Training

Hit A Plateau? Try Out Double Splits

Hit A Plateau? Try Out Double Splits

Plateaus and routine fatigue will likely hit everyone at some point in their lifting career. It is extremely important to add new variety to a workout routine every so often in order to prevent boredom and burn out. A workout shouldn’t feel forced and you should never hate what you’re doing.

Double-Splits date back to the Golden Era of Bodybuilding, back in the 1970s men Like Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger would commonly train twice in a day. I first found Double-Split routines after reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s training styles from his competition days. He was effectively able to have more intense workouts by splitting them up and performing one in the morning and one later in the day. Using this technique for plateaus can be of great help due to the increased intensity and frequency of training.

double splits

Coupled with proper nutrition and sleep Double-Split routines can be incredibly beneficial for the strength athlete.


What is the Double-Split and Why is it Effective?

Double-Split routines are an effective way to improve strength and add mass. The concept behind this routine is that you are able to commit more energy to a shorter workout, twice per day. Instead of cramming many body parts into one workout you can separate the entire body into four separate workouts. I found that utilizing these techniques also increased my appetite and thus I was able to eat more, and put on more lean weight. This is routine can be ideal for college students like myself because our free time is usually fragmented by classes!

double splits

Double-Split routines can aid in the reduction of body fat and increase in lean weight with proper diet. It can not be stressed enough that you must consume more calories and sleep more while performing this exercise routine in order to keep active during daily activities as well as to be sure that your body is not consuming tissue for energy.


Training Example

There are a plethora of Double-Splits available but I find it is easier to keep it simplistic. I consume one protein shake and half of a scoop of pre-workout before each workout. I also performed 5 minute warm-ups and cool-downs of biking and jumping rope as well as foam rolling before and after every workout. Each workout should be 45 minutes to one hour maximum. This is my effective six day routine:

double splitsDay 1:

AM: Back, Biceps, Forearms

PM: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

Day 2:

AM: Abdominals & Calves

PM: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings

Day 3:

AM: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

PM: Back, Biceps, Forearms

Day 4:

AM: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings

PM: Abdominals & Calves

Day 5:

AM: Back, Biceps, Forearms

PM: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

Day 6:

AM: Abdominals & Calves

PM: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings

Day 7: Rest

You will notice that routines were alternated, there are a few reasons for alternating workouts. The first being that I didn’t want to grow tired of training the same things every morning and night. Secondly, there are physiological differences of AM and PM training, such as the amount of overall food energy which will change the amount of body fat or liver glycogen that is consumed. My third reason was the fact that I did rep ranges of 3-5 in the morning and 10-15 at night. Even while looking to build mass it is important to train for athleticism and endurance.


Potential Drawbacks

double splits

There are some potential detractors for the Double-Split routine. The first is mental: this is not a beginner’s program. It is physically and mentally challenging and requires high willpower. Another being if you do not get enough sleep every night then you aren’t allowing your body to repair and grow, there is also a mental toll on not enough getting enough sleep, being overtired and fatigued can add stress to the other aspects of life. Most adults need between 7-9 hours per night.

There can be catabolic effects on training hard and not eating enough. If you don’t consume enough calories your body will break down tissue for energy. I use Double-Split training in alternating weeks. This way I can properly recover and not overtrain. On the off weeks I still lift but I do lighter, more endurance rep ranges. There are aspects of this routine that will turn average lifters away from Double-Splits but the results can be extraordinary if you’re willing to commit.


Take-Home Message

Utilizing the Double-Split style can be extremely beneficial in taking your strength training to the next level. It is challenging but also very rewarding. There are numerous benefits in these techniques and when utilized properly can aid in growth and overall strength.



Myprotein

Myprotein

Writer and expert


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