Why You Should Focus On A Different Area Each Workout

You're probably aware that exercising provides you with numerous benefits. For starters, regularly working out can help you manage your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, build muscle, help your sex drive, and help your body maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels. From a mental health perspective, exercising also releases chemicals that help to improve your mood, lowering stress levels, according to Medline Plus.

Without a doubt, working out is good for you. However, there's often a lot of discrepancy surrounding the "right way" to hit the gym. One trainer might tell you that you need to engage in a full-body workout, which means hitting all of the major muscle groups in one session, per CHRON. Meanwhile, another trainer might suggest you work out just one part of your body per session. 

As both routines can help you appear more toned, burn calories, and increase muscle mass, it can be hard to know which type of routine is better, and more importantly, which is better for you. Still, depending on how much time you have to dedicate to working out and your end goal, there are several reasons you might benefit from working out one muscle group at a time. 

Split routines maximize muscle growth

A workout routine that targets a specific muscle group per session is often called a split routine. This type of workout requires you to focus on just one (or sometimes two) muscle groups per day. A split routine might look something like training your back and shoulders on Monday, training your arms and chest on Tuesday, and training your legs on Wednesday, per CHRON. The goal of a split routine is to place emphasis on a particular part of your body so that you can maximize muscle growth and definition in that area, explains CNET

To execute a split routine properly, you need to engage in three or more exercises for each muscle group in the hopes of fatiguing those muscles, then giving said muscles about 48 hours in between sessions to repair, recover, and grow, according to CHRON. Working one muscle group out to the point of fatigue is considered a much more intense, and proactive workout than attempting to engage in a full-body workout per session, according to Very Well Fit.

Another benefit of split routines is that by focusing on one or two muscle groups per workout, you can create muscle symmetry and also correct any visual imbalances as you are essentially pinpointing where you want to see muscle growth. Tthis is especially beneficial if you're an aspiring bodybuilder, per CHRON.

Split routines generally require fewer rest days

Another major benefit of split routines, especially if you are a workout-aholic, is that they require fewer rest days than a full-body workout routine would, according to CET. In contrast, if you're not an avid trainer or are new to the world of working out, then the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends you partake in full-body workouts, as split routines might be too strenuous or time-consuming for you.

It's also important to note that if you do decide to go the split routines route, you should devote as least 45 minutes to each session. Additionally, you shouldn't miss a session, as allowing too much time between workouts can impair your progress. In other words, missing a day in your weekly routine means you're not exercising an entire muscle group for that week, per Very Well Fit.

As with anything you do, though, it's important to assess what your workout goals are before deciding which routine is best for you.