There are almost endless different training programs and ways to split training plans - i.e. divide them into different muscle groups. It's easy to get lost in all the offers and it's not always easy to decide. In order to find out, you first have to be clear about your goals and realistically assess the external circumstances such as time management and motivation.
The right training plan is primarily determined by the goal
The first thing you should always ask yourself is what goals you want to achieve with your training. Is it mainly about losing weight or losing body fat? Above all, do you want to build a lot of muscle mass? Do you want to become stronger for a specific sport? Is the goal to get rid of physical problems such as back or knee pain or to prevent them with strength training?
Once you have clearly answered this question, you need to decide how much time you will spend on training. Is it once or twice a week, three to four times or more like five to six times? You should think realistically and, especially if you are new to strength training, not go too high. In the end, it's no use wishing you could go to the gym four times a week if you only end up doing it once or twice because other priorities call.
If these two questions are clearly answered, you can decide what type of training program makes sense. In this blog post and the follow-up article, the two goals of fat loss or, colloquially, losing weight and building muscle are described. If they are pursued smartly, these go hand in hand with the goal of health and performance.
The training frequency ultimately decides whether you train one or more training plans in the same training phase, i.e. whether you split your training up. The goal determines the form in which the split takes place and which training methods are used.
What exactly does training plan split mean?
Within a training phase you have the option of training the same training plan for the entire phase, or carrying out two to even six different plans. So you split up the exercises so that, for example, you have a lower body and an upper body day. Further examples follow further down in the text.
The system or training method should basically remain the same within a training phase. For example, the repetition range, the total time in which the muscles are under tension, but also rest times and the number of sets should be the same. So splitting is just about doing different exercises on different days so that the respective muscle group can regenerate longer. If strength training takes place more than twice a week, it makes sense to split.
How long should a training plan last?
For maximum progress in training, you should change your training program every three to four weeks. The body adapts during this time, making it difficult or impossible to improve afterwards.
Variation is the key to success, a good coach can often quickly identify what limits you from improving in a basic exercise and thus select the right exercises for the next training phase. It is therefore better to leave a training plan to a professional with specialist knowledge. In addition, the nervous system needs new stimuli and the metabolism sometimes needs to recover from a training phase of high volume or intensity.
Goal Fatloss: Which training plan is best for losing weight?
First of all, it must be emphasized at this point that the basis always lies in nutrition, especially when it comes to aesthetic goals. This is an important point Breakfast .
From a purely training perspective, two things in particular should be focused on when it comes primarily to reducing body fat: volume and global training stimulus:
There are different definitions of volume within a training session. Here in the article this refers to the entire time in which the target muscles are under active tension. It is therefore calculated based on the total number of exercise sets, repetitions per set and the exercise tempo. The volume should be kept relatively high. One way to achieve this is through the number of repetitions. For example, 10-12 or 12-15 repetitions work well here. Especially for beginners, a controlled pace should be used; Lowering the weight for four seconds and then moving it rather quickly in the other direction (push/pull) is a sensible pace.
Global training stimulus means that the largest possible muscle groups and, above all, the entire body must work during the session. This creates a very metabolic stimulus, causing the body to switch to burning fat. Whole body plans are most suitable for fatloss training plans. For example, alternating two exercises for the upper and lower body is one way to work globally.
So the first exercise could be a deep squat for 12 repetitions alternating with 12 repetitions of the bench press. A minute's break in between will be sufficient, as the respective body part can regenerate during the other exercise. Women tend to do better with shorter breaks and higher volume. This means that they can train well in the high repetition range, whereas men often tire more quickly.
How should you split a full body plan?
If someone who primarily wants to lose weight trains more than twice a week, then - as already described above - more than one training plan should be used per training phase. However, since the global appeal should still remain, the body parts have to be divided differently.
There are of course different systems, such as push-and-pull days, the option suggested here would be that in one plan you focus more on the front thighs as well as the upper back and chest, with the second full-body plan more on the back of the legs, buttocks, lower Back and arms can be integrated. Of course, certain muscle groups are still recruited in both plans, but often more for stabilization purposes. Abs, i.e. the abdominal muscles, can theoretically always be trained because they have different functions than, for example, the biceps.
More than a two-part split of a whole-body plan doesn't make much sense, so you should stick to four strength training sessions in the fatloss program anyway. However, someone more advanced could also complete functional conditioning training, for example in interval form. Cyclic cardio such as running for hours is less recommended, as this creates hormonal stimuli that have a counterproductive effect, especially in people who are already under stress.
For example, the cortisol level, i.e. the stress hormone level, is raised for too long and constantly, which leads to more fat being stored in the stomach and hips. In fact, appearances are often deceiving, because many people think that if they lose a few kilos on the scales because they were regularly on the cross trainer or treadmill, they have actually lost body fat. Most of the time, however, a large part of it is muscle, which makes the bottom and legs look flabby and the tummy still remains.
Sample plan training plan for body fat reduction 1-2x training per week
1. There will always be two exercises alternately made, the respective letters belong together accordingly.
2. There is a break of 60 seconds between each exercise. The goal is to increase the repetitions or weight each training session.
3. Become of all exercises 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions each. If you only manage 10 repetitions with the respective weight, you will not increase the weight in the next training session, but instead aim for 12 repetitions.
This is just an example program that in practice should definitely be individually adapted to various factors. Mobility (active flexibility), strength, stability, if any weak or pain points should always be taken into account.
A1 Deep squat
A2 lat pulldown, shoulder width
B1 45⁰ back extension
B2 35⁰ dumbbell bench press
C1 Row to the stomach on the cable
C2 lunges (6-8 reps per leg)
D1 forearm support (plank) hold for 45 seconds (instead of 12 repetitions)
D2 sit ups