BEST 3 DAY SPLIT WORKOUT ROUTINE

There are many ways to setup an effective 3 day split workout routine.

The most effective and efficient approach, however, is to go with a “legs/push/pull” structure:

Monday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
Tuesday:
Rest
Wednesday:
Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Thursday:
Rest
Friday:
Back/Biceps
Saturday:
Rest
Sunday:
Rest

With this particular 3 day split workout routine, you’ll train your legs on Monday, upper body pushing muscles on Wednesday (chest/shoulders/triceps) and upper body pulling muscles on Friday (back/biceps).

The reason why this structure is so effective is because it trains related muscle groups all in the same workout.

For example, any time you perform a basic pressing movement for chest, it also involves the shoulders and triceps… Any time you perform an overhead press for shoulders, the triceps also come into play… Whenever you do a pulling movement for back, the biceps are stimulated etc.

By training these related muscle systems on the same days, you eliminate “overlap” throughout the week and give each muscle maximum recovery time in between workouts.

When you separate chest/shoulders/triceps or back/biceps into separate workouts you can sometimes end up pre-exhausting certain muscles that come into play during the next workout.

For example, you might end up hitting triceps before shoulders, or biceps before back. While this may not be a huge issue in a lot of cases, the legs/push/pull structure ensures that you’re entering every workout fully recovered and able to give a maximum effort.

Here’s an example of a highly effective workout plan for each specific day using this 3 day split workout routine…

____________________________________________

Monday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Barbell Squat
2 – 4
8 – 10
45 Degree Leg Press
2 – 4
8 – 10
Stiff-Legged Deadlift
2 – 4
8 – 10
Lying Leg Curl
2 – 4
5 – 7
Standing Machine Calf Raise
2 – 4
8 – 10
Seated Machine Raise
2 – 4
8 – 10

____________________________________________

Wednesday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Flat Dumbbell Press
2 – 4
5 – 7
Incline Dumbbell Press
2 – 4
5 – 7
Cable Crossover
2 – 4
8 – 10
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press
2 – 4
5 – 7
Standing Cable Side Lateral
2 – 4
8 – 10
Tricep Pushdown
2 – 3
5 – 7
One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension
2 – 3
5 – 7

____________________________________________

Friday: Back/Biceps

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Barbell Deadlift
2 – 4
5 – 7
Overhand Chin Up
2 – 4
5 – 7
One Arm Dumbbell Row
2 – 3
5 – 7
V-Bar Pulldown
2 – 3
5 – 7
Barbell Curl
2 – 3
5 – 7
Standing Dumbbell Curl
2 – 3
5 – 7
Face Pulls
2 – 3
8 – 10

____________________________________________

Additional Notes

Here are a few other notes about this 3 day split workout routine…

1) The number of sets you perform (whether it’s 2, 3 or 4) will depend on your training intensity level. If you’re training all the way to concentric failure, stick with the low end, and if you’re training a rep or two short of failure, go with the high end.

2) You don’t have to specifically train on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. If you’d prefer to train on different days to suit your schedule that’s fine.

3) This split is not necessarily limited to 3 total days of training per week. If you want to train 4 or 5 days per week, you can certainly do that by simply training with an interval structure rather than on set days. For example:

Day 1: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
Day 2: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Back/Biceps
Day 5: Rest
* Repeat

This is just one of many possibilities.

4) Abs can be trained at the end of each workout for 10-15 minutes. The top recommended ab exercises include rope crunches, swiss ball planks, stir the pot, pallof press, lying leg raises and dead bug wall pushes.

5) Make sure to combine your training with a proper nutrition plan as well. You can check out our various free bodybuilding and fitness meal plans below:

3000 Calorie Meal Plan

3500 Calorie Meal Plan

4000 Calorie Meal Plan

4500 Calorie Meal Plan

5000 Calorie Meal Plan

I hope you found this 3 day split workout routine information helpful.

– Sean

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