3 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split

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

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
3
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female

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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143 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 04/23/2015 - 19:38
Jacob Wise

10 exercises per workout, and bench and deadlift on the same day is pretty rediculess. For those who want to continuously gain real strength try this
day 1
deadlift 4x3-5
dumbbell row 2-3x6-12
dumbbell shrug 2-3x6-12
pullups 40-50 total

day 2
bench press 4x3-5
barbell overhead press 4x3-5
incline dumbbell press 2-3x6-12
dumbbell tricep extension 1x40

day 3
squat 4x3-5
romanian deadlift 2-3x6-12
zercher squat 2-3X6-12
dumbbell lunges 1-2x40 per leg

BOOM, focus on the basics, weed out the fluff and lift hard

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Posted Sat, 05/16/2015 - 18:03
Cambo

Youve them doing 50 pullups (which are good) and no dedicated bicep work? Youve opened your big mouth, and havent really backed it up.

Also Zercher squats really? Wha part of Zercher squats is "basics"

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Posted Thu, 04/23/2015 - 19:22
Jacob Wise

10 exercises per workout is rediculess, and will lead to a quick plateau. Training in multiple rep ranges is awesome, and scaling down this workout to 4-5 exercises per workout will keep the gains coming for natural athletes.

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Posted Tue, 05/05/2015 - 10:46
Raph

It's partially correct. If you look at the number of the sets you'll see that it only looks a lot. You can assemble a 4-5 exercise workout with the same amount of sets

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Posted Tue, 03/24/2015 - 08:37
cory

Would it be ok to make this into a Superset workout? Doing opposite muscle supersets?

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Posted Fri, 03/20/2015 - 05:53
Benji

Hello Steven,

I would like to give this workout a try however I have a back back (slipped disc). What can I substitute for the deadlift and squat parts?

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Posted Fri, 01/30/2015 - 19:56
Eddie roberts

Hi Steve I wanted to know if it would effect my work out if I do it Monday Wednesday and Friday like I see. How u said on here to do it Monday Tuesday and Thursday. What I'm getting at would it effect my out come.

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Posted Wed, 12/31/2014 - 21:55
abdi

hi i'm skiiny trying to get big . i go to the gym 4 times a week .and i do
chest and biceps together
shoulders nd traps
back nd triceps
legs its self .

is this good workput split if i'm trying to gain nd to get big

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Posted Tue, 05/05/2015 - 10:40
Raph

yeah good split. You should check the 4-day power muscle burn program

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Posted Wed, 12/31/2014 - 21:54
abdi

hi i'm skiiny trying to get big . i go to the gym 4 times a week .and i do
chest and biceps together
shoulders nd traps
back nd triceps
legs its self .

is this good workput split if i'm trying to gain nd to get big

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Posted Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:01
harish

Hi Steve. I'm a beginner. Recommend me a perfect workout plan. I need to broad my shoulders too. Please help me out......

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Posted Fri, 09/19/2014 - 15:37
David

I want to train in the power, muscle, burn style but the only equipment I have at my disposal is a power rack with a lat-pull and some dumbells. Are there some alternates to the machine work I can substitute?

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Posted Wed, 08/27/2014 - 03:31
Raph

Hey Steve, workout looks great. Regarding the arms workout, you do 1 tri 1 bi exercise i.e. close grip bench-press and afterwards pinwheel curls? Or all tri's and then bi's? What effect will it have working them one exercise per muscle group?

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Posted Sat, 08/09/2014 - 05:30
Tony

And what about de rest between sets? and between exercises?
Is it always the same? It doesn't matter?

Thank you so much!

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Posted Wed, 05/28/2014 - 12:19
Phil

Hi if i replace the front squat with leg extension can i perform both muscle exercices as a superset and do the same for arms muscle exercices

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Posted Tue, 07/07/2015 - 17:40
Cambo

You definitely could, but only at lower weights. Leg Extension machines are notorious for putting too much stress on the knee joint at higher reps.

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Posted Wed, 05/28/2014 - 09:43
Marco

Steve, great stuff.. I've used your 5 day split for some time as my blueprint/ guidelines to my
Work outs with small add on here and there for pump reasons and change up.
I'm intrested in doing a Three day split for the purpose of hitting each body part
Twice a week with the hope of gaining muscle through shock and ahhhh, so to speak.
Do you think this is wise or a bad idea? Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 05/25/2014 - 20:21
nick

Hi
I need to replace Dead lift and Romanian Dead lift by something.

I just can't do it (am not sissy I do squats but dead lift kills my lowet back even with proper technique just I got lordosis might be the reason)

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Posted Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:49
Rob

Looking forward to starting this routine, a couple of questions.

I usually do abs (crunches, oblique crunches, knee tucks, reverse crunches...50 each...plank 1 min), pushups (50), pull-ups (5) and dips (10) before and after my weight training as well as 10 minutes of cardio. Would you recommend cutting back on this while doing this routine?

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Posted Wed, 03/05/2014 - 10:01
Carolyn

Even though ta for intermediates, could a beginner use it?

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Posted Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:51
Jacob

Would it be okay if i substitute burn sets and just work those exercises as muscle sets

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Posted Mon, 11/11/2013 - 21:35
Jordan

Hey Steve,

I like this program but I just wanted to know if this workout with build lean muscle mass or bulky muscle mass? Also I have pretty big muscular legs, on the leg day will this make my legs bigger or tone them? because I want to tone them

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2013 - 14:50
ryan

hi,
Im struggling to build muscle even though i go to the gym 4 times a week and eat plenty of healthy food, is this routine like a mass gainer plan? I seriously need some advice.

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Posted Sun, 11/03/2013 - 04:13
Ricki Cleveland

Hi steve.
Love the workout, done it about a year ago and saw some amazing results. However since then I have changed gym and I do not have a leg press machine or leg extension/curl. Can you advise me on other exercises to do instead of these.

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Posted Sat, 10/19/2013 - 04:50
Vinean

my routine consists of
mon-bicep
tue-shoulder
wed-triceps
thurs-back
fri-chest
sat-legs
sun-circuit
please lemme know if its right ?

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Posted Fri, 10/11/2013 - 05:19
David

Good workout. Just started it this week, done legs on Tuesday and my hamstrings are still very sore 3 days later hopefully that'll ease the more I do the workout.

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Posted Sun, 09/29/2013 - 15:17
Matt

Hi Steve, Is the 3 day split as effective as the 4 or 5 day splits? Also would this split work Mon - Chest and Back, Weds - Legs, Fri- Shoulders and Arms and also HIIT cardio 2-3 days per week on either weights days or rest days? What do you think?

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Posted Thu, 09/19/2013 - 19:38
Remy

Ok, .....so no one answered my last post so I guess I'll make the question real easy to answer with a simple yes or no. :/

Is the 3 day PMB workout just as effective for building mass and strength as the 4 and 5 day-ers?

Thanks in advance!

RGP

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Posted Wed, 09/11/2013 - 07:48
Danny Wood

Lovin this programme steve :-)

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Posted Fri, 09/06/2013 - 10:06
Scott

Where can I insert power or hang cleans? What day? What section would they fit best(power, muscle or burn)?

Thanks Steve

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Posted Mon, 08/26/2013 - 10:13
Daniel

Hey Steve I already completed the three days and I have never had a workout like this. It's great but I have a question. With the three day rest period can I cut that short to two days?

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Posted Mon, 08/19/2013 - 23:53
kevin

hey will working out your chest once a week and arms once a week and shoulders once a week put on muscle or should you do chest twice a week or will once a week work..

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Posted Wed, 07/31/2013 - 23:35
Matteo

Hey Steve, first of all, all my respect for the good advice, this is an effective routine and way of training in general.
I have a question though, aren't stiff leg deadlifts (barb/dumbells) too much maybe, the day right after back training? Also, a "well rested" back is adviceable to be ready to power squatting IMHO.
What do you think about changing routine of day 1 with routine of day 4?
Also rear lunges (GREAT exercise) could be a good alternative to dumbells deadlifts?
Thanks!

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Posted Fri, 07/26/2013 - 07:05
Sandeep S Onkar

Hi Steve.This schedule looks pretty imbalanced to me.Day 2 is light day and day 3 is over loaded.

I like your 4 day schedule alot.But since I don't get 4 days,I have converted it to 3-day schedule as follows.All exercises are same as in the 4 day schedule.

Monday
Chest Biceps

Wednesday
Back Squats (Only 4 major squat workouts)

Friday
Shoulder Triceps.

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Posted Mon, 07/22/2013 - 21:58
greg

Steve, what do you think about tandem grouping to alternate muscle groups: bench and deads1&2, then muscle sets hammer bench, cable rows, weighted dips, and pulldowns 3,4,5,6 and so on. I feel that the energy is there in the beginning but fades. Love the program and the others you published.

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Posted Thu, 07/18/2013 - 23:39
Amy

How long should you stay on this workout routine before you switch up to a different one?

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Posted Wed, 07/17/2013 - 15:25
Will

Hey Steve,
I was wondering if I would get good results if I did this routine one week and the giant set routine the week after. In other words week 1 and 3 would be the three day muscle power burn and week 2 and 4 would be the giant set routine.

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2013 - 22:59
Zac

Hello,

I have an inquiry about your workout.. The workout appears to be what would be great for me but I'm dumbfounded as to what would be the ideal weight per activity? I'm 5'10" and weigh 120lbs. Is there an application online or calculator to determine the best base weights?

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Posted Sat, 07/13/2013 - 09:15
Joshua

Steve, What if I don't have a hammer strength bench press is there an exercise that I can substitute for it .

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Posted Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:46
Dave

Thanks for posting this plan, Steve.

I just turned 46, and I have been using the information posted on this site to get me back into weight training over the last month or so. Your articles have been particularly helpful.

I have been following your 4-day split over the last 4 weeks, but I have been focusing solely on upper body. I hesitated to do much leg work as I run 25 to 30 miles per week. But now I'm ready. Fortunately for me, you have posted this 3-day split, which I plan to start this coming week using the following schedule:
Sun- Run 7-8 miles
Mon- Chest and Back
Tues- Run 7-8 miles
Wed- Legs
Thurs- Shoulders and Arms
Fri- Run 7-8 miles
Sat- R&R

What do you think?

I would also like to know your thoughts on alternating chest and back exercises on Mondays vs focusing on just chest for all 4 exercises and then back for 4 exercises. I rather enjoy flipping back and forth and working opposing muscles, like your arm workout.

Thanks and keep up the great work. It is very much appreciated.

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Posted Fri, 10/25/2013 - 13:27
Lukas

Hi,
I want to implement the same kind of planning with 3 days cardio (1 day running + 2 days boxing) in addition to the 3 days gym (+ lot of eating and rest time of course). Last year I was doing only the gym with the 4 days split routing and I was very happy with it.

Thanks for the help.

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Posted Thu, 07/11/2013 - 07:47
Dave

First, I just want to thank you for this work out as well as all of the other information posted on this site.

I just turned 46 and have been implementing your 4 day split for a month, and I feel great. I can honestly say that I am in the best shape that I have been in since I was in college. I just need to clarify that I have only been doing upper body as I needed to get back into the routine of going to the gym. I was also hesitant to lift legs for fear that it would affect my running schedule.

But, now I'm ready. Next week, I plan to shift over to the 3 day split so I can can start legs.

I'm looking at doing this split:
Sun- Run
Mon- Chest and Back
Tues- Run
Wed- Legs
Thurs- Shoulders and Arms
Fri- Run
Sat- Rest

What do you think? This will give my legs one day to recover before I run again. My runs range from 6 to 8 miles; occasionally, I push to 10.

Also, is it bad to alternate push and pull movements on back and chest day instead of doing all of the chest movements followed by the back exercises? Just curious.

Thanks again.

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Posted Tue, 07/09/2013 - 17:33
Martyn Walker

Can I add pull-ups? Surely the best back exercise?

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Posted Tue, 07/09/2013 - 11:42
Kman

1 hour

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Posted Mon, 07/01/2013 - 02:53
Samuel

for how much time should I do this workout?

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Posted Fri, 06/28/2013 - 07:48
Casey

Hi Steve. I've been using this program for 3 weeks now but here are some problem that I'm facing right now.

For Pec Dec: the lowest weight on the machine that our gym offer is too heavy for a burn set. I can only do 12 max rep on its minimum weight. What alternative routine can I do for burn set?

For Leg Press: same as for Pec Dec, the minimum weight is also too heavy and I cant even do a single rep. Lol. What alternative can I use for, Leg Press - Muscle and Burn and Leg Press Calf Raise.

Thanks in advance.

mnsjason's picture
Posted Fri, 06/28/2013 - 13:11
mnsjason

I would burn out on bodyweight exercises. Push ups after pec dec and bodyweight sqauts and calf raises.

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Posted Wed, 06/26/2013 - 09:12
Reza

Hi Steve,
Thank you for great workouts, but there is no workout for wrist.
Would you like to suggest any?

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2013 - 13:53
Matthew Deakin

I have to say this routine looks amazing, maybe the best I've seen. I can't wait to get started. I'll let you know how it pays off! Thanks a lot.

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Posted Thu, 06/13/2013 - 18:44
bobby

thank you for the workout routine to fit my busy schedule, I cant afford to be in the more then this per week. but my question is how long should I continue this program for? 3 weeks? 6 weeks?