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The Best Workout Split for Beginners

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to working out. What works best for one person is not what works best for another person. However, there are some general principles that apply universally, and frequency is one of them.

The single body part workouts are fun. I get it. When I was starting out, I used to do 30+ sets of each body part once per week and I loved it. And I did build muscle. But if I knew then what I know now, I would have done it much differently.

Countless studies have proven that if your volume is equal (the total sets, reps, and weight you do), muscles respond much better to more frequency. You can easily take the same amount of volume you’d have in a single body part workout and spread it out over multiple workouts. It feels weird at first doing much less volume, and it almost feels like you’re cheating yourself, but it’s actually more beneficial!

Working out is an acquired skill. As a beginner, all of these muscle movements are brand new. If you’re trying to learn a new skill, would it make sense to practice one day per week, or three days per week? If you were practicing a sport, would you just practice for 2 hours one day per week, or would it be more beneficial for you to practice 3-4 times during the week? I think the answer is pretty clear!

So, at what point are you no longer a beginner? It’s quite different for everyone, and you can’t automatically put a timeframe on it. But regardless of your level, frequency should always be a focus. I have been working out for over 10 years, so it’s safe to say I am not a beginner. However, I still hit every body part twice per week because I understand that frequency is the most important!

Note that you don’t HAVE to do full body workouts as a beginner, although it is very effective. An upper/lower body split works well for beginners too. As long as your focus is frequency and you are hitting your muscles at least twice per week!

There is a TON more that I can’t cover in one caption, so if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer! In any case, what does your current split look like??

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About Matt Rosenman

With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to debunking health myths, he guides his readers through the maze of fitness fads with science-backed advice. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—proving there's no need for a cheat day when you’re enjoying delicious, better-for-you meals every day. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More