5 day split workout for bodybuilding
Split workouts for bodybuilding differ from the full body workout in so much as the full body workout asks bodybuilders and strength athletes to exercise and exhaust all major muscles groups in a single workout. The 5 day split workout splits major muscle groups into their own workout, allowing bodybuilders to total bombard muscle groups before resting each body part for a full 7 days.
5 day split workout: The benefits
The 3 day split workout and the 4 day split workout require bodybuilders to pair large muscle groups (e.g. Legs) with smaller muscles groups (e.g. shoulders) in a single workout. The 5 day split workout takes this idea one step further. The 5 day split workout allows bodybuilders and strength athletes to dedicate each workout to a single muscle group and body part rather than pairing muscle groups together.
This means bodybuilders and the like can focus each workout on a particular muscle group. This allows bodybuilders to hit each muscle group from a wide variety of angles and with a wide variety of exercises, safe in the knowledge that each muscle group has a full week to recover before its next workout.
To maintain and promote anabolic hormone release (the hormones that allow the body to grow and add muscle), each bodybuilding workout should last no longer than 45 - 60 minutes. Employing the 5 day split workout bodybuilders are able to increase the training volume on each muscle group and still complete each workout within 60 minutes. This is something that wouldn't be possible if a bodybuilder used the full body workout or the 2 day split. Adding new exercises to these workouts would push bodybuilders over the 60 minute training mark, promoting the release of catabolic hormones (the hormones that allow the body to breakdown muscle mass into readily available fuel).
5 day split workout: Choosing the exercises
The 2 day split workout allows bodybuilders to choose 2 exercises per muscle group. The 3 day split and 4 day split workouts allow bodybuilders to choose 3 to 4 exercises per workout respectively. So it stands to reason that the 5 day split workout should allow bodybuilders to choose 5 exercises per muscle group. However, this, perhaps, isn't the case.
Training each muscle group with 5 different exercises in each workout could lead to overtraining, even if there are 7-days recovery after each workout. So the suggestion is that the 5 day split shouldn't mean that the number of exercises per muscle group are increased by that rather the intensity of each exercise increases - including drop sets, negative reps, rest-pause sets, pyramid sets, supersets etc to total exhaust each muscle group per workout.
When choosing specific exercises for a 5 day split workout plan, bodybuilders should look to mix compound movements to increase muscle mass as well as isolation exercises to target each muscle individually and to shape each muscle accordingly.
For example, when training the legs bodybuilders could perform the following compound exercises - squats, leg press, stiff leg deadlift to develop strength and muscle mass and isolation exercises, including leg extensions, leg curls and calf raises to shape and add definition to each area.
5 day split workout: The workout
As the name suggests the 5 day split workout sees bodybuilders visit the gym a total of 5 times a week, with each workout concentrating on training a particular muscle group. As with the 4 day split workout, bodybuilders have a large variety of training options. However, unlike the 4 day split workout, the 5 day split workout sees bodybuilders only exercise a particular body part per session. So for example:
- Day 1 - Chest
- Day 2 - Legs
- Day 3 - Back
- Day 4 - Shoulders
- Day 5 - Arms
Alternatively, the 5 day split could look like this:
- Day 1 - Legs
- Day 2 - Back
- Day 3 - Chest
- Day 4 - Shoulders
- Day 5 - Arms
The second example is a good way to organise your sessions as this workout plan sees bodybuilders exercise the muscle groups in size order - legs being the bodies largest muscle group and the muscles of the arms (biceps and triceps) being amongst the smallest muscle groups.
Such a workout plan would mean that bodybuilders train their largest muscles as the being of the week after a day or two of rest and recovery.
5 day split workout: Organising your training week
It is possible to create a 5 day split in a wide number of ways. However, perhaps the most benefical way is to train each muscle group on consecutive days, thus allowing 2 full days of rest on days 6 and 7. So:
Monday - Legs
Tuesday - Back
Wednesday - Chest
Thursday - Shoulders
Friday - Arms
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - Rest
Including 2 days rest after 5 days training will allow bodybuilders to fully recover after an intense bout of weight training. Alowing two days back-to-back rest will also allow bodybuilders to fully replenish energy stores as well as motivate them to hit the gym hard again on the following Monday, just in time to train the bodies largest muscle group again.
5 day split workout: Training intensity
We have already touched upon training intensity when discussing the 3 day split and 4 day split workouts. The options available to bodybuilders are the same when employing the 5 day split workout. They include:
How to performance
Perform all reps with perfect technique but as your strength diminishes use momentum to move the weight for a number of additional reps
Perform your set as normal but once you have reached muscle failure, stop for 15 seconds before lifting the same weight again and work to muscle failure once again.
Choose a weight that is slightly heavier than your normal weight. Perform a set to muscle failure and then immediately strip the bar or dumbbells of some weight before carrying on without any rest.
Pair two exercises for the same muscle group together. Perform the first exercise as normal and then follow this by performing the next exercise without any rest.
Choose two exercises for the same muscle group - one compound exercise and one isolation exercise. perform the isolation exercise followed by the compound movement without rest.
It must be stressed that these techniques should only be used sparingly. Bodybuilders should aim to include one of these techniques in every other workout at most otherwise they risk overtraining, a situation which will reduce and even stop further developments in muscle mass development.
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