The Best Workout Split for Muscle Gain

Best workout split options for optimal fitness gains
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Choosing the best workout split is important to reaching your fitness goals, no matter if you’re a newbie who wants to get stronger or an expert lifter who wants to gain muscle mass.

In essence, they let you split up your workouts so that you can work on different muscle groups or types of exercise on different days. You can’t say enough about how important workout splits are for growing muscle.

They make sure that each muscle group has enough time to rest before being worked out again, which leads to better training and recovery. This method can help you make bigger gains with a lower chance of getting hurt.

I will talk about the most common workout routines for muscle growth, including their benefits, as well as some exercise examples to help you choose the best workout split for your needs and preferences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Splitting routines: Workout sessions should be split up so that target muscles can rest and recover.
  • Different splits, such as full-body, upper/lower, push/pull/legs, or individual body parts, are appropriate for different goals and schedules.
  • Consider recovery: In your split routine, adjust the volume or rest days to ensure proper muscle recovery.
  • Focus on your goals: For strength improvements, full-body or push/pull/leg splits may be preferable; however, for hypertrophy, particular body parts splits may be more effective.
  • Consistency is fundamental. To sustain long-term results, choose a split schedule that works for you and your lifestyle.

Understanding Different Types of Workout Splits

There are several different types of workout splits, each with its own advantages and considerations. Let’s explore some of the most common ones:

Full-Body Split: A Beginner’s Best Choice

For those just starting with strength training, a full-body split is often recommended. This split involves working out your entire body in each session, usually three times a week. The benefits of a full-body split include enhanced recovery since each muscle group is worked just enough before having several days to recover.

A full-body split is an excellent choice for beginners because it allows you to become familiar with different exercises and movement patterns. It also helps build a solid foundation of strength and overall fitness. As you progress, you can gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts.


3-Day Full-Body Workout Schedule

Day 1:

  • Squats: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Bench Press: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Bent-over Rows: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Planks: 3 sets x 60 seconds

Day 2: Rest or Active Recovery

Day 3:

  • Deadlifts: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Overhead Press: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Pull-ups/Assisted Pull-ups: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Russian Twists: 3 sets x 20 reps

Day 4: Rest or Active Recovery

Day 5:

  • Lunges: 4 sets x 10 reps per leg
  • Dips: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Pendlay Rows: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Leg Raises: 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Day 6 & 7: Rest or Active Recovery
full body workout split
full body workout split

Upper/Lower Split: Balancing Intensity and Recovery

As you progress through your fitness journey, an upper/lower split can help you strike a balance between workout intensity and recovery time. This split separates your training into upper and lower body days. It’s useful for those who want to increase their training frequency without overloading any specific muscle group.

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The upper/lower training split enables you to focus on specific muscle groups during each session, resulting in more targeted training. It also gives each muscle group enough rest in between workouts, which promotes recovery and muscle growth.

4 Day Split Example

Day 1: Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Pull-ups: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Shoulder Press: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Bicep Curls: 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Tricep Dips: 3 sets x 10 reps

Day 2: Lower Body

  • Squats: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Deadlifts: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Lunges: 3 sets x 10 reps per leg
  • Calf Raises: 3 sets x 12 reps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Upper Body

  • Repeat Day 1 exercises

Day 5: Lower Body

  • Repeat Day 2 exercises

Day 6 & 7: Rest

6 Day Split Example

Day 1: Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 3 sets x 6 reps
  • Rows: 3 sets x 6 reps
  • Overhead Press: 3 sets x 6 reps
  • Pull-downs: 3 sets x 6 reps

Day 2: Lower Body

  • Squats: 3 sets x 6 reps
  • Deadlifts: 3 sets x 6 reps
  • Leg Press: 3 sets x 6 reps
  • Hamstring Curls: 3 sets x 6 reps

Day 3: Upper Body

  • Repeat Day 1 exercises with variation if desired.

Day 4: Lower Body

  • Repeat Day 2 exercises with variation if desired.

Day 5: Upper Body

  • Repeat Day 1 exercises, focusing on intensity or volume adjustments.

Day 6: Lower Body

  • Repeat Day 2 exercises, adjusting focus as on Day 5
  • Day 7: Rest
Upper workout Split
Upper workout Split

Push/Pull/Legs Split: For Increased Training Frequency

For intermediate to advanced lifters, a push/pull/legs split provides even greater versatility. This split divides workouts into pushing, pulling, and leg exercises. This method allows for more frequent training for each muscle group, making it ideal for those looking to build muscle and strength.

The push/pull/legs split is an effective way to ensure that all major muscle groups are trained frequently while also providing adequate rest and recovery. By dividing your training in this manner, you can concentrate on compound movements and add more volume to your workouts.

Example Schedules for Push/Pull/Legs Split

3-Day Split (Beginner to Intermediate)

  • Monday: Push Day
  • Exercises targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Example: Bench Press, Overhead Press, Tricep Dips
  • Wednesday: Pull Day
  • Focuses on the back, biceps, and forearms.
  • Example: Pull-ups, Rows, Bicep Curls
  • Friday: Legs Day
  • Targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
  • Example: Squats, Deadlifts, and Calf Raises

6-Day Split (Intermediate to Advanced)

  • Monday: Push
  • Focus on heavier weights and compound movements.
  • Tuesday: Pull
  • Emphasis on intensity and incorporating variations.
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Include both compound and isolation exercises for lower body.
  • Thursday: Push
  • Adjust exercises or order to target muscles differently.
  • Friday: Pull
  • Increase the volume or intensity from the first pull day.
  • Saturday: Legs
  • Focus on weaknesses or include unilateral exercises.
  • Sunday: Rest
legs day workout split
legs day workout split

Individual Body Parts Split: Maximizing Hypertrophy

In traditional bodybuilding workout plans, an individual body parts split means focusing your whole workout on just one or two muscle groups. Take the chest, shoulders, triceps, and back as an example. Advanced lifters who want to get the most hypertrophy should do this split. A lot of focused attention on each muscle group can lead to impressive size gains, but it takes a lot of time.

With this split, you can use different exercises and training methods to focus on different muscle groups. It lets you do more and work out harder, which helps your muscles get bigger and stronger.

Here’s a sample individual body part split schedule:

  • Monday: Chest
  • Bench Press: 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Push-Ups: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Deadlifts: 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Pull-Ups: 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Legs
  • Squats: 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Hamstring Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Friday: Shoulders
  • Overhead Press: 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Front Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Rear Delt Flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Saturday: Arms
  • Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Tricep Dips: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Sunday: Rest
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rest day after hard workout week
rest day after hard workout week

The Role of Recovery in Muscle Building

In order to build muscle, recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Different workout splits help your body recover by giving some muscles a break while you work out others. If you want to recover faster and build more muscle, you might want to add active recovery techniques, enough sleep, and good nutrition to your routine.

For muscles to grow and recover, they need to sleep. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of good sleep every night so your body has time to fully heal. For muscles to grow and repair themselves, they need the right nutrients, like a balance of macronutrients and enough protein. Active recovery techniques like foam rolling, stretching, and light cardio can also help get more blood flowing to muscles and make them feel less sore.

Designing Your Personalized Workout Split

For long-term success, you need to make a workout plan that works for your fitness level, goals, and way of life. Take a look at where you are and where you want to go to begin. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and think about any specific goals you have, like getting stronger, gaining muscle mass, or doing better in sports.

It’s important to find a balance between workout intensity, frequency, and duration when making your own workout split. To build strength and fitness, beginners may find that full-body or upper/lower splits are helpful. Lifters who are more experienced can try more specialized splits, such as push/pull/legs or splits for specific body parts.

Remember that you can change the way you work out at any time. You might need to make changes as you go along to keep pushing your muscles and avoid hitting a plateau. Pay attention to your body and be willing to try new things until you find the one that works best for you.

Natural Strength and Muscle Building: A Personal Trainer’s Perspective

I’ve seen the benefits of a well-structured workout split firsthand as a personal trainer whose goal is to help people build strength naturally. Working in the fitness industry has taught me how important it is to use natural ways to reach my fitness goals. We stress at Mind to Muscle Fitness that patience, hard work, and consistency are more important than drugs and steroids as ways to get in shape quickly.

Natural strength and muscle building are ways of life that put a person’s health and well-being first. It focuses on long-term habits that help you make progress and get fitter overall. You can reach your fitness goals in a safe and healthy way by using natural methods to build or maintain your strength.

Implementing Your Workout Split: Practical Tips and Tricks

When you first start a new workout split, making goals and setting realistic expectations can help you stay motivated. Keeping track of your progress on a regular basis and making any necessary changes will help you keep getting better. Adding variety to your routine can also help you avoid hitting the wall and keep your workouts fun.

Here are some useful tips and tricks for putting your workout split into action:

  1. Set realistic goals: identify what you want to achieve with your workouts and set realistic goals. This will help you stay focused and motivated throughout your fitness journey.
  2. Track your progress: Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to track your workouts, weights lifted, and reps performed. Regularly review your progress to see how far you’ve come and identify areas for improvement.
  3. Make adjustments as needed: As you progress, you may need to adjust your workout split to continue challenging your muscles. Increase weights, change exercise variations, or modify the number of sets and reps to keep pushing your limits.
  4. Incorporate variety: Prevent boredom and plateaus by incorporating variety into your workouts. Try different exercises, training techniques, or workout formats to keep your body and mind engaged.
  5. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels and adjust your workouts accordingly. To properly recover, take a day off or change how you’re training if you’re feeling tired or in pain.
  6. Fuel your body: Proper nutrition is essential for muscle growth and recovery. Ensure you’re consuming enough calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients to support your training experience and overall health.
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Remember, consistency is key when it comes to implementing your workout split. Stay dedicated to your training and make it a part of your lifestyle to achieve long-term results.


To pick the best workout split for building muscle, you need to know your body, your goals, and the basic ideas behind each type of split. You can find a split that works for you, no matter how skilled you are as a lifter.

Remember that the best workout split is the one you can follow every time. Try different things until you find what works best for you. Have fun as you get your body stronger and healthier.

Workout splits are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to building muscle. Mind to Muscle Fitness has a lot of information that can help you get the most out of your workouts, nutrition, and recovery.

Do something now and hit the gym!


Q What are workout splits?

A: A workout split is when you divide your workouts so that you work on different muscle groups or types of training on different days. This method lets you train and recover more efficiently, which means you can make bigger gains with less risk of injury.

Q: What is the significance of workout splits in muscle building?

A: Workout splits are very important for building muscle because they give each muscle group enough time to rest before being worked out again. This helps the body recover faster and can help muscles grow more effectively.

Q: How can workout splits optimize training and recovery?

A: Workout splits Make sure that each muscle group gets enough rest between workouts by dividing your training into different types of training or muscle groups. This better way of training and recovering can help you build muscle and do better overall.

Q: Which workout split is best for beginners?

A: If you are just starting out, a full-body split is often a good idea. This means working out the whole body every time, which is usually three times a week. Additionally, it speeds up recovery and is a great way to get stronger and more fit.

Q: Which workout split is ideal for intermediate to advanced lifters?

A: Intermediate to advanced lifters can benefit from a push/pull/legs split. This split separates workouts into pushing exercises, pulling exercises, and leg exercises, allowing for increased training frequency and specialization.

Q: How important is recovery in muscle building?

A: Recovery is just as important as the workout itself in muscle building. Adequate rest, proper nutrition, and active recovery techniques are essential for optimal muscle growth and overall performance.

Q: Can I combine different workout splits?

A: Yes, it’s possible to combine different workout splits to suit your specific needs and goals. For example, you could start with a full-body split for a few months to build a foundation, then transition to an upper/lower split for more focused training. Experiment with different combinations and find what works best for you.

Q: How long should each training session be?

A: The duration of each workout session can vary depending on your fitness level, goals, and the type of exercises you’re performing. As a general guideline, aim for 45 minutes to an hour of focused, intense training. However, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust the duration as needed to avoid overexertion or fatigue.

Q: Can I change my workout split as I progress?

A: Absolutely! As you progress in your fitness journey, your needs and goals may change. It’s essential to regularly assess your training program and make adjustments as needed. Don’t be afraid to try new workout splits or modify your current one to keep challenging your muscles and prevent plateaus.

Q: Should I consult a personal trainer when designing my workout split?

A: You don’t have to talk to a personal trainer, but it can be helpful, especially if you’re new to strength training or have clear goals in mind. A certified personal trainer can help you figure out how fit you are, help you make a good workout plan, and give you expert advice on form, technique, and progression.

About Post Author

Eugene Young

With over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry, Eugene combines his extensive knowledge of strength training and nutritional science to empower individuals on their journey to wellness. His philosophy centers around the belief that anyone can achieve their fitness goals through dedication, proper guidance, and a holistic approach to health. Eugene's passion for natural bodybuilding and his commitment to helping others achieve their best selves have made Mind to Muscle Fitness a beacon for those seeking to improve their lives naturally and sustainably.
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