Push-Pull-Legs Vs. The Bro-Split
When it comes to making gains in the gym, there really isn’t a set of standard rules. Yes, you need to work out and recover to see changes, but there are multiple ways of approaching this. For starters, the number of days you train can vary or even the intensities at which you’re training can look different. Each person is going to be somewhat different from the next, as we all lead different lives and have various genetic makeups. One individual may only need to train three times a week, whereas someone else may need to go at it for six. It just depends.
One area that tends to be gray for some is their actual training split. There are a few ways of breaking this up, but we’re going to focus on two of the most common ones. These are going to be a Push-Pull-Legs split and a Bro Split. A split is just what you train in each week. We can’t walk into the gym and hit chest every single day, as this would cause injury and neglect the other parts of the body. So, we split things up. This allows for other muscle groups to recover while still making it to where you can train another part of the body. Each can accomplish a lot, but it’s all going to come down to some personal factors like your schedule, goals, and personal preference.
We’re going to break down each one so that you can make the best decision going forward. Let’s get into it.
This is a really common training split that works well for most people. The split is broken down based on the kinds of movements being done versus a single body part. The push movements are things like bench press, shoulder press, and triceps or really any movement that involves pushing to be accomplished. The pull movements will involve a lot of rows, pulldowns, raises, and curl and will really focus on the backside of the body. Then, lastly, you have your leg day. This is when you work the lower half of your body, while resting your upper body. All in all, this allows for even distribution of work to various sections of the body.
Now, this is a three-day split, and that may work great for your schedule during the week. However, the workouts will be a little longer since you’re covering multiple muscle groups in a session. Instead of just focusing on chest, you’re also going to be covering your shoulders and arms as well. This just means more time actually at the gym. The Push-Pull-Legs split can also be repeated. So, if you’re wanting more than 3 days of gym time, you could repeat this for a 6-day training split. Just be sure to include a rest day or two in there.
You can still gain muscle and strength on this type of training split, and many people do great with it. It should be considered if you’re looking to train less frequently in the week, but still want to work out with intensity.
The Bro Split
When you think of bodybuilding style training, this is what will most likely come to mind. The Bro Split focuses on working one body part per day. For example, you would hit chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, shoulders on Thursday, and arms on Friday. This means that your only focus for training that day, is a single muscle group.
When your goal is maximum muscle growth, this is a really good option as you can dial it in on each muscle group. It’s focused and you’re able to pay attention to detail while also providing the right amounts of volume needed to elicit hypertrophy. Instead of hoping for something to be worked as a secondary muscle, you can directly target what you want to change.
This kind of split could also be great for the person who wants to spend more time in the gym. 6 days of something different will keep you motivated and looking forward to the next lift!
The Bro Split is a classic and works well for people really chasing the volume they need to maximize each muscle’s growth. If this is you, it might be worth a try!
So, What’s Best?
Honestly, there isn’t one that’s better than the other. It comes down to what you need. If you’re just casually training, or you only have a few days a week that you can make it to the gym, then Push-Pull-Legs might be the option for you. If you’re trying to build as much muscle as you can or looking to be a bodybuilder, then you would more than likely benefit the most from the Bro Split.
Your goals, time, and preference all matter when it comes down to choosing your ideal training split. Don’t worry so much about what’s best, instead worry about what you’ll be able to commit to.
Choose the best fit for you and you’ll see the most results. The thing that you can consistently show up for is going to provide the best results. Don’t try and fit yourself into a box just because your friend is doing a certain split. Experient and try things to see what is most ideal for your life and you’ll be making tons of progress. Start here with these two and see what you can take from the experience. You may even find that you can make tweaks to create something even better, just for you!