Leg day, you say? You can’t move through the online fitness space without seeing at least one meme about it. Pictures of ripped, muscular torsos and skinny, spindly legs. But is it necessary? Does splitting your workouts into leg Mondays, tricep Tuesdays, ab Fridays, and so on – translate into better training?
At EVO, we’re all about the whole-body approach. Functional fitness, with natural movements — but we welcome everyone, of course. So, full-body or split workout? Let’s have a look at the differences between, so you can make a more informed decision about which way you train.
What is a full-body workout?
Just what it sounds like: exercising that aims to work on every major muscle group in one single session. Arms, shoulders, chest, core, legs – everything is targeted. Think HIIT training and boot-camp-style training. Think EVO, of course.
Okay, so what’s a split workout?
Instead of training your entire body, split workouts break down exercises into different areas of the body. For example, you may focus on specific muscles in your legs, back, shoulders, chest… following a training schedule that isolates these muscles on different dates.
The big question: full-body or split workout?
At EVO, we nurture and aim to develop natural human movement. This movement is integrated and uses as many muscles as possible. Standing, squatting, walking, jumping and running are integrated movements. Our goal is to help you reconnect your mind and body to the environment through skilful, purposeful and playful movement. We can’t say, however, that there’s a universally agreed way of exercising. Ultimately, on the question: Full-body or split workout, we have a favourite side, as we’ve stated.
Benefits of full-body workouts
1 – Customisation: Functional full-body workouts allow a more integrated approach to fitness and can help add variation to your training. Get bored with routine exercises? Full-body workouts include everything from swimming to cycling, mountain climbing to martial arts. With so much choice, you’re less likely to plateau with your training – keeping your mindset sharp, as well as your movements.
2 – Time-saving: When you can work out all your major muscles in one single session, you can train more effectively, in a lot less time. The Actual Dream, right? Your body gets more bang for its buck, which is a saviour for time-short exercisers.
3 – Hit more muscle groups: Big compound movements help to stimulate more muscles and torch more calories. If you do this a few times a week, in a variety of rep ranges and workout styles, you’ll hit more body parts at once.
4 – Increases recovery time: When you cover more muscles in fewer sessions, your body has more time for rest. You can do full-body sessions almost every day, while making sure you don’t forget about the importance of rest days, giving your body plenty of time to recover and preventing injuries from over-exercising.
Benefits of split workouts
1 – Hone in on weaker body parts: If you wish to strengthen a specific area of your body, split workouts can really help you pay concentrated attention to one muscle group at a time. This is especially important if you’re injured: split training can help you work around a painful body part, which is often hard to avoid in a full-body class.
2 – Hit specific goals: This is especially important if you are doing strength training. Split workouts allow you to focus on precise muscle groups, targeting and shaping individual areas to build your desired physique.
3 – Mix-and-match: Split training doesn’t have to be clinical. You can switch things up and train different body parts together. For example, shoulders and arms one day, back and legs another. This helps to keep things interesting, so you’re less likely to get bored or plateau in your training.