If you are one of those guys who go to the gym only on the weekends, then there's not much chance of you building up solid muscle bulk compared to those who go on a regular schedule. So it's key that you take your gym trips seriously and develop a good weekly routine.
To do this, you should have the time to work out for 3-5 days a week, working out an hour each time. But how do you organize your training schedule?
Well, there are two types of routine you can do; A Full Body Routine or A Split Body Routine. Let's look at the differences.
So What Is A Full Body Routine?
A full body routine involves 3 workouts per week, where each workout, you train ALL your LARGE muscle groups.
When I say large muscle groups, I mean your upper legs (glutes hamstrings, quads), back, chest and shoulders. So each workout will include at least one back exercise, one chest exercise, one shoulder's exercise and one legs exercise (e.g. Lat Pull Down, Bench Press, Shoulder Press and Squats).
This means each muscle will get around 1 exercise per workout.
So What Is A Split Body Routine?
A split body routine on the other hand, splits your large muscle groups over a number of sessions, ranging from 2 to 5 sessions. So for example you may have one day where you work your chest, one day for shoulders, one day for back and one day for legs. Using split routines, each muscle group is likely to get more than 1 exercise per workout.
There are different types of split routines I recommend you do, and yes, you guessed it, I'm going to show you them.
2 Session Body-Split Routine
This involves getting a full body workout from two sessions. In other words you split your large muscle groups over 2 workouts (e.g. session 1- Chest And Shoulders, Session 2- Back And Legs).
With 4 workouts a week you can cover your body twice doing this, and in each session you can even add 1 exercise working the smaller muscle groups, like biceps, triceps, abs, forearms and calves. You should choose the one you feel requires the most work.
4 Session Body-Split Routine
Here you get a full body workout from 4 sessions.
In a nutshell you work a different large muscle group, each workout. You can also add one small muscle group per workout, so you can complete 3-4 exercises on a large muscle group and 1-2 exercises a on small muscle group per session. (e.g. session 1- chest and biceps, session 2- back and triceps, session 3- legs and calves, session 4-shoulders and abs)
So How Do You Choose Which One Is Suited To You?
Well it all depends on your experience. As a beginner you should start off with a full body routine. This allows your body enough time to recover AND it makes sure you do not overtrain your muscles.
As you get more advanced and become intermediate, you can move from a full body routine to a split body routine, where It is best to start with a 2 session split. Again this is more intense, and provides a better workout than a full body routine, BUT this is only beneficial if your body can take it. So only do this if you are NOT a beginner.
Finally to increase intensity as you become advanced, you can move into the 4 session split body routine. This will provide your muscles the best workout and best growth. But please do not jump the gun, only do this when you are strong enough to, otherwise you will fail!
So There You Have It
You now know what your weekly routine should look like.