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Fitness is a journey that is unique to everyone. 

The first step is establishing realistic exercise expectations for yourself, and then getting into a routine that fits your lifestyle and adheres to your specific goals.

One favorable workout split that can benefit beginners and gym regulars alike is breaking up upper body days and lower body days. 

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Personal trainers and fitness experts have long expressed the benefits of the simple routine.

“Splitting your training between upper body and lower days allows you to give more attention to whatever needs it,” Gunnar Peterson, a Nashville, Tennessee-based celebrity fitness trainer told Fox News Digital. 

“It also provides built-in rest days, which is where the real magic happens.”

Those important rest days encourage the body to repair muscles and contribute to overall strength.

If you’re considering split-day workout routines, there is flexibility in terms of selecting muscle groups to focus on each day. 

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A split-day routine is helpful for promoting muscle growth and targeting various groups without over-exhausting the entire body.

“Some people like to train their ‘pulling’ muscles (back/biceps) together and their ‘pushing’ muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps) together,” Peterson said.

“Others prefer to train antagonistic muscle groups together — chest/back, biceps/triceps. Play around with it and see what has the greater yield for you, and more importantly, what you enjoy the most,” he also said.

Woman lifting weights

Peterson laid out a sample of a weekly routine that follows split days:

  • Monday: Pull
  • Tuesday: Push
  • Wednesday: Lower body
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Pull
  • Saturday: Push
  • Sunday: Lower

Additionally, readers may be wondering where cardio fits into this routine. 

There are various ways a gym goer can mix cardio workouts into split days. For those with a goal of losing weight, for example, increased cardio may be recommended. 

For the gym goer who has a primary goal of gaining muscle, though, less cardio is likely to be advised.

Keep in mind, however, that there are many benefits to cardio. Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to, improving heart health, lung function and blood sugar regulation. Fitness fans should expect to interwine cardio in some capacity. 

“For some, cardio is more important than for others,” Peterson noted. “Some lift at a continuous pace that creates a cardiovascular demand. Others add steady state cardio before or after their lifts or during off days. Heart health is real — so it’s worth putting in the work as needed.”

A good cardio workout is often thought to mean running long miles on a treadmill. However, if you aren’t a fan of the treadmill or of running in general, there are many other cardio workouts you can incorporate into your routine. 

people running

“I would find forms of cardio that you enjoy. It could look like a lot of different things,” Jessica Isaacs, RD, CSSD, a Los Angeles-based registered sports dietitian and Red Bull wellness adviser, told Fox News Digital.

“It could be rowing, it could be hiking, it could be walking on a treadmill, it could be walking on a treadmill at an incline, it could be running, jogging, cycling, swimming. All of these are forms of cardiovascular activity,” she said.

 

Different workouts are going to align better with your goals than others, and it may take some trial and error before you reach a routine that works for you. 

health and fitness class doing plank

Keep in mind that once you have a routine you like, your goals may evolve, or you may become bored with the same things. As long as your workout routine is benefitting your body, feel free to switch it up.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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