A Classic 3 Day Bodybuilding Split

The 3 day split is a popular form of bodybuilding routine, commonly used by weightlifters who want to put muscle on their frame. It is a low volume split so it should work well for the genetically typical trainee and the trainees with slower recovery.This is a split that I use from time to time for periods of 6-8 weeks.

Each main muscle group is directly worked once a week.Each work day is followed by a rest day so your muscles can recover.

The routine revolves around the main compound lifts which are proven to be much more effective than isolation exercises for adding muscle mass.The low volume and the lower number of exercises enables you to lift with much greater intensity, without the fear of overtraining. Intensity and progressive overload are two of the main factors in increasing muscle mass.

Here’s the routine:

Day One (Back and Biceps)

Deadlifts (3 x 6-8 reps) / Bent over barbell rows (3 x 6-8 reps) *
Wide grip pull ups / chin ups (3 sets to failure) *
Bicep curls (3 x 10 reps)

Day Two (Chest and Triceps)

Flat bench press (3 x 6-8 reps) / Incline bench press (3 x 6-8 reps) *
Dips (3 x 10 reps)
Close grip bench press / tricep push downs (3 x 12 reps) *

Day Three (Legs and Shoulders)

Squats (3 x 8 reps)
Leg press 1 x 20 reps
leg curls (3 x 8 reps) / Straight legged deadlifts (3 x 8 reps) *
Calf raises (3 x 10 reps)
Upright barbell rows (3 x 12 reps) / side raises (3 x 12 reps) *

* You should switch exercises the second week.

Nutrition is one of the most important factors for muscle growth.Follow a
high protein and moderate carb diet.You should take about 1.5 – to 2
grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

The routine doesn’t look too fancy or spectacular, but give it a run for 8 weeks and I’m sure you’ll be surprised with the results.Start with lower weights and strict form and try to add pounds to the bar every week. Remember progressive overload is the key to muscle growth. It’s not important how much you can lift when you start…what is important is how much did the weight on the bar increase over time.Small increments every week will be quite an increase of weight at the end of the 8 week period.


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