Split Training is a very common method for creating workout routines for strength training and body building. In the following article you`ll learn about Split Training, how to apply it successfully and why it has certain advantages as well as disadvantages.
Feb 4th, 2012 - written by Thomas Bluhm in Strength Training
What is Split Training?Split training describes a workout of arbitrary main muscles in various training sessions. Split in this context means "division". To grow muscles you should focus on a targeted training of the following muscles: chest muscles, shoulder muscles, biceps, triceps, abdomen, back (lats including large and small circular muscles, trapezius muscles), quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. These are the main muscles capable of growing strength as you focus on strength training, or able to gain mass and volume when doing a bodybuilding related workout.
Unlike the full-body workout, in which you stimulate all of the main muscles directly or indirectly during a single training session, split training requires you to distribute the workload on different training sessions, usually within a week in order to train the entire body. Full body workouts are usually done 2-3 times per week and thus all major muscles are being stimulated that often. A split training routine, in contrary, contains several different training sessions per week. Depending on how many training days it take to train the complete body , we speak of 2 times, 3 times or more splits.
Here´s a short example of a 3-days split training:Training session 1 is done on Monday, hitting chest, shoulders and triceps. On Wednesday, during training session 2, you will train back, abdominals and biceps. Finally, on Friday, you choose to workout thighs and calves. As already mentioned, there are further options besides the popular 3-days split. A 4-days split routine allows you to go even more into detail within one week. After an initial full body routine, beginners may want to choose the 2-days split while advances athletes often even use a 5-days split. Very rarely you will find experienced bodybuilders doing a 6 times or even 7-days split training. Here´s why: The primary motivation behind split training is to pay more attention to a single muscle. It enables you to do a lot of sets and repetitions (training volume) per muscle to stimulate it as much as possible.
Highly intense split training can increase your muscle growth and may be helpful to break plateaus. For optimal gains in performance and strength it is necessary to maintain a balance of tension and relaxation. Therefore 3-days split trainings with embedded days of rest is recommended. 5-days split routines obviously don´t allow enough resting days.
The Advantages of Split TrainingSplit training allows you to spend more time training one particular muscle or muscle group. You can do more sets, more exercise and more training variations. It is of course an option to do more sets and exercises even during a full body workout, but this may result in an inadequately increased training time. Remember that your physical and mental performance tends to decrease after one hour of training, which can make it impossible to receive an effective muscular stimulation. After having reached a certain training levels you can build more muscle mass by working out short periods of time with high intensity, provided optimal nutrition and rest.
The Disadvantages of Split Training?As already indicated above, a mismatch between tension and relaxation can cause a lack of muscle growth and even lead to overtraining.
Because of the presumed high intensity it might take particular muscles longer to recover from a training session.
How to apply Split Training?For best results remember the following principles when setting up split trainings:
- Hit every major muscle within a week of training.
- Train all required muscles evenly during a training session.
- Spread your training sessions evenly throughout the week.
You may want to make sure that each workout is done in equal intervals. I recommend doing 3-days split training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for example. Each training day is followed by a day of rest. The following layout is less ideal: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays. Try to include related muscles within a training session, which itself should contain the training of one major muscle group and addition one or two smaller muscles. A 3-days split training could look like this:
Training 1 - Mondays (chest, shoulders, triceps)
- Bench Press
- Incline Bench Press
- Shoulder Press
- Lateral Raises
- French Press
- Triceps Press
Training 2 - Wednesdays (Back, Abdominals, Biceps)
- Pull Ups
- Barbell Rows
- Dead Lift
- Barbell Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Abdominal Press
Training 3 - Fridays (legs, calves)
- Leg Extension
- Leg Press
- Leg Curls
- Stiff Leg Dead Lifts
- Standing Calf Raises
- Seated Calf Raises
SummarySplit training is a common and effective method to enhance muscle growth. It is primarily recommended for experienced athletes. Newcomers or returnees should begin with a with a full body workout. Written by Thomas Bluhm - author, licensed fitness training and owner of the Bodybuilding 2.0 Blog . ... read more
Your Daily Water Requirement. How Much Water Should You Drink.
Besides oxygen, water is the most vital substance to maintain life. The human body consists to about 50-70% of water. Without drinking water, we could hardly survive 3-4 days. Most of our metabolic processes, especially the synthesis of nutrients for building muscles and burning fat, are based on an optimum water supply.
Jul 23rd, 2010 - written by Stephan in Nutrition
Functions of Water in Your Body
- Nutrient Supply. Water keeps the blood fluid and dissolves and transports essential vitamins.
- Catalysis. Water is an important catalyst in many enzymatic reactions.
- Digestion. Breaking down carbohydrates to glycogen and protein to amino acids requires water.
- Cleansing. Water cleans the system and transports waste materials and toxins from the body.
- Temperature Regulation. Water is required to regulate the body temperature, especially during physical activity.
Why You Should Drink a LotA regular and adequate water supply is beneficial for your health.
- Optimum Water Budget. Even at rest the body is loosing about 1,5 liters of water per day through respiration and skin. Physical activity leads to an even higher withdrawal of water through increased sweat production and respiration. Therefore especially athletes have much higher demand for water.
- Rapid Recovery. Muscular nutrient supply and regeneration require water. A deficient water supply will decrease your performance.
- Muscle Building. Muscles themselves consist mostly of water. Therefore muscle growth happens only when the body is adequately supplied with water.
- Fat Loss. The protein and fat metabolism is controlled by the liver. Water deficiency can slow down or even disrupt these processes.
- Satiety. Water fills the stomach, which is why the feeling of hunger can be reduced by a regular water supply.
- Improved Skin Image. A rapidly visible effect caused by an improved detoxification is a better appearance of the skin, because the body has less to do detoxifying through it.
Strategies For a Regular Water SupplyMany people find it hard to drink the recommended amount of water. You either have no feeling of thirst or simply forget to drink in the stress of daily life. Here's how to make it work anyway:
- Start Early. Drinking your first liter of water in the morning makes it easier to reach the recommended daily amount.
- Have Water Available. Place a water bottle within your reach, at home as well as at work or on the way. Drink from it regularly in small sips. Once it is empty, it should be refilled.
- Take in Additional Water Through Your Food. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. It does not only improve your vitamin, but also your water supply, because fruits and vegetables consist of up 98% of clean water.
- Water With Each Meal. Make it a habit drink a large glass of water with each meal. Either before, to create an early sense of satiety, but in any event afterwards.
- Water During Training. Make a large bottle of water your favorite training partner and drink about 1 liter of water per hour of training. That should be done immediately. If not, the fluid loss must be compensated afterwards.
Symptoms of Water DeficiencyA lack of water in the body causes the following symptoms:
- Color and Smell of Urine. A quick and reliable indicator is your urine. It should always be colorless and odorless, everything else is a sign of a lack of fluid.
- Concentration Loss and Memory Disorders. Water deficiency causes the blood to thicken, which can lead to an under-supply of the brain.
- Other symptoms may be: restlessness, fatigue, nervousness, dry mouth.
The Recommended Daily Amount of WaterIn principle, the daily amount of water demand is related to the very individual metabolic rate.
Which in turn depends on parameters such as body weight and level of physical activity. There's a simple rule of thumb:
- 1 liter of water per day for every 45 pounds of body weight. Therefore a person weighting 160 pounds should drink about 3,5 liters of water per day.
Strength Training as at High Temperatures
For many athletes hot weather is a good reason to reduce the training volume or to completely refrain from intense workouts during this time. Even a regular strength training can suffer from heat, so here are a few tips and hints on how the training can be carried on continuously in spite of sultry and warm temperatures.
Jul 12th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health
Drink a Lot... an obviousness that is often neglected or simply underestimated. Even at normal temperatures you should drink one liter of water for each hour of training, which is is roughly the amount that is leaving the body through sweating an breathing.
In the summertime the gym interior can easily heat up to about 28-30 °C, which increases the sweating and therefore the fluid requirements can easily rise up to twice the amount.
Drink about approximately 1.5-2 liters of water per hour of intense weight training and increase the daily intake of water to about 4-5 liters, to prevent your body from dehydration and to stay powerful even in the heat.
Training Level and Training BreaksThe cyclic shift of training and rest in strength training has a certain advantage over the long-lasting, continuous loads such as in endurance training.
If necessary have longer rests between the sets to let the body cool down and thus prevent the cardiac system from overloading or your body from having a heat shock.
The training intensity itself can usually be maintained despite the heat, since, for the duration of one set, the body should be capable of performing on usual levels. External may even have a positive influence on the training level, since the muscles are more supple from the beginning on, while sweating my provide a certain amount of extra motivation.
Training TimesAdapt your training times. if possible, take advantage of the cool morning hours or go training in the evening train.
Endurance training under the direct exposure of the sun sun should generally be avoided in the hours around noontime. But even apart from the midday sun you should wear a hat that provides some shade to avoid a sunstroke, which manifests itself mostly by dizziness, nausea, or tinnitus.
Training DurationTrain just as short as necessary. This general recommendation (which applies also also on climate safe days) requires you to do only a small number of complex exercises. A training session on a hot day shouldn't take longer than 30-45 minutes.
Proper Clothing and AccessoriesSpecial clothing directs the sweat quickly and effectively away from the skin and allows it to evaporate. Normal shirts and pants are less effective, but they also take on the sweat and keep most of it away from the training equipment and the people around you. Tight clothing, which reveals much skin, doesn't provide this kind of comfort.
A reasonably large towel to remove sweat should be part of your accessories as well as the mandatory water bottle.
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Book Recommendation: "Gesund durch Stress" (German only)
What a book!
Jun 3rd, 2010 - written by Stephan in Media
One of the best health guidebooks I have read lately completely abandons the same old stories of the health industry and provides new ideas and suggestions for an active life full of "key stimuli".
The book itself appears to be published in German only under the titile: Gesund durch Stress! Wer reizvoll lebt, bleibt länger jung!: Schlüsselreize für das Wohlbefinden. The authors, both of them physicians, provide a completely different view of the incorrectly negatively marked term and condition of "stress" and expose a stress-free life and the often prescribed physical rest as the source of a variety of diseases. Convenience vs. Effort: here is made understandable, that only regular and appropriate high efforts of body and mind keep us healthy and vital. Stress as a fountain of youth.
A truly enjoyable read for active people as well as for couch potatoes.
... read more
Pull-up & Chin-up Guide | How to do Pull-ups & Chin-ups
Without doubt, pull-ups and chin-ups are one of the most effective basic exercises to develop a muscular upper body. They work a large number of muscles simultaneously and, through different grip setups and techniques, offer many different training variations.
Apr 21st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Strength Training
|Strength||Pull-ups are a great exercise to strengthen almost all upper body and arm muscles, including the hand's gripping strength.|
|Muscles||Doing Pull-ups on a regular basis can develop an impressive upper body.|
|Balance||Pull-ups help maintaining the upper body's muscular balance by compensating the popular pressing exercise for chest and front shoulders.|
|Simplicity||Pull-ups require nothing but a fixed horizontal bar or something similar to grasp. Once you're able to perform a few pull-ups, you can train virtually anywhere.|
|Versatility||A variety of grip setups and many training techniques make pull-ups a versatile and interesting exercise.|
Basic Pull-up Instructions
- Stand below pull-up bar and grasp it with wide overhand grip. Hang on bar.
- Bend your knees and cross your lower legs.
- Pull your body up until your upper chest reaches the bar. Look up and keep chest up, leading toward the bar.
- Return with same speed. Keep the arms very slightly bent at the bottom of the motion to maintain the muscular activity. Simultaneously let your your shoulders be pulled up by the bodyweight.
The Difference Between Pull-ups and Chin-upsWhile the basic pulling movement is the same, pull-ups and chin-ups differ in the hand's grip setup.
|Palms facing away from you involves less arm flexor muscles and more back. It is harder.||Palms facing you involves less back muscles and more arm flexors. It is easier.|
Pull-up TechniquesEspecially for beginners pull-ups a are a major challenge. Not only do they require a good relation of strength and bodyweight, but also a very specific muscular coordination that can only be improved by doing it.
Don't stick to Lat Pull-downs for too long. Even if you're strong enough to sit and pull down about your bodyweight, it doesn't mean you're able to do a single correct pull-up, because you're not accustomed to the specific technique. Any great performance on the pull-up bar comes from hard and consistent training.
|Assisted Pull-ups, Machine|
|Assisted Pull-ups, Elastic Band|
|Assisted Pull-ups, Training Partner|
|Wide Overhand Grip|
|Close Overhand Grip|
|Close Neutral Grip|
|Wide Reverse Grip|
|One Arm Reverse Grip|
- Straight Arms. Extending the arms completely disables all major muscular activity for a moment, which may result in overstressed passive structures, such as tendons and ligaments.
- Swinging. Try to keep hips and legs as stable as possible. Don't kick legs and don't swing back and forth.
Exercise Guide Links to Pull-ups & Chin-upsPull-up
Pull-up, Behind Neck
Pull-up, Close Grip
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Italian Group Fitness
We all know that to get in shape, there´s nothing more effective than lifting weights.
Mar 31st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Media
However, obviously group fitness appears to be second best choice. Watch THIS!
... read more
10 Ways To Increase Your Metabolism
Mar 31st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health
The MetabolismAs mentioned before, our metabolic performance has great influence on our life, and vice versa. Of course, the metabolic rate itself is as individual as every person, but there are several internal and external factors that determine how well it is doing.
Surprisingly, genetic conditions, with just 5% share, have only minor influence on the metabolic rate. Therefore "bad" genetics don´t deliver a plausible explanation for a low metabolic rate
It is rather age, sex and lifestyle that influence the metabolism. The first two factors we have to accept as they are. From the age of 25 on the bodies energy requirement underlies an annual decrease of 1%, which means that during an adults lifespan the metabolism decreases by up to 40%.
Fortunately, this process can be delayed and even turned around by the third factor: living an active lifestyle has a positive effect of the body´s entire energy demand, even in the state of rest.
The following chart shows the most substantial metabolic rate influences.
Simplified the total energy consumption is calculated as follows:
Complete Energy Turnover = Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) + Energy used by Activities
The Basal Metabolic Rate is the body´s energy demand in absolute rest, which makes up about 60% of our complete energy turnover. Physical activity itself demands about 30% and temperature regulation about 10%.
Concluding, a long-term