Split Training or Whole-body exercise?

So you’re in the gym working hard to a plan you found online then time stops around you, you look to your left then your right, the pin of the tricep extension machine drops and then it hits you…”I could save time by doing a whole-body session,’’ Yes!! You can save time and there may be more benefits to a whole body workout than you know, but is it for you?

Split routines v.s. Whole-body routines

Many of us men follow the lizard into the hole by thinking the only way we are going to reach our fitness goal is by doing what the bodybuilders do. Are you really trying to be a bodybuilder while you work in a supermarket?  Bodybuilding is an extreme way of life that your nutrition needs to match. If your goal is to lean out and still be able to enjoy a takeaway meal from time to time, you need to reevaluate what you want out of the gym plan you’re using.

There are time benefits to working one or two body parts per sitting because you’ll be able to get out of the gym sooner than you would if working your whole body each day (less time on the gym floor), but by split-training, you will have to enter the gym more often overall. Additionally, you would give those body parts rest for a good few days before you’re back to working those body parts but with a whole-body gym plan, you could have even more rest time totally.

e.g. Man (A*) does Splits and Man (B*) does Whole-body.

A* – Legs and Abs, Biceps and Triceps, Chest and Shoulders, Back and Traps.

B* – All the above but lower weight and intensity.

Intensity can be measured in a number of ways but the easiest is to do a talk test. Can you hold a conversation while exercising? If you can then the intensity you are working at is too easy for you. The intensity during split days will usually be higher than you’d find with Man (B*) no doubt. However, his lower volume and intensity compared to (A*) doesn’t mean he won’t see results because his consistency over time and the bodily changes due to his whole body routine should garner similar if not better results (see video below – sorry about the music). Body fat loss can be greatly increased as Jim Stoppani states because of the bodies ability to continue metabolism as the body stays in a heightened state due to the regular and continued whole-body exercise.

Enjoy your exercise

The key thing I believe is to enjoy the time you take in exercise because it is a lifelong thing. You may have goals you want to reach now but there is a benefit in enjoying the trees as you travel on your journey. Whether you pick one gym plan over another doesn’t overly matter as long as you stick to the plan – you’ll see results. Exercise benefits the mind as well as your body so if you feel that gym beastin’ isn’t your thing and you’d rather reach your ideal weight by riding your bike then do it! Your goals are your own and sometimes a short consultation with a fitness instructor is all you need to discover your ideal exercise pursuit.

Ibn Qayyum (rahimullah) in his book detailing the medicine of the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave advice to not be excessive in your exercise. Scholars of our time have also spoken on this, recommending the seeking of knowledge not to spend much time in exercise. This is important to know for us all since our role in this world is to worship our creator. Taking too much time away from the remembrance of Allah (the Mighty and Majestic) can and will have ill effects on us and our relationships. However, if you have an illness, weight issue or something that can be remedied through exercise it would be in your best interest to engage in exercise that promotes your ability to worship our creator.

You now know some benefits on both sides of split plans and whole-body exercise. You must have a clear vision for what you want to achieve by going to the gym be it weight gain, loss, maintenance, cardiovascular endurance and/or muscle growth. Once you know what you want to achieve, prepare with a plan that suits your needs, with a fitness instructor consultation. This is the fastest way to reach your goals in a way you can sustain and build upon your goals. If that didn’t convince you, go ahead and try out different plans but as I said, with regards to weight-loss in particular, all the plans work as long as you stick to the plan (i.e. you exercise regularly and also have a good nutritional diet).

If you’re in need of advice to help you become the better you, the best you’ve ever been or you need Nutritional advice to suit your Gym Plan [Email Us] to arrange a short and free consultation.

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