Just like all exercises are not created equally, not all workout splits are created equally either. Of course, this is dependent on your goals, but for the average person whose goal is to get stronger and be healthier overall, this is for you!
You may have heard of a typical bodybuilder split of legs, arms, chest, back, etc. They typically hit each muscle group once a week. There are several reasons why this isn’t ideal for most people:
You have to be able to be available to train 5-7 days a week, which isn’t realistic for the average person
These workouts are typically filled with accessory lifts, which don’t give you as much bang for your buck.
These workouts could get boring and repetitive. It’s easy to walk through the movements without really getting much out of them.
Hitting muscle groups only once a week doesn’t have the same hypertrophic response as hitting muscle groups twice a week.
It’s widely accepted that stimulating each muscle group at least twice a week is ideal when it comes to hypertrophy and strength training. The more frequently you hit each muscle group, the better.
1 Workout Per Week: full body
2 Workouts Per Week: full body
3 Workouts Per Week: upper body, lower body, full body
4 Workouts Per Week: 2 upper, 2 lower
5+ Workouts Per Week: this is where you can start getting into more of a push/pull/legs/bodybuilder split when you train north of 5 day a week.
As always, the most important thing is consistency. Whatever you enjoy and can realistically stick to week after week is your best bet, even if it’s not taking this advice into consideration. Just because training each muscle group once a week isn’t the most ideal route to get stronger, it’s certainly not ineffective.