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Old 07-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default Splits vs. Full Body Workouts

I want to hear what you guys have to say. I know that really anything works for beginners. But what is best for you after your first year of training? Full body workouts, or splits?

I read recently that many of the natural bodybuilders of the 50's and 60's did full body routines, and that training splits didn't really become popular until the Weider era.

Are splits really only better for steroid users, or do they work for naturals as well?

I've seen the argument that splits overtrain the muscles for naturals. And I've heard the argument that fullboby workouts overtrain naturals.

The reason I'm posting this is because I'm thinking about a 5 or 6 day split so I can really cxoncentrate on bodyparts.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:18 AM   #2
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I've read the debates, and some of the reasoning on either side confuses me.

Let's say you work bench press, military press and closegrip bench press three times a week, at 1-2 sets each as part of a full body.

Now let's say you work the above exercises only once a week, but on different days as part of a chest, shoulder and tricep day.

You performed the same exercises each week, and the same sets. The only difference is rest between workout.

I might be missing some things, and would love to hear what others think on this subject...
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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Jun 16, 2009, 8:25am, swoleramon wrote:
I want to hear what you guys have to say. I know that really anything works for beginners. But what is best for you after your first year of training? Full body workouts, or splits?


IMHO there is not a global rule.
FB training is very usefull to build the basic structure needed to build huge and strong mass.

So, when you can switch to split? IMHO when you have got the basic structure, a good strenght level and you fill the need to work on lacking body parts and proportions.



Quote:

Are splits really only better for steroid users, or do they work for naturals as well?


they are good for both. But you have to be "ready" to do splits


Quote:

I've seen the argument that splits overtrain the muscles for naturals. And I've heard the argument that fullboby workouts overtrain naturals.


overtrain is:
lack of food
lack of rest
hardly is "too much training"


Quote:

The reason I'm posting this is because I'm thinking about a 5 or 6 day split so I can really cxoncentrate on bodyparts.


why you fill the need to split so much?
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Jun 17, 2009, 6:18am, Muscle and Brawn wrote:
I've read the debates, and some of the reasoning on either side confuses me.

Let's say you work bench press, military press and closegrip bench press three times a week, at 1-2 sets each as part of a full body.

Now let's say you work the above exercises only once a week, but on different days as part of a chest, shoulder and tricep day.

You performed the same exercises each week, and the same sets. The only difference is rest between workout.

I might be missing some things, and would love to hear what others think on this subject...


Let's get back to the "training theory".
In every plan you have 3 main variable you can work with:
volume: the amount of reps per session
frequency: the time interval between the training of the same muscle
intensity: the "load" used to train and the "hardness" of the workout.

You can't maximize every one of these variables, ie if you pump up the volume you have to lower the intensity... if you highen the frequency you have to lower the intensity and so on.

Now, how does that fills in the split vs fullbody?

Simple, splits are low frequency high volume (or high intensity) training program.
Fullbody are instead high frequency but low volume training methods...

So when split are best? when you need to work with high volume or high intensity (in a Jones/Yates like mean).

Fullbody are better to achieve atletic and strenght performance target. Cause frequency (with periodization) is the better weapon for perfomance gain (CNS improve with frequency)
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:20 AM   #5
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Jun 18, 2009, 8:16am, DavideC wrote:

overtrain is:
lack of food
lack of rest
hardly is "too much training"


This is some of the best training advice any of us will ever read.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Jun 18, 2009, 8:44am, DavideC wrote:

Jun 17, 2009, 6:18am, Muscle and Brawn wrote:
I've read the debates, and some of the reasoning on either side confuses me.

Let's say you work bench press, military press and closegrip bench press three times a week, at 1-2 sets each as part of a full body.

Now let's say you work the above exercises only once a week, but on different days as part of a chest, shoulder and tricep day.

You performed the same exercises each week, and the same sets. The only difference is rest between workout.

I might be missing some things, and would love to hear what others think on this subject...


Let's get back to the "training theory".
In every plan you have 3 main variable you can work with:
volume: the amount of reps per session
frequency: the time interval between the training of the same muscle
intensity: the "load" used to train and the "hardness" of the workout.

You can't maximize every one of these variables, ie if you pump up the volume you have to lower the intensity... if you highen the frequency you have to lower the intensity and so on.

Now, how does that fills in the split vs fullbody?

Simple, splits are low frequency high volume (or high intensity) training program.
Fullbody are instead high frequency but low volume training methods...

So when split are best? when you need to work with high volume or high intensity (in a Jones/Yates like mean).

Fullbody are better to achieve atletic and strenght performance target. Cause frequency (with periodization) is the better weapon for perfomance gain (CNS improve with frequency)



Great post.

I tend to look at intensity as volume over time, or TUT - time under tension. I know this simplifies things a bit, but in the end, slow reps, negative reps, rest-pause, etc., all create intensity because most of them lengthen the time under tension.

My current workout consists entirely of rest-paused sets, so it has a much high TUT then my workouts in the past. It has high volume, high intensity, but the frequency is dropped to once a week.

IMHO, full body workouts are a great option when you're not riding close to failure on every set. BUT, because HIT style training drops the frequency and performs fewer sets, it makes riding to failure/close to failure more viable.

I have very little experience with HIT. I have tried a HIT workout several times as an advanced trainee, and felt like I needed more days off in between workouts.

If I were to try a fullbody HIT today, I would give it a go on every third day.
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