The Upper/ Lower Body Split Routine: Is It A Sound Training Strategy?
I answered a version of this question on a website that I waste a lot of time on called QUORA. It got me thinking about what the essence of a good training strategy, any good training strategy that made sense, might be. So I decided to use this idea for today’s blog.
As a trainer with over 40 years experience, I do not have a problem with an “up/down” split. In fact there are several good arguments supporting the logic of this training strategy.
As long as you give the ”down” bit the respect it requires. There used to be a standing joke floated at Gold’s about one particular guy who spent most of the week working his upper body, only to vanish like a puff of smoke when it got to leg day, something always more important to be taken care of, you see.
Giving the legs their own special day(s) actually is a very effective strategy for concentrating focus and emphasising intensity on them, especially if they are a weak point.
But the Holy Grail of training lore is to be aware that muscles are built on the yin-yang of intense work that causes the maximum amount of stress on the muscle and then sufficient time for recovery and repair from the damage that that intense work and stress has caused.
The more intense the work, the more damage it causes, the more rest and recovery time is required to repair this damage so that adaptation occurs and a net plus gain of muscle tissue results. This is a natural cycle that is disregardable only at your peril. If you don’t pay attention to its rules for long enough surprising and unpleasant things happen, no matter how physically tough and mentally gifted you are.
3 mediocre leg workouts per week are not better than two good workouts which are not better than one great leg training session. So avoid using frequency of training as a stand-in for the intensity of your training. It just doesn’t work that way.
More is sometimes used as a poor excuse for less and less quite often turns out to be more.
Observing the above advice should go a long way to setting you up to get the most of your upper/lower split training scheme. Or any routine, for that matter, that you decide to follow.