What is a BRO SPLIT workout, and are they effective for muscle development?
The classic bodybuilding "bro split" has been a tremendously successful training approach for decades, and it's still a very popular method for individuals looking to bulk up.
What Is A Bro Split, Exactly?
Simply, you'll exercise each muscle once each week over the course of 4-6 workouts with the traditional "bro split."
This might be done in a variety of ways, but here's one example...
- Monday: We're back!
- Chest on Tuesday
- Quads/Hamstrings on Wednesday
- Shoulders/Calves on Thursday
- Biceps/triceps on Friday
- Saturday: Relaxation
- Rest on Sunday.
This is simply one possibility among many.
Unlike a basic full-body routine, upper/lower split, or legs/push/pull split, bro splits focus on just one or two muscle groups per workout, with a lower overall training frequency of just once per week, as opposed to the two or three times per week you'd get from most other popular training methods.
Are Bro Splits Good For Muscle Building?
Bro splits have been criticized in the bodybuilding industry in recent years as a "waste of time" for those attempting to grow muscle healthily.
This type of exercise is considered to be only ideal for "enhanced" bodybuilders, and that with natural bodybuilding, a program that hits each specific muscle group at a higher frequency will result in faster and more efficient improvement.
Overall, this is essentially correct; working each muscle group once per week is probably not the best technique for the ordinary natural trainee who wants to grow as quickly as possible. This is because, if you're following a good muscle-building diet, a muscle doesn't need a full week of rest to properly recover from the previous session.
In most circumstances, 3-4 days will be sufficient for complete recuperation and growth, at which point the muscle can be trained again.
When you use the once-week bro split method, you essentially leave your completely recovered muscles “idle” for several days out of every week, when they could be exercised again and a fresh “growth period” triggered, but instead are left to rest.
You won't lose muscle during those few extra days of rest (true muscle loss normally occurs after at least a couple of weeks of inactivity), but you won't be able to reach your full potential.
For example, if you conducted a chest workout twice a week utilizing a basic upper/lower split, you'd get 104 individual “growth periods” for that muscle over the course of a year, vs 52 growth periods if you just did it once a week.
I'm not claiming that this will practically double your progress, but for most lifters, a higher workout frequency would almost certainly be a more efficient way to train.
This is why, as I detail in my entire Body Transformation Blueprint approach, I normally prescribe a full body routine three times per week or an upper/lower body split three to four times per week for the typical rookie lifter.
This type of regimen allows you to hit those muscles at a higher frequency of 1.5 to 3 times per week, while still getting enough total volume and “focus” for each specific muscle in a given workout.
You may believe that I am absolutely opposed to the use of bro splits and that they should be avoided at all costs, but this is not the case.
When Should A Bro Split Be Used?
So, we've established that a traditional bro split is probably not the best technique for people looking to gain muscle as rapidly as possible, because it effectively under-trains each specific muscle on a weekly basis.
However, just because a bro split isn't ideal doesn't imply it isn't useful or successful.
When it boils down to it, any bodybuilding strategy that allows you to train a given muscle with enough volume/intensity and allows for progressive overload over time will result in consistent growth and strength improvements.
A standard bro split accomplishes this, and many lifters (including myself) have seen large, consistent gains week after week employing this method.
Although an ordinary beginner or novice employing a bro split would not gain muscle as quickly as they would on a higher frequency plan, they will still make significant gains.
A 4-6 day per week bro split is just a more pleasurable way to work out for many lifters, and one that leaves them feeling more thrilled and motivated to workout.
There's something appealing about being able to go to the gym and really "pump up" just one or two muscles with a wider variety of exercises and total sets, and if this workout style improves your overall adherence to your program and you simply prefer it, I don't see anything wrong with using it, even for intermittent training cycles.
I'd also point out that, while the differences in overall growth between a lifter employing a bro split and one using a higher frequency routine would likely be noticeable in the early phases of the training program, they will eventually balance out.
Because there are severe diminishing returns in muscle growth the longer one has been exercising, and because a natural trainee can only pack on a finite amount of muscle in the first place, this is the case.
You'll hear various figures, but a decent rule of thumb is that for every year you've been continuously exercising, your pace of muscular growth should reduce by about 50%.
As you get closer to realizing your genetic potential, your gains will naturally slow down until you reach a position where gaining a pound or two of lean tissue over the course of a year is regarded an accomplishment.
So, while an upper/lower or legs/push/pull routine would almost certainly produce faster gains "out of the gate," the differences between that and a standard bro split would likely be minimal after 5+ years of hard training and proper nutrition, since both approaches would still allow one to achieve gains close to their genetic potential over the long term.
How To Bro Split A Scientifically Supported Bro Split
Each session, add one heavy compound movement.
Make the heavy compound belong to a different body part than the others.
Combine similar movements.... Begin your arms session with some body weight exercises.... Use specialty sets sparingly.... Increase the frequency of core training.
Is it possible for a bro split to work?
You may also provide ample time to recover between sessions if you program appropriately, so you can continue to train effectively. Bro Splits can be effective, thus the answer is yes. However, there's nothing particularly magical about separating workouts this way that makes them significantly better.
Why are Bro splits so popular?
It's also likely why bros prefer bro splits: they feel like they work harder, and because they're hurting, they believe they can't train at higher frequency. Everything bros do is usually based on how they feel, which they then rationalize with pseudoscience, often known as broscience.
Which is better: Bro split or push pull legs?
Push pull legs is the training split that many individuals are yearning for. Although there is no "optimal" training split, pushing, pulling, and legs comes close. A full-body training split may still be the ideal way to exercise if you're a beginner (less than 2 years of training experience).
Is a Bro Split Beneficial for Fat Loss?
The bro split workout has some distinct advantages over full-body workouts. It's also a good alternative for intermediate to advanced lifters who want to bulk up. The bro split is also a simple approach to increase your training frequency and burn more calories during the week. As a result, it can help you lose weight.
Who should utilize the bro split method?
If you enjoy the concept and want something to motivate you to go to the gym and get moving 5 days a week, the Bro Split is for you. PPL is for you if you're only concerned with growing muscle and not with the process of getting there.
Is it true that Bro split is superior for hypertrophy?
The Bro Split works best for hypertrophy goals, so if that's what you're after, this is a perfect alternative. This split is famous among bodybuilders for a reason: it works well for serious bodybuilding!
Why do bodybuilders split their weeks into five days?
A five-day split is likely the finest exercise split for muscle building since it allows you to maximize training volume and focus on each muscle group while still allowing you to take ample rest days each week.
What does the term "Bro Split" mean?
Any training plan (or "split") that trains separate body regions (or muscle groups) on different days is known as a "bro split." Train your arms one day, chest the next, shoulders the third, and so on.
Is a six-day separation excessive?
The most efficient 6-day split, however, is one that works each muscle group at least twice a week, according to most experts. This is why a six-day break is so enticing. With a 6-day split, those who have adequate recovery practice can maximize protein synthesis.
What is the optimum hypertrophy split?
Hypertrophy is best achieved by pounding your muscle groups twice a week, according to studies. Because you have fewer muscle groups to focus on than on upper body days, the upper lower split is particularly good for growing your legs. You can really hammer your legs on lower body days.
What is the best cutting split?
When reducing, I recommend most lifters take a 4-5 day exercise split. My preferred splits are a 4-day (upper, lower, upper, lower) or a 5-day split with a lifter training most muscle groups at least twice each week.
Is 12 sets per week sufficient?
According to Krieger's research on training volume, maximal muscular growth can be achieved by training each muscle 2–3 times per week for six sets every workout, for a total of 12–18 sets per muscle per week.
Should I do my leg workout in two parts?
If you plan on doing two leg-day workouts per week, it's a good idea to divide your training into two days: one for glutes and hamstrings and another for quads. That way, you can have a full day of intensive and heavy training before moving on to the next leg session.
Should I break up my workouts?
Split training involves working out one body part more intensely, then resting for several days before working out the same body part again. If you only have an hour to workout each day, a split plan will allow you to focus on one or two muscle groups each day with more sets and heavier weights.
What is the origin of the term bro split?
Bro Splits: Their History
Eugen Sandow and the first major generation of physical culturists generally credited full-body workouts for igniting interest in gym cultures in the early 1900s. That is, when you workout your entire body in each session, as the name implies.
Is it okay to go to the gym seven days a week?
If you're bodybuilding and strength training seven days a week, for example, you're not giving your muscles a chance to recover. Because you are pushing your body so hard in this situation, you run the danger of damage. With that stated, working out seven days a week is fine if done properly.
What's the finest six-day workout schedule?
The Six-Day Breakdown
- Legs on Monday.
- Tuesday: Arms and Chest.
- Back and Shoulders on Wednesday.
- Legs on Thursday.
- Chest and Arms on Friday.
- Back and Shoulders on Saturday.
- Sunday: no plans.
What is the optimal strength split?
Push/pull/legs is a popular training split that involves pushing muscles (chest, shoulder, triceps), pulling muscles (back, biceps, forearms, abs), and lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves' w/ abs) the following day. Add in rest days as needed while avoiding missing any days.
These are the main takeaways from the debate over a bro split vs. a complete body, upper/lower, or LPP.. A bro split will probably not be your best option if your objective is to make the most rapid and efficient improvement possible regardless of the regimen.
Instead, do something that targets each muscle twice a week, such as an upper/lower 3-4 times per week if you're a beginner, or legs/push/pull 4-5 times per week if you're a bit more skilled.
If you simply like a bro split because it's more fun and motivating for you, and you're aware that it won't be ideal for gaining muscle (at least in the short term), but you'd rather use it nevertheless, the choice is entirely yours.
There's nothing wrong with employing a bro split; you'll still see considerable gains (as long as it's done correctly, and you track your bulking development accurately over time), though it may take you longer to see the same results as someone who trains more frequently.
Finally, it comes down to analyzing your alternatives, comparing the benefits and drawbacks, and determining which type of training is best for you.