Is The Bro Split Effective

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Is The Bro Split Effective


Simply, you'll exercise each muscle once a week over the course of 4-6 workouts with the traditional bro split.

This might be written out in a variety of ways, but here's one example.

  • Monday Back
  • Tuesday Chest
  • Wednesday Legs
  • Thursday Shoulders
  • Friday: Biceps and Triceps
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off

This is just one of many possibilities.

Bro splits, unlike a basic full-body routine, upper/lower split, or legs/push/pull split, focus on just one or two muscle groups per workout, with a lower overall training frequency for those muscles 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 a Good Way to Gain Muscle?

Bro splits have received a lot of flak in the bodybuilding industry in recent years for being 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 very accurate; hitting each muscle group once a week is probably not going to be 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 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 Is It Appropriate To Use A Bro Split?

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 effective or that it doesn't function.

When it boils down to it, any bodybuilding method 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.

This can be accomplished with a typical bro split, and many lifters (including myself) have seen significant, consistent gains week after week with this strategy.

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 method to work out for many lifters, and one that leaves them feeling more thrilled and motivated to work out.

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 if only 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 They will gradually balance out during the early stages of the training program.

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 a variety of 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.

These, in my opinion, are the most important takeaways from the debate over a "bro split" vs. a complete body, upper/lower, or LPP...

1) If your aim is to make the most rapid and efficient improvement possible regardless of the routine, a bro split is probably not the best option for you.

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 little more accomplished.

2) If you simply prefer a bro split because you find this kind of training to be more enjoyable and motivating for you, and you're aware that it won't be ideal for muscle growth (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, and you'll still see significant gains (as long as it's done correctly, and you're measuring your bulking development accurately over time), though it may take you a little longer to see the same results as someone who trains more frequently.

Finally, it's just a matter of assessing your alternatives, comparing the benefits and drawbacks, and determining which type of training is best for you.


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