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3 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split

3 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split

Average: 3.9 (61 votes)
3.9 5 61
Finally! A three day workout split variation for the wildly popular Power, Muscle, Burn muscle building system. Thousands of people have used this system successfully.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

For the past year requests have been mounting for a Power, Muscle, Burn 3 day split variation. I apologize for it taking so long, but I wanted to do it right.

While there are many ways to structure a 3 day split, the following variation works fairly well for the Power, Muscle, Burn system:

  • Day 1 - Chest and Back
  • Day 2 - Legs
  • Day 3 - Off
  • Day 4 - Shoulders and Arms
  • Day 5 - Off
  • Day 6 - Off
  • Day 7 - Off

You will notice that the program includes a nice 3 day layoff after working arms. This will provide you with plenty of rest before targetting chest and back again.

For more information on the Power Muscle Burn training approach, please read:

Chest and Back
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press - Power 4 3 to 5
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Hammer Strength Bench Press - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Pec Dec - Burn 2 40
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift - Power 2 3 to 5
Dumbbell Row - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Lat Pull Down - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Seated Cable Row - Burn 1-2 40
Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Power Barbell Shrug - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Shrug - Burn 1-2 40
Legs
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat - Power 4 3 to 5
Leg Press - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Front Squat - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Leg Press - Burn 2 40
Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift - Power 2 3 to 5
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Leg Curl - Burn 1-2 40
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Leg Press Calf Raise - Burn 1-2 40
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Weighted Decline Sit Ups - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Cable Crunch - Burn 1-2 40
Shoulders and Arms
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Overhead Press - Power 4 3 to 5
Seated Arnold Press - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Upright Row - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - Burn 2 40
Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press - Power 2 3 to 5
Pinwheel Curl - Power 2 3 to 5
Skullcrusher - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Standing Barbell Curl - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Cable Tricep Extension - Burn 1-2 40
Cable Preacher Curl - Burn 1-2 40

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    Average: 3.9 (61 votes)
  • About The Author
    Steve is a powerlifter who has also spent 20 years training in bodybuilding. He is a national level competitor training for an all-time over 50 raw world record.
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Comments (132)

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Alex
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 17:39

Hi, for my split I do
biceps/ shoulders - Monday
Chest/ legs - Wednesday
Triceps/ back - Thursday

Would you suggest changing to your split instead or sticking with what I do?

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Steve
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 18:45

If what you are doing is working I wouldn't change anything.

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Adam
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 19:23

I would do something like this:

Chest/Bi's
Back/Tri's
Legs/Shoulders

Yours is ok but doing two big muscles in the same day i.e. chest and legs you're going to be zapped after the first muscle group. I personally like doing the push/pull method.

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Rich
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 19:20

Nice workout Steve!! Thanks!

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Steve
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 22:10

Thanks!

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Ben
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 19:31

Hi Steve, great program layout. Quick question around rest periods here. As I only get about 45 min lifting time in the gym per session what's the quickest rest period you recommend with this program? Would resting less take away from the effectiveness of the program? - Thanks

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Steve
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 22:11

This will be tough to do in 45 minutes but you can certainly try and see how things shake out. I would rest 90 seconds between power sets, 60 seconds between muscle sets, and do the minimum number of sets listed. See how long that takes and then go from there.

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Ben
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 00:34

Thanks Steve. Appreciated!

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Bryan
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 21:27

Hey Steve I've got a question, so umm i'm trying to gain some muscle mass & get bigger but i also wanna work on some cardio and get a 6-8 pack if possible. So if i do cardio will it decrease my muscle mass? can i do cardio? if so for how long should i run on my cardio days. please get back to me... BTW GO WORKOUT HERE ILL TEST THIS WORKOUT OUT NEXT WEEK

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Steve
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 22:13

Going after both the goals of gaining mass and losing fat at the same time will most likely not work. I recommend focusing on one goal at a time. That is how the bodybuilders do it.

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Carson
Posted Mon, 04/08/2013 - 23:34

Steve,

Somewhat related to the above question, so is the difference between this (bulking) program and other (cutting) programs the actual lifts done, food (protein/calories) ingested, rest time, or....? I"m sure it's a combination of the three, but I'm just hoping that it's possible to lift heavier for muscles, but mitigate that with cardo and/or diet for fat loss. Am I (or how am I) misguided in this "belief"?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 00:27

Hi Carson,

The only difference between bulking and cutting programs is diet. You have to train the same way while cutting or you risk losing muscle mass. While cutting you slowly dial your diet in to lose weight optimally, then slowly add more cardio only if needed.

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Ahin Khan
Posted Fri, 04/26/2013 - 11:39

Hey steve, can i do cable standing curl instead of cable preacher curl as i cant move the preacher bench to the cables? :)

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Carson
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 01:21

Thanks. Makes sense. One more question on this thread, for when I do decide to resume lifting for strength, what's your recommendation/preference between this (3 or 4-day variation) and the rest-pause workout you previously posted? I know you said you've done both in your own lifting career. I'm wondering the strengths of either workout comparatively.

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chetaan
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 08:16

when you say Bench Press - Power
and Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift - Muscle
what does the power and muscle exactly mean?? can you please explain in detail??

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Moss
Posted Sun, 09/15/2013 - 22:50

The power movement is for gaining strength, the muscle movement is for optimising hypertrophy. The power will do a little hypertrophy but not optiml, and the muscle will do a little power but not optimal.

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Moritz D
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 09:24

Is this better then the Power 8 3 day splt? What would you recommned? I feel like the power8 is really time intense?!

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Moritz D
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 09:37

What about Tuesday - Back and Chest and Thursday/Friday legs (based on schedule) and Saturday arms+ shoulders ?

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Ravi
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 14:39

Hey Steve,

You have mention 3 day/week workout. I want to do 4-5 days a week. So Which additional exercise I can do in other 1-2 days and which day should I do that?

Thanks,

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Mike
Posted Tue, 04/09/2013 - 16:45

Hi Steve,

Nice workout. I am currently using a toning workout that's a 3 day split. I have been at it for 7 weeks and have seen good results of weight loss. I am modifying this work out to focus on getting abs with better dieting, more cardio and more ab workouts.

Once I slim down and hopefully get abs I would like to do this workout since 3 days works well with my schedule.
Question though, How much cardio days do you recommend with this workout and how many minutes should be spent? Should it be done on the workout days? If so, before or after?

Thanks for the advice.

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Charlie
Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 03:54

This workout looks great Steve, I think I'll give it a crack once I'm done on your Ex-Hardgainer workout.
Limiting factors? Must eat more food...simple right?

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Neil
Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 07:46

Hi steve,

I've been using your Power Muscle Burn workout for around 7 weeks now, I started off doing a three day split:
Mon: Shoulders and Arms
Tue: Legs
Thur: Chest, Back and Abs,

As my gym buddy couldn't do Fridays, since he's left I've started doing the full 4 day split. I have a few questions:
1) I notice on the 4 day split there is no power shrugs or traps exercises, I assumed they were covered in the compound exercises but now I see them in the 3 day split I was wondering if I should add them?
2) I replaced front squats with leg extension on the quad day as I didn't like the feeling of having a heavy bar rested on my arms, is this ok or are the front squats one of those key exercises I really shouldn't leave out.

Overall loving the progress, in a short time my deadlifting has gone from around 60kg to 120kg for the 5 reps and I'm squating over 100kg. Thanks.

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Stephen
Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 10:37

of all the Power Muscle Burn splits which one would you recommend for best results? provided that time is not a problem.

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Cam
Posted Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:42

It all depends on your experience level. If youre pretty new to lifting, stick with this 3 day version so your body can adapt. After a month or two evaluate your progress, have you gotten stronger, are you getting enough sleep, carbs, and protein? If you're saying yes then look at the 4 day split.

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Si
Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 11:46

I've been lifting on and off for a few years. I'm looking to get back in to gaining mass and strength after a 6 month stop gap. Is this workout suitable for me to get back in to with (3 day split)?
Many thanks

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Gie
Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 12:50

Hi Steve this is Gie from Philippines. I want to try this program but I do run 5km twice a week. Do I need to cut my cardio activity to achieve the goal for this program or is it ok to do my cardio routine at the same time doing this program? Thanks Steve.

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Joey
Posted Wed, 04/10/2013 - 15:05

It's perfectly fine to keep up with your cardio. You will need to make sure you're eating enough to make up for the calories burned.

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Neil
Posted Thu, 04/11/2013 - 08:10

Hi Steve.

Thanks for these workouts, I've been using your power muscle burn system for a couple of weeks and getting amazing results. I was doing a 3 day version very similar to this with Thursday and Monday swapped, so good to see I had it about right. I've switched to the 4 day now as my Fridays have freed up. I notice in this workout and in the 5 day you included traps, yet not in the 4. Is this an oversight or are they covered by the compound lifting? Should I throw some shrugs into back day? Also I swapped front squats for leg extension as I hate having the bar across my arms. Is this ok or should I "man up" and do the front squats.

Once again thanks, my deadlift has gone from 60kg to 125kg (5 reps) in 2 months, I always used to avoid the big lifts, now I've embraced them I've noticed huge improvements, cheers.

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G
Posted Thu, 04/11/2013 - 10:45

Hi
How much cardio would start to prevent muscle and strength gains?

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Mike
Posted Thu, 04/11/2013 - 16:01

Should the arm workout be done as listed? Meaning alternate each exercise between triceps and biceps? Or should I do all the triceps exercises then do the bicep exercises?

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tmora1
Posted Fri, 04/12/2013 - 18:04

Hello Steve I'm doing this show, but once a month I get to miss one training this ok?

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dre
Posted Sat, 04/13/2013 - 10:07

Sub pinwheel curls for weighted pull ups ok?

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David
Posted Sat, 04/13/2013 - 17:07

Is this too advanced for someone who has completed 12 weeks of your full body routine?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 04/17/2013 - 09:41

Not is you feel you are on track and making gains.

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Gilbert
Posted Sun, 04/14/2013 - 19:03

Hi Steve,

i'm really a fan of this site. my last program was the one mucsle per session routine (also from this site). i've been also starting this program of yours last week as my week one. my question is, is it sufficient enough taking amino acid before and after my workout? because its the only supplement i currently have. please advise. thanks a lot!

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Steve
Posted Wed, 04/17/2013 - 09:42

Hi Gilbert,

As long as you are eating enough daily protein, then yes, this is absolutely ok.

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Gilbert
Posted Fri, 04/26/2013 - 19:31

Hi Steve,

In relation to my inquiry about amino acid as my supplement, can you enlighten me what really is the help of it in muscle building? As ive heard from my collegues, it is also a protein supplement. Is it correct? What should be the best to take? Protein powders or amino acids? Please advise. Thanks a lot!

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Si
Posted Mon, 04/15/2013 - 05:17

Hi there,
I'm going to start this workout program. I just wondered, silly question maybe, but if the body feels up to it, is it ok to take less time off - if the body feels up to it?

i.e, if the body feels fine then skip an off day and get back in to it again?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 04/17/2013 - 09:35

I don't recommend reducing the rest, no. Try the workout. It's going to leave you plenty sore.

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Aakash Rustagi
Posted Tue, 04/16/2013 - 06:57

Hi,
i do smthing lyk dis for cutting...
monday-chest/tric
tuesday-back/bic
wednesday-shoulder/legs

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Aakash Rustagi
Posted Tue, 04/16/2013 - 06:57

Hi,
i do smthing lyk dis for cutting...
monday-chest/tric
tuesday-back/bic
wednesday-shoulder/legs
thursday-abdominal/sides

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Aakash Rustagi
Posted Tue, 04/16/2013 - 06:58

hi

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Noah
Posted Thu, 04/18/2013 - 13:00

Steve,

Currently I play basketball on Monday and Tuesday nights (approx. 1.5 hours each night.) I count these as my cardio days. Due to my work schedule I condensed the above into a 2 day split. Legs, back, chest on Wed and arms, shoulders, abs on Thursday. I also have shaded my workouts towards the lower set lower rep range you have provided to avoid injury or overall muscle fatigue. Does this sound ok? I am not looking for gains I am just looking for a good full body workout with the two days I have.

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HelderB.
Posted Sat, 04/20/2013 - 10:10

Hi,

I would like to know if i can use this workout routine 6 days in week.

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Stan
Posted Mon, 04/22/2013 - 01:18

Hi Steve

I recently started using a new pre-workout supp and my workouts have gotten pretty intense. I consume whey protein after the session. Lately i have been feeling totally drained and even nauseous during the rest of the day. Is this common? Am i pushing myself too hard? I am happy with the gains though. Is there a way around this awful feeling?

Thanks
Stan

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Neil
Posted Mon, 04/22/2013 - 03:18

Hi Steve, I have been reading through your programme and was wondering what the weight ratio is, is it, Power = as heavy a weight as possible, Muscle = a lighter weight, and Burn = even lighter weight, Cheers Neil

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Neil
Posted Fri, 04/26/2013 - 04:09

The rep ranges define the weight. Essentially you will be lifting on the power sets a weight you can only do between 3 and 5 reps of. Once you get to the stage where you can do 5 reps in each set you will add more weight next week.

For the muscle sets you will be lifting a weight which you can do between 6 and 12 reps of, when you manage all the sets at 12 reps you move up in weight.

For the burn sets you use a weight you can do between 15 and 25 reps of, when you can get to 25 reps without a pause you go up in weight next week.

It will take you a few weeks to work out the right weight for each exercise, you're definitely better off starting light. Don't do more than the max number of reps in a given set (unless it's the last set) as you may find you can do 13 in the first set, then 11 then only 8, if you didn't push for the extra rep on the first set you may have done, say 12,11,10.

As an example for my seated barbell press I worked up to 50kg by week 5, then I've done the following:
wk 5: 4/3/3/2 reps
wk 6: 5/4/4/4 reps
wk 7: 5/5/5/4 reps
wk 8: 5/5/5/5 reps

Next week I will up the weight to 52.5kg.

It may take several weeks to find the right level for some exercises, it's taken me nearly 10 weeks to find a suitable weight for romanian deaadlifts as I hadn't done them before and started far too light. Don't panic though, you'll find the right weights for everything eventually, then just concentrate on progression. It's a marathon not a sprint!

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Eric
Posted Mon, 04/22/2013 - 18:39

Any way to apply this workout for at home with dumbells, barbell and adjustable bench. No squat rack so back squats are tough to do since I can't clear a heavy enough weight.

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Abdul
Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 10:21

How different is this workout than the 5 or 4 day pow burn split in terms of gains & effectivity?

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Laszlo
Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 13:33

Hi Steve!
Are the biceps/triceps exercises in super sett?

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