Jim Stoppani breaks down full body training compared to his hybrid model, full split training. Which is best for your fitness goals?
In 2007, Jim Stoppani suffered an injury that made him reevaluate how he would continue his training. Now in his 50s, Stoppani can no longer train with the exact same high energy that he used to when he was young without facing even more injuries that slow him down in the gym. So he turned to full body training – a method that is great for overall fitness but not exactly ideal for massive muscle growth. This led Stoppani to invent his own hybrid training method – full split training – to focus a bit more on muscle growth while also avoiding further serious injury. In our latest GI Exclusive in collaboration with Barbend, Jim Stoppani compares full body training to full split training and explains which technique is best for your fitness needs.
A typical competitive bodybuilder normally avoids a typical full body training routine. This is due to it’s inability to really grow muscle on a level of a mass monster. However, most do not desire to or are not able to train at that extreme level. That’s why full body training is a great method for those looking to stay in shape, get a bit lean, and remain healthy.
However, even non-competitive bodybuilders might want to pack on a bit more muscle than full body training can provide. That’s why Jim Stoppani invented a hybrid method called full split training – combining the benefits of full body training with a typical bodybuilder split training method. Let’s break it down.
What is full body training?
In simplest terms, full body training is the act of training each body part during one workout each day. Typically this takes the form of doing one exercise per body part – then repeating the next day. Jim Stoppani explains that for the average person, this method is perfectly fine. It helps prevent injuries in the gym and provides benefits both for cardiovascular health and in terms of strength and muscle.
But Jim Stoppani also admits that full body training will rarely help build you into a mass monster – or even a medium sized muscular person. Those looking for the pump and beefing up have to look elsewhere in terms of workout methods.
Ultimately, full body training is a great way to help lose weight while also building muscle and strength. It’s perfect for building a lean and fit body. But Jim Stoppani has been a passionate fan of bodybuilding for most of his life. Typical full body training was not enough to suit his physique goals. That’s why he invented his own hybrid approach.
What is full split training?
Jim Stoppani’s full split training technique combines a typical full body workout with a typical bodybuilding split training workout. The ultimate goal is to find a way to build more muscle and strength without going so far as to possibly injure yourself. This is a great method for those growing older in age that want to focus on size but can’t go all out like they used to in younger years.
At this moment, we’d like to pause and make something clear. Jim Stoppani doesn’t mince words when he makes this point. For those who are still competitively bodybuilding and holding mass monster size well into their 40s and 50s – if that’s still working there’s no need to pull back on workout intensity. But majority of individuals do not actively compete in bodybuilding. Which is why Stoppani’s full split training is a great middle ground for keeping muscle without pushing the body past its limit.
So how does full split training work? Jim Stoppani explains that you simply do a typical full body workout for the day – but each day of the week you pick one specific body part to additionally focus on. So in action – you do a full body workout of all body parts, but add an extra set of exercises to one body part to ensure that one is being pushed harder.
Then the next day, you pick a different body part to focus on and repeat. By the end of the week, each major body part will have gotten some extra attention – while also maintaining a full body workout style across the week.
Jim Stoppani sees this as meeting half way between the benefits and drawbacks of full body training vs the benefits and drawbacks of split training.
Jim Stoppani tops off our conversation in this segment discussing injury during workouts and how age affects these kinds of injuries. While consistent fitness throughout an individual’s lifetime will help prevent injuries as we age – we cannot ignore that growing older raises new challenges. We all become more injury prone as we get older.
As Jim Stoppani puts it, “There’s no way around it. As you get older you are degenerating… we were not meant to live this long.”
It’s with that in mind (due to his own personal experiences with injury) that he developed the full split training technique. We must be honest with our aging bodies and do what is best to avoid serious injury – or even worse – irreversible injuries that further keep us out of the gym.
You can watch Jim Stoppani go into full detail about full body training and full split training in our latest GI Exclusive explainer video segment above!