How frustrating is it to see “fitness guru’s” fighting about how often you should be training in the gym. One week someone is telling you that you should be training four days a week and then the next week you see somebody contradicting them and saying you should split up your muscle groups.
How are you supposed to know which one is the best?
Honestly, it’s the one that you can stick to and you have enough time to do.
If you enjoy lifting weights and you have the time then you can choose which one feels better. If you like to be in the gym more often then a four-day workout will suit you better. If you’re short on time and you’re only making it two-three days a week then you’re going to benefit more from a full body program.
Today, I’m going to share with you the pros of each program and then you can decide for yourself which you think will suit you better because The most “optimal” routine to build muscle is the one you can stick to over time and you enjoy doing.
The difference between doing a four-day weight training program and a three-day weight training program is the time it takes in the gym.
A lot of people complain about full body workouts because even though they’re effective they can take a long time to complete. Some people can take up to 1.5 to 2 hours in the gym and it just becomes a burden. I know you don’t have a lot of it, e to begin with and trying to spend that long in the gym a few times a week is just unrealistic.
The reason people take so long doing full body sessions is that they feel like they have to target every muscle individually and do numerous exercises but this doesn’t have to be the case. A lot of compound movements that I listed above target several muscle groups at a time which means you can do one exercise instead of three.
Let’s take the bench press for example.
When you bench press you’re not only working your chest muscles, you’re working your triceps and shoulder too. This means that after you’ve finished the bench press you don’t have to do tricep pushdowns or isolation work for your shoulders because you’ve already stimulated the muscles.
The same goes for a squat.
In a squat you’re stimulating your quads, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, abductors, calve muscles and your abs. This is why people talk about the squat being such a good exercise and it’s because you’re getting too much bang for your buck. Don’t be fooled about abs training either. If you’re getting stronger in the squat, deadlift and other compound movements your abs are getting worked. Even though you’re not ‘feeling the burn’ your abs are still working hard to keep you upright while squatting with a weight on your back.
FULL BODY WORKOUT
Here’s an example of what a routine could look like:
Squat: back squat 3×10
Push: bench press 3×10
Pull: chin-up 3×10
Hinge: kettlebell swing 3×10
Lunge: walking lunges 3×10
Twist: pallof press 3×10 each side
Carry: Farmers walk 3×30 seconds carry
Hinge: Hex bar deadlift 4×8
Squat: goblet squat 3×10
Push: overhead press 3×10
Pull: bent over row 3×10
Lunge: weighted step up 3×10
Twist: kneeling anti-rotation 3×30 second holds
Carry: sled push 3×40 meters
And then you repeated those workouts alternating between the two every second day three times a week. For Example:
Monday – Workout One
Wednesday – Workout Two
Friday – Workout One
Monday – Workout Two
Wednesday – Workout One
Friday – Workout Two
If you repeat that every week, you can guarantee that every muscle in your body is going to grow and you will not be spending hours in the gym.
FOUR DAY ROUTINE
If you’re someone who wants to train with weights four days a week then you’ve got two options as to how you can split your training up.
You can do an upper body / lower body workout or you can do a push pull workout.
Here’s what an example of what a push-pull workout would look like
Squat 3 x10
Bench press 3×10
Overhead Press 3 x 10
Walking lunges 3×10 each leg
Pallof press 3×10 each side
Sled pushes 3 x 40m
Hex bar deadlift 4×8
Bent over row 3×10
Back extensions 3×10
Anti rotation static hold 3×10 seconds
Farmers Walks 3×30 second walks
Don’t try and force what you can’t do. If you want to do a four day routine, but you only find yourself making it twice a week you’re robbing yourself of gaining muscle, especially if you’re following a program that’s designed for someone who can come in four days a week.
If you take either if these workouts I listed above will last you a few months as long as you’re constantly trying to increase the amount of weight you’re using every week.