12
Close Grip Chinups: 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Wednesday: Shoulders and Abs
Military Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Lateral Raises: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Front Raises: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Situps: 4 sets to failure
Crunches: 4- sets to failure
Planks: 4 sets of failure
Thursday: Legs and Abs
Squats: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Leg Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Leg Curls: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Calf Raises (standing): 4 sets to failure
Calf Raises (sitting): 4 sets to failure
Ball Oblique twist: 4 sets to failure
Leg raises: 3-4 sets to failure
Bicycle Kicks: 3-4 sets to failure
Stretching: Stretch before or after your workout or both depending on how sore, tight you’re feeling.
Rest Between sets: Try to keep your rest in between sets to under 2 minutes.
Intensity: Try to use weights that will only allow you to get 8-12 reps at the most. If you feel like you can keep going after reaching 12 reps, increase the weight until you can only get about 12 reps at the most or 6 at the least.
There you have it. Remember to stick to a routine for at least 90 days before giving it up for another one. You need at least 3 months to make a fair judgement on how good your results are.