Weight Training Week – How To Structure Your Weekly Workouts

By | March 1, 2015

Weight Training Week – How To Structure Your Weekly Workouts

Often times people are struggling to decide how to structure their workouts on a weekly basis, what exercises do on each day and so on. In this article let me give some practical advice to you on your weight training week and how to structure it to reach maximum potential!

Basically when it really comes down to it, you have to decide how many times you’re going to train your different body parts each week. And this is where so called different “Splits” come in to play.

What Are Different Splits?Weight Training Week

There are couple of different splits that people use and the most common ones are as follows:

  • Full Body Split (1 day split)
  • Upper-Lower Body Split (2 day split)
  • Push, Pull, Legs Split (3 day split)
  • Legs, Shoulder, Biceps, Chest, Triceps Split (4-5 day split)

And these different splits just mean that how many days in a given week you’ll train different body parts. For example with full body splits you could workout monday, tuesday, friday and on every workout you’ll train your whole body. In Upper-Lower split you’ll do upper body on mondays and thursdays and lower body on tuesdays and fridays so with upper-lower you’ll train your whole body 2 times a week compared to full body three times.

These are not carved in stone and you could train even more or less during given week with different splits. But now as you know the different splits you should consider which one to use!

What Split Is The Most Efficient When The Goal Is To Build Muscle And Strength?Weight Training Week

For natural trainers to gain the best results possible it’s a good idea to train whole body atleast 2 times per week, preferably even three. As a beginner lifter you should take all the advance of the so called “newbie gains” and train your fullbody 2-3 times per week since the first 2 years of your lifting career you’ll build the most amount of muscle!

To achieve this you should either choose Full-Body Splits or Upper-Lower Body or Push, Pull, Legs. If you decide to go with the Full Body Split it will be realtively easy to hammer whole body atleast two times a week. With Push-Pull split it’s also easy to squeeze in two sessions for both workouts. But with Push, Pull, Legs split you have to start to use 2-on-1-off schedule to get that 2 whole body workouts for one week. It’s still possible to hammer your whole body two times with this 3 day split but it starts to get a bit more difficult.

Why You Should Train Your Whole Body 2-3 Times Per Week Instead Of Just Once?Weight Training Week

This is a good question. Studies have shown that your muscles will be able to grow about maximum 48 hours after weight training. The protein synthesis will be elevated for that time period and reach a peak at around 24 hours after exercise and they return to baseline after about 48 hours. So this time span is the window you will actually be building the muscles.

The more you can get these growth cycles the faster you’ll naturally grow. So with full body splits you can get all your major muscle groups worked easily 3 times per week. If we take in comparison a 4-5 day split, with 4-5 day split you’ll train your back only once a week and you compare that to full body split where your back gets 2 more weight training sessions per week to spark 96 additional hours of growth stimulus, needless to say full body split is the better option to go for.

The full body split were a staple of strength training and bodybuilding in the early days of 20th century. Actually the other splits came into picture AFTER steroids started to be available. The bodybuilders at that time realized that with the use of steroids they were able to recover at a much faster rate and they started to implement these different splits so they could train different body parts in the same day.

Here are some old school bodybuilders who used to train using full body splits and had really great physiques:

  • Steve Reeves
  • Reg Park
  • Leeroy Colbert
  • Bill Pearl
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

These all guys used to train with full body routines 3-4 days per week. As a side note I have to mention that some of these guys used steroids, but not all of them.

Example Workout Routine For Full Body (1 day split)chins

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift of your choice
  3. Bench Press
  4. Overhead Press / Push Press
  5. Barbell Rows
  6. Chin-Ups / Pull-Ups
  7. Assistance Exercise #1
  8. Assistance Exercise #2
  9. Ab exercise of your choice

Assistance exercises are for body parts what you feel are your weakest points. The idea though is to use very specific exercises as dumbbell curls or tricep pushdowns to stimulate lagging bodyparts. But if you’re beginner you shouldn’t worry about them since you’re probably weak all-around so stick with the heavy compounds and progress on them.

Do this workout 2-4 times a week. This routine is the best for people who want to maximize their gains and don’t have lot of time in their hands.

Example Workout Routine For Upper-Lower Body (2 day split)JALREZ VALLEY COP APACHE, 2-87 INF, 10TH MTN DIV

Day A – Upper Body

  1. Bench Press
  2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Overhead Press / Push Press
  4. Barbell Rows
  5. Chin-Ups / Pull-Ups
  6. Dumbbell One-Arm Rows
  7. Ab exercise of your choice

Day B – Lower Body

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift of your choice
  3. Lying leg curls / Glute-Ham Raises
  4. Leg Press / Hack Squat
  5. Ab exercise of your choice

This is essentially the same as full body but you’ll split the upper and lower portions of body to different days. Some people find this better since doing full body routines can be very tasking since you’re doing so much of heavy basic compound lifts.

You can do these both routines 2 or 3 times per week for maximum gains.

Example Workout Routine For Push, Pull, Lower Body Split (3 day split)

Day A – Push

  1. Barbell Bench Press
  2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Overhead Press / Push Press
  4. Side Lateral raises
  5. Assistance exercise of your choice
  6. Ab exercise of your choice

Day B – Pull

  1. Deadlift of your choice
  2. Barbell Rows
  3. One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
  4. Chin-Ups / Pull-Ups
  5. Shrugs

Day C – Lower Body

  1. Squats
  2. Leg Press
  3. Lying Leg Curls / Glute-Ham Raises
  4. Calves
  5. Ab exercise of your choice

Basically here you will be putting the biggest emphasize on all the powerlifting movements known as “Big Three”, Bench, Squat and Deadlift.

Conclusion

So as you look a bit deeper into all of these splits you will see that they all are build upon heavy basic compound exercises. These exercises will yield the best gains in muscle mass and strength.

Another thing to pay attention is you really don’t have to do more than 2 exercises per muscle group. If you focus on quality sets and repetitions with high intensity you will experience great results.

You don’t have to overcomplicate your training if your goal is to build muscle and strength. Stick to the basic compound movements and you’ll be golden.

Here is a bullet point list to recap the highlights:

  • Training your whole body 2-3 times in a week will yield better results compared to once a week
  • Your body will build muscles up to 48 hours after exercise
  • Use a full body split if you’re really busy and don’t have a lot of time
  • Upper-Lower Body Split would probably be your best bet
  • Stick with heavy compound exercises and throw some assistance for weak parts
  • Don’t overcomplicate your training
  • Aim for progression, more reps or more weight to the bar each workout

Did you find this article helpful? Drop me a comment down below and let me know what you think.

There is dozens of different exercise routines at bodybuilding.com if you want to check more of them out!

Remember to train hard and train SMART!

 

2 thoughts on “Weight Training Week – How To Structure Your Weekly Workouts

  1. TROY MASSEY

    ****************

    COMMENT ( BOX )

    Greetings,

    I’m doing all the text work to research what will be necessary for me to gain 50 pounds of healthy muscle so that I weigh a solid 180lbs.

    From here I will be working on Taoist Martial Arts and healthy healing with herbs and True Natural Plant-Based Medicine.

    I am curious as to if this site is structured in a more process-oriented or FAQ style
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    As well as the biochemical and physiological processes and cycles of gaining and maintaining weight.

    ?

    Reply
    1. Jesse Post author

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      Reply

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