The 5 Best Workout Splits for Strength & Gain (with PDF)

If you’re looking for a workout split that can help you achieve your best physique, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll share the five different types of workout routines to help you maximize muscle growth and improve body composition. So, depending on your choice, you can save the one you need or try the variations.

The Different Types of Workout Splits

Many of us want to maximize strength and growth, but not all of us follow the same training split. For example, some people follow a full-body training program, some PPL, whereas some follow the upper-lower split.

The different kinds of bodybuilding splits have their own pros and cons, and based on your choice, you can follow the one to achieve your best physique.

Here’s the example of best workout splits:

  1. Total Body Split Workout
  2. Upper Lower Split Workout
  3. Push/Pull/Legs Split
  4. Hybrid Split
  5. Muscle Group Split a.k.a Bro Split

You can also structure your workout routine using these training splits.

Let’s find out more about each exercise split.

1. Total Body Split Workout

6 week full body workout program

The total body workout is a strength booster and muscle-building program that allows you to work on every muscle group in one training session and keeps your intensity high throughout the session.

It helps you train your major muscles, such as the chestback, and legs, two to three times a week and help you pump up your strength.

A study has also shown that split training and full-body are equally effective for gaining strength and size throughout the body in beginners.

So, depending on what suits you the most and motivates you, you can follow the program you like.

If you go with the full-body workout program, you can train effectively in just four days a week.

Here’s a sample of the total body workout plan.

4 Day Full Body Split Workout For Strength and Gain

  • Monday – Workout
  • Tuesday – Workout
  • Wednesday – OFF
  • Thursday – Workout
  • Friday – Workout
  • Saturday – OFF
  • Sunday – OFF

Monday

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Barbell Back SquatLeg10-12 x 32-3 min
PullupsBack6-12 x 32 min
Front Lat PulldownBack10-12 x 32 min
Weighted Glute BridgeGlute8-10 x 31-min
Flat Bench PressChest8-12 x 32 min
Incline DB Bench PressChest8-12 x 32 min
Dumbbell Lateral RaiseShoulder8-12 x 390-sec

Tuesday

Pull ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Parallel Bar DipChest, Triceps8-12 x 31-min
Diamond PushupChest, Triceps15 x 290-sec
Barbell Bent OverBack8-12 x 32 min
Seated Cable RowingBack8-12 x 32 min
Barbell Bicep CurlBiceps8-12 x 390-sec
Arnold PressShoulder10 x 32 min
Hamstring CurlHamstring8-12 x 390-sec

Thursday

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
DeadliftLeg, Back4-6 x 33 min
Good MorningHam, Glute6-8 x 360-sec
Machine Leg PressQuads10-12 x 32 min
DB IYT RaisesBack6-8 x 32 min
Face pullBack, Shoulder8-12 x 32 min
Dumbbell PulloverChest8-10 x 32 min
ShrugShoulder8-12 x 390-sec

Friday

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
ChinupsBiceps8-12 x 32 min
Barbell JammerFull Body8-10 x 32 min
One-arm DB RowBack8-10 x 390-sec
Pec Deck FlyChest8-12 x 390-sec
Seated Rear Delt RaiseShoulder8-10 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Biceps CurlBiceps8-12 x 390-sec
Hanging Knee RaiseCore8-12 x 290-sec
Cable Woodchop (H2L)Core8-12 x 290-sec

2. Upper Lower Split Workout

Upper Lower Split Workout

This split workout targets the upper body one day and the lower body the next. It helps you target every major muscle twice a week and ensures you can have a good workout throughout the week.

It is one of the famous split workout routines among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts that helps maximize strength and mass.

With this split workout, you can train your upper and lower body one to three times a week. For example, you can set up your routine into a two to six-day split, depending on your fitness level.

If you choose to follow a two-day split, you’ll have one upper Monday and one lower body session on Thursday with five days of ample rest during the week.

And if you structure your routine into six days, you’ll have three upper and lower body sessions with one day of rest during the week.

To help you understand, I’ve created a five-day split sample with three upper body sessions and two lower body sessions.

The 5 Day Upper Lower Split Workout For Ultimate Muscle Gain

  • Monday – Upper Body
  • Tuesday – Lower Body
  • Wednesday – Upper Body
  • Thursday – OFF
  • Friday – Lower Body
  • Saturday – Upper Body
  • Sunday – Rest

Monday – Upper Body

ExercisesMuscleRepsRest
Flat Bench PressChest12 x 32 min
Incline Dumbbell PressChest12 x 32 min
Bar DipsChest, Tris10 x 32 min
Dumbbell Lateral RaiseShoulder10 x 32 min
Barbell Skull CrusherTriceps10 x 32 min
Rope PushdownTriceps12 x 32 min
Barbell Biceps CurlBiceps12 x 32 min
Dumbbell Hammer CurlBiceps10 x 32 min

Tuesday – Lower Body

WorkoutMuscleRepsRest
Barbell Back SquatQuad12 x 33 min
Machine Leg PressQuad12 x 32 min
Hamstring CurlHam12 x 32 min
Romanian DeadliftHam8 x 32 min
Hip ThrustGlute10 x 32 min
Calf RaisesCalves15 x 360-sec

Wednesday – Upper Body

WorkoutMuscleRepsRest
Pull-upBack10 x 32 min
Front Lat PulldownBack12 x 32 min
Seated Cable RowingBack12 x 32 min
Barbell Bent-over RowBack12 x 32 min
Dumbbell PulloverLat, Chest10 x 32 min
Face PullBack,
Rear Delt
12 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Incline CurlBiceps10 x 390-sec
EZ Bar Bicep CurlBiceps12 x 390-sec

Friday – Lower Body

WorkoutMuscleRepsRest
Dumbbell LungesLegs12, 10, 82 min
Landmine Sumo SquatLegs12, 10, 82 min
Leg ExtensionQuad12, 10, 890-sec
Dumbbell Step-upLegs12, 10, 890-sec
Hamstring CurlHams12, 10, 890-sec
Farmers Walk on Toes Legs12, 10, 890-sec

Saturday – Upper Body

WorkoutMuscleRepsRest
Conventional DeadliftFull Body6, 4, 23-min
One-arm Dumbbell RowBack10 x 390-sec
Incline Bench PressChest12 x 32 min
Military PressShoulder12 x 32 min
Dumbbell Lateral RaisesShoulder10 x 390-sec
Reverse Machine FlyShoulder10 x 390-sec
Dumbbell ShrugShoulder10 x 390-sec

It would be best to work on your core on any day of the week, at least once a week.

Example of core workout:

  • Mountain Climber – 30 seconds
  • Reverse Crunches – 20 reps
  • Leg Raises – 10 reps
  • Woodchop (L2H) – 10 reps
  • Hanging Knee Raise – 10 reps
  • Woodchop (H2L) – 10 reps
  • Front Plank – 60 seconds
  • Side Plank – 30 seconds on each side

3. Push/Pull/Legs Training Split

Push Pull Legs Training Split

The push, pull, and legs (PPL) is one of the popular training programs for maximizing strength and hypertrophy. It splits into three parts, i) push workout, ii) pull workout, and iii) legs workout.

  • Push Workout: It includes exercises where you push the weights up, down, or against the body. The push exercises work on the chest and shoulder, and triceps.
  • Pull Workout: It includes exercises where you pull the weights up, down, and towards your body. Pull exercises work on the backbicepsrear delt, and forearms.
  • Leg workouts: The leg day include all exercises that target different lower body muscles, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Examples of Push, Pull, and Legs workouts:

  • Push Exercises: Bench press, overhead press, push-ups, and triceps pushdowns are some examples of pull exercises.
  • Pull Exercises: Pull-ups, lat pulldowns, bent-over row, and seated rowing are typical pull exercises.
  • Leg Exercises: Squats, machine leg press, lunges, step-up, leg extension, and leg curl.

You can structure your PPL workout into a three-day or six-day split, depending on your fitness goal.

The three-day split looks like this:

MondayWednesdayFriday
PushPullLegs
Tue, Thur, Sat, and Sun Rest

The three-day split is suitable for those who are starting out and want to maintain strength and mass. However, if you want to push your limit and maximize your muscle growth, you should do a six-day split.

6-Day Push, Pull, Legs (PPL) Split Workout For Maximum Muscle Growth

  • Day 1 – Push Workout
  • Day 2 – Pull Workout
  • Day 3 – Legs and Core
  • Day 4 – Push Workout
  • Day 5 – Pull Workout
  • Day 6 – Legs and Core
  • Day 7 – OFF

Day 1 – Push Workout (High Reps)

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Barbell Flat Bench PressChest16, 14, 122-min
Incline Dumbbell PressChest12 x 390-sec
Pec Deck FlyChest16, 12, 1290-sec
Barbell Overhead PressShoulder16, 12, 122-min
Dumbbell Lateral RaisesShoulder12 x 390-sec
Bent-over Rear Delt RaiseTriceps12 x 390-sec
Triceps Rope PushdownTriceps15 x 260-sec
Triceps KickbackTricep15 x 260-sec

Day 2 – Pull Workout (High Reps)

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Pull-upBack10 x 32-min
Medium Grip Lat PulldownBack15 x 32-min
Barbell Bent-Over RowBack15 x 32-min
Seated Cable RowingBack15 x 32-min
Dumbbell One-arm RowBack15 x 21-min
EZ Bar Standing Bicep CurlBiceps15 x 390-sec
Incline Dumbbell CurlBiceps15 x 290-sec
Dumbbell Hammer CurlBiceps15 x 290-sec

Day 3 – Legs and Core (High Reps)

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Barbell Back SquatQuad15 x 32-min
Dumbbell LungesLegs12 x 21-min
DB Romanian DeadliftHamstring10 x 32-min
Hamstring CurlHamstring15 x 390-sec
Barbell Hip ThrustGlute12 x 390-sec
Calf RaisesCalves15 x 31-min
Cable Woodchop (H2L)Core15 x 21-min
PlankCore60-sec

Day 4 – Push Workout (High Load)

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Barbell Flat Bench PressChest10, 8, 6, 42-min
Incline Dumbbell PressChest6-8 x 32-min
Parallel Bar DipsChest10 x 31-min
Dumbbell Lateral RaisesShoulder10, 8, 62-min
Rear Delt RaisesShoulder10, 8, 62-min
Shoulder ShrugShoulder10 x 290-sec
Skull CrusherTriceps10, 8, 690-sec
Rope PushdownTriceps10, 8, 690-sec

Day 5 – Pull Workout (High Load)

ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Deadlift/Rack PullBack6, 4, 3, 23 min
Lat PulldownBack10, 8, 6, 63 min
Seated Cable RowingBack10, 8, 6, 62 min
Cable FacepullBack10 x 32 min
ChinupsBiceps10 x 22 min
Standing Barbell CurlBiceps10, 8, 62 min
Concentration CurlBiceps10 x 22 min
Hammer CurlBiceps10, 8, 62 min

Day 6 – Legs and Core (High Load)

Leg and Core ExercisesMusclesRepsRest
Back Squat SquatQuad10, 8, 6, 63-min
Machine Leg PressThighs12, 10, 82-min
Leg ExtensionQuads10 x 32-min
Hamstring CurlHamstring10 x 32-min
Dumbbell Step-upGlute, Ham10 x 290-sec
Calf RaisesCalves10 x 390-sec

Core workout (Perform each exercise with little to no rest in between)

  • Mountain Climber – 30 seconds
  • Reverse Crunches – 20 reps
  • Leg Raises – 10 reps
  • Hanging Knee Raise – 10 reps
  • Front Plank – 60 seconds
  • Side Plank – 30 seconds on each side

4. The Hybrid Bodybuilding Split

Hybrid Bodybuilding Split

The hybrid split is one of my favorite workout programs that is slightly different than upper/lower and PPL. You can also structure this program into a three or six days split. For example, chest, triceps, and core on day 1, back and biceps on day 2, and legs and shoulder on day 3, and repeat this in the same week or the following week.

To make it clear, I’ve designed a six-day split workout

  • Day 1 – Chest, Triceps, and Core
  • Day 2 – Back and Biceps
  • Day 3 – Legs and Shoulder
  • Day 4 – OFF
  • Day 5- Chest and Triceps
  • Day 6 – Back, Biceps, and Core
  • Day 7 – Shoulder and Legs

Day 1 – Chest, Triceps, and Core

ExercisesRepsRest
Flat Barbell Bench Press12 x 32-3 min
Dumbbell Incline Press10 x 32 min
Seated Pec Deck Fly12 x 32 min
Triangle Pushup10 x 32 min
Rope Pushdown12 x 390-sec
Triceps Bench Dips12 x 390-sec
Hanging Knee Raise10 x 260-sec
Front Plank60-sec30-sec
Side Plank30-sec

Day 2 – Back and Biceps

WorkoutRepsRest
Pullup10 x 32 min
Deadlift6, 4, 23 min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32 min
Seated Cable Rowing12 x 32 min
Bent-over Row12 x 32 min
Barbell Bicep Curl12 x 32 min
Concentration Curl10 x 290-sec
Hammer Curl10 x 290-sec

Day 3 – Legs and Shoulder

WorkoutRepsRest
Barbell Back Squat15 x 33 min
Machine Leg Press12 x 32 min
Hamstring Curl12 x 32 min
DB Romanian Deadlift8 x 22 min
Calf Raises15 x 32 min
Barbell Overhead Press12 x 32 min
Dumbbell Lateral Raise12 x 390-sec
Reverse Pec Deck Fly10 x 390-sec

Day 5 – Chest and Triceps

WorkoutRepsRest
Flat Barbell Bench Press12 x 33 min
Dumbbell Incline Press12 x 32 min
Dumbbell Pullover10 x 32 min
Bar Dips10 x 32 min
Skull Crusher10 x 390-sec
Rope Pushdown12 x 390-sec
Tricep Kickback10 x 390-sec

Day 6 – Back, Biceps, and Core

WorkoutRepsRest
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown12 x 32 min
Narrow Grip Pulldown10 x 32 min
Seated Cable Rowing12 x 32 min
One-arm Dumbbell Row10 x 32 min
Chin-ups10 x 32 min
EZ Bar Bicep Curl12 x 390-sec
Cable Curl12 x 390-sec
Preacher Curl12 x 390-sec

Day 7 – Shoulder and Legs

WorkoutRepsRest
Arnold Press10 x 32 min
Bent-arm Lateral Raise10 x 32 min
Rear Delt Fly10 x 32 min
Upright Row10 x 32 min
Shrug10 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Lunges12 x 32 min
Leg Extension12 x 390-sec
Hip Thrust10 x 390-sec

5. Bodybuilding Bro Split

Bodybuilding Bro Split

The bro split is also known as the muscle group split. It helps you focus on one muscle group in one training session, for example, the chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday, and back on Wednesday.

The muscle group split is popular among gymgoers as it is convenient, easy to follow, and less taxing.

However, you won’t be able to train your muscle group twice a week with this training split, which is crucial for maximizing muscular hypertrophy.

Still, if you want to follow a bro split program, you can save the below schedule.

6-Day Bro Split Workout to Build and Maintain Muscle Mass

  • Monday – Chest
  • Tuesday – Legs
  • Wednesday – Back
  • Thursday – Arms
  • Friday – Shoulder
  • Saturday – Core (optional)
  • Sunday – OFF

Monday – Chest

ExercisesRepsRest
Flat Barbell Bench Press12, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Incline DB Bench Press12, 10, 82 min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 32 min
Parallel Bar Dips10 x 32 min
Dumbbell Pullover10 x 390-sec
Dumbbell Squeeze Press10 x 390-sec

Tuesday – Legs

ExercisesRepsRest
Barbell Back Squat8-12 x 42-3 min
Dumbbell Lunges10 x 290-sec
Leg Extension12 x 390-sec
Machine Leg Curl12 x 390-sec
Romanian Deadlift8 x 32 min
Glute Bridge10 x 390-sec
Calf Raises10 x 390-sec

Wednesday – Back

ExercisesRepsRest
Deadlift/Rack Pull6, 5, 4, 22-3 min
Pull-up6-12 x 32 min
Front Lat Pulldown12, 10, 82 min
Barbell Bent Over12, 10, 82 min
One-arm DB Rowing10, 8, 690-sec
Cable Rowing12, 10, 82 min
Face Pull12, 10, 890-sec

Day 4 – Arms

ExercisesRepsRest
Triangle Pushups10 x 260-sec
Barbell Skull Crusher10 x 390-sec
Overhead Tricep Extension10 x 390-sec
Rope Pushdown10 x 390-sec
Bench Dips10 x 390-sec
Barbell Curl10 x 390-sec
Incline Dumbbell Curl10 x 390-sec
Concentration Curl10 x 390-sec
Hammer Curl10 x 390-sec

Day 5 – Shoulders

ExercisesRepsRest
Barbell Overhead Press12, 10, 82 min
Dumbbell Front Raises12, 10, 82 min
Dumbbell Lateral Raise12, 10, 82 min
Seated Rear Lateral Raise12, 10, 82 min
Cable Upright Row12, 10, 82 min
Shoulder Shrug12, 10, 82 min

Day 6 – Core (Optional)

ExercisesRepsRest
Mountain Climber30-sec30-sec
Bicycle Crunches10 x 230-sec
Reverse Crunches15 x 230-sec
Decline Cable Crunch10 x 230-sec
Hanging Knee Raise10 x 230-sec
Cable Woodchop10 x 230-sec

PDF of Different Training Splits





The Takeaway

When it comes to picking the best training splits, you have multiple options to choose from, such as PPL, upper-lower, and hybrid splits. You can go with any routine that matches your lifestyle, fitness level, and goal. For example:

  1. The full body workout program is suitable for those who want to work on various muscles on each training day and have limited time for the training;
  2. The upper-lower split helps target the upper and lower body separately and is suitable for everyone, whether men or women;
  3. The PPL is an advanced training split that helps maximize strength and hypertrophy. If you’ve been working out for a while, try PPL split for three to four months to see if it helps transform your physique or not.
  4. Hybrid split is my favorite training program because it suits me and helps me increase strength and mass.
  5. Bro Split is convenient and easy to follow and helps you target one muscle group each day. It is not as effective as the other four splits but it can help you build strength and mass gradually.

So, depending on your choice, you can follow the one or try the variations until you find your best split.

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