Comparison of whole and split weight training routines in young women

Can J Appl Physiol. 1994 Jun;19(2):185-99. doi: 10.1139/h94-014.


Thirty young women comprised three groups (n = 10 in each): whole routine (W) training, split routine training (S), and control. The W group did four upper (five sets, 6-10 RM) and three lower body (five sets, 10-12 RM) weight training exercises together in single sessions twice a week for 20 weeks. The S group did the upper body exercises 2 days a week and the lower body exercises on 2 other days of the week. The single maximal weight lift (1-RM) increased (p < 0.05) (W/S) 54/69%, 33/32%, and 21/22% in arm curl, bench press, and leg press exercises, as did arm (10/9%), and trunk (3.4/2.7%) lean tissue mass, as measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Leg lean mass increased significantly only in W (4.9% vs. 1.7% in S). Whole-body lean tissue mass increased (4.1/2.6%), and whole body % fat (-1.1/-1.3%) decreased with training. It is concluded that in healthy young women, whole and split weight training routines produce similar results over the first 5 months of training.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*