Full body workouts 3x a week vs split routines

  • onthebrink

    Posts: 1

    Jul 07, 2012 4:15 PM GMT
    I have recently returned to the gym and was wondering about which is better for me at this point: Full body workouts 3x a week vs split routines? I'm 32, 5 8, 160, 31 w, relatively good shape. I am currently doing full body workouts 3 times a week and seeing improvement all over but I am wondering if I should switch to a split routine.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Jul 07, 2012 7:12 PM GMT
    onthebrink saidI have recently returned to the gym and was wondering about which is better for me at this point: Full body workouts 3x a week vs split routines? I'm 32, 5 8, 160, 31 w, relatively good shape. I am currently doing full body workouts 3 times a week and seeing improvement all over but I am wondering if I should switch to a split routine.
    i am also doing a full body routine and i have seen great results. however, i do miss doing straight sets or split routines as well. i say mix it up. i do split routine when i am not play tennis.
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    Jul 07, 2012 9:19 PM GMT
    I have been doing some research on the same topic..Next time you go to the gym..take a good look at the guys that do split...vs the guys that do full..the guys that do split tend to have more mass and definition..also if your goal is weight loss..do full.. this guy comes in all the time that does 1 hour of abs every week..saw him with his shirt off and DAMM!!..one other guy i know does 1 1/2 hrs of lower body..He has amazing legs and his ass..wow !!..so the answer if you want to get trim toned and lean..do full 3+ times a week..you want to pack on some quality muscle...split!!.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 08, 2012 1:19 AM GMT
    Doing a full body workout 3 times a week if you train intensely is too much for many people. In the past, this was common, but 2 of the times were less intense. But the problem with such a program is you don't see progressive improvement each time, which is not only motivational but shows you are progressing.

    I'd recommend something like the following if just starting out:

    1) Chest & Back
    2) Shoulders & Arms
    3) Leg & Back

    Adding abs with each workout or 1 or 2 times per week

    After a while, I'd change that along these lines:

    1) Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
    2) Back and Biceps
    3) Legs & Back

    Again adding abs as above.
  • gsh1964

    Posts: 388

    Jul 08, 2012 1:26 AM GMT
    Being a personal trainer, my advice is....

    Hire a trainer. If he is good, he will set up a workout specific for you.

    Everyone is different and you can not "cookie cut" a workout program. You really want to move to the next level? Again, hire a trainer.

    I have a good idea what to tell you, but it costs $100 for me to set up a workout plan for you. I never give out advice unless we have gone through the proper channels.

    Another peice of advice, never listen to people who are not professionals in the field. All of these people who are replying to you, know what works for their body... not yours. So they really do not know anything and it is bad advice.

    HIRE A PROFESSIONAL THAT CAN REALLY HELP YOU!!
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    Jul 08, 2012 1:32 AM GMT
    Full body workout seems more inclined for beginners (or getting your body adjusted to working out if you plan on getting more serious). If you're goal is to build mass / strength I would imagine you want more focused routines eventually that will break down your muscle.

    Split routine of either:

    1. Chest / Tricep
    2. Back / Bicep
    3. Legs / Shoulder

    or

    1. Chest / Shoulder / Tricep
    2. Back / Bicep / Legs

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    Jul 08, 2012 1:36 AM GMT
    I don't agree that every oneneeds a trainer..I meet guys at my gym that do extensive research and are highly knowledgable regarding workouts..and their bodies are living proof that not everyone needs a trainer..not being combative..its just true..icon_biggrin.gif

  • Jul 08, 2012 1:51 AM GMT
    onthebrink saidI have recently returned to the gym and was wondering about which is better for me at this point: Full body workouts 3x a week vs split routines? I'm 32, 5 8, 160, 31 w, relatively good shape. I am currently doing full body workouts 3 times a week and seeing improvement all over but I am wondering if I should switch to a split routine.


    your muscles need at least 48hrs to recover and grow "Hypertrophy"

    I recommend using a split routine

    as a certified trainer ... you learn all this stuff in school
  • Kwokpot

    Posts: 329

    Jul 08, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    I do a full body routine 3x wk, 45 mins each session, interspersed with cardio 3x wk. My cardio is a 9-9-9 plan; 9 mins each of eliptical, stair stepper, bike(I try to keep my HR @ 80-85% Max).

    I found the 999 mixup of cardio REALLY helped to lean me out and has slowly reduce the lower back fat that is SO hard to get rid of.

    My main profile pic is from last month, and I'll be 51 in Oct.

    I train heavy for chest, back, & legs but my weak parts are arms & delts.
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    Jul 08, 2012 2:26 AM GMT
    gsh1964 said... Another peice of advice, never listen to people who are not professionals in the field. All of these people who are replying to you, know what works for their body... not yours. So they really do not know anything and it is bad advice.

    HIRE A PROFESSIONAL THAT CAN REALLY HELP YOU!!

    I don't disagree in the value of getting a personal trainer if the OP has the means. What would you have him do if he can't afford a PT, stay out of the gym? There are general guidelines that can be suggested. To state as you did that anyone offering any kind of guideline does not know anything is nothing short of absurd. There are also professionals of all kinds of certifications and all degrees of competence. Furthermore, if your suggestion was followed, there would be no point to any of the workout programs on Real Jock, no value in some of the excellent texts, and no value for anyone offering any advice whatsoever to anyone.
  • rf_dal

    Posts: 380

    Jul 08, 2012 2:33 AM GMT
    And the altruism award goes to...

    gsh1964 saidBeing a personal trainer, my advice is....

    Hire a trainer. If he is good, he will set up a workout specific for you.

    Everyone is different and you can not "cookie cut" a workout program. You really want to move to the next level? Again, hire a trainer.

    I have a good idea what to tell you, but it costs $100 for me to set up a workout plan for you. I never give out advice unless we have gone through the proper channels.

    Another peice of advice, never listen to people who are not professionals in the field. All of these people who are replying to you, know what works for their body... not yours. So they really do not know anything and it is bad advice.

    HIRE A PROFESSIONAL THAT CAN REALLY HELP YOU!!
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Jul 08, 2012 6:33 AM GMT
    I'm extremely prone to lingering, debilitating inflammation so I'm forced to stick with full body workouts with moderate weights. My limits are how many times I complete the routine of typically 14 exercises; usually 3 times, but backing off when the signs appear. It's not muscle pain, it's connective tissue and joints that flare up. Even if it's only once around, it is better than nothing.

    Three sets to exhaustion may not be enough to build mass, but I get a decent pump and noticeable toning when done consistently.

    I try to do it in a style called Peak Fitness by Dr Mercola. Moving immediately to the next exercise from a different muscle group without rest, keeps the heart rate up near maximum for the entire session. The claimed benefit of this is an increase in natural growth hormone, along with the cardio benefit.

    Three times a week is pushing it. I usually do twice unless I'm slowly ramping up from some time off.

    Traditional cardio is my luxury day 3 or 4 at the gym. I love that transcendent state that kicks in from repetitive movement and the right music.
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    Jul 08, 2012 12:19 PM GMT
    gsh1964 saidBeing a personal trainer, my advice is....

    Hire a trainer. If he is good, he will set up a workout specific for you.

    Everyone is different and you can not "cookie cut" a workout program. You really want to move to the next level? Again, hire a trainer.

    I have a good idea what to tell you, but it costs $100 for me to set up a workout plan for you. I never give out advice unless we have gone through the proper channels.

    Another peice of advice, never listen to people who are not professionals in the field. All of these people who are replying to you, know what works for their body... not yours. So they really do not know anything and it is bad advice.

    HIRE A PROFESSIONAL THAT CAN REALLY HELP YOU!!


    Oh someone is looking for business...


    Whole body vs spilts...

    back before roids people tended to train whole body 3 non consecuative days a week. Splitting was done, but rare and normally a very advanced technique to prepare for comps. Most people don´t need splits. Simple. 6 day a week training is only really possible if you are on the juice as you can´t recover fast enough.

    Now exactly what you need in your whole body routine(s) (It´s often quite good to have an A and a B so that you can do a larger range of exercises and not get bored) is certainly something that needs tailoring to your own needs.
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    Jul 08, 2012 12:44 PM GMT
    i'll suggest the following to you since you're into your full body work out:

    - Monday - full upper body work out i.e. abs, arms, shoulders, back etc
    - Tuesday - full lower body work out i.e. legs, glutes, calfs etc
    - Wednesday - full upper body
    - Thursday - full lower body
    - Friday - full upper body

    Sat & Sun should just be rest days. Or go for a moderate run or something.

    From your pic, i think upper body development would make you more of a stud ;)

    when you start to see results, you might be able to decide for yourself which traditional splits you wanna follow
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    Jul 08, 2012 12:51 PM GMT
    I felt I looked the best when I did an upper body/lower body split with lots of cardio, and lots of extra stuff.

    I did a workout like this:
    Mon: Heavy lower body
    Tues: Light upper body with stability work
    Wed: Cardio (usually HIIT)
    Thurs: Light lower body with stability work
    Fri: Heavy upper body
    Sat: HIIT or something else intense like 3KM power hike.
    Sun: rest or some sport

    The heavy lower body stuff had exercises that incorporated many muscles (cleans, squats, dead lifts) and the heavy upper body stuff had exercises that incorporated many muscles (weighted pullups). The stability stuff basically kept the muscles warm, but theoretically kept me from making my big muscles too strong without also strengthening the support/stabilization muscles. With warmup and cool down, the workouts tended to take about 1 - 2 hours.

    With the above, I was the tightest I've been, but didn't have enough time to focus on beach muscles (biceps, triceps, abs, calves). So I did two a days for a bit. Every other day, I'd go to the gym for 30-40 minutes a second time, and just work on beach muscles. Easy to do when you have a home gym. Without one, tougher. I mean, how much time do you really want to spend a week on exercise/at the gym?

    But... that's when I really saw stuff start to 'pop' and got the most comments from people on my physique.