Full Body vs. Split When Bulking: What’s Best For Mass?


Full body vs split when bulking what's best for mass

Some people say that doing full body workouts when bulking is the key to muscle growth. Others say that split workouts like upper/lower body or push/pull/legs are the best. Then you have those who swears by training just two, or even one body part per day for 5 days in a row.

No wonders that newcomers to the gym often suffer from analysis by paralysis when bombarded with so much conflicting information. An informational overload that causes them to either give up or just spin their wheels in the gym.

So, to clear up any confusion I decided to research these different routines/splits to find out just how valuable and effective each of them are. In this post I’ll answer questions like:

  • Are one split/routine better than the other in general?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the different routines/splits?
  • Do training experience influence whether one approach is better than another?

So, without further ado, let’s find out what the best routine/split are for packing on a ton of muscle mass during your bulks.

Training Volume, Intensity And Frequency: More Important Than The Split

Before looking at the pros and cons of the different workout routines/splits I want to get one thing sorted out first.

The thing that makes muscle grow is not directly the workout routine/split you use. No, the main causes of muscle growth are the following three:

  1. Training volume (the amount of work you do)
  2. Training intensity (how heavy this work is)
  3. Training frequency (how often you train a muscle, typically measured during a week)

Out of these three, training volume is king, training intensity is queen, and training frequency is prince when it comes to muscle growth.

training-volume,-intensity-and-frequency-muscle-growth1

Hierarchy of importance for muscle growth

What seems to be even more interesting is that the total amount of weekly training volume and intensity you do is more important than when the volume and intensity is distributed during the week (frequency).

Greg Nuckols wrote an awesome article on his website strongerbyscience.com where he did the work of analyzing thirteen studies made on training frequency for muscle growth. In the post he clearly shows that weekly volume and intensity are the most important factors for muscle growth.

With that said, and what also comes up from the research analyzed in the article, is that a higher training frequency seems to be slightly better for muscle growth during some circumstances.

Now, to avoid getting too technical here, essentially what all of this means is that the total weekly training volume and intensity you do is more important than any specific routine or split. But having this volume and intensity spread out over more days during the week, by using certain splits, can be slightly better. I recommend reading the article linked above if you’re analytical and like data.

The reason I mention all of this is that the kind of workout routine or split that you choose will affect how much training frequency you do. So, I’d like you to keep this in mind as we go through the pros and cons of each training split.

Don’t worry if you’re not keeping up with the technicality of volume, intensity and frequency yet, I’ll come back to these concepts when discussing each individual training split below.

The Full Body Workout Routine

A full body workout routine is where you focus on all the major muscle groups on your body in the same workout. Essentially you’re training your chest , shoulders, back, arms and legs all within the same workout.

A full body workout can be based on using big compound lifts such as the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. Alternatively, a full body workout can be done by hitting each individual muscle group within one workout by using isolation exercises.

The first option, which are to use big compound lifts, are definitely the most effective way to build muscle, as I’ve written more about here.

A typical full body workout routine will be performed three times per week, usually like this:

  • Monday – Full body
  • Wednesday – Full body
  • Friday – Full body

Or:

  • Tuesday – Full body
  • Thursday – Full body
  • Saturday- Full body

Pros of Full Body Workout Routines

Convenient

Full body workouts are very efficient. By doing them you’ll be hitting the gym only 2-3 times per week for 90-120 min while making both size and strength gains, this is impressive!

Now, depending on how you choose to structure the full body workout routine you may find they do take slightly longer time in the gym to complete, but when you consider the overall weekly time committed, you’ll end up much further ahead than with other programs such as the push/pull/legs split for example.

So, if you’re someone who has a ton of obligations in life, then two well-scheduled full body workouts per week can free up a lot of time in your schedule all while you see great results on muscle and strength gains in the meantime.

Higher Training Frequency of Muscle Groups

This is perhaps the biggest benefit of doing full body workouts. Research has shown that a higher training frequency where you spread out your training volume over multiple days do lead to slightly better muscle growth, this seems to be especially true for newer trainees.

Best For Building Strength

This pro ties together with having a higher training frequency. With less volume per workout, but equal volume over the week, you’ll see quicker strength gains. And we know that strength and size is correlated to a high degree as long as the strength is gained in a moderate rep range (5-12).

The reason why a higher training frequency per muscle group often leads to better strength gains is because you can train with higher intensity (more weights) when the training volume per session is lower.

Not only that, you can also train your skill with the lifts you use more effectively with less volume spread out over more sessions. It’s easier to stay fresh during 3 sets of squats, spread out over 3 sessions per week, than what it is during 9 sets of squats spread out on only one session per week.

The more fresh you can be when lifting, the quicker you’ll become skilled with the lift, which equals more strength.

Allows For Compound Exercises

This ties together nicely with both training frequency and strength gains. When you’re training full body you can take advantage of all the big compound lifts such as Bench presses, Overhead presses, Pull ups, Rows, Squats and Deadlifts.

Compound exercises can give you much more efficient workouts because they recruit so many muscles at once. Additionally, these exercises recruit a high level of muscle fibers, which causes your body to encourage higher production of testosterone, a major muscle-building hormone.

These exercise are obviously the ones where you can gain the most amount of strength as well. And increasing strength with big compound lifts in the 5-12 rep range is the best way to ensure that muscle growth takes place and that it do so in the most balanced way possible.

Balanced Muscle Development

When doing a full body workout, especially if you’re using big compound lifts, you can be sure that you’re developing your whole body as one. This is especially important in the beginner to early intermediate stages (0-2 years) of training.

In the beginning all muscle groups are obviously going to be poorly developed, by training with full body workouts you can add a ton of muscle mass to your frame very quickly by just doing a few sets of heavy compound lifts 2-3 times per week.

Increased Muscular & Central Nervous System (CNS) Recovery

This ties together well with all the previous points, by training with less volume per session your muscles and CNS will recover quicker in-between sessions. This means that you can come to the gym fresh multiple times per week and totally dominate your workouts.

Fun Workouts

Finally, the last benefit to full body workouts is that they’re fun! The more often you repeat the same activity over and over again, like you would with body part splits, the greater the chances are that boredom will settle in.

When doing full body workouts you won’t train one muscle group for a ton of sets like you would with body part splits. No you’ll do around 3-5 sets per muscle group/exercise per session and then you’ll move on to another muscle group/exercise next.

Furthermore, since there are so many different ways you can set up and design full body workouts, if/when you do become bored, it won’t take much effort on your part to renew your interest in the program by changing to a different exercise, or training in another rep range for example.

Cons of Full Body Workout Routines

Not Optimal For Lagging Body Parts

If you’re a beginner this won’t apply so much, but if you’re an intermediate or advanced trainee who has built up some muscle over the last few years, then it’s very likely that you’ll have some lagging body parts, this could be your shoulders, arms or legs for example.

If/when you noticed a lagging body part, you can add in extra volume for that certain body part to make it grow quicker. This is most effectively done by adding in either an extra workout for the lagging body part, or add in a couple of extra exercises to target it on your already existing days of training.

The problem with a full body workout routines is that scheduling in lagging body parts can be tough (and is rarely done). This is why a large number of more advanced trainees who follow programs like Starting Strength or StrongLifts 5×5 end up with huge legs with underdeveloped arms.

Workouts Can Become Very Intense

I recommend training in the 4-10 rep range since it’s by far the most effective and efficient way to build muscle. But, performing multiple sets at 70-80%+ of your 1 rep maximum for squats, bench, deadlift, pull-ups and overhead press in one workout can be very tough.

Long Workout Sessions

Once you become more advanced, training volume (the amount of training you do) often have to come up to continue making gains, and this can become troublesome when using full body workouts.

If you must increase your volume with 1-2 sets per body part/exercise, which is not unusual as you get more advanced, that could mean you need to do 5-10 more sets per workout, which could blow out to be marathon sessions in excess of 2.5 hours. At this point, training more often with another type of split is likely a wise choice.

Who Should Use a Full Body Workout Routine?

Okay, so who would benefit the most from using a full body workout routine?

Beneficial!

  • For beginner to novice trainees
  • For convenience/schedule
  • If you enjoy training for strength

Not as beneficial!

  • If you have lagging body parts
  • If you don’t like intense workouts
  • If you dread long workout sessions

Sample Full Body Routine

Workout A

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squats

 

Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bent-Over Rows

Barbell Curls

Triceps Dips

Rope Crunches

Standing Calf Raises

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout B

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Deadlifts

 

Leg Press

Overhead Press

Pull-ups

Tricep Cable Extension

Seated Dumbbell Curls

Hanging Leg Raises

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

5

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout C

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squats

 

Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bent-Over Rows

Barbell Curls

Triceps Dips

Rope Crunches

Standing Calf Raises

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

The Upper/Lower Body Routine

The upper/lower body routine is similar to the full body routine in that you focus on major muscle groups on your body in the same workout. The difference is that you split the major muscle groups up in days of lower and upper.

Essentially you’re training your chest, shoulders, back and arms on your upper body day and then you hit legs on your lower body day.

A typical upper/lower body routine is performed four times per week, usually like this:

  • Monday – Upper body
  • Tuesday – Lower body
  • Thursday – Upper body
  • Friday – Lower body

It can also be performed three times per week, usually like this:

Week 1:

  • Monday – Upper body
  • Wednesday – Lower body
  • Friday – Upper body

Week 2:

  • Monday – Lower body
  • Wednesday – Upper body
  • Friday – Lower body

A upper/lower workout can, just as the full body workout, be based on big compound lifts such as the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. Alternatively, a upper/lower workout can be done by hitting each individual muscle group within one workout by using isolation exercises.

One key difference between upper/lower and full body is that upper/lower provides more room for combining compound lifts with isolation lifts, which comes with a bunch of advantages.

Pros of Upper/Lower Body Routines

Allows For Combining Compound and Isolation Exercises

Combining compound with isolation exercises is great for maximizing muscle growth, especially once you’ve passed the beginner to novice stages of training. Combining these two allows you to first take advantage of the compound lifts ability to recruit a ton of muscles at once and encourage higher production of testosterone, and second allow you to balance out your physique and bring up any weak points you may have by doing isolation exercises.

Now, even though it’s possible to train with isolation exercises when using a full body workout regimen as well, this becomes extremely time consuming because full body workouts are already so long. This will inevitably lead you to do unsustainable marathon sessions in the gym, which simply isn’t the case when doing upper/lower body workouts since you split up your body parts.

Optimal Training Frequency For Intermediate to Advanced Trainees

The main benefit of a upper/lower body regimen is that it allows you to train each muscle group at the ideal frequency range of between once every 3 to 5 days. This workout frequency has been scientifically proven to work best when it comes to building muscle for anyone past the beginner stage.

If you train a 4 times per week upper/lower schedule you will be working each body part once every 3 or 4 days. Whereas if you train with a 3 times per week schedule you will be working each body part every 4 or 5 days. And whilst training 4 times per week will probably work slightly better for most people, it won’t make that much of a difference, so just choose whichever suits you best.

Allows For Ideal Training Volume

This ties together with training frequency. Upper/lower splits more easily allow for the ideal amount of volume to be used, both per workout and per week. If you plan your workouts correctly, this type of training will bring together all of the factors and components that work best for building muscle, which allows you to get the best possible results from your efforts.

Good For Building Strength

The upper/lower body routine is, just as the full body routine, also good for strength development. Now, full body is still better for strength development specifically, because they allow for a higher training frequency with less training volume per workout, but upper/lower isn’t far fetch.

Balanced Muscle Development

Since you target all of the upper body in one workout and all of the lower body in the next, you will be able to achieve a very good balance between development. Not only that, you’re also, as I discussed earlier, able to implement isolation exercises more efficiently to target genetically lagging muscle groups once you’ve become more advanced.

Cons of Upper/Lower Body Routines

Inconvenient When Missing a Workout

If you miss a workout day when doing an upper/lower split it can be a bit tricky to make it up since it can throw off your workout layout for the rest of the week.

Workouts Can Become Intense

I recommend training in the 4-10 rep range since it’s by far the most effective and efficient way to build muscle. But, performing multiple sets at 70-80%+ of your 1 rep maximum on all your big upper body lifts such as bench press, pull-ups, overhead press and rows in one workout, and all your lower body lifts such as squats, deadlifts, leg presses in the other workout can be tough.

Long Workout Sessions

Just as with the full body split, once you become more advanced, training volume (the amount of training you do) often have to come up to continue making gains, and this can become troublesome when using upper/lower body workouts as well.

If you must increase your volume with 1-2 sets per body part/exercise, which is not unusual as you get more advanced, that could mean you need to do 4-8 more sets per workout, which could blow out to be marathon sessions in excess of 2-2.5 hours. At this point, training with another type of split is likely a wise choice.

Now, upper/lower workouts are typically easier to keep shorter than full body workouts since you’re not training your entire body in one workout.

But upper/lower workouts can become long as well since they limit your muscle group frequency to two times per week per, where full body allows for a muscle group frequency of three times per week, which means that you can spread out your volume on more days with the full body split.

Who Should Use an Upper/Lower Body Routine?

Okay, so who would benefit the most from using an upper/lower body routine?

Beneficial!

  • For intermediate to advanced trainees
  • For ideal frequency and training volume
  • For balanced muscle development

Not as beneficial!

  • If you have a tendency to miss workouts
  • If you don’t like intense workouts
  • If you dislike long workout sessions

Sample Upper/Lower Body Routine

Workout A – Upper Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press

 

Barbell Bent-Over Rows

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Barbell Curls

Triceps Dips

Lateral Dumbbell Raises

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout B – Lower Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squats

 

Romanian Deadlifts

Leg Extension (machine)

Leg Curls (machine)

Standing Calf Raises

Rope Crunches

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

10

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout C – Upper Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Pull-ups

 

Overhead Press

Seated Cable Rows

Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

Barbell Curls

Rope Triceps Extensions

Barbell Upright Rows

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout D – Lower Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Regular Deadlifts

 

Leg Press

Leg Curls (machine)

Leg Extensions (machine)

Standing Calf Raises

Rope Crunches

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

The Push/Pull/Legs (PPL) Routine

The push/pull/legs routine is similar to the upper/lower body routine in that you focus on major muscle groups on your body in the same workout. The difference is that you split the major muscle groups up in days of push, pull and legs.

Essentially you’re training your chest, shoulders and triceps on your push day, your back, traps, biceps and forearms on your pull day and legs on your leg day.

A typical push/pull/leg routine is performed six times per week, usually like this:

  • Monday – Push
  • Tuesday – Pull
  • Wednesday – Legs
  • Thursday – Push
  • Friday – Pull
  • Saturday – Legs

It can also be performed three times per week, usually like this:

  • Monday – Push
  • Wednesday – Pull
  • Friday – Legs

A push/pull/legs split can, just as the full body and upper/lower body splits, be based on big compound lifts such as the squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. Alternatively, the push/pull/leg workouts can be done by hitting each individual muscle group within one workout by using isolation exercises.

Pros of Push/Pull/Leg Routines

More Effort Dedicated to Each Muscle Group

Each muscle group is honed in on with more focus when following a PPL regimen as opposed to full and upper/lower regimen, other body parts (including secondary muscle groups) are not pre-fatigued to the same extent prior to when you begin training them.

This allows you to get the best ‘bang for your buck’ as your other muscle groups won’t be holding you back from pushing out those last few repetitions you wouldn’t normally be able to.

Lagging Body Parts Can Be Managed

The push/pull/leg regimen allows you to prioritize and alter your training regimen in order to sculpt your physique as proportional and symmetrical as possible.

If for example your back is lagging, then you can simply add additional volume to your back day without leaving you fatigued for other muscle groups on that same day, as would happen with a full body or upper/lower body regimen.

Good For Strength
On a push/pull/legs split regimen you won’t be performing 4 to 5 heavy compound exercises in one session. Typically, you’ll perform 2 heavy compound movements for the muscle group you’re targeting before moving on to a small amount of isolation.

From my experience my strength output during these kind of workouts is far higher as opposed to what it is when performing 1-2 compound movements for multiple muscle groups per workout like I would with the full body and upper/lower body routines.

Optimal Muscle Group Frequency

The 6 days per week push/pull/legs schedule allows for optimal muscle group frequency. A muscle group frequency of 2x per week has been shown to produce the best muscle growth for intermediate to advanced trainees, especially when there’s 3-4 days of rest between the same muscle group, like you would achieve with the 6 day per week push/pull/legs schedule.

Balanced Muscle Development

Once you train all your muscle groups with even amounts of work per week, you will be able to achieve a very good balance of development. Not only that, you’re also, as I discussed earlier, able to implement isolation exercises more efficiently to target genetically lagging muscle groups once you’ve become more advanced.

Cons of Push/Pull/Leg Routines

Time Consuming

One of the biggest cons of the PPL routine is that for it to be optimal you must do six workouts per week. Since an optimal training frequency per muscle group is twice per week you need two rounds of PPL per week for maximum growth.

Sure you can do the three times per week version which will still lead to growth, but then you sacrifice a lot of training frequency for more volume per session instead, which not only takes up more time per session but also leads to a ton of volume in just one workout, which is sub-optimal for growth.

On the positive side though, by training six times per week your training session can be shorter.

Inconvenient When Missing a Workout

If you miss a workout day when doing a PPL split it can be a bit tricky to make it up since it can throw off your workout layout for the rest of the week, especially if you follow the 6 days per week schedule.

Not Suitable For Beginners

The PPL split only allow for a muscle group to be hit twice per week, and it’s been shown that beginners grow best from more frequent exposure to lifting with less volume per workout.

The PPL split is quite the opposite as it only allows for a maximum frequency of two time per week, with higher volume per session instead.

Who Should Use a Push/Pull/Leg Routine?

Beneficial!

  • For intermediate to advanced trainees
  • For lagging body parts
  • For more effort dedicated to each muscle group

Not as beneficial!

  • If you’re a beginner
  • If you have a tight schedule
  • If you have a tendency to miss workouts

Sample Push/Pull/Legs Routine

Workout A – Push

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press

 

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Overhead Press

Triceps Dips

Lateral Dumbbell Raises

3

 

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

5

10-12

10-12

Workout B – Pull

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bent-Over Rows

 

Pull-Ups

Lat Pullover Cable

Barbell Curls

Rear Delt Dumbbell Flyes

3

 

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout C – Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squats

 

Romanian Deadlifts

Leg Extension (machine)

Leg Curls (machine)

Standing Calf Raises

Rope Crunches

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

10

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

How to Structure PPL

Preferably you should do these workouts twice per week, for a total of six workouts, i.e. A/B/C/A/B/C, for optimal training frequency.

If you can’t do that however and instead you want to train three times per week, then increase sets on each workout with 2 per exercise, otherwise the volume will get very low.

 

One or Two Body Parts Per Day Routine

Finally, let’s cover the typical “bro-splits” which are the classic one or two body parts per day. The usual split/isolation based workout routine that many gym-goers utilize is a Monday to Friday, five day one body part split, consisting of the following:

  • Monday – Chest
  • Tuesday – Back
  • Wednesday – Shoulders
  • Thursday – Arms
  • Friday – Legs

Another typical split/isolation based workout routine are the two body part split, which might be the following:

  • Monday – Chest and Shoulders
  • Tuesday – Back and Abs
  • Thursday – Biceps and Triceps
  • Friday – Legs and Calves

Or something along these lines.

Pros of One or Two Body Parts Per Day Routines

100% Effort Can Be Dedicated To Each Muscle Group

Each muscle group is in complete focus when following a body part split workout routine, other body parts (including secondary muscle groups) are not pre-fatigued prior to the training. This allows you to get the best ‘bang for your buck’ as your other muscle groups won’t be holding you back from pushing out those last few repetitions you would normally be able to.

Great For Lagging Body Parts

Split workout routines allow you to prioritize and alter your training routine in order to sculpt your physique as proportional and symmetrical as possible.

For example, if your shoulders are lagging, like mine was, you can simply add additional volume to your shoulder day, move your shoulder day further away from your arm day (as triceps are the secondary muscle group used when training your shoulders, and they may be causing you to fall short of those last few reps or that additional weight if they are still fatigued), or schedule in an additional shoulder workout later on in the week.

In short, split workout routines are very flexible and more personalized for you.

Good For Advanced Trainees

Usually more advanced trainees can hammer down a ton of training volume on one muscle group per week and still see good results, but perhaps the biggest benefit of body part splits is that they allow for additional training for lagging body parts. Advanced trainees are very likely to develop weaknesses in their physiques, and can with a body part split work on these weaknesses more easily.

Cons of One or Two Body Parts Per Day Routines

Lower Overall Training Frequency

Body part routines won’t allow for optimal training frequency for all muscle groups simultaneously, since one workout is completely focused on one or two muscle group at a time. Optimal training frequency for muscle growth is as I’ve discussed earlier to hit each muscle group twice per week.

Now, for an advanced trainee on the other hand this could potentially be positive. An advanced trainee can’t build their entire body up simultaneously at any noticeable speed, so adding frequency and volume to just 1 or 2 muscle groups at a time, which is possible with body part splits, can be a great option.

Imbalanced Due to Preference

Even though these kind of splits can be great for lagging body parts, the opposite can also be true.

In fact, overdeveloping one muscle group while underdeveloping another is a quite commonly problem too see with one or two body part splits. You have to make a conscience effort while following a one or two body part split routine to give each and every workout your all, regardless of whether you’re fond of the muscle group you’re training or not.

Problematic to Skip a Workouts

Skipping workouts is more problematic on a one or two body part split routine as opposed to the other splits mentioned so far in this post. For instance, if you miss one full body workout you’ll still be hitting each body part 2x that week, while if you miss one of your body part workouts, then you’ll have to wait until next week to hit that muscle group…

Who Should Use a One or Two Body Parts Per Day Routine?

Beneficial!

  • For advanced trainees
  • For putting full effort on each body part
  • For lagging body parts

Not as beneficial!

  • If you’re a beginner to intermediate
  • If you tend to favor some body parts
  • If you have a tendency to miss workouts

Sample One Body Part Per Day Routine

Workout A – Chest

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press

 

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

High Cable Flyes

Low Cable Flyes

Pec Dec

3

 

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout A – Back

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bent-Over Rows

 

Pull-Ups

Lat Pullovers Cable

Seated Cable Rows

Cable Facepulls

Shrugs

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout A – Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps
Overhead Press

 

Barbell Upright Rows

Front Raises

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Rear Delt Flyes

3

 

3

3

3

3

5

 

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout A – Arms

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bicep Curls

 

Tricep Dips

Seated Dumbbell Curls

Cable Tricep Extensions

Dumbbell Spider Curls

EZ Bar Skullcrushers

Dumbbell Reverse Curls (forearms)

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Workout A – Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squats

 

Romanian Deadlifts

Feet Close Together Smith Machine Squats

Leg Extension (machine)

Leg Curls (machine)

Standing Calf Raises

Rope Crunches

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

3

5

 

5

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

10-12

Conclusion: Should You Use Full Body Or Split Workouts When Bulking?

Choosing training split when bulking mostly comes down to personal preference. For muscle growth the total volume and intensity that you do throughout a week is more important than when you do it.

So, no matter if you choose to do 3 full body workouts or 5-6 split workouts per week, the fact is that muscle growth will be fairly similar between the different approaches as long as the amount of training volume stay the same between the different splits.

With that said, the full body, upper/lower body, and push/pull/legs splits are slightly better for most people than what the one or two body parts per day splits are, because of these two things:

  1. They allow for higher training frequency which has been shown to maximize muscle growth.
  2. Beginner trainees (within their first year of training) will see much quicker muscle growth using a higher training frequency.

But above these two factors, and especially once you’ve become more advanced, the routine you choose to go with should mostly depend on your schedule and how you enjoy to train.

What’s your thoughts on the different training splits? My favorite one is the upper/lower split, what’s yours? Let me know down in the comments right now!

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas Lampi and I work as a fitness writer, nutritional consultant and personal trainer. My favourite exercise is the bench press and my favourite food is pizza!

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