Typically at this more advanced training stage, a person is looking to sculpt the physique and enhance weaker areas to balance out his or her body and stay looking symmetrical. Also, this increases the separation and general appearance of each of the muscle groups. In body part training, typically the frequency that you hit a body part is much less than you would on nervous system training. So a body part might only get hit once a week, but that one session would be extremely intense, overloading that muscle in every possible manner and then moving on to the next body part the following training session. Typically, a person would cycle through exercises on a rotation of 4-6 weeks, as to achieve maximal development.
And the winner is?
Both! I love both styles of training and think that each style has it’s place in the fitness world of the health-conscious gym-goer. Again, unless you are training for a sport, event, or something specific that deems otherwise, then it would be beneficial to start mixing it up. But, this blog is opening you up to the world of body part training and how to do so properly…therefore…there are many ways to go about breaking up your routine and, depending on your fitness level (beginner, moderate, advanced), you can adjust the sets and repetitions more in depth to challenge you. The following is an example of a basic routine to get you started.
The body split that I love!
Perform each exercise for 2-3 sets, optimally 3 sets if you have the time and energy and are more of an advanced gym-goer. Stick with 2 sets if you are new to body part training. Your repetition range will depend on your goals. If you are just beginning, stick with 10-15 reps initially and then as you progress, or if you are already more advanced, you can decrease your reps to 8-10. Remember to keep the weight challenging so that you feel fatigued by the last one or two repetitions. If you are not challenged, increase that resistance slightly. As you schedule your split days, it would be wise to schedule days off or days of cardio in between lifting days and/or try not to train days of upper body back to back. This will help to avoid burn out, over training, muscle fatigue, and potential injury.
Split 1: Chest, Shoulders, Abdominals
- Overhead dumbbell press-deltoids, triceps; compound exercise
- Lateral raise- middle deltoid; isolation exercise
- Front raise- anterior deltoids; isolation exercise
- Bent over dumbbell reverse fly- posterior deltoids; isolation exercise
- Bench barbell press- chest, anterior shoulders, triceps; compound exercise
- Incline dumbbell press- chest, shoulders, triceps; compound exercise
- Push-ups- chest, shoulders, triceps; compound exercises
- Crunches off physioball- abdominals; isolation exercise
- Leg lowers- abdominals; compound exercise
Split 2: Legs
- Dumbbell squats- quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, lower back; compound exercise
- Lunges- quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves; compound exercise
- Pistol squats- quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, shoulders
- Single leg bridges- glutes, hamstrings; isolation exercise
- Leg extension- quads; isolation exercise
- Hamstring curl- hamstrings; isolation exercise
- Standing calf raises- calves; isolation exercise
Split 3: Back, Low Back, Abdominals
- Lat pulldown- lats, middle back, biceps, shoulders; compound exercise
- Seated row with close-grip- lats, middle back, biceps, shoulders; compound exercise
- Bent over row with barbell- middle back, lats, biceps, shoulders; compound exercise
- Straight arm press down- lats, shoulders, triceps; compound exercise
- Hyperextension bench- low back, glutes, hamstrings; isolation exercise
- Bird dogs- low back, abdominals, glutes; isolation exercise
- Oblique crunch- abdominals; isolation exercise
- Bicycles- abdominals; compound exercise
Split 4: Biceps, Triceps, Core
- Barbell bicep curl- biceps, forearms; isolation exercise
- Dumbbell bicep curl- biceps, forearms; isolation exercise
- Cable rope bicep curl- biceps; isolation exercise
- Tricep press down- triceps; isolation exercise
- Bench tricep extensions- triceps; isolation exercise
- Tricep dips- triceps, chest, shoulders; compound exercise
- Planks- abdominals, low back, legs, shoulders; isolation exercise
- Russian twists- abdominals, low back, hip flexors, shoulders; compound exercise
Take action now! Create your own body part training schedule (or print mine) and schedule your next workout session on your calender. Make it a point to take your program with you and follow it for at least one week to test it out. If you are unsure how to set up a machine or how to operate a piece of equipment, ask someone or hire a personal trainer!
Are you already training specific body parts? Comment below and tell me what your workout looks like now and how, or if, you plan on changing it. Have you already made changes? If so, I want to hear all about what you did and why you did it! Live life with passion and purpose…
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