This is going to throw a lot of people for a loop. A lot people are sold on performing a 3 or 4 day split for their weekly workouts and really… it makes sense right? We workout for a day, we get a day of rest for our muscles, and then we do it again. We all know that we need to give our muscles a day to rest so why wouldn’t this strategy work?
Because it doesn’t.
This is the most common advice I see on the internet on how to plan and schedule your workouts and to me it’s one of the worst. The advice isn’t intentionally trying to tell you to do the wrong thing, but in most cases it doesn’t provide you with enough context to really understand how to implement it.
The best way to go here, is to go with a 0 day split. Zero days, as in no days off. *Insert gasp*
What does a 0 day split mean? It means instead of going to the gym on Friday and then taking Saturday and Sunday off to ‘recover’ and then trying to go again on Monday, you just workout every day *insert second gasp*. Here’s why this works better than any type of a split.
One of the main reasons that people start workouts and then quit, is because they are trying to pick and choose which days they workout and which ones they don’t. They are trying to line up on and off days but if you’ve ever been a real life person, you know that sometimes you just have bad days on any random day of the week.
When this happens, people tend to try and shuffle around their workouts. They say, “oh I’ll just have today be my off day and I’ll pick back up tomorrow.” People do this all the time. I know because I’m people. And then what happens is it gets even harder to get back into your workout. And so before long…. you aren’t going at all.
Another reason split days become problematic is because people have this idea that they are going to go into the gym and they are going to bang out this super hard workout. They decide that today is chest day and they are going to go so hard and get a good pump in, but what happens every time after that? They are so sore, they can’t even function. Going to the gym seems like a nightmare and it takes them a full week to recover from that one workout. Which means more skip days.
The better way to do all of this is to just not have an off day. If you’re going to get into shape, and you’re serious about it, it has to become a part of your lifestyle. It has to be a part of who you are. It has to be something that you work on daily, rain or shine. It has to become habit, routine…. And I already know what you’re thinking, “but what about rest days?“
You rest your muscles by working out other groups of muscles. That’s how you rest. You don’t do the same workout routine every day. You rotate around the body. So maybe Monday is chest, then Tuesday is core, followed by legs on Wednesday, and then Yoga on Thursday. Friday then becomes cardio, and Saturday is Back day. Wrap it all up with a Stretch day or another Core day and BAM! You’ve got a 0 day split.
The real reason this is a more successful way to go is that it allows you to build up consistency within your workouts. It doesn’t ask you to be Superman on Monday and then Shrek on Tuesday. That’s such an extreme to have to go back-and-forth on. Instead, it asks that you show up and get a little bit of work in each day and then hopefully you’re tracking your progress and each week you’re pushing for a little bit more.
Getting another little victory.