The age old gym question…how should you split up your training routine?
For most of my fitness life – and those of others – they take the traditional strength training approach of splitting up body parts for each visit to the gym. Some focus on push and pull. Others split it up into chest day, leg day…and so on.
I followed this approach for many, many years. And in the end I became bored of the routines and feel it left my body more unbalanced than it should be.
The approach I take now and recommend? A full body approach.
I believe in working your body as a whole 5-6x a week. Working on compound movements with function in mind. Face it…our body is meant to move and work as a unit. We were designed to use our legs, arms, core and so on to survive on a daily basis. So why not train they way our genetics are set up (and that of just about every other animal lives)?
Split routines work well for those dedicated to sculpting muscle for body building or physique competitions. But many (not all) are not truly balanced and would fail if they had to complete as an athlete, or survive in the wild like our ancestors did.
My approach is simple. Work the whole body effectively and efficiently in 30 minutes or so. No need for hours and hours in the gym. Incorporate exercises that will work on cardio and explosive training (sprints, jump rope, burpees) and exercises that will train many muscle groups in one move (squats, pull ups, push ups, burpees).
Focus on a mind-muscle connection. Don’t just go through the motion, feel the motion. Engage your mind to connect and work the muscles you are targeting. Work efficiently with a functional approach (meaning work the body in all planes and directions).
Won’t this harm and burn out the body? No, not if you are committing to short, but effective full body workouts a day. The less time spent training means the less time spent recovering. And feel your body out. Maybe your legs are on fire from the previous day’s training. So dial back and do some lighter leg work.
My point is train like an athlete. Train like our ancestors lived. Working on a farm, hunting, surviving, or fighting (Spartans!). Use your body in the way it was designed, not for a machine or gimmick that was designed to make money.
I find this approach to be more feeing. It’s more fun. I can train creatively AND train anywhere.
Train with a functional fitness approach. Train every day. Train efficiently and with purpose.