Training splits are funny old things, you want to hit biceps after back because they are already half done, but then you feel this doesn’t enable you to push your biceps hard enough. Ideally you would train 5 days a week but you can only get to the gym 3 times a week, what a palaver! So how do you put together an effective training split? There is no straight forward answer to this.
Deciding on your training split comes down to your weaknesses, strengths, and the amount of time you can afford to spend in the gym each week and what your goals are. For example, if your arms are very weak to look at you don’t want to be doing biceps after back and triceps after chest. You would want a separate arm day where you could go in fresh and annihilate as many muscle fibres in your arms as at all possible!
However, above all of these factors there is a much more significant element which SHOULD dictate when you train what. Recovery! Have you ever found yourself 7 days into the future since your last back workout, yet your back still feels as though Mike Tyson borrowed it for a power punching session!? This is a common occurrence for many athletes and it isn’t necessarily due to over training or bad eating, or even a lack of supplements, it is purely because you had such a productive workout the muscles need those extra couple of days to recover. In this instance do you just solider on and train that body part anyway? You shouldn’t!
Training with instinct is important, if your muscle feels as though it needs an extra day to recover then allow it the time to do so! You can still follow a training split all you have to do is apply common sense where it is needed.
In my experience I have become more inclined to train each muscle group as it feels necessary! This means that although I may be due to hit biceps and triceps, the fact that they feel very sore from my back or chest workout means I will train legs instead. As long as I hit every muscle group every 7-9 days I am happy and I feel this is a good way to approach your training. If you force the case sometimes it can have a ‘snowball’ effect where next week the muscle becomes even more tired and feels even sorer. As a result you may even start to experience a niggle in this area permanently. Train with your instinct and use your training split as a guide, not as gospel!