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26.08.2015


Full body workout is a teeny weeny bit more effective than a split routine

Whether they train by doing full body workouts or split schemes, bodybuilders make progress but the progress they make by doing full body workouts is probably just a teeny weeny bit more. That's the message from a study that the American sports scientists Brad Schoenfeld has published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Study
Schoenfeld, who works at CUNY Lehman College in New York, did an experiment with 20 male students, all of whom had been doing weight training for several years. The experiment lasted 8 weeks.

Schoenfeld divided his subjects into two groups. One group trained 3 days per week, using the split scheme shown below; the other group did a full body workout.


Split

Day 1
Bench press 3 sets
Incline press 3 sets
Hammer chest press 3 sets
Lat pulldown 3 sets
Lat pulldown 3 sets
Seated row 3 sets

Day 2
Squat 3 sets
Leg press 3 sets
Leg extension 3 sets
Stiff-leg deadlift 3 sets
Hamstrings curl 3 sets
Good morning 3 sets

Day 3
Shoulder press 2 sets
Hammer shoulder press 2 sets
Upright row 2 sets
Hammer curl 2 sets
Barbell curl 2 sets
Preacher curl 2 sets
Cable pushdown 2 sets
Skull crusher 2 sets
Dumbbell overhead extension 2 sets

Full body

Day 1
Squat 3 sets
Stiff-leg deadlift 3 sets
Bench press 3 sets
Lat pulldown (wide grip) 3 sets
Shoulder press 2 sets
Hammer curl 2 sets
Cable pushdown 2 sets

Day 2
Leg press 3 sets
Hamstrings curl 3 sets
Incline press 3 sets
Lat pulldown (close grip) 3 sets
Hammer shoulder press 2 sets
Barbell curl 2 sets
Skull crusher 2 sets

Day 3
Leg extension 3 sets
Good morning 3 sets
Hammer chest press 3 sets
Seated row 3 sets
Upright row 2 sets
Preacher curl 2 sets
Dumbbell overhead extension 2 sets



The weight used, the resting times and training volume were the same for both groups.

Results
At the end of the eight weeks, the students in both groups had gained a little muscle mass and strength. The progression was almost always a little more in the full body group [TOTAL], but the differences were not statistically significant. Except for the increase in mass of the biceps [Elbow flexors] this was significantly bigger in the fully body group than in the split group.

First figure: 1RM when squatting; second figure: muscle mass of biceps; third figure: muscle mass of the vastus lateralis.


Full body workout is a teeny weeny bit more effective than a split routine


Full body workout is a teeny weeny bit more effective than a split routine


Full body workout is a teeny weeny bit more effective than a split routine



Conclusion
"The findings suggest a potentially superior hypertrophic benefit to higher weekly resistance training frequencies", concluded Schoenfeld.

Source:
J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jul;29(7):1821-9.

More:
Strength training without schedule? Then no muscle growth 07.04.2018
Periodised resistance training just as effective if you surprise your muscles with changing weights 02.11.2017
High frequency training works just as well as low frequency training 30.08.2014

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Strength Training


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