It’s Monday morning: the start of a brand-new workweek as well as all sorts of possibilities both in and out of the gym. The sky’s the limit. You’ve found your stride. You’ve got the world by the tail. (Okay, you get the idea: Think positive.)
And if you’re in that kind of mood but don’t know how to structure your training week into a good workout split, you’ve come to the right place. This time around, we give you a four-day split so you can channel all that energy into your training, leaving the “what and when” to us.
On Day 1, hit your arms – the entire arm – biceps, triceps and forearms. Train them with various exercises and from multiple angles to ensure you involve every single area. Next comes leg day, and you can hit them as hard as you want since the next day is a much-needed day of rest. Make sure to include not only compound moves such as squats and leg presses but also isolation exercises such as leg extensions and curls. With your arms having recovered from their thrashing on Day 1, Day 4 is your chest, delts and traps workout, where you’ll attack your upper body like there’s no tomorrow (except that you train back the next day, Day 5). And there you have it: Your split for the week.
WHY THIS SPLIT DECISION?
We put arms first, furthest from chest and back, so they get the attention they deserve and still get enough rest so they aren’t weak when you train major muscle groups like chest and back. Legs and back get their own days due to the intensity of those workouts. And because of the incredible pump and blasting your shoulders get on chest day, we’ve grouped those bodyparts together. Just don’t forget to hit your rear delts, too.
- Make sure you do incline curls to work the peak, preacher curls for the inner biceps head and hammer curls to target the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles.
- After your warm-up, start with squats when you’re fresh. Want better teardrops? Do leg presses.
- Hit your pecs with presses from various angles while also incorporating flye-type moves. Since your front delts get a lot of work during chest training, concentrate on your middle and rear delts when you transition to shoulders.
- Use straps right from the start. Don’t worry about grip strength, as research has shown that even at submaximal weight, you can achieve more reps using straps than without. And never train abs before back; keep your core strong for bent-over moves.
Day Body part(s)1 Biceps, triceps, fore arms 2 Legs, calves, abs 3 Rest, 4 Chest, shoulders, traps 5 Back, abs
BY JIMMY PENA, MS, CSCS