Are you someone who is committed to losing body fat, wants to start training but don’t know where to start? If so, you are not alone. This is a common problem for many people, and confusion can quickly set in if there is not a training plan in place early on.
As a result, it is very easy to become overwhelmed at the prospect of training consistently when you don’t know what to train, how frequently to train, how long to train for, and the intensity you should be working at. This can often lead to you giving up before you have even started. Therefore, it is vital that you have a plan to follow, so that you have clarity and can then focus your efforts on training hard and being consistent.
So, what is the best training split for you? What plan should you follow so that you have the most enjoyable, sustainable and effective journey possible to get the best results?
If you are someone who has never trained before, the chances are that you are unstable in the lower body, you have limited upper body strength and you have poor coordination when it comes to lifting weights. So, it is vital that the focus goes on improving strength, stability, and exercise execution early on in your fitness journey.
This is why a full-body workout will be best for you to start. You will be able to focus on building strength and adding muscle in key areas of the body with two to three resistance training sessions per week. If you have access to a gym, machine exercises will be an excellent option, as they will allow you to be fixed in place, focus on working out the desired muscle groups and lifting more weight over time without having to worry about balance. If you have limited equipment, bodyweight and light dumbbell exercises are going to be a great option to work on your strength and balance, before building up.
For those who are slightly more experienced when it comes to training, changing your training split will be the next step for you to achieve great results. Of course, you can still make progress from a full-body workout, but if you are training more than twice per week and you are stronger, more toned, and have better stability, an upper body/lower body training split will be a great option for you, going forward.
This will allow you to introduce more exercises for certain muscle groups and base your training sessions around compound movements (heavy, demanding lifts) and isolation exercises so that you can advance your strength and training skills further. This will also broaden your knowledge of exercise execution and get you more comfortable with using more equipment in your facility.
As the months go by, you should find that you are very confident with your body shape and your experience with training. You should also be stronger, more stable, more balanced, have better coordination, and have a better structure to your body that facilitates lifting. It would therefore be a good idea to have a look at your training split and decide how you can take it to the next level.
If your goal is to still burn body fat and tone up, and you have made excellent progress, you may not need to change things at all. However, you may become bored with your current training programme and want to try new exercises that place more tension on the muscle groups you are trying to develop.
Of course, this also depends on how many times per week you aim to train, but a good split for you to try would be push, pull, legs. This would allow you to hit all the necessary muscle groups a number of times during the week and also give you room to incorporate new exercises to try alongside the ones that are necessary and work for you. You do not need to train more than three times per week to lose body fat, but if you do, you could combine two muscle groups (eg. chest and triceps) into one session and do more sessions. You may have to experiment in the early stages, but it will be good for you to add variety and progress your training.
So, the best split for consistent fat loss depends on your training experience, skill and knowledge, as well as your physical strength, stability and body composition (how you look). For beginners, a full-body workout two to three times per week is going to be enough, while intermediates can look to do an upper body/lower body split to achieve their goals. Those more advanced have the option of changing things up and training more frequently if desired.
The underlining point is going with a plan that is manageable and sustainable over a long period of time. If you can stay consistent with your training, nutrition and cardio, and combine it with good sleep, low stress levels, sufficient water intake and better digestion, you will be on track to achieve your fat loss goals.
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