A variation on the classic push, pull, legs split, working shoulders and back on the same day, and biceps with legs. This workout was designed by Troy (tadolfi).
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Split
  • Training Level
    Intermediate
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    3
  • Time Per Workout30-45 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female

Workout Description

This three day a week workout routine was one that helped me maintain my gains and actually inch my way toward a little more as I used it. The hard day is Wednesday, and you want to give yourself ample rest time between chest and triceps so you do not float through the tricep portion by reducing your weight or efforts, since they are taxed from the chest work done previously.

On Friday, same thing for back and shoulders, give time between body parts. The idea on shoulders is to keep form perfected to get the most out of it.

This type of program can spring board a person in to a bulk if they are willing to re-arrange a few exercises and adjust some of the sets. (perhaps sets of 6 with heavier weight) It is not recommended to run something like this on a cutting cycle, as there may be other exercises that can be swapped out to give an individual a better result through the cutter. (perhaps cables flyes instead of bench, more detailed tricep exercises to bring out heads, other curling exercises to include forearm, like hammers)

If you are in intermediate territory, and wondering about next steps, you may want to give this one a try for a few weeks.

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Legs and Biceps
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 8
Barbell Lunge 3 10
Leg Extension 3 8-10
Leg Curl 3 8
Seated Calf Raise 3 10-12
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Curl 3 8
Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 8
Concentration Curl 2 6-8

Tuesday - Rest Day

Wednesday - Chest and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8
Dumbbell Flyes 3 8
Incline Bench Press 3 8
Barbell Bench Press 3 6-8
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Tricep Dips 3 8
French Press 3 8
Cable Tricep Extension With Rope 3 10-12

Thursday - Rest Day

Friday - Back, Shoulders and Traps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
One Arm Bent Over Row 3 8
Seated Cable Row 3 8
Lat Pull Downs 3 8
Bent Over Row 2 6-8
Wide Grip Pull Up 2 To failure
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Front Raise 3 8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8
Bent Over Cable Rows 3 8
Seated Barbell Press 3 8
Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Shrug 3 8-10

Saturday and Sunday - Rest Days

47 Comments
musa
Posted on: Mon, 10/05/2020 - 08:35

Can you add pdf format of this program

Michael
Posted on: Wed, 07/31/2019 - 20:27

I've been working out on and off for years, and always come back to this workout. I love it! It's very good for working all muscles three days a week. When Troy says your triceps and others will go to failure, he is not joking! Chest first, then triceps .. ouch! But the best burn one could have!

Stephanie Falconi
Posted on: Wed, 11/14/2012 - 14:50

Hey guys! I've been an athlete my whole life and I've been thinking about getting on a maintenance routine. I am so excited to get on this plan starting today. I will definitely let you know how it goes. I do have a question. How should I incorporate working my abdominal muscles into this plan?

Corne Swart
Posted on: Sun, 03/18/2012 - 13:44

goodday i just open heart surgery i would like to know if i can follow this program or would you rather recomend something else. I have been in the gym prior to my op. Im six foot six and weigh 264 lb can u please assist me. And i have been cleared by my dr to go back to gym

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Steven
Posted on: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 13:55

Since you are familiar with lifting I think this should be ok. Just take a month and allow some time for your body to get used to the conditioning demands of the workout. Use only a moderate weight, and add weight very slowly until you feel comfortable with the program.

ismail
Posted on: Sat, 02/18/2012 - 15:35

hi
is this workout work with build muscle stage ??
How many weeks is it recommended to do
this routine ??

ismail
Posted on: Wed, 02/15/2012 - 04:05

hi
i'm in Building Muscle stage
can this workout work with me?
and How many weeks is it recommended to do?

sean
Posted on: Sat, 12/10/2011 - 13:28

I am in rugby and need lots of cardio running but I love your workout. Is it ok to run of the rest days? (tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)? or after the workouts on monday wednesday friday? Thanks

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Steven
Posted on: Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:49

Absolutely. As long as you aren't undereating running is a solid choice.

Ian
Posted on: Mon, 10/31/2011 - 12:39

Steve

Can I mix in abs while I rest between sets? I usually cant spen more than an hour at the gym and would like to get in a little running at the end of my workout.

Ian

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Steven
Posted on: Mon, 10/31/2011 - 12:49

If muscle building is a goal you;re better off hitting abs after these workouts.

Herman
Posted on: Wed, 10/19/2011 - 01:18

will this workout be good for losing weight and starting to building muscle

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Steven
Posted on: Fri, 10/21/2011 - 15:51

Yes, it can help you work towards your goals. You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eating to maximize muscle retention while cutting fat. Here are two articles that can help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-for-cutting-...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

Emil94
Posted on: Mon, 09/12/2011 - 17:54

Dude , can this workout be alternated to :
Monday : Chest + Tri's
Wed : LEgs + Biceps
Fri: Back + shoulders + traps
?
IS overtraining more possible this way i mean ?

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Steven
Posted on: Fri, 09/30/2011 - 12:13

That should work!

Jeremy
Posted on: Thu, 09/08/2011 - 15:15

It says that this could be used for mass if a few of the exercises were re-aranged, What should be moved?

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Steven
Posted on: Wed, 09/28/2011 - 14:54

Hi Jeremy,

I wouldn't worry about moving any of the exercises. You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/building-muscle-eating-like-a...

Radwan
Posted on: Sat, 07/09/2011 - 16:53

i have a question : i train day one:chest day two back day three shoulders day four biceps and triceps ....is that ok ???

Christopher
Posted on: Tue, 07/05/2011 - 19:49

Hello Steve! Would you recommend do cardio on tuesday, thursday, and Saturday and taking a rest day on Sunday?

Bill Grimes
Posted on: Tue, 06/28/2011 - 12:55

Should/can I do decline sit-ups and planks everyday? An old body builder said to do abs everyday...is that still good advice?

Bill Grimes
Posted on: Tue, 06/28/2011 - 12:47

I just started your 3 day maintenance workout. Is it O.K. to walk on treadmill (20 mins.) for cardio on off days?

Sameed
Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2011 - 09:11

hi steve...by doing two muscles a session makes me tired a bit more than one muscle per session.Is this normal?

Ivan Nyc
Posted on: Tue, 03/29/2011 - 23:31

Hello Steve! Is it OK to do cardio and ab workouts on Tuesday and Thursday? Im asking this because I'm used to working out 5 days a week.

Eliezer R
Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 03:45

what is a good subtitute for the leg curl since i dont have that machine in my gym.. and also how many sets/reps for that sumbtitute?
-thank you

Corey
Posted on: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 15:32

I have recently lost about 80 pounds for training for a half marathon and love to run. I am now trying to tighten up my lower stomach, sides, lower back, and thighs. Would this workout be good for someone like me trying to tone and tighten up and loosing a tad more fat?

Thanks.

Dave
Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:28

Hi, was wondering if you could use deadlifts in this program and what would you replace them with.
Thanks

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Steven
Posted on: Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:02

Hi Dave,

I would drop lat pull downs (or pullups if you can't do them), and add deadlifts on back day. perform them first on that day.

Chris
Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2010 - 09:20

the gym i use is very basic with only free weights, dumb bells etc. so there are no machines. could you give me a variation of the seated cable row, lat pull down, cable tricep extension and the bent over cable row.
cheers for the help

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Steven
Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2010 - 14:12

Hi Chris,

I would recommend T-Bars or two arm bent over rows, skullcrushers and dumbbell bent over reverse flyes.

omair
Posted on: Fri, 09/17/2010 - 14:06

hi steve...
how much should i take rest between sets and exercises???
is there any alternative exercise for bent over cable rows???
can i do leg press instead of lunges???

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Steven
Posted on: Mon, 09/20/2010 - 12:02

Hi Omair,

Rest about 90 to 120 seconds between most sets, and up to 3 to 5 minutes if needed between heavy, taxing sets. For bent over cable rows you can perform bent over reverse dumbbell flyes. And leg presses are a great choice.

john ski
Posted on: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 12:59

Have a young girl posing for a calender in 6 weeks, is toned low body fat For the first 2 weeks I warmed her up slowly. Only has 3 days per week. So for the next 3 weeks I have her doing full body 5-7 reps 4 sets, abs then cardio"interval" conditioning, then for the last 3 swicth to this. Any comments? Diet is tuned in well.

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Steven
Posted on: Tue, 08/31/2010 - 14:47

Hi John,

Sounds like a solid approach. Make sure she pushes herself in the gym for more reps and weight when possible, so she maintains muscle while cutting fat.

gary
Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 21:45

ps i no you said do cardio after weight & abs
but would you do 10min on the x trainner warm up b4 weights ?

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Steven
Posted on: Wed, 07/21/2010 - 13:55

Hi Gary,

It's a good idea to do 5-10 minutes of light cardio to warmup and get the blood flowing.

gary
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2010 - 21:47

i can olny train on mons thur & fris is that still ok to do this workout

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Steven
Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 15:19

Hi Gary,

That would workout ok.

gary
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2010 - 18:16

with this workout would you do 10min x trainer at the start and abs after every weights session and if so is this ok
4 x 30 swiss ball crunchs
3 x 20 jacknifes
3 x 15 leg raises
4 x 1min planks
thank you mate for the addvise

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Steven
Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 15:16

Hi Gary,

It's best to perform cardio after lifting weights. Your ab workout looks good!

gary
Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 17:39

so should i do abs straight after weights or cardio then abs
and i always have oats with protein and dash of honey at 5 45am
then hit the gym at 7am.would you skip breakfast and have a banana instead
b4 you train???

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Steven
Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 19:30

Hi Gary,

Yes, you are correct...weights, then abs, followed by cardio.

If you are handling your current breakfast well while training, I would stick with it. If the solid food is an issue while you train, you could simply switch to whey and a piece of fruit.

gary
Posted on: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 21:27

sweet mate thanks for the info.will let you no how i get on

josh
Posted on: Sun, 06/13/2010 - 20:23

I am a beginner weightlifter. In reference to the shoulders and back on the same day, I was told that its not the best thing because shoulders is mainly pushing weight, and back is mainly pulling weight. I was told to do chest and shoulders on one day and back and biceps on the same day. I dont understand completely, can u explain?

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Steven
Posted on: Mon, 06/14/2010 - 18:50

It's OK to work them on the same day. Many, many bodybuilders train opposing muscle groups on the same day. It's really not so much about split structure as it is about having a good diet and pushing yourself in the weight room.

Donn Irwin
Posted on: Sat, 06/12/2010 - 22:15

Hi;I,am 50 years old and have been a power lifter in the past been in the gym for most of my life using all types of routines. The knees are starting to suffer with squats, even so I have always worked out doing legs twice a week its time for a rest. Thought I'd give this a go let you know.By the way my son is into a program in which you lift heavy for 2 sets 6-8 reps and then lower the weight and increase the reps say up to 12 any comment and can you recommend such a program.

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Steven
Posted on: Sun, 06/13/2010 - 11:10

That's a fairly easy training protocol to use. You could do a couple working sets of - say - bench at 6 to 8 reps, and then drop the weight by 30 pounds or so for the next few sets to gradually increase the rep range.

AJ
Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2010 - 07:19

I heard changing reps is not good for the body, i have seen a big diffrence on my routine which i started recently and I started with no muscles what so ever now my arms quite tones and im doing more at the gym than i ever did, I suggest he makes his own routine, he should work out each muscle every week and think about working out the close muscles together such as abs and chest maybe, then give your self a goal of how many reps and sets you want to do, stick to that no matter what and start off low. for example fridays i do legs so i am going to do squats 5 reps 5 sets of 70 kg if i do it without any problems i move up 2.5 kg. This was good because I started off with 10 kg and have not gained bad habits, i can do it propely and i see a big diffrence.