I had a question the other day from a younger client looking to gain muscle
in the offseason for high school football. He wanted to know my opinion on what
the best workout split would be in order for him to gain as much muscle as
possible during the off-season. So basically we're talking about muscle
hypertrophy, so what is the best type of program in my opinion for muscle
Let's first take a look at what causes muscle hypertrophy. In order for the muscles to grow and gain strength, they must be overloaded and stimulated in a way that they haven't before in order to cause micro-tears and break down the muscle. However, our job is not done once the muscles are broken down. We need to make sure that the muscle has adequate rest in order to recover fully before the next bout of exercise. So what is the best split?
There are a lot of different theories on training splits out there. Some people think you should train each muscle group twice a week, some people think you should train each muscle group 3 times a week, and some people think you should train each muscle group once a week. So what is my take?. What I have seen work the best not only with clients of mine but also on myself, is the one time per week training split. In other words, on day one the client would train chest on day two the client would train back on day 3 the client would train arms on day four the client would train shoulders on day 5 the client would train legs and on day 6 the client would take off. So what is my theory behind such a split?
I prefer one body-part per day because I feel that with such a training split, you can get maximum stimulation and breakdown of the muscle group. It is my opinion that with too many muscle groups in one day, you don't get adequate muscle breakdown. Not only that but by having frequent body part workouts weekly, many times you are not allowing for enough recovery and rest. The one body-part per day, per week, training split allows for recovery, intensity, and maximum stimulation. However, we are not all the same, and although I feel like this is most beneficial split, that is not to say that other splits aren't beneficial as well.
At the end of the day, everybody's body is different, and to find what works best for you, my best advice is to try different programs and document your progress.