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I have used multiple training splits over the years.
The best training split you can use is the one that allows you to maximize your primary training goal.
A mistake that many athletes and lifters make is using training splits that do not work with their goal.
As a result many of these same athletes do not make the proper in-roads towards reaching their goals.
For example, a sprinter using a training split that is designed for a bodybuilder in contest prep will never allow the sprinter to maximize his speed.
The amount of lower body lifting days required for bodybuilding will not allow your legs to recover for your speed training. A sprinter using a bodybuilders’ training split will be going nowhere fast!
There is a zero percent chance of you maximizing your speed while running Gironda 8 x 8 on your legs 2 days per week. Your legs would never have a chance to recover.
Conversely a bodybuilder or figure competitor following a training split designed for a sprinter will not allow them to build the physique necessary to compete on stage.
The focus of the sprinting program is all about getting faster.
Because you do not lift in the same manner for bodybuilding as you do for track, you will not be able to build a stage-worthy physique. You will have some lean and muscular wheels (lower body), but you will absolutely be missing pieces up top (upper body).
During my first run in natural bodybuilding (2011-2014) pumping iron was my main focus. My primary goal was building muscle and creating a more symmetrical physique.
Here is how I typically trained during that era:
Monday: Upper Body
Tuesday: Lower Body and Conditioning
Thursday: Upper Body
Friday: Lower Body
Saturday: Upper Body (Specialty) and Conditioning or off based on the time of the year
In 2016 when I came back to the track game I had to change my training split so that I could maximize my speed development. My training split for speed was this:
Sunday: Off or Massage
Monday: Short Sprinting (Speed Work)
Tuesday: Lower Body
Thursday: Short Sprinting (Speed Work)
Friday: Upper Body
Saturday: Medium Sprinting (Speed Endurance Work)
Speed Requires Rest
Speed work can be tricky to program because all athletes do not recover the same way from pure sprinting.
Some athletes recover faster and some athletes recover slower. Your nervous system, your recovery program away from the track, and your age have a big impact on how fast you recover.
I know this to be 100 percent true because I recovered from speed work much faster at age 21 than I did at age 33!
Different training splits will elicit different results. I have seen success sprinting 2 days per week and 3 days per week.
As an older, veteran athlete I have found with the highest intensity of speed work (95 percent) that the 3 day rest between Tuesday and Saturday has increased my performance on the track.
In the same breath sprinting 3 days per week does work, but you must reduce the volume of your lower body lifting and sprinting per workout.
The truth of the matter is that you have to change your training split based on what your current goal is.
If your split is in congruent with your goals, then your goals will just remain distant goals.
If you are a performance athlete, recovery is the key to increasing your performance. Fatigue masks fitness.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,
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