Full Body vs Split Routine? 

FitnessandPower.com asks Susan Arruda:
Full Body vs Split Routine? 

A sincere thank you to Niko Micov for including me in this panel of fitness experts! It's an honour!

This is a question that I’ve been asked intermittently over the years; to train the whole body or to choose a split routine?

I believe total body routines are something that you should definitely begin with, or go back to, in the event of a layoff.  Hitting the entire body allows you to effectively stimulate the muscles without excessively overloading one particular body part. If you’re just starting a routine, that will be sufficient overload.

Another time I would consider doing a total body routine is if I’m feeling general fatigue. I will choose this option in an effort to keep my muscles and body stimulated without lactic acid overload.

Once you are past your starting point, have been training consistently for several weeks and your body has made adjustments to training, it’s time to move to a split routine. I recommend the initial split to be upper and lower body. This again, should be followed for several weeks before more specific body splitting. Split routines allow you to hyper focus on body parts and enable you to overload muscles that now require more attention for development.

You need to split your routine to allow for the time and focused energy required in order to target the muscles from different angles via various exercises. Split routines provide you with the freedom to select the pairing of different body parts and assist you in assessing and strengthening your weaknesses to remain in balance. 

A split routine gives you more freedom to pair and plan body parts according to your individual needs. It gives you the ability to promote optimal symmetry by giving priority to your lagging body parts. Splitting body parts can allow you to keep your workouts shorter while maximizing your strength and intensity. This can also make it possible to train twice daily; an optimal scenario when preparing for a fitness competition.


Written by Susan Arruda
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