Yeah, you read the title correctly. And I know that you're scratching your head asking yourself how on earth can a split help you lose weight? There's got to be some catch here. Banana splits are only good for gaining weight not losing it! Well, that's not the kind of split that I'm talking about. I'm referring to a 3-day strength training split which, if you perform correctly, is going to make you stronger, leaner and sexier than you would be from doing a light workout.
Why Do A 3-Day Split Routine?
People who want to lose weight often take up cardio or weight lifting. They do it because exercise is supposed to burn calories and shed fat. And they're not wrong, exercise does burn fat, but if you train infrequently or without much effort, you won't see dramatic physical changes.
That's why it's not uncommon to see people who have been working out in the gym for years who look just about the same as they did when they first signed up. To have noticeable results you need to train hard and train heavy. That's where a 3-day split routine comes in. Here are just a few benefits of the 3-day:
- build muscle
- burn calories
- develop strength
- generate power
Here are just some of the features of a 3-day split:
- intense focus on core muscle groups
- allow for muscle recovery
- performed 3 days each week
How To Do A 3-Day Split Routine
The beauty of this type of routine is that you choose one day in the week to train specific muscle groups and only those groups. The reason for this will become clear in a few minutes. For now, you're going to learn some examples for how to set up a routine.
One thing I want to emphasize is that everyone is different, even though I'm suggesting which groups to train on a given day doesn't mean that you have to pick these groups or that particular day of the week. The main thing you need to remember is to design a routine that you can do three days each week.
Intermediate and advanced trainers please take note that this article is written primarily for newbies but you can pick up some pointers, too.
Now let's get started.
Mondays - upper body focus
This is the day you train your upper body. You're going to focus on chest, shoulder, triceps, biceps and upper back. Now I'm going to talk about some exercises that emphasize these body parts.
flat bench barbell press (chest, triceps, shoulders, abs): warm up with 10 repetitions using the Olympic bar then add 50 pounds. After the warm up set you perform: bar + 50 pounds X 8 repetitions X 5 sets.
dumbbell overhead press (shoulders, triceps): warm up set with light weight dumbbells then perform: 30 pound dumbbells X 8 reps X 5 sets.
chin ups (shoulders, biceps, chest): Do this exercise UNASSISTED. If you use an assisted chin up machine or ask for someone to hold your legs while you exercise, you'll lose much of the benefit of this workout. Grip the bar with palms facing you, make sure that your palms are shoulder width apart. For chin ups: 5 reps X 5 sets.
push ups (chest, triceps, abs): Like the chin up, this is a bodyweight exercise. Perform 8 - 10 reps X 5 sets.
Tuesdays no exercise. Take this day off to allow for muscle recovery.
Wednesdays - legs focus
On Wednesday you return to the gym, this time to train your leg muscles. Good exercises for these muscles are lunges, squat leg press, and the leg press.
lunges (quads, glutes, hamstrings): warm up set without weights. Now choose two 15 pound dumbbells. You will hold one dumbbell in each hand, the dumbbells are added resistance which makes the muscles work harder. Perform body weight + 30 pounds X 10 reps X 5 sets.
barbell squat (glutes, hips, hamstrings): Warm up with 10 reps using only the Olympic bar. Then add 20 pounds. Perform bar + 20 pounds X 6 - 8 reps X 5 sets.
leg press (quads, glutes, hamstrings): Use a leg press for this exercise. Perform 10 reps during your warm up then add 90 pounds. Perform 90 pounds X 10 reps X 5 sets.
Thursdays take a break to allow your muscles to recover.
Fridays - lower body focus
On Friday you're going to train the lower back muscles, glutes, hamstrings and abs. Good exercises for this are the deadlift, one arm dumbbell row and plank.
deadlift (glutes, abs, quads, hamstrings): Do a warm up set of 10 reps using only the Olympic bar. PLace the bar on the floor. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees to pick up the bar. Grip the bar with both hands. Make sure that your back is parallel to the floor. Use your hips to pull the bar from the floor. Don't lock your knees. When you're standing fully upright, lower the bar to the floor again. Now add 50 pounds. Perform bar + 50 pounds X 6 - 8 reps X 5 sets.
one arm dumbbell row (back, abs): For a warm up set, choose a light weight dumbbell. Place your left knee on the bench and your right foot on the floor. The dumbbell should be on the floor by your right leg. Grip the dumbbell with your right hand. While keeping your abs tight, and your back straight, pull the dumbbell upward until it almost touches your ribs. Lower it to within an inch of the floor then repeat. Do this 10 times then choose a 20 pound dumbbell. Perform 20 pounds X 10 reps X 5 sets.
plank (abs, hips, back): This is a body weight exercise. Lie down on your stomach and extend your legs. Now place your forearms under your chest. You'll support your weight on your foreams and the balls of your feet. Keep your back straight. Hold this position for at least 45 seconds then stop. Perform 8 - 10 reps X 5 sets.
Saturday and Sunday Are For Cardio
During the weekends you want to allow your muscles to rest. All of the exercises that I talked about are compound exercises that train multiple muscle groups. Exercises of this type are ideal because they teach muscles to work together so that they will develop naturally. You'll become stronger at a much faster pace than if you performed isolated exercises (think bicep curls). But you need to rest now.
Weight lifting promotes growth because it causes microscopic tearing within the muscle fibers. To repair the damage, the muscles recruit more fibers and this creates more bulk. This is a good thing. On the weekends you can let the muscles recover and focus on 30 minutes of cardio. You can workout on the treadmill, walk in the park or climb stairs.
How Can The 3-Day Split Help Me Lose Weight?
Resistance training requires a lot of energy. You need fuel to keep you going throughout your workout, that fuel comes from the glycogen stored in your muscles. When you're burning fuel you don't store it as fat. Muscle building also requires energy. On your off days, those muscles are repairing themselves, and this speeds up your metabolism. Weight lifting also stimulates testosterone which helps muscles to grow.
Another added bonus is that muscle takes up less space than fat. For example, a 6 foot tall man who weighs 200 pounds and has 25 percent body fat is going to look much heavier than a 6 foot tall man who weighs 200 pounds and has 10 percent body fat. The same goes for women, weight training helps to lower body fat. You don't have to worry about bulking up because women produce less testosterone than men. It would take many years of intense training for women to "bulk up".
This is how the 3-Day Split Routine can help you lose fat fat weight. You'll also need to follow good nutrition and get in plenty of rest, too. Just remember that patience and dedication are key to success. And try to lay off the banana splits.
Make God the foundation of everything you do and you'll have the best results. And don't forget, safety is important! Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
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