If you haven’t heard of the workout split yet, may we suggest you a) come out from under that rock you’ve been hiding under; and b) listen up! Because a workout split is filled with so many benefits, you’ll be kickin’ yourself for being so late to the party.
First off, let’s define a workout split. This exercise organizational strategy separates your workouts by body part. This not only lets you focus directly on all muscle groups in one area of the body, but it also gives those parts ample time to rest and recover before your next workout.
The Benefits of a Workout Split
If you ever stepped into your gym and realized you couldn’t walk to your leg machine… you might need a split in your life. A workout split is more than just a way to organize your fitness routine – it’s essential for building muscle correctly and safely. Studies have shown your muscles need an average of 72 hours to repair between workouts, so if you’re hitting those bicep curls every day, it’s going to harm your gains instead of helping them.
If your muscle doesn’t have time to rebuild and recover before it gets hit with another exercise, it’ll be harder to build strength. Splitting your workouts ensures you get that much-needed break between working the same muscle groups, without missing any days at the gym.
4 Is The Magic Number
You might be wondering why practicing a 4-day split is any better than a 3-day or 5-day split, and the truth is it all depends on your personal goals. But when it comes to building muscle quickly, and reducing risk of injury, 4 is the way to go.
The more you work out, the faster you’ll build muscle, right? Not exactly, but kind of. A 4-day split offers more frequency than a 3-day split, giving a huge boost for growing muscle and burning fat. However, exercising too often, like every day often, can cause setbacks in your progress. The 4-day split falls right in the sweet spot, giving the perfect amount of rest and frequency, while also allowing enough variation for every part of the body to be consistently challenged.
The Best 4-Day Split Workout Routine
In order to get the most out of your gym days, it’s important to be conscious of how long you’re training, how many sets you’re completing, and what muscle groups work best together. We know – so much information. But it’s all-important to create the ultimate workout plan that will give you everything you need to reach those targets.
It’s recommended to complete 60 minutes of exercise each time, and try to integrate the ab or core exercise of your choice after every session. You can switch up exercises to keep it interesting, but knowing your limits and taking a proper rest time (2-3 minutes between each set!) is key. Here’s a suggestion for some great exercises you can do on each day of your split!
Day 1: Legs
Leg Press – 3 sets, 5 reps
Hamstring Curl – 3 sets, 6 reps
Glute Bridge – 5 sets, 8 reps
Seated Calf Raise – 2 sets, 8 reps
Day 2: Chest and Triceps
Triceps Extensions – 2 sets, 6 reps
Chest Press – 1 set, 12 reps
Dumbbell Skull Crusher – 3 sets, 5 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press – 2 sets, 5 reps
Day 3: Rest day!
Take the day to unwind, go for a walk, or get some cardio in. Just make sure to give your muscles time to relax and recharge.
Day 4: Back and Biceps
Seated Cable Row – 2 sets, 10 reps
Bicep Curls – 2 sets, 5 reps
Lat Pull Down – 3 sets, 6 reps
Weighted Pull-Up – 2 sets, 3 reps
Day 5: Shoulders
Lateral Cable Raise – 3 sets, 10 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets, 3 reps
Seated Barbell Press – 3 sets, 5 reps
Barbell Front Raise – 2 sets, 6 reps
Day 6 & 7: Rest!
Ride a bike, go for a swim, get that grocery shopping done or just sit back and enjoy your off day.
If your goal is to build muscle, strengthen your body, and get those gains, practicing split training can help get you there safely and effectively. And if you’re looking for some extra help or want to get that workout in from home, check out a 7-Day Free Trial from Studio SWEAT onDemand. Our huge variety of onDemand workouts feature passionate trainers and butt-kicking classes that are sure to leave you feeling the burn.