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Are 5 day Splits More or Less Effective than 3 Day Splits?

Posted by: Shawn

The question on which split routine is most effective has been scientifically and anecdotally proven to be that less is not more for beginners. For someone who is in their first year of pumping iron on a regular basis they get the best results training the whole body three times a week.

For intermediate and advanced bodybuilders training the same body-part twice a week seems to get the best results if all other factors like nutrition and recuperation are adhered to. The well-known professional bodybuilder routines where each body-part is only trained once a week usually only maintain muscle size but seldom actually increase muscle mass.

A normal intermediate 5 day split routine will attack each body-part twice a week using a number of different variations. Splitting the workout into upper and lower body or pull and push movements or mixing it all up, the variations are endless. An intermediate bodybuilder wants to always vary his workout routine at least every 8 weeks.

Building muscle is all about routine, if you train once a week when you feel like it, you will never be able to build muscle consistently. If you want to make a decision on which type of routine is best for you, the first thing you need to consider is your personal schedule.

It you are the type of person who for whatever reason can only get to work out three times a week then that is what you should stick to. If you commit yourself to the a 5 day split training where you miss every second workout then it is not going to get the results you want.

When selecting to do a 5 day or a 3 day split routine you should also be very cognizant of your ability to recover and how long it takes you. This can easily be measured by watching how long it takes for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) to subside.

If you are the kind of person who still feels DOMS 48 hours after a hard workout then you should train each body-part twice a week. It is a very delicate balance between too much and too little work on the muscle, that sweet spot also changes as you get stronger.

The factors that will influence your ability to gain muscle are obvious. Firstly your age as anybody over 30 is already losing 1% of their lean body mass every year without any training. Your genetics will be a vitally important factor as a mesomorph will grow muscle a lot faster than the ectomorph or an endomorph.

It is also important to consider the quality of the sleep you are getting as well as the hours. Just as important are the daily stress levels you deal with and lastly the factor that will underpin any success at building muscle is the daily nutrition that you get.

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