How should you organize?
Having a strict program you follow every week is essential for achieving your fitness goals. But what’s the best one, how many times a week should you train, how should you split your workouts? The answer to all of this depends on the goals you set, the time you have, and what you want to get out of the training you put in.
How many days per week?
This topic has caused diversion among the gym community with each side passionately supporting their opinion. In reality, all that matters is the volume of the muscle group you train. Every muscle needs about 2 to 3 days to recover, which immediately disqualifies workout plans of 6 to 7 days a week as they are way too excessive and don’t allow your muscles for proper rest.
So the best plans are between 3, 4, and 5 days a week. The exact best plan depends on the type of workouts you want to do and the time you have. If you have for example limited time and want to train all of your body a 3 day full body workout plan is a good idea.
If on the other hand, you want to split the muscles that you train you can go for a 5 day plan, it’s all up to you. What matters the most though is that you keep consistency on the plan you have decided for you. If you want to split your workout but you tend to skip a day because of insufficient time then it would be better to create a 4 day a week plan so you don’t leave muscle groups untrained.
How should you spit your workouts?
A workout split refers to how you divide and plan your workouts throughout the week. There are 5 main types of splits that are the most popular and are recognized by everyone: Full body split, upper/lower split, push/pull/legs, and bro split. It can be pretty confusing for gym beginners to understand and decide on a split that fits into their schedule and their plan. I will explain all of the main splits and their benefits or negatives about them.
- Full-body split: It’s a pretty simple and self-explanatory plan where you have full-body workouts. As mentioned it is perfect for people with tight schedules that aim for 2-3 days a week of training. The only problem is that your workout sessions might be longer than usual.
- Upper/lower split: A famous split that a lot of gym-goers use. You divide your workouts between the upper body and lower body making it easy for you to keep track of which muscle group you’re training. It is for those who follow 4-5 days a week plans. One of the downsides it has is the volume that may lead to fatigue specifically on your upper body workouts. Because the upper body has more muscle groups than
the lower body if, for example, you train chest, biceps, triceps, and forearms then by the time you train you’re back close to the end of your session you’re fatigued and you’re armed and don’t have the power to support the back.
- Push/pull/legs: It sounds complex but it really isn’t. They are categorized based on the movement involved with the workouts. Push workouts are workouts that involve pushing like chest presses and shoulder presses while pull workouts involve workouts where you pull like rows. and lastly, legs are simply lower-body, leg workouts. It’s another split that you can do on a 3 workout per week plan. It is not beginner friendly and beginners may find it difficult to decide how they are going to split push-pull exercises for maximum results.
- Bro splits: It is a very unique, interesting, and straightforward type of split, where you train one muscle group per workout! I would need 5 days a week for these workouts. Some people like and support it, some people don’t, personally, I think it’s not a good idea to devote an entire training session to one muscle group but it’s your decision. The facts are that one muscle group per session is too much volume and it
only takes 2-3 days for muscles to recover so waiting 7 days to train that muscle again will result in losing a lot of gains.
- Hybrid splits: Hybrid split is a mix or combination of different types of splits. After you gain some experience and understand what benefits your body more and what does not, you can create your own hybrid split which is tailored specifically for you. The combinations are endless.
If you have decided on a split but don’t know the specific exercises you will do then it’s a good idea to ask, or if you want you can just copy some by professional and trustworthy trainers on popular social media platforms.
There’s no point in creating a gym program/plan if you don’t track your progress. By tracking your progress you can see if your plan is achieving its purpose or if it is not, allowing you to make necessary changes so you keep being on the right path.
You can track progress in many ways like taking periodic photos, comparing how much weight you can lift between weeks, or watching your weights. It will make sure you are working at the highest efficiency and motivate you for the progress you have made so far.
Take your time on deciding a program that fits your needs and again remember that the most important part of creating a gym program is to stick to it and remain consistent. Don’t forget about the other aspects of lifting weights which are to rest, watch your diet so your body can properly heal and adapt to its challenges, always keep the correct form, and warm up before intense sessions.
Also, start adding more weights after some weeks so you progressively overload your body for more gains and strength.