2. Improves recovery between training sessions
When employing the split body training method we train our muscle almost every day and even when our training session is only dedicated to, for example, back and triceps, other muscle groups also get stimulated at a smaller level, like biceps, chest, and shoulders. The majority of natural lifters will find it very difficult to recover from such training sessions, despite the fact that different body parts are activated in each training session.
When the lifter is again ready to train, for example, shoulders, which he trained earlier in the same week, he has already trained directly and indirectly this muscle group more than two or three times. If the lifter switched to full body training, he could extend his rest days to three, sometimes four days per week, instead of the usual one to two. It’s important to note that some full body training programs rely on training two days per week, training the whole body in each session. But for some people, this may not be enough, so one more day of training is recommended in which weaker muscle groups could be given more stimulus to catch up.
3. Enables you to train more often
Full body training is also very suitable for more advanced lifters who need greater training volume and training frequency. Lots of strength training professionals think that the more we activate a muscle, the more likely this muscle will grow. With full body training we can target each muscle up to 4 times per week.
To get the same level of frequency with split body training we’ll be forced to train two to three times a day. But, as we mentioned earlier, to achieve maximal muscle growth recovering properly is essential, so it’s generally recommended that such an increase in training frequency should be used by experienced lifters only who occasionally need to shock their muscle to get them growing again.
4. It saves time
The majority of people nowadays hardly find the time to commit themselves fully to five to six workout sessions per week. Considering the time it takes to get to the gym, waiting for a machine and all the preparations related to gym training, lots of people are under constant pressure to cram all of their workout sessions in. This additional stress has a direct negative impact on cultivating motivation for training and improving recovery. On the other hand, with two or three full body training sessions per week, which saves up a lot of time, we find ourselves in a much better position to complete all workouts while having enough time to focus on other aspects of our lives, especially to making a proper recovery.
5. It increases the anabolic hormone response
If done correctly, with as much intensity as possible and the right amount of sets and reps to elicit and acute anabolic response, full body training can force muscle growth throughout the whole body in just one training session. One of the underlying mechanisms which are responsible for this effect is the natural manipulation of hormones, i.e. whenever the whole body is trained in a systemic fashion through the activation of large muscle groups in one training session, this results in an acute increase in the plasma concentrations of anabolic hormones, especially testosterone. Exercising large muscle groups like your back and legs, with relatively heavy weight creates a similar result, even though full body training will greatly accentuate the effect.
The final verdict
Even though, as explained above, full body training is an effective training approach to building more muscle, there are some guidelines which have to be followed in order to maximize its benefits:
1. Do at least two full body sessions per week.
2. Schedule an additional day to hit the weak muscle groups.
3. Begin each training session with a different muscle group, to add variety and intensity.
4. Most important, make sure that you train with maximum intensity in every set for all exercises.
To give a definitive answer to the question of what is better, full body or split body training, one can say that both training approaches have equal merit. Both produce results and can be utilized to build an impressive physique. Keeping this in mind and in order to prevent your body from adapting to your program and reaching a training plateau, which significantly slows down the muscle building process, you should try full body training for 3 months, and then follow a split routine for another 3 months. You can repeat this cycle as much as you want. The main thing to remember is to find out what works for your body type and tweak the program in order to continue progressing.