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As a beginner finding the right training split for you is really a bit of a minefield, as such, a really common question for people new to the gym is what split should I use? 

Basically In this article I’m going to outline the specific split, exercises and volumes I’d use and why I’d chose to train that way. 

Essentially what I’d look to do is work at the maximum volume and frequency that I’m able to recover from. 

As a new trainee, you’ll adapt to pretty much any stimulus, but in this scenario we’re looking at the ideal. This definitely isn’t the way that I trained as a beginner, but it is how I would train if starting, knowing what I know now. 

The Split

The split I’m going to outline is a full body split. The reason that we’re going to use a full body split is because everything at this stage is a novel stimulus. We don’t need a lot of volume per muscle group to stimulate growth, but will benefit from increased training frequency. 

As such, we’re going to be following a full body split training every other day. 

A training week would look like this;

Monday – Full Body

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Full Body

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Full Body

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Full Body

Monday – Rest

Etc

As such in an 8 day rotation, we’re training every body part 4 times per week. 

Workout Structure

We will have 4 full body sessions in the rotation. Each will contain exercise variation so whilst the same target muscles are worked, the sessions are different. 

We will be hitting 6 exercises in a given session, with 2 working sets per exercise. This gives us a total set volume of 12 sets per session and 48 sets per week. 

This will ensure that we keep our workouts relatively short, think if we’re completing 10 sets, 1-2 minutes rest between sets, you could/should be in and out of the gym within an hour. If your intensity is high enough, that is plenty long enough. 

What we’re going to look to do is progress every set of every exercise in every session, and keep progressing them for as long as possible utilising consistent form. 

In these sessions we’re not going for skin breaking pumps, it’s all about creating optimal conditions to achieve hypertrophy through low volume, high frequency methods. 

Exercise selection

We will only place one spinal loading exercise in each given session, as such will need to vary exercises between sessions. 

This will not inhibit our CNS recovery, but will still allow us to hit target muscles hard and effectively. 

In each session we will have;

1 Quad focused exercise

1 Hamstring focused exercise

1 Pull Movement

1 Push Movement

1 Fly/Raise

1 Arm/Calves/Abs dependent on the given training day

AND NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER

Sets and rep tempos

For every exercise we’re going to utilise a two set progressive system.

1st set – 6-10 reps

2nd set – 10-15 reps

We’ll be using the heaviest loads that we can handle for each given rep range and looking to progress reps/load between every session. 

For example, if you get to 10 reps on your 1st set for that exercise, the next time you perform that exercise, add some load and progress the reps again. 

The rep tempos that we’ll be using are explosive concentrics and controlled eccentrics so that we learn to control the load, using consistent form without bouncing the weight. Control and consistency at high intensity is what will generate long term results. 

The rep tempo well be using is 3-0-1-0 which is a 3 second eccentric motion, no pause, fast eccentric focusing on contracting the target muscle hard and no pause between reps. 

This will increase time under tension, allow new trainees to understand the movement and how to control the load and ultimately it’s fucking hard. If you can progress to heavy loads using this tempo with consistent form, the chances are you’ve got some decent muscle tissue. 

The plan itself

So here’s the plan itself, we’ve discussed all the variables and why we’re going to train this way, but this is essentially what you’re here for if you’ve made it this far;

Full Body 1

  1. Romanian Deadlift
  2. Leg Press
  3. Incline Smith Press
  4. Chest Supported Low Row
  5. Cuffed Lateral Raise
  6. Standing Calf Raise

Full Body 2

  1. Barbell Back Squat
  2. Lying Leg Curl
  3. Wide Grip Pullups/Assisted Chins
  4. Shoulder Press
  5. Rear Delt Fly
  6. Close Grip Bench Press

Full Body 3

  1. Rack Pull
  2. Hack Squat
  3. Chest Press
  4. Seated Row
  5. Barbell Curl
  6. Cable Pectoral Fly

Full Body 4

  1. Front Squat
  2. Seated Leg Curl
  3. Close Grip Pulldown
  4. Decline Bench Press
  5. Upright Row
  6. Calf Press

As you can see we have exercise variation, compound movements to start sessions and a compound movement focus. These movements incorporate multiple muscle groups and are very taxing. 

Remember, we’re taking every set of every exercise to mechanical failure, i.e. if you were to do another rep, form would break down. 

This programme will be bloody hard! 

The exercises are of course variable, different people have different mechanics and exercises that work best for them, so this is just an example programme. 

I’ve attached a download link of the programme format of this plan here, which you can plug in your start numbers and use to track your workouts. 

Hopefully if you’re new to the gym, you’ll find this useful. Please do ask any questions you may too! 

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