Have you ever wondered which is better for building muscle: full-body vs body-part split workouts? Here is a rundown of what you need to know.
If you are an avid gym goer, or recently started enjoying your time in the gym, you probably heard about full-body workouts or how to split your workouts. But what are they exactly?
A full-body workout is a type of exercise routine that engages all major muscle groups in the body in a single workout session. This type of workout is designed to improve overall strength, endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
A full-body workout typically involves a combination of exercises that target different muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, pull-ups, and overhead presses. These exercises are typically performed in sets and repetitions, with varying amounts of weight or resistance, depending on the individual’s fitness level and goals.
The benefits of a full-body workout include improved muscle tone, increased strength and endurance, improved balance and coordination, and increased cardiovascular health. It is also a time-efficient way to exercise, as it allows you to work all major muscle groups in a single session. However, it is important to allow for adequate recovery time between workouts to avoid overtraining and injury.
A workout divided into body parts is a type of exercise routine where each day focuses on working a specific muscle group or body part. For example, on Monday, you might focus on working your chest and triceps, while on Tuesday, you might work your back and biceps. This type of workout routine is often referred to as a “split routine.”
The split routine allows you to focus on specific muscle groups and work them more intensely than you would in a full-body workout. By working each muscle group separately, you can increase the volume and intensity of your training and improve your overall strength and muscular development. Additionally, this type of workout routine can help prevent overtraining and injury, as each muscle group has time to recover before being worked on again.
Some common splits include:
- Chest and triceps
- Back and biceps
- Legs and abs
- Shoulders and arms
You may also divide your workout into upper and lower body, or into a push/pull/leg routine, in which you would train pushing movements (chest, shoulder, triceps), pulling movements (biceps, back) and leg exercises.
So which one is better? That is what the guys from Mind Pump Show decided to chat about, which is a part of the Mind Pump Podcast, an online radio show that talks all fitness related and, usually, is provocative. Its hosts are Sal Di Stefano, Adam Schafer, Justin Andrews, and Doug Egge. They also have a YouTube channel with more than 700k subscribers.
Below is what they talked about.
Full Body vs Body Part Split Workouts – Which is Better For Building Muscle?
Although the guys from Mind Pump Show talked about how the introduction of performance-enhancing drugs in the bodybuilding community is what created body split workouts, the bottom line is fairly straightforward.
Body part split workouts were first created so that people can work out with a bigger volume and intensity. “If you’re doing a tremendous amount of volume, a full-body workout can just get too long,” Di Stefano says.
Another reason why people do body split workouts is because of muscle protein synthesis. “We see that it spikes about 24 hours post workout and then it starts to dip about 48 to 72 hours very rapidly, at which case it gets down to baseline.”
Sal Di Stefano goes further in his explanation. “Natural athletes tend to build more muscle better with more frequency of training, hitting the whole body 3 days a week. Enhanced athletes can get away with one or two days a week of hitting the entire body. And of course, natural athletes can’t handle the amount of intensity and volume that enhanced athletes can handle.”
Studies show that more frequency trends towards more muscle and more strength. Di Stefano says that if you train 3 times a week your entire body, although the hypertrophy isn’t necessarily better, you see strength trend a little bit better.
“Most people, we tell them, full-body workouts are best,” Di Stefano says.
For natural athletes, hit the entire body three times a week and you will get the best results you are looking for.
For a full conversation between the hosts of the Mind Pump TV Show, click on the video below.
There are many reasons why you should do strength training as part of your overall fitness routine. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Builds muscle: Strength training is an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass. This can help increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day.
- Increases strength and endurance: By challenging your muscles with resistance exercises, you can increase your strength and endurance, which can make it easier to perform daily tasks and activities.
- Reduces the risk of injury: Strong muscles and joints are less likely to be injured during physical activity, which can help reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall physical performance.
- Improves bone density: Strength training has been shown to increase bone density, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Enhances overall physical performance: Strength training can improve your overall physical performance, whether you’re an athlete looking to improve your performance in a specific sport, or just looking to perform daily tasks with more ease.
- Boosts confidence and self-esteem: As you see progress and improvements in your strength and physical abilities, it can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
- Improves quality of life: Strength training can improve your overall quality of life by making it easier to perform daily tasks, reducing the risk of injury, and improving your overall physical health and well-being.
Overall, incorporating strength training into your fitness routine can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health, and can help you live a happier, healthier, and more active lifestyle.
How often you should work out depends on several factors, including your fitness goals, current fitness level, and the type of workouts you’re doing. In general, the American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with at least two days of strength training exercises per week.
Here are some general guidelines for how often to work out based on your fitness goals:
- For general health and fitness: Aim to exercise most days of the week, for at least 30-60 minutes per day. This can include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
- For weight loss: Aim to exercise most days of the week, for at least 30-60 minutes per day. This should include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training, with a focus on creating a calorie deficit through a combination of exercise and diet.
- For muscle building: Aim to do strength training exercises at least two days per week, targeting all major muscle groups. You can also include aerobic exercise and flexibility exercises as part of your routine.
- For athletic performance: The frequency and intensity of your workouts will depend on your specific sport and fitness goals. Consult with a coach or trainer to develop a customized training plan.
Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, which can lead to injury or burnout. Start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts over time.