Being stuck at home doesn't mean you can't get in a great workout. Take on some serious "bro-split" training and build muscle with this 5-day at-home workout.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration10 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout30-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Bands, Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Many people have had to compromise their muscle-building aspirations because their local gyms have closed or they had to resort to training at home. They love training so much that doing three or four-day workout splits doesn’t scratch the training itch enough. If only they could do a traditional “bro-split” at home but still feel like they did serious work.

If any of that applied to you, then keep reading because M&S once again has you covered. This 5 day program will take you through five days (two days of rest will be good for you) of serious training that you can do in the gym or at home if you have the equipment.

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

Required Equipment

You should be able to complete all the workouts with this basic equipment. If there is anything on this list that you don’t have, go check out the M&S Exercise section to find substitutions that you can work with. Here is what you will need for this routine:

  • Barbell and plates
  • Squat rack
  • Adjustable bench
  • Dumbbells
  • Bands
  • Your body

Man doing barbell back squats in gym.

Training Strategies

Because you’re training at home and may not have the same access to things you would normally use at the gym, some exercises will be a little creative. You may have to do the same to make the most out of your sets. Here are a few ways that you can make the sets more meaningful so you can get the most out of your workouts. We will throw more in as we go through each body part, but these are the main ones to keep in mind.

Longer Negatives

If you can’t go heavier, go slower. Perform negatives of these exercises for as long as five or even ten seconds. This can make the weight you do have more challenging because you have to control it for longer.

Cut the Rest Time

Shave down your rest periods to 30 seconds if possible. If that is too short, go for 45 instead and try to work your way down to 30. Aside from making the workout more challenging, you can shave minutes off of your workout if you have a busy day.

Flex the Muscles in Between Sets

Don’t go into a full posedown, but take a few seconds to contract and squeeze the muscles you’re working with. This can play a factor in how the workout goes as you come down the home stretch.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Your Home Gym Workouts More Challenging

Training Schedule

You can work this five-day split in a number of ways. You can go five in a row before taking two off. I actually suggest going with a day off in the middle. A split like this would be a great way to program your week.

  • Day 1 - Chest
  • Day 2 - Back
  • Day 3 - Arms
  • Day 4 - Rest
  • Day 5 - Shoulders
  • Day 6 - Legs
  • Day 7 - Rest

Man in all black doing lateral raises with plates in gym setting.

Chest Day

Incline Barbell Bench Press - If you can add weight to each set, then do that. You should build up to a top weight and be able to execute at least the lowest of the rep range. If you can’t add weight, do slower negatives with the same weight each set. This can make the next set harder without making it heavier.

Dumbbell Floor Press - Doing these on the floor will stop you from a full stretch, which can save your shoulders. If you have limited dumbbells, take a band and wrap it around your back while holding the ends in your hands. Holding the bands and dumbbells will make you work harder as the weight is pressed up. Pause when your upper arms touch the floor before pressing again.

Banded Fly - If you have two bands, wrap one end of each around the rack or solid object while holding the other, and perform flyes like you would on a pec-deck. If you only have one, wrap it around yourself and hold the ends, and do flys standing. If you don’t have bands, use dumbbells.

Push Ups - Do these on the floor until you reach failure. Stand up and put your hands on an elevated surface. Now do more pushups until you reach failure again. This is similar to a drop set because you don’t have to push up as much of your body weight.

Back Day

Bent Over Row - You can use a barbell or dumbbells for these. Focus on squeezing the back muscles as hard as you can at the top before lowering the weight back down. If you can go heavier, do it. If not, hold the contraction for longer periods each set.

Dumbbell Pullover - When you do these, lie across your bench instead of directly on it. Also, hold the stretch at the bottom of the movement for a count of three before performing the next rep. Hold the final stretch for 10 seconds.

Banded Row - Wrap the band around a rack or solid object so you can hold both ends in your hands. Perform rows as if you were on a row machine in the gym. You can do these standing or seated, as long as you have a good range of motion.

Shrugs - Whatever you have to use, use them and go to failure three times. When it burns to the point that your form is compromised, you’re done.

Arm Day

Barbell Curl - Perform half of the reps with a closer grip to target the outer biceps and the other half with a wider grip for the inner portion. This will kickstart your arm day in a hurry.

Hammer Curl - Obviously dumbbells are the way to go here. Instead of doing them in the normal fashion, go across the body to hit more of the forearms as well as the brachioradialis.

Band Curl - Hold the last rep of each set for up to 15 seconds. By the time you get to the third set, your biceps will be done.

Overhead Tricep Extension - If you have a heavy dumbbell, use both arms. If not, focus on one side at a time. Either way, get a good stretch before lifting the weight up.

Dumbbell Kickback - Focus on your speed with these. Momentum will be tempting, but contract the muscle instead of focusing on the weight. This will help make the exercise more effective.

Close Grip Push Up - Keep the hands shoulder-width apart. Go until you can’t go anymore. The lockout is important since we’re focusing on the triceps.

Shoulder Day

Arnold Press - The traditional method calls for you to use both dumbbells at the same time. Try alternating arms or do all the reps on one side before repeating with the other.

Front Raise - It can be with a barbell, dumbbells, plates, or even a kettlebell if you have one. Just focus on using the front delts and prevent swinging at all costs.

Lateral Raise - If you can’t go with heavier weight, hold your reps at the top for a count of somewhere between three and five before lowering the weight. This will add a new twist to a classic move.

Band Pull Apart - The pulling of the band will increase tension. If you keep your arms straight in front of you and pull the band apart, it will light up your rear delts. Perform the negative slowly before repeating.

Leg Day

Squats - If you need to compromise due to lack of weight, pause at the bottom of the squat for a couple of seconds before going up as quickly as you can. If you can add the weight, go heavier as long as you can maintain form.

Stiff-Leg Deadlift - Either the barbell or dumbbell version will work here. If you have the dumbbells, go as low as you safely can. Barbell users, stand on a platform so you can maximize the range of motion.

Walking Lunges - Hold dumbbells, wear a weighted vest, hold a plate, do whatever you got to do to add resistance to this if your body weight isn’t enough.

Standing Calf Raise - It is going to be really tempting to fly through these. Don’t do it. Feel that stretch at the bottom and rise high at the top to flex the calves really well.

Day 1: Chest

Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 8-12
Dumbbell Floor Press 3 10-12
Banded Fly 3 12
Push Ups 3 12, 12, Drop Set

Day 2: Back

Exercise Sets Reps
Bent Over Row 4 8-12
Dumbbell Pullover 3 10-12
Banded Row 3 12
Shrugs 3 Failure

Day 3: Arms

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 4 12
Hammer Curl 3 10-12
Banded Curl 3 12
Overhead Tricep Extension 4 12
Dumbbell Kickback 4 12
Close Grip Push Up 4 Failure

Day 4: Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps
Arnold Press 4 8-12
Front Raise 3 10-12
Lateral Raise 3 12
Band Pull Apart 3 12, 12, Drop Set

Day 5: Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 8-12
Stiff-Leg Deadlift 4 10-12
Walking Lunge 4 12
Standing Calf Raise 3 Failure


As for abs, this is where you can make the workout your own. Find the one that you think would be beneficial for you and add it where you see fit in your new five-day routine. Here are a few we recommend:


There are a few different ways you can progress with this program. You can cut rest times a small bit to see if you can handle the same volume in less time. You can also pair up exercises to perform as supersets. For example, do hammer curls and band curls back-to-back without rest. Of course, if you have access to more weight, you can go heavier as well.

Training at home or with limited options is about making the most out of the options you have. The only thing you shouldn’t do is give up. As long as you’re committed and putting in work, you can see positive results that will last long after you can return to the gym.

Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2024 - 07:37

I wouldn't be a beginner lifter but I like the simplicity of this routine. If I decide to do this routine should I just increase sets and reps or would I need to add more exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/13/2024 - 09:25

Add a set to each workout and use boosters like drop sets or rest-pause on the last set of each movement. That should provide the challenge you need. Good luck, and thanks for reading M&S!

Cheryl H
Posted on: Tue, 02/13/2024 - 12:39

Incline Barbell Bench Press - I've used a stability ball in place of an inclined bench for dumbbell exercises before but that strikes me as not ideal and difficult to get into a position with a barbell. Should I replace this with the dumbbell version or should I replace with a standard bench press?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2024 - 05:22

Hi Cheryl, go with the dumbbells for this until you get an adjustable bench to do incline barbell with.

Posted on: Sat, 03/04/2023 - 16:28

Hello. I workout at home and I love the simplicity of this workout. Thank you! For the pushups the rep scheme is 12, 12, Drop set, but the instructions state to do them to failure then put your hands on an elevated surface for a drop set. So would we do the first set to failure only, rest, then do the second set to failure immediately followed by a drop set (hands elevated)? Also, for the shrug and calves to failure. What is a good rep protocol to use to progress? Could I do something like, choose a weight that allows me to do 15-20 reps, but when I hit 25 reps for the first time without stopping, I could up the weight? I have Powerblocks that go up to 90lbs. Thanks!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:56

Hey Sean, on the final set, start by going to failure. Then, place your hands on the elevated surface and go to failure again. The final set should be the only one you do like this.

Your strategy for the shrugs and calves is pretty much what I do. Great call! Thanks for reading M&S!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 03/24/2023 - 21:05

Correct on pushups.

2 working sets with the third set being a drop set.

Good luck, and thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2023 - 21:38

Thanks! It's still pushups to failure on all the working sets, correct? And then the exercises with drop sets. Is it 2 working sets going into 1 drop set as the third set or 3 working sets going into 1 drop set? Thanks!

Posted on: Sat, 06/11/2022 - 08:13

I’m looking to include hip thrusts to this plan twice a week, would Monday and Friday be okay prior to rest of exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2022 - 12:36

That would be okay, Pav.

Posted on: Sun, 05/08/2022 - 10:57

Can you replace band trainings with dumbbell barbell alternatives?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:56

Yes you can, Pav. Check out the Exercises section at the top of the page for exercise ideas if you need them.

Posted on: Mon, 09/06/2021 - 18:47

Hello, can i do flat dumbbell press on bench instead on the floor and on back day can i add Pull ups as first back exercise. Thanks!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 12:54

Hey there. This program was designed for minimal gym use for people that don't have benches or pull up handles. If you do, then by all means use everything you can. Do the presses on the bench and definitely start with pull ups on back day. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 15:47

Can we do dumbell flies instead banded fly?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 06/07/2021 - 10:00

Hey Hope - yes you can.

Posted on: Tue, 06/01/2021 - 12:45

what can i do in place of incline bench press

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 09:48

Hey hayley - you can do close grip dumbbell bench press.

Posted on: Sun, 05/30/2021 - 11:55

For all the excercises with ranges (8-12 or 8-10) Even hammer we have to increase weight each set till we get the lowest rep

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 06/01/2021 - 09:53

Hey Hope - You'll use the same weight across all sets. If you reach the upper limit of the reps, you'll increase weight the following week.

Posted on: Tue, 06/01/2021 - 12:28

thank u so much!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2021 - 20:22

Hi, Rohit. Start with 12, then 10 with heavier weight if possible, then 8 for the last two sets. You can try the 8,8,8,8 way if you like with the same weight, but the way I wrote first is the preferred method.

Posted on: Sat, 10/02/2021 - 12:00

Hello, do we have to do 8,8,8,8 reps (4 sets) and target to increase 1 more rep in each set. Or do we have to follow 8,10,10,12 (4 sets) ? Please let me know