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Not sure how to create a weekly workout split? I'll walk you step by step through this simple process and you'll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals! --www.LivinglikeLeila.com--

If you’re starting to take fitness seriously and creating a habit of it, you’ll definitely want to implement a workout split.

What is a workout split?

It’s simply planning out which body parts you want to workout on which day of the week. It’s the best way to hold yourself accountable and properly balance your lifting sessions.

It’s quite simple:

Step #1: Decide how many days you will be working out

The minimum number of days should be 3, the maximum should be 6. I used to workout 6 days per week, however I have since started a new job that requires me to work 3 (sometimes 4), 12 hour days. So now I workout 4 days of the week.

It’s all up to your schedule and what you know you will commit to. Remember that quantity does not equal quality. Quality workouts are definitely more important. Also, when you see people boast about “no days off” that’s actually quite unhealthy and you won’t see the results you want.

Step #2: Decide body part combos

Here’s the fun part! So will you train legs and abs one day, biceps and triceps the next? The combos will likely depend on how many days you’ll be working out.

Here’s some examples:

6 day split

  • Legs (quads)
  • Back and biceps
  • Chest and triceps
  • Legs (hamstrings, glutes, calves)
  • Shoulders and abs
  • Full body day/plyometric day/yoga/pilates/stretch and foam rolling/only cardio

5 day split

  • Legs (quads)
  • Back and biceps
  • Chest and triceps
  • Legs (hamstrings, glutes, calves)
  • Shoulders and abs

4 day split

  • Legs (quads)
  • Upper body (back, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest)
  • Legs (hamstrings, glutes, calves)
  • Upper body (back, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest)

OR

  • Legs and shoulders (quads)
  • Chest and triceps
  • Legs and back (hamstrings, glutes, calves)
  • Biceps and abs

3 day split

  • Legs and shoulders (quads)
  • Chest, triceps, and biceps
  • Legs and back (hamstring, glutes, calves)

OR

  • Legs (quads)
  • Upper body¬†(back, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest)
  • Legs (hamstrings, glutes, calves)

If you’re working out 6 days a week, I suggest using one of those days for conditioning and stretching the body. It will definitely help your body recover, prevent injury, and help you reach your goals. When I was doing 6 days a week I would attend a yoga class. This helped with my flexibility and balance, which benefits all my other workouts!

Also, as you can see I prefer to have a quad dominant leg day and a hamstring/glute dominant leg day. However, full legs would work too! Space your leg days at least 48 hours apart to allow your muscles to properly recover.

Step #3: Sprinkle in cardio and abs

I did include some abs in the workouts above but I suggest including them at least twice a week! Same goes for cardio. I suggest 2-3 days of cardio per week for 30 minutes. I like to use the stair master, but there’s the elliptical, bike, treadmill, row machine, etc. I also suggest you change it up each time. Don’t climb the stairs for 30 minutes for all 3 days. Change it up and shock your body to see the best results!

Remember that you don’t need a machine to get in your cardio. You can train outside or do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or plyometrics. Get creative!

Just keep in mind that the amount of cardio that you do per week (assuming you do it every week) is the amount that you’ll have to do in order to maintain your results. So if your body is used to doing an hour of incline treadmill walking 6 days of the week, then you stop doing that for 2 weeks, you may gain a lot of fat back! Which is why it’s important to do less days and to change it up!

Step #4: Change up your split every 8-12 weeks

If you train the same body part on the same day every week, your body will get used to it. This may result in a plateau. So be sure to change up the workouts each week or every couple of weeks and definitely create a new workout split after 8-12 weeks.


What about the actual workout?

What workouts you do are completely up to you. For legs I typically perform 5 to 6 exercises (4 sets of 8-12 reps). For back I typically perform 4-5 exercises (4 sets of 8-15 reps). For all other upper body I typically perform 2-3 exercises (4 sets of 8-15 reps).

It’s important to figure out your body so you can decide how much to implement into your routine. For me, my biceps grow quickly so I don’t need to perform a ton of exercises. My legs grow slowly, so I use more weight and have more intense days. Also, working chest is not highly important to me, therefore I only do about 2-3 exercises for my chest a week, and if I have to unexpectedly skip a day I’ll usually remove chest.

Here are some of my favorite workouts for each body part:

I also tend to superset quite often, especially if I want a more intense workout. A superset is when you perform two different exercises back to back, which counts as one set.

Legs (Quad focused)

  • Barbell back squats
  • Front squats
  • Leg extensions
  • Lunges (static or walking)
  • Sissy squats
  • Hack squat (various foot placements)
  • Step-ups
  • Leg press
  • Goblet squats

Legs (Hamstring/Glute focused)

  • Hip thrusts
  • Single leg deadlifts
  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Straight leg deadlifts
  • Sumo squats
  • Cable glute kickbacks
  • Hip abductors
  • Good mornings
  • Reverse hack squat
  • Sumo deadlifts
  • Frog squats

Back

  • Lat pull-down (wide grip, close grip)
  • Seated row (wide grip, close grip)
  • Single-arm kneeling row
  • Deadlifts
  • Dumbbell row
  • Pull-ups
  • T-bar row
  • Bent over barbell rows

Chest

  • Incline barbell/dumbbell press
  • Flat bench barbell/dumbbell press
  • Dumbbell/machine flyes
  • Dumbbell pullovers
  • Machine chest press

Biceps

  • Barbell curls
  • Dumbbell curls (straight/wide/hammer)
  • Preacher curls
  • High cable curls
  • Low cable curls

Triceps

  • Skull crushers
  • Cable pushdowns
  • Dips
  • Dumbbell/cable kickback
  • Dumbbell tricep extension

Shoulders

  • Lateral raises
  • Fron raises
  • Dumbbell/barbell shoulder press
  • Bent-over lateral raises
  • Upright row
  • Arnold press

Other tips

  • There are SO many exercises with many variations, browse the internet or watch YouTube videos for more ideas
  • Ladies, do not be afraid of weight! Lifting weights will not make you bulky unless you try to look like that.
  • Train all body parts in order to develop major and minor muscles all over your body
  • Be sure to properly stretch and warm-up before all exercise
  • Be sure your form is perfect before increasing the weight
  • Practice mind-body connection. If you are working a specific body part, really focus your mind on that muscle to ensure you’re fully incorporating it
  • Push yourself. If something is to easy increase the weight for the same amount of reps
  • If you miss a day that you planned don’t stress about it. Just push your days back or just workout whatever you planned for the next day
  • Be sure to drink a lot of water and eat a balanced/nutritious diet for best results
  • Get enough sleep so you can properly recover
  • Find music that motivates you/pumps you up to assist you while you workout
  • Research vitamins and supplements to take for your needs
  • Fitness is a journey and results take TIME. Be patient and keep going!

So as you can see it’s very simple and it’s the best way to create a healthy, proportional body!

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