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Transitioning From a Full Body Routine to Split Routine

Dear Dr. Bell, I’ve been lifting consistently for about 6 months. I have made great improvement all across the board. When do you recommend is a good time to transition from full body routines to split routines? Are there certain benefits to each?

You could have already begun split routines. Depending on various factors of a personal training client, such as age, gender, physical condition, nutrition and lifestyle habits, exercise history, training goals, etc., will determine how quickly I would transition the client. For example, an 18-year-old, competitive Football (American) player, who is a healthy male, in good shape, I would transition to Split Routines by week 3 or 4.

If my personal training clients was a 65-year-old woman, who has never exercised before and is only interested in improving her health, I may never transition to splits…unless she decides she wants to enter Bikini Contests.

The benefits of Fully Body Programs are they have the least demands on time for a busy personal training client who can only give you 2 or 3 days/week.

The benefits of Split Programs are the greater Frequency, Intensity & Time (volume of exercise) and the Recovery Time you need between exercise sessions to greatly increase Performance Gains in potentially all 12 IFPA Components of Fitness. Most clients want to gain at least some strength, cardiovascular fitness, muscle size and of course, lose fat. Splits enable you to do all of the above much faster, safer and more effectively than Full Body Programs.