BLOG SERIES | Training Splits for Natural Bodybuilding

BLOG SERIES | Training Splits for Natural Bodybuilding

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Dumbbell weights rest on a weight rack inside the Skelton Memorial Fitness Center Jan. 7, 2014. The weight room will close Jan. 9, 2014, as part of the movement of equipment in to the new Fitness Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Gustavo Castillo/Released

Picking the right training split can seem daunting, there are so many people with great physiques in many camps claiming that their approach is THE right way and all is inferior. Whilst this may be good for selling to the converted, it isnt that helpful for those that are starting out, unsure or looking to give another method a try.

What makes a good training split for muscle growth?

A good training routine should be programmatic at some level, balanced and have some way of objectively measuring progress. For Bodybuilding that progression long term is hypertrophy ‘gains’ and perhaps in the short term a notable bump in strength or quality (that's a topic for another day) as an indicator that you are adapting.


U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. James LaCoste, 633rd Force Support Squadron chief career development element, practices a back double bicep pose at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., July 20, 2017. While preparing for a bodybuilding competition, LaCoste opted to not use a trainer or coach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II)


Hypertrophy (muscle growth) is largely a response to mechanical and metabolic stress induced by exercise. At the time of writing it appears that volume of that stress dictates how much you will gain (although its widely accepted that there is as point of diminishing gains). Frequency when volume is matched appears to have little impact. A way to get more volume into a workout is to program for progressive overload and track total for volume. These core principles leaves us with lots of choices and my advice is to chose the one that you prefer… as the one you like to do will more often or not lead to better compliance and adherence (accurately following the program over time).

Example Training Splits / Programming for Hypertrophy;

The following blog post series will detail different approaches for you to try to see which you prefer and which to find out which works best for you.

There are an infinite number of ways to program against these structures below I have included examples of each style;

Programming for Hypertrophy Examples;

There are an infinite number of ways to program against these structures below I have included examples of each style;

Upper Lower (LIVE)

Push Pull Legs (Coming Soon)

All Body (Coming Soon)

Traditional Bodybuilding Split ‘Bro Split’ (Coming Soon)

5x5 (Coming Soon)

German Volume Training (Coming Soon)


About the Author

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Alx Brawn is the owner of Natural Brawn and Instant Lean, an online coach and Natural Bodybuilding Regional Champion. He has over 15 years of training and coaching experience.