Picking the right workout plan for your body 3 years ago

Picking the right workout plan for your body

Finding a training plan that delivers results can be quite difficult. It’s not like choosing a pair of socks where one size (mostly) fits all.

Your training plan needs to be specific to you - your goals, your body type, your current fitness and health levels, your activity levels and your likes and dislikes.


Just because a workout plan has paid off for one person - even someone famous or an athlete - does not mean that it’s the best move for you. Similarly, you may thrive off a routine that someone else has already written off.

Here are some of the most notable training programmes; just pick which one is best suited for your body, goals and lifestyle:

Bro Split: Five Days A Week

What is it?

This style of training is most synonymous with pro bodybuilding, and as such is copied by a large portion of recreational gym users - hence ‘bro’. It involves training one muscle group per workout, once a week.

Example Week

Monday: Chest


Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Shoulders/Abs

Friday: Arms

The Pros and Cons


This routine is popular with advanced bodybuilders, so anyone looking to compete on stage will likely gain results. It allows you to hit each muscle from a variety of angles in one workout.

It’s less effective for people with busy work and social commitments because you’ve only got that one day to hit each muscle. Natural lifters also need more frequency in their routines.

Full Body Workout: Three Days A Week


What is it?

Pretty self-explanatory, full body workouts involve hitting each muscle group with one or two exercises in a single session.

Example Week

Monday: Bench Press / Squat / Deadlift / Pull-Ups / Bicep Curls


Wednesday: Bench Press / Squat / Deadlift / Pull-Ups / Bicep Curls

Friday: Bench Press / Squat / Deadlift / Pull-Ups / Bicep Curls

The Pros and Cons

Research shows you should probably be training each muscle two or three times a week. This kind of training is used by rugby and NFL players as it fits around busy schedules. It’s also great for beginners as it provides you with plenty of opportunities within each week to get better at a lift.

Bodybuilders - who need to train a muscle from multiple angles - may not favour this style of training. While each workout will burn a lot of calories, you'll only be in the gym for about three hours a week. This is best if you're active with other sports or engaging in other styles of training on non-lifting days.

Upper & Lower Split: Four Days A Week

What is it?

A training plan that comprises strength (heavy, low-rep training) and size (lighter load, high-rep training) over the course of four workout days. Popular takes on this include Joe DeFranco's Westside for Skinny Bastards programme.

Example Week

Monday: Upper Body Strength

Tuesday: Lower Body Strength

Thursday: Upper Body Size

Friday: Lower Body Size

The Pros and Cons

Training each muscle twice a week will elicit gains, and allow you to hone your technique on the main lifts. While this doesn't provide as much volume as full body training, you're in the gym for a longer period each week.

Wednesdays and weekends off give you ample amount of time for recovery. Relying on set training days could be problematic for those with busy schedules or serious sporting commitments.

Push Pull Legs: 6 Days A Week

What is it?

This workout plan also hits each muscle twice a week, but your upper body sessions are separated between push (chest, triceps and shoulder exercises) and pull (back, biceps and rear delt exercises).

Example Week

Monday: Push

Tuesday: Pull

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: REST

Friday: Push

Saturday: Pull

Sunday: Legs

The Pros and Cons

At face value, a push-pull-legs split seems to be the best package. You'll get the frequency of training a muscle twice a week, plus you'll be able to hit each muscle from an array of angles in each session.

The downside is that training six days a week can be very demanding, taking its toll on your body. This is best for people who aren't prone to a lot of stress elsewhere in life, or those who can absolutely guarantee they'll get sufficient sleep each and every day.

It's all too easy to follow what someone else does, even if it works for them. Pick a plan that coincides with your goals and lifestyle, and results will come your way.