@fergus 631 wrote:
IMO one of the the first questions is whether strength, power or hypertrophy is the primary aim, then worry about splits after.
I agree with Fergus and would also add training age, time of the year and other training the player is undertaking as other variables to add to the decision making process.
I tend to use total body programs for the following reasons
1) Effieciency e.g. If time is short and I only have 1-2 sesions per week available such as in season
2) If strength is not my main focus with the player and we are only maintaining with 1-2 sessions
3) Beginning to intermediate players who can’t handle the volume within a session to a smaller number of muscle groups for a split program
4) If i want a greater frequency of lifting within a week for an exercise or muscle group
However, there is a point of diminishing returns where the player may eventually have to use a split routine to get in enough volume within a session to cause a training effect. Despite its lack of support I even use body part spits for players on occassions if they need to increase size.
For example, Chest & Bi, Legs & Abs, Back & Tri, Shoulder & Traps
Typically, however if liffting 4 x week I would use 2 x upper & 2 x lower. The upper session could be a combo of horizontal & vertical push & pulls or 1 day devoted to horizontal push/pull and the other vertical push/pull.
I also like Dan Bakers philosophy where if training an exercise or muscle group 2 x per week then one day would be devoted to lower reps and greater mechanical loading and the other would involve higher reps with greater density and time under tension for the musculature. For the lower body the lighter day could focus on speed rather than time under tension.