The best split workout routine for building strength and muscle

The best split workout routine for building strength and muscle

Should split your routine into upper and lower body 4 days workout a week? Should you do the bro split workout five days a week? Or, should you do a 3day full body workout a week? We cover all these in this article… from their advantages of each of these workouts and also their disadvantages as well. Know this there is no best split workout.

One of the biggest decisions you should make when starting your workout is choosing which Workout split you will use or how you will plan your workouts throughout the week.

Types of workout splits


This exercise routine is very simple because it involves training each muscle group once a week. The volume in each exercise is very high as the muscles have a week to recover until they are trained next time.

The Godfather of the split routine. The “bro” split gives each group of major muscles its own training day – usually the chest, back, legs, shoulders and arms. Despite the negative connotations associated with the bro split, it’s arguably the most time-tested of all the options. Almost every professional bodybuilder uses a variation of this routine. By assigning a complete training day to each muscle group, the bro split allows a much higher volume to fuel hypertrophy.

The bro split is mostly used mainly by power builders – those who have a very solid strength base, but need to add size to their muscles (arms, shoulders and legs).

Push / pull / legs split

This process is a bit longer as it takes 6 days. The push / pull / leg process trains many muscles which are trained together during each day. For example, you can plan your push pull legs split like this; push days are Mondays and Thursdays. These days, the chest, shoulders, and triceps are being exercised on this day. These workouts involve pushing exercises while Tuesdays and Fridays are reserved for “pull” exercises which focuses on back and biceps exercises. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the days when the lower body such as the hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves are being targeted while Sundays for rest.

This is the most popular workout split out there. Training is divided into pushing groups (usually chest, shoulders, and triceps), pulling (back and biceps) and legs. This split allows for a higher frequency of training – which can be up to six days a week – with smaller doses, more challenging sessions, and a higher frequency than the standard bro split.

The PPL split is popular for a reason – it can be used by almost anyone, from a beginner to an experienced bodybuilder.

Upper/lower split

This is another popular alternative routine to a bro split. This split is best for beginners, it focuses mainly on strength. That’s because it actually forces you to focus on the basics. For example, if after training with squat and deadlifts you won’t have a whole lot of energy left to adequately train the smaller muscles like the calves or biceps. You can still get good results with upper/lower split.

Full body workout

Another popular option is a full-body workout split that is often performed as a three-day split. While the workout requires only three days, each will involve a lot of time and effort as a large number of muscle groups will be stressed each of these days. Days between this workout are reserved for rest like weekends.

It can take a very long time to train the muscles individually. With full body workout, you train all your muscles during each exercise especially through compound exercises. This has many advantages because it requires less time as it trains more muscles at the same time.

4-day split

The 4 Day Split Workout routine offer a good level of intensity and recovery time for many athletes of all levels. With a 4 Day workout split, you can focus on endurance, hypertrophy and strength without taxing your body much. You could also work on other hobbies or sports to give yourself time to recover.

The 4-day split also allows for variety of lifts to be used due to more time in the gym, so muscle groups can be hit from multiple angles, increasing growth as the body is constantly challenged.

The downside of using a 4-day workout split is only having a few days of the week to workout.

Below are a few different examples of how a 4-day split workout routine looks like. When using the 4-day Split Workout Routine, try changing the order of the muscle groups.

Monday: Chest / Back

Tuesday: Legs / shoulders

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Chest / Back

Friday: Biceps / Triceps

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off


Monday: Chest / Biceps / Abs

Tuesday: Quads / Hams / Abs

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Shoulders / Triceps

Friday: Off

Saturday: Back / Calves

Sunday: Off


Monday: Back / Biceps

Tuesday: Chest / Triceps

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Legs

Friday: Shoulders / Abs

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

5-day split

A 5-day split is a split routine that requires 5 times a week exercise. This is a very good for muscle building process because it targets each muscle group well. This basically trains a muscle group extremely hard once a week and thus allows them to have a longer recovery time before training it again. Recovery is key in body building. This will help prevent overtraining from working a muscle too much.

Advantages of the 5-day split routine

  • Allows you to focus on muscle groups in less developed individual.
  • Since each muscle group has to rest for a few days it is unlikely that they will get into a state of over-training.

Disadvantages of the 5-day split routine

  • For those who have a busy schedule, this can be a downside because it requires them to come to the gym five times a week.
  • In case you miss a week’s workout it will affect the entire workout schedule.


But as you can see, some splits have different advantages over others, there is actually no best split workout. In fact, there may not be a perfect split for anyone. As you get used to your body you can better decide how you can balance your workout to get the best results.

Above all else, your training program should be considered as a tool for setting up your workout volume in a way that is both enjoyable and easy to use.

Through trial and error, you will be able to find the right split for your training needs.

Whatever split you decide upon, that is important for you to stick to. Only then will you be able to see the results and evaluate the success of your routine.


Your body definitely needs off days to rebuild up your muscles and prepare for the next exercise. Not giving the body enough time to do this is guaranteed to lead to reduced performance and overall results.

Consistency is key

Just know that consistency is a very important factor in your bodybuilding journey, so focus on it and you will see incredible results regardless of the workout split you use.