The Ultimate Muscle Building Split Reference Guide

Steve Shaw
Written By: Steve Shaw
November 30th, 2010
Updated: March 22nd, 2021
Categories: Articles Training
3.1M Reads
Muscular man in black shorts performing pull-ups in gym
A complete guide. Learn which splits are effective, and which workouts to avoid. Included are numerous workout and training splits examples.

Training splits can be a mystery. With so many available options and possibilities, it's easy to be confused about which splits are effective, and which are poorly structured. If you've ever wondered just why and how training splits are designed, and just what some of the best training split options are, you've come to the right place. So grab a protein shake, sit down and start reading.

Before we dig in, I want to explain a few simple rules. These rules will help you to understand the reasoning behind many popular workouts on Muscle & Strength. Keep in mind that rules are meant to be bent, and in some cases broken.

Some individuals recover more quickly than others or have learned from experience that they can break a few of the rules and make great progress. For this reason, some of the splits you see used by experienced natural bodybuilders might break the rules.

In general, it's best to stay within the boundaries of the routines presented in this reference guide. Many trainees mistakenly believe that adding volume or additional workouts is the secret key to rapid growth.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

This is far from true. Muscle building isn't simply add more sets, make greater gains. There are more factors involved with progress than the number of sets you perform.

Trust in the process. Believe in the conventional wisdom used by the muscle building community. The workout splits in this reference guide are effective choices. Use them, learn your body in the process, evolve your training, and smash your goals!

Quick jump to the sub-sections on this page:

  1. Training Split Rules
  2. A Look At Weekly Training Volume
  3. Sets Per Body Part
  4. 2 Day Muscle Building Splits
  5. 3 Day Muscle Building Splits
  6. 4 Day Muscle Building Splits
  7. 5 Day Muscle Building Splits
  8. Notes

Training Split Rules

  1. Chest and Triceps: Don't train chest the day after triceps, or vice versa. The triceps are heavily involved with pressing movements used to hit the chest. If you work triceps the day before chest, your triceps will be fatigued and could limit your chest workout productivity. If you work chest the day before triceps, your triceps will be fatigued and will receive a pounding two days in a row.
  2. Back and Biceps: Don't train back the day after biceps. The biceps are heavily involved with pulling/rowing movements used to blast the back. If you work biceps the day before back, your biceps will be fatigued and could limit your back workout productivity.
  3. Squats and Deadlifts: Don't train squats and deadlifts on back to back days. Both squats and deadlifts utilize many of the same muscle groups. These lifts are considered posterior chain movements, meaning they both target the lower back, spinae erectors, glutes, hamstrings, etc. It's best to have a few rest days in between these lifts.
  4. Traps: Don't obsess about direct trap work. The traps are worked hard when deadlifting, and also during overhead pressing and other shoulder exercises such as laterals. Do not assume that you need an excessive amount of direct traps work to build big traps. In fact, if you are deadlifting and using a form of the military press, you may not need much direct trap work at all.
  5. Forearms: Don't obsess about direct forearm work. As with traps, the forearms are worked hard by numerous other lifts. The mere act of gripping barbells and dumbbells day in and day out is often enough to stimulate quality forearm growth. Do not assume you need an excessive amount of direct forearm stimulation.
  6. Rear Delts: Don't overwork the rear delts. The rear delts are hit hard on back day, and during some shoulder exercises for front and side delts. If you look at the rowing/pulling motion of most back exercises, you will notice that they are in the same family tree as rear laterals (bent over reverse flys). Some rear delt work is good, but you do not need an abundance of rear delt exercises to have great looking rear delts.
  7. Front Delts: Don't overwork the front delts. The front delts are aggressively hammered when using pressing motions for chest and shoulders. These pressing movements should be the core of your front delt work. While it is a good idea to add in an additional isolation exercise (such as front raises) for your front delts, you do not need an abundance of front delt exercises to have great looking front delts.
  8. Abs: Incorporate some form of a heavy ab exercise. Far too often the abs are worked the same way day in and day out, with no added resistance. Make sure you incorporate some form of progressive resistance into your ab routine to help build a thick, amazing looking six-pack. These exercise include, but are not limited to: weighted sit-ups, crunches and leg lifts, and cable crunches.
  9. Arm Work: Stop obsessing about direct arm work. Working your arms hard each week is good. Believing that you need to work your arms with 30 sets, three times per week is obsessive compulsive. Big arms are built with heavy rowing and pressing movements. Direct bicep and tricep work helps to build big arms (obviously), but you do not need to overkill the amount of sets you perform.
  10. Legs: Work your legs! Don't be a chicken-legged gym rat who avoids hard leg exercises. Not only do muscular legs look impressive, but strong legs will also improve athletic performance, helping you to jump higher, run faster, and explode out of the gate on sprints.
  11. Isolation Movements: Don't overuse isolation exercises. Isolation movements have their place in weight training. But with that said, it makes no sense to perform 5 sets of dumbbell flyes or tricep kickbacks if you are not working your chest and triceps hard with a battery of heavy pressing movements.
  12. Dips and Pull-Ups: Don't discount the power of dips and pull-ups. Though these exercises are bodyweight exercises, the dip is known as the upper body squat for it's overall muscle-building effectiveness, and pull-ups are an amazing back blaster. If these exercises get easy, use a weight belt, and add resistance.
  13. Lower Back: Don't overwork the lower back with too much direct work. The lower back is taxed hard enough as it is. A few additional sets for the lower back are good, but overworking your lower back can often result in muscle fatigue, and strains which can lead to further injuries. Do enough lower back work to stay strong, but not so much that you aren't able to function for several days.

Related: 20 Must-Read Tips For Building Muscle & Burning Fat

Athletic girl in grey tank top performing barbell deadlift

A Look At Weekly Training Volume

Training a body part twice, or even three times a week is a viable option for many. Small muscle groups can often be trained more frequently. In fact, large muscle groups can be training twice or even three times a week if the daily volume of sets is kept in check.

One of the mistakes that many trainees make when exercising a muscle group multiple times per week is that they try to keep the volume high on each day. This is a misguided approach.

Regardless of how often you train a muscle group, a good guideline is to use the same weekly amount of sets. Let's look at a few examples:

  • Twice a Week Training: If you are currently working your chest once a week for 12 sets and want to work your chest twice a week for extra stimulation, do not perform 2 weekly workouts of 12 sets each (a total of 24 sets). Instead, work your chest with only 6 sets per workout, for the same weekly total of 12 sets.
  • Training Three Times Per Week: If you are currently working your biceps once a week for 9 sets and want to instead work them three times a week for extra stimulation, do not perform 3 weekly workouts of 9 sets each (a total of 27 sets). Instead, work your biceps with only 3 sets per workout, for the same weekly total of 9 sets.

A Note About Hard-Gainers

For many hard-gainers, training a muscle group more frequently, but a lower daily set volume will be more effective. If you are having a difficult time building muscle on a training split, and believe yourself to be a hard-gainer or ectomorph, it is well worth your time to experiment with more frequent training.

Training each muscle group twice, or even three times per week with a limited volume might be the key to building more muscle.

Related: How to Increase Muscle Size With German Volume Training

Factors That Impact Training Frequency

Muscle soreness, and a muscle's ability to recover, are not the only factors involved when trying to decide how often you should train a muscle group. You also have to consider the strain that frequent training places on your joints, connective tissue (ligaments and tendons), CNS (central nervous system), etc.

If you've never trained a muscle group more than once a week, and want to try a more frequent approach, don't rush into this approach with heavy weight. Take a few weeks to allow your body to adapt to the demands of this new training style.

Keep in mind that the heavier weight you lift, the less likely you are to benefit from high-frequency training. Heavy weight taxes the CNS, joints and connective tissue to a much greater degree.

It's not that a higher training frequency won't work, but more so that it may take a much longer period for your body to condition itself to this style of training.

Also, many advanced lifters that do utilize a more frequent training approach often cycle their workout intensity. Some workouts may focus on heavy weight for low reps, and some on moderate or a relatively lighter weight for 10-15 (or more) reps.

Sets Per Bodypart

Bodypart Training Once A Week

As a general rule, stick with the following weekly sets per muscle group. When uncertain, always start with the lowest amount of sets, and only add sets if this approach is ineffective.

  • 9 to 15 weekly sets - Large Muscle Groups: These groups include chest, back, shoulders, and quads.
  • 6 to 9 weekly sets - Small Muscle Groups: These groups include biceps, triceps, calves, abs, and hamstrings.
  • 0 to 3 weekly sets - Minor Muscle Groups: These groups include lower back, forearms, rear delts, and traps.

Bodypart Training Twice A Week

When training a bodypart twice a week, use the following number of sets per workout:

  • 4 to 8 working sets - Large Muscle Groups: These groups include chest, back, shoulders, and quads.
  • 3 to 5 working sets - Small Muscle Groups: These groups include biceps, triceps, calves, abs, and hamstrings.
  • 0 to 3 working sets - Minor Muscle Groups: These groups include lower back, forearms, rear delts, and traps.

Bodypart Training Three Times A Week

When training a bodypart three times a week, use the following number of sets per workout:

  • 3 to 5 working sets - Large Muscle Groups: These groups include chest, back, shoulders, and quads.
  • 0 to 3 working sets - Small Muscle Groups: These groups include biceps, triceps, calves, abs, and hamstrings.
  • 0 to 3 working sets - Minor Muscle Groups: These groups include lower back, forearms, rear delts, and traps.

Strong man in black striped shirt performing dumbbell concentration curl

Note: When using a three times per week training system, you may choose to avoid working smaller and minor muscle groups each day. Because of the weekly set volume restrictions, it might be more convenient to train biceps and calves 1-2 times per week.

You certainly can train these muscle groups three times a week. Minor muscle groups should be worked only once a week unless they are a weak bodypart in need of extra work.

Important note: Certain splits will have unique limitations, such as a 2-day split, and therefore will deviate slightly from set per day recommendations.

The following muscle building fullbody workouts and splits are provided for example purposes. Feel free to alter them to fit your individual needs. Exercise selection is based upon the most effective lifts for each muscle group.

 2 Day Muscle Building Splits

While 2-day splits are rarely used, they are a very viable option for adding muscle and strength. In fact, natural strength trainer and author John Christy used them successfully on thousands of clients.

Consider using a 2-day split if you live a busy life, or need more recovery days per week. Make sure to stick with compound lifts for each major muscle group. Here are some recommended compound exercise choices:

  • Quads: Squats, Leg Press, Front Squats, Hack Squats.
  • Chest: Bench Press, Dips, Dumbbell Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Close Grip Bench Press.
  • Back: Deadlift, Barbell Rows, Pull-Ups, Dumbbell Rows, T-bar Rows, Seated Cable Rows.
  • Shoulders: Push Press, Military Presses, Seated Behind The neck Press, Seated Dumbbell Press, Seated Arnold Press.

Note: If you plan on using both deadlifts and squats on a 2-day split, it may be beneficial to use squats on day 1, and deadlifts on day 2, instead of performing both exercises on the same workout day.

Related: 10 Delicious Homemade Weight Gainer Shake Recipes With 800+ Calories

2 Day Full Body Workout

You may choose to add in traps, forearms, direct hamstring, lower back, and rear delt work if needed.

Day 1: Monday

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3-5 5-12
Bench Press 3-5 5-12
Barbell Row 3-5 5-12
Military Press 3-5 5-12
Barbell Curl 3 8-12
Abs Exercise of Choice 3 10-25

Day 2: Thursday

Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 3-5 5-8
Dips or Dumbbell Bench Press 3-5 5-12
Leg Press 3-5 5-20
Upright Row 3-5 5-12
Close Grip Bench Press 3 5-12
Seated Calf Raise 3 10-25

2 Day Upper Lower Split

You may choose to add in traps, forearms, and rear delt work if needed. Triceps are worked hard on the upper body day and do not require much direct (isolation) work. Try to limit working sets to 24 or fewer. You may need to drop an exercise or two, or lower sets per exercise, to accommodate additional work.

Day 1: Upper Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 5-12
Dips or Dumbbell Bench Press 3 5-12
Barbell Row 3 5-12
Pull-Ups 3 5-12
Military Press 3 5-12
Side Laterals 3 8-15
Skullcrushers or Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 5-12
Barbell Curl 3 8-12

Day 2: Lower Body

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 3-6
Leg Press or Leg Extension 3 5-20
Hack Squat or Barbell Lunge 3 5-12
Romanian Deadlift 3 5-12
Leg Curl 3 5-20
Seated Calf Raise 3 10-25
Abs Exercise of Choice 3 3-6
Hyperextension 3 8-12

3 Day Muscle Building Splits

3 day splits are an excellent choice for natural muscle building. They offer a quality mix of time in the gym, and off days for recovery. 3 day per week full-body workouts have a long and illustrious track record.

Before the modern era, full-body workouts were the norm. Many bodybuilders of the early '70s utilized full-body workouts early in their careers, including Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Related: Forget Steroids: 5 Full Body Workouts For Serious Gains

The 3 day push, pull, legs split is also a very effective option. It allows you to concentrate on a similar group of muscles each training day and provides a week of rest before working them again.

3 Day Full Body Workout

For major body parts, it can be beneficial to use a different exercise on each training day. This can keep the program fresh, and provide maximum muscle stimulation. You could also use the same major exercises on Monday and Friday, such as squats, bench press, etc.

If you are performing both squats and deadlifts, it is recommended that you perform squats on Monday and Friday, and deadlifts on Wednesday.

As with 2 day workouts, it is best to focus on compound exercises for each major muscle group. You may choose to make Wednesday a slightly lighter training day, in which case it's completely acceptable to focus more on isolation exercises.

You may choose to add in traps, forearms, lower back, direct hamstring work, and rear delts if needed.

Day 1: Monday

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3-5 5-12
Bench Press 3-5 5-12
Barbell Row 3-5 5-12
Seated Dumbbell Press 3-5 5-12
Barbell or Dumbbell Curl 3 8-12
Skullcrushers or Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 5-12

Day 2: Wednesday

Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 3-5 5-8
Dips 3-5 5-12
Pull-Ups 3-5 5-12
Military Press 3-5 5-12
Seated Calf Raise 3 10-25
Abs Exercise of Choice 3 10-25

Day 3: Friday

Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 3-5 5-20
Dumbbell Bench Press or Incline Bench Press 3-5 5-12
Dumbbell Row or Seated Cable Row 3-5 5-12
Upright Row 3-5 5-12
Barbell or Dumbbell Curl 3 8-12
Skullcrushers or Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 5-12

3 Day Push Pull Legs Split

This 3 day split allows you to incorporate a wider selection of exercises per body part. Muscle soreness (DOMs) will generally be greater than when on a full-body workout, but you will have plenty of recovery time. You may choose to add in forearms, lower back, or more ab work if needed.

Day 1: Push

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 5-12
Military Press 3 5-12
Dips or Dumbbell Bench Press 3 5-12
Upright Row, Arnold Press or Side Laterals 3 5-12
Dumbbell Fly or Pec Dec 3 8-15
Skullcrusher or Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 5-12
Cable Tricep Extension or French Press 3 5-12

Day 2: Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 5-12
Leg Press 3 5-20
Leg Extension or Hack Squat 3 5-20
Romanian Deadlift 3 5-12
Leg Curl 3 5-20
Seated Calf Raise 3 10-25
Abs Exercise of Choice 3 10-25

Day 3: Pull

Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 3 5-8
Barbell Row 3 5-12
Pull-Up 3 5-12
Barbell Curl or Dumbbell Curl 3 8-12
Concentration Curl or Preacher Curl 3 8-12
Barbell Shrug or Dumbbell Shrug 3 8-15
Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Fly 3 8-15

4 Day Muscle Building Splits

4 and 5 day muscle building workouts are much more complicated than 2 and 3 day workouts. There are far more possibilities, and combined with the complexities of exercise selection, you are left with a substantial number of training variations.

Because of the numerous amount of variations, these sections will not list sample workouts. Instead, you will be provided with popular split variations.

A commonly asked question is: "which split or workout is the most effective?" Many natural lifters will respond best to working out only 3-4 days per week.

Never try a 5 or 6 day split before you have put in some time with a 3 or 4 day split, and have gained an understanding as to how your body responds to that amount of training volume. But to answer the original question, there is no magic split.

Pick a workout that motivates you to train, and stick with it. Never jump around from workout to workout. It takes time to learn your body and its limits. Jumping around each week will limit your progress.

Muscular man performing medicine ball russian/mason twists

4 Day Split Examples

The following are examples of 4 day splits from the Muscle & Strength workouts database. When designing your own 4 day split, please keep your total workout set volume inline with the guidelines presented above.

4 Day Split #1 - Chest and Triceps, Back and Biceps

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Back and Biceps (Forearms may also be added)
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Shoulders, Traps, and Abs
  • Friday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #2 - Chest and Biceps, Back and Triceps

  • Monday: Chest, Biceps, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Shoulders, Traps, and Abs
  • Friday: Back and Triceps (Forearms may also be added)
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #3 - Shoulders and Biceps

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Back, Traps, and Abs
  • Friday: Shoulders, Biceps, and Forearms
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #4 - Chest and Back

  • Monday: Chest, Back, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Shoulders, Traps, and Abs
  • Friday: Triceps and Biceps (Forearms may also be added)
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #5 - Leg Focus

  • Monday: Quads, Calves, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Chest and Triceps
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Back, Biceps, and Traps
  • Friday: Hamstrings, Shoulders, and Abs
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #6 - Arm Focus

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Biceps
  • Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Shoulders, Traps, and Abs
  • Friday: Back, Triceps, and Biceps
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #7 - Chest Focus

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Chest, Shoulders, and Abs
  • Friday: Back and Biceps (Forearms may also be added)
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

4 Day Split #8 - Upper Lower

  • Monday: Chest, Back, Shoulders, and Arms
  • Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, and Abs
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Chest, Back, Shoulders, and Arms
  • Friday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, and Abs
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: REST

5 Day Muscle Building Splits

5 day splits are very popular, especially in the realm of mainstream bodybuilding magazines. It is quite common to see a novice trainee jump right into a 5 day split used by their bodybuilding hero, only to find out that they are not gaining muscle as fast as expected.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Body Part Training Splits Are Still Worthwhile

5 day muscle-building splits are generally best used by intermediate and advanced lifters who know their body's limits. Beginners need to not only learn how to build muscle on a basic program but also need to dial in their muscle building diets before they add in additional training volume.

Muscular man in black shorts performing seated dumbbell shoulder press

5 Day Split Examples

The following are examples of 5 day splits from the Muscle & Strength workouts database. When designing your own 5 day split, please keep your total workout set volume inline with the guidelines presented above.

5 Day Split #1 - Arm Day

  • Monday: Chest and Abs
  • Tuesday: Back and Traps
  • Wednesday: Quads and Hamstrings
  • Thursday: REST
  • Friday: Shoulders and Calves
  • Saturday: Triceps and Biceps
  • Sunday: REST

5 Day Split #2 - Chest and Back

  • Monday: Chest and Back
  • Tuesday: Quads, Calves, and Abs
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Triceps and Biceps
  • Friday: Hamstrings, Calves, and Abs
  • Saturday: Shoulders and Traps
  • Sunday: REST

5 Day Split #3 - Abs Focus

  • Monday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Abs
  • Tuesday: Chest and Forearms
  • Wednesday: Back, Traps, and Abs
  • Thursday: REST
  • Friday: Shoulders and Abs
  • Saturday: Triceps and Biceps
  • Sunday: REST

5 Day Split #4 - Arm Focus

  • Monday: Chest and Triceps
  • Tuesday: Back, Biceps and Abs
  • Wednesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Thursday: REST
  • Friday: Shoulders and Triceps
  • Saturday: Biceps, Forearms, Traps, and Abs
  • Sunday: REST

5 Day Split #5 - Chest Focus

  • Monday: Chest and Shoulders
  • Tuesday: Back, Traps and Abs
  • Wednesday: Quads and Hamstrings
  • Thursday: REST
  • Friday: Chest and Triceps
  • Saturday: Biceps, Forearms, Calves, and Abs
  • Sunday: REST

5 Day Split #6 - Squat and Deadlift Focus

  • Monday: Quads (with squats) and Calves
  • Tuesday: Chest, Triceps, and Abs
  • Wednesday: REST
  • Thursday: Deadlifts and Hamstrings
  • Friday: Shoulders, Traps, and Abs
  • Saturday: Back and Biceps
  • Sunday: REST

Notes

As stated earlier in this reference guide, the rules for designing muscle building workouts can be broken. Nothing on this page is presented as a hard and fast rule. But, that does not mean ignoring all the rules, and designing a counterintuitive program is a smart way to go.

There are many camps when it comes to training - HIIT, volume, full-body, those that fear overtraining, and those that think overtraining is a joke. One consistent theme that runs through all of these camps is that at the end of the day everything works.

Related: Volume Vs. High Intensity: Which Style Of Training Is Best For Muscle Growth

While this sounds impossible, it's true. The most important aspects when it comes to muscle building are:

  1. Training consistency: Don't miss too many workouts. Muscle building takes years. Are you willing to pay this price?
  2. Evolution: Start slow and evolve your training. Begin with a simple approach, and add pieces as needed.
  3. Know your body: A training split is no good if it pushes your body in ways that put you at risk for strains, overtraining, and injury. Just because someone is making gains by training to failure, or performing rest-pause training, doesn't mean you should do it too - regardless of the cost.

When performing any split it's ok to bend the rules, don't smash the rules! Bodybuilding splits, including training volume and exercise selection therein, is the cumulation of decades of anecdotal and scientific evidence. Simply put, workout splits are structured the way they are for a reason! They are not a result of some random toss of the dice.

You do not see pro natural bodybuilders working biceps 4 times per week with heavy volume. You do not see pro natural bodybuilders avoiding difficult exercises. You do not see pro natural bodybuilders lifting weights seven days a week. More is not better. Make sure you focus on quality workouts and a quality eating plan. Stay humble, keep your mind open, and trust in the process.

146 Comments
kaushal
Posted on: Wed, 12/30/2020 - 00:33

How long do we work on split# 1-6?
For an example Do we do 2weeks and then change to the next one split?
Is there a section where we can download the workout plan , like the types of exercise for chest and abs?

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Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 12/30/2020 - 09:33

Hey Kaushal - the 5-day splits 1-6 are example splits that have different body part focuses. You can pick one and follow it for 6-12 weeks.

oliver carriere
Posted on: Sat, 12/07/2019 - 09:14

I'm interested in the upper-lower split I'm doing one like on the post but I'm wondering if it would still work if I do my bent over flys for my rear delts I'm going for a v taper the upper-lower splits good for me cause I would rather do 4 days a week instead of six on push-pull legs so my routines like this mainly barbell work upper day underhand flat press than I do regular flat press than I do weighted chin-ups tbarroys than standing OHP than latrails than rear delt flys dips curls finish it takes 30 mins to 40 its kind of lek LeRoy Colbert's blitz but I didn't like the fact there were not enough legs so i change it a bit for lower legs its squat split squat deadlift bridges and caft raise any info will help please and thank you oh yea i for got mon/thurs/upper /tues/Fri/lower

michael
Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2019 - 11:19

Is it bad to workout 7 days a week doing a upper lower split my goal is to build serious muscle mass and become a body builder im 16 and i want to get the most out of my workouts

michael
Posted on: Thu, 06/06/2019 - 07:25

what about max reps per muscle group per week? I mean if you follow the guide line for sets then the volume will be different if you are doing them wit 3x 6 or 3x10

Mond
Posted on: Wed, 06/05/2019 - 06:49

Hi! Any program for 5 Day Split #5 - Chest Focus?

Oliver Carriere
Posted on: Fri, 05/10/2019 - 06:32

What kind of split is Arnold's phase 2 were he does like chest back legs on Monday/wensday /friday shoulders and arms on tuseday/thursday/saterday

johnny
Posted on: Fri, 03/01/2019 - 06:32

Monday- Chest and triceps
- Compound bench press
- Body weight dips
- Incline press machine
- Conventional press machine
- Triceps push down (Cables)
- Overhead Triceps pull overs
- Cable fly’s from each angle High, Medium
Tuesday- Back and biceps
- Wide grip Lat pull downs
- Narrow grip Lat pulldown
- Row using narrow grip
- Bent over rows using barbell
- Row using machine pull
- Lat pull down conventional machine
- Bicep curls with 12kg 3x12
- Bicep curls with ez curl bar 15kg 4x12
- Preacher curl machine
- Bicep curl using rope on cables 3x12
- Straight bar curls on cables 4x10
Wednesday rest day
Thursday- Chest triceps shoulders
- Dumbbell press on flat bench 20kg 3x10
- Incline dumbbell press 16kg 3x8
- Military shoulder press 3x8
- Lateral raises 3x8
- Cable rope pull overs 3x10
- Overhead triceps pull overs 3x12
- Behind the back Triceps pull overs 3x10
- Close stance push ups 3x8
Friday- Cardio and body weight exercises, legs
- Push ups regular stance 3x8
- Leg curls 3x8 ( warm up before squat)
- Squat using rack or smith 3x8
- Leg press 3x8
- Incline Run for 5 minutes
- Regular run 10 minutes 1.5k
- Bodyweight dips till failure
- Ab crunches 3x15
- Hanging raises 3x7
Saturday- Back and biceps
- Deadlift 4x8
- Rear rows with dumbbells on incline bench 3x8
- Lat pulldown 4x8
- Bicep curls with straight bar 3x6 25kg
- Bicep curls with straight bar 3x8 20kg
- Hammer curls 3x10 10kg-12kg
- Assisted pullups 3x10
- Incline bicep curls

Sunday rest day

Henry
Posted on: Wed, 01/23/2019 - 07:15

Thank you Steve, been helping me with my gains since 2010,

Conor Brandon Byrne
Posted on: Sun, 06/10/2018 - 13:48

This is my split how does it look
Push A
BB Press 5x5-8
OHP 4x8-12
DB Incline Press 4x8-12
Lateral Raise 4x10-12
Cable/DB/Machine Fly 4x10-12
Tricep Dips 4x8-12
Tricep Pushdown 4x8-12

Pull A
Rack pull 5x5-8
DB Row 4x8-12
Lat Pulldonwn 4x8-12
DB Reverse Fly 4x10-12
Ez Bar Curl 4x8-12
Incline DB Curl 4x8-12

Legs A
Low Bar Squat 5x5-8
RDL 4x8-12
DB Walking Lunge 4 sets
Leg Curl 4x8-12
Leg extension 4x8-12
Standing calf 4x10-12

Push B
BB Press 4x8-12
OHP 5X5-8
Incline DB Press 4x8-12
Lateral Rsise 4x10-12
Skull Crushers 4x8-12
Tricep pushdown 4x8-12

Pull A
Pedlay Row 5x5-8
Pull Up 4x8-12
Lat pulldown 4x8-12
BB shrugs 4x10-12
Face pull 4x10-12
Precher Curl 4x8-12
DB Hammer Curl 4x8-12

Legs B
Leg press 5x5-8
RDl 4x8-12
DB Setp Up 4x8-12 each leg
Lying leg curl 4x8-12
Leg extension 4x8-12
Standing calf 4x10-12

Joseph
Posted on: Fri, 05/18/2018 - 18:05

My schedule:

Monday: Shoulders 15 sets of 3-5 reps
Tuesday: Biceps 15 sets of 3-5 reps
Wednesday: Triceps 15 sets of 3-5 reps
Thursday: rest
Friday: chest 15 sets of 3-5 reps
Saturday: forearms 15 sets of 3-5 reps
Sunday: rest

Note: All exercises are isolation exercises

Question: Is this overtraining? Is this the best possbile way to achieve maximal gains? Is there a better schedule I can use?

Maribel Garcia
Posted on: Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:42

How long do we work on split# 1-6?
For an example Do we do 2weeks and then change to the next one split?
Is there a section where we can download the workout plan , like the types of exercise for chest and abs?

Raymond
Posted on: Tue, 03/21/2017 - 21:26

Hello Coach,
Thanks for the excellent article above, wanted to get your input on this
chest/ triceps Monday
biceps/shoulders Tuesday
Wednesday-rest
back/lats = traps,middle back,lats,lower back Thursday
Rest Friday
leg/abs = glutes,hamstings,quads,calves. Saturday
Rest Sunday

Would truly appreciate your thoughts on this thanks again!

Jacquelyn
Posted on: Fri, 08/14/2015 - 13:12

Hi,
I am just getting back into bodybuilding again. (experienced but haven't been doing it consistently).
My coach has me on 4-6 weeks of the following.
6 days on, 1 day off per week. Day 1: Glutes-Chest-Arms Day 2: Legs-Back-Shoulders (GCA, LBS, GCA, LBS, GCA, LBS). So same muscle groups every other day.
I'm only doing 2-3 sets per exercise, with about 6-8 reps per set.
Is this okay or overtraining? I thought hitting each group twice a week was enough but I'm hitting them three times per week. They goal is volume, and muscle building right now, and getting consistent.
Thoughts?

Adam
Posted on: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 23:54

This is not over training by any scale. It's closer to under training. And the rep range is way to low. I would have you on a two times a week with 12-15 x4 sets.... If your sleep and nutrition are in order of course.
He has you on what is known as a full body strength program.

Nabeel Javaid
Posted on: Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:04

Currently i am using 4 day plan as follow please suggest me if something wrong in my split routine
Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Biceps/Forearms
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Shoulders/Traps
Saturday: Lats/Triceps
Sunday: Rest

Ryan McGinness
Posted on: Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:06

Day 1: arms, shoulders, chest
Day 2: legs
Day 3: back and abs
Day 4: rest
Thanks for taking the time to look at this and is it a good split? I've been doing it for a few months now but I would like some advice from an experienced lifter.
Again thanks

Adam
Posted on: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 23:57

Arms shoulders and chest in one day would take me 4-5 hours to complete. What is your rep range and set numbers look like?

Mitch
Posted on: Sun, 02/15/2015 - 15:32

Hi Steven, I get to work out 4 times a week, but I can't workout on Fridays ,Saturday and Sunday. Could u recommend a 4 day split I could use based on these days? please

Thanks

Ari
Posted on: Mon, 11/03/2014 - 00:34

I'm a beginner. I think I'm going to start with the three day full body routine and add a day of cardio.
The thing I'm confused about is that most of the exercises say 3-5 set of 5-12 reps. Those a pretty big ranges. How many sets and reps are ideal? Thanks!

Kashif
Posted on: Sun, 09/07/2014 - 07:28

Sir please review
Mon
Chest and bicep

Tue
Shoulder and trap

Wed
Forearms and abs

Thru
Back and triceps

Fri
Legs incl calves

Abs on rest days or every other day along with dips,pushups and pullups

Manzi
Posted on: Wed, 08/06/2014 - 10:26

Hi Steve, how about this arm focussed split?

Back biceps
Chest triceps
Rest
Shoulders Legs
Triceps Biceps

Ray
Posted on: Mon, 08/04/2014 - 02:05

Steve,

Nicely written.
Do,you have any programs for guys over 50 who want to build muscle? Turning 58 this year.

Thank you!

r.

kevinlam419
Posted on: Fri, 08/01/2014 - 20:21

missing the Arnold's double split

jb
Posted on: Wed, 07/02/2014 - 13:18

Steve this is a great split...but may I ask what is the benefits of working out each bodypart 2x a week .
Thank you steve..i will be waiting for your reply

Nate
Posted on: Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:38

Hey Steve,
I've been working out for quite a while now. Wondering if my routine looks good.
No specific days of the week, schedule is busy, i get to the gym when i can.
Day1: Chest and Triceps
Day2: Biceps and Shoulders
Day3: Back and Lats
Day4: Legs and Abs
Thanks alot!

Austin
Posted on: Sun, 04/13/2014 - 19:00

Monday - Chest
Tuesday - Bi's/Tri's
Wednesday - Shoulders/Traps
Thursday - Back
Friday - Legs/Abs

James
Posted on: Mon, 02/17/2014 - 21:59

What do you think?

Day 1 - Ch,Tri,Sh
Bench Press - Bar
Incline Bench
DB Flys
Military Press
Lat Raises - Both
Dips
Abs - middle 2 exercises

Day 2 - Lg,Bk,Bi
Deadlifts
Calf Raises
Lunges
Lat pulldown
Seated row
Upright row
Curls

Ab - Side 2 different exercises

What do you think? I want a 2 day split but want to do it at least 4 maybe 6 times a week. Thoughts. Im thinking a 3or 4 sets of maybe 8 reps and heavy weights.

Zac
Posted on: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 06:07

Hi Steve

I just joined the gym and I have a split and I have no idea if is good or not

Monday - busy

Tuesday - Chest/Legs/shoulders

Wednesday - Footy

Thursday - Triceps/Abs

Friday - Biceps/Back

Saturday - Rest

Sunday - Rest

do u think u could help me out?

Magdalena
Posted on: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 18:09

If i was to add a coumpound exercise such as a bridge to really enhance my glutes where and how would i place it in the squat and deadlift focus 5 day split É or should i simply do a glute concentrated extra day and turn it into a 6 day split with 1 isolation day ?

pierce
Posted on: Wed, 01/22/2014 - 20:21

Hey steve,
Im trying a new split does this sound good:
Monday: legs
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: push
Tuesday: pull
Friday: legs
Saturday: push
Sunday: pull

Thomas
Posted on: Wed, 01/08/2014 - 18:51

It's ok this split: Pull/push/LegsPull/Push Two days off then repeat?
It's more bodyweight workout.

Vivek Singh
Posted on: Sat, 01/04/2014 - 05:35

PUMPING IRON

toby
Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 05:36

monday-chest(high volume)
triceps(high volume)
shoulders(low volume)

Tuesday-back(high volume)
biceps(high volume)

Wednesday-rest

Thursday-shoulders(high volume)
Triceps(low volume)
Chest(low volume)

Friday-back(low volume)
Biceps(low volume)
Abs(whatever really)

Saturday-rest

Sunday-legs motherfuckers

matin kp
Posted on: Thu, 12/12/2013 - 10:03

hey Steve
I am interested in Ur 3day full body workout in this article and gave it a try, well it worked and the result was amazing.
well these days I have lots of free time and I wanna hit the gym 2 extra day for fat burn by cardio
Does it work and build muscle as same as past???

Trevor
Posted on: Thu, 11/28/2013 - 10:54

What do you think of a 2 day split - Monday, chest back shoulders and Tuesday, legs and abs then rest 5 or more days?
I'm 48, ectomorph, male, enjoy working out, so don't just want to work out once a week, but I don't seem to grow much from workouts spaced 3 or 4 days apart.
Any advice appreciated
T

Stephen
Posted on: Mon, 10/14/2013 - 12:41

Mon- Chest, Triceps, Shoulders
Tue- Back, Biceps, Traps
Wed- Off
Thurs-Chest, Triceps, Shoulders
Fri- Back, Biceps, Traps
Saturday- Swimming/Cardio
Sunday-Off

Training muscles twice a week works best for me, i take glutamine and other supps for quick recovery

Chris
Posted on: Wed, 09/18/2013 - 22:23

Monday - Chest and Triceps
Tuesday- Back and Biceps
Wedsday - Legs
Thursday - rest
Friday - Shoulders and arms
Saturday - Legs(hamstring focused)

eddie
Posted on: Mon, 09/02/2013 - 12:19

hi steve does this sound like a good split wed chest, shoulders, arms-light workout thurs back and legs-light workout sat chest, shoulders, arms-heavy workout sun back and legs-heavy workout can this be beneficial? thanks steve

Alex
Posted on: Tue, 07/23/2013 - 15:34

I found this split works best for me.

Monday - Chest/ Biceps
Tuesday - Avoid Leg Day
Wednesday - Chest/Biceps
Friday - Biceps/Chest (I switched them up to create muscle confusion, math also helps)

You can add more frequency if you like, but I found that my spotter got too sore if I trained too often.

Add as about 15lb to your curls and bench every week, once you made enough progress change spotter and move on to bigger weights, this should also allow to train more often once you get a big enough spotter.

anuranjan
Posted on: Wed, 05/22/2013 - 02:14

hi steve ,

I'm a beginner . my target is to build an average body to impress girls .

routine / splits which i follow is

sun - cardio + abs
mon - chest + legs
tues - shoulder + back + traos
wednesday - biceps +triceps
thursday - shoulder + back + traps
fri - chest + abs
saturday - biceps +triceps

Pls comment if my splits are good or not ..thank you

Aken Bosch
Posted on: Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:15

Overtraining.
Get on the Fierce 5 Program for at least 4-5 months, and then after a good 3x per week split routine (full body). More importantly your diet and rest (talk to nutritionist about your goals). 4x per week splits only recommended later, maybe after 1 year. Remember, Arnold started with 3x split and kept it for years too.

Jonathan ross
Posted on: Sat, 05/11/2013 - 10:09

very good read. thanks for putting this up its a big help!

Jonathan ross
Posted on: Sat, 05/11/2013 - 10:07

A very good read, i enjoyed it thanks.

Dr. Nick
Posted on: Sun, 04/28/2013 - 15:09

HI EVERYBODY!

Noli
Posted on: Mon, 04/08/2013 - 02:24

Hi Steve,

Id been doing the 3 day beginner routine for more than a month already but I have a back problem thats why I try avoiding deadlifts and squats. Whats the best alternate for this kind of exercise?

Ali
Posted on: Sat, 03/23/2013 - 12:30

Hi, Steve what do you think of this routine. Let me know if something should be changed thanks
•Monday - Chest and Abs
•Tuesday - Back and Calves
•Wednesday - Cardio(Boxing) and Abs
•Thursday - Shoulders and Traps
•Friday - Arms(Biceps,Triceps and Forearms)
•Saturday -Legs and Calves
•Sunday - OFF

Christian Sizemore
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 00:34

Hi Steve, I'm looking to put on some muscle mass before football season starts back up and in not sure what to do far as rep/set wise based on my 6 day routine.

Monday:Legs/Calves
Tuesday:Back/Abs
Wednesday:Chest
Thursday:Shoulders/Traps/Abs
Friday:Triceps/Biceps/Forearms
Saturday:Cardio/Abs

Christian Sizemore
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 00:34

Hi Steve, I'm looking to put on some muscle mass before football season starts back up and in not sure what to do far as rep/set wise based on my 6 day routine.

Monday:Legs/Calves
Tuesday:Back/Abs
Wednesday:Chest
Thursday:Shoulders/Traps/Abs
Friday:Triceps/Biceps/Forearms
Saturday:Cardio/Abs

Christian Sizemore
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 00:26

I'm looking to gain muscle mass for football season and I'm not for sure on the reps and sets I should do based on my 6 day split

Monday:Legs/Calves
Tuesday:Back/Abs
Wednesday:Chest
Thursday:Shoulders/Traps/Abs
Friday:Triceps/Biceps/Forearms
Saturday:Cardio/Abs

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