There are broadly two approaches you can take to bodybuilding- doing full body workouts, or doing splits.
Full body workouts are built around compound movements. These multi-joint exercises recruit more muscle groups, and lead to a systemic increase in size and strength. The most popular include the bench press, deadlift, and the squat. This routine aims at working out both the upper and lower body in almost equal measure.
Splits on the other hand, concentrate on single joint exercises. They include movements such as the bicep curl that targets the biceps and calf raises that train the calf muscles. Typically, one or two body parts are trained per session.
Which Routine Is Ideal For You?
That is entirely dependent on what bodybuilding level you are at. For beginners, the recommendation is unanimous- full body routines are best. They help create a well balanced body, and consume the most calories leading to greater fat loss. Because they hit so many muscles in one session, training 2-3 times a week will often suffice.
Typical Full Body Routine
• Bench Press, 3 sets
• Incline Dumbbell Flyes- 3 sets
• Bent over barbell rows- 3 sets
• Lat Pulldown- 3 sets
• Dumbbell Press, 3 sets
• Lateral Raises, 3 sets
• Barbell Curl, 3 sets
• Tricep Pushdowns, 3 sets
• Squats- 3 sets
• Lying Leg Curls- 3 sets
• Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets
You should vary the exercises you perform for each muscle group to ensure you hit the muscle in new ways with every workout. The weights used should be sufficiently challenging.
Full body routine might not give you that well sculpted physique, but it will ensure you master the basics. Once you are ready, you can move on to split routines.
Working out one or two muscle groups per day is ideal for intermediate and seasoned bodybuilders. With this routine, you cannot afford to miss a workout. It will enable you to perform a wide range of exercises and develop a highly aesthetic physique.
Typical Split Routine
• Mondays- Chest
• Tuesday- Legs- Quads/Hamstrings
• Wednesday- Forearms, Calves, Abs
• Thursday- Shoulder
• Friday- Back
• Saturday/Sunday- Rest
Split routines are popular with fitness models and professional bodybuilders as it allows every muscle group to be targeted.
You can alternate both routines to gain the best of both worlds.
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