3 Day Gym Workout Routine (The Ultimate Guide w/ Free PDF)

If you’re looking for an ultimate, easy-to-follow, and effective 3-day split workout to help you build a brawny physique, I can help you.

I’m helping tens of thousands of people achieve their best shape through my free workout programs. I feel delighted when people text me on Instagram and Facebook or email me about their progress. That gives me the motivation to share new routines and update the old ones so my workout plans stay relevant and effective and can help you reach your fitness goal.

In this article, I’ve shared a complete 3 day gym workout routine (with PDF) for those who have limited time for the gym but want to be fit, strong, and healthy.

Whether you want to put on some muscles, grow strength, or enhance your overall fitness, you can follow this program to achieve your goal.

3 Day Workout Program Description

Program Duration6-8 Weeks
Program GoalBuild Muscle and Strength
Routine TypeUpper/Lower Mix and PPL
Training LevelBeginner to Advanced
Training Days per Week3 Days
Suitable ForMen and Women
Duration of One Session60-90 minutes

Split Type: I’ve shared two different splits in this article. The first one involves performing a combined upper/lower body workout in each session, while the other includes push exercises on day one, pull exercises on day two, and leg workouts on day three. You can follow one of them or a combination of both.

Suggested Program Duration: Whether you follow split A, B, or a combination of both, make sure you do it for at least 12 weeks to see the visible results.

Workout Goal: This program is for lifters who want to increase their strength, build lean mass, and want to look aesthetically.

Difficulty Level: Most of the exercises I’ve shared in this routine are suitable for all fitness levels.

Target Gender: From males to females, anyone can follow this three-day split.

Warm-up: Start your workout with 5-minutes of dynamic warm-up exercises, then five minutes of resistance training with light weight. For example, you can do seated machine flies for the chest, pulldown for the back, and leg extensions for the quads before lifting heavy.

The Hybrid 3 Day Split Workout for Muscle Gain

3 Day Gym Workout Schedule
  • Day 1: Chest, Triceps, and Calves
  • Day 2: Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings
  • Day 3: Shoulder, Quadriceps, and Glutes

Day 1: Chest, Triceps, and Calves

WorkoutSetsRepsRest Between Sets
Flat Bench/Machine Press412, 10, 8, 81-2 min
Incline DB Bench Press312, 10, 81-2 min
Machine Chest Fly312, 10, 101-2 min
Triceps Rope Pushdown312, 10, 101-2 min
One-arm Overhead Tricep Extension310/arm1-2 min
Standing Calf Raises315, 15, 151-2 min

Instructions:

  • Increase the load after each set of every exercise.
  • Perform each exercise in a controlled manner with proper form.

You can replace some exercises for the chest, triceps, and calves in the following weeks of 3 day gym workout schedule.

Here’s the list of exercises you can incorporate or replace in the coming weeks:

ExerciseMuscle
Incline Bench PressChest
DipsChest and Triceps
Dumbbell PulloverChest
Pec Deck FlyChest
Skull CrusherTriceps
Tricep KickbackTriceps
Bench DipsTriceps
Cable Triceps PushdownTriceps
Donkey Calf RaisesCalves

Day 2: Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings

WorkoutSetsRepsRest
Lat Pulldown412, 10, 10, 81-3 min
Bent-over Barbell Row312, 10, 81-2 min
Seated Cable Rowing312, 10, 81-2 min
Barbell Biceps Curl312, 10, 101-2 min
Concentration Curl312, 10, 101-2 min
Romanian Deadlift310, 8, 61-3 min

Instructions:

  • You can replace some exercises in the following weeks. For example, you can do one-arm dumbbell rowing instead of bent-over row, pull-ups instead of the deadlift, cable curls instead of barbell curls, etc.

Day 3: Quadriceps, Shoulder, and Glutes

WorkoutSetsRepsRest
Barbell/Smith Machine Back Squat415, 12, 10, 81-3 min
Machine Leg Press/Extension315, 12, 101-2 min
Barbell/Smith Machine Overhead Press312, 10, 81-3 min
Dumbbell Lateral Raises312, 10, 81-2 min
Machine Reverse Fly312, 10, 81-2 min
Shoulder Shrug312, 10, 81-2 min
Hip Thrust312, 10, 81-2 min

Advanced 3 Day Full Body Workout Plan to Get Muscular

chest workout at the gym
  • Monday: Chest, Shoulder, and Triceps
  • Wednesday: Back, Biceps, and Forearms
  • Friday: Legs and Core

Monday: Chest, Shoulder, And Triceps

ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Flat Barbell Bench Press412, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Incline Dumbbell Press410, 8, 8, 62-3 min
Barbell Overhead Press412, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Dumbbell Lateral Raises312, 10, 81-2 min
Machine Reverse Fly310, 10, 81-2 min
Triceps Pushdown312, 10, 81-2 min
One-arm DB Tricep Extension310, 10, 81-2 min

Wednesday: Back, Biceps, and Forearms

ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Conventional Deadlift46, 4, 3, 22-3 min
BW/Weighted Pull-ups3Failure2-3 min
Lat Pulldown412, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Seated Cable Rowing412, 10, 8, 61-2 min
Barbell Bicep Curl312, 10, 81-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Curl312, 10, 81-2 min
Dumbbell Wrist Curl312, 10, 81-2 min

Friday: Legs and Core

ExerciseSetsRepsRest
Barbell Back Squat415, 12, 10, 82-3 min
Machine Leg Press315, 12, 102-3 min
Leg Extension312, 10, 81-2 min
Machine Leg Curl312, 10, 81-2 min
Hip Thrust312, 10, 81-2 min
High Cable Chop315/side30-sec
Hanging Knee Raise320-2530-sec
Weighted Plank31-2 min45-sec

3 Day Gym Workout Routine PDF


Tips and Suggestions for Optimal Results

  1. You should add weight to every set of each exercise. The last 2 to 3 reps should be challenging. If they are not, add more weight or do more reps.
  2. You can replace some exercises with other exercises in the following weeks of training.
  3. Diet is equally important for gaining muscles. You can’t grow by doing multiple sets and reps if you don’t feed your body the optimum nutrition. You can find various articles regarding diet plans on the web; check them out and try to follow the one you like.
  4. Get quality sleep every night. Research has shown that good sleep quality is associated with greater muscle strength. So, getting up early at night will have a positive impact on your results.1 Chen Y, Cui Y, Chen S, Wu Z. Relationship between sleep and muscle strength among Chinese university students: a cross-sectional study. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2017 Dec 1;17(4):327-333. PMID: 29199194; PMCID: PMC5749041.
  5. Consistency is one of the most important factors for achieving the desired goal. If you skip a diet or workout, you won’t be able to achieve your fitness body.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Do Cardio on Training Days?

Yes, you can do 10 minutes of low-impact cardio after finishing your resistance exercises. However, if you want to lose weight, you have to focus equally on cardio and strength training.

Can You Follow These Programs for Weight Loss?

Yes, you can follow one of the programs to build strength and lean mass. However, it won’t increase weight loss because weight loss happens when you lower your calorie intake. I suggest following this low-calorie meal plan and body recomposition plan to reduce your fat percentage and shape your physique.

Are Three Days a Week Enough for Muscle-Building?

Yes, if you perform 15-20 sets for every muscle group in three days, you’ll see decent results over time. However, if you want to get big and muscular, I suggest working out five times a week. A study has also shown that training muscle groups at least twice a week stimulates more muscle growth than once a week.2 Schoenfeld, Brad J et al. “Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 46,11 (2016): 1689-1697. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8

Can You Make Modify This Routine?

Yes, you can make whatever changes you want in this plan. For example, you can replace, remove, or add some exercises, depending on your choice. And for that, you can find various exercises from different categories on this website.

What’s The Best Time to Work Out?

You can work out at any time of the day that suits you the most. No studies have strongly suggested the best time for exercising for muscle growth. So, you can work out when you feel more energetic and when you can lift more weight.

How Long Will It Take to Build Muscle?

If you eat the right foods, sleep well, and train consistently, it will take about four to six months to see noticeable results with this gym 3 day split workout.

References

  • 1
    Chen Y, Cui Y, Chen S, Wu Z. Relationship between sleep and muscle strength among Chinese university students: a cross-sectional study. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2017 Dec 1;17(4):327-333. PMID: 29199194; PMCID: PMC5749041.
  • 2
    Schoenfeld, Brad J et al. “Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 46,11 (2016): 1689-1697. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8
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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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