This article originally appeared in Well+Good.
One of the hardest parts of starting a strength training routine is learning how to organize your weekly workouts. Should you go for two leg days or one? Do you really need a full day dedicated to strengthening your back? And is there any way to avoid Bulgarian split squats—because they’re the absolute worst? Finding a total body split workout you can stick with week-after-week removes a lot of this decision fatigue from the workout equation, so I asked a trainer to break down how to divvy up a week’s worth of strength training.
“Split body training or split routine is the act of breaking up the training program by engaging specific muscles and their synergists or by movement patterns,” says master trainer Prentiss Rhodes, NASM. “A split routine may be effective for athletes who engage in other activities. The split routine allows the athlete to practice skills while still getting an effective resistance training program.” For example, a swimmer may sandwich a workout in the pool between two lower body workouts so their arms feel fresh for that backstroke, butterfly, or breaststrokes. A runner who wants their legs to be road-ready, by contrast, may do the same thing with arm workouts.