Full body or split training?

You are motivated and want to start with your strength training or you are not satisfied with your current workout plan and are looking for something new? You will be able to find various good workout routines in which the training is divided in different ways, but which training split fits you best?

Full body

With a full body routine, as the name implies, you will train every muscle groups in every training session. This is often recommended for beginners, as it makes sense to train a muscle group several times a week and perform the exercises often when you start out. Especially in the beginning it is very important to learn the correct technique for the exercises and therefore, to repeat them as often as possible. You should focus on compound exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, as these exercises train several muscle groups at the same time.

But not only beginners, but also advanced athletes, can benefit from a full body routine. Personally, I would recommend a full body routine if you don’t know for sure, how many times a week you can train, because you can cover every muscle group with one workout (even if you miss some workouts, you’ve got at least some full body work done). Also, you can regenerate pretty well with a full body routine, since the strain on the individual muscle groups is not as high as with a training split. However, the disadvantage of this form of training is, that it is harder to focus on your weak points and to train individual muscle groups more intensively.

Training split

Another way to structure your workout, is to split the muscle groups into different workouts, commonly known as split. The possibilities to split your workouts range from 2- to the 5-way split, the number indicates, into how many different workouts you divide your training. For example, in a 3-way-split, you train your back and biceps on one day, your chest and triceps on another, and finally your shoulders and legs on the last day. In a 5-way-split, however, you train only one of the mentioned muscle groups per training session.

The benefit of a training split is, that you can target your weaknesses. You can work your specific muscle groups more intensively, because you can train them with multiple exercises, whereas you usually only have time for one exercise per muscle group with a full body routine (not to mention, you can include isolation exercises that you probably won’t work with, with a full body plan).

The disadvantage of a training split is, that because of the higher strain of your specific muscle groups, more time is necessary for that muscle group to recover. You need to invest more time in order to train each muscle group at least once as well (since you have to do several workouts). Personally, I would recommend a split if you have weaknesses that you want to specifically work on or if you want to put a stronger focus on individual muscle groups in general.


As a beginner, I would not advise you to work with a training split, as it is easier to focus on the important compound exercises with a full body plan (which is very important in the beginning), and thus easier to build a solid foundation. As an advanced athlete, it depends entirely on your preferences, your goals and above all, on your temporal resources, which of the two options is best suited for you.

Do you have questions about these different training forms or do you want to know more about specific training splits? Let me know in the comments!
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One thought on “Full body or split training?

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