Calder, A. W., Chilibeck, P. D., Webber, C. E., & Sale, D. G. (1996). Comparison of whole and split weight training routines in young women. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 19, 185-199.

Young women were subjected to three weight training regimes: (a) a whole routine (W) which did four upper (five sets of 6-10 RM) and three lower body (five sets 10-12 RM) weight training exercises in two single sessions per week, (b) a split session routine (S) which did the upper body exercises two days a week and the lower body exercises on two other days of the week, and (c) a control group which did no training.

Both W and S groups changed similarly over 20 weeks of training in terms of 1 RM, arm curl, bench press, and leg press. Arm and trunk lean mass increased similarly but only W increased in leg lean mass. Whole-body lean tissue mass increased and whole-body percent fat decreased with training in both groups.

Implication. Young untrained women respond to weight training in terms of strength increases and lean body mass changes irrespective of the exercise training schedule.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.