Split Routines

May 21, 2010 // Al Kavadlo

Split routines are exercise programs that involve working different body parts on different days. The idea is that by breaking your workouts up by body part, you allow adequate rest time for your muscles without having to take a day off. If your arms are sore on Tuesday from working them on Monday, then work your legs that day, giving your arms some rest. Since you’re working fewer muscles per training session, the amount of volume done on each body part increases, and since the volume has increased, those muscles may require additional rest.

A simple way to split things up is to have one upper body day and one lower body day. This is often referred to as a “2 day split.” Another common way for people to mix up their routine is by breaking the upper body down into two days: one for pushing movements (which emphasize the chest and triceps) and one for pulling movements (which emphasize the back and biceps), with a leg workout on the third day. This is often referred to as a “3 day split.”

Bodybuilders typically follow split routines because high volume workouts have sometimes been correlated with higher levels of hypertrophy (muscle growth). Some bodybuilders will break their splits down even further, doing 5 or even 6 day splits in attempts to achieve maximum growth.

Here are examples of 2 day and 3 day splits:

2 day split:

Day 1 – Upper body day – Push-ups, dips, overhead presses, pull-ups, barbell rows
Day 2 – Lower body day – Squats, deadlifts, lunges, steps ups

3 day split:

Day 1 – Upper body pulling – Pull-ups, pullovers, Australian pull-ups, barbell rows, reverse dumbbell fly
Day 2 – Upper body pushing – Push-ups, dips, overhead presses, tricep extentions, dumbbell fly
Day 3 – Lower body day – Squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups

Related links:

Squats and Deadlifts
Australian Pull-ups