How many of your weekly training splits look like this? Monday is chest (obviously), Tuesday is back, Wednesday is legs or shoulders, Thursday is whatever you didn’t do on Wednesday, and Friday is arms. Oh, and somewhere in there you throw in abs.
If your splits are this predictable, chances are your muscles have figured them out, too—which is why you’re not seeing the results you want.
If you want to kick-start new muscle growth and start seeing serious results, you need to change things up and not be afraid to break away from tradition. Shock your system with these unique and unusual splits—and get on the path to better progress and bigger results.
Split 1: Pair Upper With Lower
Some athletes pair up two muscle groups a day—which can be easier on a training schedule—but they usually only pair up groups that are close together, like chest and triceps or back and biceps. Splits are an opportunity to focus on specific muscle groups, so why not train a lower body muscle group along with an upper body?
Your back is already prepared to work after deadlifts, so why not train back and hamstrings together so you can work the entire posterior chain? Quads are a big muscle group that take a lot of energy to train, so pair them with a smaller area like shoulders. Since you’re already fatigued, you can give your lower body a break and isolate the delts.
Give this weekly routine a try for a month and see if you notice the results. If anything, you’ll challenge your muscles to work together in different ways and earn a total-body pump in every workout!
Day 1: Quads and Shoulders
Day 2: Calves and Arms
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Back and Hamstrings
Day 5: Chest and Abs
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Off
Split 2: Isolate The Lower-Body Groups
If you consider your lower body your weakness, pay attention. What do we do if we think an upper body group is lacking? We split up every muscle group and devote a special workout to it early in the split.
Why not treat your legs the same way? If your legs are your weak area, break them up into three focused workouts and pair up all the upper-body groups on the other days.
Here’s what that split would look like:
Day 1: Quads
Day 2: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Day 3: Hamstrings, Glutes
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Back, Biceps
Day 6: Calves, Abs
Day 7: Off
Split 3: All About Abs
It’s true that abs are made in the kitchen, but you need to show them some love in the gym, too. Have you ever considered breaking your abs down into sub-groups like upper, lower, and obliques? This would help you commit more time to training this crucial area without spending a lot more time in the gym.
Analyze your core and decide what needs the most work—your lower abs, for example. Train that area first in the week. Two days later, train another area, and before your off day, train the final area.
Here’s what that split might look like for you:
Day 1: Lower Abs and Back
Day 2: Shoulders
Day 3: Legs and Upper Abs
Day 4: Chest
Day 5: Obliques and Arms
Days 6: Off
Day 7: Off
Try changing things up! You’ll be surprised at how much difference it makes.