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The Body Part Split is Dead

Hello guys. In this article, we will be discussing the third installment of the split series. This time we will talk about the body part or the “Bro” split.

I believe by now you already figured out that if are interested in building muscle and losing fat you should aim the proper training split that is suitable for your schedule, your goals, and your preferences.

In this split series, we previously covered two of the most known bodybuilding splits: The Full Body split or the old school split as I like to call it because back in time this split was everyone go to split. Today, however, it is labeled as the beginners split. We also talked about Push/Pull/Legs split   and how it may be the single best split to build muscle mass and I tried to explain to you the reasons that make it stands out. Now it is time to talk about everyone favorite split: the body parts split or the “bro” split.

This split essentially means that you will train each body part in a separate day. For instance, chest on Monday then back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, shoulders on Friday and arms in Saturday is a very common combination around the gyms. Also, some people like throw in some biceps, triceps or any small muscle training at the end of the sessions. For instance, chest and biceps and back and triceps are a very common combo. But a typical bro split will be:

Typical Body Part Split

Monday: chest

Tuesday: back

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: rest

Friday: Shoulders

Saturday: arms

Sunday: rest

The Merits of The Body Part Split

As you can see, you hit only one muscle group per session and only once a week. Personally, I think that this split has some limitations, especially for Natural trainees. But it still has its merits. For instance, it does allow a proper rest for each individual muscle group. This will promote recovery and help you avoid injuries and overstressing of certain muscle groups.

Also, another benefit for the body part split is that it allows for a greater amount of volume and a great local muscle pump. That probably why most bodybuilders and gym rats dig it. I mean who doesn’t like a to feel his biceps when they are about to explode, or that triceps pump you can feel them climbing behind your back. Also, recent studies have confirmed that the pump actually does help in hypertrophy via Cell swelling. Cell swelling is another mechanism of hypertrophy different than the classic muscle tension and muscle damage in its action.

Until now it is all nice and sexy. But, the truth of the matter is that the body part split might not be the split for you if you are an intermediate or advanced natural trainee. wonder why is that, then keep reading.

The Limits Of The Body parts Split

While body part split routines do provide a good training stimulus in the beginning, when you have been training seriously for over a year you most likely have completed your rookie gains season. Now it is time to kiss goodbye those insane rapid gains. You will get to know the harsh truth which is that muscle building is a slow process and it does take time and that you need to get everything in order to get results. That includes choosing the right split. I mean after all everything works for new lifters and pro bodybuilders who get some “extra help” and the “bro” split is no exception. But for the rest of us, we need to look for another optimized method.

Besides its fame, as the bodybuilders go to split, the body part split is really more suited to gym newbies and drug-enhanced bodybuilders. I will try to explain to you why I am dissing your favorite split and why it might be the reason holding you back from some serious muscle and strength gains.

1-Insufficient Training Frequency:

It is true that during body part workouts you are able to do more exercises per muscle group and do more volume. Now imagine if instead of doing 4 exercises of 3 sets for a  biceps workout, you will do 3 exercises of 3 sets in one session and do 3 more in the next session in the same week. That will round up to about 18 sets of biceps work compared to 12 in the first example, that is my friend 50% more volume each week and you will not even feel it.

Also, recent studies by Mr. Brad Schoenfeld, who is the superstar and the leading scientist and researcher when it comes to exercise physiology and exercise nutrition has confirmed that a higher training frequency produced superior results in hypertrophy compared to once a week training. Schoenfeld et.Al. In their study “Effects of resistance training frequency on measures of muscle hypertrophy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” published in the journal of sports medicine November 2016, volume 46, issue 11, pp 1689–1697. Indicates that training each muscle two times per week is superior to training once per week when it comes to muscle gains. This is very interesting since a lot of famous strength coaches has been preaching that for a long time ago and claiming it was superior, even old-school bodybuilders like Arnold and Frank Zane trained their muscles at least twice a week, I mean it makes sense after all.

2-Fewer Opportunities To Perfect Form:

Exercise form is the most neglected training variable around the gym. I mean just look around and you will notice scrawny dudes throwing big weights around with a shitty form, in the other hand you find guys like Kai green training with somewhat lighter weights with a magnificent form. whoever you like it or not, your exercise form matter and it may be the reason why you didn’t add remarkable size in the last few years and perfecting it may lead you to a new world of gains.

Guys, lifting weight is a skill. skills only get better with practice, I mean you don’t expect to become the best guitar player in the world by practicing only once a week. Exactly, and the same applies to weight training. you need to practice exercises often to increase neuromuscular efficiency which means in plain English your ability to recruit muscle fibers faster. Increased neuromuscular efficiency will lead to a greater force output and thus better strength and muscle gains.

3-It Is Not Applicable For Regular Folks:

Seriously, if you are going to hit a body part once a week you need to make sure you hit every last muscle fiber in that muscle. To do that with muscle such as Back you will need a variety of exercises and more sets and reps. And unless you are a pro bodybuilder whose job is to workout you wouldn’t be willing to spend 2-3 hours in the gym completing a back workout.

Also, people often have other shit going o their lives so you may happen to miss a workout. maybe your two months old baby got a fever and you spent  the night at the emergency, maybe your work was lagging behind and now you need to spend the whole night on your desk doing paper, or what about the college student who has an organic chemistry exam in two weeks and now he needs to learn all about chair conformation and eclipsed structures, do you think he will be in the mood for a 2 hours leg workout that will send him early to bed and never wake up until the next day .

Now figure that any of those scenarios happen, what will you do? if you gonna skip it, that body part won’t be trained in two weeks which is not good for both strength and size, and this when splits like the full body split and the push/pull/legs shine. because in as little as 3 training sessions per week you will be able to hit every muscle in your body. So in case you had an emergency, you won’t leave any muscle dormant for a long period of time. That is why I think that body part splits are not that optimal for regular joes.

4-Adaptation:

As with every split, the body will eventually adapt to any new stimulus. This includes the body part split, so chances are if you have been training with this split for the past two years your body may already be adapted to it. Now, since it doesn’t stress your body that much anymore, you may need to change it in order to introduce new stress to your body. You may think that changing your workout themselves will cut it, but it is really not the case because your body is smart and in order to truly shock it then you need to come at him with something completely different.

Also, remember later on after you try some of the other splits for some time and use them to shock your body into making new gains in strength and hypertrophy. You still can return back the body part split which will be an available option for you then, the only difference is at that time you will benefit more from it.

Now let ’s conclude the article with the pros and cons of the body part split or the bro split and I hope you are convinced that your favorite split might be your biggest setback and that you may want to change it.

Here is your recap:

Body part split pros:


-it allows a proper concentration on individual muscle groups

-introduce a good training stimulus at the beginning

-it is very beneficial to beginners and drug user

-it is more enjoyable for most trainees

Body part split cons:


-insufficient training frequency

-fewer opportunities to perfect your lifting form

-it is not very applicable to regular people

-as with every split, your body will eventually adapt to it.

Here you have it guys, until next time.

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