There’s an old adage that reads, “The best bodybuilding body part split for you is the one you’re currently NOT using.” The human body is a remarkably adaptable machine, and adjusts very quickly to repetitive motions and scheduled tasks. It’s very likely that if you’ve been using the same body part split for months or even years, you would benefit tremendously from a change.
There are two main body part standard splits from which you should work. One calls for working each body part ONCE per week, with a lot of sets. The other protocol calls for training each body part TWICE per week, using fewer sets. Some hybrid routines also call for doing some body parts only once, while hitting some smaller/weaker body parts twice.
First, decide if you’d like to train each body part once per week, or twice. If you’re an intermediate to advanced bodybuilder, it’s very likely that once per week (sprinkling in twice per week on weak areas) will be the best solution.
Second, look at your schedule and see what kind of day splits you have available. If you have work then class on Tuesday, it should probably be a rest day. If you work two jobs on Friday, don’t try to squeeze a workout in – it’s bound to fail. Instead, plan that as a rest day and lift weights the days before and after. Create a split, which capitalizes upon your schedule, not one that ‘tolerates’ it.
Third, step back and create a body part split that’s both fun and productive. The best routines are the ones that work, and the ones you enjoy. Here are some sample breakdowns.
- M- chest/biceps
- T- back/triceps
- Thru- shoulders/hamstrings
- F- quads/traps/calves
- M-chest, triceps
- T-quads, calves
- Thur-back, hamstrings
- F-shoulders, biceps
Be sure to create a split, which doesn’t interfere with the next day’s routine and recovery. Be sure to never train more than 5 days a week and never less than three. Each of us has unique training and recovery abilities. Try mixing up your body parts and see which split is best suited for your needs and bodybuilding goals.