Arnold Split

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Arnold Split
 

What Is the Arnold Split? Should You Do It? Pros, Cons, and Should You Do It?

It's impossible to think about Arnold Schwarzenegger without thinking of bodybuilding. He's one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time, and he's idolized by many current bodybuilders. It's one of the reasons why the Arnold split has become so popular, as it helped him win seven Mr. Olympia championships.

What exactly is the Arnold schism? The Arnold split is a six-day training plan that involves twice-weekly workouts for the chest and back, shoulders and arms, and legs. It's a muscle-building regimen that aims to help you gain muscle mass and improve your overall appearance. It's only for advanced lifters due to the large quantity of volume.


What Is The Arnold Split? Should You Do It? Pros and Cons

Arnold Schwarzenegger is synonymous with bodybuilding. He's one of the most accomplished bodybuilders of all time, and he's idolized by many today. It's one of the reasons the Arnold split has become so popular, as it helped him win seven Mr. Olympia championships.

What is the Arnold split, and how did it happen? The Arnold split is a six-day workout plan in which you train your chest, back, shoulders, and arms twice a week and your legs once a week. It's a muscle-building regimen that will help you gain muscle mass and improve your overall appearance. It's only for advanced lifters because of the large quantity of volume.

You work out six days a week and train each muscle group twice a week with the Arnold split. The Arnold split's standard muscle group breakdown is chest and back, shoulders and arms, and legs. The volume is high, with most exercises having three to four sets and range from six to twenty-five reps each set.

The Arnold split is a more challenging routine that should only be attempted by lifters with at least two years of experience. It also necessitates that you keep track of your nutrition and recovery, and it's not a good fit for folks who have unpredictable training schedules.


Three Advantages of the Arnold Split

1. Using antagonistic muscle groups in a single session helps to prevent fatigue.

One of the advantages of the Arnold split is that you can often exercise opposing muscle groups in the same workout.

For example, you'll do two chest and back workouts per week. Because the workouts that target certain sections of the body employ distinct muscles, you can train them more intensely without devoting an entire day to each.

Furthermore, in exercises that target the shoulders and arms, the chest and back are not the primary muscles involved. Not only can you train your upper body on consecutive days, but you can also train your arms and shoulders while they're well-rested rather than cramming them in at the culmination of a strenuous upper-body workout


2. It takes many days for each muscle group to heal.

Even if you work out six days in a row, completing body part splits allows you to give each muscle group plenty of time to recover before training it again. There should be at least 48 hours between each body part training to allow your muscles to fully heal.


3. It promotes a well-balanced workout.

The Arnold split evenly targets each muscle area, resulting in a well-rounded physique.

You should still be careful about whatever exercises you do — you don't want to do exclusively quad exercises on leg days, for example. However, because you'll be training each muscle group twice a week, you'll be able to devote equal attention to each one. It also allows you to work on your weak areas more frequently, which can help you avoid injuries.


The Arnold Split's 2 Drawbacks

It can take nearly to two hours to finish each workout, depending on how many exercises you do, how long you have to wait for equipment to become available at the gym, and how long you relax in between sets and activities.

It's also critical that you don't miss a training day in order to reap the program's benefits, and working out six days a week can be difficult for some people.


2. There isn't enough space for other hobbies.

A six-day workout schedule leaves little room for various types of workouts during the week.

While you can mix some steady-state cardio into the Arnold split, you won't be able to complete high-impact workouts like HIIT or train for other goals like a marathon. There would simply be insufficient time for you to recover and devote sufficient energy to each aim.


Is The Arnold Split a Good Fit For Me?

The Arnold split isn't for everyone because it's a difficult program that takes a lot of time and effort. The Arnold split may or may not be appropriate for the folks listed below.


Who Do You Think Should Do the Arnold Split?

Bodybuilders working out in preparation for a competition. The Arnold split is inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger's own training in preparation for bodybuilding competitions. The Arnold split may be successful for bodybuilders seeking for a workout that will bring large results.

Lifters with some experience seeking for a new challenge. You can try the Arnold split if you've been lifting for a while and your progress has slowed or you've grown bored with your existing regimen. The mental toughness needed to complete this program will be a challenge that will help you stay motivated.

Anyone who is more concerned with appearance than with strength. The Arnold split is a bodybuilding program for those looking to bulk up and improve their appearance. If you're coming off a strength block and want to undertake a hypertrophy training program for a few months, you can run it.

Beginners should avoid doing the Arnold Split. The Arnold split is not for beginners who are just starting out with their lifting regimen. For beginning lifters, a full-body exercise that can be completed in an hour or less two or three times per week is preferable.

Anyone who has been away from the gym for a long time. You shouldn't start a high-volume program right away if you've been away from the gym for a long time. Your body will require time to adjust to a lifting routine, and you'll need to gradually return to your previous levels.

Anyone with a limited amount of time to exercise. These workouts are strenuous and can last up to two hours. Many individuals break them up and go to the gym twice a day, but for folks with kids or demanding careers, this isn't always realistic. For many folks, even going to the gym six days a week is too much. If you don't have the time to devote to this program, a three-day or four-day training split is recommended instead.

Anyone who has been exhausted as a result of excessive exertion. Someone who has been training at a high level for a long time should not attempt the Arnold split. Before attempting the Arnold split, you should first follow a lower-impact routine for a few months to give both your body and mind a breather.


The Arnold Split: How to Program It

Workout Routine and Muscle Group Breakdown for Arnold

The Arnold split is designed to be done six days a week, with each day focused on a different muscle group. The Arnold split is usually done in the following order:

  • Back and chest
  • Arms and shoulders
  • Lower back and legs

It is entirely up to you whatever days you choose to exercise. The majority of people who follow the Arnold split exercise Monday through Saturday and relax on Sundays.


You can take a rest day after the third day if working out six days in a row is too much for you. The main disadvantage is that you will not be working on a traditional seven-day training program. Some of your rest or training days will carry over into the following week.

Taking a leisure day every three days, for example, might result in the following schedule:

The first week

  • Monday – Chest and back exercises
  • Tuesday – Arms and shoulders
  • Legs and lower back on Wednesday
  • Rest day on Thursday
  • Friday – Back and chest
  • Shoulders and arms on Saturday
  • Legs and lower back on Sunday

Week 2:

  • Monday: Take it easy.
  • Tuesday – Back and chest
  • Wednesday – Arms and shoulders
  • Legs and lower back on Thursday
  • Friday is a rest day.
  • Saturday – Back and chest
  • Shoulders and arms on Sunday

There's nothing wrong with sticking to this schedule if you need a break after three days of training, but most individuals find it more convenient to go to the gym on the same days every week.


How Long Does It Take to Complete the Arnold Split?

I recommend sticking to the Arnold split for a maximum of 16 weeks. After that, it's advisable to deload before moving into a 12- to 16-week strength phase.


Progressions of Arnold Split

There are several methods to progress in terms of volume and weight during the Arnold split's 16 weeks.

I recommend starting with lesser weights when you first begin the program so that you can complete each set while still having 2-3 reps left in the tank. Because of the frequency with which you'll be completing the program, it's best to begin slowly and gradually increase the volume as your body adjusts.

I also suggest increasing the weight on an activity only after you've completed all of the specified reps with correct form. So, if your regimen calls for four sets of six to eight bench presses, you'll only increase your weight on the sets when you completed eight reps without losing technique.

It's entirely up to you how much weight you gain. A reasonable rule of thumb is 5 pounds for upper body exercises and 10 pounds for lower body activities, but you can go higher or lower depending on the movement and how much extra weight you think you can safely take.

If you've lifted weights before but are new to high-frequency or high-volume training, you might want to start by halving the number of sets for the first two weeks and gradually increasing the volume.

Although this isn't how the original plan was designed, most gym-goers will never be able to appear or train like Arnold. In the long run, you'll be more successful if you figure out how to make the routine fit for your specific needs.


Additional Considerations in the Arnold Split

There are numerous training approaches you may incorporate into the Arnold split to help keep your exercises interesting and, in some circumstances, cut the amount of time you spend in the gym.

The Arnold split's emphasis on antagonistic muscle groups in each workout is one of the split's main advantages. This makes supersets simple to implement, in which you execute one exercise and immediately move on to the next with little to no rest in between. Bicep curls and tricep extensions can be combined with incline bench presses or bentover rows.

Supersets may not be more effective at building muscle or increasing calorie expenditure during a workout, according to some studies. They can, however, make your training go by faster. You'll also get some cardio because there's nearly no rest in between each workout.


Drop Sets (Drop Sets)

Drop sets are when you do one set at a given weight for a set number of reps or till failure, then drop the weight for the next set.

Drop set training, like supersets, isn't always superior to performing straight sets when it comes to muscle growth. Drop sets, on the other hand, have been shown to improve muscular endurance and encourage the formation of type I muscle fibers by increasing the amount of time under tension.

It should be noted, however, that training to complete failure is stressful on the CNS and should not be done every workout. If you're going to do drop sets, I'd suggest setting a goal for how many reps you want to get in each set. Then pick weights that allow you to complete all of the recommended reps while still feeling like you could do 2-3 more with good technique.

Arnold Split


Reps at Maximum Effort

Arnold did a lot of max effort reps throughout his training. He'd begin an activity with a high number of reps, then gradually increase the weight and decrease the reps until he couldn't do more than one. He'd accomplish this by using a 20-15-10-8-5-3-1-1 pyramid rep pattern.

Max effort reps, like drop sets, should not be done every day or even every week. Max effort training is hard, and performing it too often will slow your recovery and put you at danger of injury. It should only be used at the end of a training cycle or to assist you break through a plateau temporarily.


Periodization that is undulating

The Arnold split lets you to work your shoulders and arms while they're still fresh, as I said previously.

I also noted that because you're not focused on the same muscle groups in each workout, you can train the upper body on consecutive days.

Many chest and back workouts, however, indirectly work the shoulders, biceps, and triceps. As a result, you may find it difficult to recover quickly enough after your chest and back day to train your shoulders and arms.

Using undulating periodization to change the intensity of each workout is one approach to get around this. The first day's chest and back workout can be done at a high intensity, while the next day's shoulder and arm training can be done at a lesser level.

You'll do the exact reverse later in the week. Your chest and back days will be lower intensity, while your shoulder and arm days will be higher intensity.

Even though you'll still workout your upper body on consecutive days, you'll be able to better regulate your exhaustion and avoid burnout.


What Are the Chances That The Arnold Split Will Produce Positive Results?

The outcomes of a 16-week Arnold split program will be determined by how faithfully you follow the program. Your outcomes will also be influenced by your genetics, previous exercise experience, diet, recovery, and other lifestyle factors.

You can add 4-8 pounds of muscle if you eat enough calories, avoid excessive activity, get adequate sleep, and manage the stressors of daily life effectively. You may gain fat as well, but by doing a lean bulk, you may reduce it to a minimum.

Because the Arnold split involves four upper body training days per week, you may observe a greater development in muscle building in your upper body than in your bottom body. However, if you keep a high volume with your leg exercises, your legs will expand quite a bit.

You will also become stronger, despite the fact that this is not a strength-based program. Hypertrophy training improves muscle hypertrophy while simultaneously increasing its ability to carry bigger weights. This is also why, when you finish the Arnold split, I recommend performing a strength block.


Is There A Difference Between The Arnold Split And PPL?

PPL and the Arnold split are not the same thing. The only thing the two regimes have in common is that they both feature dedicated leg days.

When it comes to upper-body training, each split's workouts target distinct muscle groups. The Arnold split focuses on training antagonistic muscle groups in the same workout, such as the chest and back. A PPL regimen divides the muscles into groups depending on their functions, such as pushing or pulling.


Is Arnold's Split Working?

The Arnold split is a powerful hypertrophy workout. Because each muscle group is trained twice a week, you can grow muscular mass and size in a relatively short period of time.


When doing the Arnold Split, how much should you eat?

When following the Arnold split, the number of calories you need to consume is extremely individual. However, as a general guideline, you should eat at least at maintenance, if not in excess, to maximize the muscle-building benefits of the Arnold split.


When doing the Arnold Split, do you have to work out twice a day?

When adopting the Arnold split, some people do two-a-days so they don't have to spend as much time in the gym for each session, especially if they also do cardio. But it's not required, and you don't have to go to the gym twice a day if you can't or don't want to.


Last Word

The Arnold split isn't for everyone, but if you adhere to it and keep other essential factors like nutrition and recovery under control, you may increase your physique and strength.

If the volume or frequency of your training is too much for you, you can always take a mid-week rest day or use undulating periodization to control your training intensity. This will help you stick to the six-day divide without growing exhausted.

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