Weight Training Split Routines

A weight training split routine (or a “split workout routine”) means working different muscles on different days. If you need a change in your weight training split, here are a few ideas:

Weight Training Split Routines

Day 1: Chest and Arms
Day 2: Legs and Waist
Day 3: Back and Shoulders

Day 1: Chest and Back
Day 2: Legs and Waist
Day 3: Shoulders and Arms

Day 1: Chest and Biceps
Day 2: Legs and Waist
Day 3: Back and Triceps
Day 4: Shoulders, Calves, Abs

Day 1: Back and Triceps
Day 2: Legs and Abs
Day 3: Chest and Biceps
Day 4: Deadlifts and Calves

Day 1: Pushing movements
Day 2: Pulling movements

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Day 2: Squat, Deadlift, Abs
Day 3: Back and Biceps

Day 1: Plyometrics and Chest
Day 2: Legs and Waist
Day 3: Back and Shoulders
Day 4: Plyometrics and Arms

Day 1: Chest and Abs
Day 2: Deadlifts and Back
Day 3: Shoulders and Arms
Day 4: Legs

Remember to give yourself enough recovery time in between workouts! Due to systemic and nervous system fatigue, it’s usually not a good idea to have more than 2 intense weight training days in a row.

Some other ways to change up your workout

  • Supersets (two exercises back-to-back for opposing muscle groups)
  • Compound sets (back-to-back exercises for the same muscle group)
  • Tri-sets (three exercises is a row with no rest in between sets)
  • 5 second positive, 5 second negative
  • Heavy primary mover/light secondary mover (i.e. rows/bicep curls, chest presses/tricep extensions, deadlifts/hamstring curls)
  • Pre-exhaustion (knee extensions before squats, pec deck before bench press)
  • 2 minutes cardio between sets
  • One set of pushups after every upper body exercise, one set of unweighted squats or lunges after every lower body exercise
  • 21’s (7 reps at top half of range of motion, 7 reps at bottom half, 7 reps full range)
  • 40 reps, rest as needed (i.e. 15 reps, rest a few seconds, 7 more, rest, 5 reps, etc. until you get a total of 40)
  • 5 second pause halfway through each rep
  • One super-slow rep per set
  • 45 second work bout, 1 minute rest (those minutes go by real quick after a few sets!)
  • Super light weights — 50, 60, 100 reps — whatever you can get!
  • Plyometric exercises before training a particular bodypart with weights
  • Heavy overhead lifts with odd-shaped and/or unbalanced objects: half-empty beer kegs, rocks, lumber, small furniture, etc. Deadlifts also work well with these kind of objects. If you enjoy this kind of strongman training, you may want to check out MILO, a publication dealing with this type of strength training.

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What is the most effective weight lifting split?

The most effective weight lifting split depends on your fitness goals, schedule, and experience level. Common splits include full-body workouts, upper/lower body splits, and push/pull/legs splits. The best split is one that allows adequate recovery and matches your goals and lifestyle.

How should I split up my weight training?

You can split your weight training based on muscle groups (e.g., chest and triceps, back and biceps) or movement patterns (e.g., push, pull, legs). It’s important to allow sufficient rest between sessions targeting the same muscle groups to promote recovery and muscle growth.

What’s the best 5-day workout split?

A popular 5-day workout split is the push/pull/legs split, where you dedicate separate days to pushing exercises (e.g., chest, shoulders, triceps), pulling exercises (e.g., back, biceps), and leg exercises. You can also incorporate a day for core or full-body workouts based on your goals.