2 Day Simple A/B Split by Steve

Effective 2 day per week fullbody routine that is perfect for building muscle and strength. If you don't have time to live in the gym this is the routine for you.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
2
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells
Male & Female

Workout Description

This is a 2 day per week fullbody routine, designed by Steve from the Muscle and Strength forum and should be used by those looking to build muscle, gain strength and/or gain weight.

This workout can also be performed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, alternating between A and B workouts.

Your goal is to do as many reps as possible without training to failure on each set. Try for more reps on every set of every workout. When you can perform 25 total reps for all three sets on exercises that require 3 sets of 6-10 reps, add weight.

Additional exercises can be added on each day, but do not train longer then 60 minutes on any given day.

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Workout A
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 6-10
Barbell Bench Press 3 6-10
Bent Over Row 3 6-10
Stiff Leg Deadlift 2 10-15
Ab Exercise (Pick your favorite) 3 10-25
Thursday - Workout B
Full Body
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 3 6-10
Seated Barbell Press Behind Neck 3 6-10
Close Grip Bench Press 3 6-10
Standing Barbell Curl (or Standing Dumbbell Curl) 3 6-10
Seated Calf Raise 2 10-25
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About The Author
Muscle & Strength's Content Team is a group of fitness industry experts dedicated to publishing the highest quality articles, workouts and guides on the M&S Website.

338 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 05/11/2010 - 19:54
Jerry
Brilliantly simple yet effective routine here Steve. I chose this, (I am doing the three day alternating A/B/A, B/A/B "version"), as it looked to be a good transitional routine to do before switching to a higher volume split as I was doing strength routines the last six months. I know it was written for beginners, but the 8 - 10 rep PBs just keep coming... :)
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 05/12/2010 - 08:50
Steven
Glad to hear about your progress. This program is perfectly fine for intermediate lifters too. As long as you're getting results, that's all that matters.
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Posted Thu, 08/11/2011 - 17:33
paul
Hey there Steve would you reccomend this for a teen who is trying to get in wrestling shape?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:21
Steven
Absolutely.
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Posted Mon, 10/31/2011 - 00:27
Halgy
hey, I just found this work out and i was wondering if this would be a good thing to do during season. I plan to play college football and need to gain some muscle, but the thing is that we don't work out much for basketball. I was wondering if this would help improve my strength but at the same time allow me to go all out in basketball??
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Posted Sat, 11/12/2011 - 09:14
rom
Is this workout okay for Saturday and Sunday schedule?
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Posted Tue, 08/23/2011 - 13:43
paul
Got to say this workout routine really works. So far i've increased my bench press by 30 pounds and my deadlift by twenty pounds.Thank you very much Steve for a great workout routine
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/31/2011 - 14:50
Steven
Glad to hear it! ___________________________________ <strong>Need more help? <a href="http://bit.ly/nO0uD2">Ask me on the forum.</a></strong>
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Posted Sat, 08/27/2011 - 20:20
Paul
Hey Steve would you reccomend creatine?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/31/2011 - 14:51
Steven
Absolutely. I recommend 5 grams pre-workout and 5 grams post-workout. ________________________________ <strong>Need more help? <a href="http://bit.ly/nO0uD2">Ask me on the forum.</a></strong>
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Posted Thu, 09/15/2011 - 17:18
Ian
I need some advice on my routine. It is taking me way too long to complete. It will be a lengthy post but if I take the time to post it would you guys be willing to help me choose which exercises I could drop and still get good results?
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Posted Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:01
zombiekicker
I've just got some new weights after only having 20lb dumbells, I do arms one day rest for a day then do chest, then rest and do shoulders and back unless im sore then i wait till its gone is this an ok routine do you think?
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 05/14/2010 - 18:47
Steven
That looks good. You will need more weight to see gains.
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Posted Sat, 05/15/2010 - 20:35
Riz
is this suitable for a person who wanna loose some abdomen too? I dont wanna thin, just wanna fit the abs while doing my muscles.
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 10:04
Steven
Absolutely.
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Posted Tue, 05/18/2010 - 06:00
colville
i plan to do these exercises on tuesday and thursday,is that a problem?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 05/18/2010 - 08:18
Steven
In a perfect world you would like 2 days of rest in between, but that should be fine.
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Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 13:15
ty182
hey im young im only 14 and im playing football this year and i want to get strong. i am very skinny but kind of strong and will these workouts make me more defined and stronger looking? and if so how long would it take if i do a 3 day routine of this?? thanks, ty
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 13:20
Steven
This is a great program for strength building. There are also some great 3 day per week routines here: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/forget-steroids-5-fullbody-workouts-for-serious-gains.html
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Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 17:02
Kieran
Hey, im looking to build muscle aswel as tone and trim down.. im a fairly slim build and wonder if there is anything in particualr that can work best.. Trying to impress for the summer :D Thanks
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 05/30/2010 - 08:33
Steven
It's virtually impossible to gain muscle while losing fat. Gaining muscle requires eating more. You will first have to spend a year or two gaining muscle, and then go through a cutting period.
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Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 23:06
kelvin
will this workout be effective over say a 3 month workout period and when will i start seeing results especially in the bicep area.
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:07
Steven
This will be a very effective workout. Just make sure to eat enough and always push for progression of reps and/or weight. If you do that, you will definitely see an increase in arm size.
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Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 10:54
Ernst
Hello, I was looking for a A/B split routine, just like this one. I have one problem with it however, I do not see the "rationale" behind the split: it is not upper/lower or push/pull or back+shoulder+leg/chest+arm+ab or something. What is the idea behind the split? This would help me in memorizing/expanding it. Cheers, Ernst.
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 11:53
Steven
This split hits the major heavy compound lifts, and allows for plenty of rest between workouts. Exercises are separated according to which muscle groups they work. --Squats and deadlifts both target the posterior chain. --Bench Press and Close Grip Bench Press both tax chest, triceps and front delts. --Bent over rows and deadlifts both tax upper back. --Stiff Leg Deadlifts and Deadlifts both tax hamstrings and lower back. --Bent over rows and Curls both target biceps. Etc. This is a great workout for size and strength, especially if you have a busy schedule.
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Posted Mon, 06/07/2010 - 14:21
Ernst
That makes sense, so basically B is a variation on A. Thanks for the reply!
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 06/07/2010 - 17:15
Steven
Yes. It would be easier to explain in person :) But each workout basically targets all muscle groups directly or indirectly, in a different way.
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Posted Fri, 01/07/2011 - 09:42
Hoze
Hey Steve - I'm looking to supplement my 3 day a week pull-up/push-up/dip pyramid, abs & cardio routine with this 2 day program - will it work or are there other full-body 2 day plans that would be better? I've taken about 3 months off from my reg routines & have put on around 10 lbs - will be 40 next month & I just want to change things, plus I'm getting those old creaks and pops that I think lifting will help - mind you I've been sticking to calisthenics, swimming and running for about 20 years now : ) Thanks for your time
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Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 12:14
James
would it make any difference if i used chin ups instead of bent over row? and use dips instead of close grip bench press? cheers
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 13:32
Steven
Those are 2 good exercise choices.
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Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 07:36
paul
Hi im looking for a workout to begin with and this sounds like it meets the goals I have set, gaining strength and getting bigger. The only question I have is doing Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Press all in one session is a lot, are the weights supposed to be light or heavy or what?
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 06/17/2010 - 07:39
Steven
For muscle mass, you should train with as much weight as possible for each set.
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Posted Sat, 04/05/2014 - 17:41
pete m
Going to start this routine but just have a question. Why dont you recommend training to failure? Thanks Pete
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Posted Mon, 06/21/2010 - 18:49
Evan
Just a general question: Is it better to substitute similar lifts to mix it up or maintain the exact same routine for a period of time?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 06/21/2010 - 19:29
Steven
Hi Evan, The big gains in muscle mass come from simply pushing for more weight. I wouldn't switch out any exercises.
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Posted Thu, 06/24/2010 - 23:59
chance
can this work as a intermediate workout if i just use more weight?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 08:21
Steven
Absolutely.
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Posted Sun, 06/27/2010 - 23:34
Sean
Hey, I'm relatively new to working out. I've been on a beginner work out routine for about 8 weeks now and have been seeing results but I'm wanting to work out more than the routine calls for. I like this work out and was wondering if I could do it 4 days a week instead of two? For example due Work out A- Monday Workout B- Tue WEd- off and then work out A again on Thursday and work out B on friday and rest Saturday and Sunday. Would this work? Thanks!
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 06/28/2010 - 12:19
Steven
Hi Sean, If you're seeing results, by all means try a 4 day split. It sounds like you are working hard and smart, and you should be successful with any approach you try. I would do this workout 4 times per week. I would try a muscle building workout: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-building.html ...or a 3 day full body: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/forget-steroids-5-fullbody-workouts-for-serious-gains.html
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Posted Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:03
Dave
I like this workout and I am trying what Sean is suggesting. Mon/Thurs is workout A and Tues/Fri is workout B. I Weigh 228 and I eat around 3000 calories a day and no less than 230 grams protein. So far I haven't seen any negative affects from doing this but its only been about a month. My biggest concern was doing deadlifts after killing my squats the day before. Progression has been good and steady so far. I guess that is the key. Thank you Steve for this workout and than you Sean for the great idea of making it a 4 day split.
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Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 12:37
Jared
Steve, I'm in the military and used to PT every morning. Now I've switched jobs and have lost my PT time, what little time I have in the morning has to be dedicated to running. About how long does this routine take, on average, since I may have to do it during lunch. Thanx.
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 14:33
Steven
Hi Jared, This routine would take about one hour.
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Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 17:23
james
hi there ive just starting out in the gym and seen this programme looks good. i have a bit of a belly would this routine help
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/02/2010 - 09:05
Steven
Hi James, Losing belly fat all comes down to having a proper diet. You need to eat around 2300 to 2500 calories per day, eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein very 2.5 to 3 hours, and train hard in the gym increasing reps and weight using good form when possible.
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Posted Mon, 07/12/2010 - 08:55
Jesse Congo
hey, im 18 im 5'10 140 lbs, will this workout help me to put on some weight
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/12/2010 - 15:00
Steven
Hi Jesse, Gaining muscle comes down to pushing yourself in the weight room, and eating enough daily calories to gain weight. Beginners can gain up to 15 pounds of muscle during their first year of hard training, so I would make it a goal to add 2 pounds per month. You may need to eat 3200 to 3500 daily calories or more to achieve this goal. You also want to make sure to eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. A workout alone won't do much without a solid diet.
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Posted Sat, 07/17/2010 - 09:47
TM
I have some imbalance between my chests. My left is slightly bigger than the right. Should I still be doing bench presses? Or should I substitute it for something else?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/19/2010 - 09:19
Steven
Hi TM, I would recommend sticking with the barbell bench press. It is the best mass builder for chest and should help.
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Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 00:03
TM
I was also wondering if it's okay to use the Smith Machine for some of these exercises (bench press, squat, behind neck press).
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 09:05
Steven
Hi TM, I would recommend using barbells for the movements when possible.

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