Whether you’re starting out on your gym journey or you’ve hit a brick wall with your training, expert PT Chris Broomhead is on hand with advice to help you power through. As a competitive bodybuilder, Chris knows a thing or two about building muscle, so tune in.In the video, he covers the basics behind muscle growth before getting into the good stuff — the most effective training splits for building muscle.
When building muscle, you need to
Create a stimulus
If you don’t create a stimulus through effective training, nothing else can work to build muscle. It’s the catalyst for everything else that comes after. By “stimulus”, he means coming up with an effective training schedule that works your muscles.
Often overlooked — it’s always one more episode of TV, or five more minutes of scrolling. But sleep is essential when you’re trying to recover.
So put your phone down, and drift off to the land of nod.
The nutrients you need and the calories you need. Don’t be afraid of a calorie surplus — you need the extra calories to fuel your body and to grow your muscles. But don’t be fooled, you need to fill yourself up with nutrient-dense food, not just calories. A Maccies breakfast every day isn’t going to fill you with the nutrients you need, no matter how good the hash browns are.
You need to start somewhere — no one is expecting you to drop a fortune on a fully stocked supplement cupboard. Start with the basics and build up from there.
Make the most out of your gym sessions by fuelling right.
As well as training hard and eating well, you need to take a few rest days. A common misconception is that if you push yourself at the gym constantly, you’ll see results faster. But if you don’t give your muscles time to rest, recover and grow, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.
And now on to the good stuff…
How to split your training to build muscle
The “bro” split
Don’t be put off by the name, this is one of the most popular approaches and it has nothing to do with being a “bro”. It’s a split-style training where you tackle one body part per session. For example, Monday is chest, Tuesday is back, Wednesday is shoulders, Thursday is arms, and (after you’ve put it off for as long as humanly possible) Friday is legs.
This method is known to be effective for building muscle, but you could opt for a higher frequency training programme.
Upper, lower split
If you have fewer days to dedicate to training, you can split it up more efficiently. Let’s say you have three days to dedicate to training — a good split would be upper body, lower body, upper body. Or three full-body days, depending on your experience.
If you’re new to the gym, don’t dedicate a full day to working your chest — it will be too much. Instead, three days of full body, with a chest exercise or two, will work much better for you. Although, we’re not sure how we feel about full-body DOMS.
As you build muscle, you may add a fourth day to your routine. Then you can have two upper days and two lower days. As you build muscle, you’ll need to challenge your body with more stimulus to keep on building muscle, otherwise known as progressive overload.
Push, pull, legs split
The one you’ve all been waiting for. You can train for three days consecutively, have a rest day, then three days and a rest day. This is a way to train more muscles, more frequently.
Let’s work it out. If you were to train one muscle group per weekly session, you’d have 52 days of training each muscle group. But with a push, pull, legs split, you’re looking at 104 days of training for each muscle group.
So what does each session involve?
A push workout
A pull workout
Take Home Message
So, what will it be? Chris has given us options galore for how to set out your training routine. For us, there’s a clear winner. The perfect way to train, rest, recover and repeat.
Head over to the Myprotein YouTube Channel to see some exercises in action and plan your next push, pull and legs days.